Same Kind of Different

An inter-religious dialogue on sex, marriage, and homosexuality raised more questions that it answered. At a May 19th Faiths in Coversation Dialogue, held at Synagogue Beth Torah, we hear that all three religious leaders agree on this point: The God who created humanity has also established and revealed a normative social order. Thus each religion [Read More...]

A Matter of Principle?

How long do those who believe in freedom of speech try to stay in a conversation with those religiously committed to restricting freedom of speech? A recent editorial by Frank Bruni tells of a Catholic Diocese now requiring teachers in its schools to sign a contract greatly restricting not only their sexual behavior, but their [Read More...]

What is Spirituality?

At a recent party I was asked about my spirituality. I replied that I was an orthodox Christian. My conversation partner didn’t buy it. She replied, “yes, but what feeds your spirit.” Sensing the direction of her thinking I nodded toward my nearby sailboat. And she understood. We both did. What she meant by spirituality [Read More...]

Religious Freedom? Not So Fast.

The Christian responsibility, when invited to pray in public, is not to pray “in the name of Christ,” but to create unity around the righteousness that God enjoins on all humanity.  The US Constitution cannot make American society good. All it can do is restrain us from being as bad as we might otherwise be. [Read More...]

Nope, we really don’t agree . . .

At recent dialogue event, Faiths in Coversation on April 28th here in Dallas,  Doug Skinner, a Christian pastor, and Imam Zia, a Muslim leader, and Rabbi Hanan Schlesinger spoke about the relation between faith and works. It was an enlightening discussion, and again demonstrated how similar these three religions can sound while being quite different. [Read More...]

Historical Truth? Not so easy to find.

History isn’t necessarily an independently verifiable account of what has happened in the past. For many religious people history is the unfolding of timeless revelation and the ideals that it engenders. Recently I attended a dialogue between religious leaders where this became manifestly clear. The Muslim speaker made a number of assertions about the history [Read More...]

Inter-Religious Marriage and God’s Blessing

Decisions about whether particular couples who wish to be married will live their lives as a witness to God’s grace cannot be made by institutional fiat. On a Saturday evening not long ago I presided over the marriage of a Muslim man and a Christian woman. I could add some nuances, but I think its [Read More...]

Blaspheme and Freedom of Speech

Last night (March 24) I moderated a dialogue between Rabbi Hana Schlesinger, Imam Zia, and Pastor Doug Skinner on Blaspheme and Freedom of Religion. Below are the notes from my closing remarks. Blaspheme and Freedom of Speech 1. The three religions have different views regarding the capacity of human reason and the degree to which [Read More...]

A Living Story is the Death of Arrogance

Arrogance isn’t hard to find in Christian circles. It comes from believing that I, or my church, knows better than you know what you need. And this is based on some belief that I’ve been authorized by God to speak not only to you, but about you. I know you better than you know yourself. [Read More...]

Its All About Us

Its all about us isn’t it? At least one source of our Christian arrogance comes from construing Christianity as the union of a particular revelation and a particular human need, or as a divine answer to a particular human question. The very historical/cultural particularity of the  revelation of God’s love for all humanity in Jesus [Read More...]


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