Interfaith Belonging is not Inter-Religious Understanding

The central claims of Interfaith are in conflict with the claims of other religions, as the claims of these religions are in conflict with one another. At a recent meeting to work on programs for an interfaith chapel. It immediately became clear to me that a deep conceptual confusion was likely to thwart the intentions [Read More...]

The Indigenous American Religion

Moralistic Therapeutic Deism is the indigenous religion of the United States from its inception, the religion from which all Americans must be converted if they are to become Christians. I heard a radio preacher today – and not a bad one either, preaching on the book “Soul Searching,” which has been buzzed about for nearly [Read More...]

Management Culture and Human Dignity

The culture of modern North America is a management culture. That culture has its roots deep in the enlightenment and the emergence of the human as an autonomous, independent center of power, meaning, and authority. American Christianity, particularly in its United Methodist form, is indigenous to North American society and fully participates fully in this [Read More...]

Dialogue, Politics, and the Muslim World

The wisest possible ordering of society is revealed not in sacred books, but in free and open dialogue of committed citizens. The Muslim world has historically been subject to movements of both reform and renewal. Only the most shallow reading of its history could maintain that social, economic, and political structures haven’t changed, and along [Read More...]

Real Evangelism for the 21st Century

When the world changes, all commitments must be renewed. Our churches are filled primarily with members driven by inertia, social acceptance, entertainment, and available member services rather than a commitment to God put into practice through worship and service. John Lennon’s great song, Imagine, is often played at Christmas time (apparently without irony) to remember [Read More...]

The Curse of the (Social) Creed

We have turned humanity into an object of Christian faith, and social behaviors into essential Christian practices. A couple of decades ago I sat visiting over lunch with my fellow students at the University of Malaya.  The conversation turned to our professors. A young woman with her hair wrapped tightly beneath her headscarf and wearing [Read More...]

Human Nature and its Clueless Detractors

The fantasy filled fear-mongers like Louie Gohmert and Wayne LaPierre don’t just misrepresnt Muslims or the dangers of fiscal chaos, they misrepresent human nature. And this is far more dangerous to the United States than any terrorist threat because this misrepresentation destroys the fabric of human society in the name of defending it. “The American [Read More...]

Establishing Religion?

Should private companies be able to establish the religious beliefs of their owners as the norm for their employees? We need an ongoing, public, exploration of our differing religious ethics. We need inter religious dialogue so that we begin to understand what is really at stake when we talk about the establishment of religion, or [Read More...]

Science and Religion – an Interfaith Encounter.

Yesterday I was one of three speakers at a forum on science and religion. Speaking as unelected representative of all Christians I basically made a single point: that the orthodox Christian tradition teaches that God reveals God’s self in two ways: through the created order (natural revelation) and through particular moments in which God speaks [Read More...]

Jesus or JR?

Over the last couple of years I’ve had the opportunity to talk with working scriptwriters and directors about just what makes for a compelling story. Specifically the TV series Dallas, the second generation. To paraphrase one of them “If you want people to enter a world you create week after week you have to create [Read More...]


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