The God Particle . . and the Gaps in God

There is only magazine or journal I read cover to cover every month, and that is Scientific American. Nor is this a new obsession. My first job out of high school was as a research assistant in a computer lab, programming in Fortran to solve complex integral equations in order to analyze satellite data. My [Read More...]

Divine Mandate, Dialogue Disaster?

How do we enter into respectful dialogue with another religious viewpoint when that religious viewpoint won’t let us speak for ourselves? When it insists that it comprehensively understands our reality without reference to us? What do I mean? Let’s start with something interesting: “After the banned ‘Holy Islamic Sex’ (Seks Suci Islam) guide’s sizzling debut, [Read More...]

The Sub-Dom Complex in Religion

The logic of hegemony arises in part from the claim that a particular culture, worldview, and language have the privilege of being chosen by God to express God’s truth to humanity. In Malaysia two pieces of news. First came the circulation of a forged letter saying that if an opposition party won the next election [Read More...]

Lost in Translation?

Sunday morning. Christians gather for worship: meaningful fragments of hymns are offered, praise choruses are repeated to create a mood, Jesus songs inculcate pious devotion and warm affection,thematic preaching that tells people what they want to know, and prayers beseech God for help. The house is packed. Is the gospel in all its power finally [Read More...]

Translation, not just Interpretation

The crisis of the mainline Christian denominations has come about in large part because they hang on to a model of engagement with contemporary people that is no longer adequate. Pastors and church leaders who were taught to interpret the gospel so that it is relevant to the contemporary situation are finding this isn’t adequate [Read More...]

The Secular Attack on Religion

This past week two citizens of the UK took their claims to the European Court of Human Rights after losing their appeals in Britain. What? Perhaps Muslims facing discrimination? Sikhs or Hindus suffering racist epithets? No. Christians. One a counselor whose employer dismissed him for questioning whether he could council gay couples, the other a [Read More...]

The Puritan Impulse – Again

Down through history different religious groups have displayed a puritan impulse. When they command the power of the state it becomes deadly. A story I’ve told often is of my first American ancestor, Jacob Hunt. He arrived in Puritan Boston in the 17th century and was quickly expelled for his religious views. The Puritans hadn’t [Read More...]

Evangelism fails without Dialogue

American Christians wonder, indeed should wonder, why Christianity is in decline in our nation. Why are people leaving the church? Why are so few people coming to Christ? Why are non-Christian religions growing? I want to suggest that is because we Christians have failed to meet the essential pre-condition for preaching a credible gospel. We [Read More...]

Shaping Interfaith Leaders

Can we parlay good interfaith relationships into actual political cooperation? It may take more than interfaith work projects. In a recent blog David Bornstein documented, and praised, efforts to unite persons of different religions in mutually agreeable work projects. http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/06/12/a-better-way-to-talk-about-faith/?emc=eta1 This is a timely reminder of the very effective Interfaith Youth Corp that is spreading [Read More...]

Irreconsilable or Incommensurate?

At a recent inter-religious dialogue event a colleague noted how quickly, in the question and answer period, Christians moved the focus from the topic of the dialogue to the question of who is “saved” and how. Only diplomacy on the part of all the leaders kept the conversation from breaking up. Back in the day [Read More...]


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