No Freedom from Religion

My last blog got a lot of response from atheists who felt I had misunderstood them, and misunderstood the law. Four things seemed to emerge in their responses (although not all responded in the same way.) I’ll list them and you can check my accuracy: 1. atheism is not a religion. It is the denial [Read More...]

Freedom From Religion?

As a nation we need to recognize the vast difference between religiously plural, and religiously empty, public spaces. The first is possible, the second an illusion. On October 5th the New York Times covered a story from East Texas. It is about cheerleaders whose banners bear Biblical messages and their conflict with a school administration [Read More...]

Religion is the Problem

“I also want to say that Islam, beyond the exaggerations, points the finger at something real: under the guise of freedom, in the West we tend to ridicule religion. In the days of his visit in Lebanon, the Pope spoke of violence in words and in deeds. If we want to free the world from [Read More...]

The Platform of Christian Hope

The two political conventions are behind us. Americans and the world have heard what hope Republicans and Democrats offer for the future of our nation. And they offered about the same thing. Jobs. Economic prosperity for all, but especially the middle class. And of course a restoration, resuscitation, rediscovery, or just re-tread of a laundry [Read More...]

Jesus the CEO?

In my last blog I suggested that the classical understanding of Christ as prophet, priest, and ruler might guide our reflections on new ways of understanding pastoral ministry in a post-Christian/pre-Christian society. The “facilitation” model I was taught in the 1970′s simply doesn’t work any more. There is an alternative. By the early 1980′s I [Read More...]

What is a Pastor to Be?

When I was in seminary between 1977 and 1982 the model of pastoral ministry could be summed up in one word: facilitator. Through Rogerian counseling we facilitated people who were capable of discovering their problems and the solutions. Facilitating endless council and committee meetings allowed us to allow lay people to lead the congregation in [Read More...]

The Pastor is Out (of it)

So lets review the recent news. A man with neo-Nazi sympathies goes to a Sikh Gurdwara and kills six people. He may have thought they were Muslims, or he may not have cared. Hatred is a blunt instrument. Recent reports shows 88 attacks on US mosques since 2010, with burnings and vandalism increasing across the [Read More...]

Who Owns Your Worship?

Somewhere in Dallas. A conference room. A worship committee. Hot words about “competition” between traditional and contemporary worship. Worried members, vested interests, no resolution. The worship wars go on. But I wonder if we realize that in the end both sides may have lost. For most of Christian history worship involved the systematic movement of [Read More...]

Romney on Culture?

Mitt Romney recently found out a few things about culture and Middle East diplomacy, but both he and the press missed his biggest learning opportunity. Romney attributed Israel’s economic success to culture, and suggested that the same factor, culture, explained the Palestinian’s lack of economic success. At least some Palestinians said his remarks were racist, [Read More...]

The Great Fear Conflation

The headlines last week said that 30% of Republicans believe that Obama is a Muslim. An actual increase since 2008. And this has been followed by various surveys (always publicized by self-proclaimed liberals) that conservatives are simply less intellectual, less smart, than liberals. I doubt it. Read down in an article on the recent PEW [Read More...]


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