Theological Education Inside Out

In a previous blog I suggested that the idea that the human relationship to religion is of questioner to provider of answers may ultimately destroy both religion and our humanity. If theological education is intended primarily to form leaders in Christian ministry, then within mainline denominations dominated by post-Schleiermachian liberal theology it may need to [Read More...]

Inter-religious Dialogue past Modernity

The obvious must sometimes be said: for inter-religious dialogue to be of any value those involved must know what they are talking about. And not just expertise. They must know what they have in common, what this “religion” thing is that they supposedly share. In conversation with a long-time Muslim partner in dialogue the issue [Read More...]

The Human Role in Religion

The idea that the human relationship to religion is of questioner to provider of answers may ultimately destroy both religion and our humanity. One of my colleagues recently circulated an exam question from a textbook in world religions. The exam asked “What is the most important question human beings must answer? Choose your question wisely, and [Read More...]

Fear and Analysis

The most common, the most popular framework for analyzing religion in America appears to be fear.  Religion is complicated. It always amazes me when people think they can read a couple of books, check out a website or two, and then begin making strong assertions about this or that religion. Would they do that with [Read More...]

Indifference, not Skepticism, is the issue.

Editors’ Note: This article is part of the Public Square 2014 Summer Series: Conversations on Religious Trends. Read other perspectives from the Patheos community here. A recent book by Timothy Keller made the New York Times Best Seller list. “The Reason for God, Belief in an Age of Skepticism.” I suppose it has value for those for whom it [Read More...]

The Agnostic and the Atheist

Is agnosticism an tenable position in a religiously plural society? No. In my recent travels in Europe I fell into a conversation with a self-professed agnostic and a self-professed atheist, in which the atheist challenged the intellectual integrity of the agnostic’s position. The atheist’s argument was simple. The agnostic maintained that God’s existence was a [Read More...]

Dialogue with Atheists II

My last blog generated some interesting discussions. The interview below covers some of the issues raised in that discussion – and sheds new light on the arguments on both sides. http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/category/the-stone/ [Read more...]

Interfaith Dialogue with Atheists

Real dialogue is necessary, not over the important secondary matter of whether God exists, but over the primary question of what constitutes the basis for human knowing. Two ads in the most recent edition of Scientific American caught my eye. On page 24 is an ad called “Leaving Truth.” It promotes a book designed to [Read More...]

Face to Face with Jesus (A Review)

Face to Face with Jesus, by Samaa Habib and Bodie Thoene Let me start by saying that I  support evangelistic efforts within the Muslim world, assuming they are carried out with the kind of discretion and care necessary for a full witness to God’s love. People of any religion who believe that faith makes a [Read More...]

How the West Really Lost God! (?)

I wonder. Perhaps the West isn’t losing God. Perhaps it is just beginning to find out who God really is. How the West Really Lost God is something I’m not sure I know, even after reading Mary Eberstadt’s new book. She seeks to turn the common idea that the decline in religion led to a [Read More...]


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