The End of Babel

I’m thinking about the cities in the Bible. The seven cities in Revelation are often a touchstone for Christian reflection on the church. Well, usually someone else’s church. And I know that we would like to imagine ourselves as the New Jerusalem. But that just seems unlikely from what I see in the UMC. Who [Read More…]

Orlando and Religious Law – We have a Problem

John 18:29: So Pilate went out to them and said, “What accusation do you bring against this man?” 30 They answered, “If this man were not a criminal, we would not have handed him over to you.” 31 Pilate said to them, “Take him yourselves and judge him according to your law.” The religious leaders replied, “We [Read More…]

Love Minus Zero / No Limit?

In the last blog I offered that God reveals God’s self in scripture as the creator of order, indeed of overlapping orders that define the natural world, the social world of humans, and the church. I also stated that the Christian understanding of those orders has been continually revised up until today under the twin [Read More…]

Everyone Revises – The Question is Where to Stop

In the previous blog I explored why the dispute between traditionalists and progressives regarding same-sex marriage is intractable. Now I want to focus on the specific problems in the ways in which each side justifies (primarily to itself) its belief with scripture. I’m going to start with the traditionalists. The traditionalists charge that the progressives [Read More…]

We Believe Before We Read

“Ever since his own day Tyndall’s translation has been blamed for being tendentious. If we are thinking of his violent marginal glosses, this is fair enough; if of his peculiar renderings (congregation for ecclesia, senior or elder for presbyters, favor for charis and the like), a little explanation seems to be needed. The business of [Read More…]

Do Christians have Anything to Learn about God?

I’ve recently been engaged in reading about a movement within United Methodism to promote Christian Orthodoxy. Part of their statement of purpose is found on their website, written by Dr. Steve Rankin. It appears to me to suggest that United Methodist theology as such cannot learn anything new about God. “The mission of UMSCO, therefore, [Read More…]

Intelligence under Attack II

American Christians become so obsessed with the supposed attacks by secularists and humanists on their privileged position in American culture that they forget there are real attacks on Christianity taking place daily. Christians need to understand that apologetics are not just an evangelistic tool, they are a justice issue. I am not talking about attacks on Christians and [Read More…]

Intelligence Under Attack Part I

Inside the US the attack on intelligence by Ted Cruz’ new foreign policy advisors directly hurts Muslims and the Muslim community. Yet it has a far more detrimental effect in the long term on Christians and all Americans of faith. Because once you undermine the foundations of civil discourse about religion then every religion or [Read More…]

The End of Terror

Brussels. Istambul. Lahore. And a thousand other places that we didn’t hear of or forgot. Start your list in 2001. Start it in 1991. Start it at the dawn of humanity. In E.B. White’s the Sword and the Stone, written in what many would see as a gentler age, a young Arthur’s dreams take him [Read More…]

Forget God, Interreligious Understanding begins with Anthropology

The single most important question in interreligious dialogue today is not theological. Is anthropological. And it arises because between the different religions there are fundamentally different ways of understanding not merely what it means to be human but how humans find out what it means to be human. At a recent interfaith dialogue involving Jews, [Read More…]


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