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...]

God in Bethlehem, God in Mecca?

The question of whether Christians and Muslims worship the same God is for all practical purposes purely theoretical. Whether or not we worship the same God we do not worship together. Muslims may visit, but usually do not join in Christian worship because Christians worship Christ, which Muslims believe is a violation of God’s Oneness. And [Read More...]

There is no God but God. Is it really that simple?

Who will be the watchman on the wall to warn when danger approaches the people of God? The Bible tells two big stories. Each begins with the Spirit of God hovering over the face to the waters and each ends only when a new heaven and a new earth are cast above the cataclysmic end [Read More...]

Is it Hate Speech?

I recently stated in an interview that pastor Robert Jeffress’ statements “Islam is a false religion” and “Islam is inspired by Satan” was hate speech. In subsequent TV interviews I defended this statement by pointing out that if you said things that caused people to feel you hated them then that was hate speech. Some [Read More...]

The Darkness in the Heart of Dallas

If Dallas is going to be the city it wants to be then Christian pastors who now rail against Islam out of ignorance and fear need to engage Muslims in dialogue and learn about the religion from its followers. My city, Dallas, wants to be something. It wants to be an international hub of commerce. [Read More...]

Job’s Visitors

The blood hadn’t dried and the bodies were still warm when Job’s visitors arrived. A few immediately took the classic lines. Condolences and all that, but really Job its your fault. You didn’t take the threat seriously, manage security for your children, close the borders to the foreign pestilence, and of course cleanse your own [Read More...]

A Level Playing Field in Missouri?

Offensive racial, ethnic, and religious slurs are means of asserting power and privilege, and thus creating a social space in which there are distinctive power differentials. The person being offensive is essentially asserting his or her power over others, whether it is Donald Trump or some other faceless drive-by bigot. In the same way taking [Read More...]

Do Unto Others . . . ? Not so much.

Imagine for a minute that you live in a country where Christians are a small minority and Muslims are a majority. Would you want to be forced to resolve business disputes according to Shari’a law even though you don’t believe in it, and clearly don’t have any friends in a Shari’a court? Many Christians face [Read More...]

Activists versus Dialogue at the Parliament.

“Would the fundamentalists have shown up for a pluralistic conference that respects multiple viewpoints anyway” This was a recent posting I saw regarding the Parliament of the World’s Religions failure to engage Christian conservatives as well as many other groups. It makes a big assumption: that conservative religious groups aren’t interested in dialogue, which really [Read More...]

How to Stop ISIS Recruiting

At the Council for Foreign Relations lunch there was a vigorous and useful discussion about the need to amplify the voices of peaceful and socially conscious Islam so as to drown out the shouts of the extremists. Since I promised to report: 1. Wood spoke the classic language of hard power and soft power. While [Read More...]


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