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…]

Buddhist and Muslim Dialogue for the Earth

The word sacred has two related dimensions. One dimension of something sacred is that it connected to God, or whatever is the object of religious devotion, reflection, and faith. The second related dimension is that something sacred is worthy of veneration. And this second dimension is where we get into trouble when we talk about [Read More…]

ISIS and Religious Terror: To Report is not to Support

“By publicizing the views of ISIS as Islamic you are helping their cause.” That was more or less the accusation being made at the Council of Foreign Relations lunch at the Parliament of the World Religions. The target of the accusation was Graeme Wood, the journalist whose excellent article in the Atlantic on the Islamic [Read More…]