Witnessing to Anxious Tribes: Stop the Steamroller.

The question we then face is how to understand the mission of Christ in a time of anxious tribalism. And I will suggest that Christian witness in a time of anxious tribalism will be primarily focused on the unity and diversity of human persons and societies as disclosed in the incarnate Christ. If in the [Read More...]

Two Religions, One Name

Christians belong to one of two different religions that just happen to share the same name. 1. In the debate over gay marriage appealing to the Bible’s literal prohibitions is a dead end argument. If you go the Old Testament we immediately hear Martin Sheen’s burn of an anti-gay radio star in West Wing. If [Read More...]

Muslims on the Rise? Misreading the Pew Report

AHHHHHH! The Muslims are coming the Muslims are coming. I’d barely seen the headlines before a reporter from Houston called me to comment. A new report by the Pew Charitable Trusts says “that the number of Muslims would exceed the number of Christians in the world by 2070!” At least that was the headline for NPR, [Read More...]

Outrage and Anxiety

A couple of weeks ago there was a brief outbreak of good ole American outrage here in Texas. It was well behind the wake of the Charlie Hebdo terrorist attacks, but of course this is Dallas, where Milan 2012 is only now being seen on the streets and in the malls. First a couple of protesters decided [Read More...]

Civil Dialogue

The problem with the columnists, commentators, politicians, pundits, and pastors is that they honestly believe that they are the linchpins of civilization. It is amazing how quickly the intelligensia of the left and right moved from an attack on a satirical magazine by militant Islamists to the end of civilization as we know it. The [Read More...]

Wonder and Dialogue

I decided to spend my Christmas holidays exploring a mystery. What, I wondered, is the Higgs boson about which we’ve heard so much? Having studied physics and astronomy seriously in the University, and having subsequently kept up with developments at a lay level as a lifelong reader of Scientific American I thought I knew a [Read More...]

The Most . . . .?

We need to get small to get real. . . . Flying back from Jerusalem one time I met an American Jewish leader of some repute, with whom I had a slight acquaintance. In casual conversation he referred to the Jews as “the most hated people in the world.” I was taken aback. There is [Read More...]

Moses at the Manger

Jesus comes with more baggage than Santa Clause. On my flight to Vienna Lufthansa offered, among other really small screen shows, a Christmas Oratorio in some fabulous German church setting. Behind the choir was a large nativity scene, with one (to a modern American) surprising feature. Overseeing it all was Moses, identifiable by his “horns,” a [Read More...]

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...]

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...]


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