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...]

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...]

Got Religion? Maybe this book can help you.

Naomi Schaefer Riley sums up what she learned about getting post-college millenials back to the church, mosque, and synagogue in the final paragraph of her latest book: Got Religion. How Churches, Mosques, and Synagogues can Bring Young People Back. Little of what she offers strikes me as new. Peruse the various blogs on Patheos and [Read More...]

Who did you say you represent?

How can there be a dialogue about sexuality with only men? How can there be a discussion of religious views of homosexuality with only straight men? Good questions. Questions asked at the end of our recent Faiths in Conversation Dialogue on sexuality, marriage, and homosexuality. These questions reveal the vast gulf between traditional religious views [Read More...]

Sexual Desire versus Sexuality

We may call ourselves and others human, but that is a word that hides more about us than it reveals us to each other. In the recent dialogue over sexuality, marriage, and homosexuality there was one particular aspect of two presentations that members of the audience found offensive. In different ways the rabbi and the [Read More...]

What is Spirituality?

At a recent party I was asked about my spirituality. I replied that I was an orthodox Christian. My conversation partner didn’t buy it. She replied, “yes, but what feeds your spirit.” Sensing the direction of her thinking I nodded toward my nearby sailboat. And she understood. We both did. What she meant by spirituality [Read More...]

Religious Freedom? Not So Fast.

The Christian responsibility, when invited to pray in public, is not to pray “in the name of Christ,” but to create unity around the righteousness that God enjoins on all humanity.  The US Constitution cannot make American society good. All it can do is restrain us from being as bad as we might otherwise be. [Read More...]

Nope, we really don’t agree . . .

At recent dialogue event, Faiths in Coversation on April 28th here in Dallas,  Doug Skinner, a Christian pastor, and Imam Zia, a Muslim leader, and Rabbi Hanan Schlesinger spoke about the relation between faith and works. It was an enlightening discussion, and again demonstrated how similar these three religions can sound while being quite different. [Read More...]


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