Do Jews, Christians, and Muslims Worship the Same God?

Do Jews, Christians, and Muslims Worship the Same God? Abingdon Press, 2012 (with Baruch Levine, Bruce Chilton, Vincent Cornell, and Martin Marty) This book poses a question that each of the four main authors is obliged to immediately deconstruct and examine. The reason for this examination of the question is aptly introduced in the second [Read More...]

Reaching the Nones

We need a Ptolemaic shift to see that the church isn’t the center of anybody’s universe any more. And it probably never will be again. An article and an NPR segment drifted my way today. The article reminded me of a recent study of those who state that they have no religious affiliation. That is [Read More...]

Freedom From Religion?

As a nation we need to recognize the vast difference between religiously plural, and religiously empty, public spaces. The first is possible, the second an illusion. On October 5th the New York Times covered a story from East Texas. It is about cheerleaders whose banners bear Biblical messages and their conflict with a school administration [Read More...]

Religion is the Problem

“I also want to say that Islam, beyond the exaggerations, points the finger at something real: under the guise of freedom, in the West we tend to ridicule religion. In the days of his visit in Lebanon, the Pope spoke of violence in words and in deeds. If we want to free the world from [Read More...]

The Platform of Christian Hope

The two political conventions are behind us. Americans and the world have heard what hope Republicans and Democrats offer for the future of our nation. And they offered about the same thing. Jobs. Economic prosperity for all, but especially the middle class. And of course a restoration, resuscitation, rediscovery, or just re-tread of a laundry [Read More...]

Jesus the CEO?

In my last blog I suggested that the classical understanding of Christ as prophet, priest, and ruler might guide our reflections on new ways of understanding pastoral ministry in a post-Christian/pre-Christian society. The “facilitation” model I was taught in the 1970′s simply doesn’t work any more. There is an alternative. By the early 1980′s I [Read More...]

Romney on Culture?

Mitt Romney recently found out a few things about culture and Middle East diplomacy, but both he and the press missed his biggest learning opportunity. Romney attributed Israel’s economic success to culture, and suggested that the same factor, culture, explained the Palestinian’s lack of economic success. At least some Palestinians said his remarks were racist, [Read More...]

Divine Mandate, Dialogue Disaster?

How do we enter into respectful dialogue with another religious viewpoint when that religious viewpoint won’t let us speak for ourselves? When it insists that it comprehensively understands our reality without reference to us? What do I mean? Let’s start with something interesting: “After the banned ‘Holy Islamic Sex’ (Seks Suci Islam) guide’s sizzling debut, [Read More...]

Lost in Translation?

Sunday morning. Christians gather for worship: meaningful fragments of hymns are offered, praise choruses are repeated to create a mood, Jesus songs inculcate pious devotion and warm affection,thematic preaching that tells people what they want to know, and prayers beseech God for help. The house is packed. Is the gospel in all its power finally [Read More...]

Evangelism fails without Dialogue

American Christians wonder, indeed should wonder, why Christianity is in decline in our nation. Why are people leaving the church? Why are so few people coming to Christ? Why are non-Christian religions growing? I want to suggest that is because we Christians have failed to meet the essential pre-condition for preaching a credible gospel. We [Read More...]


CLOSE | X

HIDE | X