Banning the Burqa: the New Exile

The core value of modern democracy is the liberation achieved by participation in public life. Angela Merkel has proposed banning the burqa. To be clear, what she means by this is banning full facial covering. Not banning headscarves. The ostensible reason for this is security concerns. In France a similar ban was related to issues of [Read More…]

Will the Real Islam Please Stand Up?

Yesterday a journalist called me. Billboards have appeared around Dallas with a message about Islam – basically asserting that there is no racism in Islam. The journalist had talked to the people who put up the billboards. Now she wanted an informed Christian view. Is it true that there is no racism in Islam? Journalists [Read More…]

The Moral Divide

The recent election should help clarify what is (or should be) immediately obvious in inter-religious dialogue. There exist between and within religions substantially different moral frameworks. I don’t mean by a moral framework simply different relative moral values. Most religions share relatively common sets of moral values. The weight given to these values determines one’s [Read More…]

You Can’t See When You Turn Your Back

In an earlier blog I suggested that in the United States there were two different religions named Christianity. Now an article in Christianity Today has given a good good analysis of the theology of one of these emerging religions, a religion shaped by the theology of Norman Vincent Peal. http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2016/march-web-only/theology-of-donald-trump.html If we’ve made an inquiry into the theology behind [Read More…]

Divided We Fall – Thank God

Today (Nov 5) the Dallas Morning News ran an commentary explaining 10 reasons that a Christian could not vote for Donald Trump. Across my Facebook feed came an article by an important evangelical leader explaining the many reasons that a Christian must vote for Donald Trump. Interestingly these divergent views of Christian behavior came from [Read More…]

Is God Great?

Sunday morning I heard something unsettling. We were invited to join in a vibrant chorus claiming, “Our God is Great!” If you’ve attended any contemporary praise worship you’ve heard this song and its many variants a thousand times. “Our God is an awesome God!” Etc. The songs come out of the bombastic tradition of Israelite [Read More…]

We Live in Different Worlds

A CNN interview has been posted to my Facebook page. Those posting it expressed shock that Christian woman would express her support for Donald Trump by saying that “God could even use a harlot.” The outrage was on several levels. First that Trump’s behavior could in any way be overlooked. But more importantly that Trump [Read More…]

The Bible on Non-Christian Religions

What does the Bible say about non-Christian Religions? The simple answer is nothing, for the same reason the Bible doesn’t say anything about airplanes, 401Ks, nuclear power, and iPhones. The concept of religion as we know it didn’t exist in the time that the Bible was written. It comes about much later in human history. [Read More…]

The Assimilation Debate

Recently Facebook, bringer of many things, brought me two. The first was a quote from Bobby Jindal: “Let’s be really honest about this: Immigration without assimilation is not immigration; it’s an invasion, . . .  we need to tell folks, if you want to come to our country, come here legally, learn English, adopt our values, [Read More…]

The Real Schism, It’s Not What you Think.

The United Methodist church appears to be following other major protestant denominations into the throes of division. The issue is same-sex marriage and ordination of LGBTQ persons living in same-sex relationships. Of course various accusations are being made with regard to who is more biblical, orthodox, faithful to tradition, etc. I want to suggest that [Read More…]