No Freedom from Religion

My last blog got a lot of response from atheists who felt I had misunderstood them, and misunderstood the law. Four things seemed to emerge in their responses (although not all responded in the same way.) I’ll list them and you can check my accuracy: 1. atheism is not a religion. It is the denial [Read More...]

What is a Pastor to Be?

When I was in seminary between 1977 and 1982 the model of pastoral ministry could be summed up in one word: facilitator. Through Rogerian counseling we facilitated people who were capable of discovering their problems and the solutions. Facilitating endless council and committee meetings allowed us to allow lay people to lead the congregation in [Read More...]

Who Owns Your Worship?

Somewhere in Dallas. A conference room. A worship committee. Hot words about “competition” between traditional and contemporary worship. Worried members, vested interests, no resolution. The worship wars go on. But I wonder if we realize that in the end both sides may have lost. For most of Christian history worship involved the systematic movement of [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...]

The Great Fear Conflation

The headlines last week said that 30% of Republicans believe that Obama is a Muslim. An actual increase since 2008. And this has been followed by various surveys (always publicized by self-proclaimed liberals) that conservatives are simply less intellectual, less smart, than liberals. I doubt it. Read down in an article on the recent PEW [Read More...]

Farewell to Jerusalem

Israel for 10 days. Reflections: Its early morning in the hotel, the last morning of this trip. We have seen angry hope, sad hope, resigned hope, cynical hope, confused hope, na├»ve hope, and possibly even hopeless hope. And we’ve see the parallel forms of hopelessness. In Tel Aviv we met, as I have met before, [Read More...]

Just Who are You?

Jerusalem, my home for about 10 days, can look like some kind of costume drama, especially down in the old city. Muslim women in headscarves, or for that matter more conservative Jewish women in headscarves, are just a part. Military uniforms of various sorts are present – albeit discreetly for the most part. And various [Read More...]

Filling the Gaps in God – A Shared Language of Religious Difference

In my last blog I suggested that God doesn’t fill the gaps in human knowledge. To the contrary, we humans are the gaps in God, the places where God is alienated from God’s own full love and participation in creation. The gaps are created by human conflict and a failure to work together for the [Read More...]

The God Particle . . and the Gaps in God

There is only magazine or journal I read cover to cover every month, and that is Scientific American. Nor is this a new obsession. My first job out of high school was as a research assistant in a computer lab, programming in Fortran to solve complex integral equations in order to analyze satellite data. My [Read More...]

The Secular Attack on Religion

This past week two citizens of the UK took their claims to the European Court of Human Rights after losing their appeals in Britain. What? Perhaps Muslims facing discrimination? Sikhs or Hindus suffering racist epithets? No. Christians. One a counselor whose employer dismissed him for questioning whether he could council gay couples, the other a [Read More...]


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