The Kentucky Ark – Is it Really Christian?

In Northwestern Kentucky a new religion has appeared – with its temple a theme park called the “Ark-Encounter.” It claims to be Christian but is essentially a for-profit sect designed to scam money out of local tax payers and whatever suckers can be drawn into the “life sized” replica of Noah’s ark. (For more on [Read More…]

The Bright Heart of Dallas

In the last 48 hours the city of Dallas has reeled with grief. Grief felt for victims of police violence against African Americans. And grief felt for the 5 police officers assassinated by a gunman, and 7 others wounded while they were protecting the right of the people to peaceable assembly. The sun had barely [Read More…]

It Isn’t About Us. Really.

The New York Times recently ran yet another “why aren’t Westerns outraged” articles after the attacks in Bangladesh, Saudi Arabia, and Baghdad. http://www.nytimes.com/2016/07/06/world/europe/muslims-baghdad-dhaka-istanbul-terror.html?_r=0 In the article Anne Barnard suggests that this failure of outrage serves the Islamists by making Sunni Muslims feel ever more isolated from the West. “One of the primary goals of the Islamic [Read More…]

You are Asking the Wrong Questions!?

More than once in the last week I’ve been told that when we talk about human rights, such as a right to life or a right to choose, that we “aren’t asking the right questions” because these questions arise from a modern rather than Biblical framework for understanding humanity. I suspect that what is really [Read More…]

Istanbul, Could It Happen Anywhere? No.

A day after the bombings in the airport in Istanbul the BBC Newsclaster breathless bloviated, “It could have happened anywhere, Paris, London, Vienna, Stockholm.” What utter rubbish. In the Graben, at the center of the city in Vienna, is the Plague Monument. Basically a rather unattractive column of baroque excess erected as a prayer of [Read More…]

Belief Cannot Make Us One

There is no universal human expression of timeless truth. Humans can neither think nor articulate their beliefs without language. And language is relational, temporal, and culture bound. Yet we also find, across all languages and cultures, that human minds seek to know Transcendence. Language is continually pushed to its limits in order to think the [Read More…]

The End of Babel

I’m thinking about the cities in the Bible. The seven cities in Revelation are often a touchstone for Christian reflection on the church. Well, usually someone else’s church. And I know that we would like to imagine ourselves as the New Jerusalem. But that just seems unlikely from what I see in the UMC. Who [Read More…]

Orlando and Religious Law – We have a Problem

John 18:29: So Pilate went out to them and said, “What accusation do you bring against this man?” 30 They answered, “If this man were not a criminal, we would not have handed him over to you.” 31 Pilate said to them, “Take him yourselves and judge him according to your law.” The religious leaders replied, “We [Read More…]

Love Minus Zero / No Limit?

In the last blog I offered that God reveals God’s self in scripture as the creator of order, indeed of overlapping orders that define the natural world, the social world of humans, and the church. I also stated that the Christian understanding of those orders has been continually revised up until today under the twin [Read More…]

Everyone Revises – The Question is Where to Stop

In the previous blog I explored why the dispute between traditionalists and progressives regarding same-sex marriage is intractable. Now I want to focus on the specific problems in the ways in which each side justifies (primarily to itself) its belief with scripture. I’m going to start with the traditionalists. The traditionalists charge that the progressives [Read More…]

We Believe Before We Read

“Ever since his own day Tyndall’s translation has been blamed for being tendentious. If we are thinking of his violent marginal glosses, this is fair enough; if of his peculiar renderings (congregation for ecclesia, senior or elder for presbyters, favor for charis and the like), a little explanation seems to be needed. The business of [Read More…]


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