Forget God, Interreligious Understanding begins with Anthropology

The single most important question in interreligious dialogue today is not theological. Is anthropological. And it arises because between the different religions there are fundamentally different ways of understanding not merely what it means to be human but how humans find out what it means to be human. At a recent interfaith dialogue involving Jews, [Read More...]

God in Bethlehem, God in Mecca?

The question of whether Christians and Muslims worship the same God is for all practical purposes purely theoretical. Whether or not we worship the same God we do not worship together. Muslims may visit, but usually do not join in Christian worship because Christians worship Christ, which Muslims believe is a violation of God’s Oneness. And [Read More...]

There is no God but God. Is it really that simple?

Who will be the watchman on the wall to warn when danger approaches the people of God? The Bible tells two big stories. Each begins with the Spirit of God hovering over the face to the waters and each ends only when a new heaven and a new earth are cast above the cataclysmic end [Read More...]

Is Jesus the Reason for the Season? No.

“Jesus is the reason for the season.” I keep hearing it: the older cliched version of the culture wars. Yet Christians need to accept that Jesus isn’t the reason for the season, and never was. The season of mid-winter celebration existed before Jesus was born. In the Northern Hemisphere cultures have celebrated the end of [Read More...]

At Wheaton: No God but Our God

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A Wheaton Professor, Larycia Alaine Hawkins has been suspended for posting on Facebook that Christians and Muslims, “…as Pope Francis stated last week, worship the same God.” This has been picked up by the Washington Post  and is already being analyzed here at Patheos. This isn’t a new question, and both articles above note nuanced responses [Read More...]

Concerning Armed Demonstrations At Mosques

Yesterday a group of prominent Dallas religious leaders of all faiths met to begin acting formally for a better future for the city of Dallas. I was privileged to moderate the discussion and see us adopt our first formal statement and ongoing structure. This is the result: At a meeting of the Dallas Area Multi-Faith [Read More...]

How to Disempower ISIS and Why We Are Failing

To understand anyone you have to ask how do they understand themselves. But now Americans prefer to sooth their anxiety about Islamic radicalism with the violence of our own rhetoric, the puny ineffectiveness of openly carrying weapons and satisfying our lust for revenge by attacks on innocents and an occasional report of a successful drone strike. [Read More...]

Dialogue or Death

Or at least irrelevance. I note that in major cities across the United States, certainly mine, religious leaders are not longer a first call from either the local press or local politicians. Unless of course they make themselves news in ways that embarrass their fellow Christians. Which isn’t news since Hauerwas and Willimon wrote Resident [Read More...]

Is it Hate Speech?

I recently stated in an interview that pastor Robert Jeffress’ statements “Islam is a false religion” and “Islam is inspired by Satan” was hate speech. In subsequent TV interviews I defended this statement by pointing out that if you said things that caused people to feel you hated them then that was hate speech. Some [Read More...]

The Darkness in the Heart of Dallas

If Dallas is going to be the city it wants to be then Christian pastors who now rail against Islam out of ignorance and fear need to engage Muslims in dialogue and learn about the religion from its followers. My city, Dallas, wants to be something. It wants to be an international hub of commerce. [Read More...]

Freedom from Religion: Maybe a Good Idea.

A young man lies in a hospital bed after a sports accident. He is conscious, in some outright pain because of the reconstruction of his jaw, and very uncomfortable because there is a tube down his throat. An co-worker walks in, greets him and begins to talk. She’s thrilled that he’s alive, and tells him [Read More...]


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