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. If we’ve made an inquiry into the theology behind [Read More…]

How to Lose – Language and Exclusion

Every election is a negotiation. And the most dangerous thing for any candidate, whether he or she ultimate wins or loses, is speaking a language that excludes part of the electorate. For the loser it is because it means losing touch. For the winner it means being out of touch. I spent most of my [Read More…]

How to Lose an Election – Wealth as a Symbol

Every election is a negotiation, usually cross-cultural, between a candidate and the electorate. Succeeding in that negotiation means understanding what the electorate wants, which means understanding how symbols that surround a candidate are received and interpreted. One of the marvels to many of this election is that a man who is garishly rich, stiffs his [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…]

We are Not Electing a Pastor and Chief

As Donald Trump’s behavior, verbal and otherwise has become increasingly outrageous his Christian supporters are growing more desperate. Hence, as I both read and hear (not least from pastor Robert Jeffress, one of Trump’s main Christian apologists) “We are Not Electing a Pastor in Chief.” Like all internet meme theology it is both right and [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 Reconsidered and a Divided Church

It may not seem controversial today, but I suspect that a single idea,  heilsgeschichte, has led to an important divide in contemporary Christian theology. On one level this German term simply means “salvation history” and can be taken to refer to what is easily noted in reading the Bible. Some biblical authors had a strong [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…]