Evangelicalism: an Appreciation

This is the first of three blogs on the Evangelical – Progressive Divide. For there to exist a reasonable conversation between evangelicals and progressives we must first cut past all of the political posturing that is part of the current progressive versus evangelical standoff in United Methodism and other Christian denominations. Right now factions are [Read More…]

The End of Terror

Brussels. Istambul. Lahore. And a thousand other places that we didn’t hear of or forgot. Start your list in 2001. Start it in 1991. Start it at the dawn of humanity. In E.B. White’s the Sword and the Stone, written in what many would see as a gentler age, a young Arthur’s dreams take him [Read More…]

Easter is a Gateway to the Ordinary

We all overthink it; that hard question about what becomes of us after our body is decomposed and the brain, so foundational to consciousness and thus our self has become dust. We can’t help it really. Studies have shown that the one thing we cannot consciously imagine is the cessation of our own consciousness. (“The [Read More…]

A Sign of Hope from the House of Islam

The best way to insure human rights in a modern society is to insure that God has none except those vested in the voice and vote of individual citizens. Recently a group of Muslim scholars from across the world signed a document called the Marrakesh   declaration. Based on their reading of Muhammad’s original treaty with the [Read More…]

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

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…]