Undivided: How a Christian Mother and a Muslim Daughter Find Reconciliation


Undivided: A Muslim Daughter, Her Christian Mother, Their Path to Peace is essential for anyone interested in interfaith dialogue. It is written by Alana Raybon and her mother Patricia Raybon. They write honestly about their faith, their passion, and their hope for reconciliation.This book is important because increasingly the world seems to be divided upon religious hostility. Many in the US are suspicious of Islam. We are fed a constant diet of “Islamic extremists” on the news. That diet in … [Read more...]

The Theology of a Biker Gang

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Five rival biker gangs descended upon a Twin Peaks restaurant in Waco, Texas on Sunday. Hundreds of gang members began stabbing, beating, and shooting each other. Weapons included chains, knives, clubs, and guns. When the fight ended, 9 people were dead, 18 were sent to the hospital, and more than 170 people were arrested.Waco police Sargent W. Patrick Swanton stated, “In my nearly 35 years of law enforcement experience, this is the most violent and gruesome scene that I have dealt w … [Read more...]

Drug Addiction, the Problem with Free Will, and God’s Unconditional Love

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She sobbed as she sat across the table from me. As a community chaplain who ministers in public spaces, I’ve grow accustomed to these moment. In fact, as heartbreaking as they are, I’ve grown to treasure them.We met at our local diner for breakfast. I made sure that we sat in the far corner of the restaurant, just in case she needed a bit more privacy. After all, her life was falling apart and she desperately wanted to pick up the pieces. She had been in the hospital numerous times in the las … [Read more...]

Unless We Change: Children Lead the Way to Peace

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"Unless you change and become like children, you will not enter the kingdom heaven." (Matt 18:3)Jesus spoke these words as a response to a question from his disciples. Which of us, they demanded to know, was the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. Jesus must have been struck by the contrast between his rivalrous disciples, so-called friends bickering and vying for attention, and the children who were playing nearby. He could have said, “I am, you silly gooses! Don’t compete with me – follow me … [Read more...]

Jesus, Drawing Muhammad, and the Idolatry of Free Speech

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 Pamela Geller had every “right” to host a conference in Texas that mocked Muhammad with a “Draw Muhammad” contest. The United States gives her that freedom – the Freedom of Speech, which includes the freedom to defiantly ridicule whomever she wants.Geller is apparently not a Christian, but many Christians have come to her defense of the conference.Let me be clear: There is no Christian defense of a conference that mocks Islam, Muhammad, or Muslims.Please, tell me, when d … [Read more...]

How Not to Scapegoat Tom Brady: Reflections on Deflategate

Deflated Football (Photo: Flickr: by frankileon, creative commons attribution)

I have so many reasons to hate Tom Brady.As I said after he beat my beloved Seahawks in the Super Bowl, I have one primary reason for hating him. My wife thinks he’s hot.Yup. I hate Tom Brady.But there’s another reason to hate Tom Brady. “Deflategate” is back in the news. The controversy centers on Patriot’s footballs being deflated after they were approved by NFL officials prior to the AFC championship game in January.Brady has asserted his innocence, but an independent investiga … [Read more...]

Maria’s Choice: Dr. Montessori’s Struggle to Balance Career and Motherhood

A mother balancing motherhood and a career. (Copyright:  / 123RF Stock Photo

Dr. Maria Montessori loved children, yet the story of her only child seems to indicate that she loved her career more. In the late 1890s, just as her success at reforming the treatment of prisoners, insanity, mental retardation and child delinquency was garnering her world-wide fame, she became pregnant by a colleague. Maria and her lover, Guiseppe Montesano, were both doctors, both radical reformers, and both dedicated to the liberation of women. Yet the reality in Italy at the turn of the 20th … [Read more...]