Ask the Thoughtful Pastor: burning questions about cremation and interracial marriage

Dear Thoughtful Pastor: I have been reading both sides of the argument and praying about it and I’m just a little stumped. Is cremation frowned up? The opposed side says it’s a desecration of God’s gift to us. We are God’s property and he should choose that. But I don’t see any specific evidence in [Read More…]

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What will the church do about the Intersexed? Shall we just call them mistakes?

The world is ever so much easier to deal with when everything divides into two neat categories. This is good, that is bad. This is heaven, that is hell. This is day, that is night.  This is right, this is wrong. This is a wave; that is a particle, except we know matter can be [Read More…]

Lord and Lady Peter and Marriage Equality

The long-pursued Harriet speaks with Lord Peter, the man who loves her and now wonders if he has done good for her by finally convincing her to marry him. From this conversation comes my favorite passage of my favorite book: I’m only trying to tell you, in the nicest possible manner, that provided I were [Read More…]

Ask the Thoughtful Pastor: Dan Patrick and the now infamous tweet

Dear Thoughtful Pastor: Can you tell me the background for Dan Patrick’s tweet? This verse comes from the New International Version (NIV) translation of the Greek Bible. The NIV is a male-centric interpretative translation so I am going to turn to the more accurately inclusive New Revised Standard Version where the verse reads: “Do not [Read More…]

Ask the Thoughtful Pastor: Does God need blood sacrifices?

Dear Thoughtful Pastor: Why did Jesus die? I have always believed the very traditional story that I was born sinful and until I accepted Jesus as my saviour, God could not accept me, no matter how much he loved me. I was taught that Jesus death was a blood sacrifice which would wipe out all [Read More…]

Ask the Thoughtful Pastor: Jesus–Divine or Human?

Dear Thoughtful Pastor: On Sunday we talked about whether Jesus had a running itinerary going all the time while he was busy doing all his seemingly random acts of healing and good teachings. You know, whether his ultimate agenda was always in the back of his mind. I suggested it was like he was following [Read More…]

Why the Upset? After All, Marrying Off Children Is Biblical

I used to tell my sons, “Just concentrate on your studies and becoming well-rounded young men. I’ll pick your wives for you and then present them to you when it’s time.” They properly ignored me and each married a woman far better than I could have ever chosen. However, in the past few days, cyberspace [Read More…]

Our Interconnected and Tragically Divided World

The Interconnection On Sunday, two cousins, Gene (we’ll call him Gene One) and Gene (Gene Two), who also share the same distinctive last name and who had not seen each other in over fifty years, met for lunch. I am married to Gene One. Gene Two is the stepfather and business manager of David Little. David [Read More…]

Sex, Punishment and Power–is That Really Good News?

Apparently, the Good News group, who unofficially represent the evangelical branch of The United Methodist Church, is all about sex, punishment and power. How do I know? They state it clearly in their manifesto and agenda concerning our now-nearly-upon-us General Conference. You can read it here. I saw nothing in there about proclaiming the freedom [Read More…]

Ask the Thoughtful Pastor: Inerrancy or Relativism; My Journey Out

Dear Thoughtful Pastor, In 1978, around 300 evangelical leaders assembled to write and adopt the Chicago Statement on Biblical Inerrancy. I believe this gathering in defense of biblical inerrancy represented one of the most significant theological councils in modern times. But unlike the Council of Nicea (325 AD), only the like-minded gathered, so the outcome [Read More…]


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