Bill Gothard Resignation: This Gets Personal

“It sounds like the Taliban.” That was my oldest son’s response when I told him about the latest scandal in the Christian world: the resignation of Bill Gothard. Gothard was the founder and president of IBLP (Institute for Basic Life Principles) and ATI (Advanced Training Institute). ATI, an educational institution, supports a fair amount of [Read More…]

“Stump the Pastor” Sunday

  Sunday, June 30, we will set aside liturgy and normal order for a bit in favor of an open hymn sing and a “Stump the Pastor” morning. People can ask/text/write to me any questions they wish that are on their minds, dealing with church, theology, Bible, belief or my hair. Yes, hair, as in [Read More…]

Japanese Sex Slaves and The Nature of Truth

Please read the quote below from the current mayor of Osaka, Japan, Toru Hashimoto.  He was speaking about the use of sex slaves provided for Japanese soldiers during World War Two.  Historians suggest that up to 200,000 Korean and Chinese women were forced into providing these services. “To maintain discipline in the military, it must [Read More…]

The Heavenly Waiting Room

Many of us hold beliefs in an afterlife of some sort.  However, we have significant disagreement in how we think that afterlife will work as we hold mutually contradictory descriptions.  For example, if heaven for one man equals having seventy virgins to deflower as he wishes, then that person’s heaven equals hell for others. If one person’s heaven [Read More…]

Christmas Advice Column, Issue Two

Dear Friendly, Was Jesus really born on December 25th?  All these songs about snow and cold and shepherds sleeping outside in the fields in icy winter don’t make sense to me. Signed, Not So Sure About This. Dear Not So Sure, I was just a child when I heard some radio preacher say that Jesus [Read More…]

Why It Matters: The Episcopal Situation in the North Texas Conference

Jeffrey Weiss, a reporter with the Dallas Morning News, has asked these questions concerning the episcopal situation facing the North Texas Conference:  “Why does this matter? And to who? Clearly, it’s a big deal to North Texas Methodist clergy. But who else should be paying attention? And why?” Here is my response: Does this Episcopal [Read More…]

The Biopsy Was Inconclusive

“The biopsy was inconclusive.” My reaction to these words show me again how much I want certainty.  But certainty is not to be. No closure, no absolute answer, no clear direction.  I must make a decision with incomplete evidence. Hardly a new experience in the scheme of human history. The idea of “closure” is part [Read More…]