How Might Science Serve to Reduce Conflicts Between Faiths? Emphasize Conscience?

We hear a lot about the conflict between faith and science, but have you heard of how science might serve to reduce conflicts between faiths? I discussed this possibility with Prof. Katsuhiro Kohara, Professor of Systematic Theology at Doshisha University in Kyoto, Japan. It is a subject to which he has given a great deal of attention in his various academic pursuits. Prof. Kohara has focused much of his scholarly energies on the relationship between the Abrahamic faith traditions and… Read more

Wholly Righteous, Wholly Sinful: Reflections on War’s Demise

There is an old Protestant Reformation doctrine associated with Martin Luther “Simul Justus et Peccator” (simultaneously wholly righteous and sinful)[1]. Apart from our union with Christ, we are completely unjust, unrighteousness. However, those who respond in faith to the good news of God’s grace through Jesus Christ are completely just and righteous in total dependent relation to him. This dialectical reality remains constant throughout the Christian’s life, highlighting total dependence on God’s mercy. Does the same kind of dialectical reality… Read more

Are We Living on the Planet of the Apes—for the Apes? Thoughts on Religion, Science and Harambe

It has been debated whether Asian or Western religions are more compatible with modern science. Perhaps the question itself is suggestive of the struggle for the survival of the fittest religion! Some will argue that the Judeo-Christian faith was instrumental in the rise of modern science given such factors as its belief in a rational deity in whose image we are created and upon whose orderly and comprehensive designs we can reflect;[1] in fact, many of the leading early scientists… Read more

Only Decentered Deities Bring Harmony and Wholeness to Our World

The conversation took an unexpected though welcome turn, like all really good dialogues: you never quite know where they will go. I had gone to Nanzan University in Nagoya, Japan to interview Prof. Seung Chul Kim (Dr. Theol.). He is the Director of the Nanzan Institute for Religion and Culture, and Professor, Faculty of Arts & Letters, at Nanzan University. I asked Prof. Kim why he has dedicated so much of his energies to incorporating science into religious studies. Among various endeavors, he… Read more

Are You Raging Against the Machine Age? Take a Forest Bath and Plant a Tree

There is nothing like bathing in nature for one’s health. The July 25th 2016 issue of TIME Magazine documented how the Japanese practice of shinrin-yoku (translated literally as forest bathing) could do wonders for one’s body: Japan’s Forest Agency encouraged the practice of forest bathing or investing time in nature in Japan back in the 1980s; since then, scientific studies have been confirming its merits for human well-being.[1] This should not come as too much of a surprise. After all,… Read more

Hamlet’s Ghost: There are more things in heaven and earth … than are dreamt of in your philosophy.

I have always been struck by Hamlet’s statement to his peer, Horatio, in Shakespeare’s play Hamlet: “There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy.” Prince Hamlet has to deal with the appearance of his deceased father’s apparition which he cannot explain away, nor the dead king’s claim that his own brother and his own wife, the queen, murdered him and usurped his throne. It is not only the characters in Shakespeare’s play that have to… Read more

E-Race-Hate in America: Step Inside Their Shoes

You may have heard of ride-along programs with police. We need these ride-along programs. We also need live-along programs with police, with black men, with white men, with all people. The key is not to be color-blind. The key is to move forward with eyes wide-open in the life-challenging and life-saving effort to build trust with blue and black and white by living alongside and by becoming blue and black and white. As Atticus Finch in To Kill a Mockingbird would… Read more

The Story of Creation is about Salvation, Not Theistic Evolution or Six-Day Creationism

[This was originally posted over at Dr. Joshua Swamidass’ blog, Peaceful Science] Dr. S. Joshua Swamidass of Washington University in Saint Louis created “The Riddle of the 100 Year-Old Tree.” Here is his riddle to which he asked theologians to respond: Let us imagine that God creates a fully grown tree today, and places it in a forest. A week later, a scientist and a theologian encounter this tree. The theologian believes that God is trustworthy and has clearly communicated to… Read more

Self-Government–Is It a Myth?

Self-government–is it a myth? Who chose the Republican and Democratic Party candidates for the U.S. Presidential election? We the people? If so, then why are Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton among the least liked candidates for the Presidency in American history? See for example this Wall Street Journal article. Is the problem us, our representative democracy, or something else? Perhaps a combination of all three. Today we celebrate the independence of our country, but are we still under the tyrannical grip of… Read more

“How Might Worship in a Movie Theater in the Middle of Town Be Beneficial to the Future of the Church?”

I have been asked to contribute to the “Nontraditional Church: Trends for the Future” symposium at Patheos. One of the jumping-in points that Patheos offered for consideration is: “How might worship in a movie theater in the middle of town be beneficial to the future of the church?” A worship service in the middle of town, more specifically, an urban center, might be beneficial to the future of the church if the people are truly connected to the urban community…. Read more

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