What Is Needed to Live Out the Christian Religion in a Religiously Plural and Global Age? A Whole Lot of “Ortho” (But not the Weed Killer Kind)

What is needed to live out the Christian religion in a religiously plural and global age? Quite simply, we need to think globally with virtuous passions in our multi-faith world. Or to put it in “ortho” terms—not to be confused with the weed killer “Ortho” (“ortho” is a Greek prefix meaning “straight” “right,” “correct”), we need to operate according to a robust and holistic framework involving orthodoxy (right teaching), orthopraxy (right practice), and orthopathy (right passion). The Christian religion, as… Read more

Selective Hearing: How Do We Move Beyond Party Lines in Public Discourse?

I wonder how often debates sway people politically and religiously. Take for example last night’s Presidential debate. Many conservatives thought Donald Trump won and many liberals thought Hillary Clinton won. Could it be selective hearing? We tend to hear those things we wish to hear, and champion whoever and whatever promotes our ad-vantage point. Whether it is politics or religion, we tend to hear what we want to hear. Moreover, it is often the case that we cannot wait for… Read more

Religion–The Problem of Evil?

Is contemporary philosophy and theology primarily about evil/theodicy (theories of evil and morality in the universe) or epistemology (theories of knowing)? Many will argue that epistemology is the focus; however, some maintain that theodicy is the focus.[1] Susan Neiman argues that for many philosophers in the Enlightenment and post-Enlightenment eras, evil threatens human reason; it does not make sense. While some Moderns claimed that we must make evil intelligible, others argued that we must not make it intelligible; explanations only… Read more

Multi-Faith Trauma: How to Become Resilient in a Religiously Plural World, OR America Is No Longer a Christian Nation—We Need to Deal with It. (Part One)

I remember a Wiccan leader saying in my world religions class that Christians find it hard to fathom that Pagans are back, although Christians tried to stamp them out in the States and Europe. While Christians have caused a lot of trauma for Pagans in trying to wipe them out in the past, which grieves me, Christians have also experienced a great deal of trauma over the centuries as a result of persecution. Such persecution is not a thing of… Read more

I Pledge Allegiance to Unity and Justice: Thoughts on the National Anthem Controversy

America’s Founding Fathers signed the U.S. Constitution on September 17, 1787. Every September, our country honors this event that signifies the birth of our nation as a government of, for and by the people. Americans are encouraged to commemorate the day through learning exercises and parades, among other activities that involve “demonstrations of our Love for the United State of America and the Blessings of Freedom Our Founding Fathers secured for us.” http://www.constitutionday.com/ How does one demonstrate love for our… Read more

Was Uranium Buried Deep in the Earth Because Buddha or God Hid It There? Did We Bury Religion and Ethics in Its Place?

I spoke recently with Kiwa Fukushima, Chief Priest, Genshoin, at Zenkoji, in Nagano, Japan. Fukushima-sensei is a priest of the Tendai sect of Mahayana Buddhism. He is also a scientist by trade, having received his Ph.D. in chemical engineering at the Tokyo Institute of Technology. Later, he worked as a researcher in chemical engineering at Yokohama National University until his father, a Buddhist priest, retired and he was entrusted with serving in his father’s position. I studied Buddhism with Fukushima-sensei… Read more

Will Science Bring an End to Buddhism?

My wife, daughter and I met for dinner recently with a Buddhist scholar Prof. Shizuka Sasaki and his wife (a fellow scholar and colleague at Hanazono University) in Kyoto, Japan. I first met Prof. Shizuka Sasaki two years ago as a result of a Templeton science grant initiative on faith and science in the Japanese context. I was struck by his keen commitment to the historical Buddha’s teaching on enlightenment, including the emphasis on non-grasping and non-being. According to Prof…. Read more

Wounded People Wound Others—Except for Wounded Healers (Part Three)

  [Read part one here, and part two here]   5. Forgive others and yourself. Part of the power of the Christian faith is the power to love and forgive one’s enemies. Jesus forgave his enemies on the cross (Luke 23:34), and calls on his followers to love their enemies, pray for them, and forgive them (Matthew 5:44; Matthew 6:12, 14-15). Torture affects the tortured and torturer alike, in addition to others (Refer to these articles by The New York Times, Christian… Read more

Wounded People Wound Others—Except for Wounded Healers (Part Two)

[Miss part one?  Click here!] Beware of being wary of everyone. Don’t be paranoid and look for persecutors behind every bush. This is easier said than done for those who have experienced traumatic stress as a result of torture. For consideration of what torture does to a person, see these PBS and CNN reports. American Christians, who believe they are being persecuted, or who perceive persecution is fast approaching, need to ask themselves if they are confusing a loss of… Read more

Wounded People Wound Others—Except for Wounded Healers (Part One)

Many American Christians speak of the rise of religious persecution in our country. Certainly, religious and cultural pluralism is increasing, and Christian privileges are decreasing. Could it be that Christians sometimes confuse the decrease in privileges with the rise of religious persecution?[1] Do we sometimes betray signs of a persecution complex? What might such a complex mean if it is the case that wounded people wound others? An important article in The Atlantic by Alan Noble encourages fellow Evangelicals to… Read more

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