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

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

[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? 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

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

My Dad was a father to me where I was, not where he wanted me to be. That was pretty amazing given how much I disappointed him in my youth, even breaking his heart. I am thankful that he loved me where I was; otherwise, he would have loved a dream or an illusion, not me. If he had fathered his expectations for me rather than me, I might not ever have recovered. Although my Dad passed away five years… Read more

By Paul Louis Metzger and John W. Morehead On Sunday, June 12, the news broke that there was another mass shooting in America, this time in Orlando, killing 49 people and injuring 53 in a gay nightclub. According to initial news reports, the gunman called 911 and pledged allegiance to the Islamic terror group ISIS. President Obama made a statement to the media soon after the attack, calling it both an act of terror and an act of hate. The… Read more

  Lord, I pray that you would comfort and protect members of the LGBTQ community who are often targeted by violent acts of hatred. I also pray that you would protect innocent Muslims as well as refugees and immigrants who are often labeled as would-be terrorists. I pray that politicians and clergy as well as the media would be wise in their public pronouncements, and law enforcement and medical professionals would be diligent in their protection and care. Above all,… Read more

Muhammad Ali insisted people call him by his chosen name, and not his “slave name,” Cassius Clay (See the video “What’s My Name?”). It cost Ali PR in certain circles outside the boxing ring for insisting on his chosen name; it seemingly cost others inside the ring (though one should note this deconstruction of the legend surrounding Ali’s fights with Floyd Patterson:) for not desisting in calling him Clay. One might argue that Ali the showman chose to make money as… Read more

One would be hard-pressed to determine the meaning of Bob Dylan’s song, “I Dreamed I Saw St. Augustine.” The lyrics are mysterious and haunting. Dylan sings of dreaming about St. Augustine. Which one? St. Augustine of Hippo, the great African theologian and bishop? Augustine the missionary to Britain who became the very first Archbishop of Canterbury? What does the blanket stand for? Why is Augustine wearing a coat of solid gold? Why the reference to there being no martyr among… Read more

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