How Can the Bible Be Right If It Makes Us Feel Oh So Wrong? God’s Word Is the Inconvenient Truth.

In our moralistic, therapeutic deistic age, one often hears "If it feels right, it must be right." If feeling determines rightness, the Bible must be wrong—at least much of the time. Fortunately, not everyone agrees at every turn with this assessment.Here I am reminded of John Steinbeck's Travels with Charlie, where he and his poodle Charlie set off on a cross-country journey in his truck. Soon after beginning the trek in New York, they stop in Vermont on a Sunday morning. Steinbeck decides t … [Read more...]

What Gives God the Right To Be God? That He Makes Us Happy?

What gives God the right to be God? That he makes us happy? And if he doesn’t?Did someone higher upstairs or those of us downstairs give God the green light to be God, or did God take it upon him or herself to be crowned the Almighty? Beyond these questions, does God’s official status grant total access to do with the world and us whatever he, she or it pleases? Does God have permission to smash babies’ heads against the rocks (Psalm 137:8-9), or tell his chosen ones to kill their first … [Read more...]

What Gives You the Right to Be a Christian? Better Yet, Who Gives You the Right?

What are you willing to die for? That tells you what you really believe. John Henry Newman wrote in “Secular Knowledge Not a Principle of Action,” The heart is commonly reached, not through the reason, but through the imagination, by means of direct impressions, by the testimony of facts and events, by history, by description. Persons influence us, voices melt us, looks subdue us, deeds inflame us. Many a man will live and die upon a dogma: no man will be a martyr for a conclusion. People die f … [Read more...]

“If you see a Buddha on the road, kill him.” What about Jesus?

“If you see a Buddha on the road, kill him.” What about Jesus? I got into a conversation on this topic the other morning over breakfast with a Buddhist friend. The exchange has lingered on to this day, and no doubt, will last a lifetime of discussions with my friend.Before proceeding, it is important to try and place the quotation in context. I found a reflection on this quotation online. According to one interpreter, Dyung Le, The context of this phrase is from a[n] old Zen koan attributed … [Read more...]

Does God Wear a Toupee? Thoughts on Political Candidates and Divine Despots

The Republican Party is coming to terms with the near inevitable after Donald Trump’s landmark victory in Indiana last night: “Donald Trump is its presumptive presidential nominee.” So claims a CNN article titled “GOP wakes up to Trump victory—and plenty of questions.” Some of the questions are rather hairy. Like the top of Trump’s head, one might wonder which of his varying claims are more like a toupee, and which are for real. For the debate on Trump’s hair, refer to this MSN article: “Trump: ‘ … [Read more...]

We Have Never Talked with Mere Mortals. So, Let’s Elevate the Conversation.

In his essay “The Weight of Glory” in the book by the same title, C. S. Lewis claims that you and I “have never talked to a mere mortal.” [C. S. Lewis, The Weight of Glory (New York: HarperCollins, originally published in 1946), page 46.] Many of the essays in the volume were sermons Lewis delivered during WWII. During times of war, we see the best and worst in one another. People’s true colors are often manifest during times of great travail when we face death head-on, perhaps even foreshado … [Read more...]

Did Jesus Come to Save Blue-Green Bacteria?

Renowned paleontologist and devout Roman Catholic Prof. Peter Dodson from the University of Pennsylvania spoke to a small group of Christians on dinosaurs and paleontology last Saturday evening at a museum in the Portland area. Earlier in the day, he spoke on faith and scientific method at the conference "Church and Science: Partners for the Common Good." Prof. Dodson made many insightful remarks at each talk. One of the most penetrating reflections to me went something like this: "If scientists … [Read more...]