June 21, 2022

(Afterword from our book, Out into the Desert) – releasing August 15th It has been a couple years since we wrote the original manuscript for this book. In that short amount of time, things have changed. As we mentioned in the beginning, some of our views have evolved over time. We anticipated this would happen–and it did.   One of the reasons organized religion fails is that it wants to write its dogma and beliefs in stone. We all know from... Read more

June 20, 2022

‏ The trouble with Christianity is not that it doesn’t have good intentions. It attracts wounded people and it intends to help them get better, but systemically it is not able. Here is why. 1. Most of the money, energy and time is spent maintaining and preserving the organization. Attracting new members, keeping them happy, and pursuing their goals leave little room for anything else. 2. It produces faux community. The Sunday morning worship hour is segregated and homogenous. It... Read more

June 17, 2022

    You can ignore and dismiss us all you want, but we are going to continue to evolve and not stay stuck in stagnant religion. We are pursuing mystery and nuance, and a deeper understanding. The word “none” is a little condescending, but gas lighting is common in the desert, especially by those groups that are declining. Recent statistics, even before COVID, showed that the “nones” which represents those that don’t claim any specific church had surpassed both Catholics... Read more

June 17, 2022

Laura and I are making our final passes through our book we wrote together over two years ago, “Out into the Desert: Thriving Outside Organized Religion.”. It’s such a deep experience writing this together. In some ways we had to go through some transitions before we could write it. In other ways, It changed us simply to acknowledge some of these things and write them down. I cried again as I read the forward from Keith Giles and a chapter... Read more

June 14, 2022

As many of you know, I’ve been going through a stroke recovery. Today I had a little setback. My blood pressure got high and I had a bloody nose and had to go to the ER. What I was feeling most was discouragement. When I’m discouraged, it’s tempting to look for encouragement. That seems like the natural response or remedy for discouragement. But I no longer think what we naturally think is always the best remedy. People that mean well... Read more

June 7, 2022

Larry Bird is my most favorite basketball player ever. He played for the Boston Celtics which was my favorite team for many years. But before that, he played for Indiana State. Another one of my favorite players was Earvin “Magic” Johnson. He was probably one of the best point guards to ever play and he was voted one of the top 50 players of all time. He played for the Los Angeles Lakers but before that he played for Michigan... Read more

June 4, 2022

Keith Giles wrote the foreword to Laura and I’s new book Out Into the Desert: Thriving Outside Organized Religion (releasing in August). I’m thrilled that he agreed to do this, but that is not the point of this post. I wrote this book a couple years ago and hesitated to publish it. Many of us have had to take courageous positions because of the way we feel about religion. Reading Keith’s forward today moved me deeply! It reminded me while... Read more

June 1, 2022

In all my discussions in the desert, discussing spirituality and beliefs and such, the group I least like to have discussions with are theology professors. They tend to assume their conclusions and methods are above everyone else and they seem to find it easy to be condescending.   Most of us that attended seminary,  realized later that we were simply parroting our most recent mentors, and that our methodologies all had inconsistencies and inherent flaws. There are as few exceptions like... Read more

May 30, 2022

My brother posts this picture of my grandpa every year around Memorial Day. The baby he is holding is my father whom he saw for the first time while he was home from deployment. Both of them are also named Karl, but I am not the third because I have a middle name, Joseph, after my other grandpa. My grandpa is a good reminder why I love and respect members of the military and this country but still despise violence... Read more

May 27, 2022

“The important thing is to never stop questioning.”  – Albert Einstein I believe a lot differently than I did 10 years ago. When I honestly let myself be curious, I found deeper and better answers.  Sometimes the answers are very simple, but often they are nuanced and mysterious and complicated.  I am so glad I asked those questions. I could have never navigated my stroke recovery with my old understanding. The key to discovering beauty and truth is to remain... Read more

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