The Next Six Days

It feels as if we’re living in the shadow of a bad-news tsunami, doesn’t it? The poster boy for these times is Putin, with his blatant disregard for life while spewing nuclear threats. But throw in a populist movement fueled by an ex-President living in his own reality; a racial tension provoking violent school board …

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A Flat Earth Bible?

The biblical writers believed in a flat earth. It was the stationary foundation of their world view. Under the flat earth was Sheol, the place of the dead. The sky was the domed firmament that held back water. Above it all was heaven. This sounds so, well, ancient. Good science at the time, but bad …

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God, the Bible, and Atheism

As I was doing research for Addressing Atheism, I connected with Hemant Mehta. He runs the Friendly Atheist blogsite. He’s also the author of several books, one of which is the delightful I Sold My Soul on Ebay. Hemant reviewed a rough draft of my book from the atheistic perspective. He was generous with his …

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Piety’s Limitations

Old-fashionedly, I have an aversion to foul language. Maybe I’m too sensitive, but it seems like there’s been an exponential increase in the use of it over the last few years. Every popular show or movie seems to have a script calling for interesting variations of the f-word. Maybe my language-prudishness comes not just from …

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Commandments Eleven and Twelve

The Ten Commandments form the foundation for honoring God and relating to fellow humans. After reading The Second Mountain: The Quest for a Moral Life by David Brooks, though, I think we could add a couple of others for the era in which we live. Brooks, a journalist and commentator, offers a candid glimpse into …

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The Night I Apologized for the Church

I never thought I’d feel the need to apologize for the United Methodist Church. Being raised in the UMC fold, and pastoring in it for four decades, I’ve always felt a sense of both comfort and pride. I still do. Pluralism. Emphasis upon grace. Encouragement of people to develop a faith authentic to themselves. Respecting …

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Christianity’s Future?

Religious identity in America continues declining. One survey found that 35 percent of Americans now identify themselves with no religion, and that 44 percent of millennials view themselves similarly. (Christian Century, January 16, 2019) It’s obvious that whatever the Christian church has been doing is simply not working anymore. The future of the church, if …

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Doubting or Questioning? There’s a Difference

“Doubting Thomas” is not an endearing term. It stems from the Resurrection account in John’s Gospel when Jesus, post-crucifixion, shows up in the room where the disciples have huddled. Thomas, though, is missing. When later told about what happened, he replies dogmatically, “Unless I see him for myself, I’m not going to believe” (John 20:19-29). …

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