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Devil’s Bookmark: How Not to Defend God

Anybody who sets himself the task of acquitting God from the charge of being a “moral monster” has his work cut out for him. Paul Copan knows this, but in his attempt to acquit God he seems to be standing at the bottom of a pit wielding a shovel. How do you get out of a hole withthat tool?

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Christ? What Happened to Jesus?

We are so accustomed to the name “Jesus Christ”,  and to using the word “Christ” in place of “Jesus”, that it seems unthinkable to question whether we should continue to link “Christ” with Jesus. Even though the …

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God Is Not What?

One of the more notable – or should I say “noted”? – deaths during this year just now passing was that of polemicist Christopher Hitchens.

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Seeing Things as if for the First Time

In his novel Zorba the Greek, the Greek author and lifelong spiritual seeker Nikos Kazantzakis observed that poets, artists, and visionaries see things “as if for the first time.” The narrator’s friend Zorba, based on an acquaintance of …

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Quit thinking of the church as a family

Not long ago, I worked with a congregation that had used the services of a national firm to do a “ministry audit” prior to our work together. The firm’s very first recommendation, in bold print, read, “The most important thing (Name of Church) will ever do is end whatever amount of ongoing conflict exists as well as quit thinking like a family.”

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Oneness with Divinity

A Vacation in Provence, France

When my wife and I made plans to visit Provence, France along with two dear friends this spring, I anticipated a true vacation of rest and relaxation, good conversation, good food and lots of great wine…away from emails and phone calls. I did not plan to even think about Progressive Christianity or any Christianity for that matter. I should have known that my life does not work that way for three different and conflicting experiences changed my plans. Admittedly, I was a little ignorant of the rich and deep Christian history in the Provence area of France.

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Semi-Theism and Semi-Atheism

What about Semi-theism and Semi-atheism? Can these concepts better express our known and experienced reality? My answer is “yes”. Such a view of God is multi-dimensional and takes into account at least three levels of God-analysis, namely God-theology, God-talk and God-truths. We can start with God-theology, the traditional “Queen of the Sciences” in the context and thinking of the West’s intellectual history.

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Hang-Gliding and Mudwrestling: The Spiritual Life

I believe it’s in the Bible that we find people and a God willing to wrestle with one another. The spirituality of the Bible is more mudwrestling than hang-gliding, from the depiction of a God who wrestles mud into human shapes in Jewish scriptures to the depiction of creation itself groaning in childbirth in Christian scriptures.

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Would An Agnostic Make the Best President?

Does talking about religion distract Politicians from “real” issues?

It’s always refreshing when religious leaders strive to embody the very best values their faith has to offer. I have been reminded of this often over the past year, which is shaping up to be banner one for Christian leaders in the “practice what you preach” department.

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Loving God & Hating The World: The Ultimate Contradiction

“I was early convinced in my mind that true religion consisted in an inward life, wherein the heart does love and reverence God the Creator, and learns to exercise true justice and goodness, not only toward all …

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Beliefs and Worldviews

What tells us more-a lot more-is someone’s worldview, the stage of development in which they operate. Two people who ostensibly share the same beliefs, but have different worldviews, are far more different than two people with the same worldview but different beliefs. This is one reason why churches are increasingly useless. Defining your affiliation with others based on beliefs, despite different worldviews (often starkly different), holds us all back.

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The Spirit Within, or Where the Wild Things Are

It is that elusive and intangible spirit that is within us … that constitutes both that tenuous thread and tether of a relationship with whatever we might call the holy divine.

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