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    • Dr. Rick Herrick
    • Dr. Rick Herrick (PhD, Tulane University), a former tenured university professor and magazine editor, is the author of three published novels: An Uncommon Woman, A Week in October, and Choosing Love, A Man Called Jesus and A Christian Foreign Policy: New Ways to Think About a Problem. He has also published a work of nonfiction entitled The Case Against Evangelical Christianity. His musical play, “Lighthouse Point,” was performed as a fundraiser for the Martha's Vineyard Museum in May 2013. He is married with three children and seven grandchildren.

The Political Brain and the Workings of Whisper Ethics

Whisper ethics comes from process theology, the work of Alfred North Whitehead and several prominent Christian theologians.

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Abraham Lincoln and the Workings of Whisper Ethics

Abraham Lincoln was a progressive Christian. While being raised in a small fundamentalist Baptist church, Lincoln rejected the Christianity of his parents.

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Moving Beyond Belief: A New Focus for the Christian Faith

The central argument of the book is that we must shift the focus of our religion away from biblical belief to a sense of the deep, transforming love that comes from knowing God.

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Book Review: “The Road to Character” by David Brooks

  The Road to Character by David Brooks, A Review by Rick Herrick          How do we become a moral person? How do we come to do a better job living the teachings of …

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Why I Support the Ukrainian War Effort: The Workings of Whisper Ethics

One must always act with a sense of humility and respect for the views of others which may be different. Our hope is that, over time, in the words of Martin Luther King “the arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice.” If Dr. King is correct, the sensations of love and goodness from God will win out in the long run.

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The Driving Force Behind White Christian Nationalism

The time has come to recognize an inconvenient truth. Christianity for many has become a political ideology with no connection to the love and goodness that comes from God.

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Finding the Voice of God in the Abortion Debate

  The place to begin is to admit a hard truth for many Christians: the Bible will not tell you so. The Christian scriptures have nothing to say about abortion.

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On Defeating Trumpism: The Answer Lies in the New Testament

If Jesus were here, he would say it is all about economic justice. That is what so many of his teachings in the New Testament are all about. The prophets echo his plea.

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Book Review: The New Matrix: How the World We Live In Impacts Our Thinking About Self and God

In The New Matrix, he describes the modern world just like it is, and then he reflects on how a religion that is 2,000 years old fits into the matrix of the twenty-first century.

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The Etiology of Religious Belief

My favorite story about belief comes from Russia. It takes place in the tenth century. It’s about how Russians adopted the Orthodox faith. It is particularly relevant at this time because it helps to explain the current disaster of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

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A Second Chance

In this story, Jesus comes to New York City and chooses a gay man to be his messenger. The two proceed to establish a movement to redefine the Christian faith. The characters are warm and zany. Their escapades will make you laugh and challenge you to think.

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Two Stimulating Novels for Your Summer Reading List

If you’re looking for some stimulating summer reading, I have two novels to recommend. “The Storyteller” by Jodi Picoult and Kristen Hannah’s novel, “The Great Alone”, is another page turner.

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Why Meditate? A Review of Mindful Christianity by Jim Burklo

Burklo’s book refocuses Christianity away from doctrine and belief to knowing God through mindful practice and the compassionate action that follows from an enlarged perspective.

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Zen and the Art of Coaching Basketball

A Review

This is an important book because it provides clear evidence that spiritual practices work. Imagine if the members of Congress meditated before the start of each session.

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Christians Fighting Christians: A Disgraceful Legacy

The Christian Church has a disgraceful legacy of Christians fighting Christians. In the aftermath of the Council of Chalcedon in 451, Christians fought among themselves for two hundred years over the nature of Jesus.

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On the Need to Build People Better

I have always believed the teachings of Jesus in the New Testament were quite clear. He calls for an inclusive society with a focus on nonviolent means for resolving conflict. He demonstrates a passionate concern for social and economic justice.

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Why Politics is a Must for Christians

Voting rights has been the central focus of the Democratic Party for the last month. Evangelical groups like the Family Research Council and the Faith and Freedom Coalition provide cover for Republican voter suppression efforts by arguing there is no biblical basis for supporting voter rights.

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Religion as Encounter v. Religion as Belief

I would like to build on Carl Krieg’s recent essay in the resource section of the PC.org website entitled “The One You Feed.” His article reminded me of my past life as a political scientist studying public opinion and voting behavior.

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A Man Called Jesus

A Novel Revised and Annotated

Have you ever wondered about Nazareth as a place to live in the first century? How about Jesus the miracle worker: how did he do the great deeds reported of him in the New Testament? “A Man Called Jesus” answers those questions and more.

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Jeff’s Journey

This passionate love story is set in the picturesque village of Valle Crucis in the North Carolina mountains. Within the warm embrace of Abby Dunbar and among his many friends in the Valle Crucis community, the Reverend Jeffrey Peterson heals the scars from a failed ministry and psychological trauma.

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The Role of Religion in Healing the National Divide

Paul learned from his encounter what it means to be a human being. He was shocked and deeply disturbed when he came to understand the limitations and weaknesses of his human nature. His sense of moral superiority was expunged from his consciousness.

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The Next Challenge for ProgressiveChristianity.org

I see a great opportunity for ProgressiveChristianity.org to move in a new direction. I must admit to making this recommendation in fear and trembling because I know nothing about the internal operation of an organization I dearly love.

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Bringing Back

Sixty-two percent of white evangelicals believe there was widespread voter fraud in the recent election, and sixty-three percent see Biden’s victory as illegitimate. Forty-one percent believe the violent insurrection on January 6th was an appropriate action taken to remedy the problem.

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In Praise of Dietrich Bonhoeffer

I found some parallels between then and now in a nationalistic church with little or no interest in the Christian gospel, at least as I understand it, but what I was most impressed with was Bonhoeffer’s treatment of Christian ethics. The only thing that mattered to Bonhoeffer was how one lived.

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Some Thoughts on Healing the Great National Divide

The one thing I never imagined was that fascism could come to the United States. Unfortunately, the myth of American exceptionalism has been totally discredited. Fascism came close to coming to our shores during the last four years. Let’s hope that we as a society can take the steps necessary to see that such a threat never happens again.

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Honest About God: A Review of “With or Without God” by Gretta Vosper

  With or Without God: Why the Way We Live Is More Important Than What We Believe by Gretta Vosper is a book designed to reconstruct the Christian church, to free it from doctrine and superstitious belief. …

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Religion News from Around the World: A Monthly Roundup by Rick Herrick

December 2020

What Jesus Means to Muslims, Faith Leaders Promote Vaccine Use and other articles from RNS in December 2020.

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Pondering the Existence of God: A Review of “The God You Didn’t Know You Could Believe In” by Jeffrey E. Frantz

The Rev. Dr. Jeffrey E. Frantz was a minister in the United Church of Christ for more than forty years. In writing about God, the great mystery that challenges all persons of faith, in The God You Didn’t Know You Could Believe In, Frantz was speaking to his congregation. He knew just the right topics to cover and the right questions to answer for any layperson seeking to bring depth to his or her faith.

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Religion News from Around the World: A Monthly Roundup by Rick Herrick

November 2020

The above news items are summaries taken from the Religion News Service. Readers interested in pursuing a news item further should consult the RNS website by using the link listed at the end of the summary…

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Understanding the Self-Righteous Political Brain: The First Step in Healing the Political Divide

With regard to the human brain, emotions developed millions of years before reason. These human emotions helped to channel behavior in ways that fostered evolutionary success. Reason eventually came onto the scene as a tool for these emotions to help them achieve their goals. As a result, reason became a tool for rationalization rather than a tool for objective decision making.

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Review of the Book: The Liberating Birth of Jesus: A Birth Story Able to Reverse Our Planet’s Perils

The Liberating Birth of Jesus by Lee Van Ham is a groundbreaking book for me. My passion for the last fifty years has been the study of the New Testament. According to Van Ham, I have gone about this study in the wrong way. This revelation both hurts; and yet, in a more important sense, is immensely helpful.

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Bringing in the Kingdom of God

            I have a musical in my computer that is sadly going nowhere. I love the central premise. Jesus comes back and appoints a gay guy to be his messenger. It was easy to make funny because the characters are zany.

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Laurinburg NC: A Lesson on Healing the Racial Divide in America

When I told Ambassador Young of my Laurinburg experience, he smiled and said: “You know, Rick, the problem of systemic racism in this country is not all that difficult to understand. As your Laurinburg example tells us, the cause is primarily economic. When white folks have good jobs, they make good neighbors. When they are unemployed and scared or underemployed and resentful, there are problems.”

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Jamieson Spencer Interviews Rick Herrick on his new book “A Christian Foreign Policy”

Dr. Rick Herrick’s work reconsiders foreign policy from the perspective of Christianity. It considers all the issues concerned with foreign policy through a religious frame of reference.

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A Christian Foreign Policy: New Ways to Think About a Problem

Dr. Rick Herrick’s work reconsiders foreign policy from the perspective of Christianity. It considers all the issues concerned with foreign policy through a religious frame of reference.

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On Forgiving China

The covid-19 virus is raging, creating havoc on the health and economic well-being of nearly every person living on the planet. Sadly, we are only in the first inning of this pandemic with the likely prospect that it will get much worse. It is not surprising, therefore, that the vitriol between the United States and China is in full swing.

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