by Bil Aulenbach

Old Ideas, New Ways

Predestination Is Hogwash

While working on a sermon recently, I reread Romans 8:30: “And those whom [God] predestined he also called.” Much to my surprise, I became annoyed. Wonder why?

Intellectually, I know that predestination has run its course. Modern science has shown that no Master Puppeteer is UpThere pulling everybody’s strings.

Realistically, I know that the theology of predestination is alive and well.… Read more >

Eating Jesus

The idea for this blog post came from a memo (maybe closer to a tome) from my bishop about how to deliver the Eucharist during a time of crisis—namely, the current COVID-19 pandemic. That memo went on and on about the minute details of properly administering the sacraments, especially the process of intinction.Read more >

Religions and Cults

One Sunday morning, in an adult education class, I was talking with someone about one of my recent blog posts that stated that Mormonism is a cult. One man, a Mormon who attends my church, denied this vehemently.

I believe that religions like Mormonism, Roman Catholicism, and fundamentalism continue to fan the flames of anti-LGBTQUI hostility.… Read more >

Can I Save Myself?

I recently read Damascus Gate, a novel by Robert Stone that talks about Israel’s four-thousand-years-long quest for a Messiah. At one point, a character says, “I am my own Messiah.” Interesting!

For as long as I can remember, the church has told me that I can’t save myself. Is that because I’m not smart enough or because the church wants to control me and every facet of my life?… Read more >

Mary, Mary, Quite Contrary

This old nursery rhyme plays in my head whenever I read about the women who were at the cross when Jesus died, most of whom were named Mary (Matthew 27:55–56, Mark 15:40, and John 19:25).

To me, the most important one, and the only one named in all three accounts, was Mary Magdalene from the tiny fishing village of Magdala on the west side of the Sea of Galilee.… Read more >

Are Christians Monotheists?

The definition of monotheism is “the doctrine or belief that there is only one god.” Christians and Jews claim that their religions are monotheistic.

I was baptized (at three weeks old) and raised in the Episcopal church, which I loved until I went to college. There, I learned to think, ask questions, and doubt many of my core beliefs.… Read more >

What’s the WOG?

I recently learned that Christianity has two WOGs. A few weeks ago, I wrote about the first WOG, which stands for the “Word of God.” I explained that even though the words sound very religious, they don’t mean anything to me because I don’t believe that God wrote the Bible. Human beings wrote it.… Read more >