To me, there are some commonly used sayings that sound good at first but make no sense once you think deeply about them. For example, I recently heard someone (a fundamentalist) speak about the gay community. I always cringe and bristle when somebody says, “I love the sinner but hate the sin.” That’s terribly judgmental. … Read more
What Is Evil?
I was in a Sunday morning adult education class about the book of Revelation (I call it the book of Revolting) when someone suggested that this book was a study of good versus evil. I asked the class who gets to decide who or what is good or evil. Dictionary.com defines evil as “morally wrong … Read more
I’d Flunk Out of Seminary Today: Part 3
This is the third part of a six-part series about an imaginary journey to an Episcopal seminary where I ask hard questions about Christianity and priesthood. Without twenty-first century answers, I may have to drop out. You can find Part 1 here and Part 2 here. I am attending my first New Testament class to … Read more
Bad Idea—He Died for My Sins
My class is still charting the twenty-first-century reformation. Getting this reformation off the ground isn’t easy. The biggest obstacle is the image of God as a white man sitting on his throne in his mansion above a flat, three-tiered earth, running everything and judging everyone. Even with photos from the Hubble Space Telescope of at … Read more
Jesus the Dogma Killer
As reported in last week’s blog post, the people in my Charting the Twenty-First-Century Reformation class and I are combatting the anthropomorphization of God (giving him human qualities) by renaming this power or force Creation or the Ground of All Being or Higher Power. This creates a huge problem for the institutional church, which has … Read more
While visiting Jerusalem in November 2017, I attended an interfaith book launch for a book written by a Palestinian Arab Christian. At the reception, I spoke with an Evangelical Lutheran pastor about her church in Jerusalem and asked how Jews, Christians and Muslims treated the LGBTQUI community in the Holy Lands. She told me that … Read more
The Lord’s Prayer Is Not the Prayer of the Lord
The title of this blog is confusing at first, so let’s start with the fact that the Lord’s Prayer appears in only two places in the Bible. The first and more familiar version is in Matthew, written between 85 to 95 CE: “Our Father who art in Heaven, hallowed be Thy name. Thy Kingdom come. … Read more
My wife and I travel a great deal, and before we go, we always read up on the latest scams. However, my most recent scam happened last week near my home. I was going to our post-office box, and as I was about to make a left into the store, a man in a truck … Read more
Is It A-gáp-ē or A-ga-pé?
This Greek word describes the highest form of love. How do you pronounce it? I am reminded of the story of two women who visited Hawai’i and wanted to know how to pronounce it. They asked a local, “What’s correct? Is it Hawai-e or Havai’e?” He said, “Havai’e.” They thanked him, and he replied, “You’re … Read more