by Bil Aulenbach

Christianity

Invented Gods: Mr. Fix-It

This is the third part of a six-part series about the many different invented gods that Christians worship. Personally, I prefer to worship Creation. You can find Part 1 here and Part 2 here.

I suspect you have heard people say “Turn your troubles over to God,” implying he will fix them.” I’ve also heard “God save the King or Queen” or “God bless America” or “God bless you” or “God loves you.”

How about “Jesus died for your sins” or “Jesus saves”?… Read more >

I’d Flunk Out of Seminary Today: Part 2

This is the second 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.

Last week, I attended an imaginary class about prayer and prayer life.… Read more >

I’d Flunk Out of Seminary Today: Part 1

This is the first 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 might have to drop out.

I graduated from seminary fifty-eight years ago in a very different world. I started seminary in 1957, when the church was thriving, the pews were full, new churches were being built, fifty-plus men (no ladies yet) were studying to be priests at my seminary alone, and Pope John Paul XXIII was leading the church in an exciting new direction.Read more >

What to Call Me?

“Are you a Christian?” is a question I hear often because I label myself as an a-theist. That means I don’t believe in an anthropomorphic god living in a mansion above a flat earth. My answer to whether I’m a Christian is more complex than a simple yes or no.

If someone asked, “Do you believe that Jesus of Nazareth is the Christ or Messiah?”, I’d give a definite yes!… Read more >

Jesus the Handyman

The thrust of my ministry since the late 1980s has figuring out who the historical Jesus was. This is not easy because the New Testament mostly records the writers’ biases, not historical facts. Consequently, I’m constantly looking for information about what life was like back in Jesus’s time so I can place him into that context.… 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 >

The Broken Record

Certain basic ideas are grounded in fact but become mired in fiction. Sometimes I feel like a broken record. I tell people a fact, but it just doesn’t register.

Here are some examples:

  1. My most frequently stated fact is this: Jesus was born a Jew, lived the life of a committed Jew, and died a Jew.
Read more >

Our Country’s Behavior Bar Is at a New Low

Every day after I finish my morning meditation, I read the newspapers. At times, this feels counterproductive, especially in today’s world. Maybe I should read the paper first, get all worked up, and then do my devotions and calm down again. As my favorite prayer says: Whatever!

I always save the best section of the newspapers for last—the comics.… Read more >

This Guy Scares Me!

I don’t scare easily and am generally very accepting of people. However, I want to introduce you to someone who scares me and see if he scares you also.

  • He talks with God. (Which one?)
  • He states that the US Constitution was founded on God. (History would contradict that.)
  • He rejects the theory of evolution.
Read more >

Bible Study in a Bar

Every Tuesday at 4:00 p.m., fifteen to twenty-plus people meet at our church for Bible study. The Reverend Ken Wyant, a fun and funny teacher with a great understanding of the Bible, leads the class. Almost all of us are members of Irvine United Congregational Church, but the group is open to all.… Read more >