by Bil Aulenbach

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Christianity

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 >

“They’ll Know We Are Christians by Our . . .”

The other day a friend sent me a good story that has been around a long time, but it’s still as relevant as it was the first time I heard it.

The light turned yellow as he was turning right. He saw pedestrians in the crosswalk, so he stopped. The woman behind him was furious, so she leaned on her horn, flipped him the finger many times, and shouted angrily from her car.… Read more >

What Stage of Faith Are You In?

One of my favorite subscriptions is a weekly called The Spong Newsletter. It’s distributed by ProgressiveChristianity.org, which I suspect is on the Forbidden to Read List for some Christian sects.

On March 9, David Felten, a Methodist pastor with a congregation in Fountain Hills, Arizona, published “How to Repeal and Replace Christianity’s Addiction to ‘Fake News’ and ‘Alternative Facts.’” He lays out the problems and then suggests a solution that quotes from James Fowler’s book, Stages of Faith (Harpercollins, 1981).… Read more >

How the Early Church Got Rid of Jesus

Happy Belated Ascension Day. This always happens forty days after Easter and this year was on Thursday May 25. Many Christians don’t know anything about an ascension. Interestingly, neither Paul nor the authors of Mark, Matthew, Peter, or John ever mention it. Only Luke and Acts (written by the same author) allude to such an event.… Read more >

Who Was the World’s Most Famous Oenologist?

I suspect some of my readers aren’t quite so sure about the word oenologist.

How does one say an o and an e together? Is it pronounced o, then enologist? Do folks just forget the o sound and simply say or write enologist? I do the latter. It’s easier! Anyway, an enologist studies and masters the very sophisticated art of making wine.… Read more >

Neutered Old Men

A friend gave me What Pope Francis Really Said (Servant Press, 2016). Interesting book! Now, mind you, I like Pope Francis. He’s a breath of fresh air and an inspiration, especially compared to the last two popes who were trying to move the church back to the fourteenth century.

However, for me, the jury is still out on whether he’s a game-changing pope or not.… Read more >

Are Christians Cannibals?

In the early church, when the Followers of Jesus had diverged from Judaism (about 88 CE), they gained the reputation of being cannibals. They were a mysterious group. They met in secret places like catacombs and had strange signs and signals such as a fish—in Greek, ichthus. If two people met on a road, one might innocently doodle a fish in the dirt.… Read more >