by Bil Aulenbach

Latest Posts from What Bil Is Saying

Sign up below to receive Bil’s blog each week!

doctrine

I’d Flunk Out of Seminary Today: Part 5

This is the fifth 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, Part 2 here, Part 3 here, and Part 4 here.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 >

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 least two trillion galaxies and no signs of God, heaven, or hell, the ancient image remains in our minds, prayers, preaching, and teachings.… 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 Immaculate Conception Equals the Immaculate Deception

I read a fun story in the newspaper last week about a congressman who received a lecture from a radio commentator because he confused the doctrine of the Immaculate Conception with the doctrine of the Incarnation—an easy thing to do, since both are total foolishness.

One might call the Immaculate Conception and the Incarnation fake news from long ago, but the church insists on continuing to market this fake news to its own detriment.… 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 >

Dead Man Walking

I have never been attracted to science fiction. It’s too far-fetched. I’ve tried to read Harry Potter—three times. By the second chapter, I’ve lost interest. Whenever I hear one of those preposterous stories told in the Bible, I cringe for fear that people will literalize it. For example, all the stories about Jesus’s resurrection, which I have nicknamed “Dead Man Walking,” after Sister Helen Prejean’s book and movie about her work on death row.… Read more >

What Happens to D&D When God Is Promoted and Jesus Is Demoted?

D&D is short for Dogma and Doctrine, which reminds me of a riddle: Why don’t cats go to church? Too much dogma! (Shame on me!)

Watch what happens to most of the D&D when the theistic god of yesterday is promoted to encompass the entire universe. One can no longer think about a small Master Puppeteer but more in terms of a force that some call Creation or Ground of All Being.… Read more >