by Bil Aulenbach

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Mother Teresa and Doubting Thomas

The story of Doubting Thomas (John 20:24-29) takes place at the end of the Gospel of John. Like the rest of the Gospel, the Doubting Thomas tale is not a true story but rather what we call religious history. The truth is inside the story. The surface story says that Thomas the Twin (rumored to be the twin brother of Jesus, but that idea has never been substantiated) was not in the room for Jesus’s first appearance to the disciples after his crucifixion.… Read more >

What Do You Fear?

These days, I am sensing that people have lots of fears. Maybe it’s because so many of the things that Congress is trying to do hurt the average citizen, such as repealing healthcare for millions, barring people from entering the United States because they are from Muslim countries, cutting services for the little guy, and lifting climate change restrictions.… 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, 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 >

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 >

Today I Went to Heaven. It Was Hell Getting There!

In March 2017, Annie and I were in China cruising on the Yangtze River. Every day we disembarked and saw fascinating things. The day before we left the river for the city of Xi’an and the terracotta warriors, we took a short bus ride to a four-century-old Buddhist pagoda. It was next to very high rock that was too steep to navigate on foot.… Read more >