I don’t think it’s any secret that the institutional church, especially in developed countries, is dying. The worst part: the leaders don’t seem to know how to revitalize it. What are your feelings?
From my vantage point, I don’t see how a church can survive if church leaders insist that a god lives up there, in heaven, and is the Great Master Puppeteer responsible for everything that happens.… Read more >
I have been terrified of John for some fifty-five years. He’s complicated, threatening, outrageous at times, secretive, and almost unintelligible. I wanted to have nothing to do with him. He was poison.
Then a strange thing happened. My wife and I had been working with inmates at the local jail on Tuesday afternoons, but the jail changed leadership and didn’t need our services anymore.… Read more >
When I went to seminary in 1957, the Episcopal Church Evangelism Society gave me a scholarship because I was going into the mission field to share Jesus’s concept of agape love and to teach people how to fish, not just give them a fish.
About thirty years ago, I learned that the word evangelical had become a code word for fundamentalist.… Read more >
Many people are surprised by this fact. Perhaps some folks think that Mary, the virgin who gave birth to Jesus, remained a virgin, a perpetual one. If this were the case, how could there be more children? Others think one kid like Jesus is enough. Folklore suggests the siblings were stepchildren.… Read more >
The story of the flood and Noah’s Ark is found in the book of Genesis, chapters 6–9. As a child I always loved that story, but for some reason I had never heard the ending until I went to seminary. It’s sad!
About five years ago my wife and I went to Turkey and spent a couple of weeks in the northern and eastern sections before we drove into Istanbul.… Read more >
Most folks don’t realize that there are many different Jesuses. I’m not talking about south of the border where quite a few men are named Jesus. I am also not including the patients in the psychiatric hospital where I interned in the 1950s who believed they were Jesus.
The most popular Jesus is probably the mythical one.… Read more >
I lived in Paradise—Hawai’i—for twenty years. There I met my Annie, our three daughters were born, and, for fifteen of those years, I served as an Episcopal priest. I still receive that diocese’s church e-mail postings. A week ago, a member asked the bishop, “Do I have to pray for him, and, if so, do I have to use his name?”… Read more >
It seems to me that too many Christians have a list of people or groups unworthy of unconditional love. Part of me thinks that being human without having a list is almost impossible. But my guru, Jesus, says to his true Followers: “No lists. Period.” My list used to be fairly long, but I junked it as a Follower.… Read more >
I was a history major in college. I really wanted to be a psychology major, but those students had lab classes in the afternoon, and I played soccer in the fall and lacrosse in the late winter and spring. As a psych major I would have to go to Columbus, Ohio, once a week and work with patients in a state mental hospital.… Read more >
An elderly man walked (not shuffled) into a restaurant with his friend, immediately pulled out a handkerchief, and started doing coin tricks for the children who were waiting in line. He pulled a quarter out of one little boy’s ear. He had flat balloons in his pocket, blew a few of them up, and started making a balloon dog for a little girl.… Read more >