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by Bil Aulenbach

The Pope Reads My Blogs

I just know he does. How? I talk all the time, along with many other progressives, about the idea that the church must change or die (Thanks, Bishop Spong, for that motto). The Los Angeles Times reported on December 21, 2019, that Pope Francis “warned . . . that ‘rigidity’ in living out the Christian faith is creating a ‘minefield’ of hatred and misunderstanding in a world where Christianity is increasingly irrelevant.”Read more >

Does Jesus’s Skin Color Matter?

I suspect some of you are saying, “Does Jesus’s skin color matter? What a ridiculous question!”

To me, this topic is not ridiculous but important. Here’s why:

  • I believe in the historical Jesus, not the mystical, magical, mythical one who reputedly lives with his father above a flat earth. He and his dad have many mansions (John 14:2) with large pearly gates manned by St.
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Am I Normal?

I like to say, “I’m the only normal person in the world.” Why? Because I believe that normal does not exist. My normal might be your crazy.

This blog post was inspired by my favorite column in the Sunday newspaper magazine Parade—“Ask Marilyn” by Marilyn vos Savant. (I doubt that’s her real name, but she is very smart.)… Read more >

Literal versus Metaphorical

I recently read Jim Wallis’s Christ in Crisis?: Why We Need to Reclaim Jesus and found it most provocative.

Near the end of the book, Jim was shared a story about meeting with a group of Jesus Seminar scholars (progressive theologians from the Westar Institute). They were discussing resurrection stories, and the Westar scholars suggested that these tales are metaphors.… Read more >


I’ve been waiting for over thirty years for this to happen, and I often wondered why it didn’t before now.

I’m referring to the death of George Floyd and the resulting demonstrations and riots. These are the inevitable outcomes of decades of police brutality, our injustice system, a twenty-first century form of slavery (penal institutions packed with poor people of color), the white nationalism that permeates large segments of our country, and a government that constantly ignores gun violence, police brutality, and our founding principle of liberty and justice for all.… Read more >

My New Prayer

Because I call myself an A-theist (someone who doesn’t believe in a human-like god UpThere), people think I can’t, don’t, or won’t pray. In truth, I pray every day, usually early in the morning.

I pray that people find strength and hope, live with reality, forgive, and deal creatively with what life has to offer.… Read more >

Which Kind of A-theist Am I?

I call myself an A-theist. The big A means “against”—I am opposed to theism, which is the belief in a personal god UpThere. I also think that the hyphen—which looks like a minus sign—is an appropriate symbol of my negative opinion of theism and that the little t signifies how unimportant theism is in the twenty-first century.… Read more >

Can a Pastor Be an Atheist?

My church is currently searching for a new pastor, and in a discussion group, I asked, “What would you think if our new pastor admitted that she or he was an atheist?”

A few people replied, “No way!” Most were quiet. Did they respond this way because that idea had never crossed their mind?… Read more >