Saturday, April 17

Cherry picking

Pro-Life God? (Part 2)

Pro-Life God? (Part 2)

"Life" Issues, Abortion, autonomy, Biology, birth, Cherry picking, Christianity, citizenship, civics, Consitution, Creation, Creator, critical judgment, culture, First Amendment, God, Hebrew Scripture, law, monotheism, Rationality, Religion, Scripture, Secularity, Theodicy, Theology, Uncategorized, Women
Given my recent preoccupation with "life" issues generally and with the pro-life / pro-choice debate generally, I thought it might be advisable to reprint this column from several years ago for the sake of the statistics it contains about the incidence of spontaneous abortions / miscarriages worldwide, and the theological implications of these numbers. Debates about abortion tend to get lost in the intricacies of theologies and ideologies at the expense of appeal to actual hard data. My intent in reprinting this "Skeptic's Collection" column is not to ridicule pro-life people or their religious convictions. Rather, my intent is simply to make possible an appeal to empirical evidence vis a vis various theological reflections on abortion. Facts matter. Back in February of 2014, I publishe...
Saints, Sultans, And Submission:  The Tyranny Of Interpretation

Saints, Sultans, And Submission: The Tyranny Of Interpretation

"Life" Issues, Abrahamic Traditions, activism, Anchorite, autonomy, awareness, body, Challenge, Change, Character of God, Cherry picking, Christian Church, Christianity, Christianity/Catholicism, Church, community, Compassion, conflict, conservatism, contemplation, Creator, critical judgment, Crusades, culture, Discernment, entering into suffering, Ethics, faith, faithfulness, Fasting, God, Human Condition, Islam, Kingdom of God, Letting go, Military, monotheism, mosques, Pain and Suffering, peace and justice, Quran, reconciliation, Religious War, Spirituality, theocracy, Theology, Uncategorized
On Thursday, 1 February 2018, Jamie Dedes honored me by publishing my review of the new book by Paul Moses, The Saint and the Sultan:  The Crusades, Islam, and Francis of Assisi’s Mission of Peace. I found the book engrossing. In fact, even its omissions were engrossing. And Moses' entire text was provocative, touching issues on history, ethics, religion, and the psychology thereof. In fact, Paul Moses' book was too good to keep. So -- with Jamie's permission -- I am taking the liberty of reprinting my review here. For a religious person who is “seeking God’s will,” the most reliable indicator that you are in serious trouble is the belief that you have found it. Paul Moses has, perhaps unintentionally, written a brief but fascinating account of a case in point:  The Saint and the Su...
The Fellowship Of Disillusionment — Philip Yancey’s “Disappointment With God”

The Fellowship Of Disillusionment — Philip Yancey’s “Disappointment With God”

"Life" Issues, Abrahamic Traditions, Astronomy, awareness, Broken Heart, Character of God, Cherry picking, Christianity, Church, community, Compassion, critical judgment, culture, Discernment, doubt, entering into suffering, Epiphany, epistemology, existentialism, faith, God, Human Condition, Letting go, meditation, meditation with music, mindfulness, monotheism, Ockham's Razor, Randomness, Rationality, Religion, Science, Secularity, Spirituality, Theodicy, Theology, Uncategorized
I never write book reviews ... until now. Now I am making an exception for three reasons:  (1) Philip Yancey's book Disappointment with God is an unflinching appraisal of how long-term disappointment precipitates crises of faith in the life of religiously devout people, (2) the theodical implications of that process, and (3) the theological consequences of (1) and (2). If you have been reading these columns for the last few years, you know that this has been a strong preoccupation of mine. But even though I wrote an Amazon review of Disappointment with God, I was not writing these "Skeptic's" columns at the time. So the following is in the nature of the latter playing catch-up with the former. ****************************** The Christian community almost always deals with disappointm...