Thursday, July 29


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...
Catechizing Billy Graham

Catechizing Billy Graham

"Life" Issues, anger, awareness, bigotry, Challenge, Change, Character of God, Christianity, citizenship, civics, community, conflict, conservatism, constitution, courage, Criminal Procedure, critical judgment, culture, Discernment, doubt, Edward VIII / Duke of Windsor, election year, Ethics, Evangelicalism, Evidence, faith, faithfulness, Fascism, Fear, forgiveness, Forgiveness, Fundamentalism, God, hate, Ideology, Jesus, justice, Letting go, Myth, Mythology, Oswald Mosley, Philosophy, Politics, Presidency, progressive politics, Queen Elizabeth, Rationality, reconciliation, reflection, Religion, republic, resentment, Resistance, Scripture, Secularity, Skeptic, Theology, Trump, Uncategorized, Word of God
The “Vergangenheit” episode of season 2 of Netflix’ critically acclaimed series The Crown dwelt at length on the treachery of the ex-King Edward VIII’s and his wife Wallis Simpson’s collaboration with Hitler to restore Edward to the Throne following the supposedly imminent and, at the time, the all-too-possible fall of England and the establishment of a Nazi regime in the United Kingdom. (Incidentally and not unexpectedly, the Prime Minister of a fascist UK would allegedly have been Oswald Mosley, head of the British Union of Fascists.) The true extent of the treason came to light with the publication, in the United States, of what Americans called the “Marburg files,” after the castle in the German state of Hesse, where the documents were discovered – which the English more appropriat...
Two Cheers For The Reformation … Well … Sorta … Kinda … Part I

Two Cheers For The Reformation … Well … Sorta … Kinda … Part I

Abrahamic Traditions, autonomy, awareness, Challenge, Change, Christian Church, Christianity/Catholicism, Church, conflict, conservatism, covenant, critical judgment, culture, Episcopacy, epistemology, faith, God, Ideology, Methodology, monotheism, Politics, predestination, Rationality, reconciliation, reflection, Religion, Religious War, Sacred Writing, Scripture, self-serving, Supreme Court, The Divine, theocracy, Theodicy, Theology, Thinking, Tolerance
Well, it looks like I missed the Party! I knew about the Party, all right. But notwithstanding, I missed the Party, anyway.  I missed the Party because – quite candidly, and despite being aware of the Party – I honestly didn’t know, still don’t know, what we were supposed to celebrate, rather like being expected to celebrate when your doctor tells you that you need four consecutive colonoscopies on four consecutive days. How happy duzzat make ya?! OK … not to be obtuse ... the Party I missed was the 500th anniversary of the start of the Protestant Reformation.  For convenience, many church historians – with quite good reason -- date the Protestant Reformation as having “officially” begun on 31 October, 1517, the date when an Augustinian monk, Martin Luther, nailed his legendary “95 ...