God Is With Us

God with us

If you haven’t had a close call (or two) in your life, then you haven’t lived long enough. Sooner or later, everybody at some time walks away from a situation saying, “Whew! That was a close one!” Of course, sooner or later, we all face a situation that we don’t walk away from . . . but that’s a subject for another post. It’s when we have one of these close encounters with our own mortality that a lot of the superficial stuff that encrusts our lives gets (sometimes painfully) stripped away and we find ourselves staring into the face Continue Reading →

Sometimes I Feel Guilty


For millenia, people of faith have been practicing penitence. Some of the oldest texts in the Judeo-Christian Scriptures talk about it.1 For those of us in liturgical Christian communities,2 the forty days leading up the the celebration of Easter is known as “Lent” or “The Great Lent” and has traditionally been a penitential season. From earliest times, Christian believers have been encouraged to embrace penitential practices such as prayer, fasting, abstinence from meat, self-denial and other ascetic practices. Like many young Christians, I did my best to follow the rules and “give something up” for Lent, mainly out of fear Continue Reading →

. . . and God said . . .

and God said

So far in our wanderings around the subject of faith, we have come to appreciate that God — the Transcendent — is also the Unknowable. If we think back to our example of the chimp learning calculus, we can recognize that the poor chimp would have no idea where to begin. The chimp would be utterly lost. But what if a very patient and kind person were to start teaching the chimp the fundamentals. Of course, under present circumstances, the chimp could never be taught higher mathematics. But, that’s because the animal’s instructor couldn’t get inside the chimp’s head. What Continue Reading →

I’m Not Religious


Yeah, I hear it all the time. “I consider myself a spiritual person, but I can’t stand religion.” On one level, it makes me cringe every time I hear it; on another level, who can blame them? After all, the worst enemies of religion are most definitely its defenders. The same thing goes for the “defenders” of God — they’re exactly the people to run farthest away from. If we really understood what ‘religion’ means, we’d all want to be known as religious people. As for the “defenders” of God: well, God needs neither defense nor promotion and with friends Continue Reading →

Evil, Mean and Wicked, Bad and Nasty

Good and Evil

The problem of evil in the world continues to raise its ugly head wherever and whenever we raise the subject of Faith. It’s important that we put this one to rest early, so here goes. Popular “wisdom” has it that there’s a fierce battle going on out there between good and evil. From that perspective, we wonder what the results will be and who (or what) will win out in the end. It also causes people to question a god who could create such evil and allow it to exist. As is so often the case, if you ask the Continue Reading →

What the Meaning of ‘Is’ Is


“It all depends on what the meaning of ‘is’ is,”1 said President Bill Clinton during testimony for his impeachment hearing. It was a statement that echoed around the world and caused much scorn to be heaped upon him. The statement may be typical of legal hair-splitting, but, in the world of Understanding, that statement is absolutely critical. It does all depend on “what the meaning of ‘is’ is!” The verb ‘to be’ (‘is’) is at the same time both the simplest and most complex concept. It is a verb and so it refers to an action — the action of Continue Reading →

Shockingly Wrong?


If you were from another planet and were exposed to Christianity for the first time from all the available media, chances are excellent that you’d think Christianity was an ethical system that focused on good and evil, right and wrong. You’d be in some very good company, too, without a doubt. From the time that Christianity started to spread over the Greco-Roman world, apologists have been trying to use Christian “principles” to influence human behavior. This is not to say that even the Christian Scriptures aren’t replete with moral guidance: they are. Yet, sadly, when Christianity is distilled down to Continue Reading →

What’s in a Name?


“I don’t believe in God.” I’ve heard this so often in 12-Step meetings, that it no longer surprises me. I just wait for the inevitable, “but I do believe that there’s Something out there that’s bigger than me.” Somehow, the name “God” has gotten to be confused with some childhood image of the Big Man Upstairs with a long, white beard, sitting on some throne surrounded by angels, cherub-babies, etc., while He points His fingers randomly at folks and says, “You go to hell!” Am I right? If we want to grow in understanding, we’ve got some relearning to do. Continue Reading →

Why ‘Faith’?

Faith Sees Beyond the Obvious

St. Anselm of Canterbury in the 11th century defined ‘Theology’ as “Fides Quaerens Intellectum” or “Faith seeking understanding.” Thus the title of my blog. Some want to dismiss this understanding as somehow superstitious and at odds with science (which we might dare to define as “observation seeking understanding”). Yet, the apparent dichotomy between faith and science is only just that: apparent. Although they have similar methodologies, the subject matter of the two are distinctly different: the scientific method gleans understanding from observations of the natural world; the theological method draws understanding from observations originating beyond the world of nature. People Continue Reading →