What’s the Good Word, God?

Gospel of John

As I write this, the feast of Christmas begins at sundown tomorrow. It brings me to think about the awesome masterwork of faith and understanding that is the Gospel of John, and probably the key concept that forms the foundation of John’s understanding of who Jesus was and is: his very nature or essence. His understanding goes far beyond just an appreciation for Jesus and his role in the history of humanity; it goes to the heart of Jesus’ role as essential bridge between the divine and, not only the human, but even the entire universe. Ἐν ἀρχῇ ἦν ὁ 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 →