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Christian Theology

What Is Prayer?

J. H. McKenna, Ph.D. | Posted 12.05.2016 | Religion
J. H. McKenna, Ph.D.

All religions, except some forms of Buddhism, recommend prayer. From the Latin precare, which means to beg, prayer is just that: begging, pleading, imploring a God, or some other otherworldly figure, such as a saint.

Voting for Trump is Not a Morally Good Choice for Christians

Michael Stark | Posted 07.31.2016 | Religion
Michael Stark

In his recently published article, "Why Voting for Donald Trump is a Morally Good Choice", Christian professor Wayne Grudem suggests that not only is...

What Is An Atheist ?

J. H. McKenna, Ph.D. | Posted 12.05.2016 | Religion
J. H. McKenna, Ph.D.

"So shall I do to the freshest things now reigning, and make stale the glistering of this present" (TIME, as the Chorus in The Winter's Tale by Shakes...

What Is Original Sin?

J. H. McKenna, Ph.D. | Posted 06.11.2016 | Religion
J. H. McKenna, Ph.D.

Original Sin. noun. An inborn guilt-worthy moral limp--in other words, a contradiction in terms. Any fetus may acquire DNA that will eventually hob...

What is the Devil?

J. H. McKenna, Ph.D. | Posted 12.05.2016 | Religion
J. H. McKenna, Ph.D.

From An Opinionated Dictionary of Religion at uponreligion.com DEVIL. Noun. A felon on license from God to wreak havoc on Earth. The notion that u...

Letters From the Damned

J. H. McKenna, Ph.D. | Posted 12.05.2016 | Religion
J. H. McKenna, Ph.D.

From Cro-Magnon Woman in Hell: You always hear about Cro-Magnon Man, and I just want everyone to know there were women too amongst us Cromies. All o...

What Is Revelation?

J. H. McKenna, Ph.D. | Posted 05.22.2016 | Religion
J. H. McKenna, Ph.D.

Revelation, classically understood. noun. Concealed information, inaccessible to unaided human intelligence, requiring supernatural disclosure through oracular and literary media, and occurring long ago. There are three problems with the classic idea of revelation, expressible in three sets of questions.

What is Bittul ha-Tamid?

J. H. McKenna, Ph.D. | Posted 06.18.2016 | Religion
J. H. McKenna, Ph.D.

Bittul ha-tamid. noun. Taking a break from religion, for moral reasons. There has always been an element of protest in Hebrew religiosity. We can pic...

What is it to Build a Better Idea of God?

J. H. McKenna, Ph.D. | Posted 07.28.2016 | Religion
J. H. McKenna, Ph.D.

Might theists welcome atheist critiques of God and make a better idea of God?

Am I a Sinner? Are You? Is God?

Barbara Falconer Newhall | Posted 04.20.2016 | Religion
Barbara Falconer Newhall

I've never been able to get my mind around the concept of original sin and its corollary, Jesus's atoning death on the cross.

Stumbling Toward Easter with Simone Weil: The Pain -- and Necessity -- of Separation

Barbara Falconer Newhall | Posted 03.21.2016 | Religion
Barbara Falconer Newhall

It's Holy Week and my thoughts turn to the difficult, painful yet exquisitely beautiful thoughts of Simone Weil, whose book, "Waiting for God," was first published, posthumously, in 1951.

Stumbling Through Lent: I Don't Know How to Pray -- And Neither Does Barbara Brown Taylor

Barbara Falconer Newhall | Posted 02.29.2016 | Religion
Barbara Falconer Newhall

Barbara Brown Taylor -- professor, author, theologian, Episcopal priest and a woman TIME magazine once designated one of the world's most influential people -- seems to be as flummoxed by the prayer question as I am.

Tell the Truth, Shame the Devil

Rev. James Ellis, III | Posted 02.26.2017 | Religion
Rev. James Ellis, III

"Hope is a choice." I was reminded of that recently. Hard work has its place, believe me I know, but if our ultimate trust is absolute productivity, then Christ's leadership becomes suggestive not authoritative.

Our Bad Theology Is Killing Faith in the God of Life

Scott MacDougall | Posted 12.10.2016 | Religion
Scott MacDougall

In the most recent episode of her excellent WNYC podcast, Death, Sex & Money, host Anna Sale has a conversation with Diane Gill Morris. Morris is the ...

My New Course on the Bible in Popular Music

Michael Gilmour | Posted 07.12.2016 | Religion
Michael Gilmour

Conversations about religion in art, and more precisely religious meanings in art are tricky. Lyricists obviously generate those conversations by their use of religious imagery but the relationship between music and (perceived) spiritual meaning has at least as much or more to do with audiences as artists.

Mourning a Pet and Noah's Rainbow

Michael Gilmour | Posted 06.29.2016 | Religion
Michael Gilmour

People say goodbye to beloved pets everyday so my experience is hardly unusual. Probably most clicking on this blog post can relate. But viewing such loss through a theological lens is not so common. A rather trivial incident turned my thoughts in this direction.

Future Pastors Will Get Science Training With This New $1.5 Million Grant

Religion News Service | Sarah Pulliam Bailey | Posted 10.13.2014 | Religion

(RNS) Responding to a real or perceived gap between science and faith, 10 U.S. seminaries will receive a combined $1.5 million in grants to include sc...

Don't Quote Jesus' Words About Hell -- He Doesn't Believe in It

Mick Mooney | Posted 12.02.2014 | Religion
Mick Mooney

What gospel do we believe in? A gospel of works, or a gospel of grace? Do we get into heaven because of what we do, or because of what Christ did on our behalf?

Daily Meditation: No More War

The Huffington Post | Antonia Blumberg | Posted 08.05.2014 | Religion

We all need help maintaining our personal spiritual practice. We hope that these daily meditations, prayers and mindful awareness exercises can be par...

Holy Week: Journeying Into the Risk of Faith

Scott MacDougall | Posted 06.14.2014 | Religion
Scott MacDougall

We are empowered to suffer through the pain of our spiritual doubts, or our self-hatred, or our deep-seated anger, and carry on despite it.

On Being Weak

Tara Woodard-Lehman | Posted 04.22.2014 | Religion
Tara Woodard-Lehman

We're afraid that everyone will know we're an impostor, a fake and a weakling. But here's the thing: I am weak. And that's not something I need to be ashamed of. What is shameful is pretending I'm not.

The God Who Sings Creation

Rev. Kenneth Tanner | Posted 04.15.2014 | Religion
Rev. Kenneth Tanner

If I believe in the resurrection of the dead, it is not that hard to believe that God could make the universe in 144 hours. If this same God chose to...

Marijuana: A Theology

Rev. Dr. Susan Brooks Thistlethwaite | Posted 03.04.2014 | Religion
Rev. Dr. Susan Brooks Thistlethwaite

Is this just a further sign of the "moral decay" of American society, or can we say the legalization of marijuana can have a place in a Christian theology that values, instead of denigrates, the body?

Do We Need to Rename God?

Rabbi Arthur Waskow | Posted 02.11.2014 | Religion
Rabbi Arthur Waskow

I think we must rid ourselves of the old Name -- Adonai, Lord, King, dominating Dominus -- and address Divine Reality as the Interbreathing Of All Life. That is the Truth, and we are Called to say it.

The Final 6 Reasons Nobody Wants to Go to Church Anymore (Part Three)

Steve McSwain | Posted 01.23.2014 | Religion
Steve McSwain

Here are a few final thoughts I have on why nobody wants to go to Church anymore and what the Church and leaders must do to reverse the decline and maybe even reclaim some of the 35 million Americans who have departed.