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Showing posts from July, 2009

Man vs. myth 3

I promised to post email comments I’ve received. A beautiful one came from Joy: “Belief is very personal and developed by each individual through many different avenues of education, experience and reflection. A Sufi master once commented to me that there are as many religions as there are people in the world.”

Joy disapproves of religious faith if it unquestioningly accepts doctrine or dogma. Orthodoxy, she wrote,
“discourages independent thinking and often leads to extremes. There is fear of any outside influence or exposure to differing views. I believe all orthodoxy, and to a lesser degree, all specific religious faith, is harmful.

“I loved an article by Karen Anderson wherein she promoted the Golden Rule as the only spiritual guideline needed in the world....just think how different the world could be if all the "scripture studies" might be how to apply the Golden Rule in every situation in life rather than memorizing verses and words that often have little meaning…

Man vs. myth 2

My disagreements with conventional Christian theology clarified these distinctions I have worked out for myself:
• Yes, God walked on earth two thousand years ago, but God walks on earth no less today.

• Yes, Jesus was an incarnation of God. No, he was not the ONLY incarnation in human history, not the once-and-for-all event changing everything for all time.

• Yes, Jesus had a particular mission. No, he did not found Christianity.

• Yes, Jesus had an intimate relationship with the Mystery we call God. No, the universe was not qualitatively changed at his conception.

• Yes, Jesus’ suffering and death contributed to universal salvation. No, his was not the ONLY salvific suffering and death.

• Yes, Jesus had uncommon wisdom, strength, and character. No, his perfection did not exceed human perfection.

• Yes, it is possible and helpful to relate to a living Jesus. No, he is not the only door to salvation and not the final, definitive revelation of God for all time.

I can go along with J.D Crossan…

Prairie Home in Avon

You can listen to Garrison Keillor's interview of me on the 35th anniversary Prairie Home Companion show on July 4, 2009 here

And plan on a diversion from my usual earnestness. It was fun! and too short.

Paranormal & Garrison

I wrote a while ago that some of my own encounters with the other side are too personal to share, and that’s what I find to be true for others. Not surprising. I don’t think it’s only wariness of skeptics; it’s the sacredness of the incidents. When the holy mystery touches us, we must not sully this precious encounter by splatting it to the world. On the other hand, visiting about it with someone who doesn’t scoff brings satisfaction and deeper appreciation of the holy touch.

Recently I got a story so startling that I’d love to tell the whole story for the sake of the skeptics. But I don’t have permission. I can only mention an unusual swooping and gliding dance of pelicans flying in bands of three and four. These numbers accurately represent a certain group of deceased persons. Remarkable. As usual when these things happen, the witnesses to this phenomenon arrived at its significance with some hesitation and then a sense of wonder.

The word “paranormal” means beyond the range of norm…