Cracks and Questions

Questions and cracks are two ways God can use to deepen our faith, encourage our growth, and give us great joy. Those who dread such a route very often have a religion based on fear. If they question or doubt, they are afraid they will go to hell or face some terrible punishment. But once our minds have expanded by asking a question or harboring a doubt, they can never return to their original size. Continue reading

A Creed to Live By

I come from a tradition which has been suspicious of creeds. Baptists associate creeds with the Roman Catholic Church (and therefore reject the historic creeds), and one of the early slogans of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) was “no creed but Christ.” I find it ironic that conservative Christians… Continue reading

When Religion Gets Sick

Years ago psychology of religion professor Wayne Oates wrote a book entitled When Religion Gets Sick. Oates pointed out that religion can be good or bad, healthy or sick, liberating or oppressive, intelligent or insane. This past week we have seen several examples of bad, sick, oppressive, and insane religion…. Continue reading

Mark 10:28-31 “Demonstration Plots of the Kingdom of God”

During the Great Depression and World War II, the U. S. government had a program designed to teach farmers and households more efficient and productive ways of farming and gardening. Most of the population back then was rural, and the survival of many families depended on their ability to produce… Continue reading

Let’s Go to the Movies: “Field of Dreams” (Genesis 12:1-9)

(This is a Fathers’ Day sermon I preached years ago. What I remember most about this sermon was the response of men of all ages. Some wept. Others deeply pondered their lives. Some men reflected on their own experience as a father while others began to look at their fathers… Continue reading

Exodus 6:1-15 “Risky Freedom”

The background to our passage is the Exodus of the Hebrews from Egypt. Those descendants of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob have suffered the harshness of slavery for centuries. Generation after generation has cried out for freedom. The Hebrews experience despair, agony, humiliation, suffering and, perhaps worst of all, hopelessness. The… Continue reading

Genesis 39:1 23 “The Context and the Content of Life”

Chapter 39 of Genesis comes to us in three parts. The middle part, verses 7-20, tell us of a concrete incident in the life of Joseph. Here we find a slice of life – here we can see the content of life for a Hebrew slave, at least for that… Continue reading