Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Here is a short but thoughtful conversation on NPR's 'The Takeaway' radio program on the question of whether there is such a thing as a "just war"--a concept developed by Augustine in the 5th century.  Pope Francis recently stated, “The Church has, for 1,500 years, endorsed, embraced, and reinforced the ‘just war’ tradition, which I feel to be extraordinarily unfortunate.”

According to program guest Robert Meagher, professor of philosophy, theology and humanities and author of Killing from the Inside Out: Moral Injury and Just War, "Just war doctrine was never more than a theory and at its worst it was a lie, a deadly lie. It promised at least the possibility of war without sin, war without criminality, war without guilt or shame, war in which men and women would risk their lives but not their souls or their humanity. This theory has been tested for sixteen centuries, and has failed. It is time to declare its death, write its autopsy, reveal its deadly legacy, and point to a future beyond just war."

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

"The cartoon is inspired by the many valid concerns for the future of the church. It is losing members in heaps. The cure is right under its own nose!"
--David Hayward

Monday, August 25, 2014

"Maybe the sermon on the mount is all about Jesus’ seemingly lavish blessing of the world around him especially that which society doesn’t seem to have much time for, people in pain, people who work for peace instead of profit, people who exercise mercy instead of vengeance. So maybe Jesus is actually just blessing people, especially the people who never seem to receive blessings otherwise."

--Nadia Bolz-Weber

"Arguably, one of the most potentially destructive things that can happen to a faith is for it to become the accepted and established religion of the political, cultural, and social unit in which its adherents live.  Certainly, there is no question that Constantine's preempting of Christianity in the fourth century was the great pivot point by means of which Christianity became a dominant institution .  It is also the point at which the so-called Hellenization of the faith began to accelerate, infiltrate, and eventually dominate Christian theology."

--Phyllis Tickle, The Great Emergence: How Christianity is Changing and Why

Thursday, August 21, 2014

"O Lord, help me not to despise or oppose what I do not understand."

-- William Penn

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

"We are not invited to rescue, fix or save people. The heart of ministry is to receive people and then…enter into the exquisite mutuality God intends for us all. ... This is the essence of a ministry that empowers by listening, receiving and welcoming. My life is saved everyday by contact with folks who are at the margins. And the day won’t ever come when I am more noble, have more courage or am closer to God than these people."

--Father Greg Boyle, SJ 


Friday, August 15, 2014

As if I asked a common Alms,
And in my wondering hand
A Stranger pressed a Kingdom,
And I, bewildered, stand—

--Emily Dickinson

Monday, August 11, 2014

Here is a recording of a message I gave yesterday at West Hills Friends Church in Portland, Oregon.  West Hills Friends is a thriving Evangelical Quaker church that has been a leader and bellwether among Evangelical Quakers for coming to a position of welcoming and affirming and fully including persons who are LGBTQ.  Other branches of Quakers reached this position decades ago but Evangelical Friends have had a tougher time due to the centrality they give to the Bible.