World Religions

Addendum: Sick Christianity

Addendum: Sick Christianity

After I posted a lesson entitled “Sick Religion” a few weeks ago, one of my best friends asked when I would have the courage to attack the real sick Christians among us. I was taken back, because I felt that was exactly what I was doing. I consider myself a lifelong student of false prophets […]

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Lesson 13: Religious People, Not World Religions

Lesson 13: Religious People, Not World Religions

I began this series wanting to share Barbara Brown Taylor’s experience about how the study of other world religions enhances the way we practice Christianity. Her findings were similar to my own, and I felt that she responded honestly to the situation most of us confront in this pluralistic global society. I end it realizing […]

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Lesson 12: Religious Language During the Pandemic

Lesson 12: Religious Language During the Pandemic

Just a few quick words on religious language. Barbara Taylor Brown repeatedly speaks about the difficulty of understanding the religious language used by other world religions. Conversely, she observes once you do, you discover a lot about your own. My own experiences bear this out. Often when working on Lutheran Roman Catholic ecumenical activities in […]

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Lesson 11: Healthy and Sick Religion

Lesson 11: Healthy and Sick Religion

Throughout her book Holy Envy, Barbara Brown Taylor cites Rabbi Jonathon Sachs to support her call to appreciate the insights and practices of other religious teachings and practices. Each time she did this, I found myself evaluating what I regard as healthy and sick religion in our present society, even though neither of these scholars […]

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Lesson 10: The Stranger

Lesson 10: The Stranger

Every time I think I am leading a discussion on Barbara Brown Taylor’s Holy Envy, I end up talking about the tribalism in our present society. For instance, last Monday night, our symposium began noting the things we admire in Judaism. Early on, people spoke of their respect for the family, the people, the race. […]

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Lesson 9: Holy Communion During the Pandemic

Lesson 9: Holy Communion During the Pandemic

While reading Holy Envy, I kept asking myself why I liked the book so much. It is obviously well written, easily read, but hardly profound theology. Instead, it is just as she promised, a simple report on how the experience of her college religion classes corresponded with her own over several years. In the end, […]

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Lesson 8: Religious Truth

Lesson 8: Religious Truth

Taylor obviously supports John Hick’s call for a Copernican revolution in theology that would place God at the center and Christianity among the great religions orbiting around God. She significantly restates this with Absolute Truth at the center and “people of good faith with meaningful perceptions of that truth” orbiting. This provoked a member of […]

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Lesson 7: Christianity

Lesson 7: Christianity

One of the most unsettling conversations in my lifetime took place around 20 years ago with a professor at our local Lutheran seminary. He reported his job was much more difficult, because his first-year students never had a college freshman Bible course. In the old days, those preparing for the ministry usually attended a church-related […]

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Lesson 6: Islam

Lesson 6: Islam

My Monday night symposium responded to Taylor’s Holy Envy by asking about the function of religion in a culture. It’s a complex question. On the one hand, religion supplies meaning and purpose for a society. In this role, it expresses the standards by which its people and institutions evaluate themselves. On the other hand, it […]

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Lesson 5: Judaism

Lesson 5: Judaism

I am amazed how focusing my mind on some issue brings together different parts of my life. While thinking about Buddhism, I realized that many of my friends blended their Christianity with Buddhist thoughts and practices. Then when I turned to Judaism, I remembered the large number of my friends’ children who had married Jews. […]

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