Author Archives: LEROY HOWE

About LEROY HOWE

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THE BIBLE, THE LAW, AND MARRIAGE

In theory, American law is never determined on the basis of religious values alone. Nevertheless, religious traditions continue to exert a formative influence on social policy-making, especially on matters of sex and marriage. Consider, for example, how Jewish and Christian … Continue reading

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IF FAITH IS THE ANSWER, WHAT ARE THE QUESTIONS?

At a critical time in my search for a credible faith, I came across the writings of Paul Tillich. I have never been the same since, because they gave me an answer to a question that I have never been … Continue reading

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TRUTH, COMMUNITY, AND INTEGRITY IN THE LIFE OF FAITH

At their most mature, faith communities share their deepest convictions about the Sacred, the world, and human destiny with humility and a sense of gratitude. At their worst, they impose their convictions with arrogance and a sense of superiority. To … Continue reading

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MORALITY WITHOUT MORALISM

The most frequent complaint that I hear from people who have left their churches is about the hypocrisy they found in them. A less frequent complaint is that the church’s moral teaching is handed down in the form of unchangeable … Continue reading

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IS “ORGANIZED RELIGION” HELPFUL TO A VITAL FAITH?

Growing numbers of people in the Western world no longer believe so. And for good reasons, even if not decisive ones. There is a distressing sameness about the history of most religious institutions. Typically, they begin with exquisite sensitivity to … Continue reading

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IS IDOLATRY A SIN, OR SOMETHING EVEN WORSE?

As Ancient Israel came to understand it, idolatry is the act of conferring divine status on something that is merely human. The result is the deformation of the gloriously human into inglorious idols. It is no wonder that the word … Continue reading

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BEING RELIGIOUS AND BEING SPIRITUAL: BRIDGING THE DIFFERENCES

One sure way to turn an enlightening conversation into an overheated one is to introduce religion or politics into it. Rather than bringing people together for a common purpose, both tend to push people apart — and keep them there. … Continue reading

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Posted in Religious traditions, Spirituality | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

ONE GOD, BUT WHICH PROPHET?

Most faith traditions contain beliefs that once were at the very core of their teaching, but are no longer. Beliefs such as: God favors polygamy. They also uphold beliefs deemed binding upon followers at all times and everywhere. Beliefs such … Continue reading

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IS GOD’S MIND CHANGEABLE?

If the first stories in the Bible are any indication, this is a more difficult question to answer than it might seem. Most of the traditions which are based on them — whether Jewish, Christian, or Muslim — draw sharp … Continue reading

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ASKING ABOUT EVIL: AN IMPERATIVE FOR FAITH

There is pervasive evil in the human spirit. It helps me to think of it the way many theologians do, as an absence of good. But the devastation that human beings inflict on one another also makes me wonder whether … Continue reading

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