Category Archives: Belief

BRINGING DOWN THE ANGER IN CONFLICTS OVER FAITH

People who disagree on matters of religious belief and action are finding it harder and harder not to get angrier and angrier with each other. Is this just a sign of the times? Disagreements are turning into verbal warfare and … Continue reading

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HOW MUCH CONTROL DOES GOD NEED IN ORDER TO BE GOD?

A substantial majority of people in our society say that they believe in God. And it doesn’t seem to matter whether the God they believe in is directly involved in human affairs or remote from them altogether. Either way, the … Continue reading

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IS IT POSSIBLE TO GIVE UP ON GOD?

Not without thinking hard about what a God should be like, if there is one. Not without giving up being angry that there isn’t. And not without giving up hope that there still might be. Not everyone meets the first … Continue reading

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HOW NOT TO HONOR A RELIGION’S FOUNDER

For all of their differences, many of the world’s religions share at least two important beliefs about their respective founders. The first belief is that he experienced a uniquely transforming relationship with the Sacred. Whether it was to Moses, Zoroaster, … Continue reading

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WHAT SHOULD YOU DO WHEN YOU CAN’T BELIEVE WHAT YOU’RE SUPPOSED TO BELIEVE?

A lot of readers have asked me this question lately. They’ve also shared with me two answers to it that they have found especially unhelpful. One answer goes like this: pray harder for the wisdom to understand the belief in … Continue reading

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PERSONAL FAITH AND RELIGIOUS FAITH: THE DIFFERENCE

Once, and only once, my father shared with me what he thought faith is. “It’s believing,” he said, “that there is a Supreme Being.” I never could draw him out further. Perhaps that was for the best. The little that … Continue reading

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IS BELIEF IN GOD SUPPOSED TO EXPLAIN THINGS?

Recently, the eminent astrophysicist, Stephen Hawking, revealed as if for the first time that believing in God serves no useful purpose. His reason for saying so was that appealing to science is a better way of explaining things than appealing … Continue reading

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ONE OFTEN OVERLOOKED FACT ABOUT RELIGIOUS BELIEFS AND WHY IT IS SO IMPORTANT FOR FAITH

What makes it hard for serious religious dialogue to get anywhere is that people who engage in it often take two things for granted that they shouldn’t. The first is that the only way to understand core religious beliefs is … Continue reading

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WHEN BELIEFS GET IN THE WAY OF FAITH

Of all the controversies roiling religious communities today, one of the most vexing is over the role of beliefs in the life of faith. Many believers are holding onto traditional teachings as the only way they know to take a … Continue reading

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UNBELIEF: THE LOGICAL AND THE EMOTIONAL SIDES

Philosophers like to put the issue this way: it is irrational to believe that (a) God is all-powerful, (b) God is unconditionally good, and (c) Undeserved suffering exists in the world. You can build a credible faith on any two … Continue reading

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