Category Archives: Faith Challenges

THE BRAIN, CONSCIOUSNESS, AND GOD

How does the brain form consciousness? Note the form of this question. Neuroscientists aren’t asking whether the brain does it; they take this for granted. They only want to know how. And this is what makes their work a major … Continue reading

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BELIEVING IS SEEING

Most people know that eventually, if not now, they will need well-crafted lenses to keep in focus what they want to see in the visible world. Not everyone knows, however, that they will need carefully formulated beliefs to bring into … Continue reading

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THE ROAD TO SALVATION IS PAVED WITH GOOD QUESTIONS

Is it possible to distinguish on our own what is true from what is false in faith? If the founders of some of the world’s major religions are any indication, the answer to this question has to be a grateful … Continue reading

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WHEN IMAGES OF GOD GO TERRIBLY WRONG

If it is true that no one ever sees God directly, then a lot about faith has to be left to the imagination. In order for faith to enliven the soul as well as enlighten the mind, it must have … Continue reading

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HOW NOT TO GET LOST ON THE WAY TO HEAVEN

Where do people go to heal from the abuses that sick churches inflict upon them to save their souls? More than a few go to seminary. Many of own my students, at least, have told me very disturbing things about … Continue reading

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PUTTING CONTROVERSIES ASIDE FOR THE SAKE OF FAITH

Every religion contains diverse understandings of both the personhood and the message of its founder. This should in no way, however, undermine the integrity and rejoicing with which each religion offers its understandings to the world. Buddhism, for example, includes … Continue reading

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MORALITY, SPIRITUALITY, AND FOLLOWING THE RULES

You’ve heard it countless times: “if we make an exception for you, we will have to make it for everyone.” Maybe you’ve even said it to someone yourself. The thinking behind this statement seems to be that making an exception … Continue reading

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DOES GOD HAVE TO OBEY THE RULES?

In most religions, stories abound of gods and goddesses doing things that thoughtful believers and inquirers find morally repugnant and ethically indefensible. What kinds of things? Well, for one, demanding peoples’ loyalty while remaining indifferent to their suffering. Or inflicting … 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 TO BE FAITH-FILLED WITHOUT BEING RELIGIOUS

Too often, “being religious” amounts to little more than being loyal to a particular religion’s institutions and traditions. And even worse, to those alone — other religions don’t count. Nor do those who subscribe to them. There is an important … Continue reading

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