Revisiting the Problem of Goodness

I first wrote and published this reflection back in May. It seemed relevant to recent discussions. I have added an additional reflection at the end that I think is worthwhile. I hope you find this useful.  From my first class in Philosophy 101 in college, the so-called “Problem of Evil” has been tossed up as the “clincher” in arguments against the existence of God. How can a good God allow innocent people…

Music from Another Room

In the 1998 Jude Law film Music from Another Room, the lead character makes an argument for love, describing it as being like “music from another room.” Whether you saw the film or liked it, there is something in the metaphor of music from another room that has stayed with me. There is something about our relationship with God that is like music from another room. In this case I do not…

Reading and Being Read

There is one experience (at least) of reading Scripture, there is another altogether different of being “read by Scripture.” Both are quite valid but very different things. Reading Scripture is, of course, something we do all the time – perhaps so much so that we rarely stop to think about what we are doing. It is never a simple gathering of facts (like reading a newspaper article), nor is it like reading…

Why We Don’t Believe In God

A note: This article has been described by someone on a blog reference site as a description of why atheists don’t believe in God. Apparently they haven’t read the article. Throughout I use the pronoun “we” because I am not talking about non-believers, per se, but about both believers and unbelievers. I have not spared myself in the use of “we.” I think all of us have common issues. If you think otherwise,…

Why I Believe in God – Part 2

In my earlier posting I wrote primarily about my personal journey as a Christian and why I am a believer rather than an atheist. In the course of my life I do not think atheism would have ever been a possible way to live – the questions of my life and heart would have been either silenced or bludgeoned into non-existence. But there are other aspects worth writing about. One has to…

Why Do I Believe in God?

I am always interested in the posts that come to my site from self-professed atheists. They tend to live in a world far-removed from the one I inhabit (surrounded as I am with religious services and the whole culture of the Church). I never satisfy the questions posed (which usually demand rationalist answers, that, though they can be given, are not my particular strength). But I am interested in why someone does…

Leaving the Secular Life – Part 2

It is one thing to describe the cultural mix in which we swim and quite another to swim in an opposite direction. One of my favorite icons is a Theophany icon (Christ’s Baptism). In it you can see fish swimming in the water. All of the fish are swimming downstream except one. A single fish, just beneath the hand of Christ, is swimming in the opposite direction. The first time I saw…

Leaving the Secular Life

The default position of America is secular protestantism. I say this is the default position and mean by it – that without effort and care – we all find ourselves thinking and acting out of a secular protestant mindset. Of course, I need to offer a definition for my terms. By secular protestantism (and I mean no insult to Protestants by the term) I mean a generalized belief in God – but…

The Intercession of the Saints

Doubtless one of the less understood aspects of the Orthodox faith, particularly by Protestants, is the importance of the intercession of the saints. Orthodox doctrine and teaching is quite clear that we do not treat saints as objects of worship, nor as worthy of worship. This would be blasphemous to us. Nevertheless, it is a huge part of the “ethos” of Orthodoxy, probably only understood from the inside and then only after…

The Boundary of Death

This was posted originally last Spring. I have posted again for re-reading and for its assurance that Christ is the only guarantee of our dignity. Having spent two-and-a-half years as a Hospice Chaplain, I had opportunity to be present to over 200 deaths (that does not include the many I have witnessed in my years in ordained ministry. As you sit with someone who is dying, there finally arises a boundary beyond…