Posts by eurlog

I am a church planter. I love my city and participating in its life.

American Apocalypse

I heard for the first time in the early 80’s that American foreign policy was being influenced by the joint ideologies of religious fundamentalism and Evangelicalism.  It seemed far-fetched at the time, but the idea stayed around in my mind in the ensuing decades.

Whatever doubts might have been present were dispatched by Matthew Avery Sutton’s fine history of these movements in America in his newest book, American Apocalypse.

Sutton traces the rise of these movements in America beginning in the mid-1800’s and continuing to the present.  In articulate, dispassionate prose, Sutton lays the case for the powerful and concerted influence of the Religious Right as embodied by Fundamentalism and its partner Evangelicalism.   Continue reading →

Three Practices

Three Practices Group

Facebook is an accurate model of what it looks like when conversation occurs without respect, curiosity, and kindness.  Comments following the posting of a political or religious opinion are too often judgmental, even vulgar.

A rule of discussion often heard today is, “never discuss religion or politics.”  However, there is a problem with that rule.  It ends all possibility of progress.  Without discussion, people cannot reach solutions to challenges and problems.  Nor can they learn to understand one another. Continue reading →

EVERYthing happens for a reason.

“It was meant to be.”

“The Universe wanted me to….”

“I was supposed to learn something from that.”

“There are no coincidences.”

“There’s a reason for everything.”

These statements are nearly universal, and there is no pattern to them. Atheists, believers, liberals and conservatives, and people characterized as either spiritual or not use some version of these statements.  Many (I would say most) believe in some form of fate, destiny, providence, or another form of external manipulative power. Continue reading →

Car Repair

Coming down the hill from Yosemite required downshifting in order to spare the brakes.  Third gear worked the best, but it was not meant for the flat straight-aways.

But getting the shifter back into Drive required determined strength, inspiring a moment of concern about the remainder of the trip home.  This was not pleasant to be discovering this at 60 miles an hour. Continue reading →

The Loaded Question

“Did you see the picture of the President praying with his council of religious leaders,” he asked.  “What did you think about it?’

We were in the produce department of the grocery store.  The question came immediately after ‘hello.”  Not a good sign.

It was soon apparent to me that this was a loaded question, based on the presumption that I would agree with his opinion about the praying President picture.  “You’re a pastor; surely you would find the picture gratifying and refreshing.” Continue reading →