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Tammeus
Kansas City, Mo.
Recent Activity
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Someone from Business Insider has created this series of maps to show the ways in which various religions spread around the globe across history. At first glance it appears to be a helpful, quick summary that generally sticks to accurate... Continue reading
Posted 1 hour ago at Bill's 'Faith Matters' Blog
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In 1967 I had just graduated from the University of Missouri School of Journalism and, that summer, began work as a reporter for the now-defunct Rochester (N.Y.) Times-Union, a Gannett flagship paper, along with the morning Democrat & Chronicle. It... Continue reading
Posted yesterday at Bill's 'Faith Matters' Blog
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The public fascination with the total eclipse of the sun coming Aug. 21 is a reminder that the initial impulse of religion is wonder and awe. Of course, wonder and awe can lead in several directions -- toward gratitude and... Continue reading
Posted 2 days ago at Bill's 'Faith Matters' Blog
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Today is an odd anniversary in the history of religion. On this date in 1968 Pope Paul VI published an encyclical called Humanae Vitae (On Human Life) that condemned artificial methods of birth control. Against the wishes of even a... Continue reading
Posted 3 days ago at Bill's 'Faith Matters' Blog
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The word cult used to mean just about any religious gathering. But eventually it came to refer to small, strange religious groups that held unhealthy sway over followers and that sometimes degenerated into violence -- including the violence of self-annihilation.... Continue reading
Posted 4 days ago at Bill's 'Faith Matters' Blog
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In matters of faith, there is much to be said for being comfortable with mystery, with paradox, with ambiguity. After all, we humans are finite while what religion calls God is infinite. Any god we could comprehend exhaustively would not... Continue reading
Posted 6 days ago at Bill's 'Faith Matters' Blog
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I am often intrigued by the various connections I find among people I know who, it turns out, know people I know even though I didn't know it. Follow that? An example that has to do with the subjects I... Continue reading
Posted 7 days ago at Bill's 'Faith Matters' Blog
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More than 72 years have passed since the end of World War II and the Holocaust. Can't we finally just quit thinking about any old Nazis who might still be alive? No. We can't. We shouldn't. We have a profound... Continue reading
Posted Jul 19, 2017 at Bill's 'Faith Matters' Blog
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One of the most repeated but ignored facts about our world is that we can't possibly have a good idea of where we are as a nation, a culture, a world if we don't understand where we came from. So,... Continue reading
Posted Jul 18, 2017 at Bill's 'Faith Matters' Blog
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One of the harsh realities of global statecraft is that it's all so complicated and that what may look like an easy-to-solve problem at first glance turns out to be a Gordian knot of unfathomable complexity. Think about the Arab-Israeli... Continue reading
Posted Jul 17, 2017 at Bill's 'Faith Matters' Blog
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No doubt we've all known self-righteous people who are driven to convince us of their "holier-than-thou" status. Why, sometimes I even run into a jerk like that in the mirror. But some new research suggests that people who come across... Continue reading
Posted Jul 16, 2017 at Bill's 'Faith Matters' Blog
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The Rev. Eugene Peterson (pictured here) is best known as the creator of The Message, a terrific paraphrase of the Bible. But he's also been a long-time Presbyterian pastor and teacher. Over the years, Peterson has been careful about jumping... Continue reading
Posted Jul 14, 2017 at Bill's 'Faith Matters' Blog
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Over the years, I've heard people from my own congregation say that we need to run things at the church more like a business. I'm never quite sure what they have in mind, but I'm pretty sure they're not quoting... Continue reading
Posted Jul 13, 2017 at Bill's 'Faith Matters' Blog
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In my Protestant tradition, we don't exactly have saints. Or, rather, we call everyone saints, which so devalues the term that it winds up meaning nothing. And, as I say, that's like not having saints at all. In Catholicism, by... Continue reading
Posted Jul 12, 2017 at Bill's 'Faith Matters' Blog
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Parts of the world have been celebrating the recent recapture of the city of Mosul, where, just a few years ago, ISIS declared the existence of its caliphate. But ISIS has lost Mosul now and, as this New Yorker story... Continue reading
Posted Jul 11, 2017 at Bill's 'Faith Matters' Blog
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Sometimes in the summer, it's fun to look back at events that happened long ago on this or that date, so today we'll consider the July 11, 1533, papal bull by Pope Clement VII excommunicating King Henry VIII of England... Continue reading
Posted Jul 10, 2017 at Bill's 'Faith Matters' Blog
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I favor teaching about religion in public schools, not teaching religion. The former is perfectly constitutional and, in fact, necessary if we're to have a literate citizenry. Our people need to know the role the Bible has played, for instance,... Continue reading
Posted Jul 9, 2017 at Bill's 'Faith Matters' Blog
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New faith-based books continue to come off publishers' presses at top speed, it seems. So it's time to pass along to you information about ones that have crossed my desk recently. I won't be doing full reviews of these but... Continue reading
Posted Jul 7, 2017 at Bill's 'Faith Matters' Blog
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From the beginning, and even before the U.S. became a republic, white Christians dominated not just the religious landscape here but also the cultural landscape. Both of those landscapes, however, have not been dormant. In fact, both the end of... Continue reading
Posted Jul 6, 2017 at Bill's 'Faith Matters' Blog
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Since publication last September of my latest book, The Value of Doubt, I seem to find lots of examples of people who -- as I do in the book -- promote doubt as a pathway to faith. In fact, I'm... Continue reading
Posted Jul 5, 2017 at Bill's 'Faith Matters' Blog
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It really is astonishing how little we know about the cosmos, which seems to be expanding at an accelerating rate, and apparently has been doing just that since God said, as I reported here recently, "Let there be the Big... Continue reading
Posted Jul 4, 2017 at Bill's 'Faith Matters' Blog
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The church of my boyhood in Woodstock, Ill., regularly displayed two flags in the sanctuary -- one American and one Christian. My memory is that they were near the front of the sanctuary, one on the left, one on the... Continue reading
Posted Jul 3, 2017 at Bill's 'Faith Matters' Blog
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Every religion makes exclusivist claims and every religion, over time, does two seemingly in-tension actions: Holds to its core beliefs and yet adapts and adjusts. For instance, in the First Century, Judaism was in a dynamic period in which there... Continue reading
Posted Jul 2, 2017 at Bill's 'Faith Matters' Blog
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Many of us have heard stories of redemption that have happened after some kind of scandal or disaster. One that immediately comes to my mind has to do with the late Chuck Colson, an aide to Richard Nixon who wound... Continue reading
Posted Jun 30, 2017 at Bill's 'Faith Matters' Blog
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With all the serious stuff going on, it's been hard to find time to laugh recently. But laugh we should and laugh we must if we are to maintain any sense of sanity. So today we'll take a breather and... Continue reading
Posted Jun 29, 2017 at Bill's 'Faith Matters' Blog