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Tammeus
Kansas City, Mo.
Recent Activity
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Back in 2011, the pastor of our congregation, who had been on the job less than a year, asked me to chair a visioning task force that would try to understand our history and context and propose ways for us... Continue reading
Posted yesterday at Bill's 'Faith Matters' Blog
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Today is the 71st anniversary of India's independence and of its partition into India and Pakistan. (Pakistan first was East and West Pakistan. East eventually became Bangladesh.) Partition, which marked the end of British rule, also marked the beginning of... Continue reading
Posted 2 days ago at Bill's 'Faith Matters' Blog
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On this date in 1935, President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed the Social Security Act into law. It is hard to imagine America without it, but let's try. And let's start with some basic data from the Social Security Administration's 2017... Continue reading
Posted 3 days ago at Bill's 'Faith Matters' Blog
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Because I went to school for part of a year with American missionary children in India, my view of American missionaries may be slightly more nuanced than the opinion of other Americans without that experience. But a new book, Protestants... Continue reading
Posted 4 days ago at Bill's 'Faith Matters' Blog
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The phenomenon of religious "nones" has been around for several years now. These are the people -- now estimated to make up about 25 percent of adult Americans -- who, when asked to check a box listing their religious affiliation,... Continue reading
Posted 6 days ago at Bill's 'Faith Matters' Blog
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It is hard to think of any geopolitical dispute in my lifetime more difficult to grasp in full, much less solve, than the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, witch is a subset of the Arab-Israel conflict. From the very moment modern Israel declared... Continue reading
Posted 7 days ago at Bill's 'Faith Matters' Blog
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Religion has a lot to say about death. Death is the final enemy. The wages of sin is death. There is something after death called an afterlife. Death gets swallowed up by God, who prevails. And on and on, depending... Continue reading
Posted Aug 8, 2018 at Bill's 'Faith Matters' Blog
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Back in the late 1980s, I visited the campus of Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary to attend a seminar, and while there I heard a distressing story that I decided was about idolatry. Seminaries around the country at the time were... Continue reading
Posted Aug 7, 2018 at Bill's 'Faith Matters' Blog
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Long after those who do evil have been silenced, removed, overthrown, defeated, their deeds continue to affect all kinds of people. There may be no better current example of this than Mosul, Iraq, once a stronghold of the ISIS terrorists.... Continue reading
Posted Aug 6, 2018 at Bill's 'Faith Matters' Blog
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Many of us who consider the death penalty barbaric and unnecessary were cheering last week when Pope Francis ordered a change in what Catholics are taught about it. They now will be told that it is "inadmissable." Among many others,... Continue reading
Posted Aug 5, 2018 at Bill's 'Faith Matters' Blog
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In preparation for a three-Sunday class I'll be teaching at my church starting Aug. 26 ("Questioning the Bible -- and discovering answers"), I've been doing a fair amount of book reading and hunting around the internet. One of the things... Continue reading
Posted Aug 3, 2018 at Bill's 'Faith Matters' Blog
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The Barna Group conducts lots of research about religion, faith trends and related matters. Next March it plans to release the full results of a study that has come up with some results I find appalling. The study was done... Continue reading
Posted Aug 2, 2018 at Bill's 'Faith Matters' Blog
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Religion is a many-splendored thing. Or at least can be. But it also can be destructive, complex and counter-intuitive in the ways it affects society at large. It turns out that there is an international team of what this Atlantic... Continue reading
Posted Aug 1, 2018 at Bill's 'Faith Matters' Blog
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If I were asked to give a tour in Kansas City of sites that related to the history of Presbyterians here, I might start near 10th and Forest, where old First Presbyterian Church was located. It was an "Old School"... Continue reading
Posted Jul 31, 2018 at Bill's 'Faith Matters' Blog
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Over the last 1,000 or more years, religion in Europe has had a decidedly mixed history that includes various faith-based wars, an explosive Protestant Reformation and the Nazi-led Holocaust designed to wipe out European Jewry. It's enough to make me... Continue reading
Posted Jul 30, 2018 at Bill's 'Faith Matters' Blog
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When I visited Uzbekistan in 2002 with other journalists on a post-9/11 trip to predominantly Muslim countries, Islam Karimov was the strongman president, and representatives of the Human Rights Watch organization regaled us with stories of many human rights violations.... Continue reading
Posted Jul 29, 2018 at Bill's 'Faith Matters' Blog
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Eleven women were ordained as Episcopal priests on this date (Saturday's date) in 1974. They were the first female Episcopal priests, but the House of Bishops almost immediately ruled their ordinations invalid. As often happens, the women were ahead of... Continue reading
Posted Jul 27, 2018 at Bill's 'Faith Matters' Blog
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David Bentley Hart is the author of a new -- and fascinating -- translation of the New Testament, which I reviewed a few months ago here. But it turns out that Hart also knows something about a religion other than... Continue reading
Posted Jul 26, 2018 at Bill's 'Faith Matters' Blog
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Until I visited the fascinating exhibit -- "For Liberty -- American Jewish Experience in World War I" -- at the World War I Museum earlier this week, I had no idea that nearly 250,000 Jews served in the American Expeditionary... Continue reading
Posted Jul 25, 2018 at Bill's 'Faith Matters' Blog
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WOODSTOCK, Ill. -- I am here in Oakland Cemetery in my northern Illinois hometown hearing lessons -- relearning them, really -- that I heard as a child. At my parents' grave, I hear Mom and Dad again -- more than... Continue reading
Posted Jul 24, 2018 at Bill's 'Faith Matters' Blog
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WHEATON, Ill. -- I've been here in Chicagoland for a few days for several reasons, and while I'm gone I want to give you some sources to use to find religion news. The first is Religion News Service. This excellent... Continue reading
Posted Jul 23, 2018 at Bill's 'Faith Matters' Blog
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For more than a decade and a half, American troops and their allies have been fighting the Taliban in Afghanistan at the cost of enormous blood and treasure -- and without any certain good outcome. Perhaps it's time to listen... Continue reading
Posted Jul 22, 2018 at Bill's 'Faith Matters' Blog
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I learned something from the story about the recent rescue of the Thai soccer boys and their coach that I had no expectation of learning: It has to do with the ordination of Buddhist monks. As this intriguing piece from... Continue reading
Posted Jul 20, 2018 at Bill's 'Faith Matters' Blog
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In a time when religious affiliation in Europe and North America is declining, it is a measure of how important the Bible remains in that major publishers continue to look for scholars to help readers understand the writings that Jews... Continue reading
Posted Jul 19, 2018 at Bill's 'Faith Matters' Blog
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In the sermon that Paul Rock and I preached last Sunday at Second Presbyterian Church, he noted that 40 years ago a Gallup poll indicated that the average person had three close friends to whom he or she could turn... Continue reading
Posted Jul 18, 2018 at Bill's 'Faith Matters' Blog