Conversations

Special Episode: James Younger and The Story of God

Many of us read about how others view the world, reality and God. Few of us are able to talk and interact with those whose view of things religious is different than our own. If you had the opportunity to learn from those who are, say, Hindu, would you? Read More

It’s All About the Base, No Trouble

Grandma Littleton tired of the question, “Are you Catholic?” This came after she responded to, “How many children do you have?” She would reply, “Eight. Six boys and two girls.” Over time she developed a startling response to the question of her religious background, “No. Just oversexed Baptists.” Were she still alive I would have to tell her, “Well played Grandma, well played.” Read More

Vote for Me Again – Really

Sweet Sixteen! Could this be a bracket buster? Yes, you helped me advance to the round of 16 in SBCVoices’ Blue Collar Blog Madness. Let’s see if you can help me advance to the next round. Click over and vote in the Southwest Region. Tweet it. Facebook it. Share it.

I know that some of you care little about Baptist blogging. But, in the spirit of fun navigate over and help me represent the edge of conversations that often take place in the center.

In this round – you can only vote once. Increase your influence by enlisting others to vote for The Edge of the Inside.

The Ex-Reverend On Phenomenology Or, What Does Religious Vocabulary Explain

The first post I offer from The Ex-Reverend offers both religious observation and personal context. Our discussions often turn on the interplay between phenomenology and metaphysics. Phenomenology tends to address the meaning(s) attached to human experiences.

There should be no trouble seeing the relationship between “religious experience” and phenomenology. After all, when a person describes their human experience as a “religious experience” the vocabulary invoked to convey such a meaning comes under scrutiny. (And yes, right away the meaning of “religious experience” becomes key. The subject of another of The Ex-Reverend’s recent observations.)

Since I write from within Christian Tradition, and a peculiar place from within that “tradition,” meaning cannot be extricated from ethics. In other words, in order for a religious vocabulary to carry any verifiable weight, there must be a consistent ethic that follows. (Most often the critique offered from the Ex-Reverend.)

The move to ascribe meaning from within the Christian Tradition requires a metaphysical move as references to God/G-d are generally distinguished as Other. Transcendence would be too simplistic a description but it would likely be an understood shorthand. Read More

Peanut Butter-n-Jelly and Theological Conversations, Part 1

Certain things naturally go together. More than thirty years ago Mack and I developed a friendship. Nearly every day of our senior year in high school we made the quick trip to my house for lunch. We did not hit O’Mealey’s just north of the school. We did not run up May Ave for a Whataburger or a Quarter Pounder at McDonald’s. No, we shared peanut butter-n-jelly sandwiches. And theology.

Sure we were high school bible nerds. We both participated in our high school Youth For Christ meetings. We both were convinced we would one day enter ministry in a local church and pastor. We both earned our bachelor degrees from Baptist schools. We both would earn MDiv’s. And we both have now pastored or served on the staff of a local church more than half our lives.

When Patty and I moved to Dallas in the fall of 1985, we lived across the parking lot from Mack and Kris. We are both now grandparents. Oddly Mack posted to his Facebook after his grandson was born that his wife was now a grandmother. I worked for Mack briefly as a “painter’s helper.” And boy did he need help after me. We worked for the same pool cleaning service while working on degrees.

Some things just go together.

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