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October 2004
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December 2004

Will Britian Lead the Way to a New Spirituality?

The rise of "spirituality" continues to be a hot topic, not just in the U.S. but in Great Britian as well (the focus of the following article).  Will the U.S. go the way of the Brits, or might it be the other way around?

Christianity will be eclipsed by spirituality in 30 years, startling new research predicts. Our correspondent reports on the collapse of traditional religion and the rise of mysticism.

IN THE beginning there was the Church. And people liked to dress up in their best clothes and go there on Sundays and they praised the Lord and it was good. But it came to pass that people grew tired of the Church and they stopped going, and began to be uplifted by new things such as yoga and t’ai chi instead. And, lo, a spiritual revolution was born.

It is unlikely that you, the average punter going to your aromatherapy or meditation group this evening, imagine that you are revolutionising the sacred landscape of Britain. But, little by little, you are.

Study after study appears to prove that people are increasingly losing faith in the Church and the Bible and turning instead to mysticism in guises ranging from astrology to reiki and holistic healing. The Government, significantly, said this week that older people should be offered t’ai chi classes on the NHS to promote their physical and mental wellbeing.

More and more people describe themselves as “spiritual”, fewer as “religious” and, as they do so, they are turning away from the Christian Church, with its rules and “self last” philosophy, and looking inwards for the meaning of life.

Twice as many people believe in a “spirit force” within than they do an Almighty God without, while a recent survey hailed a revival of the Age of Aquarius after finding that two thirds of 18 to 24-year-olds had more belief in their horoscopes than in the Bible.

via - found at

Bringing Hubbard out of the Cupboard

Elbert_hubbard_2American philosopher and author Elbert Hubbard -- born in 1856 and lost at sea along with his wife aboard the Lusitania in 1915 -- held some interesting beliefs, especially in light of today's postmodern world with it's climate of personal "spirituality." He was obviously not a religious conformist, yet affirmed what many would consider "conservative" values. I'd be very interested in hearing your reaction/response to his personal credo.

Hubbard's Personal Credo:

I believe in the Motherhood of God.
I believe in the Blessed Trinity of Father, Mother and Child.
I believe that God is here, and that we are as near Him now as ever we shall be.
I do not believe He started this world-a going and went away and left it to run by itself.
I believe in the sacredness of the human body, this transient dwelling place of a living soul,
And so I deem it the duty of every man and every woman to keep his or her body beautiful through right thinking and right living.

I believe that the love of man for woman, and the love of woman for man is holy;
And that this love in all its promptings is as much an emanation of the Divine Spirit as man's love for God, or the most daring hazards of the human mind.

I believe in salvation through economic, social, and spiritual freedom.
I believe John Ruskin, William Morris, Henry Thoreau, Walt Whitman, and Leo Tolstoy to be Prophets of God, who should rank in mental reach and spiritual insight with Elijah, Hosea, Ezekiel, and Isaiah.
I believe that men are inspired to-day as much as ever men were.
I believe we are now living in Eternity as much as ever we shall.
I believe that the best way to prepare fore for a Future Life is to be kind, live one day at a time, and do the work you can do best, doing it as well as you can.

I believe we should remember the Week-day, to keep it holy.
I believe there is no devil but fear.
I believe that no one can harm you but yourself.
I believe in my own divinity - and yours.
I believe that we are all sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be.
I believe the only way we can reach the Kingdom of Heaven is to have the Kingdom of Heaven in our hearts.
I believe in every man minding his own business.
I believe in sunshine, fresh air, friendship, calm sleep, beautiful thoughts.
I believe in the paradox of success through failure.
I believe in the purifying process of sorrow, and I believe that death is a manifestation of life.
I believe the Universe is planned for good.
I believe it is possible that I shall make other creeds, and change this one, or add to it, from time to time, as new light may come to me.

Avoiding Even the "Appearance" of (Religious) Truth


Maybe you've heard about this already, but what do you think? Does this public school district deserve to be sued?

A sticker inside science textbooks in Cobb County, Georgia, tells students that evolution is “a theory, not a fact.” The sticker also tells students that the material on evolution should be approached with “an open mind, studied carefully and critically considered.” The disclaimer, which makes no mention of creationism or religion, may sound simple enough, but the ACLU is suing the school system, saying the sticker promotes the teaching of creationism and discriminates against particular religions.


Postscript: you can check out the district's Biology curriculum overview here.

Body Tracts


The days of witnessing with "Chick" tracts and the like are nearly gone.  But a new kind of tract is coming on the scene: body tracts -- scripture verses and evangelistic messages tattooed on human carriers. Unlike their predecessors, which can easily be thrown away, these works of art (well...most of them are "art") are being displayed daily for an unbelieving world to see.

So what do you think? Are "body tracts" an effective way to bring one's testimony of faith in Jesus to today's culture?  Or will this method fade from use (hmmm... tattoos don't fade, do they?) like so many others?


Prophetic Aftershocks, part 1

Keith_green_3_1Twenty-two years have passed since Keith Green was tragically taken from us.  Although a talented musician and recording artist, Keith may well end up being remembered most as a prophet to the Church. His prophetic gift and message seem to be experiencing a resurgence of late -- and this isn't surprising, given that the traditional structures and practices of the Church are actively being challenged and evaluated by today's emerging leaders.

I believe we are starting to experience a swarm of prophetic aftershocks today -- exhortations, teachings, and prophetic insights delivered years, decades, and even centuries ago that the Holy Spirit is now using to challenge and inspire the body of Christ.   Keith Green is only one of many such aftershock sources, but he's the one I'd like to feature in this post.

I invite you to listen to parts 1, 2, 3, and 4 of a 4-part message Keith delivered, entitled "What's Wrong With the Gospel?" (it may be best to download and listen to these as you're able) -- and then post your thoughts and impressions.

Continue reading "Prophetic Aftershocks, part 1" »

Is Our DNA Sacred?

Embryo1Lutheran theologian, Ted Peters, answers that question with a clear 'no.'

As part of a lecture series earlier this year at Seattle Pacific University, Peters addressed the issue of embryonic/stem cell research head-on, asserted that all the hoopla over "playing God" is unfounded -- in fact, he sees the Church's condemnation of cloning and stem cell research as indicative of how the "Prometheus myth" has permeated our culture.

"You know the story: Prometheus sees that the gods enjoy the use of fire, so he lights his torch from the sun and brings the fire back down to earth. Zeus punishes Promethius for stealing from the gods by chaining him to a rock, where he endures perpetual pain an suffering."

Peters believes our culture is "riddled with the Promethean myth -- from Frankenstein to "Jurassic Park." Explaining further, he asserts "The perceived danger is that scientists may unlock the secrets of nature and modify them, only for nature to come back like Zeus and chain us to a rock. It's a myth that breeds unreasoned fear... the phrase 'playing God' is not a theological term. It's a secular term, and I think it belongs to the myth of Promethius." Peters goes on to state his position fairly clearly:

"I think that based on reason and understanding we must agree with Craig Venter when he stated at the conclusion of the Human Genome Project, 'Genes can't possibly explain all of what makes us what we are.' In other words, DNA is not sacred."

Peters points to three issues, central to the theological conversation over cloning and stem cell research: Relationship, Origins, and Beneficence.

Continue reading "Is Our DNA Sacred?" »

Justice Prayer


It's common for a dad to be proud of his son. I'm certainly no exception.

My son, Brian, is one of those multi-talented types who loves to spread his wings and pick up a variety of skills. He's strategically involved in our emerging church, leading worship as well as a weekly small group. Recently, he started experimenting with something altogether new for him -- something I'd like to share with you:

Download JusticePrayer-b.wmv

Lost Dog


Lost Dog in Your Neighborhood

There is a lost dog in your neighborhood who has strayed away from her owner.

The dog is a dark brown Chihuahua with a white stomach.

The owner is heartbroken and is willing to pay a generous reward for the dog's safe return She is currently putting up posters in your area.

Please be on the lookout for this dog whose name is "LUCKY".