Thinking Christian

Thinking Christianity for church, home, and community


Christians Are Called to be Great

Monday, November 23rd, 2015

While I learn my new position as senior editor with The Stream, I’ll  be re-posting older, “evergreen” blog posts that were written on an older blogging system and aren’t directly accessible from this one. This one was originally published in 2005. It’s a long study, admittedly. It’s also been extremely influential in my own thinking and in others’ from around the world.

Called to be Great

This message is intended primarily for people who don’t think it’s for them: those who will look at the …


Don’t Pray for Patience

Wednesday, September 23rd, 2015

There’s a common saying among Christians: “Don’t pray for God to teach you patience–you won’t like what he’ll put you through to learn it!”

I don’t think much of that saying. It makes God look like a nasty schoolmaster, for one thing. It’s also the wrong reason. That is, I agree with the advice, “Don’t pray for patience.” I just think there’s a far better reason for it.

Lessons from experience

I think I have a bit of background from which to speak about …


Yup, God Does It Again (Practiced Faith)

Thursday, August 20th, 2015

There’s faith, and then there’s practiced faith. Practiced faith can make all the difference in a changing world. That’s the topic of my most recent BreakPoint column: Yup, God Does It Again.

Check out my other BreakPoint articles while you’re there, too!

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Responding to Dale Tuggy on Jesus and Faith

Wednesday, December 24th, 2014

This entry is part 3 of 3 in the series Did Jesus Have Faith In God?

I got a bit of pushback from Dule Tuggy, professor of philosophy at SUNY Fredonia, on my posts about Jesus and faith. Dr. Tuggy’s series on my posts begins here. His view is that although Jesus is never spoken of as having faith, nevertheless he demonstrated faith:

I’ll stick to this point: the gospels don’t need to say that Jesus had faith in God, because they clearly portray Jesus’s …

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How Jesus’ Not Having Faith In God Affirms His Deity

Thursday, December 4th, 2014

This entry is part 1 of 3 in the series Did Jesus Have Faith In God?

I was looking over my bookshelf the other day when Fulton Oursler’s The Greatest Faith Ever Known caught my eye. I’ve never read it (like too many other books I own), but I know it’s about the apostle Paul. And it got me wondering: didn’t Jesus have the greatest faith ever known?

No, he didn’t, at least not according to the Gospels. Jesus uses the word “faith” 41 times in …

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Voice Your View: What Is Faith?

Monday, May 26th, 2014

Voice your opinion: What is faith? A one-minute online questionnaire!


What is Faith?

Following last Saturday’s McGrew/Boghossian debate, radio host Justin Breierley ran a Facebook poll asking Christians and non-Christians their views on faith. In cooperation with others who have had an interest in Boghossian, I’ve developed an improved version for many, many people to voice what they really mean when they use the word “faith.”

It’s very short: most people will finish it in a minute or so.

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Peter Boghossian Debates Timothy McGrew Saturday on “Unbelievable”

Thursday, May 22nd, 2014

This Saturday’s Unbelievable with Justin Brierley features a debate between Peter Boghossian, Ed.D., and Timothy McGrew, Ph.D., on Boghossian’s, Manual for Creating Atheists. It’s a radio show airing at 2:30 pm in England, and available live online everywhere else, from the link above. For North Americans, if I’ve got my time zones right it’s playing at 9:30 am EDT.

Dr. Boghossian is an instructor in philosophy at Portland State University, whose book and lectures I have interacted with at length. Dr. McGrew …


“Peter Boghossian’s Manual for Wasting Paper (Part 3): Deepities”

Friday, February 14th, 2014

Randal Rauser on Peter Boghossian

Chapter 2 of A Manual for Creating Atheists addresses the topic of “Faith”. In this installment I’m going to camp on pages 21-22 as I analyze Boghossian’s use of the concept of “deepity” and his list of alleged paradigm instances of deepitiness as regards faith. I’m camping on this brief section because it highlights effectively the degree of Boghossian’s unparalleled analytic confusion, inexcusable sloppiness, and barbaric hermeneutical presumption.

[From Peter Boghossian’s Manual for Wasting Paper (Part …


Evidence for God: Humanness and the Interaction Problem

Monday, February 10th, 2014

Part of the extended series Evidence for the Faith

Ah, the interaction problem finally appears on the stage. I was expecting it to arise in the course of my discussions about humanness and evidence for the faith. I had decided not to include it until someone brought it up.  The question is: if the physical brain is not the whole story, and if human mind is immaterial, how does that immaterial mind interact with the physical world?

Not Ruled Out By Science

1. …


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