A Redemptive Approach to Human Sexuality Disagreements within Christian Churches

Numerous Christian churches, and their denominations, are being torn apart by an inability to orchestrate respectful conversations among members who strongly disagree regarding human sexuality issues. This is especially true for the issue of same-sex marriage, where the major disagreement is between those who hold to a “traditional” view of marriage (God intends for marriage […]

Respectful Conversations in a Family that Disagrees

It cannot be denied that discourse these days is increasingly characterized by a rampant tribalism; which has been described as an us-versus-them mentality where it is believed that with regard to any contentious issue, “me-and-my-people” possess the “whole truth,” while “those other folks” have none of the truth; leading to the conclusion that there is […]

Tolerating Competing Truths in Politics

In his compelling book The Last Politician, Franklin Foer asserts that “Politics is … an ethos that requires tolerance of competing truths” (pp. 3-4). He portrays President Biden as tolerant of “competing truths,” which leads to Biden resorting to “old-fashioned politics: deal-making andcompromise.” Since the words “deal-making and compromise” have fallen on hard times. I […]

My Game-Changers Regarding Same-Sex Marriage

In the pietistic Lutheran Church in which I was nurtured as a young Christian, we never talked about homosexuality or same-sex marriage. The traditional view that marriage God intends for marriage to be reserved for a man and woman was just assumed. It was like the air we breathed. I now embrace a non-traditional view […]

My Dream for a New Respectful Conversation Beginning at my Church

After eight years of splendid ministry at the church I attend, American Reformed Church in Orange City, Iowa, our co-pastors, Mike and Elizabeth Hardeman, resigned to accept a call at another RCA church in Pella, Iowa. Verlyn Boone was then appointed as a transitional pastor, charged with the task of shepherding our congregation toward the […]

Telling Both Sides of the Story

The following text will be published as a “My Turn” column in the October 4, 2023 issue of the Capital-Democrat, a local newspaper serving Sioux County in Iowa. In our increasingly tribalistic us-versus-them culture, in which so many Americans believe that “me and my people” (e.g., my Church, my religious denomination, my political party, my […]

Possible Limits on Free Speech

The Supreme Court recently made three momentous decisions on Affirmative Action, the forgiveness of student debts for college education and religious freedom. The media and internet have been flooded with differing positions as to the validity of these decisions. I will now add to that abundance by presenting my position on the religious freedom case.[1] […]

These “Truths” I Now Embrace About What It Means to Follow Jesus

What does it mean to follow Jesus? Highly regarded representatives from twelve Christian traditions told us how those within their traditions answer that all-important question in the twelve-month conversation that I recently hosted on this website (which you can access at the bottom of this Home Page). But what did I learn from this conversation? […]

Grad and Faculty Roundtables that Explore the Intersection of Faith, Science, and Philosophy

I recently added an icon to the top bar of my website, titled “Other Models,” which identifies excellent initiatives that seek to foster loving and respectful conversations among persons having strong disagreements that nicely complement the approach that is modeled on this website. One of these complementary initiatives is the “Grad & Faculty Roundtable” program, […]

Other Models of Respectful Conversation

There are other excellent initiatives that seek to foster loving and respectful conversations among persons who have strong disagreements that complement the approach that is modeled on this website. To read a brief description of some of these initiatives, go to a new icon on the top of my Home page, titled “Other Models.” David […]

A Dynamic View of Following Jesus

As teenagers at Fifty-Ninth Street church in the Bay Ridge neighborhood of Brooklyn who had made a commitment to following Jesus, we used to flock to Saturday night church rallies, particularly attracted to announced sermon topics like “How to Find the Will of God for Your Life.” An underlying assumption behind such sermons seemed to […]

Some Concrete, Practical Suggestions for Churches Wishing to Discuss Contentious Issues

The following Musing presents an adaptation of the highlights of chapter 8 on my “Let’s Talk” book, titled “Followers of Jesus Creating Inclusive Conversations Within Churches.” What follows is informed by both my successes and colossal failures in my attempts for more than a decade to orchestrate loving and respectful conversations among persons who have […]

Weak and Strong Views of Acceptance and Peace

The following Musing is drawn from the beginning of chapter 8 of my “Let’s Talk” book titled “Followers of Jesus Creating Inclusive Conversations Within Churches.” As I gather with friends for coffee and cookies after the Sunday morning worship service at my home church we often talk about the Cubs or the Twins (with me […]

Exposing Myself to “Theological Otherness”

The following Musing presents the bulk of chapter 2 of my book “Let’s Talk” that is titled “Feeling, Thinking, and Doing.” After I committed my life to Christ at the age of 13, I was discipled in a rather insulated, pietistic Lutheran church community. This left me with a view of personhood that was, for […]

Dig Down Deep to Christian Values

The following Musing is an edited version of one section of chapter 6 of my “Let’s Talk” book that is titled “Lessons Learned and Questions for Conversation.” You will have noticed by now that I place great importance on posing questions about values (what philosophers call “axiological questions”). This is based on my belief that […]