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Barry Casey

Can a Leper Change His Spots?

“There is so much more meaning in reality than the soul can take in…This, then, is an insight we gain in acts of wonder: not to measure meaning in terms of our own mind, but to sense a meaning infinitely greater than ourselves” —Abraham Heschel, God in Search of Man

The Faith of a Heretic

In the matter of religion, as indeed in other areas of human life and thought…the modern individual is faced not just with the opportunity but with the necessity to make choices as to his beliefs. This fact constitutes the heretical imperative in the contemporary situation. —Peter Berger, The Heretical Imperative

My Bibles, My Life

“The Bible, more than most books, forms part of one’s life once it is absorbed into the system. It does not remain static, any more than you remain ever the same. Your perspective of it will change with the years.”—A.N. Wilson, The Book of the People

Almost Thou Persuadest Me

“King Agrippa, do you believe the prophets? I know that you believe.” Agrippa said to Paul, “Are you so quickly persuading me to become a Christian?” Paul replied, “Whether quickly or not, I pray to God that not only you but also all who are listening to me today might become such as I am—except for these chains.”— Acts 26:27-29

Our Infinite Choice

“The religious life or practice that I become part of must not only be my choice, but it must speak to me, it must make sense in terms of my spiritual development as I understand this.” —Charles Taylor, A Secular Age

The Adventist Bioethics Consortium (Day 2)

The second day of the Adventist Bioethics Conference on “Ethics of Faithfulness for 21st Century Adventist Healthcare” began with Dr. Gerald Winslow welcoming attendees with a proverb he heard on a trip to an African country: “You Europeans have watches,” said his host, “but we have time.” We have time, too, promised Winslow as he outlined the sessions for the day.

Devotional Doubt

“There is no clean intellectual coherence, no abstract ultimate meaning to be found, and if this is not recognized, then the compulsion to find such certainty becomes its own punishment. This realization is not the end of theology, but the beginning of it: trust no theory, no religious history or creed, in which the author’s personal faith is not actively at risk.” —Christian Wiman, My Bright Abyss

Evil: Ancient and Modern

“It’s an old story
but one that can still be told.”
—The Epic of Gilgamesh

It’s important to pay attention to the history of the question of evil. Seeing how our understanding of evil has changed through the centuries shapes our response to it—and may give us more compassion and forgiveness for others, looking back.

Burn for the Infinite

“But a thinker who has no desire to think cannot think . . . And one who desires but cannot imagine what it is he wants is not getting very far with his desire, which, if it were real, would attempt to achieve an intelligible form.” — Northrop Frye, Fearful Symmetry, 27

How might we know an infinite God…as finite as we are? If we shall someday perfectly “know as we are known,” and if perfection is completeness, and if we’ve never experienced perfection, would we know the Infinite if we believed?

All the Gods

When I was teaching a world religions class from semester to semester I would sometimes ask my students a question: Are God and Allah the same entity?

It was a complex question, but it would invariably provoke a simple response. At first there would be a momentary silence, with faces looking back at me in shock or puzzlement, as if they were waiting for me to say, “Just kidding!” But I wasn’t, and then the hands would go up and we were off, with questions and assertions ricocheting around the room for the next few minutes.

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