The Telephone Game

  In Bart Ehrman’s remarkable book, Jesus Interrupted,[1] he describes how the stories that formed early Christianity were spread through the Roman empire and beyond.  A merchant in a village in a village meets a traveling stranger who preaches about the life, death and miracles of a man named Jesus, and how belief in the…

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Non-Religious Chaplains

Many thanks to Amy Lawton for this excellent article pointing out that chaplains are not necessarily religious, nor are they the same as ministers or pastors: As more Americans step away from organized religion, so do more chaplains – but they are prepared to offer spiritual care regardless of a patient’s beliefs. READ MORE…

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An Obituary as a Healing Tool

In July 2022, this story gained national attention. I personally applauded this man for using the process of writing his father’s obituary as a tool for healing, and many mental health professionals agreed with my view. But there were lots of objections to it — primary from the lay public — because cultural norms seem…

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Why Winter Solstice Matters Around the World

Jasmin Merdan/Moment via Getty Images From Religion News Service, Dec. 22, 2022   (The Conversation) — If you’ve already spend hours shoveling snow this year, you may be dismayed to realize that technically, it’s not yet winter. According to the astronomical definition, the season will officially begin in the Northern Hemisphere on Dec. 21, 2022: the…

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Free Will vs. “God’s” Will

  I met with a hospice family recently that exemplified the kind of confusion and disempowerment that many people experience as a result of their childhood religious teachings. The patient wanted to do death with dignity, but because of his dementia, he did not qualify. His wife talked with me about her religious/ethical questions, specifically,…

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Acknowledging Grief and Trauma in The Bible

  At The Conference on Death, Grief and Belief last weekend, one of the presenters — Dr. Jamie Eaddy — gave a brilliant talk about how the violence and trauma in the Old Testament (i.e, Hebrew Bible) is never identified as violent or traumatic. These events are not acknowledged as hurtful, and the pain of…

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How Doctors Die

This article has been around since 2011, but it’s always worth revisiting, and frequently comes up in conversations and in social media posts among  end-of-life professionals.  If you — or someone you know — is looking at a future of endless medical interventions to address life-threatening conditions, please read and consider the excellent advice  shared…

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Leaving Christianity is a Lot Harder than it Looks

by Clint Heacock, PhD   If you are in the process of deconstructing your belief system, and possibly thinking of leaving your Christian faith behind, be aware of one sobering reality: it is potentially far more difficult than you might think, for a variety of reasons. Disentangling oneself from one’s religion can be incredibly difficult and…

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How Christianity is Killing Itself

by Brian Smith www.grief2growth.com     Many years ago, John Shelby Spong wrote a book provocatively titled: “Why Christianity Must Change Or Die”. One might think that title is hyperbolic. But it is? Is Christianity slowly suiciding itself? Increasingly, people are stepping away from religion and church attendance. While the drain in America lags behind…

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