The Blind Men and the Elephant is a well-known story that reminds us we are all a little bit right and a little bit wrong. But are we equally right and equally wrong? And who is the king who sees that there are blind men and an elephant? There is something suspicious in this parable worth parsing… … More An Elephant in the World Religions Classroom: Parsing a Parable
I was guest at a Muslim Society event in my home town of Guelph, which prompted me to re-consider the notion of hospitality. We usually view the practise from the superior position of the host. But if it is true that worship is a participation in God’s Trinitarian hospitality, we might do well to consider the notion from the role of guest and the spiritual practise of guesting (yes, it’s a word). This is especially relevant in the post-Christian West, and in the context of a polycentric World Christianity. … More Grace in the Play of Role Reversals: Muslim Hospitality to Christians in the West
If you’ve never heard Rob Bell speak, he is a master craftsman of the art. Charismatic, artistic, gifted with words and drama–he can hold hundreds of people spellbound for an hour without losing their attention for a moment. His message comes with an edge, often pushing against his conservative church background and the worst of … More Everything is Spiritual, Including Institutions and Academics: Rob Bell Doesn’t Ring True
I’ve written and preached on the bedrock of joy that animates faith, but its equally true that church should be the best place for a broken heart to find welcome. But few of our worship songs today want to go to the dark places, ask the hard questions, and complain to God. Here I examine a few lament songs possible for Christian worship. … More Songs of Lament as a form of Protest against COVID, Racism, Climate Change, and other Wounds
In my last post I explained John Calvin’s contentious claim that everyone is somehow wired for God–a phenomenon he called the sensus divinitatis. But it leaves our modern mind with a number of questions. For one, a logical pushback would be: if everyone is hardwired for God, why are there so many atheists through history … More If we are all wired for God–why is atheism the modern option?
Dr. Van Belle brings together his faith, this therapist’s heart, and his philosophical mind to invite us to faith in a secular age.