I don’t believe in belief. Here’s why.

Arnie (not his real name) has been the sole student of my course on effective prayer.

Sunday after church he told me he’d found a couple online resources about effective prayer, that he hoped we could review together.  Each of them begins with the necessity of “belief.”

When he said this, I became nervous.  There are many such sources online, but I’m not comfortable with them.  On the one hand, trying to make myself “believe” that the outcome I pray for is inevitable, feels too much like wading into the world of delusion.  On the other hand, although there are many New Testament references to “belief” in connection with prayer, I’m convinced that either (a) those expressions don’t come from the historical Jesus himself, or else (b) Jesus used that term to mean something very different from what we normally take it to mean today.

None of those whom I regard as experts in the field ever refer to belief this way.  Never.  Not once.  Ever.

By Monday afternoon, I would feel my reservations had been powerfully confirmed.

Related:  From my diary: Learning to pray
Related:  I will not be disappointed
Related:  When prayer backfires
Continue reading I don’t believe in belief. Here’s why.

First steps toward silence

A Friend posted this on FaceBook:

Someone commented, “I don’t know how to stop thinking. Not until I lay down at night. Brain is always busy with something. Wish I could turn it off.”

Here I will seek to meet that person’s need.

Continue reading First steps toward silence

A third phase has begun.

Saturday  2015-05-02

A third phase has begun, with yesterday’s filing of charges against the six officers involved in Freddie Gray’s arrest; but perhaps more importantly, with the press conference given by the Gray family’s attorney, Billy Murphy, that afternoon.  I will attempt to link here to, or embed, a complete video of that press conference; or, alternatively, copy the complete transcript here. Continue reading A third phase has begun.