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Creedal Faith in the Age of Seculosity – David Zahl

Here’s the video of my recent talk from the HWSS Conference in San Diego, which marked the debut of (the rough version of) The Seculosity Creed. I highly doubt I’ll ever make people laugh this hard again–and that’s probably a good thing. Many thanks to the good folks at 1517 for allowing me the opportunity to poke fun.

Creedal Faith in the Age of Seculosity: Dave Zahl from 1517 on Vimeo.

Thank God for Philip Pullman: A Religious Reader’s Guide to His Dark Materials

Spoilers below. Halfway through His Dark Materials, I heard rumors. By the books’ end, people were saying, the characters would kill God. But I was a kid, and like all kids, I wanted to be good. I wasn’t interested in killing God. The extent to which I had been harmed by the Church was a […]

When People Tell Me It’s Hard to Find a Church

People often reach out to tell us that they lean on our podcasts, sermons, and articles in lieu of church. While there’s something undeniably encouraging about the gratitude being expressed, at the same time it always makes my heart ache. I worry about who will bring them a casserole when their mother dies. I worry […]

There Is a Shrink in Gilead: The Church and Mental Health

When it comes to the treatment of mental health, many of the therapeutic approaches taken today tend to be highly individualized. The afflicted person goes (alone) to see a therapist, who provides a resources or insight to aid the patient. The broad successes of this approach speaks for itself. Mental health professionals so often see […]

The Lord’s Prayer as Portrait of Jesus

I rarely said the Lord’s Prayer growing up. My ministers, suspicious of any swish of ritual, took it as a template and taught me to ad lib to Our Father. I’ve learned to value that emphasis on spontaneous communication and individual requests. Although I now recite Jesus’ formula more often, I decided to do so […]

Very Superstitious: The Human Propensity for Faith in the Unseen

“We make trifles of terrors, ensconcing ourselves into seeming knowledge, when we should submit ourselves to an unknown fear.” – William Shakespeare A couple of months ago, Julie Jargon wrote a piece in the Wall Street Journal called “My Baby Monitor Is Haunted,” about a number of parents who have witnessed paranormal activity from the […]

The Zen Parent Writes of Posture

Therefore, do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. – Matthew 6:34 ~ As I was busily typing a sermon one Saturday evening, my seven-year-old son crept into my bedroom. He had gotten out of his bed because he was scared. Naturally, I asked him why. He whispered tearfully, “I can’t put […]

Shaping the Future

The following was originally delivered as a keynote at the 149th Annual Episcopal Diocesan Convention in Harrisburg, PA. SHAPE is a verb and a noun. I shape buildings every day. So I verb-shape to make noun-shapes. I am a Christian, too. Over the last 40 years, I have designed and worked on worship spaces. But […]

We All Get to Go Home with Beth Moore (and Jesus)

This week across my newsfeed, clergy colleagues shared an article from 2018 entitled “Women Bishops Were Active in the Fifth Century.” Now of course, as an ordained woman utterly unqualified to be a bishop but with worldly ambitions, I eagerly clicked: The fifth century image of a woman named Cerula shows her surrounded by open, […]

Ancient Samaritans and 70s Seminarians

It was curious to me that the first Christians didn’t see the parable of the Good Samaritan as a purely ethical mandate. I’m talking about the oft maligned, rarely approved interpretation of the Good Samaritan parable that nearly every early church father embraced. If you dabble in the waters of church history, then you know […]

The Seculosity Creed

Thank you to 1517 for the opportunity to put this bit of sub-Nicene ridiculousness together and then have 400 people recite it in unison…! I’ve made a couple tiny tweaks since then. Probably goes without saying but this was written in a spirit of play and confession, not superiority. A big shoutout to Ben Maddison for his help:

 

When Tara Isabella Burton Ran Out of Magic

A remarkable essay by Tara Isabella Burton appeared last week on Catapult entitled “I Spent Years Searching for Magic—I Found God Instead” in which the esteemed religion journalist (and novelist) charts how her lifelong fascination with magic led her to Christianity. She covers a lot of ground, and the sum is a conversion narrative par […]