Walking Thoughts

My Credo. Matter matters. All the creatures of God's good Earth matter. The poor of the Earth matter even more. And the whole cosmos matters infinitely. Everything I write here, in this pilgrimage of faith – these Walking Thoughts – is driven by this earthly but cosmic theological vision.

On the left is the back side of a white house with a tall brick chimney. In the center is a lot of hilly snow. There are leafless trees in the background.

An acquaintance of mine once walked the Appalachian Trail, or most of it, a classic expression of the historic American passion to get “back to nature.” Much as I have long aspired to be a true red, white, and blueRead More →

A church altar with a stunning large art piece behind it. The art is in three long banners, together they are forming a large tree with green leaves in front of a blue sky. There are animals and water flowing all around the roots.

Part One of this essay, Here Come the Nones, There Go the Nuns?, dealt with the now widely celebrated emergence of a relatively new and widespread kind of religious orientation in our time, with those, especially in younger generations, whoRead More →

Stone sculpture of Atonement. Detail of the Monument to Dante in Trento by Cesare Zocchi

That great and much publicized biblical text, John 3:16, came up in the church’s lectionary this Lent, as many worshippers may recall. Here it is, in part: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten son….”Read More →

Book cover, church steeple through a window. The Church in a Postliberal Age

At one point in my book, Before Nature: A Christian Spirituality (Fortress 2014), I allude to my encounter with the Orthodox Church’s celebration of the Jesus Prayer – constant repetition of “Lord Jesus Christ, have mercy on me, a sinner”Read More →

Dark night sky with bright Milky Way Galaxy stars in a swath down the middle of the image, in the foreground is the silohuette of mountains.

Students of American religious life have observed for decades that recent generations have been abandoning active Church participation in huge numbers. And those who are leaving are not joining other religious groups. They’re just leaving. Hence scholars call them “theRead More →

oil painting of dark rocks and a grey sky with ocean waves crashing up against the rocks showing white foam

Martin Luther once reflected, in his own down-to-earth way, about how to instruct new believers who already have faith in God as the Father, but who do not as yet believe in the whole Trinity. First, Luther said, encourage themRead More →

front porch with white pillars and a brick foundation and an American flag

Remember the good old days when you didn’t have to lock your doors? When kids could just run outside to play and their parents didn’t have to worry? Those were the days – or maybe not. A Columbia University researcher,Read More →

looking down over Fenway Park the baseball field, the sky is light blue with puffy clouds, the baseball diamond is a reddish soil, there are curves in the green grass from mowing

Sometimes the longest way ‘round is the shortest way there. I aim to talk about Fenway Park here, but first I want to take you around the world of biblical faith, mediated to us, in this case, through some traditionalRead More →

When I published my first book in ecotheology in 1970, Brother Earth, I was one of a very few theologians who were interested in this field. Things have changed, dramatically. More than fifty years later, hundreds of ecotheology works haveRead More →

crucifix hanging on a stone church wall, sculpture of Jesus hanging on the cross

Who would even think about praying all the time? But brace yourself. That’s not only possible. It can be a blessing. Over the years I have developed a practice of prayer, which opens up the promise, I believe, of whatRead More →