"When you don’t have self-critical thinking in a religion, you always lack the prophetic instinct."
"The gospel of Jesus—the good news of Jesus’ own message—is that there is a way of being that moves beyond both secular and religious conventional wisdom. The path of transformation of which Jesus spoke leads from a life of requirements and measuring up (whether to culture or to God) to a life of relationship with God. It leads from a life of anxiety to a life of peace and trust. It leads from the bondage of self-preoccupation to the freedom of self-forgetfulness. It leads from life centered in culture to life centered in God."
"Religious experience is not an experience of anything, it's what transforms your experience of everything. If religious experience was just an experience, you can get better experiences from taking Ayahuasca, from drinking, or something like that. But for the mystics, the true religious experience didn't mean that a new experience happened in your life, it meant that all the experiences you have are fundamentally transformed."
“And” teaches us to say yes
“And” allows us to be both-and
“And” keeps us from either-or
“And” teaches us to be patient and long-suffering
“And” is willing to wait for insight and integration
“And” keeps us from dualistic thinking
“And” does not divide the field of the moment
“And” helps us to live in the always imperfect now
“And” keeps us inclusive and compassionate toward everything
“And” demands that our contemplation become action
“And” insists that our action is also contemplative
“And” heals our racism, sexism, heterosexism, and classism
“And” keeps us from the false choice of liberal or conservative
“And” allows us to critique both sides of things
“And” allows us to enjoy both sides of things
“And” is far beyond anyone nation or political party
“And” helps us face and accept our own dark side
“And” allows us to ask for forgiveness and to apologize
“And” is the mystery of paradox in all things
“And” is the way of mercy
“And” makes daily, practical love possible
“And” does not trust love if it is not also justice
“And” does not trust justice if it is not also love
“And” is far beyond my religion versus your religion
“And” allows us to be both distinct and yet united
“And” is the very Mystery of Trinity
"It is amazing how religion has turned this biblical idea of faith around to mean the exact opposite: into a need and even a right to certain knowing, complete predictability, and perfect assurance about whom God likes and whom God does not like. It seems we think we can have the Infinite Mystery of God in our quite finite pocket."
"When religion is good, it invites you to contemplation, inspiration, and social action. When religion is bad, it makes you say, 'We're the good guys, and they are the bad guys, and we must win at all costs.'"
"I think Christians should argue more, because it's healthy. They don't do it as well as the Jews do. If we look at the New Testament, Jesus is frequently arguing with fellow Jews, and what that means is it puts him right in the heart of Judaism rather than takes him out of Judaism. If you look at rabbinic literature, post-Biblical Jewish literature, it's "Rabbi This says this, rabbi That says that, some third rabbi says some third thing, the people do what they want, and they've been arguing over this stuff for two thousand years. The reason we can do it so well is because at the end of the day, we're all still Jews.
Jews never settle down just to be a religion and just to be a belief system. Jews have always kept an ethnic component or a people-hood component to who we are. So our arguments take place in the family, and just as a relatively healthy family will have certain disagreements, at the end of the day, you're all still brothers and sisters and parents and children.
What happens in Christian communities is if you argue too much, if you disagree too much, you put yourself out of the community, because if you get into a tradition by belief you get out by belief. I think if Christians took baptism more seriously, they'd be able to argue better. Because baptism means you're in the system, and it's not something that washes off."