I have written sixteen books and numerous articles. Fourteen have been published. and two more are scheduled to appear during 2002 and 2003. One more is under consideration. When I was in my thirties, I published almost a sermon a year. The most recent book to be published appeared early in 1999.
I define the four faces of evil as follows: (1) INJUSTICE: the denial of deserved opportunities and benefits in our relations with others, (2) THE DEMONIC: the destructive power of the past living on in personality formation and social structures that enslaves people to misery and wrong, (3) THE TRAGIC: suffering to the extent that it is unavoidable and/or irredeemable, and (4) THE AMBIGUOUS: the inseparable mixture of good and evil in many events and choices.
In The Many Faces of Evil I illustrate how one or more and sometimes all four categories illuminate events taken from my own experience, history books, and the daily newspapers: abortion, welfare reform, violence, poverty, divorce, affirmative action, oppression of sexual minorities, assassinations, acts of terrorism, crime, racism, tornadoes, disease, and on and on through a long list. Along with the larger book I published a smaller study guide that could be used in an adult education setting in churches.
The second is a collection of essays under the title Toward a New Modernism. Some of them appear on these pages. This book was published by University Press of America of Lanham, Maryland in 1997.
The third is "I Don't Care What the Bible Says": An Interpretation of Southern History. In this work I employ the categories of the morally wrong (injustice), the demonic, the tragic, and the ambiguous to interpret certain aspects of the history of the South. It is now under consideration for publication. The title comes from an incident in my ministry in which I declared segregation to be unjust and defended the view on the basis of the Bible. A Baptist deacon -- a very decent and good man of deep religious faith -- argued the point with me and finally said angrily, "I don't care what the Bible says, we are not going to allow our schools to be integrated." Reflection on his statement led me to believe that injustice, ambiguity, the tragic, and the demonic were all in full display. It is now under consideration for publication.
The fourth is an argument for assisted death with the title The Ethics of Assisted Death: When Life Becomes a Burden too Hard to Bear (Lima, OH: CSS Publishing Co, 1999).
The fifth is The Ethics of Belief: A Bio-Historical Approach, 2 volumes (Lima, OH: CSS Publishing Co, 2002).
A collection of sermons produced over many years Rejoicing in Life's "Melissa Moments:" The Joys of Faith and the Challenges of Life will be published Spring 2003.
As a theologian and philosopher of religion, I practice a left-wing version of process-relational thought of an empirical variety in the tradition of Wieman, Meland, and Loomer. This leads me to a form of naturalistic theism that holds to a Limited, Suffering, Struggling God whose creativity has produced all the varieties of life with their urge (eros) toward fulfillment. God is the Life of the World; the World is the Body of God. Primordially, God is a union of Eros and Ideal Possibility (Desire and the Good) generating a creative process that functions at the border of structure and surprise, order and chaos, stable pattern and adventurous novelty to unfold the spectacle of cosmic evolution and the historical emergence of life and humankind . These ideas are developed in my Theological Biology and in Toward a New Modernism.
My interests are in "the Chicago School of theology," empirical theology, theodicy, theology and science, evolutionary theory, southern history and culture, politics and economics especially as they relate to poverty and injustice, the sociology of knowledge, pragmatism, the Atlanta Braves, the North Carolina Tarheels basketball team, and southern pork barbecue -- and somewhat in that ascending order!
An abiding concern of mine is theodicy -- the problem of evil.
conclude that God operates opportunistically through the drive
in all life
toward fulfillment (eros) in an effort to achieve the best in
This means that God is perfect in love but limited in power. God
in and through the structures and processes of nature, life, and
freedom to accomplish the best possible outcome given the
God does not and cannot interfere with or redirect by divine
fiat the law-abiding
processes of nature or the operation of human freedom. These
developed in four of my books: Science, Secularization and
Biology, The Many Faces of Evil, and Toward a