Statement of Faith by Robert Traer
caring family and friends continue to persuade me that love is life's
greatest gift. I am grateful for all those who have shared this wonder with
me, and bear witness that these loving persons include Buddhists, Hindus,
Jews, Muslims, Sikhs, Unitarian Universalists, agnostics, and atheists, as
well as Protestant, Catholic, and Orthodox Christians.
believe all we know and are, including our consciousness, our freedom, and
our morality, comes from the way the cosmos is evolving. I look to
scripture, science, literature, history, and religious experience for
insight into this wondrous unfolding.
secular because I believe all human knowledge is limited and must be tested
by experience and reasoning. This includes religious wisdom as well as
scientific theories. I support secular government rather than religious
government, as history reveals secular governments are more likely to
protect our freedom to pursue the truth through open debate and the rule of
Christian because I "live and move and have my being" (Acts 17:28) within
the witness of scripture and among those who follow the way of Jesus. I am
grasped by the gospel call "to do justice, and to love mercy, and walk
humbly with our God." (Micah 6:8)
I am a
secular Christian because the Jesus of the New Testament gospels does not
preach a religion but a way of life. Instead of describing how we should
worship God, Jesus calls us to love
God and our neighbors.
my trust in Jesus, Son of God, as a way of affirming no ruler or prophet is
worthy of greater allegiance. I know, in Christ, life comes from and returns
to eternal Love.
New Testament stories of Jesus and his followers call me to be more
forgiving and to struggle with others for justice and reconciliation. With
humility, I embrace the hope that "those who abide in love abide in God." (1
March 18, 2014
Information on Robert Traer
I have been married forty-five years
to Nancy Traer, and we have five children, including two adopted daughters
from Asia, and eight grandchildren.
I served as the
executive director of the International Association for Religious Freedom
from 1990-2000, and in that capacity represented the work of the IARF on
religious freedom at the United Nations. I teach online courses on ethics for the Dominican University of California. In 2002 I
was a Resident Scholar at the Tantur Ecumenical Institute for Theological
Studies in Israel. In the spring of 2005 I served with the Ecumenical
Accompaniment Program in Israel/Palestine, which is sponsored by the World
Council of Churches. In June 2005 I participated in the Critical Moment
Conference in Geneva convened by the World Council of Churches and drafted
the conference report.
am a retired minister in the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) and a retired member
of the Bar of the State of Colorado. My essays on ethics are at
http://doingethics.com and on religion and human rights are
at http://religionhumanrights.com. These sites and the rest of my writing is
accessible via http://doingfaith.com.
I have a PhD from the Graduate Theological
Union in Berkeley, CA, a JD from the School of Law of the University of
California at Davis, a Doctor of Ministry degree from the Divinity School of
the University of Chicago, and a BA from Carleton College in Northfield,
Helpful Books on the Bible
The commentary on the New Testament presented here does not refer to
any scholarly materials, because such studies enrich our understanding of the Bible
but are not necessary. We can see for ourselves that the church in
Jerusalem and Paul disagree about what should be required of Gentile
converts and that the gospels differ factually and in the way each proclaims the good news.
Also, it is clear that the Bible was written by
beings to express their faith and understanding. The New Testament may
reveal to us the word of God, but it is not "the words" of God.