Author Archives

Dan R. Dick

I am the lead pastor at People's United Methodist Church in the Wisconsin Conference of The United Methodist Church, husband of my beautiful wife, Barbara, dad to my fantastic son, Josh and his wife Caroline, step-dad to my phenomenal son, Greg, his wife Hannah and our fabulous/glorious/perfect granddaughter Evie, author of seventeed books on spirituality, stewardship, congregational development, research, and spiritual gifts discovery, and an advocate for a more loving, inclusive church for the 21st century and beyond.

Straining at Gnats; Swallowing Camels

Two recent conversations have been troubling me lately, and I finally figured out why. A colleague called me recently to complain about something I wrote. He said, “You know, we didn’t appreciate your criticism.” “What criticism?” I asked. “You wrote in your blog that we weren’t critical thinkers, that we […]


In my 35+ years of consultation work (as well as the dozen+ years in parish ministry) I have witnessed one consistent and undermining practice again and again. Examples: “Our Conference is currently working on these six top priorities,” and “we determined that every aspect of disciple making is our top […]

Rarefied Air

As more and more people die from COVID-19D, as more and more children are infected, as more and more lives are changed forever in a negative way, I hear more and more people ask one or more of the following: what is wrong with people that they won’t get vaccinated, […]

Dealer’s Choice

I cannot estimate the number of hours I wasted in college playing cards. I had three very different groups of guys I would sit down with, but the three groups had one thing in common: dealer’s choice. Who ever deals gets to choose the game. I think this is one […]

Diacritical Ecclesia

Is critical thinking hard? No, not really. Critical thinking is intentional, careful, concise, time-intensive, open-ended, and often demanding, but truly not that hard. Critical thinking is risky. It challenges the status quo, confronts sloppy, reactive, and unreflective thinking (therefore revealing flaws in assumptions and opinions), and demands change through growth […]

Healing Through Curiosity

The etymological roots of the word “curiosity” are “care” and “cure;” curiosity seeks to cure, to care, to heal. Every person on the planet has a seed of curiosity planted deep within them. It has been believed that formal education is the best way to feed and nurture this seed, […]

Fear Wrongering

I am a trained and experienced researcher and have taught critical thinking skills for over 30 years. I am just establishing my bias and perspective up front. Through years of working in the church, with academia, community organizing, board leadership and training, and global systems, I find that most people […]


What regard do we, in our current culture, have for truth, precision, honesty, veracity, and verifiability? What makes something “true?” How do we “know” something, anything? What criteria do we use to decide whether something is credible, believable, or valid? I am going to write about critical thinking on Thursday, […]