How to Use This Site
The Metaphor of the Nautilus
The Need to go Beyond Religion
About the Host- John W. Sloat
The Theology of Beyond Religion
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About the Host - John W. Sloat

I was a Presbyterian clergyman who retired in 1997 after forty years of ministry. I served as pastor of the First Presbyterian Church in Pataskala, Ohio, was head of staff at the Northminster Church in New Castle, PA for thirty-one years, and followed that by two interim pastorates and three years as a staff visitation minister. Since then, I have spent my time teaching classes, leading study groups, organizing retreats and writing about spirituality.

Books by
John Sloat

I have theological degrees from Princeton and Pittsburgh Theological Seminaries. In 1955 I married Helen Burdick Sloat, a psychiatric nurse. We have three children and eight grandchildren.

Originally, I was a conservative, but God brought me to conservative western Pennsylvania in order to radicalize me! The most significant factor in that change happened around 1980 when I had a vivid past death recall. I re-experienced my previous death as a Native American. (Related story)

This was a denial of everything I believed. If I accepted the experience, I knew it could ruin my career. And I was right. Because of my involvement in a website similar to this one, the Presbyterian Church forced me to resign my ordination. But I knew that if my experience was true and I ignored it, I would be turning my back on God. In time, I realized that my past death recall was pushing me toward the next step in my spiritual evolution.

Even in this conservative area, there are many people who have had mystical experiences. They were confused, and they wondered how they could balance their experience with their faith. When I started to tell my story, people who had never shared theirs with anyone, for fear of ridicule, began to come forward. As a result, we developed a fascinating collection of metaphysical stories from average people.

This is only the tip of the iceberg. There is a vast ocean of spiritual truth waiting to be discovered. In the future, we will no longer be frightened by God's continuing revelation in our day. So, this site is devoted to exploring spirituality in all its forms. We invite church people, as well as those who have no time for the church, to look at this material and decide for themselves how God's power and love and purpose lay claim to their lives.

I have published some of this material in a book entitled A Handbook For Heretics. The book urges mainline churches to be more open to the Holy Spirit's continuing revelations in our day, and includes a number of exciting stories about how God is intimately involved in our daily lives. The book is also listed on the Amazon and Barnes and Noble websites.