The Rev. Martin Elfert, of St. John's Cathedral, admits he's always dreamed of being the next Ann Landers.

That is, he's always wanted to write an advice column — only from a theological perspective.

On his new Spokane Faith & Values feature, Father Knows Best, Elfert will answer reader's questions about ethical and faithful decision making, what it looks like to be fully alive and fully oriented toward the divine and other moral and theological issues.

To get started, dear readers, he needs your questions. 

Leave a comment below (remember, you can use a pen name!) or email your question to


  1. ethical spender

    OK. I’ll start.

    Dear Martin,

    I never took part in the Occupy Movement, but thanks to the protestors I’ve started thinking a lot about “ethical spending.” I’m honestly ashamed to be a Bank of America customer, but what bank IS ethical? Besides being lazy, I stay with B of A because of convenience (mobile apps, countrywide locations, etc.). But it’s not just my bank – big chunks of my income go toward housing/ auto/ electronics/ heck, even Starbucks! It can be overwhelming to think about where my money’s going – is it going to a business that will help this planet? Help society? How do I know? Should I care so much? Is it worth making major changes in my financial spending?

    Thanks for your thoughts Father!

  2. Here’s my question: As science discovers with increasing granularity how things work that we have traditionally imbued with spiritual significance (the cosmos, the mind, the origins of life) it seems that there is less and less need for spiritual explanations of anything. We can map cognition down to the single cell now. We can calculate with great reliability models of the universe that show, although counter-intuitive, that the universe could literally have popped into existence from a mass of energy.

    My question is, when things that have been explained before as the workings of the “spirit” such as cognition, what we perceive as free will, and our tendencies to either help or harm others around us, can now be explained and demonstrated as biological and chemical concepts, how should, if at all, our understanding of the spirit and the spiritual be reconfigured in light of new knowledge?

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