The Common Good

God's Politics Blog

An Evangelical Manifesto

The church has a serious image problem. A recent book, unChristian, by Barna pollster David Kinnaman and Gabe Lyons reveals much about how Millennials, the emerging generation - both those inside and around the church - view Christianity. The results weren't good. An overwhelming majority of young people view Christians as hypocritical, too judgmental, too focused on the afterlife, and too political in the worst sense of the word. And that image is often particularly true of [...]

+Continue Reading

This Mother's Day, Forget the French Toast

"Arise, then, women of this day!" goes the Mother's Day proclamation. But this is not your wake-up call to french toast and flowers. Instead, this phrase was the rallying cry for the first "Mother's Day of Peace" back in 1870-back before the day became laden with Hallmark and guilt. Julia Ward Howe, the creator of Mother's Day, pleaded with women to speak out against war, not only for the sake of their sons, but for the sons of mothers across the globe. Today, mothers must not only seek [...]

+Continue Reading

In Praise of the Dishonest Manager

One of Jesus' most in-your-face stories, and a personal favorite of mine, is the Parable of the Dishonest Manager in Luke 16. I would loosely paraphrase its central insight as follows: "If you have the sense God gave a dog, you will realize that you can't hold onto money very long anyway, but you can keep the friends you make by giving it to those in need. You do the math." The passage [...]

+Continue Reading

Which Jesus? The Horror (and Hope) of Religion and Politics

During the New York City leg of Brian McLaren's empowering Everything Must Change tour, Jay Bakker and I were asked to give a short reflection based on Brian's talk on "Which Jesus?" When I saw Brian's insightful slideshow presentation that contrasted the empire of Caesar with the kingdom of God, I had a sudden flashback to my Jan. 2007 trip to Israel.


In an [...]

+Continue Reading

Faith and Conscience in the Indiana Primary

Tomorrow, Indiana residents will play a significant role in the Democratic presidential race. It has been a long time

+Continue Reading

N.T. Wright and Bart Ehrman: New Stories and Resurrection (Part 2 of 2 by Melvin Bray)

[Continued from part 1]

I pondered what I might offer to spotlight the significance of such a dialogue and the future it foretells. Then I ran across this exegesis of Luke's account of the evening of Jesus' resurrection. It's by Debbie Blue.


With the wryest of humor, [...]

+Continue Reading

Never Again

Today is the commemoration of Yom Hashoah (Holocaust Memorial Day)in the modern Jewish calendar. The date was originally enacted by the Israeli Parliament in 1953, but has now become a commemoration by the international Jewish community and [...]

+Continue Reading

In the Image of God

When Pope Benedict XVI recently spoke to the U.N. General Assembly, many hoped he would denounce specific wars and injustices. But he rather took a step back and addressed the fundamental principles that the world community should follow. His speech was a primer on Catholic social teaching

+Continue Reading

A Better Answer to High Fuel Prices

Recently, both President Bush and an oil company spokesperson, speaking to the rising gas prices, pushed for building more refineries and upping the production of oil here in the States. No mention of exorbitant oil company profits. No mention of our need to drastically reduce use of cars and gasoline, to change lifestyles. No mention of the working poor who are stuck without public transportation to jobs remote from their inner-city or inner-ring suburban homes.


Reducing dependence [...]

+Continue Reading

Wright Ex-Factor

Over the last several days, I watched Rev. Jeremiah Wright in discussions of faith, theology, history, and culture on television. The three-plus hours I devoted to PBS and CNN amounted to some of the most sophisticated and thoughtful programming on American culture and racial issues that any news station has offered in recent years. And, for those who really listened to Rev. Wright, he moved from [...]

+Continue Reading