The Common Good

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A Deeper Engagement
Originally Posted: 03/18/2013 - 9:32am | Type: Magazine Article

Wes Granberg-Michaelson Bible, Gender, Sexuality calls us to a more honest dialogue about scripture's meaning for us today. ...

Satan and Hell: A Brief History (Part 1 of 2)
Originally Posted: 02/20/2013 - 10:27am | Type: Blog

We can argue day and night about whether fear-based theology is effective, biblically accurate, or even necessary. But it’s worthwhile to consider where our contemporary ideas about hell and Satan even come fr ...

David Lamb: Is God Really ‘Angry, Sexist and Racist?'
Originally Posted: 01/30/2013 - 4:53pm | Type: Blog

Evangelical theologian David Lamb tackles some of the Bible’s most troubling passages in his book, God Behaving Badly: Is the God of the Old Testament Angry, Sexist and Racist? His answer: yes and no. ...

John the Baptist's Revolutionary Message
Originally Posted: 01/28/2013 - 2:19pm | Type: Blog

My sister read aloud. Chapter 1: Zechariah, Mary, Elizabeth, babies on the way. Chapter 2: Jesus, prophesies. Chapter 3: John the Baptist, and wait, what? Every Christmas, my fami ...

David’s Sling: Israel, Hezbollah, and the Path to Peace
Originally Posted: 12/10/2012 - 10:33am | Type: Blog

The connection between God and violence permeates the Bible, with God apparently sanctioning violence against God’s enemies. So we rightly ask, “What about all the violence in the Bible?” ...

Fiscal Cliff Negotiations Should Protect Programs for the Poor, Religious Leaders Say
Originally Posted: 01/16/2013 - 3:44pm | Type: Press

November 20, 2012 Sojo in the News Napp Nazworth ...

New Efforts by Barna Group, NAE, Others Aim to Reach—and Understand—Hispanics
Originally Posted: 01/16/2013 - 3:54pm | Type: Press

November 15, 2012 Sojo in the News Melissa Steffan ...

How Creationism Deconstructs Itself and Why Darwin’s Fish Might Be a Bully
Originally Posted: 11/05/2012 - 1:00pm | Type: Blog

“People who insist that the sacredness of Scripture depends on belief in creation in a literal six days seem never to insist on a literal reading of ‘to him who asks, give,’ or ‘sell what you have and give the ...

Reformation Day, God's Word, and Personal Faith
Originally Posted: 10/31/2012 - 1:48pm | Type: Blog

Perhaps the change I am most thankful for (other than a new awareness of justification by faith alone, simul iustus et peccator, and imputed righteousness of course) is that the Reformation paved the way for ...

On Scripture: God's Return Policy
Originally Posted: 10/24/2012 - 12:57pm | Type: Blog

Debates on immigration in the United States continue to move in the default direction of North/South. As such, the prominent debating points often direct public attention to the U.S./Mexico border fence and t ...

Values of a Public Faith (Part 1)
Originally Posted: 10/18/2012 - 3:33pm | Type: Blog

In this year of presidential elections, I have decided to summarize key values that guide me as I decide for whom to cast my vote. There are three basic elements of choosing a candidate for public office respo ...

Sustainability: God's Gift and Charge
Originally Posted: 10/18/2012 - 11:12am | Type: Blog

The fruits of the garden required labor, and the fruit of their knowledge produced children, and God made each to tend the land. Decreeing that (hu)man(ity) must toil the earth, and the female body would endur ...

Judge Dismisses Pa. Suit Over `Year of the Bible’
Originally Posted: 10/04/2012 - 11:18am | Type: Blog

A federal judge on Oct. 1 dismissed a lawsuit filed by an atheist group that challenged a "Year of the Bible" resolution passed early this year by Pennsylvania lawmakers. ...

Did Jesus Get Married and Have Children?
Originally Posted: 09/24/2012 - 12:58pm | Type: Blog

Even historians and others who don’t claim Christianity personally are intrigued by the scrap of text recently discovered to contain, in Coptic, the sentence fragment: “Jesus said to them, ‘My wife…’” ...

Texas Cheerleaders Clamor for G-O-D at Football Games
Originally Posted: 09/24/2012 - 7:32am | Type: Blog

Cheerleaders at an East Texas high school are fighting their school district’s orders to stop using Bible quotes on their signs at football games. Cheerleaders at an East Texas hi ...

Sometimes It Hurts; A Sermon on Healing
Originally Posted: 09/12/2012 - 8:13am | Type: Blog

You just can’t look at the cross and think “Wow, good thing Jesus did that for the people we’ve identified as being the problem around here.” The healing love of God poured out through the death and resurrecti ...

How to Change Politics
Originally Posted: 08/14/2012 - 3:38pm | Type: Magazine Article

Jim Wallis No, that isn’t a typo. Sojourners stood side by side with Focus on the Family to draw attention to the plight of millions who ...

More Than Words
Originally Posted: 07/30/2012 - 9:13am | Type: Blog

Here’s the challenge for those concerned with words in worship: Can we ever argue that it doesn’t matter what we say, as long as we say it properly? I don’t think so. “Words! Wor ...

David, Bathsheba, Grace, and AIDS
Originally Posted: 07/27/2012 - 10:13am | Type: Blog

Like the story of David and Bathsheba, death and love too often are linked in the stories of women living with HIV and AIDS in Africa. If we want to see this pandemic end, women must be given space to have pow ...

British Hotel Replaces Bedside Bibles with ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’
Originally Posted: 07/27/2012 - 8:26am | Type: Blog

A hotel in the United Kingdom has replaced in-room Gideon Bibles with the soft-porn best-seller Fifty Shades of Grey. A hotel in the United Kingdom has replaced in-room Gideon Bib ...

Reconciling Faith and (Social) Science
Originally Posted: 07/26/2012 - 10:34am | Type: Blog

Maybe we haven't all heard the thunder clap yet, but the lightning bolt struck a while ago. We are going to have to adjust our reading of the Bible to coincide with a modern scientific understanding of th ...

Let's Talk About (Complementary) Sex
Originally Posted: 07/20/2012 - 10:07am | Type: Blog

For those unfamiliar, there are (at least) two camps in the Christian conversation about gender roles, one of which we can call “egalitarian,” and the other calls itself “complementarian.” The implication of t ...

Five ‘Christian Parenting’ Ideas To Let Go Of
Originally Posted: 07/13/2012 - 4:48pm | Type: Blog

Here are five habits, often attributed to “Christian parenting” values, that I’d just as soon replace with something new. I was invited by Paul, my editor at Huffington Post, to w ...

Why Am I a Christian?
Originally Posted: 07/13/2012 - 12:00pm | Type: Blog

So in so much as I understand God to be the pervasive presence and expression of love in the universe, and in so much as I understand Jesus to be the most perfect embodiment of that love in the world, I believ ...

Hotel Replaces Bibles with Kindles
Originally Posted: 07/05/2012 - 10:13am | Type: Blog

According to CNN: Last year, Gideons International distributed more than 84 million printed copies of the Bible around the world to students, hospitals, members of the military and, of course, hotels, where they are a ubiquitous sight i ...

New & Noteworthy
Originally Posted: 06/08/2012 - 1:44pm | Type: Magazine Article

Julie Polter God and the Godforsaken — Searching Harmonies — In Shadows and Hope — Bible Culture 101 God an ...

With God Some Things Never Change
Originally Posted: 06/29/2012 - 9:48am | Type: Blog

Peace is better than war. Good of the whole is better than whims of a few. God wants everybody — red, yellow, black, brown and white taken care of. God wants true community, more togetherness … not more separa ...

Biblical Add-Ons, Edits & Agendas: A Challenge to Literalism?
Originally Posted: 06/03/2012 - 5:58pm | Type: Blog

Can those who don’t interpret scripture literally use the Bible as a bludgeon against others? Of course. But the inherent lack of room for discussion, critical thought, nuance or even alternate views within th ...

What is the Chief Political Concern of the Bible?
Originally Posted: 05/24/2012 - 3:47pm | Type: Blog

Both religion and politics are concerned with how we should organize societies. Yet the tendency for Christians has often been to begin with the politics and work backwards to find religious rationale for our ...

Dear Pastor Charles Worley: We Condemn Your Words of Hatred and Cruelty. REPENT!
Originally Posted: 05/23/2012 - 11:58am | Type: Blog

No matter where you stand on the issue of gay marriage, there are some boundaries of human decency that should never be crossed. Never. ...

N.T. Wright Asks: Have We Gotten Heaven All Wrong?
Originally Posted: 05/16/2012 - 5:08pm | Type: Blog

N.T. Wright has explored Christian misconceptions about heaven in previous books, but now devotes an entire volume, "How God Became King: The Forgotten Story of the Gospels," to this trendy subject. ...

Methodists Uphold Policy Calling Homosexuality 'Incompatible with Christian Teaching'
Originally Posted: 05/03/2012 - 5:50pm | Type: Blog

Despite emotional protests and fierce lobbying from gay rights groups, United Methodists voted on Thursday to maintain their denomination's stance that homosexuals acts are "incompatible with Christi ...

Arctic Christians Get First Complete Inuit Bible
Originally Posted: 05/03/2012 - 9:55am | Type: Blog

Later this spring, an entire Bible in Inuktitut, the language of Inuit people and the most widely spoken aboriginal tongue in Canada's Arctic, will be dedicated at an igloo-shaped church in Nunavut, an au ...

Loving in Truth and Action: A New Hymn based on I John 3:16-18
Originally Posted: 04/23/2012 - 2:10pm | Type: Blog

On April 29th, many churches will be hearing this reading from I John 3:16-24 as the Epistle Lesson for the Revised Common Lectionary for the Fourth Sunday of Easter/Year B. Here is a new hymn inspired by thi ...

‘The Voice’: New Bible Translation Focuses on Dialogue
Originally Posted: 04/18/2012 - 11:52am | Type: Blog

Seven years in the making, "The Voice" is the latest entry into the crowded field of English Bible translations. NASHVILLE, Tenn.—The name Jesus Christ doesn't appe ...

Afternoon Links of Awesomeness: March 19, 2012
Originally Posted: 03/20/2012 - 5:00pm | Type: Blog

Take a listen to this cover of Adele’s “Rolling in the Deep” performed on a Chinese instrument from the zither family, known as a Guzheng . [ The Awesomer ] Fifth Ward Jam is a housing redevelopment project that combines ...

Slavery, Tokenism and the Atheist PR Debacle
Originally Posted: 03/16/2012 - 3:40pm | Type: Blog

Atheist activism is hardly news these days. Folks are feeling increasingly convicted about taking their disbelief public, and more specifically, pointing out the damage done by religion. But it seems the most ...

Violence, Women, Congress and the Bible
Originally Posted: 04/17/2012 - 4:09pm | Type: Blog

In the next few months I fear that polarized debate over issues concerning the lives and bodies of women will continue to stifle political and social progress in this country. Shame on Democrats and Republican ...

Wars and Rumors of War
Originally Posted: 03/05/2012 - 7:41pm | Type: Blog

While compiling the morning “Daily Digest,” I often recall the advice of Karl Barth, who is said to have told young theologians “to take your Bible and take your newspaper, and read both. But interpret newspa ...

Is God Dead?
Originally Posted: 03/04/2012 - 8:36pm | Type: Blog

There was a movement back in the 1960s that many of us only have read about, while others vividly remember. Philosophers and theologians explored what was labeled the “Death of God” movement. Interest in the s ...

TRANSCRIPT: Barack Obama and The God Factor Interview
Originally Posted: 02/22/2012 - 5:43pm | Type: Blog

In 2004 I met then-State Sen. Barack Obama at Café Baci, a small coffee shop in Chicago. We spoke for more than an hour. He came alone. No handler, no spokesperson, no notes. He seemed to be relaxed and at eas ...

UK Watchdog Group Bans Christian Ads, Says Divine Healing=False Advertising
Originally Posted: 02/07/2012 - 12:52pm | Type: Blog

LONDON — Britain's powerful media advertising watchdog has banned a Christian group from claiming on its website and brochures that God's cure-all powers can heal a string of medical ailments.The Ad ...

Mitt Romney, the Poor, and Women’s Breasts
Originally Posted: 02/03/2012 - 5:14pm | Type: Blog

“The poor will always be with you” — especially if you’re not poor — seems straightforward enough: Look around, people ! The poor (and their problems) are very much with us! Viewed through this kind of realpol ...

The Bible Unbound
Originally Posted: 01/09/2012 - 12:44pm | Type: Magazine Article

Tim Kumfer Liberating Biblcal Study: Scholarship, Art, and Action in Honor of the Center and Library for the Bible and Social Justice, ed ...

World Magazine vs. Sojourners: Keystone XL Pipeline
Originally Posted: 01/19/2012 - 6:27pm | Type: Blog

Having critics isn’t a bad thing. Sometimes they serve as a sort of public accountability. Other times, they express questions that others might be asking but haven’t voiced. Marvin Olasky, editor in chief of World Magazine , came out with a quick ...

Defining "Evangelical" and Other Unsolved Mysteries
Originally Posted: 01/19/2012 - 12:47pm | Type: Blog

I understand the interest in us evangelicals, I really do. The way much of the mainstream media covers our communities in the news can make us seem like a puzzling subspecies of the American population, not un ...

Gary Bauer is Wrong about the Bible
Originally Posted: 01/11/2012 - 1:53pm | Type: Blog

There are Biblical scholars who will argue that it is not clear if the Year of Jubilee was ever actually put into practice. Therefore, Christians today shouldn’t practice it or it’s importance should be dimini ...

The Gospel According to Charles Dickens: The Horizon of Death
Originally Posted: 12/25/2011 - 1:51pm | Type: Blog

For a story about conversion, death is a necessary character. It is in the finality of death that our eyes are able to readjust and see the horizon of our life and being. It is wi ...

Christmas Cheer
Originally Posted: 12/08/2011 - 1:27pm | Type: Blog

Holiday gift giving isn’t all about relishing in the latest technological gadgets, but when that tablet is an innovative and interactive Bible, it would be a sin not to indulge! H ...

On Redundancies: Social Justice and Personal Salvation
Originally Posted: 12/08/2011 - 10:06am | Type: Blog

Social justice is redundant. Justice, properly understood in a biblical sense, always has social implications. Personal salvation is redundant in the same way. Salvation, properly understood in a biblical se ...