The Common Good

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Eucharist: A Call For The Church to Be One
Originally Posted: 12/14/2012 - 12:01pm | Type: Blog

When it comes to sharing the Eucharist among faithful but separated Christ followers, I wonder if Jesus is waiting for the churches simply to be the Church? When it comes to shari ...

Why Women are the Key to the Church’s Future
Originally Posted: 12/03/2012 - 9:35am | Type: Blog

Anyone who has been paying attention has noticed that, of those left within the walls of most churches, the majority still hanging in there are women. I’ll preface this piece my ...

The Circle of Life
Originally Posted: 01/07/2014 - 12:14pm | Type: Magazine Article

Nyambura J. Njoroge Adapted from "Women as Compassionate Champions: The Doers and the Leaders," by Nyambura J. Njorage, in Wome ...

Getting Started
Originally Posted: 01/07/2014 - 12:07pm | Type: Magazine Article

Beth Newberry Your congregation—large or small—has more to invest than you might expect. WANT TO PUT money to ...

Multiplying Loaves
Originally Posted: 01/07/2014 - 12:07pm | Type: Magazine Article

Beth Newberry A small congregation in Kentucky demonstrates how your church may have more money—and power—than you think. ...

Top 5 Best and Worst Bits of 'Christian Sex' Advice
Originally Posted: 11/28/2012 - 12:48pm | Type: Blog

Too often, I fear the church is silent and bashful about sex. One reason, I purport, that youth look to society and friends for answers to questions is they fear it's taboo in religious settings, perhaps ...

It’s Not All Going to Be Okay, and That’s Okay
Originally Posted: 11/12/2012 - 12:02pm | Type: Blog

If we try to mold faith into something more certain than simply faith, it becomes something else. A crutch, perhaps, or a drug. So how or when does this happen? I get asked somet ...

Slow Down and Know That I Am God
Originally Posted: 11/26/2012 - 2:34pm | Type: Magazine Article

C. Christopher Smith Why it's time for a conversation about Slow Church. IN SPRING 1986, a group of Ital ...

Kenyan Churches Claim Herbs Threaten HIV/AIDS Patients
Originally Posted: 10/24/2012 - 2:21pm | Type: Blog

NAIROBI, Kenya -- Church leaders are pressing the Kenyan government to scientifically test herbal medicines that are used by millions to manage and treat diseases, saying the nontraditional therapies could be ...

On Religious Deserts and the Canaanite Woman
Originally Posted: 10/12/2012 - 9:33am | Type: Blog

Personally I tend to come from the perspective that we all have opportunities to enrich one another’s perspective, and when I have the opportunity to be in an environment where the majority of people around me ...

How Should Churches Address the 'Nones?'
Originally Posted: 10/11/2012 - 9:44am | Type: Blog

There’s a new study out this week that shows that one-in-five Americans has no religious affiliation. Not Baptist, not Catholic, not Lutheran, not Jewish, not Muslim. For those of us in the world of organized ...

Is the Future of Church in Fantasy Faith Leagues?
Originally Posted: 10/03/2012 - 2:17pm | Type: Blog

A growing majority of people outside the church doors don’t really care about the denominational logo over the entryway, the name inscribed on the stone sign by the street or the long, rich history of all the ...

All Politics (Should Be) Local
Originally Posted: 09/19/2012 - 3:15pm | Type: Blog

When politics is local, candidates tend to know their people or at least know their interests, worries and hopes. This is the level at which democracy tends to work best. Leaders know their people, people know ...

Episcopal Priest Under Scrutiny for Nude Photos
Originally Posted: 09/18/2012 - 2:32pm | Type: Blog

How does the church recognize the beauty of art that depicts God's creation — the human form — without seeming to condone "a beauty exciting to lust"? In the middle ...

Tony Perkins says Enthusiasm Growing for Romney, Predicts Record Turnout
Originally Posted: 09/13/2012 - 9:57am | Type: Blog

Family Research Council President Tony Perkins said Sept. 12 that conservative Christians are growing more enthusiastic about GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney, and predicted they would show up at the polls ...

COMMENTARY: It’s Time for Baby Boomers to Cede Control
Originally Posted: 09/11/2012 - 4:34pm | Type: Blog

As baby boomers start clicking the senior citizen box on travel fares, I want to say a word to my generation and to the one that preceded us. It is time for us to get out of the way. ...

From Shame to Grace
Originally Posted: 11/05/2012 - 1:11pm | Type: Magazine Article

Stacey Schwenker Ashamed No More: A Pastor's Journey Through Sex Addiction. IVP Books PASTOR T.C. RYAN s ...

Why the Church is the Best Place for a Pussy Riot
Originally Posted: 08/30/2012 - 5:24pm | Type: Blog

As a faith-based community organizer, I spend a great majority of my time trying to get political issues into the church so that the gospel can be relevant to the reality of those on and off the pews. Therefor ...

Church No More: Part 6 — Back to Church Again
Originally Posted: 08/30/2012 - 11:04am | Type: Blog

The saying “you can't go home again,” probably originated from Tom Wolfe's novel, You Can't Go Home Again. It's the story of an author who leaves his home, writes about it from a distance a ...

Survey: Economy Continues Negative Effect on Churches
Originally Posted: 08/29/2012 - 8:18am | Type: Blog

The economy continues to weigh on pastors, with a new survey showing that nearly two-thirds say it has affected their churches negatively. The economy continues to weigh on pastor ...

Tyler Clementi’s Parents Leave Their Church Over Homosexuality Views
Originally Posted: 08/28/2012 - 7:37am | Type: Blog

RIDGEWOOD, N.J. — The parents of Tyler Clementi have left their longtime evangelical church due to its views on homosexuality. RIDGEWOOD, N.J.  — The parents of Tyler Clementi ha ...

Mars Hill Bible Church Names Rob Bell’s Successor
Originally Posted: 08/24/2012 - 10:23am | Type: Blog

In an email sent on Wednesday to members of the Grandville, Mich., church, leaders announced Kent Dobson had accepted the lead position. GRANDVILLE, Mich. — Mars Hill Bible Church ...

No Need to Fear
Originally Posted: 08/17/2012 - 4:05pm | Type: Blog

Not too long ago someone warned me that our government would soon “come after churches that don't toe the party line.” Another told me that our government was out to destroy the Christian faith. I think t ...

Church No More: Part 5 — Far Too Little Sabbath in the Sabbath
Originally Posted: 08/14/2012 - 1:13pm | Type: Blog

More than two months into my sabbatical, I now have to say, “Boy was I wrong.” People who are not in church are on sabbatical, more so than I am. Editor's Note : Th ...

Flash Mob Ministry: A New Model for Instant Church
Originally Posted: 08/08/2012 - 2:33pm | Type: Blog

Show up somewhere, notice the needs, address them and invite others in to hear a good word, then go out and change the world. Blaine is the kind of young man who seems to have bee ...

Narrative Theology: 'You Might As Well Love'
Originally Posted: 08/08/2012 - 9:01am | Type: Blog

Last Sunday, the Catholic singer/songwriter/poet/theologian Pádraig Ó Tuama (who hails from County Cork, Ireland), took to Revolution NYC's "barstool pulpit," to share stories, poems, and wisdom ...

The Weight
Originally Posted: 10/24/2013 - 11:16am | Type: Blog

In fact, why aren’t there many chicken restaurants in neighborhoods like this? Why aren’t these wonderful shining examples of Christianity and life lining up to alleviate the suffering in these places? If we w ...

Church No More: Part 4 — I Don't Want to Go Back
Originally Posted: 08/03/2012 - 11:34am | Type: Blog

I do not want to go back to Church because life outside of Church is better. It just is. There's no dogma complicating the path to God. It is more than refreshing to escape the games church-folk play with ...

Are the Culture Wars Real? A Case for Heresy
Originally Posted: 08/02/2012 - 1:50pm | Type: Blog

A growing number of people just don’t seem to believe that the Christian Church, in all its many forms, has much to offer them. Growing up, I heard things at camp and in youth gr ...

Between a Rock and a Hard Place in Today's Church
Originally Posted: 07/27/2012 - 12:36pm | Type: Blog

For those of us in lay or ordained leadership, the stress of trying to please everyone, or the difficulty of being honest about what we know really must change with people we truly love and admire, often sucks ...

Despite Doubters, Mainline Protestant Churches Poised for Success
Originally Posted: 07/17/2012 - 5:17pm | Type: Blog

Commentators see decisions they don't like — such as the Episcopal Church's recent endorsement of a rite for blessing same-sex unions. They see declines in church membership. They pounce. ...

A Higgs Boson Walks Into a Church ...
Originally Posted: 07/16/2012 - 1:37pm | Type: Blog

Thanks to Steve Knight for alerting me to this joke, which has become one of my instant favorites. After all, it combines two things I dig: nerd humor and theology (also nerdy). ...

Can Christianity Be Saved? A Response to Ross Douthat
Originally Posted: 07/16/2012 - 1:28pm | Type: Blog

So, Mr. Douthat asks, "Can Liberal Christianity Be Saved?" But I wonder: Can Liberal Churches Save Christianity? The twenty-first century has yet to answer that, but I think we may be surprised. ...

Public Jesus: How Churches Can Talk about Politics in an Election Year (Without Killing Each Other)
Originally Posted: 07/12/2012 - 10:40am | Type: Blog

How can churches have a healthy conversation about politics in the middle of a national election without demonizing the opposition and causing disunity? Learning to speak as a Chr ...

Church No More: Part 3 — The 'C' Word
Originally Posted: 08/03/2012 - 11:51am | Type: Blog

I have a confession.(That's rich, right? A minister confessing.) I have a hard time telling people I'm a minister. Yes, really. I actually tend to handle it this way: ...

QUIRK: Is Your Town Red or Blue?
Originally Posted: 07/06/2012 - 12:24pm | Type: Blog

We're not talking Republicans or Democrats; we're talking Church or Beer. A new map has divided the country into red and blue ... but this one has nothing do do with pol ...

This Week in Religion: Friday July 6, 2012 (VIDEO)
Originally Posted: 07/06/2012 - 11:22am | Type: Blog

Do Not Display (Church, Higgs-Boson, LGBT, Mormonism, Racial and Social Justice, religion news, Faith and Politics, Quick Read) Church,Higgs-B ...

Wild Goose 2012 Reflection
Originally Posted: 07/03/2012 - 10:00am | Type: Blog

For the first hour I was there as I nearly passed out trying to set up a tent in the sweltering heat, I was in a panic mode wondering why I was stupid enough to subject myself to the discomfort and imperfectio ...

Wild Goose: A Sacred and Safe Place
Originally Posted: 06/29/2012 - 12:56pm | Type: Blog

In many hours of talking to Mike over the past few years, he has told me tales of horrible religious abuse; of being denied food because he had not said the appropriate prayer, of being evicted from the gospel ...

Life in Translation
Originally Posted: 06/29/2012 - 8:52am | Type: Blog

I have been thinking about the church of my youth. I have been remembering, if you will, as a guy who has read too much Updike (I'll never forgive him for the Rabbit books) might remember his youth. ...

How the Wild Goose Cured My Heebie-Jeebies
Originally Posted: 06/28/2012 - 8:04am | Type: Blog

I imagined the spaces and places other than church that might be out there for churchless people “like me.” Bars? Starbucks? Soccer games? Bars? (Sorry, did I mention 'bars' already? I get a bit dist ...

When All the Church Can Say Is 'I'm Sorry'
Originally Posted: 07/01/2012 - 12:43pm | Type: Blog

The whole experience was exhilarating, partly because it started out being utterly terrifying. It could have gone very differently, and in a different context, it still might. But that doesn’t mean that more p ...

Donations to Religious Institutions Decline for Second Straight Year
Originally Posted: 06/21/2012 - 4:01pm | Type: Blog

Post-recession America is beginning to open its wallet to charities again, but is not giving as generously to religious institutions. WASHINGTON — Post-recession America is begin ...

Love Greater Than Our Differences: Christian Piatt's Interview on ChurchNext
Originally Posted: 06/21/2012 - 9:53am | Type: Blog

I spoke with Chris Yaw recently, host of an online program called ChurchNext. On it, he has dialogues with a number of church leaders about the current state of organized religion, the changing face of Christi ...

Church No More: Part 1 — Walking Away From Church
Originally Posted: 08/03/2012 - 11:43am | Type: Blog

This minister is walking away from church — well, at least for the next three months. I'm rewriting the old African-American spiritual “Down By the Riverside.” (Don't ...

Missional Church: A Paper Revolution
Originally Posted: 06/06/2012 - 4:12pm | Type: Blog

Sometimes we want to believe that a new ad campaign, worship service or big, expensive mission trip will give us the charge we need to turn things around in the church. But what if the real revolutions take pl ...

Church of the Laptop-Bound: Sunday June 3, 2012
Originally Posted: 06/04/2012 - 7:59am | Type: Blog

Couldn't quite get yourself together to make it to church this weekend? We've got you covered. Here for you edification and instruction, are three good lessons in video and audio form, from pastors T ...

Deliver Us From Smugness
Originally Posted: 05/31/2012 - 7:59pm | Type: Blog

It is not the imperfection or presence of conflict themselves within the Communion of the Saints that too many of those who would not call themselves Christians find repellent. It is how the church deals with ...

The Naked Pastor: Three Ways to Leave the Church
Originally Posted: 05/23/2012 - 10:26am | Type: Blog

Paul Simon says there must be 50 ways to leave your lover. The Naked Pastor figures there must be at least three ways to leave your church. Paul Simon says there must be 50 ways ...

Agape Doesn't Mean "Potluck"
Originally Posted: 05/15/2012 - 4:01pm | Type: Blog

If we knew that the people entering the doors of this, our little House for all Sinners and Saints, were actually Jesus’ friends, that they were those whom Jesus loved then despite what we thought of their per ...