The Common Good

Faith-based Initiatives

Faith, Hunger, Politics, Chicken & Waffles: A Conversation Between Chris LaTondresse and Adam Phillips

Adam Nicholas Phillips: Chris, tell us a little bit about yourself.

Christopher LaTondresse: As the son of American evangelical missionary parents, I spent several formative years living in the former Soviet Union — Novosibirsk, Russia to be exact — smack dab in the middle of Siberia. My family is originally from Minnesota, so I was convinced that they were trying to find the one place on the planet colder than our home state to do missions work.

Growing up as a missionary kid, my parents taught me to take my faith seriously, to take Jesus seriously, no matter what the cost. Their example — leaving the trappings of an American middle-class lifestyle behind to pursue something they believed in — sticks with me to this day. The major lesson: There are things in this life worth making exceptional sacrifices for, especially things close to the heart of God.Adam Phillips

I guess this is really what informs who I am, and animates my work today. True, I’m not a full-time missionary, but I’ve tried to devote my life to playing a role, however small, in what God is doing in the world. For my parents this was about planting churches and, to use the language of the Navigators (the missions organization that sent them) “making disciples”. For me it’s about taking Jesus seriously when he said, “What you do unto the least of least, you do for me.”

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Are Faith-Based Initiatives a 'Failure'?

So-called faith-based initiatives quietly persist under President Obama.
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Glenn Beck Attacks Churches on Climate Change

I thought Glenn Beck must have moved on to other things, but the other night, he went back to his attack on social justice churches. This time the issue was climate change.
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What Glenn Beck Doesn't Understand About Biblical Social Justice

When Glenn Beck promised to devote a whole week of his television show to come after me, I wasn't sure he really meant it. I guess he did. Last night he began to make good on the threat he made on his radio show that "the hammer will fall."
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A Father to the Fatherless

Father's Day has always been a bittersweet holiday for me. For most of my life, my father was absent, having abandoned our family when I was in elementary school.
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New Faith-Based Initiatives Report: 'Serving People in Need, Safeguarding Religious Freedom'

I have long supported effective partnerships between government and faith-based organizations.
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Seeing the Election Beyond Black and White

Watching Barack Obama's victory speech and reflecting upon the significance of his election as the next president of the United States left me profoundly moved.
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Faith-Based Initiatives Are Neither Democrat nor Republican

In the wake of Sen. Obama's proposals on faith-based initiatives, I listened to political pundits characterize this as simply another shift by Obama toward the political "center." All this knee-jerk analysis totally misses the point.

I've followed the development of this idea for years. In September 2000 I was at a breakfast for religious leaders at the White House when President Clinton [...]

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