The Common Good

Results for Life and Peace

Pastors’ Letter on Mark Driscoll: Step Down From All Aspects of Ministry and Leadership
Originally Posted: 08/28/2014 - 3:03pm | Type: Blog

A letter from nine Mars Hill Church pastors to their fellow elders offers the most trenchant criticism yet of controversial megachurch pastor Mark Driscoll, who recently stepped down for at least six weeks ami ...

Do We Really Want to Be Transformed?
Originally Posted: 08/28/2014 - 3:37pm | Type: Blog

It’s amazing what silence will do for the soul. Communication doesn’t mean noise. And the failures of this world, the church, and each other doesn’t mean that we don’t still strive for “thy kingdom come.” ...

Is James Foley a Martyr?
Originally Posted: 08/28/2014 - 9:45am | Type: Blog

there on Thanksgiving in 2012. He was held with as many as 17 other prisoners and had a fellow captive, who was later ...

To Spiritually Thrive, We Must First Spiritually Survive (And Help Others Do the Same)
Originally Posted: 08/27/2014 - 1:41pm | Type: Blog

On numerous occasions we get pulled back into a right relationship with God only because people were willing to love us, and this wouldn’t have happened without individuals selflessly making the decision to in ...

Stop Taking Attendance
Originally Posted: 08/27/2014 - 12:57pm | Type: Blog

After years in the ministry, I have come to the conclusion that the church needs to stop taking attendance — immediately. At a church I used to serve there was a well-intentioned ...

A Funeral, a Stick Figure, and Joy
Originally Posted: 08/27/2014 - 10:18am | Type: Blog

Maybe joy is about seeing the debris that washes into our lives at any given moment and choosing to make something of it. Doing it because it brings us and others a little joy. Th ...

Give Us New Eyes
Originally Posted: 08/27/2014 - 12:09pm | Type: Blog

I am convinced that recent events in Ferguson have become a mirror to the nation. This may very well be a critical moment in history, if we take a time to stop and listen to each other. ...

Women's Equality Day: Our 5 Most Popular Posts in 2014 by Women
Originally Posted: 08/27/2014 - 11:07am | Type: Blog

In honor of Women's Equality Day, we decided to round up our five most popular posts authored by women in 2014. Today, August 26, is  Women's Equality Day . The d ...

Churches Must Be Safe Places
Originally Posted: 08/26/2014 - 2:59pm | Type: Blog

Safety in church is a matter of solid and secure leadership, self-discipline by all, effective norms for behavior and putting dignity and respect ahead of winning and getting. Chu ...

Traffickers Come in Many Forms
Originally Posted: 08/26/2014 - 1:00pm | Type: Blog

While entertaining, unfortunately, Taken dramatizes and stereotypes traffickers. Contrary to what's portrayed in popular movies, there are many types of traffickers beyond the stereotypical pop-culture sw ...

What 'Normal Politicians' Should Look Like
Originally Posted: 08/26/2014 - 12:24pm | Type: Blog

We can do better. We can be like Aung San Suu Kyi. The 2014 election-year posturing forces me back to November, 2010, when a living parable walked into freedom after 15 years of ...

Human Trafficking: Community Is Essential
Originally Posted: 08/25/2014 - 2:03pm | Type: Blog

What does community look like when working on a social issue? Diedrich Boenhoeffer wrote about it. Pastors preach about it. Churches strive for it. Community . It is a co ...

Mark Driscoll to Step Down While Mars Hill Reviews Charges
Originally Posted: 08/25/2014 - 11:57am | Type: Blog

Controversial Seattle megachurch founder Mark Driscoll will step down for at least six weeks while church leaders review formal charges lodged by a group of pastors that he abused his power. ...

God Hears the Cries of #Ferguson: A Burning Bush and a World on Fire
Originally Posted: 08/25/2014 - 10:22am | Type: Blog

Today, God hears the cries of those in Ferguson and all who are oppressed. "Then the LORD said, 'I have observed the misery of my people…I have heard their cry…Indeed, ...

Pope to Iraqi President: ‘I Appeal to You with My Heart Full of Pain’
Originally Posted: 08/22/2014 - 9:02am | Type: Blog

Pope Francis wrote to the president of Iraq, calling for an end to the “brutal suffering of Christians and other religious minorities” and urging political leaders to end the humanitarian crisis in the country ...

Fallout in the Neighborhood When a Catholic School Closes
Originally Posted: 08/21/2014 - 4:30pm | Type: Blog

What happens to a community when a Roman Catholic school closes its doors? What happens to a community when a Roman Catholic school closes its doors? That’s the question  Nico ...

James Foley’s Parents Draw on Faith After Journalist Son’s Execution
Originally Posted: 08/21/2014 - 4:01pm | Type: Blog

Once again, John and Diane Foley appeared on national television Wednesday to speak in clear and deliberate voices about their son, conflict journalist James Foley. ...

Standing Against the Death Penalty: It’s About the Families of the Victims
Originally Posted: 08/22/2014 - 1:52pm | Type: Blog

The average inmate spends 16 years on death row. Assuming a capital trial adds another two years, then 18 years between crime and death is quite common. Additionally, depending in which state you live, the med ...

Stopped Cold By A Pepsi Can
Originally Posted: 08/21/2014 - 12:36pm | Type: Blog

Maybe it’s a reminder that we have to leave the safe harbor in order to visit new places and chart a new course for ourselves and others. That whenever we try something new, we’re going to be awful at it at fi ...

Anxiety and Christian Leadership
Originally Posted: 08/20/2014 - 2:07pm | Type: Blog

I would challenge theology that suggests that prayer is a “cure” for any kind of suffering, but the fact remains that my ability to manage my anxiety rests in my relationship with God. Though I do not believe ...

Pope Francis Hints He Might One Day Retire
Originally Posted: 08/20/2014 - 10:39am | Type: Blog

Addressing journalists on his return from his intense five-day visit to South Korea late August 18, Pope Francis bantered with reporters and lightheartedly said he may only have “two or three” years left to li ...

What 'The Leftovers' Can Teach Us About Hope and the Christian Faith
Originally Posted: 08/20/2014 - 8:39am | Type: Blog

The Leftovers examines the deeper human and spiritual issues of what would happen were two percent of the population to suddenly disappear. It is powerful and beautiful and really hard to watch (especially Epi ...

Gratitude as Resistance: An Ancient Idea for our Collective Anxiety
Originally Posted: 08/19/2014 - 10:14am | Type: Blog

My point: if it’s joy we are looking for, we might need to shift our attention pretty dramatically. This is especially for those of us who want to be on the pioneering front edge of God’s restorative work. ...

Islamic Militias Continue Spread Beyond the Middle East Into African Nations
Originally Posted: 08/18/2014 - 4:55pm | Type: Blog

An Islamist group has gained ground in the northeastern Libyan city of Benghazi, declaring it an Islamic territory and raising fears that radical Islamist militias may spread in the rest of Africa. The declar ...

Sweaty Spirituality: Fighting Obesity with Paul (Romans 12:1-8)
Originally Posted: 08/18/2014 - 3:56pm | Type: Blog

Clergy must lead this charge against obesity in America, which means that our spirituality will need to get a whole lot sweatier. Do you want to know a secret about working out? H ...

Borderfree
Originally Posted: 08/18/2014 - 11:34am | Type: Blog

The borders now vanishing in the Middle East – the most radical transformations of the map here since the post-WWI Sykes Picot agreement – are being redrawn in chaos and fear. The bubbles that burst here are t ...

What Saved My Faith
Originally Posted: 08/18/2014 - 9:18am | Type: Blog

Darkness existed in the forms of misogyny, empire-building, anti-intellectualism, and systematic marginalization of GLBT persons; they were injustices coated with spiritual language — wolves in sheep’s clothin ...

Michael Brown, Iraq, Putin, Gaza: How to Reconcile the Brokenness?
Originally Posted: 08/16/2014 - 10:34am | Type: Blog

Despite the swell of division and resulting violence, part of the issue is that we have such a sharply tuned and inexhaustible news cycle that places every tragedy, from St. Louis to Ukraine, right before us, ...

The Church Has Left the Building
Originally Posted: 08/15/2014 - 2:33pm | Type: Blog

Last year I spoke at a missional church conference in Southern California. The guy who spoke before me asked every one of these missional pastors do a simple exercise. “Turn to the person sitting next to you,” he said, “and tell them the names of you ...

3 Ways to Cultivate Joy While Working for Change
Originally Posted: 08/19/2014 - 10:49am | Type: Blog

I’ve been considering three approaches in cultivating joy, a God-given, buoyant energy, in the midst of some weighty work. I was among millions across the globe wrapped up in the ...

The Nature of Joy
Originally Posted: 08/15/2014 - 12:16pm | Type: Blog

As tanks open fire on the humble homes of the Gazan poor and rockets rain down on a terrified Israeli populace we are compelled to ask, “How do we keep coming back to this profane and violent place called war? ...

From 30,000 Feet, Pope Francis Reaches Out to Beijing
Originally Posted: 08/15/2014 - 10:55am | Type: Blog

At Beijing’s oldest Roman Catholic Church on Wednesday, Mary Zhang, 54, eagerly awaited the arrival of Pope Francis—at cruising altitude. “I’m very excited. It’s the first time the pope has flown over China,” ...

Needed: An International Strategy in Iraq
Originally Posted: 08/15/2014 - 10:26am | Type: Blog

If military action needs to be taken to protect civilians from further ISIS aggression, it should be multilateral not unilateral. American leadership no doubt will remain important, but the authorization for a ...

Remember That Our Lives Matter
Originally Posted: 08/15/2014 - 9:52am | Type: Blog

We need to (re)learn to be more human. And most importantly, remind yourself that YOU are loved. Not just merely by your loved ones but also by the ONE who created all that is good and beautiful. ...

Are All Christians Really Hypocrites?
Originally Posted: 08/13/2014 - 3:30pm | Type: Blog

Hold Christians accountable. Call us out. But offer us the chance to own our faults and seek out forgiveness. According to one of my favorite authors, Brennan Manning,  " ...

Baby Makes 3: More Unmarried New Moms Cohabiting
Originally Posted: 08/13/2014 - 3:06pm | Type: Blog

Nearly three in five births to unmarried women across the United States were to women living with their partner — marking the first time a majority of these births were to women in cohabiting relationships, ac ...

Suicide and Pain: What Are We Missing?
Originally Posted: 08/13/2014 - 2:14pm | Type: Blog

While I believe that we should never replace God by trying to be the Savior, I do believe we should be a place where those who are hurting can come. Yesterday morning I was prepar ...

Where is the Joy?
Originally Posted: 08/13/2014 - 1:35pm | Type: Blog

How do you talk about joy in times like these and not sound like a traveling salesman with a bottle of snake oil up his sleeve? Recently, I received word that Robert Gittelson, the cofounder of Conservatives ...

Is There a Nonviolent Response to ISIS?
Originally Posted: 08/13/2014 - 9:59am | Type: Blog

The fact is, violence has not only failed to create stability, in many ways it has acted to exacerbate the situation of instability and injustice which fuels terrorism. Violence does not stop violence, instead ...

WATCH: 7 Video Clips That Showcase Robin Williams' Brilliance
Originally Posted: 08/12/2014 - 5:31pm | Type: Blog

We lost a funny man on Monday to a sad and persistent disease. Robin Williams passed away Monday night of an apparent suicide. We lost a funny man on Monday to a sad and persisten ...

Five Reasons post-Christianity Is Good for Us
Originally Posted: 08/13/2014 - 10:04am | Type: Blog

For many leaders within organized Christian circles, this is all a call to arms, a warning shot across the proverbial bow to wake us up from our slumber and engage the impinging culture war with renewed commit ...

Are We the United States of Dystopia? The Politics of 'The Giver'
Originally Posted: 08/12/2014 - 2:53pm | Type: Blog

This Friday, a movie version of the classic novel “The Giver” opens in theaters with an impressive cast, including Oscar winners Meryl Streep and Jeff Bridges. This Friday, a mov ...

Suicide a Risk Even for Beloved Characters Like Robin Williams
Originally Posted: 08/12/2014 - 2:44pm | Type: Blog

That a “universally beloved” entertainer such as Robin Williams could commit suicide “speaks to the power of psychiatric illness,” mental health experts say. That a “universally b ...

Jesus Wasn't American—Neither Is The Bible
Originally Posted: 08/13/2014 - 10:03am | Type: Blog

Unfortunately, American values are often completely in conflict with the Gospel of Jesus. We point to the Bible and use verses like Romans 13:1-7 to show that it’s actually God-ordained to submit to our gover ...

On the Other Side of Suicide
Originally Posted: 08/12/2014 - 11:21am | Type: Blog

No one is exempt from being unhappy. Even from being depressed at times. Though it may not be something I would consider, I can’t ignore — nor judge — those who feel that maybe we’d be better off without them. ...

Mark Driscoll's Books Pulled from the Southern Baptist Convention's LifeWay Stores
Originally Posted: 08/11/2014 - 4:48pm | Type: Blog

The nation’s second largest Christian book retailer has pulled megachurch pastor Mark Driscoll’s books from its website and 186 stores. The nation’s second largest Christian book ...

God Isn't Punishing Mark Driscoll
Originally Posted: 08/11/2014 - 4:48pm | Type: Blog

This week has been a rough one for Mark Driscoll, pastor of Mars Hill Church in Seattle. This week has been a rough one for Mark Driscoll, pastor of Mars Hill Church in Seattle. F ...

On Iraq Pope Francis' Message of Peace Meets Realities of War
Originally Posted: 08/11/2014 - 3:19pm | Type: Blog

Even as Francis called on the international community to find “an efficient political solution that can stop these crimes,” the Vatican also tried to make peace with the idea that U.S. military strikes that be ...

ON Scripture: Acknowledging our Divine Positioning
Originally Posted: 08/11/2014 - 2:39pm | Type: Blog

of people for life-giving, sustaining, and reviving. Genesis 45:1-17 is relevant for modern readers ...

Deconstructing God's Mission
Originally Posted: 08/11/2014 - 1:37pm | Type: Blog

All people in all places are missionaries, for all people in all places participate within a particular mission in some shape or form. Missionaries are as diverse as the human community itself. ...