The Common Good

Results for Faith and Spirituality

Pope Benedict XVI Says Lack of ‘Faith’ Could Be Used in Marriage Annulments
Originally Posted: 01/30/2013 - 11:04am | Type: Blog

Pope Benedict XVI has asked the Vatican’s highest appeals court to consider reviewing church rules on marriage annulments — a statement that may signal a change in tone more than a change in substance. ...

Deep in the Heart of Texas Mythology
Originally Posted: 01/29/2013 - 4:33pm | Type: Blog

Those who try to simplify American culture and demand that it fit their uniform standards fail to see the beauty of diversity, and they miss the half-truth – charming, but always partial – of the mythologies w ...

Faith Community Organizes Call-in Day to End Gun Violence
Originally Posted: 03/15/2013 - 10:30am | Type: Blog

While the debate on sensible gun restrictions has continued, local evening newscasts continue to run stories highlighting yet more tragic deaths from gun violence. We need more than a conversation. We need Co ...

Sermon on Baptism and the Devil
Originally Posted: 01/29/2013 - 10:25am | Type: Blog

While I am certain evil exists I’m not sure it’s in the form of a red man with horns and pitchfork and tail. That image that terrified me as a child is now a bit too cartoon-y for me to take seriously. ...

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 ...

Rethinking Modesty
Originally Posted: 01/28/2013 - 10:29am | Type: Blog

When I was growing up, the only thing that could be said about clothing was that it should be “modest,” and ideally not too “worldly.” “Modesty” was proof-texted from 1 Timothy 2:9: “I also want women to dress modestly, with decency and propriety, not w ...

In Search of The Real World
Originally Posted: 01/28/2013 - 9:52am | Type: Blog

We in the general public often receive an edited intake of information based upon a wide variety of personal choices, public influences, and political agendas. But we often fail to recognize the various influe ...

Lutherans Warn Vatican Against Simpler Conversions
Originally Posted: 01/23/2013 - 5:29pm | Type: Blog

Lutheran leaders have warned the Vatican that the creation of a structure to welcome conservative Lutherans into the Catholic Church would harm dialogue and damage ecumenical relations. ...

Christianity Without Arrogance
Originally Posted: 01/23/2013 - 4:39pm | Type: Blog

It might be that our first job in responding to the rise of the "Nones" is that we should stop creating so many of them through our own arrogance and our attempts to judge others (contrary to Christ& ...

Sorry, But God Isn't a Ravens Fan
Originally Posted: 01/23/2013 - 2:25pm | Type: Blog

When did "football" become so intertwined with "God," like "God" and "America?" Faith and football, faith and flag. Is this what God is all about? ...

If I Were Manti Te’o's Pastor
Originally Posted: 01/18/2013 - 11:03am | Type: Blog

Because I’m a believer in people – and more so – because I believe in the power of redemption, reconciliation, and restoration, I want to see Manti Te'o do well – not just as a football player – but as a ...

Emerging From the Wilderness
Originally Posted: 01/16/2013 - 12:37pm | Type: Blog

Wise leaders spend time in the wilderness. Wise leaders spend time in the wilderness. Some choose a sojourn in the desert; most are driven there when their leadership fails ...

When Radical Welcome Gets Messy
Originally Posted: 01/16/2013 - 10:06am | Type: Blog

It’s easier to guide the vision and mission of a church you start. It’s another thing to help a 135-year-old congregation reimagine what it means to be a downtown urban church in a world that has changed drama ...

Virtual Vices Show Shift in American Morality
Originally Posted: 01/10/2013 - 3:02pm | Type: Blog

Lust, gluttony, greed, sloth, wrath, envy, and pride still attract a lot of attention. But as the Internet and other media invade American life, our vices have also gone virtual, according to a new study. ...

‘Virtual’ Public Schools Draw Interest of Religious Families
Originally Posted: 01/09/2013 - 5:02pm | Type: Blog

Since Florida became the first state to try them in 1996, virtual public schools have enjoyed dramatic growth, with at least some of it coming from religious families. Worried ...

I Am Christian Because I Am #SBNR
Originally Posted: 01/09/2013 - 12:19pm | Type: Blog

The only reason that I am Christian is because I am spiritual-but-not-religious. The only reason that I am Christian is because I am spiritual-but-not-religious. Right. That� ...

VIDEO: The Spiritual Practice of Bread-Making
Originally Posted: 01/17/2013 - 2:56pm | Type: Magazine Article

The Editors Spiritual growth through bread-making. Many congregations lament that young adults are leaving ch ...

Risking Depth and Passion
Originally Posted: 01/14/2013 - 11:33am | Type: Magazine Article

Martin L. Smith Reflections on the Revised Common Lectionary, Cycle C "EVEN IF I OWNED Picasso's &# ...

Why We (Still) Can't Wait
Originally Posted: 01/14/2013 - 10:51am | Type: Magazine Article

Rose Marie Berger The Beloved Community is not a utopian ideal. DURING THE unseasonably warm autumn of 1951, ...

God is Alive and Well in America, Says Gallup Chief
Originally Posted: 01/07/2013 - 4:33pm | Type: Blog

Despite a deep drop in the number of Americans who identify with a particular faith, the country could be on the cusp of a religious renaissance, says Frank Newport, editor-in-chief of The Gallup Poll. ...

'Relevance' Is Not Enough
Originally Posted: 01/14/2013 - 10:52am | Type: Magazine Article

Anne Marie Roderick Joshua Witchger Many young adults are leaving the church these day ...

Article on ‘Jesus’ Wife’ Papyrus Delayed for More Testing
Originally Posted: 01/07/2013 - 2:13pm | Type: Blog

The Harvard Theological Review is postponing publication of a major article on the papyrus fragment in which Jesus seems to refer to his wife, raising further doubts about a discovery that was set to turn Chri ...

In Praise of Holding One's Religion Lightly
Originally Posted: 01/09/2013 - 12:52pm | Type: Blog

'Religion is bad for you' and everyone around you for that matter. 'Being SBNR is shallow and boring.' Well, if these statements are true then we are up Sh*t's Creek without a paddle. ...

Drinking Deeply
Originally Posted: 01/04/2013 - 4:08pm | Type: Blog

What would it mean to the world if this year — and well into the future — we passed it a bottle of Wild Irish Rose, if we gave it the things that mean most to us? Let's try it! ...

Waiting for Your 2013
Originally Posted: 01/04/2013 - 10:04am | Type: Blog

2013 will be a year of healing and of leveling with the reality that I am broken. I have been broken and will be broken. And that's okay. My 2013 resolution is to continue the unraveling of 2012, 2011, 20 ...

Resting Between the Headlines: The Most Important Resolution You Can Make this Year
Originally Posted: 01/03/2013 - 5:20pm | Type: Blog

Perhaps the best thing we can do for the peace and healing of our country is to take a weekly day of rest, beginning now. Hurricane Sandy. Sandy Hook.  The Fiscal Cliff.  Next ...

On Scripture: Frankincense, Myrrh, and a Toothbrush? Matthew 2:1-12
Originally Posted: 01/03/2013 - 5:21pm | Type: Blog

We realized the divide between rich and poor can be seen not by looking at house size, checkbooks, or retirement accounts, but by looking at a person’s smile. In  As I Lay Dy ...

A New Year's Challenge in the Wake of Sandy Hook
Originally Posted: 03/15/2013 - 10:36am | Type: Blog

In the end I think it is so important that we realize that we all as individuals contribute to this national tragedy even if we live thousands of miles away because WE are what makes up this culture. ...

A Gen-X Spiritual-But-Not-Religious Creed?
Originally Posted: 12/28/2012 - 3:13pm | Type: Blog

There are a lot of emergent folk who shun creeds. They have let go of much of their free-range evangelicalism, but the anti-creedal posture still holds a principal place. Still, I am thinking about music and l ...

'In Our Hearts, We Won Them All'
Originally Posted: 12/28/2012 - 11:08am | Type: Blog

"In our hearts we won them all." I'll always remember it and hold it in my heart. I attended a basketball banquet and a girls team gathered together on the stage. ...

One Last Christmas Gift
Originally Posted: 12/27/2012 - 1:14pm | Type: Blog

I look forward to another year of ministry with your help and your support. Bless you and your families in these special days of time together. The year has been a busy and ch ...

Pope Paul VI Inches One Step Closer to Sainthood
Originally Posted: 12/27/2012 - 11:38am | Type: Blog

Pope Paul VI, who guided the Catholic Church through a tumultuous period of change in the 1960s and 70s, took a crucial first step toward possible sainthood when Pope Benedict XVI last week recognized his pred ...

What Are You Singing: The Little Drummer Boy
Originally Posted: 12/24/2012 - 11:54am | Type: Blog

Not only is this song fun to sing with its drum-like “pa-rum-pum-pum-pums,” but also it embraces a non-materialistic message that we all need to hear, especially this time of year. ...

What Are You Singing: I Saw Three Ships Come Sailing In
Originally Posted: 12/21/2012 - 11:55am | Type: Blog

This Christmas I hope those “three ships” will sail toward the light of my Advent candles. And that I’m ready to receive the treasures they bear. One carol I’ve been humming this ...

Evangelicals' Answer to Newtown Should Be Evangelism
Originally Posted: 03/15/2013 - 10:38am | Type: Blog

Absent from all of this analysis is any consideration of our own failure to do exactly what evangelicals should be all about: Evangelism, in the form of reaching out and giving meaning to lost souls like the l ...

What Are You Singing: Do You Hear What I Hear?
Originally Posted: 12/20/2012 - 1:11pm | Type: Blog

Rather than a subversive message about the twisting of the Gospel, “Do You Hear What I Hear” was actually a call for peace during the turbulence of the 1960s. Whoops. I was joki ...

Pastor Terry Jones is No Match for the Beatles’ LOVE
Originally Posted: 12/21/2012 - 12:16am | Type: Blog

In this video produced by the New York Times, we get to witness what I consider a momentary intervention of God’s spirit in a beautifully, creatively nonviolent way. Many will re ...

What Are You Singing: O Little Town of Bethlehem
Originally Posted: 12/20/2012 - 10:50am | Type: Blog

One question I am left with as I think about Bethlehem and the places surrounding it this Christmas is What would Jesus have to say about this conflict? I don’t know about you, bu ...

Is It Too Late For Us?
Originally Posted: 03/15/2013 - 10:39am | Type: Blog

As tragic as the shooting was in Connecticut —and I am truly not interested in minimizing the grief or outrage — we have to wake up and realize that more children are killed every year in the U.S \and we seldo ...

On Scripture: Can We Speak of God’s Activity, in Triumph or Tragedy?
Originally Posted: 03/15/2013 - 10:40am | Type: Blog

Certain Christians seem compelled to speak for God in disorienting moments like these, and the results are frequently terrible. The rest of the church has a responsibility to get angry and repudiate the statem ...

Newest Front in 'Christmas Wars:' Billboards
Originally Posted: 12/18/2012 - 5:09pm | Type: Blog

A billboard posted in Chico, Calif., that originally read “Don’t believe in God? Join the club” was defaced on Dec. 12, less than a week after it appeared, with vandals removing the word “don’t.” ...

What Are You Singing: Away In A Manger
Originally Posted: 12/19/2012 - 11:56am | Type: Blog

Even though the song may seem like it only deserves a cursory glance, as it was originally published in theLittle Children's Book for Schools and Families in 1885, I purport there’s something more to the ...

Newtown Shootings Renew Questions About Evil and Suffering
Originally Posted: 03/15/2013 - 10:41am | Type: Blog

As the names of those who died are made known, that cry is followed by a question: Why? Why does God allow evil? “Oh, God!” That cry has echoed ever since news of the horri ...

Five Children’s Questions About the Sandy Hook Tragedy
Originally Posted: 12/18/2012 - 10:40am | Type: Blog

I have little to add to the Sandy Hook conversation at a certain level, but I have heard questions from many children, some from my own kids. I thought I’d offer some responses I’ve shared. ...

Fred Phelps’ Son Condemns Westboro’s Plan to Picket Newtown Funerals
Originally Posted: 12/17/2012 - 5:32pm | Type: Blog

The estranged son of a Kansas pastor famous for protesting the funerals of soldiers and AIDS victims has condemned his family’s plans to picket the funerals of the 26 people — including 20 children — who were ...

What Are You Singing: Good King Wenceslas
Originally Posted: 12/17/2012 - 4:37pm | Type: Blog

There is a season for researching, debating, and discussing ways to end poverty and hunger once and for all. But this is not that season. When I go home for Christmas, I always en ...

God is Here?
Originally Posted: 03/15/2013 - 10:41am | Type: Blog

call him Immanuel’ (which means ‘God with us’)” (Matthew 1:22-23 ©NIV).  Matthew was eager to point ...

The Marrow Road
Originally Posted: 12/14/2012 - 2:27pm | Type: Blog

I've been thinking, as Advent goes on, what it meant for God to lay aside infinity and put on a body that was not just tiny, inarticulate, and helpless, but also already marked, to the marrow of its littl ...

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 ...

Ch-Ch-Ch-Ch Changes: News from Our Bloggerina
Originally Posted: 12/14/2012 - 10:08am | Type: Blog

Change is hard. There is always a certain lamenting that comes with it, even when the change is, on many levels, a good thing. This was a difficult decision but one I felt I had to make in order to follow the ...