The Common Good

Results for Faith and Spirituality

Why Are Manger Scenes So Weird?
Originally Posted: 12/15/2014 - 1:01pm | Type: Blog

We’ve left out all the messy parts. The oh-my-God-what-now parts. The I’m-screaming-as-loud-as-I-can-because-it-really-hurts parts. The oh-no-I’ve-stepped-in-the-animal-droppings parts. The real parts. And tha ...

VIDEO: We Are Not An Issue
Originally Posted: 12/15/2014 - 2:56pm | Type: Magazine Article

The Editors A video depicting the church.  In the long-running “culture war” over whether or not to accept an ...

Why Jews Skipped Hanukkah and Wrote the Most Beloved Christmas Songs
Originally Posted: 12/12/2014 - 6:05pm | Type: Blog

“White Christmas,” written by Jewish lyricist Irving Berlin, topped the charts in 1942 and launched popular Christmas music, encouraging many others — Jews and non-Jews — to write more odes to the holiday. ...

AUDIO: Margaret Atwood Reading from "Year of the Flood."
Originally Posted: 12/15/2014 - 2:56pm | Type: Magazine Article

Lani Prunés A Sojourners exclusive audio reading from Year of the Flood.  In her reflection on the beatitude ...

Pope Francis Is Naming New Cardinals. Will Any Be American?
Originally Posted: 12/12/2014 - 3:24pm | Type: Blog

The Vatican announced Dec. 11 that Pope Francis will name a new batch of cardinals in February, adding to the select group of churchmen who will someday gather to elect his successor. Rome won’t reveal the names until next month, but could an America ...

Dalai Lama Says Pope Francis' Unwillingness to Meet 'Could Cause Problems'
Originally Posted: 12/12/2014 - 1:56pm | Type: Blog

The Vatican has not had diplomatic ties with China since 1951, and its Communist leaders object to meetings between heads of state and the Tibetan leader. The Dalai Lama said Dec. ...

Gratitude with Hope
Originally Posted: 01/12/2015 - 5:07pm | Type: Blog

I'm grateful for the warm, safe shelter of my home when there are 610,042 experiencing homelessness on any given night in the U.S. I’m grateful for more than enough to eat when there are 805 million peop ...

Grace Stories
Originally Posted: 12/12/2014 - 1:16pm | Type: Blog

Advent is a time for stories. In my childhood, these weeks were filled with Sunday school pageants, beautifully illustrated children's books, and swapping out Legos for the figurines in my mom’s Nativity ...

7 Concerning Pope Francis Quotes About Women
Originally Posted: 12/11/2014 - 12:09pm | Type: Blog

When Pope Francis this month wanted to highlight his appointment of several women to a blue-ribbon theological commission, he called the female theologians “strawberries on the cake.” ...

Synod on the Family: Dialogue or Clash Between Factions?
Originally Posted: 12/10/2014 - 3:34pm | Type: Blog

Pope Francis used his weekly audience Dec. 10 to challenge media reports of “clashes between factions” at the recent bishops’ synod on family issues. Pope Francis used his weekly ...

The Gift of Hopelessness
Originally Posted: 12/10/2014 - 1:11pm | Type: Blog

This Advent I am grateful for the gift of hopelessness. Yes, you read that correctly. “But as a mountain erodes and crumbles and as a rock is moved from its place, as water w ...

Archbishop Justin Welby: Anglican Communion May Not Hold Together
Originally Posted: 12/09/2014 - 5:49pm | Type: Blog

In a lengthy  interview  in The Times of London, Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby predicted that the Anglican Communion might not hold together because of strong disagreements on the ordination of women as bishops and full rights for LGBT people. ...

Why God Is Sending Christians Straight to Hell
Originally Posted: 12/09/2014 - 3:33pm | Type: Blog

So much of Christianity has become about avoiding hell. But if there’s one thing I’ve learned as a hospital chaplain, it’s that God is sending Christians straight to hell. So muc ...

Injustice Has Many Names
Originally Posted: 12/09/2014 - 4:06pm | Type: Blog

Every name of a life lost is an image of God. When we lost them, we lost a little piece of God’s image in the world. There is power in a name. One of the things happening in o ...

Retreats Aim to Help LGBT Youth Recapture Some of Their Broken Spirituality
Originally Posted: 12/09/2014 - 10:36am | Type: Blog

expressing their hopes, dreams and fears. Photo by Alex Fradkin / RNS. Garrett, 23, was raised ...

The Public Private Life of Thomas Merton
Originally Posted: 01/07/2015 - 4:42pm | Type: Magazine Article

Christopher Pramuk 100 Years after his birth, the postmodern sensibilities of this Catholic author and monk kept new generations coming ...

Bear Mountain
Originally Posted: 12/15/2014 - 2:56pm | Type: Magazine Article

Brian Doyle Five boys and one quiet honest wry excellent priest.  FATHER PAUL DROVE US in one of the two pari ...

What About the Meek?
Originally Posted: 12/15/2014 - 2:56pm | Type: Magazine Article

Margaret Atwood Do you always have to let bullies kick sand in your face at the beach?  THIS IS SURELY the mo ...

Disputable Matters
Originally Posted: 12/15/2014 - 2:56pm | Type: Magazine Article

for full inclusion of LGBT Christians in the U.S. evangelical world, and he is only 23 years old. Raised ...

5 Takeaways from Pope Francis' Latest Interview
Originally Posted: 12/08/2014 - 3:23pm | Type: Blog

Gay marriage was never on the agenda at the recent Bishops’ Synod on the Family and the subject “did not cross our minds,” Pope Francis said in a new headline-grabbing interview. ...

Considering 12 Sides of Jesus
Originally Posted: 12/09/2014 - 10:05am | Type: Blog

I grew up reading Scripture, have written several books about Jesus and the Bible, but somehow I’m always left with a sense that there’s more — a lot more — about Jesus and about being a follower than we gener ...

You Don’t Want To Be A Prophet
Originally Posted: 12/08/2014 - 1:15pm | Type: Blog

The prophet’s road is lonely not because she escapes the hubbub of everyday life in order to retreat and draw near to God. No, the prophet’s road is lonely because she is called to the most troubled corners of ...

Tackling the Hard Questions
Originally Posted: 04/01/2015 - 7:50pm | Type: Magazine Article

David P. Gushee It's time for Bible-believing Christians to take a new look at what scripture teaches us about gays and lesbians—and ...

January 2015
Originally Posted: 12/15/2014 - 3:30pm | Type: Magazine Issue

January, 2015 What the Bible Says (and doesn't say) about gays, lesbians, and the church. ...

Rhythms
Originally Posted: 12/09/2014 - 10:32am | Type: Blog

Christianity’s rhythm is cyclic, repetitive. Still, in the same way that we can continually find new gusts of loveliness and truth in old Scriptures our eyes have taken in before, each Advent is a fresh encou ...

Does a New Book Question Pope Francis' Legitimacy?
Originally Posted: 12/05/2014 - 4:12pm | Type: Blog

Was there a secret plot to elect Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio at the papal conclave last year? Did Bergoglio — who became Pope Francis at that conclave — give the go-ahead to such a plan? And does that cam ...

Hope in the Christ’s Resurrection
Originally Posted: 12/05/2014 - 12:06pm | Type: Blog

I don’t have hope this Advent because of the great work Sojourners is doing here in Washington, D.C., or because I try my hardest to live a righteous and loving life. I only have hope because of this Jesus. ...

Shore
Originally Posted: 12/10/2014 - 11:14am | Type: Blog

After the monsoon, after work, I catch you with your face in the hot laundry, the syntax of spring held together by sap, hanging wild and worried and crazy in the lowest branch. In the ripe country, sa ...

Can 'Good Will Hunting' Help You Decide What to Do with Your Life?
Originally Posted: 12/03/2014 - 4:16pm | Type: Blog

It probably can’t. It may help you ponder the kind of person you hope to become, and it might even help you orient yourself towards the next few baby steps you take in this life, but decide what you want to do ...

This Is Jesus, in His Glory
Originally Posted: 12/05/2014 - 1:33pm | Type: Blog

"This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.” Luke 2:12 As the people walked into the sanctuary, the worship team behind us started to sing. “This is Jesus, ...

Will Faith Stay Safe or Stand Tall?
Originally Posted: 12/03/2014 - 11:50am | Type: Blog

If faith couldn’t address the dark sides, then it was just ritualized nostalgia. It was an in-crowd affirming itself; it was nice people gathering for pleasing ceremonies and making no discernible difference i ...

What Ever Happened to Rob Bell, the Pastor Who Questioned the Gates of Hell?
Originally Posted: 12/02/2014 - 2:53pm | Type: Blog

In 2011, his book “Love Wins” pushed the evangelical envelope on the nature of heaven, hell, and salvation. Many dismissed him as a modern-day heretic, unwilling to embrace traditional evangelicals beliefs abo ...

Out of the Silence
Originally Posted: 12/02/2014 - 6:04pm | Type: Blog

One summer my cousin Betty and I sneaked through the barbed-wire fence of a neighbor’s orchard and ate so many wild plums right off the tree that we almost made ourselves sick. Betty was 13 and I was 9, and I ...

Online Troll or Therapist? Atheist Evangelists See Their Work as a Calling
Originally Posted: 12/02/2014 - 3:21pm | Type: Blog

Max is not alone in classifying his online commenting as more benevolent than belittling. Several atheist super-commenters mentioned a concern for others as motivation for spending up to 10 hours a day arguing ...

Waiting for Heaven
Originally Posted: 12/02/2014 - 10:56am | Type: Blog

But wait! What if we‘ve got it backward? To revisit that waiting-goes-both-ways thing: Instead of us waiting on God, what if God is waiting on us? John Dominic Crossan poses that question in his book The Pow ...

Finding The Perfect Gift
Originally Posted: 12/01/2014 - 4:56pm | Type: Blog

Like a lot of people, I love giving presents almost as much as receiving them. And the best gifts of all are ones that come with a clear understanding of the recipient in mind — ones that involve thought and c ...

A Season of Hope
Originally Posted: 12/01/2014 - 4:39pm | Type: Blog

With all of this pain and heartache in the world, I often find myself asking, “Where is the hope?” “For in hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes ...

Pope Francis Makes Overtures to Orthodox and Muslims
Originally Posted: 12/01/2014 - 4:55pm | Type: Blog

Never mind that Turkey is overwhelmingly Muslim. The most enduring image of Pope Francis’ three-day visit to Turkey was the moment when he bowed his head and asked for the blessing of the leader of Eastern Ort ...

A Homeless Man and A Candy Cane
Originally Posted: 11/25/2014 - 1:11pm | Type: Blog

James was playing cards with several other nursing home residents in a room that doubles as their dining area. The “stakes” for their game was a stash of candy from a Christmas party earlier in the day. He saw ...

November Sings the Blues
Originally Posted: 12/01/2014 - 2:51pm | Type: Blog

Late November is Vitamin D season. The dregs of the year threaten to swamp the spirit, clinging to each rough edge of the soul, and frequent shots of sunshine and warm coziness are needed just to keep the deep ...

It's Time Again: Depression and the Holidays
Originally Posted: 11/24/2014 - 11:35am | Type: Blog

. We don’t want anybody to say, “You’ll get over it,” or “Other people have many more reasons to be depressed than you.” So on top of feeling depressed, we feel guilty about being depressed. The prophet Isaia ...

What Families Want — And How the Church Can Help
Originally Posted: 11/21/2014 - 12:43pm | Type: Blog

Churches have spent millions attempting to cater to the needs of the young families in their communities. "Come here! Bring your kids! We have a replica-sized Noah's Ark with real, live animals — a ...

Ten Commandments for Atheists: A Guide for Nonbelievers Who Want to Explore Their Values
Originally Posted: 11/20/2014 - 5:20pm | Type: Blog

“There are lots of books out there about why you should not believe in God,” Bayer said. “But there aren’t any about what do secular people believe in. I think that’s the question John and I felt hadn’t been a ...

Cardinal O’Malley Urges Church to Embrace Hierarchical Accountability
Originally Posted: 11/20/2014 - 4:48pm | Type: Blog

Following up on remarks to “60 Minutes” about the clergy sex abuse crisis and other controversial topics, Boston Cardinal Sean O’Malley has stressed that the Catholic Church needs a system to hold bishops acco ...

Pope Francis Laments 'Market Priorities' in Struggle Against Hunger
Originally Posted: 11/20/2014 - 4:36pm | Type: Blog

“It is also painful to see that the struggle against hunger and malnutrition is hindered by ‘market priorities,’” the pope said. Market speculation and pursuit of profits are hin ...

Brittany Maynard Advocates from the Grave
Originally Posted: 11/20/2014 - 11:38am | Type: Blog

In the video, Maynard concludes: “If there’s one message to come away from everything that I’ve been through, it is no matter what life kind of presents you with, is never be afraid to use your own voice. And ...

Five Reasons Why We Want to Believe Jesus Was Married
Originally Posted: 11/20/2014 - 5:21pm | Type: Blog

And so it continues today, as modern Christians see Jesus as a successful businessman, a proto-Marxist, a political zealot, a vegetarian, or maybe a gay man. Or, more commonly, married with children — an Ozzie ...

Faith Leaders Join Consumer Advocates to Push for Lower Payday Loan Rates
Originally Posted: 11/20/2014 - 11:28am | Type: Blog

Dozens of faith leaders and consumer advocates are pressing Congress to create a national interest rate cap for payday lenders instead of the exorbitant three-digit rates currently charged to people in several ...

An Advent-Shaped Faith
Originally Posted: 11/20/2014 - 11:49am | Type: Blog

The high liturgical seasons of Advent and Lent have always held a special place in my heart because of their emphasis on the life, death, and resurrection of Christ. But Advent has special significance because ...

Pope Francis' Visit to Philadelphia Won't Focus on Hot-Button Sex Issues
Originally Posted: 11/19/2014 - 2:40pm | Type: Blog

Reflecting the change in emphasis under Pope Francis that was evident at the recent Vatican Synod on the Family, the four-day event in Philadelphia will look at poverty and the family, marital intimacy, raisin ...