The Common Good

Results for Faith and Spirituality

Calatrava Unveils Designs for Ground Zero Church Destroyed on 9/11
Originally Posted: 11/01/2013 - 10:53am | Type: Blog

Twelve years after falling rubble from the World Trade Center towers destroyed St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church, images have been released showing the design for an elaborate new building. ...

Saving Faith
Originally Posted: 10/31/2013 - 2:58pm | Type: Blog

For many, including myself, the past few weeks have been discouraging, given the state of our politics and culture and what many vulnerable people across the country are experiencing. But despite the frustrati ...

Are Sinners 'Hellbound?'
Originally Posted: 10/31/2013 - 11:06am | Type: Blog

Let’s not put our God to the test, shall we, by forcing God to choose whose prayer to answer, yours or those sinful others. Instead, I suggest we abandon the whole punishment and reward project all together. ...

Thanksgiving, Hanukkah Converge on 'Thanksgivukkah' for First Time Since 1888
Originally Posted: 10/30/2013 - 5:05pm | Type: Blog

It last happened in 1888 and, according to one calculation, won’t happen again for another 77,798 years: the convergence of Thanksgiving and Hanukkah.  It last happened in 1888 an ...

When We Were the Pre-Party to the Tea Party
Originally Posted: 10/30/2013 - 1:02pm | Type: Blog

We’d pass by all these well-attended, high-steepled liberal churches to worship in a squat, utilitarian building hidden on a back road in the woods, with a congregation of 30 or 40 strong: The Moral Majority. ...

My Brother John: A Eulogy for the Living
Originally Posted: 10/30/2013 - 12:34pm | Type: Blog

Having just hit 45, Dante comes to mind: midway-through-the-journey-of-our-life-I found myself within a dark wood for the right way had been lost. Who can know how our days are numbered? The lesson for me is t ...

Do Churches Alienate Intellectuals?
Originally Posted: 10/29/2013 - 5:31pm | Type: Blog

Recently, it's been said that smarter people prefer not to go to church or believe in God, but maybe part of the problem is that churches won't let them in — or they’ve already kicked them out! There ...

Is Yoga Religious? An Indian Court Mulls Mandatory School Exercises
Originally Posted: 10/29/2013 - 11:27am | Type: Blog

The Supreme Court of India is weighing whether yoga has a religious element, as it decides if public schools may teach the ancient discipline in the country where it originated. T ...

The Legacy of C.S. Lewis, 50 Years After His Death
Originally Posted: 10/29/2013 - 10:23am | Type: Blog

When he died on Nov. 22, 1963 hardly a soul blinked in Northern Ireland where he was born or in England where he spent most of his working life as one of the world’s greatest Christian apologists. ...

Baptist-Hindu Couple Write How-to Book on Interfaith Marriage
Originally Posted: 10/28/2013 - 1:49pm | Type: Blog

Growing up Baptist, J. Dana Trent heard plenty of warnings about interfaith romance. Growing up Baptist,  J. Dana Trent  heard plenty of warnings about interfaith romance. Ma ...

On Scripture: Halloween and All the Saints
Originally Posted: 10/28/2013 - 9:18am | Type: Blog

While fewer elderly persons live in poverty than do other adults, in 2012 alone extreme poverty among elderly women shot up by 18 percent — that is, in just one year 133,000 elderly women moved into the catego ...

Strange Fire: John MacArthur, Mark Driscoll, the Holy Spirit, and the Satan
Originally Posted: 10/25/2013 - 3:45pm | Type: Blog

This scandal, like most scandals, was overblown. Driscoll says that MacArthur and his people were “gracious that they let me on campus at all.” What was Driscoll doing “on campus?” ...

Church Giving Reaches Depression-Era Record Lows
Originally Posted: 10/25/2013 - 10:59am | Type: Blog

The percentage of a church member’s income given to the church dropped to 2.3 percent in 2011 (the latest year ... was from 1928 through 1934, almost entirely during the Great Depression. In 2011, the 23 denominations ...

If You Build It, Mean It
Originally Posted: 10/24/2013 - 12:51pm | Type: Blog

Sometimes I think that "contemporary" or "alternative" services function more like cages in a liturgical zoo rather than a means to encourage participation in the life of a congregation. In ...

Archbishop of Canterbury Baptizes Britain’s Future King, Prince George
Originally Posted: 10/23/2013 - 1:52pm | Type: Blog

Prince George is now officially named and an Anglican. Prince George is now officially named and an Anglican. The 3-month old royal baby was christened Wednesday, ritually welc ...

Record Crowds Expected for John Paul II, John XXIII Canonizations
Originally Posted: 10/23/2013 - 11:34am | Type: Blog

Vatican officials say they expect next year’s celebration for the canonizations of former popes John Paul II and John XXIII to be attended by as many as 100 heads of state in what is likely to be the biggest d ...

Baptism Rates Slide Despite High-Profile Boosts
Originally Posted: 10/23/2013 - 11:16am | Type: Blog

But in both years, Catholics were 23 percent of the national population. Catholic baptism rates fell ...

Have Churches Abandoned the Elderly?
Originally Posted: 10/23/2013 - 7:22am | Type: Blog

Christians have suffered from the sin of apathy, being guilty of ignoring a large segment of believers — the elderly — who are continually forced into the shadows of our ministries, leadership structures, publ ...

Oprah Interview Stirs Debate: What is an Atheist?
Originally Posted: 10/21/2013 - 5:05pm | Type: Blog

What was supposed to be a touchy-feely, one-on-one interview by Oprah Winfrey with long-distance swimmer Diana Nyad has morphed into a broader, sometimes angry exchange about what it means to be an atheist. ...

The Isolating Power of Family-Centered Language
Originally Posted: 10/21/2013 - 4:41pm | Type: Blog

Until recently, I had always been in the majority. I am Caucasian, middle-class, healthy, and always did well in school. I had never had a personal label others would speak carefully about so as not to offend me. I had never been hurt by words people to ...

'Israeliness' May be Answer for Secular American Jews
Originally Posted: 10/21/2013 - 4:56pm | Type: Blog

The recent Pew survey of American Jews caused a fluster in the organized Jewish community. The recent Pew survey of American Jews caused a fluster in the organized Jewish communit ...

Pope Francis: Holy Humility In Community
Originally Posted: 10/21/2013 - 11:14am | Type: Blog

Daring leaders in every age have responded with their own bold visions regarding what makes for faithful community — something we can see in the unusually humble ministry of the new Bishop of Rome. Pope Franci ...

The Pope Francis Effect: ‘Francesco’ Now Italy’s Most Popular Baby Name
Originally Posted: 10/18/2013 - 5:06pm | Type: Blog

Moved by the election of Pope Francis seven months ago, the name “Francesco” has leapfrogged to No. 1 on the list of the most popular baby names in Italy, according to a study. Mo ...

Breaking Bread in Faith and Love
Originally Posted: 10/18/2013 - 4:49pm | Type: Blog

In the Bible, few dine alone. Small wonder that Christians and Jews see sharing a meal with family, guests, and strangers as a form of spiritual nourishment and hospitality — as valuable as the bread passed ar ...

Why I Cry in Church
Originally Posted: 10/18/2013 - 3:20pm | Type: Blog

There are so few places where we can bring our raw emotions without a self-conscious need to explain or escape to the nearest bathroom, which happens when we get teary-eyed at work or in line at Home Depot. Pe ...

Could Pope Francis Make Women Cardinals? A Pipe Dream, and an Opening
Originally Posted: 10/17/2013 - 4:24pm | Type: Blog

Could a woman vote for the next pope? Could a woman vote for the next pope? Pope Francis has said repeatedly that he wants to see greater roles for women in the Catholic Church ...

Hispanics Increasingly Identify as 'Nones'
Originally Posted: 10/17/2013 - 4:01pm | Type: Blog

The number of Hispanic-Americans who say they adhere to no religion is growing and now rivals the number of Hispanic evangelicals, a new study has found. The number of Hispanic-Am ...

Hollywood’s Depiction of Nuns a Case of ‘Veiled Desires’
Originally Posted: 10/17/2013 - 12:30pm | Type: Blog

From Julie Andrews’ performance as Maria in the 1965 film “The Sound of Music” to Meryl Streep’s portrayal of Sister Aloysius Beauvier in “Doubt” (2008), many Hollywood actresses are particularly conspicuous f ...

Beyond 'Kony 2012': Jason Russell’s Attempt at a Comeback
Originally Posted: 10/17/2013 - 12:29pm | Type: Blog

A campaign to arrest an African warlord generated awareness in more ways than the effort’s co-founder Jason Russell could have ever imagined. A campaign to arrest an African warlo ...

November 2013 Sojourners Magazine (Downloadable PDF)
Originally Posted: 10/21/2013 - 5:44pm | Type: Product

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On Eid al-Adha, Tradition Gives Way to Online Innovation
Originally Posted: 10/16/2013 - 4:11pm | Type: Blog

Muslims in Pakistan, Bangladesh, and elsewhere went online to buy live cows and goats for the traditional Islamic Feast of Sacrifice, known as Eid al-Adha, because shopping on the Internet was easier than goin ...

Challenge and Disruption
Originally Posted: 10/15/2013 - 3:19pm | Type: Blog

After nearly 50 years of relentless decline in mainline churches, business as usual is a sinking ship. The way forward lies in fresh ideas, turnaround strategies, entrepreneurial enthusiasm for risk, and learn ...

Mainline Protestants: Vintage or Vibrant?
Originally Posted: 10/15/2013 - 2:52pm | Type: Blog

Half a century ago, the denominations under the mainline umbrella dominated the American faith landscape. Now, after decades of declining numbers, only about one in five U.S. adults identifies with a mainline ...

The Welfare of the City
Originally Posted: 10/15/2013 - 10:51am | Type: Blog

We struggle mightily with what it means to be American when what we need to be more concerned with is what it means to be Christian no matter where we may find ourselves. " ...

Dear Young Christians: Reject Legalism, NOT Discipline!
Originally Posted: 10/15/2013 - 9:02am | Type: Blog

In many ways, discipline and legalism share many of the same characteristics: repetition, rules, accountability, and work (to name just a few). But there is one important difference: attitude. ...

Looking to Get Married? Try a Christian College
Originally Posted: 10/14/2013 - 11:41am | Type: Blog

When Dordt College graduates Jordan Harmelink and Rachel Tennant said “I do” at their July wedding, they joined the masses of graduates who meet their spouse at private Christian colleges. ...

Can Online Communion Be a Substitute for the Real Thing?
Originally Posted: 10/11/2013 - 4:34pm | Type: Blog

As online worship becomes more common in some churches, leaders within the United Methodist Church are debating whether the denomination should condone online Communion. As online ...

'Like If You Love Jesus!' The Gospel According to Facebook
Originally Posted: 10/10/2013 - 12:30pm | Type: Blog

It is one thing to have a faith and have that faith inform your life, but it is another to have a faith and guilt trip others into following your actions. Christ did not call for us to plaster our faith across ...

8 Ways to Survive Christian Culture
Originally Posted: 10/09/2013 - 7:20am | Type: Blog

Christian culture, along with the spiritual leaders, churches, institutions, communities, and other entities it consists of, are supposed to make our faith stronger. But in many cases the opposite happens, and ...

AUDIO: Keeping the Faith?
Originally Posted: 10/09/2013 - 1:56pm | Type: Magazine Article

The Editors "Not all who wander are lost."—J.R.R. Tolkien Many people of faith experience periods o ...

Middle Eastern Virus May Mar Hajj Pilgrimage
Originally Posted: 10/08/2013 - 3:47pm | Type: Blog

The annual pilgrimage to Mecca, known as the hajj, presents a gantlet of health challenges. This year’s pilgrimage, which falls Oct. 13-18, is no different. The annual pilgrimage ...

Proclaiming Souls
Originally Posted: 10/08/2013 - 12:02pm | Type: Blog

Last week, social media were alive with speculations of terrorism, domestic or international, with connections between [the D.C. incident] and the government shutdown, with any number of theories about gun vio ...

Ex-Mormons Aren’t ‘Lazy or Sinful,’ Church Leader Dieter Uchtdorf Says
Originally Posted: 10/07/2013 - 3:18pm | Type: Blog

It is wrong to assume that Mormons who leave the faith “have been offended or lazy or sinful,” a top leader told members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints on Saturday during the church’s 183rd ...

Following in the Footsteps of Francis
Originally Posted: 10/04/2013 - 1:57pm | Type: Blog

Eager to deepen my understanding of the saint, I had returned to Assisi to walk in the footsteps of St. Francis. Ancient stones, steep stairs, and sparkling fresh air greeted me ...

Yes, Community. But Then What? A Conversation with Brian McLaren, Stephanie Spellers, and Doug Pagitt
Originally Posted: 10/04/2013 - 3:17pm | Type: Blog

Following is an audio interview I conducted with these three key voices in the CANA conversation. We talked about why CANA is needed now, more than ever, and what sort of transformation they hope to affect wit ...

Remembering Francis: From 12th Century Rebel to 21st Century Pope
Originally Posted: 10/04/2013 - 9:45am | Type: Blog

Today, Oct. 4, Christians around the world remember one of the great heroes of our faith, and the current pope’s namesake – Francis of Assisi. But Francesco Bernadone (Francis of Assisi), who died on Oct. 3, 1 ...

First Anglican Woman Bishop in India Says Critics Have Been Silent
Originally Posted: 10/03/2013 - 10:50am | Type: Blog

A Christian nun who became the first woman bishop of South Asia’s Anglican community said that so far her appointment has silenced critics who believe only men can play leadership roles in the church. ...

Replacing Faith with Curiosity
Originally Posted: 10/03/2013 - 10:17am | Type: Blog

Rather than trying to claim, and lean on, a steadfast and immovable certainty about the existence and nature of God, and the existence and nature of Jesus, I find myself more curious about them – in an active, ...

Becoming Fluent in the Language of Hope
Originally Posted: 10/09/2013 - 9:13am | Type: Magazine Article

NOVEMBER 24 ] The Church’s New Year Jeremiah 23:1-6; Psalm 46;  Colossians 1:11-20; Luke 23:33-43 The church brings its liturgical year to a close by evoking the theme of Christ the King. ...

Meet the ‘Nominals’ Who Are Drifting From Judaism and Christianity
Originally Posted: 10/02/2013 - 4:45pm | Type: Blog

Meet the “Nominals” — people who claim a religious identity but may live it in name only. They’re rarely at worship services and indifferent to doctrine. And they’re surprisingly  ...