The Common Good

Results for Faith and Spirituality

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  ...

Skeptics Wonder if Ex-Clergy Should Lead Atheist Movements
Originally Posted: 10/02/2013 - 3:29pm | Type: Blog

By definition, skeptics are pretty skeptical. They question what they see as unfounded claims or dubious motivations, whatever the source. Now, they are questioning some of their own leaders. ...

In Scotland, Nonreligious Surpass the Church of Scotland
Originally Posted: 10/02/2013 - 2:41pm | Type: Blog

For the first time on record, the number of Scots with no religion outstrips those who belong to the Church of Scotland. For the first time on record, the number of Scots with no ...

Pope Francis Holds ‘Encouraging’ Reform Talks with Cardinals
Originally Posted: 10/02/2013 - 2:34pm | Type: Blog

The special committee of eight cardinals created by Pope Francis with the goal of dramatically reforming the Vatican’s governance got off to an “encouraging” start, the Vatican’s chief spokesman said Wednesday ...

Pope Francis Fires Warning Shot at Church’s ‘Top-Down’ Bureaucracy
Originally Posted: 10/01/2013 - 4:26pm | Type: Blog

Pope Francis has once again given a startlingly candid interview that reinforces his vision of a Catholic Church that engages the world and helps the poor rather than pursuing culture wars, and one “that is no ...

Billy Graham’s Legacy Fading ‘Into the Mists of History’
Originally Posted: 10/01/2013 - 3:29pm | Type: Blog

We gathered at Billy Graham’s alma mater over three days to explore his ministry’s place in American history and chronicle its meaning for the future. It was a fascinating conversation, and poignant, too, as G ...

Being Jewish Means Being Funny, and That’s No Joke
Originally Posted: 10/01/2013 - 1:41pm | Type: Blog

Yoo-hoo! Sarah Silverman, Jon Stewart, Larry David! No matter how unreligious you comics may be, American Jews seem proud to claim you. Yoo-hoo! Sarah Silverman, Jon Stewart, Larr ...

Meet the Nones: Jewish Americans Increasingly Disaffiliating
Originally Posted: 10/01/2013 - 10:11am | Type: Blog

About 22 percent of Jews now describe themselves as having no religion, according to a new Pew Research Center survey of U.S. Jews. The top religion story of 2012 was the “rise of ...

Rewriting the Lord's Prayer: What If How We Prayed Matched How We Live?
Originally Posted: 10/01/2013 - 1:03pm | Type: Blog

Perhaps we should rewrite the Lord’s prayer and make it conform to what we really believe. In that spirit, here’s a rough draft of what it might sound like if the Lord‘s prayer was actually our prayer. ...

Who’s a Jew? Few American Jews Say It’s a Matter of Belief
Originally Posted: 10/01/2013 - 8:57am | Type: Blog

In the most comprehensive study of American Jews in 12 years, a strong majority said being Jewish is mostly about ancestry or culture, not the religious practice of Judaism. WASHI ...

Help Thou My Unbelief
Originally Posted: 10/09/2013 - 9:13am | Type: Magazine Article

Ryan Ahlgrim A pastor's journey of trust in the face of doubt. LAST YEAR on NPR’s “All Things Considered ...

A River Runs Through It
Originally Posted: 02/12/2014 - 12:10pm | Type: Magazine Article

Reta Halteman Finger Water in the New Testament "HOW DID THIS HAPPEN?" pondered the middle-aged wom ...

Saint G.K. Chesterton? Some Delight, Others Worry About Effort to Canonize Writer
Originally Posted: 09/30/2013 - 4:33pm | Type: Blog

Christians and Jews are mounting campaigns for and against a path to sainthood for British writer G.K. Chesterton (1874-1936), one of the world’s best-known Catholic converts. Chr ...

Pope to Canonize John Paul II and John XXIII in April
Originally Posted: 09/30/2013 - 4:39pm | Type: Blog

Popes John Paul II and John XXIII will be formally declared saints on April 27, 2014, the Vatican said Monday. Pope Francis made the announcement during a meeting with cardinals gathered in Rome. ...

Are the Media Giving Pope Francis a Pass?
Originally Posted: 09/30/2013 - 4:32pm | Type: Blog

Are the media pulling their punches when it comes to Pope Francis? Are the media pulling their punches when it comes to Pope Francis? Whether it’s because he carries his own ba ...

On Scripture: The Modern Need for Lamentations
Originally Posted: 09/30/2013 - 3:09pm | Type: Blog

Twenty-first century readers of the Scriptures are likely uncomfortable with the book of Lamentations and its stories of weeping, groaning, and grieving. But, the act of lamenting is not unique to biblical Isr ...

Secrets of the Spiritual Paparazzi
Originally Posted: 09/30/2013 - 2:40pm | Type: Blog

Some people follow pop-star celebrities. I follow spiritual writers. Some people follow pop-star celebrities. I follow spiritual writers. Rather than tracking news about Lady G ...

Minister-Turned-Atheist Loses Harvard Job After Inflating Resume
Originally Posted: 09/30/2013 - 1:06pm | Type: Blog

A former United Methodist minister-turned-atheist was dismissed from her high-profile position at Harvard University on Thursday after it was revealed she falsified her resume. A ...

Hobby Lobby’s Steve Green Unveils ‘Oldest Jewish Prayer Book Ever Found’
Originally Posted: 09/30/2013 - 1:07pm | Type: Blog

Evangelical businessman Steve Green on Thursday unveiled what he called “the oldest Jewish prayer book ever found” and will add it to the collection of religious artifacts that will form the core of the Bible ...

Survey: Hispanics Flock to Pope Francis, the Democratic Party
Originally Posted: 09/30/2013 - 1:16pm | Type: Blog

and Spanish between Aug. 23 and Sept. 3. It has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.7 percentage points. ...

Stop Blaming Youth for Christianity’s 'Demise'
Originally Posted: 09/30/2013 - 10:10am | Type: Blog

Our finite perceptions of “righteousness” are always flawed. This is why Jesus continually warns us not to judge others, because we often end up putting ourselves on a pedestal while self-righteously judging o ...

Let's Talk About Food: Maybe Some of Us Should Love Food More
Originally Posted: 09/27/2013 - 1:40pm | Type: Blog

You can celebrate whether you're at a party, at table with family and friends, or eating alone. Eating regular, beautiful meals of fresh food is not all that hard to do. It doesn't have to be expensi ...

Let's Talk About Food: Naked, No Doubt Hungry, and Definitely Not Ashamed
Originally Posted: 09/26/2013 - 10:45am | Type: Blog

It's odd that Christians — people who claim to believe that God created the earth, sustains it day by day, and intends to create a new earth — are often so mixed up about sex and food. ...

Can You Really Tell the Difference Between Christians and Non-Christians?
Originally Posted: 09/26/2013 - 8:56am | Type: Blog

We idolize goodness, morality, and actions while completely ignoring Christ. There is only one difference between Christians and non-Christians: Christ. This is the most important difference, and Jesus wants u ...

United Methodist High Court to Consider Challenges to Gay Teachings
Originally Posted: 09/25/2013 - 12:56pm | Type: Blog

items the court will consider at its Oct. 23-26 meeting in Baltimore. The United Methodist Church has ...

After Years of Decline, Catholics See Rise in Number of Future Priests
Originally Posted: 09/25/2013 - 1:02pm | Type: Blog

After decades of glum trends — fewer priests, fewer parishes — the Catholic Church in the United States has a new statistic to cheer: More men are now enrolled in graduate level seminaries, the main pipeline t ...

Let's Talk About Food: The Apple Wasn't the Problem
Originally Posted: 09/25/2013 - 8:57am | Type: Blog

If we're going to talk about food, we need to start with theology. Before chocolate was invented, a snake put "sinfully delicious" and "decadent" on the menu. Somebody fell for the mar ...

10 Bible Verses about Water
Originally Posted: 10/09/2013 - 9:52am | Type: Magazine Article

The Editors God's word is rich with images of water. Drink up. Water not only sustains our bodies and co ...

Jerry Falwell’s Legacy: A Thriving Liberty University
Originally Posted: 09/24/2013 - 12:15pm | Type: Blog

A crimson-colored “LU,” emblazoned in 11-foot letters on a forested mountainside against a backdrop of white limestone, tells students and their families they have arrived at Liberty University. ...

4 Ways Jesus Was Like a Millennial
Originally Posted: 09/24/2013 - 9:05am | Type: Blog

Christians, especially around the blogosphere, are infatuated with 'Millennial Christianity,' but in many ways ‘Millennial Christianity’ is simply a modern-day attempt at reconstructing the example o ...

Keeping Up With the Kardashians and Nadia Bolz-Weber
Originally Posted: 09/23/2013 - 3:09pm | Type: Blog

When we err, we tend to hide our errors from others and all too often, from ourselves. We are as desperate to maintain our “brand” – our self-identities as flawless, perfectly good, failure-free paragons of vi ...

5 Things We Learned About Pope Francis From His Blockbuster Interview
Originally Posted: 09/23/2013 - 12:15pm | Type: Blog

Pope Francis’ comments this week on everything from gays to abortion (less talk, more mercy), the hierarchy (be pastors, not bureaucrats), and religious faith (doubt is part of belief) continue to reverberate ...

On Scripture: It Is About the Land. It Is Not About the Land
Originally Posted: 09/23/2013 - 9:29am | Type: Blog

When I traveled to Israel this summer with a group of seminary students from Andover Newton Theological School and Boston University School of Theology, what struck me most was another lesson of geography: If ...

The Man I Didn't Want to Love
Originally Posted: 09/23/2013 - 9:08am | Type: Blog

Pope Francis offered an avalanche of Love, a deluge of Compassion, a flight of Hope. What I found most striking as I read the article was the consistency of his theme, no matter how far-ranging the topic. It w ...

Five Things That Are Holding Christianity Back
Originally Posted: 09/23/2013 - 9:06am | Type: Blog

In my ongoing effort to help name trends and offer an alternative way of thinking about our faith, here are the five biggest things I’ve seen that tend to keep us from doing our best work as the living, breath ...

Anglican Communion Faces Troubled Waters
Originally Posted: 09/20/2013 - 4:51pm | Type: Blog

Primates and bishops from the Global South attending a gathering in Toronto, said current proposals for a new Anglican Communion covenant don’t go far enough to heal the conflict in the communion over homosexu ...

Denim Burqa Ad: Bold or Insulting?
Originally Posted: 09/19/2013 - 4:37pm | Type: Blog

Islamophobic or empowering? Those are among the reactions to a new Diesel jeans ad featuring a heavily tattooed, topless white woman wearing a redesigned, denim burqa. Islamophobi ...

Making All Things New
Originally Posted: 09/19/2013 - 9:47am | Type: Blog

I have little confidence in universal human capacities to save or fix the world but I do believe there's a new humanity revealed in Jesus Christ that is capable of redeeming Creation, of making all things ...

For Navy Yard Shooter, Buddhism Was a Temporary Refuge
Originally Posted: 09/19/2013 - 8:08am | Type: Blog

The man who shot and killed 12 people had his problems. But friends who worked and lived beside Alexis say they don’t recognize the man who went on a shooting rampage Monday at a military complex in Washington ...

England Debates Full-Face Veils in Courtrooms
Originally Posted: 09/19/2013 - 8:07am | Type: Blog

A senior judge, leading members of Parliament, and human rights activists are calling for an urgent debate on the explosive issue of whether Muslim women should be allowed to wear veils when they testify in c ...

As Denominations Decline, Number of Unpaid Ministers Rises
Originally Posted: 09/18/2013 - 10:58am | Type: Blog

A growing breed of mainline Protestant clergy serve their congregations in exchange for little or no compensation. The 50 members of All Saints Episcopal Church in Hitchcock, Texa ...

Talking Sex with a Married Catholic Priest
Originally Posted: 09/17/2013 - 1:57pm | Type: Blog

It’s not every day you meet a practicing priest in the Catholic Church who is married, so when I got in touch with Fr. Dwight Longenecker (a man who meets the above criteria), I took the opportunity to get his ...

The Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day
Originally Posted: 09/17/2013 - 9:15am | Type: Blog

It was my first year of seminary. The Twin Towers were destroyed, tumbled to the ground. So many people assumed that everyone would go rushing back to the churches. It was the turn of the millennium and we sta ...

6 Reasons I Have a Major Crush on Pope Francis
Originally Posted: 09/16/2013 - 5:32pm | Type: Blog

When I see him smiling on TV or on the cover of a magazine in the checkout line at the grocery store, I get the warm fuzzies. When I see him smiling on TV or on the cover of a mag ...