The Common Good

Results for Faith and Spirituality

'Break My Heart With What Breaks Yours'
Originally Posted: 09/09/2013 - 11:23am | Type: Blog

filling the Calvary Convention Centre in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia,. This is the 23 rd  Pentecostal World ...

Commentary: Don’t Surrender Islam to the Islamists
Originally Posted: 09/05/2013 - 4:13pm | Type: Blog

As a Muslim, I refuse to give up Islam to the Islamists. So should others who believe in a deeply pluralistic Islam of the sort my Indian-born grandparents taught. It is the only path to peaceful resolution of ...

Sermon About How Totally Uncool We Are
Originally Posted: 09/05/2013 - 2:49pm | Type: Blog

This practice of curating parts of the self is something we all do to some degree. We so carefully create a persona and it’s always only a partial truth. And just maintaining it can be exhausting. ...

Kicking the Outrage Habit in the Blogosphere
Originally Posted: 09/04/2013 - 2:02pm | Type: Blog

Before you end up aimlessly roaming the Internet and getting outraged over what So-and-So is saying over on That There far-left or far-right or Reformed or Baptist or Whatever blog so that you can comment and ...

10 Things Christians Should Say More Often
Originally Posted: 09/03/2013 - 4:53pm | Type: Blog

I had a series a while back about the Christian Cliches that we should drop from our lexicon, and since then I’ve had people ask what they should be saying instead. So here’s a list of handy phrases to help br ...

On Scripture: It's Not About You
Originally Posted: 09/03/2013 - 1:38pm | Type: Blog

Whether in musical arts, as in in Vy Higgensen’s Gospel for Teens program, or in biblical hermeneutics, the best learning happens in healthy relationships.  A life transition — li ...

Religious Diversity is Increasing at the Office, and So Are Pitfalls
Originally Posted: 09/03/2013 - 11:47am | Type: Blog

The American workplace, like the rest of U.S. society, is becoming more religiously diverse and that is raising concerns about employer accommodations for believers — and increasing the odds for uncomfortable ...

Mass. Supreme Court to Hear Challenge to Pledge of Allegiance
Originally Posted: 09/03/2013 - 11:38am | Type: Blog

Massachusetts’ highest court on Wednesday will consider whether the daily recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance is a violation of students’ rights. Massachusetts’ highest court o ...

Study: Too Much Religion Can Harm Economy
Originally Posted: 09/03/2013 - 9:05am | Type: Blog

Too much religion can harm a society’s economy by undermining the drive for financial success, according to a new study in the journal Social Psychological and Personality Science. ...

Introverts: Caring for Dandelions
Originally Posted: 08/29/2013 - 4:10pm | Type: Blog

Perhaps in this age, the best we can do is find a broken ethic of “preventing the most harm” in a broken world that refuses to adopt instead an age-changing ethic of creating nurture. ...

Another Way for Jews to Atone This Yom Kippur: The eScapegoat
Originally Posted: 08/29/2013 - 3:46pm | Type: Blog

The weeks leading up to the Jewish High Holy Days are supposed to be marked by self-questioning: What failings must I atone for, and to whom must I apologize? A group of artists, writers and animators are hopi ...

Newest ‘Values Voters’ Adversary to America: The Emergent Church
Originally Posted: 08/28/2013 - 5:31pm | Type: Blog

Christian conservatives who think Satan is using communism and Islam to bring down America can add a new “adversary” to the list: the Emergent Church movement. Christian conservat ...

The Revolving Door of Church 'CEOs'
Originally Posted: 08/28/2013 - 10:01am | Type: Blog

From major corporations to startups led by visionary leaders, from universities to churches, the departure of the top leader can stop momentum and usher in months, perhaps years, of uncertainty. ...

Pope Francis Celebrates Mass with Wafers Made by Argentine Inmate
Originally Posted: 08/28/2013 - 9:50am | Type: Blog

Since mid-July, Pope Francis has been using Communion wafers made by an Argentine prisoner in the daily Mass he celebrates at the Vatican’s Santa Marta residence. VATICAN CITY — S ...

10 Years After Gene Robinson, African Anglicans Take Stock
Originally Posted: 08/27/2013 - 5:08pm | Type: Blog

Concerned that the crisis in the worldwide Anglican Communion is deepening, conservative Anglican primates in Africa are organizing a second conference to discuss ways of returning the church to what they desc ...

Miley Cyrus, the VMAs, Sex, and Moral Outrage
Originally Posted: 08/29/2013 - 12:10pm | Type: Blog

Maybe the answer isn’t in getting caught up in moral outrage, but rather to move away from feeling scandalized and towards feelings of compassion. I didn’t watch the Video Music ...

The Parameters We Prefer Jesus to Work Under
Originally Posted: 08/27/2013 - 10:27am | Type: Blog

I’m really grateful that Jesus has always tended to disregard people’s preferred parameters for how he should do things, and that he always just seems to keep seeing people, touching them, healing them and the ...

Seekers of Truth or Defenders of Belief?
Originally Posted: 08/27/2013 - 7:44am | Type: Blog

Are we more concerned with being right or loving others? The differences are paramount. One Sunday morning, I was facilitating a discussion with the teenagers in my small group. ...

The Thing: Who Do You Say That I Am?
Originally Posted: 08/26/2013 - 3:35pm | Type: Blog

This thing that churches are wrangling with, this reasoning about why to gather, who we follow as we gather, and what our lives in the world should proclaim, is not a question for a bunch of Gen X malcontents ...

Failing to Take the Bible Seriously
Originally Posted: 08/23/2013 - 2:47pm | Type: Blog

Much of Westernized Christianity’s recent decline has been blamed on the failure of churches and denominations to adapt to modern times. Lost in the conversation is a much deeper issue, one that revolves aroun ...

‘God is the Best Artist’ Takes Off on Social Media
Originally Posted: 08/22/2013 - 4:42pm | Type: Blog

The notion of God as an artist is hardly new. But when Twitter and Pinterest users take to their smartphones to snap pictures of sunrises and sunsets and attribute those “masterpieces” to God, they are exhibit ...

To Our College-Bound Children: Your Parents Will Be OK
Originally Posted: 08/22/2013 - 2:36pm | Type: Blog

What do parents do when their nest empties out? One father told me, "First you cry. Then you run around the house naked." News bulletin to Michael Gerson's first ...

How to Make Space to Create, And Why It Matters
Originally Posted: 08/22/2013 - 12:21pm | Type: Blog

When the challenge enters the picture, all of a sudden my kids are timid and anxious about their creations. They’ll ask me what I think of them, something they never do otherwise — usually they just present th ...

There is No Longer Post-Evangelical or Post-Liberal: Talking 'Convergence' Christianity with Eric Elnes
Originally Posted: 08/21/2013 - 4:36pm | Type: Blog

At some point, you have to put a label on a phenomenon just to shift the conversation and get people seeing what’s happening in front of them with new eyes. I think the jury is still out on what term adequatel ...

Benedict XVI: ‘God Told Me’ to Resign
Originally Posted: 08/21/2013 - 3:25pm | Type: Blog

Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI resigned from the papacy because “God told me” to, according to a report by a Catholic news agency. Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI resigned from the papa ...

The American Church: Searching for a New Imprint
Originally Posted: 08/21/2013 - 10:52am | Type: Blog

Christian congregations in America are dying for many reasons — smugness, excessive infighting, fear of change, aversion to risk, perpetuating ineffective practices — but one reason is this reality of imprint. ...

'SBNR,' Monasticism, and Falling Short
Originally Posted: 08/20/2013 - 3:27pm | Type: Blog

So, I'm wrangling with Lillian Daniels. Smart. Savvy. Informed. Yep. I respect her a great deal. And I disagree with her assessment of the "Spiritual But Not Religious" Thang almost completely. ...

Worshippers’ Digital Distraction May Not Be All Bad
Originally Posted: 08/20/2013 - 2:49pm | Type: Blog

Tyler Woolstenhulme might be loath to admit it, but sometimes he’s not paying attention in church. He will happily confess that he’s not the only one. Tyler Woolstenhulme might ...

U.S. Nuns Strike a Positive Note on Vatican Investigation
Originally Posted: 08/19/2013 - 4:34pm | Type: Blog

U.S. Catholic nuns — accused by Rome of “radical feminism” for advocating social justice at the expense of issues such as abortion, gay marriage, and euthanasia — responded to a Vatican knuckle rapping with a ...

On Scripture: The Power of Love
Originally Posted: 08/19/2013 - 3:36pm | Type: Blog

While there may be interesting, and coincidental, similarities between the woman in Luke 13 and the women of Magdalene up to this point, where their stories converge is that none of them were looking for Jesus ...

Why Wild Goose Matters
Originally Posted: 08/19/2013 - 9:21am | Type: Blog

It's not every day that you can walk by a makeshift tent and listen to Phyllis Tickle succinctly summarize the history of Christendom in 45 minutes, and then wander over and pick up a vegetarian pita sand ...

Texts of Terror and Wealth
Originally Posted: 08/15/2013 - 3:56pm | Type: Magazine Article

Martin L. Smith Reflections on the Revised Common Lectionary, Cycle C JEREMIAH IS OUR uncomfortable and disco ...

The Bible as Icon
Originally Posted: 08/15/2013 - 1:52pm | Type: Blog

I jest about the Bible culture I received along with the faith, the ways the Bible itself (and I mean the object) became an icon (and far too often, an idol) expressive of our belief and hopes — and ultimately ...

Lutherans Elect Elizabeth Eaton First Female Presiding Bishop of ELCA
Originally Posted: 08/14/2013 - 6:06pm | Type: Blog

The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America on Wednesday elected the Rev. Elizabeth Eaton as the denomination’s first female presiding bishop. Eaton received 600 votes against incumbent Presiding Bishop Mark Ha ...

Mary, Martha, and the Main Thing
Originally Posted: 08/15/2013 - 10:44am | Type: Blog

Just to get it out there, this story about Mary and Martha has always irritated me, because I think Martha is awesome, and she’s always made out to be a busy-body and a whiner. Ju ...

Reflections from Wild Goose Festival '13
Originally Posted: 08/14/2013 - 12:53pm | Type: Blog

Even more amazing than these "celebrity" Christians was the interactions that the "nobodies" who live quiet, faithful lives in small communities around the world and all have come together ...

What's So Great About Perfection?
Originally Posted: 08/14/2013 - 8:24am | Type: Blog

Many people continue to chase perfection and refuse to compromise with realities that fall short. Two Sunday meetings prevented my going to the country with the family. So on S ...

Spirituality of Kelly Clarkson: Misfits, Kenosis, and People Like Us
Originally Posted: 08/13/2013 - 5:22pm | Type: Blog

Whatever Kelly Clarkson's motivations, I think it’s amazing that it has become “cool” to identify with cultural outcasts. And as opposed to criticizing her motivations, I want to affirm them. ...

Remembering How to Pray
Originally Posted: 08/13/2013 - 10:09am | Type: Blog

Kelly's Light is for me a Sound (at the beginning of all things, through which God created all things) and I am a fluctuation in God's celestial soundscape. This is something I too easily forget in t ...

God Loves a Holy Mess
Originally Posted: 08/13/2013 - 9:05am | Type: Blog

Biblical writers suggest that God loves a holy mess. They compare God’s creative spirit to a strong wind, and we all know what happens when a powerful wind blows through our windows or through our lives — ever ...

Catholic Gift Stores See a (Papal) Bull Market
Originally Posted: 08/12/2013 - 2:55pm | Type: Blog

In recent decades, evangelical Protestants have dominated the art of religious retailing, building a national network of bookstores and stamping the Christian message on almost any item that an American consum ...

Assemblies of God Dodges Trend of Denominational Decline
Originally Posted: 08/12/2013 - 10:27am | Type: Blog

Scouts of America’s recent decision to admit gay scouts. “Since the May 23 BSA decision, Royal Rangers ...

The Church: Imitate or Innovate?
Originally Posted: 08/09/2013 - 2:43pm | Type: Blog

We all realize that a copy is never as good as the original. Unfortunately, we have a difficult time grasping this truth in the church. We have ceased innovating and settled for imitating. ...

The Fake Church v. the Real Church
Originally Posted: 01/02/2014 - 5:27pm | Type: Blog

Our faith in Christ gives us hope and strength and courage, but it doesn’t erase reality, and it isn’t meant to create a flawless utopia where we can escape from the world’s problems. But many churches attempt ...

Ethicist Shaun Casey to Oversee Religious Engagement for State Department
Originally Posted: 08/08/2013 - 11:08am | Type: Blog

Amid persistent criticism that the U.S. marginalizes religion and religious people in its foreign policy, Secretary of State John Kerry Wednesday tapped ethicist and campaign adviser Shaun Casey to lead the St ...

Study Shows Minorities Most Likely to Favor Longer Lives
Originally Posted: 08/08/2013 - 11:01am | Type: Blog

Noah’s grandfather Methuselah lived to the ripe old age of 969 and Moses reached 120, but most Americans would be happy to make it into their 90s, according to a new study. Noah ...

Pope Francis is Unsettling — and Dividing — the Catholic Right
Originally Posted: 08/08/2013 - 9:20am | Type: Blog

On a few short months, Pope Francis has alienated many on the Catholic right by refusing to play favorites and ignoring their preferred agenda items even as he stressed the kind of social justice issues that a ...

Living Faithfully in the Public Square
Originally Posted: 10/09/2013 - 1:57pm | Type: Magazine Article

The Editors An Interview with John Carr After working for two decades as a policy adviser for the United Stat ...

Beanie Babies, Scarcity, and Vanity
Originally Posted: 08/07/2013 - 5:10pm | Type: Blog

If the writer of Ecclesiastes were around today, I’m pretty certain s/he would be a really emo teenager in black skinny jeans who smokes clove cigarettes alone in his/her room listening to Morrissey or My Chem ...

Presbyterians Stir Theology Debate by Rejecting Popular New Hymn
Originally Posted: 08/07/2013 - 9:59am | Type: Blog

The committee putting together a new hymnal for the Presbyterian Church (USA) dropped the popular hymn “In Christ Alone” because the song’s authors refused to change a phrase about the wrath of God. ...