Nadia Bolz-Weber 12-07-2011
Nadia Botz-Weber. Photo courtesy of the author.

Nadia Botz-Weber. Photo courtesy of the author.

Here’s the story I tell about how I met my husband, Matthew. 

I had left the conservative, sectarian church of my childhood along with their teaching that being Christian mostly meant buying an insurance policy for the hereafter. We were told not to concern ourselves with this world. We need not bother ourselves with the poor, the hungry, the stranger unless of course in doing so we might sell them the eternal insurance policy thus adding a notch to our holiness belt. See, as our hymns suggested, we were the spiritual 1 percent we were all about gold streets and mansions in heaven so the deteriorating sub-standard housing around the corner was not our concern.

Almost 10 years after leaving that form of Christianity and after involving myself quite deeply into issues of social justice I met Matthew, a really cute Lutheran seminary student. On our first date we sat across the booth from each other at el taco de Mexico and talked about social issues and we saw eye to eye on everything. Then he said, “my heart for the poor is rooted in my Christian faith” at which point I looked at him and thought: What are you? Like a unicorn? Some mythical combination of creatures that doesn’t exist in reality? Soon I learned there was a whole world of Christians out there who actually take Matthew 25 seriously. Who believe that when we feed the hungry, cloth the naked, and care for the sick we do so to Jesus’ own self.

Linda Midgett 10-25-2011

When I applied for a job at CNN in the 90s, and told the interviewer that I had interned with an evangelical magazine called Christianity Today, his response was, "If it's Christian, it isn't journalism."

Over the years that expanded to, "If it's evangelical, it's Republican. Or Jerry Falwell. Pat Robertson. The Tea Party. Wrapped in a Patriotic Flag. White People. Derivative, cheesy music. Big Money. Big Hair." Fill in the rest of the blanks.

Are those labels a distortion of what it means to be an evangelical? Of course they are. Yet they are how evangelicals are perceived, rightly or wrongly (I personally think it's a mixture of both), in our society.

Jack Palmer 10-16-2011


This was not so much a movie as a (very long) sermon. In fact, it's a sermon that actually culminates in a sermon, as Kendrick's character spells out what he has learned in a message delivered to his church congregation.

Despite its well-meaning intentions, Courageous fails to say anything new about fatherhood, family, faith or anything else, for that matter. The few funny or moving scenes are surrounded by clunky acting, overly-moralistic dialogue and a plot that is trying to be three movies in one -- and none of them terribly believable.

Joshua Witchger 09-26-2011
Evangelical author nears the end of her "biblical year" [caption id="attachment_34082" align="alignright" width="300" caption="Rachel Held Evans"][/caption]
Cathleen Falsani 09-20-2011

060928-F-1936B-022The study by Los Angeles-based Relief International found that about 10 percent of the estimated 15 million women who live in Iraq are widows. Among them, 59 percent have lost their husbands during the U.S.-led war.

Cathleen Falsani 09-19-2011

cathicowgirl1They call me ..."God Girl."*

And I'll be your new tour guide here at God's Politics.

Some of you may know me by my more official byline, Cathleen Falsani. I've been a contributing editor and columnist for Sojourners Magazine for several years now, writing a column every other month called "Godstuff" and also have contributed from time to time to this'a'here blog.

Michael Nagler 08-23-2011

The recent British film In Our Name is a returning-soldier drama featuring a married woman, Suzy, who leaves her husband and little girl to fight in Iraq. Because she's involved in the killing of a little girl during her tour-this part is based on a true story, but it happened to a man -- she returns home only to steadily fall apart under the stress of soul-destroying anxieties.

Theresa Cho 08-17-2011

The Lord called Samuel again, a third time. And he got up and went to Eli, and said, 'Here I am, for you called me.' Then Eli perceived that the Lord was calling the boy. 9Therefore Eli said to Samuel, 'Go, lie down; and if he calls you, you shall say, "Speak, Lord, for your servant is listening." (1 Samuel 3.8-9)

I am in a profession where the term "call" is used frequently. When used as a verb, "call" is about feeling that tug between you and God toward something that at first may not seem practical, desirable, or even expected. When used as a noun, "call" can be synonymous to a job, occupation, ministry, or church -- hence the term "seeking a call."

For me, "seeking a call" simply means trying to figure out what to do next. And lately this task has felt like an impossible mission. I have always admired -- or if I'm to be honest, jealous of -- those that seem to have a clear sense of their calling. Take my husband for example, he feels very called to be a pastor. Although there are times when he struggles with the type of church or ministry he feels called to serve, he has certainty that his call is that of a pastor. I wish that was the case for me. I have always felt called to a place, such as seminary or my current congregation, but I have never felt confirmation or an affinity to my call as a pastor. This may not make sense or may seem odd, but welcome to my life.

I have always loved the story of Samuel being called.

Our current practice in the U.S. actually reflects the earlier legal reality of coverture: In the process of the "two becoming one flesh," the wife lost her rights to property, legal representation in court, and even her public identity as her husband became the sole representative for the family. This combination of identities (or, rather, the wife becoming lost in her husband's identity) led to wives taking their husbands' last names. For me, losing my surname would have represented silent assent to this oppressive practice.

Steve Holt 07-11-2011

I was not one of the 1,500 who attended the inaugural Wild Goose Festival in Shakori Hills, North Carolina last month, but I did grow up going to Christian summer camp. What’s the connection, you ask, between a festival and summer camp? Summer camp -- like festivals and extended retreats -- is often deeply formative because it gives kids (and adult counselors, for that matter) a glimpse at a kingdom lifestyle.

Steve Holt 06-24-2011
Sitting in church the other night, I thought about Jackson Helms.
Elissa Elliott 06-08-2011
Not too long ago, a family member told me in hushed sad tones that he was praying for me. I wasn't ill. I wasn't going through a tough time. No.
Rose Marie Berger 06-07-2011
Have you seen the Dos Equis commercials starring actor Jonathan Goldsmith as "the most interesting man in the world"?
Theresa Cho 06-01-2011
I find it discomforting that the Lord instructs someone to wage war and therefore reasoning that God-sanctioned war is justifiable even though as Christians we are called to be peacemakers in the w
Steve Holt 05-17-2011

Much ink has been spilled about the so-called "love songs to Jesus" many of us sing week after week at church.

Theresa Cho 05-13-2011

I love this photo. Exemplified in this photo is where my life as a mom and as a pastor intersect. This is the day that my daughter was baptized. I love how my son is looking up and probably wondering what is going on. My husband who is also a pastor had the joy of baptizing my son.

Timothy King 05-09-2011
I was in the middle of a degree in biblical and theological studies when one of my close friends told me she was gay. She didn't last long at her church after coming out to her small group.
Rose Marie Berger 05-03-2011
The mix of relief and grief displayed by crowds in the streets outside the White House and the Capitol building was a human response to the news that U.S.
Ernesto Tinajero 02-07-2011
Being blind in one eye has made me forever see in just two. While playing basketball, tennis, and hiking, I have always tried to imagine what it must be like to see in 3-D.
Cathleen Falsani 01-25-2011

Some of my dearest friends are gay.

Most of my dearest friends are Christians.

And more than a few of my dearest friends are gay Christians.