Lent

Life is hard. It is full of pain, disappointments, and challenges of every kind. When hard times come our way, we often ask, Why me? And the answer comes: Why not you? We sometimes think that God has forsaken us, and sometimes God is silent. It is difficult to remember the Biblical wisdom that explains why believers, children of God, the beloved of God go through difficult times.

Jim Wallis 7-07-2011

Our country is in the midst of a clash between two competing moral visions. It is not, as we have known in recent history, a traditional fight between Republicans and Democrats. It is a conflict between those who believe in the common good and those who believe individual good is the only good.

Debra Dean Murphy 7-07-2011

I couldn't bear to watch any of the coverage of the Casey Anthony murder trial. I heard snippets of information on occasion: intimations of incest; a car that "smelled of death"; fist fights breaking out as the curious and obsessed (or the profoundly bored?) tried to get a seat in the Florida courtroom.

Kurt Willems 7-01-2011

My friends and I can be stupid. Add explosives to the equation and the idiocy quotient increases exponentially. Such was the case every 4th of July during high school. A group of about 20 of my friends and I would get together to barbecue and play with illegal fireworks. At any unsuspected moment while taking a bite out of a burger, an M-80 could be lit under your seat, a sparkler thrown at your chest like a dart, or a mortar could be shot like a bazooka, catching bushes on fire. These chaotically stupid memories simultaneously serve as some of the most fun I can recall experiencing. So for me, Independence Day equals fun.

However, there's a deeper reality to this holiday. Only about three years ago did I realize that in celebrating Independence Day, I'm also glorifying the roots on which this nation was founded: an unjust war. The "rockets red glare" and "the bombs bursting in air" remind us not of the day God liberated the colonies, but of the moment in history when our forefathers stole the rhetoric of God from authentic Christianity to justify killing fellow Christians. There's two reasons I'm convinced that celebrating Independence Day celebrates an unjust war.

Gareth Higgins 6-29-2011

1100629-gandhifilmAh the joy of watching movies in the summer! Of course, there are a number of summer blockbusters coming out that will woo crowds to the theaters, but with the sky-high prices of theater tickets these days, nobody will fault you for wanting to stay home and kick back with a rental. If you're looking for a film that will entertain and inspire you, consider adding some of these excellent films about social change to your online queue. If you have any other films to add to this list, please contribute your favorites in the comments section below. (To read more of my film reviews, check out my monthly column in Sojourners magazine.)

Debra Dean Murphy 6-27-2011

When evangelical politicians pronounce on topics like the origins of the universe, the results are almost always awful -- embarrassing, infuriating, unwatchable. When a reclusive, visionary filmmaker like Terrence Malick treats the same subject matter, as he does in his new movie The Tree of Life, one is transported. Which is a useful reminder that the mysteries of creation are best grappled with through art. The book of Genesis, after all, begins not with scientific description or theological argument, but with a poem.

Theresa Cho 6-21-2011
After posting a blog about my observations of a dying church, there were comments gi
Claire Lorentzen 6-16-2011

In 1998, when former U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan announced June 26 as the International Day in Support of Victims of Torture, he stated, "This is a day on which we pay our respects to those who have endured the unimaginable. This is an occasion for the world to speak up against the unspeakable."

Earlier this month, The National Religious Campaign Against Torture, one of the founders of Torture Awareness Month, as discussed in Robin Kirk's July 2011 Sojourners article, released a video of interreligious leaders speaking against torture, as well as faith-based study guides that frame opposition to torture. Sojourners also asked Robin Kirk, executive director of the Duke Human Rights Center, to write "The Body in Pain: What do people of faith have to say about torture?" for our July issue.

Eugene Cho 6-09-2011

Have you heard the story of Sung-Bong Choi? I absolutely love these kinds of stories. And it's not that I just love these kinds of stories, I need these kinds of stories. Perhaps, we all need these kind of stories.

Jim Wallis 6-09-2011

This Sunday is Pentecost. For 50 days, a group of 120 followers of Jesus waited. Their teacher, for whom they had left all they had, was now gone. Judas, one of their own, betrayed their master and then killed himself. The comforter they had been promised had not yet come.

Bryan Farrell 6-08-2011
Atiaf Alwazir, who runs the blog Woman from Yemen, has a new post explaining the relationship between what she calls the "peaceful
Any discussion of shared authority and responsibility between men and women must start with the importance Jesus placed on unity among his followers.
Lynne Hybels 6-06-2011

No, I am not submitting a belated entry into the heated conversation about Rob Bell's latest book.

Aaron Taylor 6-01-2011
I was raised in a charismatic megachurch that prided itself in being "non-religious." Our pastor thought of himself as a grace preacher, and in many ways he was.
Steve Holt 5-17-2011

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

Troy Jackson 5-16-2011
Back when President Obama was candidate Obama, one of his favorite mantras on the stump was the need to recapture what Martin Luther King, Jr.
Rose Marie Berger 5-03-2011
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.
Mimi Haddad 5-02-2011
Do you find yourself reluctant to attend women's retreats, Bible studies, or conferences because too often they focus on fashion, dieting, women's emotions, and new forms of abdominal exercises?
Jake Olzen 4-22-2011
As Lent ends and the Holy Triduum begins, my mind turns to resurrection. Perhaps a bit too soon as the Good Friday death of Jesus and his descent into darkness is still impending.
Jeffrey Wilson 4-21-2011
Last year, I was deeply troubled by the Gulf Oil Spill, having been born and raised on the Florida Gulf Coast.

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