Trevor Barton 06-05-2013
St. Francis of Assisi statue in Mexico, PerseoMedusa /

St. Francis of Assisi statue in Mexico, PerseoMedusa /

Editors Note: The following poem by Trevor Scott Barton was written while he was living in Africa and reading The Little Flowers of St. Francis of Assisi.

Holding you in the palm of my hand
I see your tiny feet and hope you'll live and walk these stony paths
To the pump to get water.
Blessing you in your meekness and gentleness,
You are Jesus to me today.

Morf Morford 05-29-2013
 man walking through open doors, Mopic /

man walking through open doors, Mopic /

The Jews believe that the Messiah is yet to come.

Christians believe the Messiah is coming back.

Those of other – or no – religions haven’t noticed much difference and don’t really care.

But all would agree that there is plenty of work left to be done.

We, by any standard, are far from an age of any Messiah — an era of justice, peace, and restoration seems as distant or alien or even incomprehensible as a blockbuster sci-fi film.

But perhaps, in some odd way, that is the point.

Oz movie poster, Courtesy Disney

Oz movie poster, Courtesy Disney

Like the masses, we flocked this past weekend to the megaplex for the opening of another would-be blockbuster, pleased to discover that the much-heralded and sometimes-maligned Oz prequel is even more good and wonderful than it is great and powerful.

Acting, plot, intrigue, color, mystery, and special effects: all these measure-up under the fantastic mastery of director Sam Raimi. But beyond the eye-candy, sensitive audience members might be as mesmerized by the movie’s deeper myth and redemptive meaning as by its cinematic technique.

Of course, if we remember the original movie and its myth, the wizard has issues, for there’s a man behind the curtain who is much more about a confession of subdued humility than a profession of supernatural agility. The prequel takes us back before the main myth — to see the man inside the man behind the myth.

Somewhere in the magical middle of this movie, the not-yet-wizard Oscar Diggs (James Franco) makes his confession: “I'm not the wizard you were expecting, but I may be the wizard you need.” We can apply this maxim everywhere. This truth uncovers the human simplicity of the Oz legend and its relevance to all our longings in realms related to power and spirit.

Andrew Marin 10-24-2011


The reason the word Evangelical has become so poisonous is because the answer to the above question comes from a conversion-based model of cultural engagement - political, theological and social. Too many Christians believe, and have wrongly been taught, that those "others" and "opposites" who have made an active choice not to believe in "our" teachings are justifiably: 1) left to their own devices as we wash our hands of them because of their bad choice (think in terms of blood-on-their-own-head); or 2) uninformed, so much so that their "no" is an illegitimate answer.

Evangelicals care more about positions -- whether progressive or conservative -- than people. We lack nuance. We have become either all Scripture or all Justice. I don't know where the balance was lost in terms of holding Scripture in high authority and, simultaneously, loving with reckless abandon?

Joshua Witchger 09-27-2011
It's Oktoberfest. A frosty papal pilsner, perhaps? [caption id="attachment_34148" align="alignright" width="300" caption="Photo by Cathleen Falsani"][/caption]
Eugene Cho 04-19-2011

I'm very fond of this season in the Christian calendar because I can mention the word "ass" during my blog post and sermon and still keep all the fundamentalists off my back.

Jim Wallis 04-07-2011
The hunger fast for a moral budget has gone spiritually viral. Ten days ago, we announced at the National Press Club that the budget debate had become a moral crisis.
Eugene Cho 01-06-2011
Yesterday morning, I arrived at Q Cafe as I do on nearly every work morning to begin a new day.
Pearl Maria Barros 06-23-2010
While discerning a vocation to Roman Catholic religious life years ago, I had the opportunity to go on retreat with a group of women religious.
Efrem Smith 05-19-2010
I watched the Glenn Beck show on Fox News yesterday. His topic was how churches that are using the term, "social justice" are misinterpreting scripture in order to spread Marxism.
Justin Fung 04-30-2010

It'd be nice if enacting a law would solve the problem, wouldn't it?

Ian Danley 04-22-2010
On Tuesday, a group of local faith and community leaders, along with Jim Wallis and Noel Castella

When I was a little girl, Easter morning in my house smelled of vinegar and cloves. We were up early, before sunrise to see the sun shout. My father would attend an Easter sunrise service with his Masonic lodge, my mother would bake the Easter ham, and I would dye the Easter eggs.

Abram Huyser Honig 02-24-2010
Forty-one months ago, almost to the day, I was at my desk in the office of the Honduran Christian justice organization Asociación para una Sociedad más Justa (Association for a More J
Julie Clawson 12-15-2009

At church on a recent Sunday we were encouraged to find ways to see the world differently this week. Change our routine and change our perspective to help us get out of the rut of going through life without actually seeing the world. To that end we were asked to draw a slip of paper out of a basket on which was written some sort of paradigm destabilizer.

Steve Holt 11-27-2009

Imagine for a minute the fallout were a Muslim high school in America to choose for its mascot "the Jihadists."

In that light, how do you think Muslims (or Jews) view Christian schools whose mascot is "the Crusaders?"

Ryan Beiler 10-30-2009
I had starting writing this post last night, before receiving G
Soong-Chan Rah 06-19-2009
Father's Day has always been a bittersweet holiday for me. For most of my life, my father was absent, having abandoned our family when I was in elementary school.
William Faulkner once said: "The past is not dead.