Debra Dean Murphy 07-07-2011

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.

Phil Haslanger 07-05-2011

The email came just a few days before two Jewish rabbis and two Muslim friends joined two of us Christian ministers for a Sunday morning service. This service was part of a national event called Faith Shared.

Heather Wilson 07-01-2011

Fed up and worn out from the grind of life in D.C., I decided to head to Shakori Hills, North Carolina for the Wild Goose Festival last weekend.

Brian McLaren 06-29-2011
Although I've never been a Southern Baptist, I have a special place in my heart for them.
Claire Lorentzen 06-28-2011
Scott Kinder-Pyle is a Presbyterian pastor in Spokane, Washington, and the featured poet in Sojourners' July issue.
Debra Dean Murphy 06-27-2011

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.

Nadia Bolz-Weber 06-27-2011
[Editors' note: This blog post is taken from a commencement address Nadia Bolz-Weber delivered for the graduates of Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary in Berkeley, Californi
Steve Holt 06-24-2011
Sitting in church the other night, I thought about Jackson Helms.
Theresa Cho 06-21-2011
After posting a blog about my observations of a dying church, there were comments gi
Jim Wallis 06-20-2011
Yesterday was Father's Day. As a favor to a dear friend, I did a speaking event on Saturday night away from home, and planned on returning very early in the morning for Sunday and Father's Day.
Eugene Cho 06-20-2011
It's likely that some of you will take offense at the title of this post. But if you read through the post, it'll certainly make more sense in the larger context.
Kathryn Reklis 06-20-2011
As I play with my young son, walk to the grocery store, or wait for a subway, I feel the presence of emails I haven't answered, Facebook invites I haven't responded to, tweets I haven't sent.
I made my first trip to the Greenbelt Festival in the UK last summer.
Brian McLaren 06-15-2011

In addition to my summer reading recommendations from the other day, I need to mention a few more.

Christine Sine 06-15-2011
Change happens in our lives whether we like it or not so we must learn how to mold our lives so that we bend, rather than break, in the midst of change.
Jason Byassee 06-15-2011

When trying to make sense of the changes that new media have brought to us, we can use either supplementary or substitutionary logic. With supplementary logic, Facebook et al. extend the range of our embodied relationships; with substitutionary logic, social media replace them. Those who want to use social media to enhance their churches' outreach implicitly use supplementary logic. Those who want to worship online and don't want to change out of their pajamas or meet other people in their messy particularity ... well, you get the idea.

A recent trip to New York City for a first meeting of the New Media Project Research Fellows reminded me of the superiority of supplementary to substitutionary logic. This happened because the neighborhood around Union Theological Seminary is so deliciously, specifically, embodiedly particular. Union itself is a marvel: its gothic architecture makes it unmistakable that this is a place with history. Niebuhr taught here; Bonhoeffer smoked and worried and decided to go home here; James Cone and Christopher Morse teach here; Serene Jones leads here. The neighborhood extends this particularity; the Jewish Theological Seminary, down Seminary Row, has a glorious crest above its door: "And the bush was not consumed." A tunnel under Union leads you to the grandeur of Riverside Church, where Fosdick and Forbes thundered. Go a few blocks south and east, and you're at The Cathedral of St. John the Divine, the largest interior church space in North America. The morning I visited, the light shone blue through the rose window, filling the clerestory with incandescent beauty. The chapel at Columbia University, with its stained glass above the altar depicting St. Paul preaching on Mars Hill, is a perfect image for situated Christian truth vis-à-vis the gods on campuses and in Manhattan.

This hymn was originally used for the dedication of the 180 solar panels on the sanctuary of Limestone Presbyterian Church in Wilmington, Delaware where I am the co-pastor.
Theresa Cho 06-13-2011

I recently wrote a blog about how to kill a dying church, asking questions about what to do with so many churches dying. I think the challenge is recognizing the signs that a church is dying. The problem is that churches tend to wither, which is a slow, gradual, and often subtle process. It is difficult to pinpoint when in the withering process it is time to take action, to make changes, and to make some vital decisions. While there are many reasons for a church dying, here are some practical observations that I have noticed in my experience. This list is certainly not exhaustive. It is also a list that my congregation has personally had to face, so I give examples of how my congregation has addressed these issues.

Phil Haslanger 06-13-2011
Jesus never said anything about collective bargaining. He never called for the continuation of the Earned Income Tax Credit for low-income workers.
Shane Claiborne 06-13-2011

This past weekend, Christians around the world celebrated one of our holiest holi-days: Pentecost. Pentecost, which means "50 days," is celebrated seven weeks after Easter (hence the 50), and marks the birthday of the Church, when the Holy Spirit is said to have fallen on the early Christian community like fire from the heavens. (For this reason, lots of Christians wear red and decorate in pyro-colors. This day is also where the fiery Pentecostal movement draws its name).

But what does Pentecost Sunday have to do with just another manic Monday?

What does a religious event a couple of thousand years old have to offer the contemporary, pluralistic, post-Christian world we live in? I'd say a whole lot. Here's why:

Let me start by confessing my bias. Not only am I a Christian, but I am a Christian who likes fire. I went to circus school and became a fire-swallowing, fire-breathing, torch-juggling-pyro-maniac as you'll see here. So naturally, I like Pentecost.