The Puritans were earnest folk. They had little patience with those who had no depth, no deep conviction, no profound concern with what God was doing in their lives. They wanted everyone to become a believer, of course—to assent to the reality of God and God’s providence, justice and compassion, and thus find a confidence for living in this precarious world.
In his critique of “Living Faithfully with Families in Transition” (June 28), a report submitted to the recent assembly of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)—and sent back to committee for revision—Don Browning argues that the report fails to give practical guidance.
Last year Popular Mechanics announced that a team of British scientists, assisted by Israeli archaeologists, had fashioned “the most accurate image” of the face of Jesus. Assuming that Jesus would have looked like a typical Galilean Semite of his time, the scientists gathered skulls from that date found near Jerusalem and proceeded to reconstruct Jesus’ face.
A walk down the aisle of any major bookstore reveals that spirituality sells, and that spirituality is not confined to the “religion” or “Christian inspiration” sections. Diverse though the literature on spirituality is, a body of popular teachings about God—and how we might experience God—is emerging within it.
Since the 9-11 terrorist attacks the U.S. State Department has sponsored a number of study programs that bring Muslim scholars from around the world to the U.S. with the aim of showing off the American way of separating church and state, and demonstrating how American society is able to both nurture faith traditions and support religious diversity.