Two weeks ago, I was in my office getting ready for worship when a church member stopped by with a cherry tomato. A small, single tomato, which he handed to me. Then he pointed out my window toward the front yard of the church. “We’ve got a couple of tomato plants growing out there,” he said.
In the ancient city of Laodicea in western Turkey, site of the church reprimanded in the book of Revelation for being “neither cold nor hot,” our guide led us across the old agora to a pile of broken columns. One had a fascinating marking. A menorah had been scratched onto the stone, and next to it was inscribed a cross. What did this mean?
One key challenge for churches in the North Dakota oil boom is how to respond to the needs of many new residents. Jay Reinke, pastor of Concordia Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod, runs a program out of his church called the Overnighters
Eric Metaxas’s take on the absence of faith in the film 42is curious. He is right that the film downplays the role of faith in Branch Rickey’s and Jackie Robinson’s lives. But faith is not absent, “a mysterious hole at the center of this otherwise worthy film.”
When I was in Williston, ND, reporting for the Century about churches in the oil boom, I found that longtime residents often feel they are in conflict with short-term oil workers, who have no plans to stay.