May 31, 2005
After all the media attention to things (Roman) Catholic in recent weeks, this may be a useful moment to reflect on the continuing significance of the Reformation. On April 24 the entire hour of Meet the Press was devoted to a roundtable discussion among Catholics of very diverse views. One moment, in particular, caught my attention.
When do I wear clerical garb, and why? My current practice is to wear clericals when I’m exercising the ministry to which I was ordained—that is, when I’m serving in liturgical or educational ministries (or stand available to do so). In practice, that means I wear black on Sundays and on days that I teach, and other days if I’m leading worship (or exercising my teaching ministry in a nonclassroom way).
In the summers of 1920 and 1921 southern West Virginia was the scene of some of the most historically significant unrest in U.S. history. Yet today this history has been largely forgotten. Although I was raised in West Virginia, I first learned about these events as a nearly grown man when I saw the movie Matewan, John Sayles’s cinematic vision of the seminal events of the mine wars.
Many people believe that Christian piety entails narrow-mindedness and that the more one affirms Christ in his particularity the more one rejects the world in its plurality. If the true Christian is, as John Wesley said, a person of one book, then it might seem that the worlds of art, literature and music—indeed, the whole realm of human culture—are at best irrelevant and at worst dangerous.
Anyone engaging in the practice of Sabbath can expect a rough ride, at least at first. This is because Sabbath involves pleasure, rest, freedom and slowness, and most North Americans are sold on speed, productivity, multitasking. Stopping for one whole day can feel like a kind of death.
Is spirituality genetically based? A behavior geneticist discusses the VMAT2 gene.
Hart paints a bleak picture of evangelicalism, a movement he believes is increasingly lacking in theological depth and substance.
Wells describes six improvisational practices that he says illuminate the way the Christian community discerns and acts.