How does a church choose a bank? Typically we look for the best deal and then pat ourselves on the back for our good stewardship, as if stewardship had to do simply with saving money rather than with putting it to good use.
I used to sit on the front porch with my grandmother, otherwise the gentlest, most unconditionally loving person in my young life, while she regaled me with stories about what was going on under the dome of the Roman Catholic cathedral one block away. They're storing guns in the basement, Grandma assured me, and I imagined that the windows in the dome were gunports through which "they" planned to fire on the rest of the city.
A recent cover of Time magazine asked: “Is America Islamophobic?” A Time survey discovered equivocal evidence on the question.
Pain is so attention-getting that it can put you on a planet all by yourself, where your face is the only face you see above the number that best describes your hurt.
This summer I reread Dietrich Bonhoeffer's Letters and Papers from Prison in Fortress Press's extraordinary new edition of his collected works. Letters and Papers remains almost endlessly suggestive and stimulating theologically. But in this reading I noticed how often the imprisoned Lutheran pastor mentioned tobacco.
Security and risk are nothing new. Today's biblical texts deal not with stocks and bonds exactly, but with living in the real circumstances of a difficult and uncertain world while also accepting the possibility of good, of help and support, comfort and security.
Anyone who has watched children play knows the spectacularly creative and subversive ways in which they can use playthings, even "safe" religious ones.
When the Berlin Wall fell in 1989, Leonard Bernstein was there to celebrate with Beethoven's Ninth Symphony. The great chorus did not voice the familiar "Freude, Freude" ("joy, joy") but instead sang "Freiheit, Freiheit" ("freedom, freedom"). That simple, direct, unambiguous moment, however, is not the norm for thinking about freedom.
Too much writing about the arts and Christianity is apologetic, explaining why the church should be concerned about artistic expression. Within that category is a lot of writing that voices high-minded generalities about "good art" and "bad art" and about who should and should not be making art.
United Methodist pastor Elise Erikson Barrett writes for women who have experienced miscarriage, pastors who help couples grapple with it and anyone who has helped a friend, spouse or relative grieve.
Hobgood-Oster, who teaches religion and environmental studies at Southwestern University, describes her book as "both a religious-environmental history and a contemporary theology."
Get Low is a redemption story that doesn't feel hollow or fake. That's mostly because the protagonist, a Depression-era small-town Tennessee recluse named Felix Bush, is played by Robert Duvall in a wildly imaginative performance that may be the finest he's ever turned in.
France's main Protestant grouping has added its voice to criticism of a government program aimed at repatriating Roma (Gypsy) immigrants and demolishing unauthorized Roma camps.
Clark Pinnock, 73, an influential theologian whose spiritual pilgrimage led him from a fiery fundamentalism as a young professor to an openness that caused some to brand him a heretic, died August 15 of a heart attack.