In the World

Church door from inside

Steve Thorngate on public life and culture

People assume a lot about what Christians are like. And often, we left-leaners are quick to explain not what we are but what we are not: not fixated on others’ damnation, not beholden to the Republican partynot antigay. It’s an understandable impulse. It also makes it that much easier for others to define us out of the faith altogether: they are the ones who believe or do x, y, and z important things; we are the ones who do not.
February 20, 2014
I don't usually write about preaching or about specific Revised Common Lectionary texts, since that's well covered elsewhere on the site by people more qualified than I. This is just a quick note motivated by the fact that this Sunday's Gospel reading is the subject of one of the more startling RCL factoids that came up when I was reporting my fall article on alternate lectionaries.
February 20, 2014
I try not to post TOO many "you forgot about us mainline Protestants!" posts. The idea comes up almost daily when I'm going through the news and the blogs, but I know that kind of thing can get old so I try to set the bar pretty high. If a person wanted to make this the focus of a blog, however, a person could do worse than to keep a close eye on the Barna Group.
February 11, 2014
Frustrating news out of North Dakota: one of the most viable longer-range Amtrak routes is being plagued by delays, courtesy of a parade of freight trains hauling crude away from oil-boom country. This is the point where passenger-rail skeptics and government haters generally laugh and say, what else is new? Amtrak’s running late! But our shell of a national passenger rail system has been dealt a pretty tough hand.
February 7, 2014
It looks like Washington is about to do what recently seemed a far-off dream: actually enact a farm bill. From a farm-reform perspective, the bill that the House passed and the Senate is now debating is uninspiring, but it could be worse. The same goes for nutrition assistance: the bill doesn’t drastically cut SNAP (food stamps) eligibility and benefits as House Republicans sought to do, but it does cut benefits by more than 1 percent over the next decade.
February 3, 2014


In the magazine

Review of Rod Dreher's The Benedict Option

Christmas picks 2016

Why and how I bless my children

Death-penalty abolition and life without parole

Review of Steven Brill's Obamacare book

Baptism and place

What I want to get/give for Christmas

Liturgy nerds and their weddings

What's funny on TV

Alternatives to the common lectionary

Should churches alter copyrighted worship texts?

Welcome to the middle class, population everyone.

It's not about the role of government.

Whither the Century's Amazon links?

Church music after the worship wars

A nontraditional church introduces member rolls

Pay your taxes; get a receipt.

The Democrats' proxy debate about abortion

Music reviews


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