New today: Class separation in the church, James K. A. Smith and Debra Dean Murphy on Resident Aliens at 25, Elmer Gantry and change

September 18, 2014

Daily lectionary readings: Psalm 145:1-8Nahum 1:1, 14-2:22 Corinthians 13:1-4

Saints, commemorations, and other witnesses from the cloud: Dag Hammarskjöld (Lutheran calendar), Edward Bouverie Pusey (Episcopal calendar), Benjamin KennicottAugust Gottlieb SpangenbergGeorge MacDonald

New today from the Century

The poor door: Class separation in the church, by Heidi Neumark. People are rightly disgusted by buildings with separate entrances for low-income residents. But churches have side-door people, too.

This week, a series of reflections on the book Resident Aliens after 25 years. Today:

  • Church against state? by James K.A. Smith. A funny thing happened on the way to the church-as-polis: I can now imagine being a resident alien and invested in the state, in all of its glorious failing.
  • Locating loyalty, by Debra Dean Murphy. Resident Aliens helped convince a generation that there is no Christian identity apart from the church. But where exactly is Hauerwas and Willimon's "adventuresome" church?

Books Change: Elmer Gantry, by Daniel Silliman. In my copy of Elmer Gantry, one sentence is underlined six times: “He had, in fact, got everything from church and Sunday School, except, perhaps, any longing whatever for decency and kindness and reason.”.


4 things that perfection costs us, by Elizabeth Hagan. How much of our lives do we live striving for perfection? We might look good in public, but it costs us something.

In the news

Nigerians brace for elections amid north-south rift and Boko Haram


Does the Muslim headscarf boost body image?

Many church choirs are ending. Here’s why

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