New today: Chris Herlinger reviews two books on the Afghanistan war, taking sides with the #BlackLivesMatter movement, Sara Miles and Christian Wiman's Christmas picks

November 29, 2015

Daily lectionary readings: Psalm 90; Numbers 17:1-112 Peter 3:1-18

Saints, commemorations, and other witnesses from the cloud: Andrew the Apostle (Lutheran, Episcopal, and Catholic calendars), Thomas Weelkes, Nicolas de Grigny

New today from the Century

Afghan morass, by Chris Herlinger. In two books on Afghanistan, Anand Gopal and Carlotta Gall each point to the absurdity of America's longest war.

Knee-deep in renewal, by Carol Howard Merritt. Anyone can see the rippling effects of God's kingdom in buildings, movements, and practices. I couldn't comprehend it all without Diana Butler Bass.

Should the church take sides or stay neutral with the #BlackLivesMatter movement? By Drew G. I. Hart. Most white Christians, and many middle class racial minority communities, have cut themselves off from any intimate life together with poor black communities that struggle daily with oppressive obstacles. But a movement is happening all around us.

Black atheists and the black church, by Edward Carson. Though many within the black community continue to showcase their religious conservatism, others have slowly drifted away. And not just from the black church—but from religion in general.

Sara Miles's Christmas picks: Atticus Lish, Kirstin Valdez Quade, others

Chris Wiman's Christmas picks: Jen Hadfield, Rosemary Tonks, others

Sarah Morice-Brubaker's Christmas picks: Jes Baker, "Hamilton," and more

In the news

Pope wraps up Africa visit; says 'God is peace,' 'salaam'

Survey: Women distrust churches for abortion advice

Russian Orthodox Church says intervention in Syria a 'holy war'

In the CCblogs network 

Waiting longer than 40 weeks, by Elizabeth Hagan

Pure and blameless, by Steve Pankey

Cold, by Rachel Hackenberg


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