The Red Sea, the baptistery, and the birth canal
What do our baptismal vows have to do with safety?
Willie James Jennings writes about tangible things—bodies, incarceration, healing—with graceful language that’s hard to pin down.
We tend to think biology matters, and matters very much—except when we don’t.
I had work to do the other day, but I set it aside to reread Elie Wiesel’s Night as a way to mark the great man’s death and remember his life. While I was struck by passages I anticipated, like his account of how his belief was shattered upon seeing the furnaces of Auschwitz—“Never shall I forget those flames which consumed my faith forever”—it was an unexpected line that caught me, given a current news story I’d been following.
When I parked the minivan in the church lot, it still sounded like the type of horror we have had no choice but to become stoic about: 20 dead in a bar, as many more wounded, a dead shooter and a thicket of questions. By the time I returned it had become something different.
At St. Peter's, the font beckons Detroiters to wade into freedom—while the bottled water around it brings to mind the principalities and powers.
Few secrets are as devastating as those that make us rethink our identity. Heidi Neumark discovered one when her daughter Googled their name.
The controversy over Rodney Kennedy’s decision to baptize a baby has been fascinating. The prominent American Baptist pastor told RNS that he is “no longer interested whether confession of faith comes before or after baptism,” given the larger issues facing the church. Many other Baptists, especially Southern Baptists, very much disagree. “The Christian community needs to have a conversation about baptism,” said Kennedy. We’ve had one, actually.
Alyssa Rosenberg makes a smart point about the FX show The Americans, a drama about a married pair of KGB agents working undercover in early-80s metro D.C. Their two teenage children are unaware of what their parents do, and the older one, Paige, becomes a devoted churchgoer.