Those who heard the disciples preach on Pentecost comprehended the message in their own language. But that was only the beginning.
Pentecost offers a vision for Europe: not one megastate or one system for everything, but a model of diversity as peace.
Each year I ask my students to devise arguments for God. They respond less like well diggers than like beachcombers, gathering bits of evidence.
If the church is the bride of Christ, then Jesus is married to both Rachel and Leah—to the church he wants, and to the church he has to take.
At the least-visited museum in Rome, a marble cross caught my attention. It depicts the Madonna and Child and the warm tangle of their intimacy.
The exiled people of Judah turned to their stories—and found the belief that God would save them as before. Centuries later, Christians did the same.
Every New Year's, every Easter, every anniversary of his wife's death, Samuel Johnson took stock and prayed for the grace to try again.
We church leaders need to stop fretting about our future and immerse ourselves in the baptismal waters that proclaim perfect love.
Learning a language requires us to focus our attention on something outside ourselves. It's a lot like learning to pray.
One Sunday, I invited people to talk to us pastors about whatever troubled them. So after the service, I had no one to blame but myself.
In Fra Carnevale’s Annunciation, Mary’s face signals she is pondering the angel’s message in full consciousness of the joys and terrors it will bring.
At a reunion of our seminary's class of 1965, I talked to pastors who grieve that they have not left the mainline church better than they found it. They were faithful to their moment, but that moment blew away.
My Italian is rusty. When I go to church in Rome and try to follow along, I'm reminded of Woolf's "incessant shower of innumerable atoms."
Perhaps normal people no longer assume that church is part of what it means to be normal. Or perhaps the idea of a normal center was flawed all along.
As a child, I liked to survey strangers about what it means to be human. Brandon Stanton has created a fully realized version of what I was doing.