Faith Matters

Choir stalls and a labyrinth

Faithful responses to work, family, and everyday life

Each year I ask my students to devise arguments for God. They respond less like well diggers than like beachcombers, gathering bits of evidence.
April 6, 2016
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.
March 18, 2016
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.
March 10, 2016
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.
February 26, 2016
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.
February 11, 2016
We church leaders need to stop fretting about our future and immerse ourselves in the baptismal waters that proclaim perfect love.
January 29, 2016
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.
December 30, 2015
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.
December 16, 2015
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.
November 25, 2015
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."
November 19, 2015
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.
November 6, 2015
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.
October 23, 2015
We just took our son to college for his first year. It was hard for me, scary/exciting for him, and wounding for his mother.
October 1, 2015
A student I taught with recalls licking honey from Hebrew letters as a child. My own memories of religious education are less auspicious.
September 24, 2015