American Soundings

Prayer is not something we do first and foremost on our own. We pray with other Christians.
September 15, 2011
Unless you're Pentecostal, you've probably never run or jumped or worked up a sweat in church. But whatever your tradition, your church has some kind of worship calisthenics.
August 16, 2011
Lady Gaga is a Kierkegaard in fishnet stockings. Intentionally or not, she reminds us that Jesus came among us as a misfit.
July 13, 2011
How sweet was the moment when, the catheter removed, I was able to again urinate on my own. I heard myself whispering enthusiastically, with no hint of disrespect or irony, "Thank you, Jesus!"
May 23, 2011
Outside Paradise, government will never be perfect. But that's no reason to give up on it.
April 19, 2011
Sooner or later, and usually sooner, conversations about passenger trains and Amtrak in particular sputter with the dirty "s-word": subsidies. But all American means of transportation de­pend on "subsidies."
March 22, 2011
Faithful prayer asks not merely for healing but for patience and discernment and continuing faith­fulness. By comparison, a superstitious act is easy and in­stan­taneous.
February 28, 2011
Just as an injured athlete needs to take a break, my friends needed to take some time to rest. And like the paralytic at Capernaum, they could depend on others' faith and not just their own.
January 25, 2011
The pressure to keep up a relentless facade of merriment is not a Christian pressure. We may not be able to completely escape this, but perhaps we can lessen it by not confusing it with discipleship.
December 8, 2010
Despite all the attention given to re­membering the al-Qaeda attacks of September 11, 2001, little attention has been given to one conspicuous aspect--the event has no name.
November 2, 2010
This summer I reread Dietrich Bonhoeffer's Letters and Papers from Prison in Fortress Press's extra­ordinary new edition of his collected works. Letters and Papers remains almost endlessly suggestive and stimulating theologically. But in this reading I noticed how often the imprisoned Luth­eran pastor mentioned tobacco.
September 13, 2010
Grandma and Bob got along famously. They complemented one another: Grand­ma was hard of hearing and Bob was almost blind.
August 11, 2010