The Common Good
Sean Locke Photography & Svetlana Lukienko/Shutterstock.com

by Ron Sider
The Bible tells us that every person is created in the image of God and is invited to be active in shaping the created world to produce beautiful, complex civilizations. But if power remains highly concentrated, how are the vast majority of people supposed to fulfill their creation mandate given by God?

Cory Booker, Eugene Parciasepe; Rand Paul, Christopher Halloran / Shutterstock

From slavery to peonage to Jim Crow to the drug wars and “tough on crime,” the shadow side of our society has repeated the same pattern of confinement and control. Thus, this partnership between Booker and Paul across the aisle signals a move long in the making: a shifting tide toward a common goal.

MeeKo / Shutterstock.com

Is same-sex behavior a sin? It’s the wrong question. It doesn’t matter. The Bible teaches that all people — gay, straight, bisexual, transgendered and so on — sin and fall short of the glory of God, regardless of what they may or may not do in their bedrooms.

“Certainly, Francis would want to encourage Catholic charismatics to feel at home, as well as build ecumenical relationships with the Pentecostal community — and those reinforce one another. That’s also why what he is doing is both ecumenically creative, and makes sense.”

Boat on a silent sea, Hofhauser / Shutterstock.com

Choosing to practice quiet and solitude — without the readily available distractions of the Internet, buzzing cellphones, or the constant stream of music in our headphones — can provide countercultural openings to listen and experience the tender love of God.

Two girls on a school bus. Image courtesy Blend Images/shutterstock.com.

by Jim Wallis

The horrible events in Murrieta, California on Tuesday reminds of the most important immigration talk I’ve given this year—the one I gave to my son’s fifth grade class. 

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On The Blog

  • I was sitting in the airport the other day listening to yet another account of the current events unfolding in Israel and Palestine. Almost mechanically, the lips of the news anchor spilled out words like terrorists, extremist, escalating violence, detention, kidnapping, hatred, protest, etc. It was as though they were telling a story of some otherworldly reality that had virtually no human implications. It was all the stuff we are supposed to hear about the Middle East, so it successfully affirmed stereotypes, assumptions and prejudice.
  • Closely held corporations cannot be compelled to pay for contraception coverage, the Supreme Court ruled Monday in its highly anticipated Burwell v. Hobby Lobby Stores case.
  • Saturday marked the 50th anniversary of the senseless slaughter and lynching of civil rights workers James Chaney, Andrew Goodman, and Michael Schwerner during Freedom Summer in Mississippi. They gave their lives to insure that every person in Mississippi would have the right to vote and be a full citizen of this nation.
  • Irresponsible. Foolish. Impulsive. Recent college graduates with substantial student loans are sometimes regarded in these terms. Those who attended college decades ago, with a $15 per credit hour, may assume that these graduates are spoiled Millennials who “should have known better” than to agree to the loan terms.
  • I wonder how many of us listen to Scripture with a positivist ear, with the hope of being told what to do or how to live. If we do, today's readings might be a hard word, indeed. "Thanks be to God?"
  • According to a recent LifeWay Research poll of 1,000 Protestant pastors, 74 percent misjudge how prevalent sexual and domestic violence is within their congregations.
  • In the midst of these experiences, I had to define the core of my identity. I am a person of color. I am a woman. I am poor. I am fatherless. I am an undocumented immigrant. Indeed, it has been excruciating seeing myself in the eyes of this world, a cursed human being. Except, I learned about my true identity. Above all other labels, the truth is, I am a child of God.
  • Early Christianity spearheaded technological innovations with global ramifications, most notably in the invention of the codex. Today’s faithful hackers, armed with code, workshops, and participatory-minded theology, hope to do the same.

In The Magazine

Featured Blog Series

Our newest blog series explores the issues surrounding the decline of American Christianity. We ask the hard questions, offer suggestions, and sometimes just lament what we cannot control. Read the series of letters here