The Common Good
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One thing is for sure: It’s impossible to argue for nonviolence using the violent logic of Empire. Those of us who are committed to the nonviolent way of Jesus simply can’t explain our conviction in terms that the mainstream culture will find satisfying. The way of Empire is all about preemptive strikes ... But the way of Jesus leads us to the cross.

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by Brian McLaren
Too often, perversions of our world’s religious traditions make the daily news for their violence, corruption, greed, and prejudice. Meanwhile, authentic representatives of those traditions are often busy doing good — good that goes largely unnoticed.

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In trying to figure out how to overcome evil, it is often helpful to first decide how not to. Bill O’Reilly rightly condemns ISIS as evil, but he frames the conflict as a “holy war.” ... While it’s a common Fox practice to turn everything into a partisan issue against President Obama, O’Reilly is also spreading a very dangerous theology.

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In the famous passage from Song of Songs, we see that most English Bibles translate the verse to state, “I am dark BUT lovely,” which is an apology for darkness, whereas the correct translation in the original Hebrew is “I am dark AND lovely,” which is not an apology but a bold declaration of beauty.

Photo courtesy World Relief

by Stephan Bauman
We are on the cusp of a seismic shift in how we understand the world’s most vulnerable and the problems they face. When we personally experience this shift, we radically change too. ... After two decades of working to create and sustain positive change, I have never been more hopeful.

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It feels less to me like giving things up or Bible verses and more about intentionally walking in spiritual pilgrimage with your God. Forty days to develop a practice that honors the sacred journey that is our human experience, giving thanks to the One who made us as we walk alongside this light, this hope.

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