The Common Good


Faith is a journey, a Pilgrim’s Progress filled with mistakes, learning, humble interactions, and life-changing events. Here are a few things I would do differently if I could go back and start over. 

ISIS flag, Trybex /

Swirling around the alarming analysis are the rumors and realities of individuals from Europe and the U.S. joining the ranks of ISIS and fighting for their "cause." ... Of all the fearful intimations of this conflict, this feature seems to be the most frightening to many in the West. Could it be that my neighbor is a secret jihadi? 

A figure prays while a storm rolls in. Image courtesy Waddell Images/shutterstoc

by Jim Wallis 

We need conversion. Nothing less. Only our conversion could change our dangerous direction. Two fundamental things could bring the kind of conversion we need: our faith and our children.

Kailahun, Sierra Leone. Center of Ebola outbreak. ©EC/ECHO/Cyprien Fabre

The headlines and talk shows are dominated by the response ISIS. To be clear, this group readily uses fanatical and brutal actions to achieve its radically exclusive vision. The images they skillfully project are like violent, X-rated video games made real. ... But there is something that worries me more: the ongoing Ebola crisis.

ISIS flag in target scope, Crystal Eye Studio /

In the first century, the wisdom of Christ crucified was a stumbling block to the Jews and foolishness to the Gentiles. In the 21st century, the wisdom of God that led to Christ’s nonviolent love in the face of violence is a stumbling block and utter foolishness not primarily to Jews and Gentiles, but to Christians.

Leonard Cohen in Florence in 2010 / Route66 /

“I hope I stay on the road a little bit longer - but you may not be so enthusiastic when you hear my reason. You see I want to start smoking next year when I'll be 80. It's been a long barren time. I think it’s the right age to recommence.”—Leonard Cohen

On September 21, Leonard Cohen Turned 80. With or Without a Cigarette, It’s Time to Celebrate.

On The Blog

  • U2’s ‘thin ecclesiology’ appeals to me because it models the seasons of doubt and faith in an honest medium rooted in the authentic presence of Jesus.
  • I have always believed that any alternative to war must still address the very real problems at hand — just in a more effective way. To say that “war is not the answer” is not only a moral statement but also is a serious critique of what doesn’t work; wars often fail to solve the problems and ultimately make them worse.
  • Given that the crux of this issue revolves around what InterVarsity’s student leaders ostensibly do or do not believe, perhaps this is an opportunity for Christians to (re)consider their affinity for “belief statements.” Are they really that important?
  • As we listen to Ferguson, we can learn from Ferguson – just as we learn from Montgomery and from South Africa. Many of the worst pits of oppression have later become the brightest beacons of hope.
  • Sunday night, 23-year old Kira Kazantsev proved two things when she was crowned Miss America for 2015. First, she can make a nationally television audience “happy” by using only a red plastic cup. Second, domestic violence knows no bounds.
  • It’s been 14 years since our government declared war on terrorism. How are we doing?
  • It’s amazing what silence will do for the soul. Communication doesn’t mean noise. And the failures of this world, the church, and each other doesn’t mean that we don’t still strive for “thy kingdom come.”
  • I’ve heard from many of my white friends and readers who say they aren’t sure how to respond to the anger and grief they are watching on TV or hearing from their black friends. They want to be part of the solution, but don’t know where start. ... I’m in the process of learning too, but as I’ve listened to people of color whose opinions I’ve trust, I’ve heard them issue several calls to action we can all heed

In The Magazine

Featured Blog Series

There are an estimated 11 million undocumented immigrants in our country. They are our brothers, sisters, friends, neighbors, pastors. And each has a story to tell. Read 11 such first-hand stories in our newest series here