The Common Good
U2 at the Billboard Music Awards. Photo via Helga Esteb/shutterstock.

Do we truly have a "Church of U2" and is it in the cloud as well as the arenas around the globe? ... With 33 million downloads, is this a form of evangelism or is it simply "offering something beautiful?" It is so wed with making money to support the mammoth (and fading) music industry, that it's hard to know where the market begins and the ekklesia ends.

Photo courtesy InterVarsity Christian Fellowship/USA

In practice, most Christian groups do not treat these as statements as particularly significant parts of the leadership process, though they might not admit it. Rather, what determines a leader are the prayers, the written reflections, and the conversations that already constitute the bulk of a leadership application in a Christian fellowship.

via Disney, ABC Television Group

Kazantsev’s platform for the Miss America event was “Love Doesn’t Have to Hurt: Protecting Women Against Domestic Violence.” ... What can we take away from Miss America and the recent presence of domestic violence in the mainstream media? Domestic violence knows no bounds. No racial bounds. No economic bounds. No religious bounds.

Ferguson protests, via Light Brigading / Flickr.com

by Shane Claiborne
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. Some of the worst moments of injustice have sparked some of the greatest movements for justice.

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.

M. Shcherbyna / Shutterstock.com

We entered into this morass as victims, or so we thought at first, innocent victims on a quest for justice. But justice turns out to be elusive, to have turned against us because of all the victims we have created in our pursuit of the ones who made us into victims. When is justice another name for vengeance? 

On The Blog

  • We at Sojourners are a book-loving bunch, from religion and spirituality to politics; social justice to science; cultural history to fictitious commentary. Below are 10 favorite or most formative books from several staff here at Sojourners.
  • 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.”
  • Is morality the only way to talk about marriage and sex? Certainly the American judiciary thinks otherwise as it hammers out the constitutionality of every union under the sun. The polygamy question could broaden the discussion among evangelicals to include nuances beyond morality.
  • The IBC has raised a second topic into public debate: the ethics of action and motivation. And even beyond the philanthropy going on, I think that's worth talking about, and I suspect it will be the Challenge's more enduring legacy.
  • They say a watched pot never boils. But that's not entirely true. Of course a watched pot boils—it's just that intently watching a pot of water reach 212 degrees Fahrenheit is not an incredibly exciting way to spend your time. And so most people get bored or distracted and end up leaving before it ever reaches the boiling point.
  • When churches conclude their summer hiatus and resume full-scale ministries this week, much will have changed from a year ago — outside their doors.
  • 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
  • Over the past three weeks there have been four separate incidents that have led to the deaths of four unarmed black men at the hands of police. ... Each incident serves as a reminder that as a black man in America, my life holds little to no value in the eyes of the general public.

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