The Common Good

early christians

Jesus: We Interrupt This Execution to Bring You a Message of Grace

Last night, death was interrupted when the U.S. Supreme Court issued a stay of execution for a Texas man convicted of a double murder in Houston in 1995.

Duane Buck was set for execution by lethal injection sometime after 6 p.m., Thursday September 15 in Huntsville, Texas. His execution would have been the second this week and the 11th so far this year in Texas alone. Two more executions are scheduled for next week.

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Why I Love Fire, Pentecost, and the Beloved Community

This past weekend, Christians around the world celebrated one of our holiest holi-days: Pentecost. Pentecost, which means "50 days," is celebrated seven weeks after Easter (hence the 50), and marks the birthday of the Church, when the Holy Spirit is said to have fallen on the early Christian community like fire from the heavens. (For this reason, lots of Christians wear red and decorate in pyro-colors. This day is also where the fiery Pentecostal movement draws its name).

But what does Pentecost Sunday have to do with just another manic Monday?

What does a religious event a couple of thousand years old have to offer the contemporary, pluralistic, post-Christian world we live in? I'd say a whole lot. Here's why:

Let me start by confessing my bias. Not only am I a Christian, but I am a Christian who likes fire. I went to circus school and became a fire-swallowing, fire-breathing, torch-juggling-pyro-maniac as you'll see here. So naturally, I like Pentecost.

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Libya, Just War, and Augustine

It was on the shores of North Africa that one of the greatest Christian thinkers tried to work out the relationship between Jesus' teachings about loving even enemies and the impending invasion by
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My Letter to the IRS: 'I Reserve the Right Not to Kill'

As a Christian, Easter marks the most stunning act of grace and enemy-love in human history -- Jesus' death and resurrection.
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The Economics of Anxiety

One of the steadfast realities of following the lectionary is the predictable rhythm of its three-year cycle of readings. Preparing a sermon for Baptism of the Lord Sunday in 2011?
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What Does God Think of Economic Equality?

In American evangelical circles, there's an idea that goes something like this: progressive taxation = socialism, and socialism = s
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