The Common Good

Results for Emerging Voices

The Image of God vs. The School-to-Prison Pipeline
Originally Posted: 09/12/2014 - 10:04am | Type: Blog

Implicit bias does not ask why. It only takes surface observation and draws lines of quick logic: These circumstances are reserved for criminals. Therefore, these people are criminals. ...

The Problem With Systemic Racism...
Originally Posted: 09/09/2014 - 9:19am | Type: Blog

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 excit ...

Ten Practical Ways White Christians Can Respond to Ferguson
Originally Posted: 08/25/2014 - 11:32am | Type: Blog

Please try a few or all of these pathways, and add some of your own, and let’s stand up and be counted in this moment of great pain and anxiety for our nation. It is time, as Bill Hybels continually admonishes ...

The Church Has Left the Building
Originally Posted: 08/15/2014 - 2:33pm | Type: Blog

Last year I spoke at a missional church conference in Southern California. The guy who spoke before me asked every one of these missional pastors do a simple exercise. “Turn to the person sitting next to you,” he said, “and tell them the names of you ...

Where is the Joy?
Originally Posted: 08/13/2014 - 1:35pm | Type: Blog

How do you talk about joy in times like these and not sound like a traveling salesman with a bottle of snake oil up his sleeve? Recently, I received word that Robert Gittelson, the cofounder of Conservatives ...

Silence for Peace
Originally Posted: 07/16/2014 - 9:31am | Type: Blog

I met Dr. Iva Beranek the summer of 2004, during the Intervarsity Christian Fellowship Pilgrimage for Reconciliation journey through Croatia, Serbia, and Bosnia. Having come of age in Vukovina, just outside of the Croatian capital city of Zagreb, during ...

Three Ways to Maintain Yourself While Maintaining a Movement
Originally Posted: 07/14/2014 - 11:56am | Type: Blog

Doing justice is hard and exhausting work. We are compelled to action by the urgency of the suffering and pain and evil that mark life for so many in God’s world. And the work is never done. ...

Cory Booker, Rand Paul Shine Light on Shadow Side of U.S. Justice System
Originally Posted: 07/10/2014 - 10:42am | Type: Blog

Booker: "The REDEEM Act will ensure that our tax dollars are being used in smarter, more productive ways. It will also establish much-needed sensible reforms that keep kids out of the adult correctional s ...

Silence: A Path to Action
Originally Posted: 07/09/2014 - 4:30pm | Type: Blog

What does one take to a three-day silent retreat? Apparently a lot of noise. I had such a hard time packing for my weekend away — cramming my bag with a stack of contemplative pra ...

'...That All Men Are Created Equal'
Originally Posted: 07/08/2014 - 1:10pm | Type: Blog

People know. Not just Americans, but the entire globe. People know that the founders didn't mean it then, nor does this nation mean it now. People know. Not just American ...

Deep In My Heart
Originally Posted: 06/24/2014 - 11:12am | Type: Blog

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 li ...

Founding Mothers: Remember the Women
Originally Posted: 06/16/2014 - 2:07pm | Type: Blog

I love the 4th of July! It’s coming around again quickly, and I’m seriously deciding where I’m going to be based on which city has the best fireworks. I know. It’s a little crazy for someone who preaches about ...

In Remembrance: Maya Angelou
Originally Posted: 05/28/2014 - 5:43pm | Type: Blog

Angelou did not claim to be a theologian, but her words spun theology for a nation. She was speaking of shalom — that biblical concept that envisions the day with the lion and the lamb shall lie together, the ...

Introducing 5 Small Loaves
Originally Posted: 05/09/2014 - 3:07pm | Type: Blog

This past decade of living on the Navajo reservation has taught us that our community, the church, our country, even the world is in critical need. But God had also been pounding into our heads, that we, peopl ...

Donald Sterling: Façade, Fiction, and Forgiveness
Originally Posted: 04/30/2014 - 6:48am | Type: Blog

Sterling does not “support them.” He pays them for work. He does not “give them food.” He gives them a wage for employment. He does not give his players “clothes, and cars, and houses.” The Clippers Corporatio ...

Immigration and Resurrection
Originally Posted: 04/09/2014 - 6:21am | Type: Blog

I looked these immigrant workers in the eyes and said through tears: “God sees you. You are not alone. Across the nation people from the north and south — people who are black, white, Latino, Asian American, a ...

Why Have You Forsaken Me?
Originally Posted: 04/08/2014 - 5:10pm | Type: Blog

As I reflect on the plight of the undocumented immigrant in the United States today, I wonder if the words of the Psalmist, echoed by Jesus on the cross, don’t hit a little too close to home. ...

Listen for the Groaning; Then Worship!
Originally Posted: 03/18/2014 - 3:01pm | Type: Blog

Our addiction to consumption, our oil drills and oil spills, and our depleted uranium bullets whizzing through theaters of war in countries ravaged, torn apart — both the people and the land. Creation is groan ...

The Black Presence in the Bible: Uncovering the Hidden Ones
Originally Posted: 02/21/2014 - 11:22am | Type: Blog

The Bible is a multicultural book. This statement may sound controversial but archeology, history, and the text prove it to be true. “Princes shall come out of Egypt; Ethiopia ...

Faithful Sacrifice
Originally Posted: 02/17/2014 - 2:00pm | Type: Blog

My life is not my own. I am the product of sacrifice. I am here because of those who saw beyond themselves and thought personal sacrifice was worth giving up to allow justice to take hold. I am here because Je ...

Without Exception
Originally Posted: 01/08/2014 - 10:30am | Type: Blog

After many years of living in solidarity with my people, studying the scriptures, and looking closely at the model of Jesus, I can wholeheartedly agree that, as a rule, "God does not reveal himself in str ...

Unemployment, the Vote, and Hope
Originally Posted: 01/07/2014 - 8:38pm | Type: Blog

Today’s Senate vote on unemployment benefits brings hope to 1.3 million people who dare to hope every day. It is right and good that we stand with the least — ones who have fallen on hard times — in their time ...

The Power of Fasting
Originally Posted: 12/17/2013 - 1:22pm | Type: Blog

Over the past month, I have witnessed the spiritual power of the disciplines of prayer and fasting to redeem our nation’s institutional powers in ways I never imagined. Do you be ...

Fast for Families: Day 18 — Fasting While Others Feast
Originally Posted: 12/04/2013 - 11:52am | Type: Blog

I moved into the fasting tent Wednesday morning, Day 16 of my Thanksgiving Fast4Families, where the best part has been the fellowship and the discipline of silence. ( Editors N ...

Day 13 and 14: Fasting Is Our Cross
Originally Posted: 11/27/2013 - 3:27pm | Type: Blog

Day 12 was holy ground for me — a crossroads. I woke up that morning sensing God's call to move back into the tent during Thanksgiving week and through Thanksgiving weekend. ...

Go Long, for Life
Originally Posted: 11/15/2013 - 12:05pm | Type: Blog

Fear of failure keeps you in the short game, and ironically this often becomes a predictor of failure. Growing up I played a lot of football. In my neighborhood there was a const ...

Advent: Fasting for the Reign of God
Originally Posted: 11/27/2013 - 4:28pm | Type: Blog

There is an awesome moment in the opening chapter of the book of Luke where the writer frames his gospel as an epic celestial battle taking place in the heavenly realm: This is the story of the reign of men vs ...

A Prayer for Marissa Alexander
Originally Posted: 11/27/2013 - 4:28pm | Type: Blog

Please stand with Marissa Alexander as she learns whether she will be released on bail to await her retrial. Jesus, please be with Marissa Alexander today. You know Marissa, t ...

Fast for Families: A Call for Immigration Reform and Citizenship
Originally Posted: 11/27/2013 - 4:29pm | Type: Blog

Faith, immigrant rights, and labor leaders launched the "Fast for Families: A Call for Immigration Reform and Citizenship," Nov. 12, taking place on the National Mall. This post is composed of update ...

The Budget and Your Neighbor
Originally Posted: 11/05/2013 - 2:40pm | Type: Blog

And today, 47 million low-income Americans will see their food stamps benefits decrease , as stimulus funding ends. In light of this newly named “war on the poor,” I’ve been reflecting on Jesus’ story of the G ...

The American Church's Absence of Lament
Originally Posted: 10/24/2013 - 9:46am | Type: Blog

The absence of lament in the liturgy of the American church results in the loss of memory. When we consider the typical church worship service in the United States, we discover ce ...

The 'S' Word, the 'D' Word, and '12 Years a Slave'
Originally Posted: 11/27/2013 - 4:31pm | Type: Blog

We do need racial healing. Our nation needs it desperately. I once spoke to a writing class at a respected evangelical university on the Good Samaritan, a basic message about God’ ...

An Open Letter to the Evangelical Church: I Am Not Your Punch Line
Originally Posted: 10/14/2013 - 6:11pm | Type: Blog

When family drama shows up in the church, it grieves me. It riles me up like nothing else does because it is in my identity as a Christian and Jesus-follower where I am all of who God created me to be and has ...

I Emailed Pastor Rick Warren and There Is No 'If'
Originally Posted: 09/27/2013 - 8:14am | Type: Blog

There is no “if.” I am hurt, upset, offended, and distressed, not just because “an” image was posted, but that Warren posted the image of a Red Guard soldier as a joke, because people pointed out the disconce ...

Dear Pastor Rick Warren, I Think You Don’t Get It
Originally Posted: 09/25/2013 - 10:09am | Type: Blog

This photo appeared yesterday on Rick Warren’s Facebook page and Twitter feed. Apparently the image captures “the typical attitude of Saddleback Staff as they start work each day.” Hmmm. I didn’t realize Saddl ...

Shalom and Gender Justice
Originally Posted: 09/17/2013 - 10:16am | Type: Blog

It is only after the fall of humanity — when we decided not to trust God’s ways, when we decided to grab at our own way to peace and gratification — that women were subjected to men. ...

Why I Will Be Marching on Washington and Why You Should Too
Originally Posted: 08/26/2013 - 2:47pm | Type: Blog

Thankfully, "separate but equal" is a vestige of the past; Jim Crow segregation is no longer the law of the land; and racial slurs and derogatory remarks are no longer acceptable. However, we must re ...

'Silence is Golden': The White Church and Race in America
Originally Posted: 07/22/2013 - 8:04pm | Type: Blog

In the book of Ecclesiastes, the author says that there is a time for everything under heaven, including “a time to be silent, and a time to speak.” (Ecclesiastes 3:7. Over the past two weekends, the vast majo ...

A Time to Mourn
Originally Posted: 07/21/2013 - 11:49am | Type: Blog

A corporate injustice has occurred and the last thing we should do as people of privilege is to try to shut down the voices that have experienced genuine suffering and are speaking to the reality of an ongoing ...

The Zimmerman Verdict and the Resurrection of the Old Jim Crow
Originally Posted: 08/30/2013 - 2:36pm | Type: Blog

Three weeks ago, the U.S. Supreme Court gutted the Voting Rights Act of its enforcement power. Last week the House GOP voted to eliminate 100 percent of funding for food stamps from the Farm Bill. As a result, ...

'Ninety-Nine and a Half (Won't Do)'
Originally Posted: 07/19/2013 - 10:38am | Type: Blog

If the Church is going to survive we can no longer talk around the issue of racism. We can’t pray around it, and we can’t Holy Ghost dance around it. We truly have to deal with it. ...

An American Story
Originally Posted: 07/22/2013 - 4:31pm | Type: Blog

The story of Trayvon Martin is a story that must be lamented if we are to write a story of justice in the weeks, months, and even years ahead. So my first response this week is lament and deep sadness. ...

Raising Black Boys in America: An Interview With Leroy Barber
Originally Posted: 07/16/2013 - 5:00pm | Type: Blog

Hate is useless. Don’t let hate sink into your soul, because hate will destroy you. And respond with love even if it’s hard. I try to teach my boys that, and raise them that way. ...

In Celebration of Freedom
Originally Posted: 07/12/2013 - 3:14pm | Type: Blog

We are free today to choose people. We are free to believe that a person is worth giving our lives for, that we can sacrifice and give all we have for the good of another. The power of our gospel sits in this ...

Creation is Groaning
Originally Posted: 07/08/2013 - 12:45pm | Type: Blog

Then the story of humanity turns in the span of one chapter. And it all hinges on how the first humans interact with a tree — a part of God’s creation. Have you ever heard someon ...

Watch the Vote: Supreme Court Effectively Kills Voting Rights Act
Originally Posted: 06/26/2013 - 6:38am | Type: Blog

Blood had to flow from Edmund Pettus Bridge to prompt Congress to craft its original list, which was still largely viable. I fear blood may have to flow again before Congress and the will of the American publi ...

Jesus and Affirmative Action
Originally Posted: 06/25/2013 - 11:34am | Type: Blog

In a vote of 7-1 on Monday, the Supreme Court sent an affirmative action case, Fisher v. University of Texas, back to the lower court for a re-hearing, while reaffirming the benefits of diversity in institutio ...

(Not) Just Another Day
Originally Posted: 06/18/2013 - 9:21am | Type: Blog

For as long as I can remember, Father’s Day has been a challenge for me. You see, like many other children I know, I have deep painful scars when it comes to the topic of fatherhood. ...

Memory, Identity, and the Fourth of July
Originally Posted: 06/17/2013 - 4:08pm | Type: Blog

There are moments, before and after the Revolution, that we mutually agree to forget in order to plant hands to hearts and let tears fall on the fourth day of the seventh month every year. ...

Women, Voice, and Pentecost
Originally Posted: 05/17/2013 - 2:20pm | Type: Blog

Repentance begins in the heart. So, I must ask: “Will I repent of my silence — my safe silence?” Yes. And a wild wind rushed down and tongues of fire rested on the heads of the ...