The Common Good


Separation (of Church and State) Anxiety

Part of a university education is learning how to navigate the complicated and often competing value systems of different social groups.
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The Polemics of Forgiveness

The Gate of Forgiveness, Jerusalem. Photo by Deror Avi.
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Should Worship be Entertaining?

In recent days I've been thinking through with a friend one of the enduring challenges of pastoral and catechetical ministry: how to dispel the notion that worship should be entertaining. It's not as hard as it used to be -- there are books (and blogs) on the subject; it gets preached on fairly often these days. But it's not as easy as it ought to be. It seems we are a species ever in need of amusement.

One of the most compelling arguments against the persistent idea that worship ought to entertain, dazzle, distract, or otherwise charm us is found in James Alison's insight that true worship is "orchestrated detox."

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Worship, Liturgy, and an Introduction to Poet Scott Kinder-Pyle

Scott Kinder-Pyle is a Presbyterian pastor in Spokane, Washington, and the featured poet in Sojourners' July issue.
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My Lent: Ashes, Addiction, and the Reality of Hell

Lent is late this year, thanks to an unusual alignment of the earth and heavens -- the vernal equinox, the paschal full moon -- and to the
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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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How Do We Take Lent Beyond Chocolate and Caffeine?

Lent. It's an odd word, not exactly one that shows up in the vernacular of our everyday.
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This Advent, What Are You Waiting For?

We Americans hate to wait. Whatever we want, we want it now. Pay-per-view. One-click shopping. Smart phones. Drive-through restaurants.
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A Hymn for Economic Justice: 'Zacchaeus was a Tax Man'

Many people grew up enjoying the song, "Zacchaeus was a wee little man," celebrating this beloved story of Jesus and a tax collector.
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