The Common Good

Results for Life and Peace

On Scripture: Foolishness (1 Corinthians 1:18-24)
Originally Posted: 09/08/2014 - 12:51pm | Type: Blog

The God of Paul’s confession is about the work of using the worst the empire can do to overturn its so-called power, overturning it not with force but with the power of weeping women, terrified disciples, and ...

Airman Denied Re-entry to Air Force for Refusing to Say ‘So Help Me God’
Originally Posted: 09/08/2014 - 11:32am | Type: Blog

The American Humanist Association said Sept. 4 that an airman at Nevada’s Creech Air Force Base who crossed out “so help me God” in the oath the Air Force requires servicemen and women to sign was told in Augu ...

6 Monumental Questions Facing Every Church In America
Originally Posted: 09/08/2014 - 3:53pm | Type: Blog

Christianity is a lifelong journey of learning new things, growing in wisdom, and interacting with a wide array of difficult topics. Boldly asking tough questions is essential to spiritual development. ...

How Should We Respond to the Celebrity Photo Hacks?
Originally Posted: 09/08/2014 - 8:12am | Type: Blog

When I was a university student, more and more people were getting cell phones that had cameras — a trend I only noticed when signs in the women’s locker room went up, warning that using cell phones in that sp ...

Weekly Wrap 9.5.14: The 10 Best Stories You Missed This Week
Originally Posted: 09/05/2014 - 3:00pm | Type: Blog

1. Almost Like the Blues Canadian folk bard Leonard Cohen reads lyrics from one of his latest songs — a gentle, melancholy reflection on life and hope. 2. How Back-to-School Shopping Reinforces Gender Norms ...

Gay Marriage Supporters’ String of Court Victories Broken in Louisiana
Originally Posted: 09/05/2014 - 10:33am | Type: Blog

The legal winning streak for same-sex marriage is over. A federal judge in Louisiana upheld that state’s prohibition on gay marriage on Sept. 3, and belittled a string of 20-plus federal court decisions strik ...

The Ice Bucket Challenge and Its Discontents
Originally Posted: 09/11/2014 - 8:37am | Type: Blog

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 Chall ...

Rare Mormon Documents Go On Display for First Time
Originally Posted: 09/04/2014 - 11:53am | Type: Blog

(forerunner of today’s Young Women organization for girls ages 12 to 17) and the Primary (for children under ...

Ebola Strikes Another American Aid Worker
Originally Posted: 09/03/2014 - 4:18pm | Type: Blog

A third American aid worker has been diagnosed with Ebola. The missionary group SIM USA announced September 2 that one of its American doctors has been diagnosed with Ebola in Liberia. The doctor was treating ...

Firing of Lesbian Teachers at St. Louis Catholic Girls’ School Draws Outcry
Originally Posted: 09/03/2014 - 2:10pm | Type: Blog

at St. Lucy’s Priory High School in the Los Angeles suburb of Glendora for 17 years, was fired after ...

Victor Stenger, Atheism’s 'Fifth Horseman,' is Dead
Originally Posted: 09/04/2014 - 10:40am | Type: Blog

The atheist community is mourning the death of Victor Stenger, a prominent physicist who championed rooting out religion from the public sphere and was best-known for quipping: “Science flies you to the moon. ...

Gay Groups Joining St. Patrick’s Parade is All Right with N.Y. Cardinal Dolan
Originally Posted: 09/03/2014 - 1:34pm | Type: Blog

on March 17 next year under their own banner. The parade organizers voted unanimously to include the NBC ...

After a Summer of Crisis, Churches Can't Go Back to Business As Usual
Originally Posted: 09/02/2014 - 3:15pm | Type: Blog

When churches conclude their summer hiatus and resume full-scale ministries this week, much will have changed from a year ago — outside their doors. When churches conclude their ...

ON Scripture: A Strange Summer Vacation
Originally Posted: 09/02/2014 - 2:09pm | Type: Blog

“What did you do on your summer vacation?” Even now students may be answering that question in essays at the start of this new school year. Maybe you wrote such a paper years ago. No matter what you did or w ...

A Theology of Labor
Originally Posted: 09/02/2014 - 12:10pm | Type: Blog

Instead of justifying forced labor like the exploitative gods of Egypt and the United States, the God of the Bible pushes us all to labor for justice as we take responsibility to care for the world and our fel ...

Cracks in the 'Stained-Glass Ceiling:' Women Reach Prominent Pulpits
Originally Posted: 08/29/2014 - 1:18pm | Type: Blog

Chicago. New York. Washington, D.C. In quick succession this year, three women have been chosen to lead historic tall-steeple churches in all these cities. Chicago. New York. Wash ...

Judge Finalizes Order Finding Polygamy Law Unconstitutional; Victory for ‘Sister Wives’
Originally Posted: 08/29/2014 - 9:59am | Type: Blog

A federal judge on Wednesday finalized the order striking part of Utah’s bigamy law and gave one more victory to the family from the TLC television show Sister Wives. A federal j ...

A Teacher in Kabul
Originally Posted: 08/29/2014 - 9:31am | Type: Blog

He isn’t sure what impact his actions have had. Zekerullah isn’t inclined to brag. But he surely has affected me. Here in Kabul, one of my finest friends is Zekerullah, who has go ...

Pastors’ Letter on Mark Driscoll: Step Down From All Aspects of Ministry and Leadership
Originally Posted: 08/28/2014 - 2:03pm | Type: Blog

A letter from nine Mars Hill Church pastors to their fellow elders offers the most trenchant criticism yet of controversial megachurch pastor Mark Driscoll, who recently stepped down for at least six weeks ami ...

Do We Really Want to Be Transformed?
Originally Posted: 08/28/2014 - 2:37pm | Type: Blog

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 James Foley a Martyr?
Originally Posted: 08/28/2014 - 8:45am | Type: Blog

there on Thanksgiving in 2012. He was held with as many as 17 other prisoners and had a fellow captive, who was later ...

To Spiritually Thrive, We Must First Spiritually Survive (And Help Others Do the Same)
Originally Posted: 08/27/2014 - 12:41pm | Type: Blog

On numerous occasions we get pulled back into a right relationship with God only because people were willing to love us, and this wouldn’t have happened without individuals selflessly making the decision to in ...

Stop Taking Attendance
Originally Posted: 08/27/2014 - 11:57am | Type: Blog

After years in the ministry, I have come to the conclusion that the church needs to stop taking attendance — immediately. At a church I used to serve there was a well-intentioned ...

A Funeral, a Stick Figure, and Joy
Originally Posted: 08/27/2014 - 9:18am | Type: Blog

Maybe joy is about seeing the debris that washes into our lives at any given moment and choosing to make something of it. Doing it because it brings us and others a little joy. Th ...

Give Us New Eyes
Originally Posted: 08/27/2014 - 11:09am | Type: Blog

I am convinced that recent events in Ferguson have become a mirror to the nation. This may very well be a critical moment in history, if we take a time to stop and listen to each other. ...

Women's Equality Day: Our 5 Most Popular Posts in 2014 by Women
Originally Posted: 08/27/2014 - 10:07am | Type: Blog

In honor of Women's Equality Day, we decided to round up our five most popular posts authored by women in 2014. Today, August 26, is  Women's Equality Day . The d ...

Churches Must Be Safe Places
Originally Posted: 08/26/2014 - 1:59pm | Type: Blog

Safety in church is a matter of solid and secure leadership, self-discipline by all, effective norms for behavior and putting dignity and respect ahead of winning and getting. Chu ...

Traffickers Come in Many Forms
Originally Posted: 08/26/2014 - 12:00pm | Type: Blog

While entertaining, unfortunately, Taken dramatizes and stereotypes traffickers. Contrary to what's portrayed in popular movies, there are many types of traffickers beyond the stereotypical pop-culture sw ...

What 'Normal Politicians' Should Look Like
Originally Posted: 08/26/2014 - 11:24am | Type: Blog

We can do better. We can be like Aung San Suu Kyi. The 2014 election-year posturing forces me back to November, 2010, when a living parable walked into freedom after 15 years of ...

Human Trafficking: Community Is Essential
Originally Posted: 08/25/2014 - 1:03pm | Type: Blog

What does community look like when working on a social issue? Diedrich Boenhoeffer wrote about it. Pastors preach about it. Churches strive for it. Community . It is a co ...

Mark Driscoll to Step Down While Mars Hill Reviews Charges
Originally Posted: 08/25/2014 - 10:57am | Type: Blog

Controversial Seattle megachurch founder Mark Driscoll will step down for at least six weeks while church leaders review formal charges lodged by a group of pastors that he abused his power. ...

God Hears the Cries of #Ferguson: A Burning Bush and a World on Fire
Originally Posted: 08/25/2014 - 9:22am | Type: Blog

Today, God hears the cries of those in Ferguson and all who are oppressed. "Then the LORD said, 'I have observed the misery of my people…I have heard their cry…Indeed, ...

Pope to Iraqi President: ‘I Appeal to You with My Heart Full of Pain’
Originally Posted: 08/22/2014 - 8:02am | Type: Blog

Pope Francis wrote to the president of Iraq, calling for an end to the “brutal suffering of Christians and other religious minorities” and urging political leaders to end the humanitarian crisis in the country ...

Fallout in the Neighborhood When a Catholic School Closes
Originally Posted: 08/21/2014 - 3:30pm | Type: Blog

What happens to a community when a Roman Catholic school closes its doors? What happens to a community when a Roman Catholic school closes its doors? That’s the question  Nico ...

James Foley’s Parents Draw on Faith After Journalist Son’s Execution
Originally Posted: 08/21/2014 - 3:01pm | Type: Blog

Once again, John and Diane Foley appeared on national television Wednesday to speak in clear and deliberate voices about their son, conflict journalist James Foley. ...

Standing Against the Death Penalty: It’s About the Families of the Victims
Originally Posted: 08/22/2014 - 12:52pm | Type: Blog

The average inmate spends 16 years on death row. Assuming a capital trial adds another two years, then 18 years between crime and death is quite common. Additionally, depending in which state you live, the med ...

Stopped Cold By A Pepsi Can
Originally Posted: 08/21/2014 - 11:36am | Type: Blog

Maybe it’s a reminder that we have to leave the safe harbor in order to visit new places and chart a new course for ourselves and others. That whenever we try something new, we’re going to be awful at it at fi ...

Anxiety and Christian Leadership
Originally Posted: 08/20/2014 - 1:07pm | Type: Blog

I would challenge theology that suggests that prayer is a “cure” for any kind of suffering, but the fact remains that my ability to manage my anxiety rests in my relationship with God. Though I do not believe ...

Pope Francis Hints He Might One Day Retire
Originally Posted: 08/20/2014 - 9:39am | Type: Blog

Addressing journalists on his return from his intense five-day visit to South Korea late August 18, Pope Francis bantered with reporters and lightheartedly said he may only have “two or three” years left to li ...

What 'The Leftovers' Can Teach Us About Hope and the Christian Faith
Originally Posted: 08/20/2014 - 7:39am | Type: Blog

The Leftovers examines the deeper human and spiritual issues of what would happen were two percent of the population to suddenly disappear. It is powerful and beautiful and really hard to watch (especially Epi ...

Gratitude as Resistance: An Ancient Idea for our Collective Anxiety
Originally Posted: 08/19/2014 - 9:14am | Type: Blog

My point: if it’s joy we are looking for, we might need to shift our attention pretty dramatically. This is especially for those of us who want to be on the pioneering front edge of God’s restorative work. ...

Islamic Militias Continue Spread Beyond the Middle East Into African Nations
Originally Posted: 08/18/2014 - 3:55pm | Type: Blog

An Islamist group has gained ground in the northeastern Libyan city of Benghazi, declaring it an Islamic territory and raising fears that radical Islamist militias may spread in the rest of Africa. The declar ...

Sweaty Spirituality: Fighting Obesity with Paul (Romans 12:1-8)
Originally Posted: 08/18/2014 - 2:56pm | Type: Blog

Clergy must lead this charge against obesity in America, which means that our spirituality will need to get a whole lot sweatier. Do you want to know a secret about working out? H ...

Borderfree
Originally Posted: 08/18/2014 - 10:34am | Type: Blog

The borders now vanishing in the Middle East – the most radical transformations of the map here since the post-WWI Sykes Picot agreement – are being redrawn in chaos and fear. The bubbles that burst here are t ...

What Saved My Faith
Originally Posted: 08/18/2014 - 8:18am | Type: Blog

Darkness existed in the forms of misogyny, empire-building, anti-intellectualism, and systematic marginalization of GLBT persons; they were injustices coated with spiritual language — wolves in sheep’s clothin ...

Michael Brown, Iraq, Putin, Gaza: How to Reconcile the Brokenness?
Originally Posted: 08/16/2014 - 9:34am | Type: Blog

Despite the swell of division and resulting violence, part of the issue is that we have such a sharply tuned and inexhaustible news cycle that places every tragedy, from St. Louis to Ukraine, right before us, ...

The Church Has Left the Building
Originally Posted: 08/15/2014 - 1:33pm | 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 ...

3 Ways to Cultivate Joy While Working for Change
Originally Posted: 08/19/2014 - 9:49am | Type: Blog

I’ve been considering three approaches in cultivating joy, a God-given, buoyant energy, in the midst of some weighty work. I was among millions across the globe wrapped up in the ...

The Nature of Joy
Originally Posted: 08/15/2014 - 11:16am | Type: Blog

As tanks open fire on the humble homes of the Gazan poor and rockets rain down on a terrified Israeli populace we are compelled to ask, “How do we keep coming back to this profane and violent place called war? ...

From 30,000 Feet, Pope Francis Reaches Out to Beijing
Originally Posted: 08/15/2014 - 9:55am | Type: Blog

At Beijing’s oldest Roman Catholic Church on Wednesday, Mary Zhang, 54, eagerly awaited the arrival of Pope Francis—at cruising altitude. “I’m very excited. It’s the first time the pope has flown over China,” ...