The Common Good

Results for Faith and Spirituality

Catholic Bishops' New President Can Help Hierarchy Pivot Toward Pope Francis
Originally Posted: 11/14/2013 - 5:05pm | Type: Blog

After serving as vice president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops for the past three years, there was little surprise when Archbishop Joseph Kurtz of Louisville, Ky., was elected this week to the top ...

A New Hope: Pope Francis and Reform of Papacy
Originally Posted: 11/13/2013 - 3:48pm | Type: Blog

For the first time in a while, I'm feeling optimistic about the direction of the Catholic church's hierarchy in general and about the office of the papacy in particular. ...

Extremes Stretch One’s Faith, Then Leave Us With Hope
Originally Posted: 11/13/2013 - 12:08pm | Type: Blog

The reminder of Advent is the sure sense of hope. “O Come Immanuel and ransom captive Israel that mourns in lonely exile here. Rejoice, rejoice . ” The strange contrast of m ...

'Gothic Piles' No Longer Necessary for Finding Faith
Originally Posted: 11/12/2013 - 2:35pm | Type: Blog

It’s a struggle, both here and elsewhere in the 21st-century Christian world. Buildings with “beautiful stones and gifts dedicated to God,” as Luke described the temple in ancient Jerusalem, are falling into d ...

Serpent Handler-TV Star Has New Cause: Religious Liberty
Originally Posted: 11/12/2013 - 2:28pm | Type: Blog

Officials from the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency raided the Tabernacle Church of God in LaFollete last Thursday and seized 53 venomous snakes — including timber rattlesnakes, copperheads, and several exo ...

Vatican to Display Bones of St. Peter for First Time
Originally Posted: 11/12/2013 - 1:05pm | Type: Blog

The Vatican said it would display for the first time bones believed to be the mortal remains of St. Peter, the leader of Jesus’ 12 apostles, to mark the end of the Year of Faith on Nov. 24. ...

An Advent Tune-Up for Faith
Originally Posted: 11/19/2013 - 10:45am | Type: Blog

Advent gives us time to 'winterize' ourselves. Thinking back, I haven’t always been great about getting my car “winterized.” I grew up in fairly temperate Kansas, and mo ...

12 Unique Gifts With a Positive Impact
Originally Posted: 11/19/2013 - 10:37am | Type: Magazine Article

The Editors Invest in the transformation of lives by trying some of these fair trade, eco-friendly gift ideas or charities. ...

Rise in Italian Catholic Church Attendance Attributed to "Francis Effect"
Originally Posted: 11/11/2013 - 5:15pm | Type: Blog

There’s word Roman Catholic Church attendance is climbing throughout Italy. Blame it on “the Francis effect.” First, the name  “Francesco” leapfrogged to No. 1  on the list of t ...

What Good Is a Ph.D. for Reading the Bible?
Originally Posted: 11/15/2013 - 12:07pm | Type: Blog

While a Ph.D. is not necessary in order to read and/or understand the Bible, my reading of the Bible since receiving my doctorate promotes the inclusion of far more people than my reading of the Bible before m ...

December 2013 Sojourners Magazine (Downloadable PDF)
Originally Posted: 12/16/2013 - 2:32pm | Type: Product

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An Edgy Pastor Whose Edginess Isn’t Just Shtick
Originally Posted: 11/08/2013 - 5:07pm | Type: Blog

Rev. Nadia Bolz-Weber has a bold and unmistakable voice, preaching the gospel of grace in a way the world needs to hear. And we might not listen if her appearance, vocabulary, and backstory were more neat, pio ...

Despite 'Huge' Hesitancy, Seminaries Branch Out in Online Degrees
Originally Posted: 11/07/2013 - 5:46pm | Type: Blog

Theological education has increasingly left brick-and-mortar schools and headed back to congregations and family homes as more seminarians study online. Theological education has ...

Tim Keller, Other Evangelicals Stand by Doug Birdsall After Dismissal From American Bible Society
Originally Posted: 11/07/2013 - 11:37am | Type: Blog

A group of leading evangelicals is expressing concern over the recent dismissal of the American Bible Society‘s new president after just six months on the job. A group of leading ...

'Church Rescue' Propels Unlikely Reality TV Stars: Church Consultants
Originally Posted: 11/06/2013 - 5:01pm | Type: Blog

They’ve rescued bars and restaurants and shabby houses, but this month reality television stars are set to rescue something new. They’ve rescued bars and restaurants and shabby ho ...

As Catholic Bishops Meet, the 'Francis Effect' Changes Everything
Originally Posted: 11/06/2013 - 5:00pm | Type: Blog

When the nation’s Catholic bishops gather on Monday for their annual fall meeting in Baltimore, one of their chief duties will be choosing a new slate of leaders to guide the American hierarchy for the next th ...

The New Commonwealth of God
Originally Posted: 12/17/2013 - 10:56am | Type: Magazine Article

Hebrews 2:10-18; Matthew 2:13-23 THE WORDS OF the ancient prophet Isaiah record what is done—a ...

A Protocol of Respect
Originally Posted: 11/12/2013 - 10:26am | Type: Magazine Article

Lisa Sharon Harper The people of a land are given spiritual authority and responsibility to steward the land. ...

Atheists Use Popular Bible App to Evangelize About Unbelief
Originally Posted: 11/05/2013 - 4:46pm | Type: Blog

Like lots of college students, Lauren has a smartphone loaded with some of the most popular apps around — Facebook, Twitter, and eBay. And like a lot of unbelievers, she asked to not use her full name because ...

A Whale of a Lesson
Originally Posted: 11/05/2013 - 4:22pm | Type: Blog

The blue whale and the second graders modeled sympathy and compassion for all of us. This SOLE lesson brought heart to my classroom. “A blue whale’s heart is as big as a Volkswage ...

Reimagining Christmas
Originally Posted: 11/19/2013 - 10:37am | Type: Magazine Article

Sheldon C. Good A movement is underway to free people of faith from the yoke of Christmas consumerism. CHRIST ...

'A Sower Went Out to Sow'
Originally Posted: 11/12/2013 - 10:27am | Type: Magazine Article

Sara J. Wolcott In India, a church initiative helps promote sustainability and connect farmers with the dignity of their vocation. ...

Waiting for the Coming
Originally Posted: 11/12/2013 - 11:25am | Type: Magazine Article

Jim Wallis To feel the pain of the world is to participate in the very heart of God. ADVENT IS UPON US: W ...

Vatican: Female Cardinals Aren't 'Even Remotely Realistic'
Originally Posted: 11/04/2013 - 5:17pm | Type: Blog

The Vatican on Monday moved to quash speculation that at least two women would be among the cardinals that Pope Francis will name in February, saying such a move was “not a realistic possibility.” ...

Australia's Hillsong Church Exports Its Influence Through Praise and Preaching
Originally Posted: 11/05/2013 - 11:37am | Type: Blog

The ubiquitous praise song “Shout to the Lord” can be found in many churches across the U.S. on any given Sunday. The ubiquitous praise song “Shout to the Lord” can be found in ma ...

On Scripture: Hearing Job — Vindicating the Traumatized (Job 19:23-27a)
Originally Posted: 11/04/2013 - 4:54pm | Type: Blog

shall behold, and not another. My heart faints within me!” ( Job 19:23-27 , NRSV) For many ...

Unravelling Grace
Originally Posted: 11/04/2013 - 4:23pm | Type: Blog

I am entangled and grace comes and unravels all of that — whatever "that" is — and sets me free. Grace unravels me, my sense of self that has been shaped by all the other expectations I carry so tigh ...

Vatican Seeks Input from the Pews on Marriage and Family Issues
Originally Posted: 11/01/2013 - 3:24pm | Type: Blog

In an unusual move, the Vatican has asked the world’s bishops to quickly canvas the faithful for their views on topics like gay marriage, divorce, and birth control ahead of a major meeting of church leaders s ...

3 Ways the Vatican Could Allow Divorced Catholics Back to Communion
Originally Posted: 11/01/2013 - 11:24am | Type: Blog

While the first months of Pope Francis’ pontificate have been marked by his attention to the poor and his “Who am I to judge” attitude on homosexuality, his pledge to tackle the ban on Communion for divorced a ...

'One Relationship Can Help Us See the Light'
Originally Posted: 11/01/2013 - 11:48am | Type: Blog

In his book, the stories Jonathan tells about what happens when you open your heart and your life to others is encouraging and inspiring. It all comes down to relationships — and the God who calls us to enter ...

Calatrava Unveils Designs for Ground Zero Church Destroyed on 9/11
Originally Posted: 11/01/2013 - 10:53am | Type: Blog

Twelve years after falling rubble from the World Trade Center towers destroyed St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church, images have been released showing the design for an elaborate new building. ...

Saving Faith
Originally Posted: 10/31/2013 - 2:58pm | Type: Blog

For many, including myself, the past few weeks have been discouraging, given the state of our politics and culture and what many vulnerable people across the country are experiencing. But despite the frustrati ...

Are Sinners 'Hellbound?'
Originally Posted: 10/31/2013 - 11:06am | Type: Blog

Let’s not put our God to the test, shall we, by forcing God to choose whose prayer to answer, yours or those sinful others. Instead, I suggest we abandon the whole punishment and reward project all together. ...

Thanksgiving, Hanukkah Converge on 'Thanksgivukkah' for First Time Since 1888
Originally Posted: 10/30/2013 - 5:05pm | Type: Blog

It last happened in 1888 and, according to one calculation, won’t happen again for another 77,798 years: the convergence of Thanksgiving and Hanukkah.  It last happened in 1888 an ...

When We Were the Pre-Party to the Tea Party
Originally Posted: 10/30/2013 - 1:02pm | Type: Blog

We’d pass by all these well-attended, high-steepled liberal churches to worship in a squat, utilitarian building hidden on a back road in the woods, with a congregation of 30 or 40 strong: The Moral Majority. ...

My Brother John: A Eulogy for the Living
Originally Posted: 10/30/2013 - 12:34pm | Type: Blog

Having just hit 45, Dante comes to mind: midway-through-the-journey-of-our-life-I found myself within a dark wood for the right way had been lost. Who can know how our days are numbered? The lesson for me is t ...

Do Churches Alienate Intellectuals?
Originally Posted: 10/29/2013 - 5:31pm | Type: Blog

Recently, it's been said that smarter people prefer not to go to church or believe in God, but maybe part of the problem is that churches won't let them in — or they’ve already kicked them out! There ...

Is Yoga Religious? An Indian Court Mulls Mandatory School Exercises
Originally Posted: 10/29/2013 - 11:27am | Type: Blog

The Supreme Court of India is weighing whether yoga has a religious element, as it decides if public schools may teach the ancient discipline in the country where it originated. T ...

The Legacy of C.S. Lewis, 50 Years After His Death
Originally Posted: 10/29/2013 - 10:23am | Type: Blog

When he died on Nov. 22, 1963 hardly a soul blinked in Northern Ireland where he was born or in England where he spent most of his working life as one of the world’s greatest Christian apologists. ...

Baptist-Hindu Couple Write How-to Book on Interfaith Marriage
Originally Posted: 10/28/2013 - 1:49pm | Type: Blog

Growing up Baptist, J. Dana Trent heard plenty of warnings about interfaith romance. Growing up Baptist,  J. Dana Trent  heard plenty of warnings about interfaith romance. Ma ...

On Scripture: Halloween and All the Saints
Originally Posted: 10/28/2013 - 9:18am | Type: Blog

While fewer elderly persons live in poverty than do other adults, in 2012 alone extreme poverty among elderly women shot up by 18 percent — that is, in just one year 133,000 elderly women moved into the catego ...

Strange Fire: John MacArthur, Mark Driscoll, the Holy Spirit, and the Satan
Originally Posted: 10/25/2013 - 3:45pm | Type: Blog

This scandal, like most scandals, was overblown. Driscoll says that MacArthur and his people were “gracious that they let me on campus at all.” What was Driscoll doing “on campus?” ...

Church Giving Reaches Depression-Era Record Lows
Originally Posted: 10/25/2013 - 10:59am | Type: Blog

The percentage of a church member’s income given to the church dropped to 2.3 percent in 2011 (the latest year ... was from 1928 through 1934, almost entirely during the Great Depression. In 2011, the 23 denominations ...

If You Build It, Mean It
Originally Posted: 10/24/2013 - 12:51pm | Type: Blog

Sometimes I think that "contemporary" or "alternative" services function more like cages in a liturgical zoo rather than a means to encourage participation in the life of a congregation. In ...

Archbishop of Canterbury Baptizes Britain’s Future King, Prince George
Originally Posted: 10/23/2013 - 1:52pm | Type: Blog

Prince George is now officially named and an Anglican. Prince George is now officially named and an Anglican. The 3-month old royal baby was christened Wednesday, ritually welc ...

Record Crowds Expected for John Paul II, John XXIII Canonizations
Originally Posted: 10/23/2013 - 11:34am | Type: Blog

Vatican officials say they expect next year’s celebration for the canonizations of former popes John Paul II and John XXIII to be attended by as many as 100 heads of state in what is likely to be the biggest d ...

Baptism Rates Slide Despite High-Profile Boosts
Originally Posted: 10/23/2013 - 11:16am | Type: Blog

But in both years, Catholics were 23 percent of the national population. Catholic baptism rates fell ...

Have Churches Abandoned the Elderly?
Originally Posted: 10/23/2013 - 7:22am | Type: Blog

Christians have suffered from the sin of apathy, being guilty of ignoring a large segment of believers — the elderly — who are continually forced into the shadows of our ministries, leadership structures, publ ...

Oprah Interview Stirs Debate: What is an Atheist?
Originally Posted: 10/21/2013 - 5:05pm | Type: Blog

What was supposed to be a touchy-feely, one-on-one interview by Oprah Winfrey with long-distance swimmer Diana Nyad has morphed into a broader, sometimes angry exchange about what it means to be an atheist. ...

The Isolating Power of Family-Centered Language
Originally Posted: 10/21/2013 - 4:41pm | Type: Blog

Until recently, I had always been in the majority. I am Caucasian, middle-class, healthy, and always did well in school. I had never had a personal label others would speak carefully about so as not to offend me. I had never been hurt by words people to ...