The Common Good

Results for Faith and Spirituality

Survey Finds British Children and Adults Are Biblically Illiterate
Originally Posted: 02/07/2014 - 4:48pm | Type: Blog

Three out of 10 British children have next to no understanding of the Bible and their parents aren’t that knowledgeable, either. Three out of 10 British children have next to no u ...

Salvation: All Is Grace
Originally Posted: 02/07/2014 - 4:48pm | Type: Blog

We elevate one belief or practice over another, then divide ourselves as Christ followers by the priority we set when, in fact, all of these are taught as saving by Christ, who alone is our salvation. ...

Does Jesus Heal Drug Addicts?
Originally Posted: 02/07/2014 - 3:42pm | Type: Blog

I almost gave up on my drug-addict mother. But then I discovered that God never gives up. I almost gave up on my drug-addict mother. But then I discovered that God never gives up. ...

When Facebook Is the New Daily Moral Reference
Originally Posted: 02/07/2014 - 1:03pm | Type: Blog

When we turn to social media in moments of boredom or temporary emptiness, we lose our center. When the meaning and satisfaction in our lives comes from likes, comments, and retweets, God is no longer at the c ...

Grace at Home: Thoughts on Christian Parenting from the ‘Village Priest’
Originally Posted: 02/06/2014 - 4:46pm | Type: Blog

We think that living in a family is the most serious commitment to community that anyone will ever make. Editor's Note: The following is an excerpt from Joy Carroll Wal ...

'Ham on Nye' Debate Doesn't Reflect Reality
Originally Posted: 02/06/2014 - 12:04pm | Type: Blog

Whenever I hear about someone else making a case for New Earth Creationism in the name of Christianity, I’m embarrassed, once again, to associate myself with them. Whenever I hea ...

Meaningless Church Jargon
Originally Posted: 02/06/2014 - 2:01pm | Type: Blog

As someone who is constantly being told to “watch her language,” I offer the same. The church has some beautiful things to offer. Let’s all speak of God and faith and community in clear and simple language. ...

Did Pope Francis Really Say That? Probably Not
Originally Posted: 02/04/2014 - 4:53pm | Type: Blog

The tide of fake pope stories has risen so fast in recent months that the Pontifical Council for Culture issued a stern warning on its Facebook page. Did you hear that Pope Franci ...

Five Questions for Carol Roth
Originally Posted: 06/04/2014 - 2:25pm | Type: Magazine Article

Rebecca Kraybill Carol Roth, a staff leader with Native Mennonite Ministries, connects Native Mennonites with the broader Mennonite churc ...

Mormon Missionaries Find Work, Meaning in Community Service
Originally Posted: 02/04/2014 - 2:54pm | Type: Blog

In Northern California, the image of Mormon missionaries in dark suits and white shirts, knocking on doors at inconvenient times, is being replaced by the sight of these name-tag-wearing twosomes in blue jeans ...

A Shift in Priorities?
Originally Posted: 02/17/2014 - 10:30am | Type: Magazine Article

Rose Marie Berger Pope Francis wants deputies, not darlings. IN MINDANAO, Philippines, a cheer went up: May ...

'Nones' and the Common Good
Originally Posted: 02/17/2014 - 1:23pm | Type: Magazine Article

Eboo Patel What will happen to U.S. civil society as the pews empty out? THIS IS NOT a column full of hand-wr ...

Philip Seymour Hoffman's Invaluable Gift: Revealing Our Humanity
Originally Posted: 02/04/2014 - 2:23pm | Type: Blog

Hoffman gave us an invaluable gift. He revealed to us the humanity of our scapegoats. We couldn’t unite in hatred against his characters because they were complicated; indeed, because they were human. ...

Indigenous Peoples Prayer Calendar
Originally Posted: 03/12/2014 - 1:41pm | Type: Magazine Article

Sojourners' online calendar features an image and prayer from various tribes around North and Central America that reflect an Indigenous understanding of God. Terry LeBlanc’s co ...

Denver Mennonites Take First Step Toward Gay Ordination
Originally Posted: 02/03/2014 - 4:42pm | Type: Blog

On Sunday, a Denver congregation of Mennonites licensed the first lesbian in a committed same-sex relationship, the first step toward ordination. On Sunday, a Denver congregation ...

COMMENTARY: Blasphemy Charges Pervert Islam's Teachings
Originally Posted: 02/03/2014 - 4:05pm | Type: Blog

Sentenced for professing his atheism, Alexander Aan was recently released after 18 months in an Indonesian prison. Sentenced for professing his atheism, Alexander Aan was recently ...

On Scripture: A Hard Word to Hear This Winter (Isaiah 58: 1-9a)
Originally Posted: 02/03/2014 - 12:27pm | Type: Blog

Questions keep bothering us, tugging at us. The life of faith is far more dynamic than a list of creedal statements. This has been a hard winter — from Minnesota to Alabama. It’s ...

From the Archives: March 1986
Originally Posted: 02/17/2014 - 10:30am | Type: Magazine Article

Elizabeth McAlister Exodus and Community AN ASTONISHING aspect of the miracle that was the Exodus is the reco ...

Loose Threads
Originally Posted: 01/31/2014 - 9:37am | Type: Blog

Each of us is a thread woven into the fabric of our world. We’re looped around each other, pulled tightly to one another, intimately bound to one another. I noticed a loose threa ...

The State of the Communion
Originally Posted: 01/31/2014 - 2:21pm | Type: Blog

While millions around us were gathered in homes, bars and other public places to watch the State of the Union of the United States, we were together receiving the State of the Communion of the Kingdom of God. ...

Christianity 21: Cultivating a More Generous Christian Conversation
Originally Posted: 01/29/2014 - 2:08pm | Type: Blog

Doug Pagitt and Tony Jones are focused on helping visionaries, activists, and theologians discern what it means to be a follower of Jesus in the 21st century. Doug Pagitt and Tony ...

David Brooks and Religious Hostility: Tasting Goodness
Originally Posted: 01/28/2014 - 2:34pm | Type: Blog

Why do religious believers spend so much energy reinforcing their (our – I’m one of those orthodox believers) borders, building thicker and higher dividing walls designed to keep out the underserving, the sinn ...

On Scripture: Enjoy the Super Bowl; Be Suspicious of Its Values
Originally Posted: 01/28/2014 - 10:36am | Type: Blog

At least, when we read the opening sentences of Jesus' Sermon on the Mount (found in Matthew 5:1-12), it seems his values are light years away from the confident and muscular ethos that football teams rel ...

Rethinking 'Faith Like A Child'
Originally Posted: 01/27/2014 - 5:15pm | Type: Blog

Children’s faiths are alive and strong, and the church needs to recognize this instead of repeating corny “children’s sermons” that are usually well intentioned but often developmentally inappropriate. The chu ...

Vial of Pope John Paul II’s Blood Stolen from Italian Church
Originally Posted: 01/27/2014 - 3:34pm | Type: Blog

A vial containing the blood of the late Pope John Paul II was stolen from a village church in a mountainous area east of Rome. A vial containing the blood of the late Pope John Pa ...

Those Who Know Where Pain Lives: A Treatise on Presence
Originally Posted: 01/27/2014 - 11:20am | Type: Blog

What about the God who seems to be known by God’s absence as much as by God’s presence? What happens when we don't feel God’s proximity uninterrupted? Last year, I wrote ...

Breaking Out
Originally Posted: 01/27/2014 - 10:54am | Type: Blog

We build many individual shells. Ideas and beliefs easily harden into a shell of certainty and leave us in a small, dark space. We all have prejudices and fears that act like shells, keeping us apart from othe ...

Friendship as Justice
Originally Posted: 01/24/2014 - 5:37pm | Type: Blog

Friends don’t pity; they love. Justice work, at its best, is as simple as making a friend. Overheard on a Facebook conversation last week: “There is really not much difference bet ...

Books Project Helps Atheists Make the Case For Unbelief Behind Bars
Originally Posted: 01/22/2014 - 5:43pm | Type: Blog

Leslie Zukor was a 19-year-old student at Reed College studying prison rehabilitation programs when something jumped out at her. Leslie Zukor was a 19-year-old student at Reed Col ...

Obama's Religious Freedom Record
Originally Posted: 01/22/2014 - 2:56pm | Type: Blog

Barack Obama’s critics allege that the president doesn’t practice what he preaches on international religious freedom policy. Barack Obama’s critics allege that the president does ...

When Christians Love Theology More Than People
Originally Posted: 01/22/2014 - 12:16pm | Type: Blog

The practical application of your love is just as important as the theology behind it. Our faith is evidenced by how we treat others. Does the reality of your life reflect the theory behind your spiritual beli ...

In the Beginning (A Theopoetic)
Originally Posted: 01/22/2014 - 9:17am | Type: Blog

Poem "In the Beginning" Recently, I presented this piece at the Christianity 21 Conference in Denver, and then at South Broadway Christian Church later that same wee ...

10 Things You Can't SAY While Following Jesus
Originally Posted: 01/21/2014 - 11:45am | Type: Blog

I think people who say these things are mostly trying to be kind, grateful, and even humble when they say some of them. But if we really do want to be kind, grateful, and humble we need to think about these sa ...

Be a Light
Originally Posted: 01/20/2014 - 10:33am | Type: Blog

Don’t wait for someone else to bring the light. Be the light. Light is important to us. Those of us who live in the Midwest are reminded of how much we need it during this time of ...

Supporting Cast: Why We Need to Be More Patient and Forgiving
Originally Posted: 01/17/2014 - 4:26pm | Type: Blog

We should want to be as patient and forgiving as God is. In that way we can encourage our brothers and sisters and hopefully help them to continue in their journey of changing their lives for the better. ...

Wanted: A New Ambassador-at-Large for Religious Freedom
Originally Posted: 01/16/2014 - 12:34pm | Type: Blog

It’s been three months since the Rev. Suzan Johnson Cook resigned as the State Department’s religious freedom watchdog, and those who decry religious persecution in Syria, Sudan, and elsewhere are wondering ho ...

Fans Rely on God, Rituals to Boost Favorite Team
Originally Posted: 01/16/2014 - 12:10pm | Type: Blog

Most Americans don’t think God or the devil will be picking the NFL playoff winners this weekend or any other sports champions. Most Americans don’t think God or the devil will b ...

Why I Won't Sign a Statement of Faith
Originally Posted: 01/16/2014 - 10:00am | Type: Blog

In many cases, it seems that a statement of faith is more of a social contract that helps maintain appearances of uniformity, despite the reality that, lo and behold, each organization is made up of individual ...

Pete Holmes Searching for Comedic Communion
Originally Posted: 01/15/2014 - 4:23pm | Type: Blog

For a period in his younger life, the host of “The Pete Holmes Show” on TBS, which debuted late last year and follows “Conan” on late-night TV, was on a trajectory to become a youth pastor. ...

Canterbury Cathedral to Host First-ever Girls’ Choir
Originally Posted: 01/14/2014 - 3:14pm | Type: Blog

Canterbury Cathedral, mother church of the 85 million-member worldwide Anglican Communion, will have its first girls’ choir perform since it was rebuilt nearly 1,000 years ago. Ca ...

Learning to Surrender
Originally Posted: 01/14/2014 - 10:30am | Type: Blog

We have to let go of things that are holding us back so that we can reach for God. It was my junior year of college. I sat in the balcony of chapel listening to a message and expe ...

Pope Francis' Cardinals Point the Way To Catholicism's Future
Originally Posted: 01/13/2014 - 4:35pm | Type: Blog

In naming his first batch of new cardinals on Sunday, Pope Francis made some surprising choices that largely confirmed the characteristics he wants in the Catholic Church he leads. ...

A New Normal: Ten Things I've Learned About Trauma
Originally Posted: 01/13/2014 - 3:03pm | Type: Blog

Trauma upends everything we took for granted, including things we didn’t know we took for granted. And many of these realities I wish I’d known when I first encountered them. So, while the work of life and hea ...

On Scripture: An Unexpected Servant -- The Leadership of Pope Francis (Isaiah 49:1-7)
Originally Posted: 01/13/2014 - 11:17am | Type: Blog

As the New Year brings reflection over the past year, we have heard much about Pope Francis and the ways he has surprised Catholics and non-Catholics alike. As the New Year brings ...

I Hope We Never Become a 'Christian Nation' Again
Originally Posted: 01/10/2014 - 1:33pm | Type: Blog

Many Christians today use the term “post-Christian” to describe the United States in conjunction with their assumptions that our nation is falling deeper and deeper into a moral decline, but this word presuppo ...

Four Reasons Churches Stink at Transformation (and What We Can Do About It)
Originally Posted: 01/10/2014 - 1:41pm | Type: Blog

The most important transformations are spiritual and emotional ones. Yet, the fitness community does transformations better than churches do. Though we have many stories of people ...

Pope Francis' Message for Washington
Originally Posted: 01/08/2014 - 2:05pm | Type: Blog

As an evangelical whose work has focused on the intersection of faith and public life, let me offer two additional reflections that will render Pope Francis more understandable to our public life. ...

Church Shouldn’t Be This Hard
Originally Posted: 01/09/2014 - 9:54am | Type: Blog

After 36 years of serving churches as a pastor and consultant, I came to a startling conclusion the other day. My conclusion: Religion shouldn’t be this hard. After 36 years of se ...

Yes, the Pope Is Still Catholic, Despite What You Heard
Originally Posted: 01/08/2014 - 1:03pm | Type: Blog

No doubt about it, Pope Francis is generating the kind of Internet buzz and sky-high Q Scores that brand managers can only dream of. But is the pontiff becoming a victim of his own good press? ...

Church of England's Alternative Baptism Liturgy Drops Reference to Devil
Originally Posted: 01/06/2014 - 4:14pm | Type: Blog

The Church of England has been accused of “dumbing down” the baptism service following the introduction of an alternative liturgy in which parents and godparents need not repent of their “sins” or reject “the ...