Hillary Clinton's much publicized visit to Foundry United Methodist Church yesterday brought back many memories. My first assignment with the Institute on Religion and Democracy 20 years ago was to research and publish an article on Foundry's then controversial pastor Phil Wogaman, a longtime liberal theologian who had taught at Wesley Seminary. He was an old time Social Gospel modernist, skeptical of biblical miracles but confident about perfecting society through state power.
My subsequent report on Wogaman's theology and politics was picked up by columnist Cal Thomas, which led to longtime Foundry members Bob and Elizabeth Dole, then in a presidential campaign, publicly quitting Foundry. I actually attended Foundry on the Sunday of Elizabeth Dole's final attendance. The church bulletin advertised a critique of the Republican "Contract With America." Wogaman afterwards mentioned me in his response to the Thomas column from the pulpit, with the Clintons present. Later he covered the episode in his memoir, as I did in my own book.
During that time IRD's office was across the street from Foundry Church, fueling suspicions of ongoing surveillance. Memories! more >>
Editor's Note: The following sermon was delivered by Hillary Clinton at Foundry United Methodist Church, Washington, D.C. on Sept. 13, 2015. Clinton formerly served as U.S. secretary of State, U.S. senator and first lady. She is running for president of the United States.
Good morning. This is the day the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it. And especially for this occasion, a remarkable event that we are celebrating together. I am so glad that Chelsea and I could be part of it. I thank you for that invitation.
I was thinking, as Chelsea was speaking, how unpredictable, even serendipitous it turned out to be that we ended up at Foundry. Some of you may remember it was not too long after the inauguration. It was a Sunday. We were already getting kind of stir-crazy, and so we thought, "Let's go to church." Now, this was a long time ago — 1993. There had been a big storm in Washington. The drifting snow was stacked in the streets and on the sides. We had the idea that we would find a Methodist church and walk from the White House. I don't know who was there that day. Some of you were very, very kind in bringing us in. This was the time before metal detectors and all of the hyper-security that we live with today. We just walked out of the White House followed by some bewildered Secret Service agents and made our way to church. And from that moment until this, we have always felt so welcome. more >>
"You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart" (Jeremiah 29:13).
"I would like to buy three dollars worth of God, please. Not enough to explode my soul or disturb my sleep, but just enough to equal a cup of warm milk, or a snooze in the sunshine ... I want ecstasy, not transformation. I want the warmth of the womb, not a new birth. I want a pound of the eternal in a paper sack. I would like to buy three pounds of God, please" (Wilbur Reese).
Recently, I shared with our congregation that one of the most difficult challenges associated with pastoring is not sermon preparation or taxing counseling appointments, but witnessing the tragic results of spiritual dehydration — dying spiritually with living water just a step away. more >>
Christian films continue to dominate at the box office thanks to a growing consumer appetite for faith-based entertainment, but one Christian professor says that a particular theme of Christian films and books, namely those about Heaven and the afterlife, could potentially be harmful to Christianity.
On Friday, the Michael Polish-directed feature film, "90 Minutes in Heaven," which is an adaptation of The New York Times best-selling book of the same name by Pastor Don Piper, was released to theaters across the U.S. It tells the real-life story of a Texas pastor who had a near-death experience and comes more than a year after Randall Wallace's box office hit "Heaven Is for Real," which made $101 million during its box office run. It also comes ahead of the highly anticipated Christian drama "Miracles From Heaven" starring Jennifer Garner.
Scot McKnight, who's a professor of New Testament at Northern Seminary in Lombard, Illinois., shared his concerns about NDE-inspired films and the impact that they can have on Christian theology during an interview with The Christian Post on Friday. more >>
ORLANDO – The Church needs to talk more about sex, because the Bible teaches much about the subject, instead of avoiding hard issues like sexual brokeness and pornography addiction, says Dr. Richard Land, president of Southern Evangelical Seminary in North Carolina, on Saturday.
"We have got to get over the reticence to talk about sex and talk about what the Bible teaches about sex," declared Land at the 2nd Annual Coalition to End Sexual Exploitation Summit in Orlando, "because the Bible teaches a great deal about sex."
Land called for an accurate assessment of where the Church is today on this issue and denounced Christians and those in ministry for avoiding the issue of sexual brokenness and pornography. more >>
If Jesus wrote a letter to the American Church in 2015, what would He say? Maybe what the Church around the world is saying now.
We hear a lot about "the wrong side of history" these days — usually from those who want to convince us we're on it, and that everyone in the future will think like the New York Times editorial board. But if we want to understand where history is really headed, we've got to look at the big picture — the global picture.
President Obama — someone who's used the "right side of history" trope more than once — got a glimpse of that picture in July when he spoke in Nairobi. Addressing Kenya's strong cultural aversion to homosexuality, the President warned that "treating people differently" not because they're harming anyone but because they're "different," erodes freedoms and leads to "bad things." more >>