Wesley Seminary hosted a well attended panel on faith and race last evening, undoubtedly nobly intended, but frustratingly offering few if any clear pathways of hope. Several panelists mentioned the church's supposed "silence" about race. But I've attended official United Methodist governing bodies for my entire adult life, and this "silence" has actually been loud and repetitive across at least thirty years, doubtless much longer.
A new Pew survey of 44 countries reiterates what other surveys have shown for years: Americans are more religious and Americans are more hopeful about their ability to improve their future than are other wealthy countries.
The head of the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice recently blogged for The Huffington Post an ode to abortionists.
Baptists have long been champions of religious freedom, recounted mega church pastor Rick Warren and Southern Baptist spokesman Russell Moore, in a panel moderated by Judge Ken Starr, president of Baptist affiliated Baylor University.
Nine years ago liberal American religious activists like pacifist Jim Wallis of Sojourners created a "Words, Not War, With Iran" coalition to organize against decisive U.S. action against Iran's nuclear program
Debates over same sex marriage and homosexuality were previously until fairly recently reserved for historically liberal Mainline Protestant denominations, who've had a 40 year conversation over Christian sexual ethics, having already liberalized theologically in the 1920s or earlier
Southern Baptist thinker Jonathan Leeman wrote a fascinating essay last month on God's purposes for the state. He points out that Scripture commends no specific polity, admits that democracy has benefitted Americans, but warns against idealizing any form of government.
Last evening in Washington, D.C. I was walking by an old United Methodist sanctuary and heard uncharacteristic music emanating from the windows. Curiosity drove me inside, where I was surprised to see a full congregation of almost all twenty-something's singing fulsomely as a band performed behind the altar.
The Imitation Game, like all historical movies, has little relation to actual history and is primarily a fictional interpretation of the brilliant British mathematician Alan Turing who helped break the German military code during World War II.
Religious Left icon Jim Wallis posted his ten 2015 New Year's resolutions in The Huffington Post. They are mostly admirable or benign if somewhat politically correct. Love more. Build racial bridges. Empower women. Embrace hope.
Harper Lee, now age eighty-eight and long out of the public eye, is the legendarily mysterious author of the iconic 1961 novel of southern racial injustice, To Kill a Mockingbird. It inspired an equally beloved film with Gregory Peck as heroic small town lawyer Atticus Finch, who defends an innocent black man accused of raping a white woman.
Numerous religious voices have been amplifying the findings from the U.S. Senate Intelligence Committee Democrats' report on enhanced interrogation techniques that are denounced as torture.
This USA Today piece wonders if the religious coalition behind immigration reform, i.e. mass legalization, can survive President Obama's executive amnesty. It quotes Southern Baptist official Russell Moore warning it could indeed fracture the coalition.
Brad Pitt's new WWII film Fury is violent, vulgar, maybe not entirely realistic, but also inspirational. He's a veteran tank commander pushing against heavy German resistance during the war's final days
Defrocked United Methodist minister Frank Schaefer, who defied church law against same sex rites, has been reinstated by a church court on a technicality. See John Lomperis's analysis here.
There's a good piece by Andrew Walker in First Things on a popular international church network called Hillsong's apparent equivocation on marriage. At a recent New York press conference, the ministry's leader, Brian Houston, declined to answer whether the ministry affirms the biblical position. Instead, he stresses the church's need to stay "relevant."
This past Summer chronically angry Franky Schaeffer, the "atheist who believes in God" who's made a career of denouncing his late theologian father Francis Schaeffer, issued an "open letter" to Evangelicals imploring them to abandon their defense of religious liberty.
In an interview with a Nick Hahn, conservative columnist George Will admitted frankly that he is an atheist.
Wesleyan and Anabaptist perfectionisms are the emerging dominant forms of Christian social witness in America, according to this fascinating piece in First Things by Dale Coulter of Regent University. He's certainly right about their pervasive influence but unduly optimistic about their plausibility and sustainability, much less desirability.
There're some interesting new membership statistics from the Assemblies of God denomination, which has had 24 years of continuous growth and is expanding at a rate faster than the U.S. population.
Former Archbishop of Canterbury is ruffling British cultural and religious elites by warning against uncontrolled Islamic immigration that threatens Britain's "very ethos or DNA."
The old ecumenical approach of fudging theology in favor of generic do-goodism can only work for so long.
At least 14 Christians were targeted for killing in Mosul, about 260 miles north of Baghdad, earlier this month, prompting more than 1,300 Christian families to flee what had previously been a safe haven.
Allegedly manipulative conservative religious voter guides often get lots of media play. But Religious Left groups publish their own guidance, although for a much smaller potential constituency.
Religious Left theologian Susan Thistlewaite at the Center for American Progress, writing for The Washington Post's religion blog, has formulated the ultimate reason why Sarah Palin must not become Vice President.