Events surrounding the dismissal and rehiring of “Father Pat” are more than a mere legislative kerfuffle. They provide important contemporary lessons in the enduring dynamics of church-state relations — old tensions, new twists.
The Catholic Worker Movement, one of the most important Christian social ministries of the modern era, began in 1933 in New York during the Great Depression. The founders, Catholic Peter Maurin and journalist/Catholic convert Dorothy Day initiated the movement, Day…
Congregations across the country are struggling to remain, or even achieve, relevance in their communities. The struggle is just as difficult for seminaries seeking to serve those churches.
We’ve ritualized death away from the young in this culture, in funeral homes and hospice facilities, but it has overtaken them with a vengeance in what were once safe spaces for learning.
The death of Billy Graham has evoked, once again, amazement at the evangelist’s unparalleled spiritual impact on American faith and culture. But it’s also stirred speculation about how long, and in what ways, Graham’s influence may endure.
I am sick to death of decades of our ceaseless inability to avoid personal, spiritual and communal schism in our churches and ourselves. Truth to tell, however, 2,000 years of Christian history illustrate that the same Jesus Story that unites all Christ’s church often drives it apart. I’ve often teased that “Baptists multiply by dividing.” It’s not funny anymore. Never was.
Like any pastor, LaTonya McIver Penny is busy. But this minister’s calendar goes above and beyond busy. In addition to leading New Mount Zion Missionary Baptist Church in Roxboro, N.C., and all that entails, Penny is a mother of two and runs a non-profit advocating for the respectful and compassionate treatment of children with disabilities in churches. And like other women pastors, Penny confronted her share of opposition from those who say females should not be pastors.
At this moment in history, how can American Christians, themselves deeply divided over scripture, doctrine, sexuality, abortion, and other culture war accoutrements, foster a common compulsion to speak out against white supremacist fiction before it gains an even stronger implicit or explicit influence?
This Advent, the Jesus Story has been sordidly deployed in defense of a political candidate beset by shameful accusations and ineffectual self-righteousness.