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Wrestling With The Notion Of A Good God

Rev. Dr. Susan K. Smith | Posted 07.30.2015 | Religion
Rev. Dr. Susan K. Smith

As a child, I was taught that God was and is love. When I watched white police officers and firefighters spraying black people with fire hoses and setting vicious dogs on them, I can remember my mother saying, without batting an eye, "We are to forgive them, Susan."

Theological Track Standing: A User's Guide to Unity in Church and Society (Ephesians 4:1-16)

Jacob D. Myers | Posted 07.28.2015 | Religion
Jacob D. Myers

The central point Paul wishes to drive home is that Christians ought to be a people of hope. It is to hope that God has called us (1:15). This hope does not rest upon human effort or actualization; rather, it is according to God's infinite mercy (2:8-10).

Being Christian Doesn't Give You The Right To Discriminate

Dale Hansen | Posted 07.27.2015 | Politics
Dale Hansen

The fight here is not about religious freedom. The courts have already determined what is and isn't covered, and arguments like the one presented by Jeremy Tedesco show an ignorance to the facts in order to feign oppression.

Sandra Bland and Texts of Terror

Susan M. Shaw | Posted 07.22.2015 | Religion
Susan M. Shaw

The Bible contains a number of stories that biblical scholar Phyllis Trible calls "texts of terror." These stories of abuse, exploitation, and violence against women expose the misogyny of patriarchal biblical cultures, and their lack of comforting resolution leaves uneasy questions for people of faith.

5 Faith Facts About Gov. John Kasich: 'God Is With Me Wherever I Happen To Be'

Religion News Service | Antonia Blumberg | Posted 07.21.2015 | Religion

(RNS) Ohio Republican Gov. John Kasich, a former altar boy who grew up to be an abortion opponent who backs the death penalty, is expected to th...

Art Can Inspire Faith. It Can Also Empower Destructive Ideologies. Renaissance Art Depictions of Jesus Did Both

Bernard Starr | Posted 07.21.2015 | Religion
Bernard Starr

It's not surprising that artworks mirrored propaganda, since the paintings were commissioned by the Church, the biggest patron, and the wealthy, who sought to impress the Church with their devotion to Jesus and the teachings of the Church. Jesus the Jew did not fit into this illusory world.

When War Becomes a Way of Life (2 Samuel 11:1-15)

Raj Nadella | Posted 07.21.2015 | Religion
Raj Nadella

This week's text -- 2 Samuel 11:1-15 -- suggests that the phenomenon of ordinary people being asked to fight unnecessary wars initiated by people in power is not entirely modern

Harper Lee's 'Watchmen' Infused With Religious Symbolism

Religion News Service | Antonia Blumberg | Posted 07.18.2015 | Religion

(RNS) Harper Lee’s “new” book “Go Set a Watchman” is infused with religious life and Christian moral argument, from its...

The Bible Does Not Condemn Homosexuality

Adam Phillips | Posted 07.16.2015 | Religion
Adam Phillips

Billy Graham's son is terrified that President Obama and a whole host of us have chucked out our Bibles in order to support marriage equality. This is laughable if it weren't so powerfully sad. Here's the thing, Franklin: You need to read your Bible better.

My New Course on the Bible in Popular Music

Michael Gilmour | Posted 07.29.2015 | Religion
Michael Gilmour

Conversations about religion in art, and more precisely religious meanings in art are tricky. Lyricists obviously generate those conversations by their use of religious imagery but the relationship between music and (perceived) spiritual meaning has at least as much or more to do with audiences as artists.

Can Anything Good Come From Charleston? Ferguson? Nazareth?

Rev. Dr. Stephanie Buckhanon Crowder | Posted 07.14.2015 | Religion
Rev. Dr. Stephanie Buckhanon Crowder

There is a theology of geography. There is a connection between space and fate. There is something unspoken that connects destiny with places, places with people. Towns and cities do not surface with notoriety. Situations or quite often the deeds of people precipitate such famous or infamous states.

Study Time

Stanley Ely | Posted 07.13.2015 | Religion
Stanley Ely

If you're scouting for summer reading, the book of "Ecclesiastes" does not jump out as a first choice. Still, it is what a study partner and I undertook over several recent weeks. My partner, Josh, as I'll call him, is the latest of three or four students from a well-known Jewish theological seminary whom I've met over several years.

All the Charlestons: We Press On for Justice

Rev. Dr. Eric D. Barreto | Posted 07.13.2015 | Religion
Rev. Dr. Eric D. Barreto

A year punctuated with tragedies around racial inequalities culminated in a burst of hateful violence during a Wednesday evening Bible study at the Mother Emanuel church. And as these nine faithful souls have been laid to rest, I have been struck by a refrain that many of my friends have been voicing.

Are Fundamentalists Our Modern Scribes? Divine Revelation as Book or People

Robert Orlando | Posted 07.10.2015 | Religion
Robert Orlando

There are no divine projects without human ones, and while we can point to tradition or even sacred holy writ, Jesus seems to be warning to beware if you begin to think that in a holy book alone you have life, without also listening to the human cries behind that holy book.

The Virtue of Pride

Howard J. Curzer | Posted 07.09.2015 | Religion
Howard J. Curzer

Christianity has traditionally considered pride to be a sin, and many secular thinkers today agree that we need more humility. On the other hand, a glance at the self-help sections of bookstores reveals that pride (usually called "self-esteem") is desired by many.

The Bias Behind Orthodox Opposition to Same-Sex Marriage

Ayalon Eliach | Posted 07.08.2015 | Religion
Ayalon Eliach

Tradition does not demand vocally opposing the Supreme Court's decision because it in no way impacts Orthodox religious marriage. Cloaking such bias in religious garb does not make it any less problematic.

A New Hymn for Charleston, the Nation and the World

Bruce & Carolyn Winfrey Gillette | Posted 07.08.2015 | Religion
Bruce & Carolyn Winfrey Gillette

"God, may we keep on sowing The seeds of justice here, Till guns are silent, people sing, And hope replaces fear."

God or gods, a Train of Thought That Ends Up Illuminating What We Need Illuminated

Andy Schmookler | Posted 07.07.2015 | Religion
Andy Schmookler

I found myself wondering today about something regarding the idea of God. It grew out of my noticing the strangeness of the contrast between two important cultures in the millennium before the birth of Jesus: the culture of the ancient Greeks and that of the ancient Hebrews.

Why the Bible Is Not the Word of God

Alexander J. Barron | Posted 07.06.2015 | Religion
Alexander J. Barron

I believe that God is all-loving and all-powerful, and that his son, Jesus of Nazareth, was the son of God, who has given us a way to live life fully and abundantly. Yet, I do not believe the Holy Bible is the infallible word of God.

You Can't Argue Love... Can You?

Tammy Letherer | Posted 07.06.2015 | GPS for the Soul
Tammy Letherer

Driving away from a secluded summer camp deep in Michigan's Huron Forest, I am seized by fear. I just dropped my 10-year-old daughter off for two week...

God is Transgender

Christian Piatt | Posted 07.02.2015 | Religion
Christian Piatt

Many of us have accepted such patriarchal theology because it feels familiar. But that doesn't make it right.

I'm a Christian, Therefore I Support Same-Sex Marriage

Stan Duncan | Posted 07.02.2015 | Religion
Stan Duncan

When the chips are down and the going gets rough, and people are claiming that we need to protect ourselves from a dangerous wave of tolerance, and openness, and acceptance, I think I'm going with Jesus.

An Evangelical Minister Explains Marriage To Rick Santorum, Dr. Moore And Mike Huckabee

Adam Phillips | Posted 06.29.2015 | Religion
Adam Phillips

When it comes to marriage equality in the United States, the church too often has been on the wrong side of history.

Can Love Be a Sin?

Amy Arndt | Posted 06.29.2015 | Gay Voices
Amy Arndt

Ask yourself if God would judge two people who want nothing more than to have legal recognition of their union, and ask yourself if you are in the position to judge that yourself.

Mike Huckabee's Blasphemy?

Lev Raphael | Posted 06.27.2015 | Religion
Lev Raphael

Isn't Mike Huckabee, someone who considers himself a man of faith, taking his Lord's name in vain?