Complementarian megachurch pastors are like pitchers who only throw 40-mile-an-hour change-ups. It feels cheap and dirty to swing at their pitches, but I'm genuinely bothered by what I've been hearing lately from that strange foreign land where Christians believe that wives are supposed to submit to their husbands.
The four children of Passover -- the wise child, the wicked child, the simple child and the one who does not know how to ask -- get a lot of play this time of year. They're profound blueprints for the spiritual journey. In fact, they could be understood as stages in the religious growth of many American Jews.
I realize that when I use the word God, there's a good chance I'm stepping on all kinds of land mines. Is there a more volatile word loaded down with more history, assumptions and expectations than that tired, old, relevant, electrically charged, provocative, fresh, antiquated yet ubiquitous as ever word God?
The number of Americans with no religious affiliation continues to rise. Fewer young people are going to church. And the effects of recession have placed greater burdens on religious institutions in a time of shrinking resources. Yet there are also more hopeful trends about the health and mission of houses of worship.