BOOK REVIEW: "Biography of Abd el-Kader"

John W. Kiser, Commander of the Faithful: The Life and Times of Emir Abd el-Kader (Rhinebeck, NY: Monkfish Book, 2008), 365 pages.In these weeks following the 10th anniversary of 9/11, Patheos has wisely chosen a book club selection that highlights the life of a Muslim held in high-regard on the world stage -- in this case the 19th-century world stage.  Too much Christian-Muslim dialogue is characterized by a lack of historical knowledge, and this book seeks to make a contribution toward … [Read more...]

BOOK REVIEW: "Upside: Surprising Good News About the State of Our World"

Bradley Wright, Upside: Surprising Good News About the State of Our World (Bloomington, MN: Bethany House Publishers, 2011), 256 pages.Bradley Wright, who earned his Ph.D. at the University of Wisconsin and who is currently a Professor of Sociology at the University of Connecticut, has written an audacious and impressive book. This week the focus of our nation has been on, among other things, President Obama's speech to a Joint Session of Congress to promote his proposed "'American Jobs … [Read more...]

Keep Government Out of Worship Planning for 9/11 or Anytime

CNN reports that, "Progressive Christians Join Controversy over Excluding Clergy at 9/11 Event." In contrast, while I consider myself a Progressive Christian, I applaud Mayor Bloomberg's courageous stance for the separation of church and state.According to Sojourners, one of the Progressive Christian organizations interviewed for the article, Mayor Bloomberg made an understandable but regrettable decision. Religion, and religious leaders, have caused a lot of unnecessary conflict and co … [Read more...]

BOOK REVIEW: "The Betrayal of Charity"

(Matthew Levering, The Betrayal of Charity: The Sins that Sabotage Divine Love, 2011, 219 pages.)As a lifelong Protestant, it is often a refreshing change of pace to step into the world of Roman Catholicism. Sociologist Andrew Greeley, in his book The Catholic Imagination, beautifully describes some of the differences between the religious worlds of Catholicism and Protestantism. Many Protestants grow up worshipping in brightly-lit sanctuaries with stark, blank white walls. In contrast, many … [Read more...]

BOOK REVIEW: "Raised Right: How I Untangled My Faith from Politics"

(Alisa Harris, Raised Right: How I Untangled My Faith from Politics, 2011, 230 pages.) In the 2007 teen film Juno, the title character, after finding out she is pregnant, nonchalantly phones Planned Parenthood and announces, "Hi, I'm calling to procure a hasty abortion." When she arrives for her appointment, she unexpectedly encounters Su-Chin, one of her classmates, protesting in front of the clinic: "All babies want to get borned! All babies want to get borned!" Her classmate is, in turn, su … [Read more...]

Letter to the Editor: "God Does Change"

(The following letter to the editor was published on Wednesday, August 24, 2011 in the Calvert Recorder.)I am writing in response to Gloria Hawkins’ Aug. 17 letter, “Homosexuals choose not to follow God’s word.”Ms. Hawkins says that, “God doesn’t change,” and she implies that the Judeo-Christian conception of sexual ethics hasn’t changed “for more than 2,000 years and always will be until the end of time.” Both points are highly dubious.Limiting myself to the Bible (which Ms. Hawkins … [Read more...]


CLOSE | X

HIDE | X