Put the Refugee Jesus Back into Christmas


by the Rev. Dr. William J. Barber, II and Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove Following the news that one of the Paris attackers was carrying a Syrian passport, 24 US governors asked the federal government to cease welcoming refugees from Syria this week. Though he had told the Carolina Journal on Friday that he was satisfied with security screening for [Read More...]

Dear America, Let’s Stop Being So Afraid


Dear U.S., Things are pretty tough right now, we know that and I get that. We’ve still got a rather uncertain job market and the stocks are all over the place. There are plenty of concerns about health care, the state of public education, and questions about how we will pay for college (or the [Read More...]

Making the Grade: Considering Religious Tests and Syrian Refugees


Perhaps you have heard the suggestion that America should consider admitting at least some of the Syrian refugees? Yep. It’s a real thing. There is a chance for this whole debate to be over and done with. There has been a path suggested for entrance to this land of freedom and hospitality for those fleeing the [Read More...]

Waiting with Anticipation: The Blessing of Advent


Maybe waiting is the best part of the holiday season. [Read more...]

Paris vs. Beirut: When “Why” Is Not Rhetorical


Sometimes, I know, “Why?” is a rhetorical question. Like “How long?” the question “Why?” is a favorite in the psalms: “Why, O Lord, do you stand far off? Why do you hide yourself in times of trouble?” (Ps. 10:1). Sometimes we don’t expect or even want an answer to the question. Sometimes “Why?” is just [Read More...]

Finding Faith to Face Fear: A Place Where Terror Has No Dominion


This is what war looks like in the 21st century: The enemy is not confined to some particular country that we can attack. The enemy does not necessarily form an army that we can engage at a border. We cannot round them up. We cannot sever their lines of communication. They seem to be able [Read More...]

Dear Professor: Is This Class Going to Challenge My Faith and Make Me Uncomfortable?


I had a student write me after the very first meeting of my Bible and Western Civilization I class, which I’m teaching this semester at the University of Houston. While I won’t reproduce the email here, the very condensed version of it went a little like this: “I’m very Christian, I like the Bible, I [Read More...]

Spotlight: New Movie Exposes Catholic Church Sexual Abuse Cover-Up


There really are so many more things to be outraged over as a Christian than a red coffee cup. Take, for instance, the new movie, Spotlight. Opening this month, Spotlight tells the true story of the the Boston Globe’s “Spotlight” team of investigative journalists, who in 2002 shocked the city and world by exposing the Catholic Church’s systematic cover-up [Read More...]

#RedCups, #Mizzou, #VeteransDay

snow man

Yesterday I stopped at Starbucks for a coffee, and a little Snow Man sugar cookie for my son. The clerk in the store leaned over to him and said, “Save the head for last, it’s the best part!” He did, and it was. Starbucks sells big red bags of coffee beans that read “Merry Christmas.” They [Read More...]

A Great Generation: A Veteran’s Day Musical Tribute

In honor of Veteran’s Day, we’re sharing a music video from pastor and artist Tim Mooney. The song is called “Great Generation” and Mooney wrote it for his father, who was a World War II vet. We think it’s a most fitting tribute to all of our beloved men and women who have served this country [Read More...]

It’s Not About The Cup: Christmas, Starbucks, and (fake) outrage


As the calendar turns to November we have found ourselves wading once again into the time that is the Thanksgiving and Christmas season. This is that special time of year where we will gather with loved ones, share in a good meal, and make preparations for the coming of Advent and Christmas. During the next [Read More...]

A More Colorful Children’s Sermon: A Q&A with Rev. Adam Walker Cleaveland


If you’re one of those pastors (or parishioners!) who dreads the “Children’s Moment” during worship, artist and Rev. Adam Walker Cleaveland has just made your Sunday morning a whole lot better. His brand new Illustrated Children’s Moments, a series of illustrations based on the lectionary for use in church, Sunday school and all week long, will help [Read More...]