Millennial Presumptions

RHE

Rachel Held Evans’ latest post at CNN's religion blog has stirred up controversy in just the way RHE knows how to do so well. See here and here for some reactions. Part of what’s challenging about her piece (and all her writing, really) is that it contains a lot of truth. In her comments on liturgy, authenticity, and a broader Christian cultural-political mandate, RHE offers or, at least, approaches some important insights.  The merits of some of her points have not been fully appreciated by some … [Read more...]

On Honesty and Confession

Banquo

Does a moral, psychological “point of no return” exist? Shakespeare illustrates what this turning point might look like in Act III of Macbeth. After killing his king and one of his closest friends, Macbeth, the newly crowned king, announces to his wife, I am in bloodStepped in so far that, should I wade no more,Returning were as tedious as go o’er.Strange things I have in head, that will to hand,which must be acted ere they may be scanned. After this pronouncement, he goes onto … [Read more...]

Short-term Missions, Long-term Places

habitat

The Gospel Coalition recently posted an article by Darren Carlson entitled “Why You Should Consider Cancelling Your Short-Term Missions Trips.” Carlson argues that many short-term mission trips are centered around making the “senders” feel good about serving—while actually failing to benefit the recipients and even sometimes causing more harm than good. He gives several concrete examples of this, such as,“houses in Latin America that have been painted 20 times by 20 different short-term teams … [Read more...]

Public Christianity and Faithful Institutional Presence

symposium

This weekend I had the privilege of gathering with a group of Fare Forward writers and readers on the (honest and truly) sublime Maryland coast to consider the subject of “Public Christianity in the 21st Century.” While the weekend’s conversations spanned topics from gender to post-modernism to Korean birthday customs, a thread that stood out to me was the concept of “institutional thinking” introduced to the group by Adam Myers, a current student at Yale Divinity School. His presentation focused … [Read more...]

Lumen Fidei: FF Writers React

Pope_Francis

Michael Hannon:Lumen Fidei is a fine title for Pope Francis’ first encyclical, but I can’t help but think that After Faith might have been even more apropos.  For in this letter to the Christian faithful, the Holy Father does for doctrinal enquiry what Alasdair MacIntyre did for ethical inquiry more than thirty years ago in After Virtue.  With a nod to Nietzsche, Pope Francis—primarily through the pen of his predecessor—begins by noting the sterile nature of contemporary understandings of fai … [Read more...]

How Should We Spend Our Goodwill?

tatra

The New York Times reports on the controversy over the presence of Christian religious symbols on Euro coins: It therefore came as a rude surprise when, late last year, the National Bank of Slovakia announced that the European Commission, the union’s executive arm, had ordered it to remove halos and crosses from special commemorative euro coins due to be minted this summer. The decision has been reversed and Slovakia is going ahead with its plan to print the coins with religious symbols. But t … [Read more...]

What We Can Learn from Young Atheists

Ephesians

Recently The Atlantic posted an article entitled, “Listening to Young Atheists, Lessons for a Stronger Christianity.” In it, Larry Alex Tauron, the article’s author, reports the results of a survey he conducted to figure how, why, and when young atheists decided to become atheists (“Tell us your journey to unbelief.”). Taunton states that he expected to find Hitchens, Dawkins, and the other New Atheists at the forefront of these young people’s minds—but instead, they rarely mentioned any specific … [Read more...]


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