Morgan Connects to God, But Is There More?

By Brian Pennington. I know he didn’t mean to, but last night, Morgan Freeman tripped over one of my major pet peeves. Not once, but a dozen times. All professors have them—pet peeves about things students routinely say or write that just set us off because they touch on some widespread misunderstanding of a concept or misuse of a phrase that drives us crazy. One of my grammatical pet peeves, for example, is “based off,” as in, “The movie was based off of the book.” A voice explo … [Read more...]

Trump, Nietzsche, and the Jewish Tradition

By Rabbi Francis Nataf. An American acquaintance recently told me that there is only one question every Israeli was asking him on his last visit—what’s with America and Trump? Like him or not, Donald Trump has captured the world’s imagination in a way very few have done before. Almost consciously setting himself up as a buffoon and a ruffian, he has nonetheless become a very serious contender for the world’s most powerful office.In response, an army of pundits has struggled t … [Read more...]

Morgan Freeman’s Apocalypse: Lifting the Veil

By Brian Pennington.Last night, Morgan Freeman returned for the second installment of The Story of God, the National Geographic Channel’s stab at the television’s Quest for Meaning genre of infotainment programming. With Freeman zipping back and forth across the globe in the private jet he commands, he doggedly pursues elusive cosmic truths. This week, Freeman was fixated on “Apocalypse,” and he wasn’t sparing an ounce of jet fuel until he had grasped the meaning of humanity’s fascination … [Read more...]

National Geographic Channel Debuts a Very Familiar “Story of God”

By Brian K. Pennington.God sells. As we rediscover every spring and winter, when grocery store check-out aisles, lined with the special issues of major news magazines, announce “new” discoveries about Jesus’ resurrection or the identity of the three wise men, the infotainment industry knows that audiences love religion. Last night, the National Geographic Channel debuted its own attempt to grab a piece of the god market, but they went big: NG didn’t just hawk God. They got the Voice of Go … [Read more...]

A Pastor, a Rabbi, and an Imam

Stop me if you’ve heard this one – a priest, a rabbi and an Imam walk into a diner… and have a fun, light-hearted, and sometimes irreverent conversation about the big spiritual questions at the heart of the National Geographic Channel’s “Story of God with Morgan Freeman.”  Rabbi Deborah Shuldenfrei, Pastor Touré Roberts, and Imam Jihad Turk tackle topics such as creation, the end of the world, and what awaits us after this life – each injecting their own style and religious perspective into the d … [Read more...]

Faith-Based Food Traditions and Religious Identities

 By Roberta Rosenthal Kwall. A Catholic chicken farmer in Kansas is making a revolutionary step forward in kosher eating, and not just because of what he brings to the dinner table. The Good Shepherd Poultry Ranch will be shipping 1,500 of its chickens in May to a rabbinically-supervised slaughterhouse in upstate New York, making kosher heritage poultry available for commercial sale for the first time since the advent of factory farming. The proprietor of the Good Shepherd ranch, … [Read more...]

Why It’s Possible to Reject the Klan and Still Support Racism

By Rev. Dr. William J. Barber, II and Jonathan Wilson-HartgroveIf Donald Trump is telling the truth, he only recently learned that David Duke, former Grand Wizard of the Ku Klux Klan, is an avowed segregationist. Apparently, the KKK and its history have faded from many white Americans’ memory. Jeffrey Lord argued on national television this week that the Klan is an invention of “the left.” As native sons of the South, we could forgive these men their ignorance. (“Bless their hearts. They … [Read more...]

“Covenant and Controversy”: Examining the Christian Roots of Anti-Semitism

By Joshua Sharf. Over the last 50 years, the success of Israel, America’s movement toward a more open society, and a desire for a closer relationship between Christians and Jews, have led American Christians to begin to confront the Christian roots of anti-Semitism in a serious way.The reorientation really began in late 1965, with Pope John XXIII’s Nostra Aetate, where he disavowed Jewish responsibility for the crucifixion and acknowledged the continuance of God’s covenant wi … [Read more...]

An Alum’s Personal Reflection on the Wheaton/Hawkins Imbroglio

By John Scanzoni. Christianity Today editor Mark Galli observed that the dispute between Wheaton College and Professor Larycia Hawkins should be resolved through “careful parsing.” He’d hoped that thinking through core biblical issues would enable the parties to arrive at an accord permitting Hawkins to remain on the faculty and the College to maintain its integrity. The eventual resolution, however, was the parties going their separate ways.Prior to enrolling at Wheaton I wa … [Read more...]

How Much Does Race Matter? A Conversation About the Obama Presidency

By the Rev. Dr. Katharine Henderson and the Rev. Dr. James Forbes.  The Rev. Dr. Katharine Henderson, president of Auburn Theological Seminary, and the venerable Rev. Dr. James Forbes, the first African American pastor of the famed Riverside Church, sat down to have a one-on-one reflection of race and the Obama presidency during Black History Month.KH: Coming to the end of the Obama presidency, it seems important that we gain some clarity on the impact of race over … [Read more...]