“Shocking” news for postmodern nuns

In the beginning there was the Conference of Major Religious Superiors of Women's Institutes, which was established with the Vatican's blessing in 1959 during an era of rapid growth for Catholic religious orders.Then along came two cultural earthquakes, the Second Vatican Council and the Sexual Revolution. In 1971 the women's conference changed its name -- this time without the Vatican's blessing -- to become the Leadership Conference of Women Religious. Two leaders in this transformation … [Read more...]

T.D. Jakes and the Trinity

For more than a decade, Pentecostal Bishop T.D. Jakes has lived in the shadow of a Time magazine cover that asked, "Is this man the next Billy Graham?"That was a loaded question, because of tensions behind the scenes between the multi-media Dallas superstar and many mainstream Christian leaders.Now, this legendary preacher -- often listed as one of America's most powerful evangelicals -- has taken a big step toward convincing his critics that he is, in fact, an evangelical. Jakes has, after … [Read more...]

Real, live, postmodern preacher

The Rev. Gordon Atkinson had few specific goals when he started planning his 13-week sabbatical from his duties at Covenant Baptist Church near San Antonio."I knew that I didn't want to be in charge of anything," said Atkinson, long known as the "Real, Live, Preacher" to those who read his intensely personal online journal (reallivepreacher.com)."Preachers talk and talk and I wanted to get away from that. I didn't want to be a worship tourist, but I thought it would be refreshing to worship … [Read more...]

Facing the unChristian reality

Times were hard for the single mother and her 4-year-old son, so she did what hurting people often do -- she joined a church seeking solace and support.But there was a problem, one that drove her right back out of the pews."Everyone told me what to do as a parent," she told pollster David Kinnaman, "but no one bothered to help."This blunt encounter wasn't one of the formal interviews that led Kinnaman and social activist Gabe Lyons to write their book, "unChristian: What a new generation … [Read more...]

What, me worry? Whatever II

EDITOR'S NOTE: Second of two columns on teens and ethics.When pollsters ask Americans the Eternal Question they almost always say, "I believe in God."Ask young Americans about faith and the response is something like, "I believe in God and stuff." Finding the doctrinal meaning of "and stuff" is tricky."God made us and if you ask him for something I believe he gives it to you. Yeah, he hasn't let me down yet," said a 14-year-old Catholic from Pennsylvania, when researchers Christian Smith … [Read more...]

What, me worry? Whatever

EDITOR'S NOTE: First of two columns on teens and ethics.Take comfort in this: The items on the following "to do" list do not apply to all teens today.Lie to your parents about those wild weekend plans -- check.Steal that scarf you want at the mall -- check.Download that term paper off the Internet and add a few mistakes to confuse the teacher -- check.Inflate your volunteer hours at your church's soup kitchen to pump up that college application -- check.The problem with the Josephson … [Read more...]

Hiding behind altars

If you want to cause trouble for American bishops, stick them in a vise between Rome and the armies of dissenters employed on Catholic campuses.But the bishops had to vote on Ex Corde Ecclesiae ("From the Heart of the Church"). After all, they had been arguing about this papal document throughout the 1990s, trying to square the doctrinal vision of Pope John Paul II with their American reality. Rome said their first response was too weak, when it came to insisting that Catholic schools remain … [Read more...]

Anglican beat goes on

The career of Bishop Catherine Roskam of the Diocese of New York has been built on her skills as a cross-cultural ambassador for the modern Episcopal Church.She led the International Concerns Committee of her denomination's executive council, helped create her diocese's Global Women's Fund and has worked as a consultant on issues of cultural sensitivity. In some circles, she is known as the bishop who dared to rap during a "Hip Hop Mass" a few years ago in the Bronx."My sistas and brothas, all … [Read more...]


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