Moneychangers Part 2 ~ What is the Federal Reserve and how is it hurting families?

A conversation with Ben Zoba, Part 2 of 5 In this second of five installments of my conversation with farmer and community activist, Ben Zoba, he discusses the irregularities associated with the formation of the Federal Reserve Bank in 1913 -- which is run by a contingent of private bankers who wield sole control over the ebb and flow of economies worldwide.Ben sees this control, and its debilitating effects on citizens, as a singular attack on fundamental institutions, most notably the … [Read more...]

Moneychangers Part 1 ~ Is it time to rethink how we “do” money”?

A conversation with Ben Zoba, Part 1 of 5The post-holiday season stands as a stark reminder to a majority of Americans of the raw force of being in debt and the panic that is often associated with that.In this series of five podcasts, in conversation with Benjamin Zoba, I will be exploring the unsettled, sometimes hostile relationship between persons and their money. Ben is an organic farmer and community activist in a small town north of Boston who, in addition to farming and managing … [Read more...]

Mary Rejoicing, Rachel Weeping

by Wendy MurrayA disastrous event that took place in Bethlehem related to Jesus’ birth that is also part of the picture of Christmas. Herod ordered the slaughter of all the boys two years old and under. Yet we tend to allow sleigh bells, evergreens, and shopping trips to push it out of view. It is nevertheless, in all its brutality, what Christmas is about: a Savior's "invasion" (to borrow from C. S. Lewis) and confrontation with the forces of evil.Matthew's narrative of Christ's b … [Read more...]

Who Is the *Real* Francis of Assisi? A New Book Hasn’t Found Him

A Review of When Francis Saved the Church, by Jon Sweeney(This review is part of the Patheos Book Club.)  by Wendy MurrayWhen I was living in Assisi, Italy to work on my book about the life of Saint Francis of Assisi -- titled A Mended and a Broken Heart -- a friar and scholar with whom I regularly consulted exhorted me with a statement I have never forgotten: He said, “Francis is an ocean--don’t say we caught him.”In this way I am always curious to read new … [Read more...]

C.S. Lewis on Suffering, Let’s Do Lunch ~ a New Book

Alistair McGrath's new book If I Had Lunch with C.S.Lewis is a short volume with a lively tea-and-biscuit feel that explores Lewis's ideas on subjects related to the struggle and beauty of faith.The book's casual presentation could be helpful to some, but I stumbled over it.  The issues addressed in Lewis's arsenal of thought are not tea-and-biscuit fare. When Lewis himself broached such matters-- heaven, education or suffering, it typically involved book-length discussions and years of … [Read more...]

Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s Lost Love

         By Wendy MurrayYesterday, February 4, what would have been Dietrich Bonhoeffer's 108 birthday. A Lutheran pastor and theologian, Bonhoeffer was executed by hanging, age 39, in a Nazi concentration camp in 1945. He and small-but-fierce contingent of devoted Protestants actively resisted the Nazi encroachment in both church and state. They founded the Confessing Church movement to mount active resistance t … [Read more...]

MLK’s Christian Call and Why It Matters

By Wendy MurrayToday is  Martin Luther King,.Day, which also marks the release of a new book highlighting King, his legacy and the Christian faith that animated it. Birmingham Revolution (IVP) by Edward Gilbreath, offers an intimate exploration of how King's faith informed his vocation during the challenging issues of his time.I worked with Ed for several years where we both served as editors at Christianity Today magazine. We cut our teeth together learning the important role of religiou … [Read more...]