Warrior Poet, Columcille ~ Light of the North Who Brightened the West & Inflamed the East

In sixth century Ireland approximately one third of the population were poets. As Saint Patrick died c. 493 another Irish champion was on the rise: Columcille (also known as Columba), whose life is remembered this month (he died in June 597). He came from a line of kings who had ruled in Ireland for centuries and was himself in close succession to the throne. He was raised by priests, and in time renounced his rank to become "a religious" (a friar). By his mid-20s he had founded several … [Read more...]

There Is a Reason King David Was a Man After God’s Heart and It Is Not What You Think

As a member of a coterie of journalists who cover religion, I have been confounded by the moralizing in print this presidential election season has elicited from journalists and thought leaders. Christian journalists and pundits have either struggled to reconcile their finely-tuned moral sensibilities with a morally ambivalent candidate or they haven’t struggled at all about it and have instead called down unequivocal condemnation and scorn. Are Christians obliged to condemn moral imperfection … [Read more...]

Kierkegaard’s Unrelenting Questions About Faith

Today is the birthday of the Danish Christian philosopher, Søren Kierkegaard (May 5, 1813 to – November, 11 1855). Among those who have heard of him at all, he is known for such classic works as Fear and Trembling and Sickness Unto Death.Over his troubled life Kierkegaard stayed true to his faith, but wrestled incessantly with its most visceral implications. As a result of this torment, he died prematurely, exhausted from the test. He was depressed. His unstable childhood ill-prepared him for … [Read more...]

Happy St. George Day! And Who Is Saint George?

April 23 celebrates the date of the martyrdom of St. George, a little-known saint by Americans, but one who, through the centuries, has stood as a shining star among all saints. He is also the patron saint of England. His origins, however, are obscure. George is thought to have been a British soldier who was put to death in April a.d. 303, under Diocletian, though the story's origins are uncertain. According to the fifth-century Apocryphal Acts of Saint George, he held the rank of tribune in … [Read more...]

The City of God v The City of Man

by Wendy MurrayAmid the perpetual dissent that arises from President Trump’s many actions and policies, I have been perplexed by some who have appealed to the teachings of Jesus as the reason for standing against him. (This has been especially true in the case of his Executive Order on the status of refugees coming from hostile countries.) Some Christian leaders have gone so far as to say that a person cannot support Donald Trump while calling him or herself a Christian.  Many th … [Read more...]

My Visit with Fred “Mister” Rogers, Part Two (Audio) ~ Television as Holy Ground

By Wendy MurrayContinuing my conversation with Fred Rogers on the day we met in his office in October 2000,  I probed him on his desire to go to seminary as part of his preparation for the work he was doing in television. What was behind his desire to study theology? In what way did he see seminary training as germane to the work he was already doing in television?[Listen to Part One of this interview here.]In the portion of our interview that is included below Fred explains the … [Read more...]

My Visit with Fred “Mister” Rogers, Part One (Audio) ~ His Family & the Puppets

By Wendy MurrayThis posting marks the first of what I hope will be ongoing audio portions of actual interviews I've conducted with thought leaders and fascinating people over the decades of my career in journalism.In October 2000 I had the opportunity to travel to Pittsburgh to spend a day with Fred "Mister" Rogers and his colleagues for a cover story that appeared in Christianty Today. The project had been a pay-off assignment for me in the aftermath of intense traveling, … [Read more...]