Monthly Archives: August 2011

In Pursuit of the Almighty Dollar: A History of Money & American Protestantism

The economics of American Protestantism–how churches have raised and spent money from colonial times to the present–says a lot about both religion and American culture. After the constitutional separation of church and state was put in force clergy salaries had … Continue reading

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Progress…and how we get more conservative

When we’re young we don’t think much of death. It’s as though life is forever, others seem to die, but we, well, that barely registers. Idealism becomes death-defying; we live as though we’re immortal and, one way or another, we’re … Continue reading

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Led

Excerpt from 1 Samuel 9:27-10:8 “The spirit of the Lord will possess you…and you will be turned into a different person.” We ought to be something we’re not. I should be smarter, more thoughtful, not so impatient, more self-confident, less … Continue reading

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The Way to Truth

Getting the Truth Bible excerpt from 2 Timothy 4:1-5.  “They will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own desires, and will turn away from listening to the truth.” We prefer the clarity of either-or to the dialectic of both-and. … Continue reading

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Sheep among wolves; wise as serpents innocent as doves. – Matthew 10:16

You cannot compromise with a tornado. You do not negotiate with an earthquake. You may duck and cover, but you do not hold out your hand to destructive forces. If you are wise, and if you are brave, you stand … Continue reading

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Heaven and Hell

[“We don’t live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.” Jesus said bread “alone,” he didn’t say we don’t live by “bread.” And “every word of God” in the Bible has to do … Continue reading

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Questioning God

Bible excerpt from Job 11:1-20  “Then Zophar…’Can you find the deep things of God?’”  If we’d believe better, things would go more smoothly.  Otherwise, trouble is inevitable.  Probably it’s punishment.  That’s what I used to hear from my Southern Baptist … Continue reading

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Islamism and the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt

For now the real threat to Egyptian democracy is those still in positions of unaccountable power, who control security forces and economic fiefdoms, and whose ongoing lawlessness and corruption was a major catalyst for the revolution. As the activists have … Continue reading

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Palestine Statehood, U.N. Vote (almost on 9/11)

In its lead editorial today, August 8, The New York Times argues that a vote on statehood would isolate Washington and Israel and further alienate Palestinians. [For broader perspective, see work of Churches for Middle East Peace, a diverse advocacy/action … Continue reading

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Religion Not Just Private: It Belongs in Public

Religion plays too important a role in many people’s lives to be denied a role in the public square. To be sure, there are some things the state can’t do, like demand that school children pray each day. But elected … Continue reading

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