Faith & Voting

Geoffrey Black, General Minister and President of the United Church of Christ, recently wrote about how being a disciple of Jesus leads him to vote and shapes how he votes. For me voting is love in action.  It is about loving God, neighbor and about self.  Therefore, I vote for candidates who are likely to enact policies that honor God and are in the best interest of my neighbors.  Of course, I also vote in my own self-interest and that too is an act of love.  However, I want to be clear voting Read More …

Religious Athletes

According to recent research by Grey Matter Research & Consulting "relatively few Americans react negatively to the frequent intersection between professional sports and religion."  The study considered seven different types of religious expression: Athletes from opposing teams gathering together on the field or court after a game for prayer, Athletes speaking up about their faith in interviews after the game, Athletes speaking up about their faith in interviews after the game (such Read More …

Obama & Romney on Faith

President Barrack Obama and presumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney both responded to questions about their religious experiences in the current edition of "Cathedral Age," the quarterly magazine of the Washington National Cathedral.  Their responses to the question "How does faith play a role in your life?" follow: Romney: Faith is integral to my life. I have served as a lay pastor in my church. I faithfully follow its precepts. I was taught in my home to honor God and love Read More …

What is Faith?

Each year Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams commissions a book for those in his fellowship, the Anglican Communion, to read during lent.  Ruth Barrows, known as Sister Rachel in her Carmelite Community, was commissioned for the 2012 book. The April 4, 2012 edition of the Christian Century includes an interview of  Barrows by Amy Frykholm. Q: What is faith? What does it mean to have it or to lack it? A: Faith is a profound mystery that we can never adequately explain.  It is an Read More …

Does He Speak For You?

"Why Does MSNBC Invite Hateful, Anti-Gay Liars on TV to Represent Christians?" is a question I cannot answer and the title of Nick Sementelli's recent post on Faith in Public Life's blog.  MSNBC recently responded to critics by severing ties with Pat Buchanan who has written and said things that are troubling, prejudiced, and un-Christian.  They have, however, as of this writing, continued to welcome Tony Perkins as a regular contributor.  Perkins is the president of the Family Research Council, Read More …

Your Unique Story

Every person I have ever met who is seeking to follow the way of Jesus has a unique faith story -- an account of her or his life to date and how it has been impacted by one or more religious traditions.  Some of these stories begin with or feature a moment of conversion (often an event on a specific day), but many more explain the transition to becoming a Christian as a long term process.    Reflection on one's own journey to date is an important aspect of knowing one's own story, seeing how Read More …

In 5 Words or Less

Jonah preached what is arguably the shortest sermon in the Bible (Jonah 3:4): just 8 words in the NRSV: Forty days more, and Nineveh shall be overthrown! just 7 words in the Message: In forty days Nineveh will be smashed just 5 words in the original language (Hebrew) So What? One need not be long-winded to be effective.  The results of Jonah's five word sermon were nothing short of amazing.  In our sound bite culture where big ideas are often conveyed or discussed in 140 characters Read More …

Viral Misattribution

On Sunday night, an unusual name appeared on my Twitter stream: Osama bin Laden.  Through a number of tweets I learned that the United States military had killed this terrorist and of President Obama's televised address. On Monday morning I found myself paying less attention to social media than I normally do after experiencing several friends who were using uncharacteristically strong language of patriotism and of faith. Later that day, I noticed that a number of friends had posted the same Read More …

Theology on Tap / Theology Pub Discussion Starters

Adam Walker Cleaveland is Minister for Youth and Young Adults at Asbury United Methodist Church in Livermore, CA.  At 31, he is among the younger voices of note in the emerging church movement and a co-founder of Presbymergent.  Adam is a candidate in the Presbyterian Church (USA) ordination process as well as a prolific and thoughtful blogger, writing primarily on his sites: PomoMusings and DazedDad.  To connect with him, view his flickr stream, follow him on Twitter, friend him on Facebook, or Read More …

Statistical Surprises: Marriage and Divorce

The Daily Number is provided by the Pew Research Center that "highlights an important finding or trend."  A few days ago, the number looked at the unusually high rates of both marriage and divorce in the United States.  When compared to the European Union, Americans are far more likely to experience marriage (51% higher) or divorce (76% higher).  Interestingly, however, American divorce rates in the sample year (33% of the measured events) were similar to those in the EU (30%). So Read More …