Category: The Church

Are RFRAs necessary for religious freedom?

Late last month, Indiana Gov. Mike Pence signed a controversial religious freedom bill into law. Though in many ways the law paralleled federal and other state Religious Freedom Restoration Acts (RFRA), the way in which it differed caused a firestorm of objections about discrimination toward LGBT citizens. In the face of companies threatening to pull business from the state, the law was amended. So now what? In…  [more]

Salvation through information: TED talks and the church

In a recent New York Times article, “The Church of TED,” Megan Hustad compared TED talks to evangelical tent revivals. She sees TED as a “secular religion” of sorts. From their missionary zeal for self-improvement and world improvement to the emotional satisfaction engendered among the TED faithful, the parallels Hustad draws between TED and church are instructive. I tend to agree with Hustad…  [more]

A theology of immigration

Editor’s note: This is the fourth installment in A More Welcoming Way, a series of TC articles on the immigration experience, attempts at reform and the church’s role in the process. For Christians who take seriously the authority of Scripture, immigration is much more than a complex and controversial political issue. It is also an important theological issue. The Bible actually has a lot to say on the…  [more]

Rob Bell and Oprah aside, marriage wasn’t designed to solve loneliness

In a recent appearance on Oprah’s Super Soul Sunday to promote his latest book, The Zimzum of Love,  Rob Bell made remarks on marriage that are causing consternation among some and receiving applause from others. In the interview, the Pastor Emeritus of Mars Hill Bible Church expressed his sentiments that the church is “moments away” from affirming same-sex marriage, following the broader…  [more]

Why Christians are called to immigration reform

Editor’s note: This is the first installment in A More Welcoming Way, a series of TC articles on the immigration experience, attempts at reform and the church’s role in the process. The reform of immigration policy should be of vital concern to every Christian who is a United States citizen. The Old Testament teachings about care for the foreigner among us, Jesus’ teaching on the subject and His…  [more]

Why every Christian should care about nuclear disarmament

The Cold War ended decades ago, but since then the global conversation on nuclear weapons has been heating up. Yet the issue of nuclear arms is so complex and its stakes so high that most ordinary citizens are at a loss to formulate reasonably informed opinions. In fact, few outside a small number of specialists are knowledgeable about the topic. This is why the Nuclear Threat Initiative sponsored the attendance of…  [more]

Turning pistols into plowshares

Present-day Christians wrestle with the issue of violence just like our forefathers in faith did. We disagree on whether violence is permissible in instances of self-defense and whether Christians should support acts of war on a national scale - even if conducted in the name of justice, democracy or some greater good. A new study out of Yale University, summarized in The Atlantic, suggests a way forward which…  [more]

What does church architecture mean to millennials?

A new study on millennials and church architecture reminded me of a Maria Bamford comedy bit. In it, Bamford describes church strategies to trick people into attendance, such as meeting in storefronts or coffee shops with suspiciously churchy names like “The Rock” and “Crossroads.” These strategies don’t make Bamford more likely to attend; it just makes her distrust Christians. (Although…  [more]

Scandal, #WhyIStayed and standing against abuse

Scandal is back on ABC this fall, further detailing the illicit relationship between public-relations guru Olivia Pope (Kerry Washington) and married President Fitzgerald “Fitz” Grant (Tony Goldwyn). Watching the first few episodes, it strikes me that the show could play a helpful role in our current national conversation about abusive relationships. Scandal follows Olivia and her team of PR…  [more]

The holy sanctuary of public libraries

As a reference librarian at a suburban public library, I sit at the information desk, waiting to answer patrons’ many different questions. On Friday evenings, the foot traffic slows and a soothing silence descends on my area. Save the soft clattering of the keyboards in the computer lab, it is mercifully quiet. It’s in these moments I realize: I’m in a holy place. As civil institutions funded…  [more]

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