Some Columns I Like

A few columns that caught my eye this week.

First this one from Eva Stimson, a friend and colleague who is editor of Prebyterians Today,
on why evangelicals and liberal Presbyterians need each other. The column fits nicely with a cover story on evangelical Presbyterians.

Here's Stimson's main point, in a letter to Evangelicals who disagree with where the church is going.

Please don't leave. We need your passionate witness. You push us to wrestle with parts of Scripture we'd prefer to ignore. You remind us that God desires holiness as well as justice.

The Presbyterian Church needs you to help it become the strong body of believers God intends. And, like it or not, you need the perspective of some of us "liberals."

Then there was this from the Washington Post (by way of the Chicago Tribune). Ok, well, maybe it's not really a column, but it reads like one.

Here's a crazy idea: After all our ambitious child-rearing with Discovery toys, Suzuki piano lessons, conflict-avoidance classes, 4 a.m. swim practices, SAT prep classes, driver education and summer flights to study folk music in the Republic of Georgia, we might have done as well (and saved money) by just sending our kids to church, temple or mosque.

The piece is about a new study on religious teens, which shows that:

"they are less likely than non-believers to smoke and drink and more likely to eat well; less likely to commit crimes and more likely to wear seat belts; less likely to be depressed and more likely to be satisfied with their families and school.

This column from William McKenzie argues that African American churches can keep America of a seemingly growing culture war.

McKenzie says that African American church, by working through their theological and social difference could teach the culture at large to solve disputes civilly.

They could "steer us through the storm we’re flying into on gay marriage, Hollywood’s movies, the role of judges and the war in Iraq. They could temper the debate so we don’t blow ourselves up. Amen to that.

The black church has clout because it can move in between the Jerry Falwells and Al Frankens.

Lastly, I have been remiss in not blogging about the dynamite religion work being done by Cathleen Falsani of the Chicago Sun Times. She's got a series running this week about how faith affects the lives of the two main candidates for the US Senate seat open in Illinois: Barack Obama and Jack Ryan. She also has a piece tomorrow about current Senator Dick Durbin.

These are meaty, insightful pieces that cut past the conservative / liberal labels. More papers ought to do pieces like this. If she got hold of George Bush and John Kerry, look out.

Falsani's weekly column is funny and thought provoking as well, ranging from the return of the Life of Brian and the phone calls and emails she gets from people claiming to be Jesus to writing about AIDS in Africa she gets religion.

Big time.


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