Interesting stories I’ve found lately:
Humility and solidarity are the key to evangelization, according to Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams. Amen to that, brother! “The Gospel cannot thrive in pride.” Very, very true.
The Pope Says: “May Allah Bless You”, and he’s not making a mistake. Omid Safi explains the background of the word “Allah”, which still needs clarification for some folks. I can testify from my experience visiting Arab Christian communities in the Middle East, Omid’s right.
Phyllis Tickle summarizes an interesting book in her article The Shift Into Post Christendom. Her summary of Lloyd Pietersen’s book Reading the Bible after Christendom is a lesson in itself, and I need to see about getting hold of it myself. There is one fact I think is true: we are definitely living in Post Christendom. I don’t think that’s necessarily a bad thing: Christendom as defined here doesn’t seem to be very Christian to me, and we are better off as Christians and freer to live as Christ taught without it.
What Does the Catholic Church Teach About End of Life Care? Deacon Greg Kandra provides an excellent summary using a story about a dignified ending to one man’s life.
I regularly check out the “Get Religion” blog on Patheos.com: it’s a column that reviews the coverage of religion in the media with the astute observation “The press. . .doesn’t get religion”. This entry raises the issue of religious tolerance in the country, and I would observe that Jessica Lange portraying a sadistic, slutty, fictitious nun in a 1960’s mental institution is VERY unlikely to cause rioting in any country. Which means our religious intolerance in the media is very unequal: I wouldn’t appreciate a woman in religious life presented like that if I were one, and don’t think it’s that great even though I’m not.
Are Ministers and Musicians Allies or Rivals? I’ve been on both sides of this issue, and the answer is yes. An interview with Eileen Gunther, the President of the American Guild of Organists illustrates some of the basic attitudes with a few stories from the front lines.
In Episcopal Smackdown in SF, Mark Silk describes “one of the more delicious episcopal contretemps in recent years. . .” where the Episcopal Bishop of San Francisco was excluded from the installation ceremony of the new Catholic Archbishop. I would call the whole situation shameful from both sides, since both Catholics and Episcopalians have openly called the disaffected on the other side to cross over. It bothers me that no one seems to take 1 Corinthians 1:10-13 seriously:
“I urge you, brothers, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree in what you say, and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be united in the same mind and in the same purpose. For it has been reported to me about you, my brothers, by Chloe’s people, that there are rivalries among you. I mean that each of you is saying, “I belong to Paul,” or “I belong to Apollos,” or “I belong to Cephas,” or “I belong to Christ.”Is Christ divided? Was Paul crucified for you? Or were you baptized in the name of Paul?”
Fifty years ago yesterday was the opening of the Second Vatican Council. There’s been lots of articles about it from every perspective, and not one in particular I would point you toward. After 50 years, Vatican II is still a matter of intense discussion and debate, yet it has become the lynchpin for not only Catholicism today but Christianity in general. My opinion is we need to let the discussion continue.