Michael W. Smith: ‘Six principles I learned from my dad’s life’

michael-w.-smith:-‘six-principles-i-learned-from-my-dad’s-life’

(RNS) — My dad was an incredible baseball pitcher, taking his career all the way up to the minor leagues. Growing up, we spent many late afternoons out in the yard throwing a ball back and forth. Catching my dad’s pitches from his left-handed throws became second nature for me. But as the years went … Read more

Albert Mohler’s darkest hour

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(RNS) — For more than 30 years, Dr. R. Albert Mohler has been among the best known and most revered leaders in the Southern Baptist Convention, and when he chose to run for president of the country’s largest Protestant denomination, he was widely considered the favorite. But at their annual gathering this week, the 17,000 … Read more

How Israel’s missing constitution deepens divisions between Jews and with Arabs

how-israel’s-missing-constitution-deepens-divisions-between-jews-and-with-arabs

(The Conversation) — Renewed fighting has erupted again between Israel and the Palestinian group Hamas, endangering a ceasefire instituted after an 11-day war in May. The conflict in Gaza is an early test of Israel’s new coalition government. Recently, parties across the political spectrum united to remove Israel’s scandal-plagued prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu from power, … Read more

The end of the oracular papacy

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As the U.S. Catholic bishops conduct their semi-annual meeting virtually this week, the big question is whether they will approve a proposal to create a teaching document on the Eucharist that would deny the sacrament to politicians who support pro-choice policies. No one doubts that the proposal is directed at regular Mass-goer  Joe Biden, the … Read more

US bishops set collision course with Vatican over plan to press Biden Communion ban

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(The Conversation) — A rift between conservative American bishops and the Vatican could be laid bare on June 16 as the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops meets amid talk of a growing divide in the church over Pope Francis’ leadership. During the virtual event, U.S. bishops are expected to approve a motion to begin drafting … Read more

Who are the Southern Baptists and why is their 2021 annual meeting so divided?

who-are-the-southern-baptists-and-why-is-their-2021-annual-meeting-so-divided?

(RNS) — The Southern Baptist Convention is gathering in Nashville, Tennessee. It’s not an exaggeration to say that it may be the most consequential denominational meeting for any Protestant denomination in the last 30 years.  But who are Southern Baptists, and why is their vote on a new president and a series of resolutions reverberating … Read more

What a Title IX lawsuit might mean for religious universities

what-a-title-ix-lawsuit-might-mean-for-religious-universities

(The Conversation) — The Religious Exemption Accountability Project, or REAP, filed a class action lawsuit on March 26, 2021, charging that the U.S. Department of Education was complicit “in the abuses that thousands of LGBTQ+ students endured at taxpayer-funded religious colleges and universities.” According to the suit, those abuses include “conversion therapy, expulsion, denial of … Read more

Why the SBC attacks on critical race theory are a good sign

why-the-sbc-attacks-on-critical-race-theory-are-a-good-sign

(RNS) — Nonviolent struggle is a martial art. “War without weapons,” it’s called by many practitioners.  And in martial arts, balance is taught to be a crucial part of victory in battle. Renowned 17th-century Japanese warrior Miyamoto Musashi advised that, once an opponent becomes wibbly-wobbly, “to follow up firmly on any loss of poise … … Read more

Southern Baptist Convention’s focus on mission recalls history of promoting white dominance

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(The Conversation) — Rocked by controversies, dwindling numbers and internal divisions, the Southern Baptist Convention will meet for its annual meeting on June 15 under the banner: “We Are Great Commission Baptists.” The slogan is notable not only for the unifying “we” but for the statement of intent regarding the SBC’s theological mission – the … Read more

“In the Heights” is more Jewish than it seems

“in-the-heights”-is-more-jewish-than-it-seems

I am not a movie critic. But, I will tell you this. “In the Heights” is going to be the movie of the summer. Even though I am not in the Oscar-prediction business, I fully expect this movie to walk away with all sorts of awards. If it were only that we are grateful to … Read more