“Christianity” articles

Asking Pope Francis to consider a project of lay Christian intentional communities


I wrote another letter to Pope Francis; in this one, I discuss why I believe that organizing lay intentional communities may lead to a more engaged, meaningful, satisfying, and effective Christianity than is currently operating in the world. It is my goal to carry this conversation as far as I am able, so I begin by sharing the letter here.

A summary of Reza Aslan's Zealot


Thinking about the history of Jesus requires thinking historically about the era in which he lived and the circumstances surrounding the early stories written about him. In his book, Zealot, Resa Aslan provides a valuable (and compelling) historical framework for approaching these topics, but ends up using it to say more about the development of early Christianity than about Jesus.

Asking Pope Francis to critically examine his jobs advocacy


The dominant economic system is an ugly and frightening thing, and I desperately want to encourage everyone to think through its moral implications. So I am excited that Roman Catholics currently have a Pope who is at least drawing attention to economic issues, because they are so essential to understanding every moral issue. His recent prescriptions, however, betray a poor understanding of the true nature of the disorder from both a historical and a Christian approach. So I wrote him a letter.

A favorite Bible passage and rejecting war


I turn to the Bible for a complete foundation for how to live in relationship to others, including such charged issues as the deprecation of war.

On incidental harm in the process of compromise


My recent article, The moral vote, prompted an interesting conversation, as I had hoped. A very prominent response to the question of how to vote (and which does, in fact, infuse our decision-making in general) is to choose the best of the available options, even if that choice involves a moral compromise (thus this is also viewed from the opposite angle as the lesser evil choice). It is just this approach that we debated, but this discussion took place in a separate venue, so I wanted to highlight it here.

The moral vote


If you only consider some of the issues at stake, then any institution that you empower with your vote can decide other issues toward arbitrary ends. But it all matters—a lot—because these ends—which you will have shunted in your concern for others—are often immoral and destructive. Thus, compromise is impossible, and instead we must lead through consistent moral unity even in the face of formal defeat.

Panoramic justice


Panoramic views—where we strive to see both broadly and bravely—of both the destruction that we wreak on the world as well as the beauty of a potentially just world are each astonishing, although in quite different ways. Understanding the first can help us work for and teach effectively about the second.

How I want to live


If I am going to live in close cooperation with other people, then the resulting community should be based on a shared commitment to certain core principles. Herein I develop the principles that I value, providing a cursory motivation, where appropriate.

An invitation to choral participation, and more


I had an opportunity yesterday to invite my fellow parishoners to participate in church choir, and I tried to make the call as radical as I could.