• Roy Oswald: “The only way to negotiate the transitions is with a deep sense that God cares for you and that you are nurtured by grace.”

  • “To despair is to be presumptuous.”

    — John Claypool

  • Much as I love living in the freest nation in the world, the downside is the inevitable abuse of our great freedoms due to sinful human nature. A comparatively high crime rate comes with being so free. And the widespread fear of being a victim of violent crime contributes to the highest gun ownership per [...]

  • We have a financial crisis, the future of our country on the line, with the U.S. gross national debt at more than $16 trillion. And it’s a crisis fueled by a conflict of priorities, one example of which is a concern for the poor and middle class over against a concern for future generations oppressed [...]

  • How do you define dying well? “So teach us to count our days,” the psalmist prays, “that we may gain a wise heart” (Psalm 90:12). And herein lies the definition of dying well. With our days on earth numbered, it’s taking our mortality to heart. Indeed, we die well for living well by priorities of love [...]

  • What are your views on the fact that Protestants are no longer the majority religion in the U.S.? Once upon a time Americans, especially in the south, generally thought of themselves as Christians for no other reason than that they had been born in a culture that called itself Christian. Now, with the rise of a [...]

  • What is your favorite verse of holy scripture and why? “Be still, and know that I am God!” (Psalm 46:10) Psalm 46:10 is my favorite verse of scripture because it restores perspective, reminding me of who the ultimate concern of my life is. And by doing that, it tamps down the anxieties of lesser concerns (work, [...]

  • Memphis is the second most generous city in the country, according to a new survey by The Chronicle of Philanthropy. According to the publication: “Religion plays a major role in how much money Americans give to charity. The parts of the country that tend to be more religious are also more generous.” Why is this true? [...]

  • What is your reaction to the Freedom from Religion Foundation suing the Memphis City Council? I see an irony in the Freedom From Religion Foundation’s strict interpretation of the separation of church and state and their unrelenting determination to redress what they view to be violations of the doctrine. For an organization so dedicated to keeping [...]

  • The tragic mass shooting at the Sikh temple in Wisconsin, coming just a few days after the tragic mass shooting at the theater in Colorado, continues a deeply disturbing American trend. Since 1976, the U.S. has averaged 20 mass shootings a year – including 30 in 2003. Why is America such a violent place? Why are [...]

  • This week the Faith in Memphis panel reflects on the movie theater massacre in Aurora, Colo. What do you do when you have no coherent worldview to meet that tragedy with? What do you do when you’re oblivious to the reality that we live in a world where terrible things happen as well as wonderful things [...]

  • What accounts for our such low and declining confidence in ‘the church or organized religion’? Since the church is made up of human beings, I suspect human failure within the church, more publicized in today’s world, is one reason for the declining confidence. Am I concerned? Yes. Especially when reported stories of failure are received on [...]

  • The Episcopal Church will now allow priests to conduct services blessing same-sex relationships. The denomination’s House of Bishops approved the policy Monday, and delegates to the national convention approved the measure on Tuesday becoming the largest U.S. religious denomination to approve such a ritual. What’s your response? Is this an…[Read more]

  • According to the 2010 Census, of the 168,000 children living in Memphis, nearly 67,000 — about 4 in 10 — are living in a family with a female householder and NO FATHER PRESENT. Later this month, Memphis Mayor A C Wharton will host the Second Annual Memphis Training Camp for Dads. (Wharton is writing a [...]

  • Lack of good jobs in Memphis is more than an economic problem, says Dr. Chris Scruggs of Advent Presbyterian Church. “It’s also a spiritual problem. If we do not create an environment in which people can find good jobs, we deprive our children of the opportunity to use their unique God-given talents, gifts and abilities. We [...]

  • It’s what President Obama says is at the root of his endorsement of same-sex marriage that I call into question. It’s his invoking the golden rule. For important a value as treating others the way you would want to be treated is, it’s not really at the root of a scriptural perspective on marriage. What’s [...]

  • Why do we pray in public? When and where is public prayer inappropriate? Are there too many restrictions on public prayer? Too few? I understand restrictions on public prayer animated by sensitivities that arise out of religious diversity. If I were called upon to pray before an inter-faith gathering, I would certainly keep my prayer…[Read more]

  • Gov. Haslam is expected this week to sign a new law that would require public schools to allow science teachers to discuss purported weaknesses of theories such as Evolution and Global Warming in their classrooms. What should we do about teaching evolution? Is the theory of evolution a scientific controversy or a social/religious controversy?…[Read more]

  • Earle Fisher will note in a guest column this Saturday, “One of the most prevalent and plausible critiques of the faith community is that when it comes to matters of sexual abuse and domestic violence, the church practices ‘sacred silence.’ ” Do you agree? What can we do to provide a safe place for dialogue regarding [...]

  • What do you think of the mayors’ Faith-based Partnership to End Homelessness? Will your congregation participate? Will you encourage your congregation to do so? Is this a good approach? The best approach? The mayors’ Faith-Based Partnership to End Homelessness merits serious attention given its systematic approach. But does it include a strategy…[Read more]

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