Distraction Sickness

If the churches came to understand that the greatest threat to faith today is not hedonism but distraction, perhaps they might begin to appeal anew to a frazzled digital generation.

Andrew Sullivan is a controversial writer who uses illustrations that may be offensive to some readers, but his article on modern struggles with technology is our latest link for the Signs of the Times.

from New York Magazine

 

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Gospel Politics

The political dimensions of the Church and the Gospel it preaches are utterly lost on the US news industry until someone commits the faux pas of “mixing religion and politics.” Catholic theologian Matthew Shadle reflects on the latest breach of decorum, Pope Francis’ visit to Mexico, which was a back page story until Francis crossed the line.

God, Presidents, and the Running of the World

The Ekklesia Project does not endorse political candidates, nor does it take positions in partisan political controversies, but its friends and endorsers live in a world in which Karl Barth urged Christians to read both the Bible and the newspaper, interpreting the latter through the former. Debra Dean Murphy, an Ekklesia Project endorser and leader, takes Barth’s approach as the already tiresome political season enters a new phase.

An excerpt:

Would-be American presidents may always feel this pressure—either from within or without—to cloak themselves in religious garb, sometimes heavily, sometimes lightly; to see themselves as saviors of a sort, as those called to run “the greatest country in the world” and thus have a powerful hand in running the world. This seems laughable when it comes to the kind of servant leadership, the kind of counter politics that a crucified messiah asks of his followers. But it’s not funny. Especially when the religious rhetoric we’re hearing is so charged with murderous hate.

Read the full post on her blog.

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Waiting in a Violent Time

It has not been a peaceful Advent. The news of the past several weeks has been filled with guns, violence, death, and fear. What might we be required to surrender as we wait for the Lord? Who needs to change? Here are two reflections that use this Sunday’s Advent lectionary readings as a starting place: one by Matt Morin, and the other from Fritz Bauerschmidt.