• Outlook Reporting 6 hours ago

    Thank you to John Wimberly from the Outlook board

    Thank you to John Wimberly from the Outlook board

    Dear Friends, We are deeply grateful for the servant leadership of John Wimberly, who has labored faithfully and well as the interim consulting editor for The Presbyterian Outlook since last fall. With the advent of Jack Haberer’s decision to leave the Outlook and reenter the pastorate, a host of questions emerged:  Who knows and loves the Outlook and can best support its vibrant mission and ministry?  For this important interim time, who is a most fitting gifted church leader – and skilled writer – and insightful editor?  Who will not only… continue reading...
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  • Outpost Blog 6 hours ago

    Let’s talk about … unity

    Let’s talk about … unity

    by Jonathan Saur
    This week we asked our bloggers what they wish churches talked about more. More than any other topic, I wish churches would talk more about unity and separation – and the biblical understanding of these concepts. We live in a time where fragmentation is the norm. Relationships are breaking apart, institutions fall apart and our institutions upholding relationships are being worn down slowly but surely. I am not sure if this is unique to our time. It’s always tempting to say that our experience is somehow more unique or more… continue reading...
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  • Book Reviews 6 hours ago

    Called: The Crisis and Promise of Following Jesus Today

    Called: The Crisis and Promise of Following Jesus Today

    by Mark Labberton InterVarsity Press, Downers Grove, Ill. 174 pages REVIEWED BY MAIRI O. RENWICK Mark Labberton’s latest book reminds readers that THE Christian’s first call and vocation is to love God and neighbor. Labberton convincingly argues that the church and her members have not actively responded to this call and must actively change this. In Pope Francis, Labberton sees a model to follow, a person who is impacting the world by simply following Christ. Throughout his book, Labberton calls for Christians to reorient themselves toward the greatest commandment by demonstrating… continue reading...
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Vatican to offer haircuts, shaves as well as showers to Rome’s homeless

VATICAN CITY (RNS) The Vatican will offer homeless people in Rome not only showers but also haircuts and shaves when new facilities open next month, the head of Pope Francis’ charity office said. The Vatican announced last year that it would provide shower facilities in St Peter’s Square for homeless people. Bishop Konrad Krajewski told the Italian Catholic newspaper Avvenire on Thursday (Jan. 29) that it would also offer haircuts and shaves when the services start on Feb. 16 in an area under the colonnade of the square. Krajewski, whose official title is the pope’s almoner, said barbers and hairdressers would volunteer their services on Mondays, the day their shops are traditionally closed in Italy. They had already donated chairs, hair-cutting instruments, and mirrors, the newspaper’s website said. Krajewski came up with the idea of building showers in St. Peter’s Square last year after a homeless person told him that while it was relatively easy to find places to eat … [Read more...]

Thank you to John Wimberly from the Outlook board

John Wimberly

Dear Friends, We are deeply grateful for the servant leadership of John Wimberly, who has labored faithfully and well as the interim consulting editor for The Presbyterian Outlook since last fall. With the advent of Jack Haberer’s decision to leave the Outlook and reenter the pastorate, a host of questions emerged:  Who knows and loves the Outlook and can best support its vibrant mission and ministry?  For this important interim time, who is a most fitting gifted church leader – and skilled writer – and insightful editor?  Who will not only step into the challenge of publishing, week after week, but also imagine this interim period as an opportunity for creative planning and innovation?  The clear answer: John Wimberly.  With determined grace, John worked alongside our skilled staff.  With deep reflection, he offered his best editorial perspective.  With a winsome spirit, he led the Outlook to new achievements. We are thankful for all the ways John has offered a testimony … [Read more...]

Let’s talk about … unity

Jonathan Saur

This week we asked our bloggers what they wish churches talked about more. More than any other topic, I wish churches would talk more about unity and separation – and the biblical understanding of these concepts. We live in a time where fragmentation is the norm. Relationships are breaking apart, institutions fall apart and our institutions upholding relationships are being worn down slowly but surely. I am not sure if this is unique to our time. It's always tempting to say that our experience is somehow more unique or more intense than that of another age. Regardless of whether or not the dissolution of our social bonds is increasing in frequency, or if this is the normal rate of dissolution throughout history, we live in a time where separation in the midst of disagreement is expected. It's become the norm. I wish churches named the separation so rampant in our society for the evidence of sin that it is. Even if a separation is needed, the very fact that it has become … [Read more...]

Tagged With: I wish churches talked more about...

Called: The Crisis and Promise of Following Jesus Today

called

by Mark Labberton InterVarsity Press, Downers Grove, Ill. 174 pages REVIEWED BY MAIRI O. RENWICK Mark Labberton’s latest book reminds readers that THE Christian’s first call and vocation is to love God and neighbor. Labberton convincingly argues that the church and her members have not actively responded to this call and must actively change this. In Pope Francis, Labberton sees a model to follow, a person who is impacting the world by simply following Christ. Throughout his book, Labberton calls for Christians to reorient themselves toward the greatest commandment by demonstrating the theological and biblical reasoning behind the church’s need to change and providing practical solutions for readers. For instance, Labberton argues that Americans typically believe that they live in the Promised Land, the land of milk and honey. However,   American consumerist culture, a culture that forgets the call to love God and neighbor, has led to a “Plundered Land.” Labberton points … [Read more...]

Religious and secular advocates urge IRS to clarify rules on political endorsements from the pulpit

WASHINGTON (RNS) Religious and secular advocacy groups jointly called Thursday (Jan. 29) for greater clarity by the Internal Revenue Service regarding nonprofits and political activity. In a rare combined front, leaders of the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability, Alliance Defending Freedom, Public Citizen and the Center for American Progress met at the National Press Club to discuss ways the tax agency could better help nonprofits know what they can and cannot do under the law. “Something needs to change,” said Dan Busby, president of the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability. “We agree that clear and brighter lines must be adopted.” In 2013, a commission appointed by the ECFA issued a 91-page report recommending that clergy should be able to say “whatever they believe is appropriate” from the pulpit without fear of IRS reprisal. Current IRS rules, dating to 1954, permit clergy to address issues but prohibit candidate endorsements. But those rules … [Read more...]

Freedom of the press trumps respect for religion in a new survey

WASHINGTON (RNS) Most Americans who know about the deadly attack on the Paris headquarters of the satirical Charlie Hebdo magazine say it’s OK that the weekly featured cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad. A new survey from the Pew Research Center shows 76 percent of Americans know of the Jan. 7 attack, and among this group 60 percent of Americans support the magazine’s right to publish these controversial images, while 28 percent disapprove. However, one in four Americans overall offered no opinion because, they said, they had not heard about the violent attack where 10 artists and writers and two policemen were murdered. The survey of 1,003 U.S. adults was conducted Jan. 22-25, two weeks after the attack. It has a margin of error of plus or minus 4.7 percentage points in the portion of the report that deals only with those who said they had heard about the incident. The survey looked more closely to see how members of this group explained their views. Of those who … [Read more...]