Skip to site content

Faith

When presented with an open-ended question about things that provide meaning in their lives, U.S. adults picked family, career and money as the top three responses over spirituality and faith. […] Read More

Among significant portions of U.S. Christians, a widespread false dichotomy exists that views “faith” as distinct from service, action and vocation. […] Read More

While nearly 90 percent of U.S. adults believe in some kind of “higher power / spiritual force,” only slightly more than half (56 percent) believe that higher power is “God as described in the Bible,” according to a Pew Research Center report released on April 25. In response to the question, “Do you believe in […] Read More

Jesus’ life and teachings didn’t matter very much. At least that’s the idea one gets from those U.S. Christians who see his only earthly purpose in coming to die as a penalty for human sinfulness – and then rocketing off to heaven to fix up some cushy mansions for our afterlife while awaiting our arrival. […] Read More

Fear, it seems to me, has always been a dominant force – perhaps one of the most powerful motivating factors in many of our attitudes, beliefs and behaviors. Even for those of us professing faith in Christ – whose love we are told “drives out fear” – there are many things that we fear, if […] Read More

We live in a fearful society. I remember going to school after the 1999 Columbine massacre and meeting in the auditorium to learn about our now necessary lock-down procedures. The fear of going to school and dying there became very real. I also remember a time before the 9/11 terrorist attacks. It was an era […] Read More

The biblical stories are replete with calls to believe and people who choose to believe or not to believe in God. Of course, the more familiar expression we use in speaking of this act of believing is to have faith. Whether we read stories of individuals in Israel’s history, ancient Israel’s history as a nation […] Read More

The narrative structure of Mark’s Gospel has fascinated me for years. Unlike Matthew and Luke, the two gospels most similar to Mark, Mark does not begin with Jesus’ birth narrative. Instead, Mark begins with Jesus’ baptism, and then follows Jesus as he proclaims the kingdom of God and offers healing as a sign of God’s […] Read More

A short reflection on BBC’s Radio 2 about how small actions can make a big difference used the example of how significant it was for a young Desmond Tutu to see a white priest remove his hat in courtesy to his mother who was a domestic worker. Growing up under apartheid in South Africa, he […] Read More

Good Try, Peter!

A sermon by Jim Somerville, Pastor, First Baptist Church, Richmond, Va. August 10, 2014 The Ninth Sunday after Pentecost Matthew 14:22-33 Immediately he made the disciples get into the boat and go on ahead to the other side, while he dismissed the crowds. And after he had dismissed the crowds, he went up the mountain […] Read More