Monday's News & Ideas

  • Holocaust-denying bishop story not going away
  • Rural churches, on the other hand, are going away
  • A doctor made to listen to her patient

A religious portrait of African-AmericansPew Forum on Religion and Public Life: African-Americans are markedly more religious on a variety of measures than the U.S. population as a whole, Pew survey finds.

For the Vatican, a teachable moment

USA Today: Benedict's real failure in his controversial decision to lift the excommunications of four bishops is his inability to reckon with the real world, says Stephen Prothero.The New York Times: The holocaust furor and the silence of U.S. Bishops

Rural churches grapple with a pastor exodus

Time: Many rural congregations, thinned by age and a population drain, have gotten too small and too poor to attract pastors.Virginian-Pilot: Churches' struggles mean fewer full-time pastors

2009 Christianity Today Book AwardsChristianity Today: Here’s the 10 winners, whittled down from 436 submissions.

The Spark

Listening is powerful medicine

Studies have shown it takes a physician about 18 seconds to interrupt a patient after he begins talking. But when Dr. Alicia Conill tried to talk past the last patient of her busy day, the patient stopped her with a stern, authoritative voice. "Sit down, doctor. This is my story, not your story." And there Dr. Conill learned a valuable lesson: Listening to someone's story costs less than expensive diagnostic testing but is key to healing and diagnosis. As she says on NPR’s “This I Believe,” “What matters to the storyteller is that the story is heard — without interruption, assumption or judgment.”