Monday's News & Ideas

  • Rise & fall of the NCC
  • Crisis at General Seminary
  • Health & leaving religion
  • Francis & Benedict, celebrating old age
  • High Holy Days x 2
  • Why bad writing?

The rise and fall and rise of the National Council of ChurchesReligion News Service: The National Council of Churches has had a rough couple of years, but with new leadership and a retooled mission, it is poised to rebound from its low ebb of influence.

Leadership, community, and the current crisis at General SeminaryDaily Episcopalian: Real issues in faculty protest at General Seminary are about the leadership style of the dean and his tendency to "Lone Ranger" decisions without debate, discussion or buy-in.

The health effects of leaving religionThe Atlantic: How a loss of faith can manifest itself in the mind and body.

Francis and Benedict celebrate old age with 40,000 elderlyCrux: In a rare joint public appearance, both Pope Francis and his predecessor met a group of 40,000 elderly people and grandparents in St. Peter's Square, in what amounted to a celebration of old age.

High Holy Days, twice over: When Jewish and Hindu feasts coincideAmerica: That so many of our neighbors -- Jews and Hindus -- are now in the midst of a holy season invites us to recognize and glimpse again the holiness of days that seem to us so ordinary.

The Spark

The source of bad writingWhy is so much writing so bad? Why is it so hard to understand a government form, or an academic article or the instructions for setting up a wireless home network? In the Wall Street Journal, Steven Pinker says the curse of knowledge is the single best explanation of why good people write bad prose. It doesn't occur to the writer that her readers don't know what she knows.

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