Wednesday's News & Ideas

  • Rob Bell, surfing & Oprah
  • Split church/civil marriages?
  • UMC split?
  • Unearthly black gospel
  • Prayer in the Facebook Age
  • Immigration & playing music

What ever happened to Rob Bell, the pastor who questioned the gates of hell?Religion News Service: The man who built a church of 10,000 people doesn't attend an organized church. Instead, he surfs near Hollywood and has teamed up with the goddess of pop theology, Oprah Winfrey.

1 in 3 Americans want a divorce between clergy and civil marriagesReligion News Service: Should clergy divorce themselves from civil marriage? Such a church-state split is showing surprising popularity in two new surveys.

Quitting while aheadChristianity Today: Why some United Methodist evangelicals suggest a split, even though their side is winning.

First Listen: 'When I Reach That Heavenly Shore: Unearthly Black Gospel 1926-1936'NPR: Spend real time with this collection, and you'll discover humor, craft, cleverness, profundity and an open-eyed connection to the culture of the time.

Prayer in the Facebook AgeFirst Things: We are in danger of losing these replenishing, corrective moments of solitary faith.

The Spark

Music ensembles help immigrant kids integrate into societyThere has been much discussion lately about finding more effective ways to integrate immigrants into mainstream society. New research from Germany points to a simple way migrant children can be made to feel included and connected: Playing music together.

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