What I Wrote This Week @UrbanFaith: August 27-September 7

Hitchhiker, NYC

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Q & A: John Piper on Racism, Reconciliation, and Theology after Trayvon Martin’s Death @ChristianityToday

John Piper was one of the first and the few white evangelical pastors to make a public statement on the controversial shooting death of Florida teen Trayvon Martin. Not only is his passion for racial reconciliation informed by his self-proclaimed history as a Southern racist; it also fueled by his experience as the father of an adopted African American teen daughter. Piper is the author of Bloodlines: Race, Cross, and the Christian, a book that inspired a public discussion about Race and the Christian at the New York Society for Ethical Culture in New York City Wednesday night. The Minneapolis, Minnesota, pastor of Bethlehem Baptist Church was joined onstage by New York’s Redeemer Presbyterian Church pastor Tim Keller and Anthony Bradley, a theology professor from the King’s College in New York City. Christianity Today spoke with Piper on Thursday about various kinds of reconciliation, including what it would mean to reconcile with someone like author Rob Bell. …

Read the interview at Christianity Today.

What I Wrote This Week @UrbanFaith: February 13 – February 17

Hitchhiker, NYC

  • On Location at Whitney’s Farewell: What reporting on location at Whitney Houston’s semi-private, gospel-filled funeral taught me about spiritual battles, grace, and celebrity.
  • Marriage Is for Black People, TooRalph Richards Banks’ book ‘Is Marriage for White People?’ made him the target of angry critics. Now, the author has his say about interracial dating, the link between fewer marriages and the crisis in black communities, and his take on conservative scholar Charles Murray’s latest book on class and race.
  • Obama Birth Control Compromise Take 2Activist Lisa Sharon Harper and ethicists Cheryl J. Sanders and Charles C. Camosy weigh in on the Obama administration’s contraception mandate accommodation.

What I Wrote This Week @UrbanFaith: January 9-13

Hitchhiker, NYC

  • Religion Wins Big; Pastors Protest Loss: The U.S. Supreme Court ruled that religious schools can fire ministers and more New York City pastors were arrested while protesting fallout from the court’s decision not to hear a Bronx church’s appeal.
  • Politics Are Personal: In her new book ‘Left, Right, and Christ,’ Lisa Sharon Harper models a civil and redemptive discussion of divisive political issues. She spoke to UrbanFaith about Christians in the public square, and the dangers of winning political and religious debates but missing the truth.
  • Pastors Protest School Worship BanSome New York City pastors are protesting the Board of Education’s ban on worship in public school space as the ban threatens to spread beyond schools.

Lifelong Ocean Grove Resident Takes Helm of Camp Meeting Association @NJShorePatch

The Great Auditorium, Ocean Grove, NJDr. Dale C. Whilden succeeds Scott Rasmussen (who ended his six-year term in mid-October) as president of the Ocean Grove Camp Meeting Association. Whilden is a life-long Ocean Grove resident. He has served as an OGCMA Trustee since 1983 and has chaired both the Development and Program committees. Patch Faith & Family columnist Christine A. Scheller interviewed Whilden about his new role.  

Christine A. Scheller: How did you come to be involved with the Ocean Grove Camp Meeting Association (OGCMA)?

Dr. Dale C. Whilden: I came to Ocean Grove when I was three days old right from the hospital. My parents had purchased a home here back in the mid-1940s. In the early 50s when I was born, we lived here year round for a number of years. Dad was principal of the school here in town, then we had to move to Toms River based on a new job he had as county superintendent of schools. We kept our little summer house here, and so for my entire life I’ve been coming to Ocean Grove every summer. Growing up through the Ocean Grove Camp Meeting programs, the childrens’ programs, the youth programs, Bible studies, beach activities, and choral and dramatic events, all those things over the years has led me to a sense of how important OGCMA has been in my life and in our family’s life as well. That history has certainly been a factor in my wanting to be involved.

Then when I graduated from dental school and did a residency at Jersey Shore University Medical Center, I couldn’t imagine not opening my dental practice in Ocean Grove. All those years growing up, it was sort of my Shangri La. I’d go to school in Toms River and we’d be there all winter, and then come summer time, this was the place. This was the epitome of my dream escape and it’s worked out very, very well. I think it gives me a good sense of the community and the history of the community. …

Read the whole interview at Manasquan Patch.