Coyne’s Cosmos

NCR has an interview with Fr. George Coyne, SJ, retired director of the Vatican Observatory. Reading the description of this interview, I recalled a talk Coyne gave in early 2006 in which he defended a deistic understanding of God, in which God set up a universe and then let it go– “He does not intervene,”…

Church Numbers

How do you count who is a member and who isn’t? The Southern Baptist Convention, with some 16.2 million members on the books, claims to be the nation’s largest Protestant denomination. But the Rev. Thomas Ascol believes the active membership is really a fraction of that. Ascol, pastor of the 230-member Grace Baptist Church in…

Can Friendships Endure Conversions?

David Howard discusses the reversion of Francis Beckwith in the WSJ, and reactions to it. Responses to Mr. Beckwith’s conversion run the gamut. A small number of evangelicals have reacted as if he committed an act of betrayal. Among many more, including us on the executive committee, the response has been one of cordial disagreement…

Richard McBrien on Sin and Grace

Richard McBrien reflects on limbo, baptism, sin and solidarity. What if we are all born permeated with the presence of God, which is grace, and which is ours to lose only later in life by sin? Why is such “good news” so disturbing for some? Why does it make them angry toward anyone who even…