Christianity

Christianity

“There’s something wrong with Mother,” I said to my two brothers and my sister. “It’s Alzheimer’s or dementia. She is out of her mind.”

“She just doesn’t talk much any more.”

“She never did answer a question directly.”

“She’s OK. She’s not harming anyone or setting fire to the house.”

These were the answers my two brothers and my sister gave me when I would bring up the topic of dementia or Alzheimer’s disease. No one wanted to think that a family member could be, well, out of her mind.

“What fresh hell is this?” was poet Dorothy Parker’s question when her phone or doorbell rang. Opinion-surveyors and telephone-pollsters may often be greeted by Parkeresque answerers, but data now suggests that many of the called choose to be nice to the phoners and to themselves.

More than 50 years later communities of faith are still the most segregated major institutions in America. Why?

On February 6, 2012, I was at work in Delaware when I got a call from Mom in Arizona. Dad was worse, she said. They’d called in hospice.

I hesitated. I was already planning to visit at the end of the month. Did I really need to drop everything — to miss the board meeting of the organization I work for? I phoned the nursing home where Dad lived. Yes, his nurse said. It won’t be long now — maybe hours, maybe days.

What might words like repentance or forgiveness mean, culturally, in this moment? These are questions of the emerging church, a loosely-defined movement that crosses generations, theologies and social ideologies in the hope of reimagining Christianity. With Phyllis Tickle and Vincent Harding, an honest and sometimes politically incorrect conversation on coming to terms with racial identity in the church and in the world.

Much has happened in so-called Muslim-Western relations in the last decade, not the least of which is the Arab Spring. Has the paradigm changed or does it remain same? A look to the ever-changing nature of culture.

Pages