Friday's News & Ideas - 3/16/2018

  • China tightening rules on religion
  • Douthat on Francis
  • Digital pastor of the resistance
  • Frontier nuns
  • Welcoming visitors
  • Teaching Marilynne Robinson

As China tightens rules on religion, unregistered churches wince
The Economist: Although Christians are growing more numerous in China, the wriggle room allowed to them is shrinking.

Pope Francis is beloved. His papacy might be a disaster.
The New York Times: Francis takes risks while reshaping the Catholic Church's relations with the modern world.
National Catholic Reporter: Francis invites change, but we are the change

John Pavlovitz, digital pastor of the resistance, pitches a bigger Christian tent
Religion News Service: Fans are eager to hear straight talk from a man who professes Christianity but criticizes the church and its leaders for their hypocrisy or silence in the face of today's injustices.

How frontier nuns challenged gender norms
Daily JSTOR: Free from the need to raise children or tend to husbands or families, nuns could travel, create and run institutions, and exercise leadership. And they helped break down anti-Catholic stereotypes along the way.

Angels unawares: How should we welcome visitors to church?
Christian Today: What should shape our approach to people we don't know is an awareness of their unique individuality -- and above all, a desire not to recruit them to the church, but to draw them nearer to God.

The Spark

That common heart
Years ago, against the advice of colleagues, Amanda Parrish Morgan taught Marilynne Robinson's debut novel, Housekeeping, to a class of high school juniors. In hindsight, she's not sure it was a good choice for 16-year-olds, but she's glad that she did then, she writes at The American Scholar. "We got to spend hours together grappling with questions of belonging, unity, faith, that common heart."

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