Tuesday's News & Ideas

  • Marty on Rob Bell
  • Christmas is a party
  • Support for contraception coverage
  • Westminster Abbey's new architect
  • Seminary counseling degree
  • Science of gifting

Rob Bell's new American Christianity?Sightings: One dismisses a Rob Bell at peril, because he generates so many ideas, takes so many risks, and issues valid criticisms. But, Martin Marty asks, what will come of all this?

Q&A: A candid history of Christmas' originsUnited Methodist Reporter: While many may long for the true, "spiritual" Christmas from bygone days, the Rev. Bruce Forbes says that it never really existed.

Poll: Most Americans say employers should cover contraceptionReligion News Service: Most Americans say that employers -- even religious ones -- should provide birth control coverage to their employees.

Westminster Abbey: meet the architect-in-residenceThe (London) Guardian: Ptolemy Dean is the new architect-in-residence at Westminster Abbey. Oliver Wainwright hears his plans to reinvent a cornerstone of British history

Columbia seminary to teach the power of a listening earThe (Columbia, S.C.) State: Lutheran Seminary, Lenoir-Rhyne prepare to offer counseling degree.

The Spark

The science behind giftingTo be a really successful giver of gifts, a person usually needs to get inside the head of the intended recipient. Unfortunately, the Wall Street Journal reports, psychological studies reveal that givers and receivers have a hard time understanding each other's mind-sets, which can make for a tricky holiday experience.

Want to get News & Ideas in your inbox every weekday?Subscribe to our News & Ideas newsletter.