New York Times op-ed: Why We Need to Start Talking About God, by Tish Harrison Warren (Priest, Anglican Church; Author, Liturgy of the Ordinary: Sacred Practices in Everyday Life (Christianity Today's 2018 Book of the Year) , :
Karl Barth, a 20th-century Swiss theologian, is credited with saying that Christians must live our lives with a Bible in one hand and a newspaper in the other. Barth, who was a leader of a group of Christians in Germany resisting Hitler, understood that faith is not a pious, protective bubble shielding us from the urgent needs of the world. It is the very impetus that leads us into active engagement with society. People of faith must immerse ourselves in messy questions of how to live faithfully in a particular moment with particular headlines calling for particular attention and particular responses.
While Christians and other religious people may wonder how broader culture affects our faith (or why we must hold a newspaper in one hand), others may wonder why faith is relevant to the contemporary world at all (or why we hold a Bible in the other). Membership in a house of worship has declined steadily in the United States over the past eight decades and, according to a Gallup poll, dropped below 50 percent this year. ...
As a pastor, I see again and again that in defining moments of people’s lives — the birth of children, struggles in marriage, deep loss and disappointment, moral crossroads, facing death — they talk about God and the spiritual life. In these most tender moments, even those who aren’t sure what exactly they believe cannot avoid big questions of meaning: who we are, what we are here for, why we believe what we believe, why beauty and horror exist.
These questions bubble up in all of us, often unbidden. Even when we hum through a mundane week — not consciously thinking about God or life’s meaning or death — we are still motivated in our depths by ultimate questions and assumptions about what’s right and wrong, what’s true or false and what makes for a good life. ...
This newsletter, like our opening acclamation, acknowledges the presence of God in the world, believing that God, faith and spirituality remain a relevant part of our public and private lives. In it, I will talk about the habits and practices that shape our lives, the beliefs that drive our imaginations, the commitments that guide our souls.