God works discreetly

God, it seems, favors the powerless, the unnoticed, children, babies, outsiders, and refugees with no resources or place to go.

The challenge of John Chau

Perhaps you’ve heard the extraordinary story of John Chau, the young Christian missionary who tried to bring the Gospel to North Sentinel Island, one of the most remote and isolated communities in the world, and who, for his trouble, was killed before he even got past the beach. His endeavor has inspired a whole range of reactions — outrage, puzzlement, sympathy, deep admiration — and has stirred up in many people, both religious and secular, questions about the missionary nature of Christianity.

Oh, Susanna! The poetry and pro-life power of baby names

The big news from the Social Security Administration is the ousting of a champion: Liam has dethroned Noah as the nation’s most popular boy name. This was the headline of its newly released baby-name report, an annual synthesis of Social Security card applications from the past year that offers a fascinating cultural statement and doubles as a tip sheet for expectant parents.

The death of an evangelical titan

I had the privilege of hearing Dr. Billy Graham preach about 20 years ago in Cincinnati. At the time, Dr. Graham was around 80 years old and clearly in frail health. He came to the podium and commenced to speak, but the crowd of young people, stirred up by the Christian rock bands who had performed earlier, was restive and inattentive. Graham paused, folded his hands, and quietly said, “Let us pray.” With that, a stadium of 50,000 people fell silent. Once a spirit of reverence held sway, the preacher resumed. I remember thinking, “What an old pro!”

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