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Author Larry Greenfield

Larry Greenfield retired on Dec. 31, 2018 as the executive director of the Parliament of the World's Religions. He served previously as executive minister of the American Baptist Churches of Metro Chicago, a regional judicatory of the American Baptist Churches U.S.A, and the theologian-in-residence for the Community Renewal Society.

Based on longstanding and widespread reports of government corruption in Afghanistan, I’m no fan of the country’s president. And it appears that Hamid Karzai is again exploiting an ambiguous situation involving the U.S. military for his own political gain. Karzai ordered U.S. special operation units out of Wardak province in response to accusations that U.S. […] Read More

The Synoptic Gospels all include the wilderness temptation narrative. Matthew and Luke go into great detail recounting the three different temptations of the devil. Mark, on the other hand, simply puts it this way (after a relatively short account of Jesus’ baptism): And the Spirit immediately drove him out into the wilderness. He was in […] Read More

Are you ready for the observance on Feb. 2? Have you made plans for the observance? Will you do the observance in private or with a group? What do you expect to follow from the observance that falls on Feb. 2? Do you think I’m asking these questions about Groundhog Day – that Pennsylvania-German observance […] Read More

Jesus had options. We know that was the case from the very start of his ministry. In the Synoptic Gospels – Matthew, Mark and Luke – he exercises his initial options in the wilderness following his baptism, deciding between: â—      Bread for his belly versus food for his soul â—      The glory that accompanies worldly […] Read More

Here’s the question that must be asked during Advent: Do the Rules of Advent apply only in Advent? Or to put the question another way: Do the Advent Rules apply beyond the special period (in the Western church) inclusive of the four Sundays prior to Christmas? Do they apply, in other words, to all of […] Read More

His win was my loss. When George McGovern was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in November 1956, he asked Mr. Larson, my debate coach at Washington High School in Sioux Falls, S.D., to be his aide in Washington, D.C. So for the remainder of the semester, we had substitute teachers filling in for […] Read More

I grew up at a time when the “large stones” were firmly in place (the biblical reference here is Jesus and his crew leaving the temple and the disciples being awed by what they saw around them; see Mark 13:1). Although born in the year the United States entered World War II, my first memories […] Read More

How could he, after all these years, miss the point? You’d think, after 75 years in Christian ministry, after studying the Bible even longer, after preaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ in every corner of the world, my Baptist colleague, Billy Graham, would have gotten the point. But there he was, in full-page ads in […] Read More

The rule – the operating assumption, that is – in a democratic republic is that everyone will vote for the candidate who will best advance that voter’s self-interest. It’s democracy because, supposedly, everyone gets to vote her or his self-interest, and, ideally, each self-interested vote has equal value – the principle of “one person one […] Read More

Recently – that is, since the Republican and Democratic National Conventions – President Obama has shared the suggestion that former President Bill Clinton be appointed to a newly created cabinet post of “Secretary of Explaining Stuff.” Obama acknowledges that this is an edited version of the original suggestion: the one who first offered the proposal […] Read More