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Jim Evans

In “Parting the Waters,” the Pulitzer Prize-winning story of the early years of the civil rights movement, Taylor Branch describes some of the differences between Dr. Martin Luther King’s goals and those of the NAACP. King, following the teachings of Gandhi, was hoping to do more than merely put an end to segregation. He wanted […] Read More

While researching another project, I came across an interesting study completed a few years back by Auburn Theological Seminary in New York. The study suggests that churches in America may be facing a dramatic shortage of ministers in the coming years.   According to the study, less than a third of students now attending seminary […] Read More

On Palm Sunday, churches around the world will celebrate that fateful moment when Jesus rode a borrowed donkey into Jerusalem. This event is ironically dubbed the “triumphant entry.” An enthusiastic crowd certainly cheered him on that day, but another crowd would angrily jeer at him only a few days later.   It’s that second crowd […] Read More

In 1981, Langdon Gilkey, professor of theology at the University of Chicago Divinity School, found himself embroiled in a church-state battle in Arkansas that would eventually be known as McLean v. the Arkansas Board of Education. The case was the result of a suit filed in response to the Arkansas legislature mandating that creationism be […] Read More

In the closing chapters of Matthew’s Gospel, Jesus offers a parable describing the criteria by which the human community will be evaluated on Judgment Day. I remember my surprise years ago when I read these words for the first time.   After hearing that we would be evaluated on the basis of our acceptance of […] Read More

Anyone who has read this column even for a short period of time knows I am an ardent proponent of the separation of church and state. Not only am I convinced this is what the founders fully intended in the First Amendment of the Constitution, but I am also convinced it is what Jesus had […] Read More

Anybody know what Alabama Gov. Riley’s present obsession with gambling is all about? Gambling in one form or another has been present throughout Riley’s two terms as governor. Why the interest now is a mystery.   His actions feel politically motivated, but I can’t see what the payoff can be. He is not eligible for […] Read More

There once was a village called Alabama. There were many wonderful people who lived there. They were hard working, honest and full of faith. They lived in nice homes, tried to raise nice children and generally tried to be nice to each other.   The village of Alabama elected a representative from among them to […] Read More

For the past several years various leaders have introduced bills that would allow Alabamians to decide for ourselves whether to rewrite our outdated and cumbersome state constitution.   The same is true this year. Senate Bill 177, Senate Joint Resolution 42 and House Joint Resolution 54 have been introduced and are in committee pending a […] Read More

According to a story in Newsweek magazine, it appears that at least some evangelicals are moving away from the political and theological right wing. Younger evangelicals seem to be shying away from the rigid ideological orthodoxy of past culture wars and are embracing a broader range of social issues.   The Newsweek story focuses on […] Read More