Faith

  • God's in His Heaven and All Right With A Joke

    Now is the ideal time for non-religious Canadians to lighten up around discussions of faith, says Cardus Executive Vice-President Ray Pennings, citing polling data showing religious Canadians are happy to debate their beliefs in good humour.

    Christmas often brings out the best in Canadians. We dig into our pockets for charity a little more. We volunteer more. And we make more time for friends and family than at other times of the year.

    But the holiday sometimes brings out our weirder sid...

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  • The Aftermath of Genocide

    On International Human Rights Day, survivors of histories and geographies torn apart by crimes against humanity used a Parliament Hill panel discussion to etch a path of repentance, repair, reconciliation and renewal. Convivium’s Peter Stockland reports.

    A panel discussion in a basement conference room on Parliament Hill yesterday grappled with the herculean human task of responding to humanity at its most inhumane.

    Marking International Human Rights Day, the speakers addressed historic specifics of ...

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  • Our Country, Our Gospel

    At a prayer breakfast today in Markham, Ontario, Convivium’s Father Raymond de Souza serves a reminder that Canadian Christians should be as proud to share the Christian Gospel as they are to be Canadians. The reason, de Souza says, isn’t triumphalism but the pure joy of speaking God’s Word.

    I am eager to preach the Gospel to you who are in Rome.

    So St. Paul writes to the Romans, and I might suggest that those words are suitable for any preacher at any time, including this preacher this morning in Markham. I thank you for the in...

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  • Learning from Eugene Peterson

    John Stackhouse, Jr. pays fond tribute to celebrated pastor, scholar, writer, Bible translator and poet Eugene Peterson, who died Monday of this week.  

    There are many stories of Eugene Peterson’s powerful, pastoral presence. Perhaps predictably, however, my own favourite story is of his absence.

    ...

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  • Building Better Christian Bridges

    In a recent talk for Ottawa’s Theology on Tap speaking series, Cardus program director Andrea Mrozek examined myths and misunderstandings that divide Catholics and Protestants. She reminded her audience of C.S. Lewis’ admonition that we are faithfully waiting, not sullenly camping, until unity is restored.

    Picture a little girl in a pink dress and black patent shoes. She’s almost five years old. Something of significance has happened, though she isn’t really sure what. It’s the day of her baptism. Someone would have told her what baptism is. But she doesn’t f...

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  • Hunger and the Bounty of Grace

    On a trip to Ukraine with his betrothed, Daniel Bezalel Richardsen’s eye catches small glimpses of fidelity that enlighten his understanding of the infinite abundance of faith.

    A Wendell Berry poem has helped gather the motes of memory from my recent inaugural trip to Ukraine. The verses in the collection, A Timbered Choir, are:

    Enclosing the field within bounds Sets it apart ...

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  • Steadfast Love

    Amid the tempest of arranging her family’s move to England, Krista Ewert found shelter from the storm in the words of Psalms reminding her that God’s wondrous love never falters.

    Around Christmas, I began the practice of highlighting the phrase “steadfast love” in red in my Bible. I wanted to know it. I longed for it. You see, the problem with being a rather melancholic, introverted pragmatist is that my life is not defined or even ...

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  • A Seat At The Table

    Today, Convivium's Hannah Marazzi sits down with the folks from Barnabas Farmworks to learn more about their theology of farming and discuss pigs, poetry, and the sacramental goodness of the ordinary tomato. 

    Convivium: How would you describe Barnabas Farmworks?

    Kim Wilkinson: Barnabas Farmworks is part of a bigger ministry organization called Barnabas Family Ministries. We are a retreat and conference center on Keats Isl...

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  • Baby Steps for Gerber

    Recently, the Gerber baby food company chose a child with Down syndrome as its “spokesbaby.”  But as Keith Dow of Christian Horizons asks, while the winner’s extra chromosome paints an adorable picture for disability advocacy, will the small step begin a journey of lasting social change? 

    A couple of years ago, I participated in a forum bringing together churches, accessibility advocates, and service providers in the Ottawa area to explore what “widening the welcome” could look like in our faith communities. Several adults with developmental...

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  • Salvation By The Young

    Drawing on Angus Reid polling, Cardus Executive Vice-President Ray Pennings tells Convivium’s Peter Stockland why young Canadians are far more faith driven than the current secular narrative leads us to believe.

    Convivium: In a recent symposium hosted by the Centre for Research on Religion at McGill University in Montreal, you made the argument that Angus Reid polling data shows young people are much more engaged in faith than we think. What does t...

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  • God Must Be Tax Free

    Convivium’s Editor in Chief Father Raymond de Souza says pressure to tax churches misunderstands the distinction between Heaven and the State. 

    Jerusalem – Here in the holy city, a combustible dispute over property taxes led to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre being closed in protest for three days this week. The mayor of Jerusalem, without notice or consultation, slapped tax arrears assessments on...

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  • The Shared Space of Faith And Science

    Milton Friesen, program director of Cardus Social Cities, will deliver a lecture this evening at McMaster University’s Divinity College on Religion And Science: Conspiring Together For God. As Milton tells Convivium’s Peter Stockland, he intends it as a catalyst to a much broader and deeper conversation about the institutional responsibilities of faith and science in Canada’s common life.

    Convivium: Science versus religion is always a hot topic, but I gather you’ll be talking about it in a somewhat different way than we’ve come to expect?

    Milton Friesen: I’ll be looking at the institutional aspects of...

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  • A Life Touched by Billy Graham

    Veteran Canadian journalist Lloyd Mackey, a senior editorial advisor to Faith in Canada 150’s Thread of 1000  Stories, recounts meeting Billy Graham while still a school boy  in 1951, an encounter that helped shape Mackey’s life and faith.

    A few days ago, I was quietly wondering how Billy Graham was doing and hoping that he would still be around in November, when he would turn 100.

    He did not make it, but passed away Wednesday, February 21, 2018, almost halfway through his 100th...

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  • Bringing Lent Home

    Echoing Isaiah, Convivium contributor Brittany Beacham says the Lenten fast has to be about more than giving up creature comforts. It must mean opening the doors of our hearts – even of our houses – purely for God’s love.

    I've never observed Lent before. Sure, I've thought about it, considered it, made movement towards it, but never actually done it. 

    I've often felt unsatisfied with the Easter season. As though my observance of it was lacking in something. Surely the...

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  • Super As We Are

    Josh Nadeau finds virtue in the signals sent by superhero cinema.

    Looking back at some of the highest-grossing films last year, one can certainly see a pattern: Spider-Man, Guardians of the Galaxy, Thor, Wonder Woman. And it’s no blip – box office returns from the decade so far have all...

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  • Christ's Hope in the Wounds of the Rohingya

    Convivium’s Hannah Marazzi speaks with Emily Way about working out the Gospel at the Samaritan’s Purse emergency field hospitals in Bangladesh and Iraq.

    C: You have previously served in a Samaritan’s Purse field hospital near the besieged city of Mosul. Most recently, you’ve returned from serving the displaced Rohingya people in Bangladesh. Fellow DART member David Bock has been quoted as saying, “W...

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  • Slowing Down for Lent

    Writer Karen Stiller finds in a sign near her house a spiritual admonition to slow down and pay attention to God.

    Twice a week, I walk right over the word Lent. It is painted on the road, in large white letters, on the route I take to and from a neighbourhood retirement home with Dewey, my doodle. I spend an hour there every Wednesday morning, visiting on the second an...

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  • Dust, Bones and the Promise of Life

    Father Raymond de Souza finds in the rare coincidence of Ash Wednesday falling on Valentine’s Day a message for the heart in the midst of ashes.

    Ash Wednesday brings Catholics out in great numbers, including those who don’t frequently attend church. In New York City such is the desire to receive the penitential ashes that priests distribute them in the great hall of Grand Central Station.

    Thi...

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  • Lent All Year Long

    In the third of her series exploring the Rule of St. Benedict. Breanne Valerie discovers the founder of the Benedictine order saw Lenten practice as an every day event.

    I remember the first time I encountered the practice of Lent. The very first year I tried giving up sugar. I set out to read more scripture and pray more as a replacement, in an attempt to draw nearer to God. To my dismay, I failed horrib...

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  • Calling For True Pluralism

    Convivium returns to the testimonies of Convivium’s editor-in-chief and two regular contributors whose statements were highlighted in this week's Commons Heritage Committee report on a motion to combat religious discrimination.

    When the Commons Heritage Committee handed down its report this week on a motion to combat religious discrimination, including Islamophobia, Convivium’s editor-in-chief and two regular contributors were among the witnesses whose testimony was highl...

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  • The Real Zeal Deal

    Convivium regular contributor Brittany Beacham cautions that while a rush of zealous feeling can accomplish much in the world, real zeal is always governed by God.

    If I were to have been one of the 12 disciples, I think I would've been James or John. It may seem arrogant to claim similarity to two of Jesus' closest disciples, but I have always resonated with the nickname he gave them: Sons of Thunder.

    It was a ...

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  • Three Essentials To Reinforce Faith

    Beth Green, program director for Cardus Education, walks Convivium’s Peter Stockland through a new study showing why school matters as much as home and church in building a bedrock foundation for religious faith

    Convivium: How is the latest report from the Cardus Religious Schools Initiative (CRSI) applicable in a general way? What's ...

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  • A Novel View of the Gospel

    Convivium reviewer Lloyd Mackey finds David Kitz brings a dramatist’s gifts to his novel which re-tells the Passion story in The Soldier Who Killed a King. 

    In reading The Soldier Who Killed a King: A True Retelling of the Passion, by Ottawa’s David Kitz, I was aware of a certain déjà vu. The reason for that awareness became clear upon noting the bits of legalese on the requisite copyright pag...

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  • Will the State Hug Me When I Die?

    Father Deacon Andrew Bennett, director of the Cardus law program, argues Canadians of religious faith must be left free to choose what procedures their healthcare institutions provide. 

    For 18 months, Canadian governments have legally permitted assisted suicide on demand for patients suffering terminal illness whose condition is “grievous and irremediable.” It’s considered a choice people now have available to them.

    For Catholics, O...

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