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Andrew Brown of the Guardian has, in his own mind, proved himself to be a reliable prophet.

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It appears that attendance in North American churches may not be the only thing in decline.

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Sunday in my sermon I reflected on Luke 18:9-14, the parable Jesus told of two men who went up to the temple to pray.

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McSwain’s fourth church trend that is leading to decline is a trend that all people who care about the well-being of the church should celebrate.

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Having acknowledged that it is impossible to assess the degree to which I might have participated in terrible atrocities had I lived in the same context in which they emerged seventy years ago, it is important to ask what commitments I might make in the present that could help ensure that my life is less inclined towards patterns of violence.

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During the Second World War young men were taken from their homes and employed in Nazi occupied Poland to staff concentration camps. They were the perpetrators of many of the atrocities that took place in these factories of suffering and death.

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They appear in my mail box at home with startling frequency, sometimes just a card, occasionally an elaborate expensively produced glossy brochure. But they all share in common the bold promise of something, shiny, new, and exciting.

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As I continue to explore Steve McSwain’s desperate portrait of the current state of the church, his list of deadly trends becomes uncomfortably personal.

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In response to my “Self-Emptying #2” post, Jaqueline offered a fabulous quote from Joseph Campbell.

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In the various liturgies at Our Lady of Guadalupe it is hard to miss the frequent references to “virginity”.

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