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The young, newly ordained Catholic priest stood in front of the church, ready to officiate his first mass. These priests were expected to have clean hearts before officiating—no sin unconfessed. No heart of stone unturned.
But as Martin Luther began to recite the introductory portion of the mass, with the bread and wine on the altar in front of him, he almost passed out. “I was utterly stupefied and terror-stricken. … Who am I, that I should lift up mine eyes or raise my h..

In one of the best reads of the last few months, Kenneth Woodward, Getting Religion: Faith, Culture, and Politics from the Age of Eisenhower to the Era of Obama, opens with some insights into what he calls “embedded religion.”
Many of the younger leaders in our churches today don’t know the story of the older leaders, and I don’t know a better book to “catch them up” than Woodward’s romp through the last sixty years or so. Extraordinary prose is accentuated by Woodward’s presence in all the majo..