Cover Story: Why John Wesley’s ‘Revival’ is hot, again, today


th Cover of Adam Hamilton Revival Faith as Wesley Lived ItCOVER STORY—We talk with the famous United Methodist pastor Adam Hamilton about why John Wesley is popular again after three centuries. Many reasons: Wesley got it right on spirituality (both head and heart must be engaged), on music (popular tunes grow churches), on thorny issues (he was anti-slavery and favored compassion for animals). Plus, Wesley was a master of the social media of his era! With his new travelogue-style book and video, Hamilton wants to spark worldwide Wesleyan pilgrimages.


Palms waving on Palm SundayPALM SUNDAY & EASTER—Two billion Christians around the world are moving toward the most important festivals of the year. You’ll find easy links to all the holidays at


th Passover-seder-plate-Sarah-Biggart-e1426519503157PASSOVER—Coming at sundown on Friday April 3.

SUZY FARBMAN—Looking to other global religious traditions, this week, Godsigns columnist writes about discovering ancient goddesses living among us, today, in a story featuring Loyola University’s Tracy Pintchman.


th Blank 20 dollar billHAVE YOU VOTED? University of Michigan sociologist Dr. Wayne Baker looks at the nationwide campaign to replace Andrew Jackson on the $20 with a famous woman. What do the faces on our currency say about American values.


GOOD MEDIA builds good community in many ways …

th-Short-Stuff-from-a-Tall-Guy-CoverWIN A FREE COPY OF ‘SHORT STUFF’—If you have thought about our motto about “good media,” then you know this truth touches the core of the world’s religious traditions. TODAY, popular author Benjamin Pratt invites readers to enjoy an inspiring “new” story, called “The Two of Us,” based on a century-old novel beloved by families around the world. Can you guess which novel? That’s the challenge. Email the answer to us—and you might win a signed copy of Ben’s new book.

th Interfaith Peacemakers Th Sumartana HA Mukti Ali and Masahisa GoiINTERFAITH PEACEMAKERS—Discover more than 100 inspiring profiles of men and women around the world at where we are continuing our focus on Asia, this month …


th Insurgent movie stillVISUAL PARABLES—Enjoy all the reviews by veteran faith-and-film writer Edward McNulty at

th Scientology buildingFAITH GOES POP—Scientology sparks loyalty among members, but derision in much of popular culture. Religion scholar and journalist Ken Chitwood provides one of the most balanced overviews we’ve read in a long time, headlined “Sympathizing with Scientology.” Are you unsure how to regard this religious movement that keeps popping up in the public square? Ken has some thoughtful suggestions.


th Third Way Newsletter book logoGET THE NEWS—The is part of the changing Christian landscape that is welcoming diverse men and women.

DAVID GUSHEE—The author of Changing Our Mind is continuing his cross country speaking tour at Gordon College in Wenham, Massachusetts, on Monday, March 23rd, Hartford Seminary in Hartford, Connecticut, on Tuesday, March 24th, and Eastern University in St. David’s, Pennsylvania, on Thursday, March 26th.




Cover Story: Are you ashamed of your body? Here’s good news …


th This Is My Body by Ragan SutterfieldFROM OBESITY TO IRONMAN—Christian author and environmental activist Ragan Sutterfield shares the true story of how his physical life began to fall apart—until his faith led him into a much healthier spiritual journey. Yes, Ragan now competes in extreme sports, but this new memoir isn’t boastful. It’s not designed to make you feel even guiltier than you perhaps are feeling right now. This is a humble, friendly and inspiring story that you’ll enjoy whatever your physical condition may be. As spring dawns across North America, it’s a perfect time to welcome Ragan as a friendly guide.


th Interfaith Peacemakers Sulak Sivaraksa Wati Aier Ouyporn KhuankaewLOOKING TO ASIA—When you think of Asia, do you you think of competitors or enemies or terrorism? All this month, global peacemaker Daniel Buttry is celebrating heroic interfaith peacemakers from Asia. Want to see all 100-plus stories? Tell friends about
New this week …


th Open Carry in New Hampshire photo by Dean Law shared via Wikimedia CommonsOPEN CARRY is a legally controversial issue, right now. It also challenges Americans’ personal values, sociologist Dr. Wayne Baker writes this week in his OurValues series.


th Four Leaf Clovers for MarchALL THE HOLIDAYS—Tell friends about This week …




GOOD MEDIA builds good community in so many ways …

th Bobbie's granddaughterINSPIRING REAL-LIFE STORIES

th Short-Stuff-from-a-Tall-Guy-CoverBENJAMIN PRATT—A special “Thank you!” to Peter Wallace and the website for the Day1 radio network for publishing our interview with Benajmin Pratt about his new book. We’ve heard from many readers about the inspiration they’ve found in Ben’s true stories. (STAY TUNED, because next week Ben returns to the pages of ReadTheSpirit with a special challenge to readers who love classic literature about the natural world.)

BULLYING IS NO LAUGHING MATTER—Our anti-bullying comic section, this week, features a thought-provoking comic from Marty and Spud. Remember: We always let readers print out, share and repost our materials, as long as you credit our website. This week’s comic is a great discussion-starter for parents and teachers.

th Lincoln on his death bed in Peterson House from Harpers weekly May 6 1865LINCOLN SCHOLAR DUNCAN NEWCOMER published a nationwide call to organize discussions for the 150th anniversary of Abraham Lincoln’s death (April 15, 1865). We invite you to share news about Lincoln events in your part of the world by emailing


th Third Way Newsletter book logoKEEP IN TOUCH—The new is part of the changing Christian landscape that is welcoming diverse men and women.

DAVID GUSHEE—The author of Changing Our Mind spoke on Saturday at A Stirring in Irving, California. Hundreds of people attended and moving stories of both inclusion and exclusion were shared. His next appearances …



Cover Story: Visiting the cutting edge of Christian renewal


th Doug Pagitt and his new book FlippedTHE DOUG PAGITT INTERVIEW—As millions of Americans have left churches over the past two decades, pastor Doug Pagitt could have given up, too. Instead, he works with people who’ve found the church to be “toxic”—and now yearn for a different way to form healthy spiritual communities. In his book, Flipped, Doug shares the lessons he’s learned about rethinking and renewing what we call “church.” In our interview with Doug, we also talk about a diverse new Christian movement that is connecting people all across America. You’re free to repost, share and print out this interview. Lots of people are going to be talking about this!


th Interfaith Peacemakers Dalai Lama Malala Yousafzai and Abdul Ghaffar KhanGLOBAL INSPIRATION—Tell friends about for inspiring stories about men and women around the world. New this week …


th US Capitol Washington DCTRUST IN GOVERNMENT—This week, sociologist Dr. Wayne Baker’s OurValues series explores the deep distrust millions of Americans feel toward many of our major agencies in Washington D.C. You may be surprised by what national polling is telling us about our widely shared fears and concerns.


th Four Leaf Clovers for MarchALL THE HOLIDAYS—Tell friends about to find all the news you’ll need to celebrate with communities around the world.

th Pi-Day-pie-by-Robert-Couse-BakerDELICIOUS “PI DAY”—This week, turn to Bobbie Lewis’s FeedTheSpirit column for a tasty story about “Pi Day,” an annual celebration of the little number on which math helps to turn our world. You know—Pi as in 3.14? Enjoy!



th Visual Parables Journal March 2015 issueVISUAL PARABLES—Find more than 1,000 movie reviews from faith-and-film expert Edward McNulty at

FAITH GOES POPCheck out the latest from Ken Chitwood. Remember to use the hashtag #FaithGoesPop if you wind up responding to his questions in social media.

AND IF YOU LOVE THAT—You’re going to smile at LEBOWSKI vs. BUKOWSKI, a fun and fanciful column by Rodney Curtis about two of America’s most famous gadflies—one fictional, one real.



GOOD MEDIA builds good community in so many ways …

th Lincoln on his death bed in Peterson House from Harpers weekly May 6 1865LINCOLN SCHOLAR DUNCAN NEWCOMER published a nationwide call to organize discussions for the 150th anniversary of Abraham Lincoln’s death (April 15, 1865).

  • “THANKS!” to readers who told us they are sharing the column by Duncan on their Facebook pages and elsewhere. Please email us if you hear of any 150th events in your part of the U.S. at
  • BRIAN “FOX” ELLIS, the popular historical storyteller, shared our column with his audience and, this spring, is involved in a number of Lincoln and Whitman events. Visit Ellis’s website to learn more.
  • DUNCAN IS HOSTING a discussion on April 15 at an Indiana landmark, the New Harmony Working Men’s Institute. If you’re in that part of the country—stop in!
  • PLANNING AN EVENT? You’ll enjoy our Abraham Lincoln Resource Page.


th Michael Jernigan and his dogWORKING WITH VETERANS—Did you know that, in 2015, America will have its largest population of veterans? That’s 23 million men and women. All this year, we will be publishing columns (as well as two upcoming books) in collaboration with veterans.


th Third Way Newsletter book logoKEEP IN TOUCH—From our cover story to this final item in our weekly online magazine, The Third Way Newsletter is part of the changing Christian landscape that is welcoming diverse men and women. Tell friends about and go to the site, where you can sign up for free email updates.

DAVID GUSHEE—The author of Changing Our Mind, this week, will be speaking at A Stirring on March 14 in Irving, California. The first 250 registrants will receive a free copy of his book. Also on the program are Ken Fong, Senior Pastor at Evergreen Baptist Church of LA (Rosemead), Sandra Turnbull, Founding Pastor of Glory Tabernacle Christian Center, and Danny Cortez, Teaching Pastor at New Heart Community Church.



Cover Story: Remembering Lincoln 150 years after his death …

th Lincoln on his death bed in Peterson House from Harpers weekly May 6 1865PLAN AHEAD—Lincoln historian Duncan Newcomer writes an inspiring and thought-provoking column, proposing national conversations around the looming 150th anniversary of Abraham Lincoln’s death. Duncan reminds us that, shortly after the assassination, the great poet Walt Whitman urged Americans to hold such conversations, each year around April 15. What might those gatherings look like today? Duncan offers several intriguing suggestions. In addition …

  • KEEP IN TOUCH—If you’re aware of a related 150th-anniversary program in your part of the country, email us at
  • ALL YOU NEED—We offer two dozen helpful resources—columns, historical overviews, study guides and tips—on our Abraham Lincoln and American Values Resource Page.


th Selma-the-MovieOUR VALUES—Sociologist Dr. Wayne Baker invites readers to think about America’s changing racial attitudes as we approach the 50th anniversary of the Selma marches. Please share this thought-provoking series with friends to spark discussion:


th Four Leaf Clovers for MarchALL THE HOLIDAYS are always just a click away at


th leviathan_posterVISUAL PARABLES—Find more than 1,000 movie reviews from veteran faith-and-film expert Edward McNulty at, an easy link to remember. This is a terrific week for moviegoing, says Ed, who offers five rave reviews of must-see movies …

th Faith Goes Pop screenshotFAITH GOES POP—Remember to use Ken Chitwood’s #FaithGoesPop hashtag when you’re talking with friends online about some of the very creative ideas Ken serves up this week. Here is the gateway to Ken’s world:

  • TASTE A BIBLE BAR?—No kidding! That’s just one of Ken’s discoveries this week. Supposedly, this candy claims to provide a taste of Deuteronomy. Ken also spots a skull water bottle—and Playmobil’s hottest selling new toy. Can you guess what religious figure is now cast in plastic? Read Ken; tell friends.



GOOD MEDIA builds good community in so many ways …

Interfaith PeacemakersTagore Maha Ghosananda Aung San Suu KyiINTERFAITH PEACEMAKERS—International peacemaker and author Daniel Buttry begins a new, month-long series on courageous men and women from Asia. This week …

SUZY FARBMAN—Suzy’s GodSigns columns are always a bright spot! This week, she writes about a Georgia man who has a right to be mad about few things in life—including his virtual death after a major surgery failed—but instead he prefers to count life’s blessings. You’ll smile. Go on—read it.

th Bullying Is No Laughing Matter Onion and PeaBULLYING IS NO LAUGHING MATTER—Our special comic section provides weekly resources for parents and teachers who want to help children discover strategies to end bullying. This week’s offering is the comic Onion and Pea. There is an easy way to find all of our online resources—including activity guides and special materials for teachers—by simply using

DR. DAVID GUSHEE—Dr. David Gushee, author of Changing Our Mind, spoke at Fordham University on February 26th and Union Theological Seminary on February 27th. Union Theological Seminary shares this video of his talk. His next public appearance is at Fuller Theological Seminary in Irving, California on March 14, 2015.

th Third Way Newsletter logoTHIRD WAY NEWSLETTER—This new website will be publishing important columns in the ongoing effort by many churches to welcome LGBT Christians in a grassroots, “third way” approach to inclusion. It’s direct address is where you’ll also find an easy way to sign up for email updates. This week, Third Way publishes a column by David Myers, professor of psychology at Hope College, who is a signatory to a promising approach to bridging the culture-war, marriage divide called Marriage Opportunity, an effort led by David Blankenthorn, once widely cited as a critic of same sex marriage who has changed his view.



Ben Pratt invites you to turn this ordinary day into a pilgrimage

th Benjamin Pratt Short Stuff from a Tall Guy full cover proof


  • INTERVIEW WITH BEN PRATT—“You hold in your hands a human heart.” That’s how Day1 radio host Peter Wallace describes Benjamin Pratt’s wonderful new collection of stories, Short Stuff from a Tall Guy. For years, Ben has been one of the most popular columnists here at ReadTheSpirit magazine (and on the website of the Day1 radio network)—so you probably can guess the treat that lies ahead. Read our interview with Ben—and you’ll want to share it with friends. Go ahead—you’re free to print out this interview or even to repost it in your own newsletter. It’s sure to spark spirited conversation with friends—old … and new.


ALL THE HOLIDAYS—It’s easy to find all of the holiday columns, packed with fascinating customs, foods, crafts and stories from around the world. Just remember

th Our-Lent-2-cover-3D

  • SEASON of LENT FOR 2 BILLION—With today’s Clean Monday holiday, Eastern Orthodox Christians join Western Christians in the season of reflection and self-denial known as Lent. Western Christians began with Ash Wednesday on February 18. That brings the global total to more than 2 billion Christians in this annual “40-day” period that leads to Easter. Eastern Christians generally maintain a far more extensive discipline of fasting than their Western counterparts. They began the process of limiting their diets on February 15 with Meatfare Sunday. By today’s Clean Monday, the Orthodox diet is very limited until Pascha, or Easter.
  • READ ALONG—If you care to “read along” with this season that recalls the final days of Jesus’s life, you’ll enjoy David Crumm’s Our Lent: Things We Carry.
  • BAHA’IS PREPARE TO FAST—This week, Baha’is around the world prepare for an unusual three-day correction in their calendar that leads to the Saturday evening start of a Nineteen-Day Fast.


th A student at Space Camp in Huntsville Alabama Photo by Geoff Burns released under Creative CommonsKIDS & SUCCESS—As adults, we all want to see kids succeed—our own children, of course, as well as young people everywhere. But what are the underlying values that shape our approach to this goal? This week, sociologist Dr. Wayne Baker reports a thought-provoking series on the way we pave the road to success.



th Disney McFarland USA movie stillEAGER TO SEE SOME MOVIES? The Oscar awards touched off lots of conversations that start with: “What movies have you seen?” We boast some of the best movie coverage in the country—with a special perspective on faith and values.

th Jane Imerman with one of her cakesFEED THE SPIRIT—Food writer Bobbie Lewis introduces a guest writer this week for an inspiring story about Jane Imerman, whose family transformed a struggle with cancer into the inspiration to launch a new kind of cake company.

FAITH GOES POP—Thanks to all the readers who sent us encouraging notes about our interview with Greg Garrett on Entertaining Judgment, a spirited look at the connections between pop culture—and Heaven, Purgatory and Hell. And, we’re still encouraging you to visit Ken Chitwood’s Faith Goes Pop website to chime in on your own “angel” or “demon” sightings.


GOOD MEDIA builds good community. That’s a value we share at ReadTheSpirit. This week …

Interfaith Peacemaker heroes from AfricaINTERFAITH PEACEMAKERS—Global peacemaker Daniel Buttry continues his series of heroes from Africa to mark Black History Month. All three are dynamic young men whose work will inspire you: Lance Muteyo from Zimbabwe, Anthony Fabrice Kettemallet from Central African Republic, and Boaz Kiebarak from Kenya.

BULLYING IS NO LAUGHING MATTER—More and more comic artists are joining the anti-bullying chorus. Our weekly comic section features Cody the Cavalier this week. But you’ll want to start at the front page of this colorful comics section to discover all of the free resources, including activity guides and help for parents and educators.

DAVID GUSHEE CROSSES THE U.S.—Leading evangelical and pro-LGBT Christian ethicist, Dr. David P. Gushee, will be a featured speaker at Fordham University’s Rose Hill campus on Thursday, February 26th and at Union Theological Seminary on Friday, February 27th.


Cover Story: We sure love our angels and demons


Greg Garrett and his Entertaining JudgmentAN ENTERTAINING AFTERLIFE—Greg Garrett returns for an interview on his new book about Americans’ love affair with the denizens of Heaven, Purgatory and Hell. It’s called Entertaining Judgment: The Afterlife in Popular Imagination. In Greg’s tour of cosmic realms, you’ll meet Gandalf, Zombies, Batman, Katniss and the entire cast of Lost. Come along with us! We’ve rarely published such a wide-ranging interview.


Ashes on a forehead and Our Lent by David CrummOUR LENT—It’s time to order your copy of Our Lent: Things We Carry, an inspirational pilgrimage through Lent with ReadTheSpirit Editor David Crumm. These 40 stories connect Jesus’s final journey with events in our world, today.


GOOD media builds good community. That’s a goal shared by our community of writers, scholars, peace activists and authors.

th 3 Generations of Hands by Susan StittWE ARE CAREGIVERS—Popular author and speaker Benjamin Pratt returns with “Hands,” a moving column on the timeless power of our hands to establish healthy relationships.

THIRD WAY NEWSLETTER—Thanks to readers who sent us encouraging notes about our cover story last week on the launch of the Third Way Newsletter, a national campaign by evangelical leaders to welcome gay and lesbian men and women into their congregations. If you missed it last week, visit the Newsletter website and sign up for their free email updates.

DAVID GUSHEE—A major figure in this campaign is Dr. David Gushee, author of Changing Our Mind. Gushee is continuing a nationwide tour this week at the Together in This event at Eastlake Community Church in Bothell, Washington on Saturday, February 21. Sharing the platform with Gushee are Matthew Vines and Stan Mitchell. On February 22, Gushee will speak at Whitworth University in Spokane, Washington.

Interfaith Peacemakers Leymah Gbowe Wilson Gathungu Ashafa and WuyeINTERFAITH PEACEMAKERS—Author and international peacemaker Daniel Buttry continues to publish an inspiring series of stories from Africa, part of our special emphasis on Black History Month. New this week are profiles of …

BULLYING IS NO LAUGHING MATTER—In our anti-bullying comic section, this week, we are showcasing a colorful cartoon by Tobias Neal from his series The Sword. Check out that “comic of the week” and our entire array of comic activity guides.


th Wellbee poster from 1960sOUR-VALUES—This week, sociologist Dr. Wayne Baker explores changing American attitudes about vaccination, which once was such a successful campaign that measles was all but eliminated in the U.S. Now, it’s back in headlines and Americans are debating whether vaccines should be required.




Two Days, One NightVISUAL PARABLES—This week, faith-and-film writer Edward McNulty urges viewers to seek out a French-language film, Two Days, One Night, about a woman at risk of losing the blue-collar job on which her family depends. (5 out of 5 stars) This week, Ed also recommends:



Cover Story: Launching the Third Way Newsletter


th Ken Wilson and Emily Swan Third Way NewsletterAT THE FOREFRONT in welcoming gay and lesbian Christians to evangelical churches are authors Ken Wilson with A Letter to My Congregation and David P. Gushee with Changing Our Mind. (This week, Gushee is releasing an expanded 2nd Edition of his book as he continues to headline events in this transitional effort.) Meanwhile, Ken Wilson has touched off a nationwide movement called “third way churches” that is included in the January 26 TIME magazine report “Change of Heart.”


th From Valentines Day to LentSENDING OUR LOVE—to  you! Our writers have cooked up a wonderful array of love-related stories.


th Example of Creating a Gratitude GramOUR VALUES—What a timely topic for a week when millions of men and women are thinking about love! OurValues founder, sociologist Wayne Baker, turns to a theme beloved by our readers “Paying it Forward”—and reports that there are many benefits to expressing our gratitude to others.


th Visual Parables film journal 25th anniversary issueCELEBRATE WITH US! Faith-and-film columnist, journal editor and author Edward McNulty has been serving readers for a quarter of a century with Visual Parables.


Interfaith Peacemakers Wangari Maathai Ephraim Isaac and Hizkias AssefaINTERFAITH PEACEMAKERS—Global peacemaker and author Daniel Buttry continues to help our readers celebrate Black History Month by looking to Africa for some truly remarkable heroes—men and women largely unknown on this side of the Atlantic.

GODSIGNS—Columnist Suzy Farbman always ranks among our most popular writers, because her true stories always involve signs of hope, often with unexpected twists. This week, Suzy writes about a woman, Lori Simon, who explored her vocation as an artist—and found a welcome invitation from Saks.