M. Alex Johnson – Journalist at Large

An analog journalist in a digital world

Posts Tagged ‘religion

Reporting: For some churches, the Internet clicks; for others it doesn’t

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Over at msnbc.com, I have a long piece examining how religious institutions regard the Internet and especially social media:

[T]he Catholic Church has a long history of being an early adopter of new forms of media, going back to the 1920s, when Catholic priests pioneered radio evangelism, Campbell said.

At the same time, other religious institutions, especially traditional U.S. Protestant denominations, are still sorting through the challenges as well as the opportunities posed by the Internet, and particularly social media, according to church leaders and administrators.

“I think there’s a lot of groups trying to figure it out,” said John Davidson, a fundraising and ministry consultant for churchextension.org, which supports the ministry of the Christian Church-Disciples of Christ.

I talked to the Rev. Bobby Gruenewald, the “innovation leader” at LifeChurch.tv, a very sophisticated worldwide online ministry. He pinpoints the divide this way:

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Written by Alex

November 23, 2011 at 9:21 am

Reporting: Romney campaign again puts Mormon faith in spotlight

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Cross-posted from msnbc.com, where it originally appeared

Infobox: Mormons and evangelicals

By Alex Johnson
msnbc.com

Four years ago, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney took time from his Republican presidential campaign to talk at length about the role of religion in America and in his life.

It is entirely appropriate to ask “questions about an aspiring candidate’s religion,” Romney, a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, said in a sober, here’s-what-I-believe address in College Station, Texas, in December 2007.

This time around, the same questions are being asked: Are Mormons really Christians? Should evangelical Christians refuse to even consider voting for them?

But this time, Romney’s response is very different.
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Written by Alex

October 12, 2011 at 1:37 pm

Reporting: Bible edits leave some feeling cross

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Easter may sound a little different this year.

It’s purely a coincidence, but U.S. Catholics and Protestants alike are being introduced this Easter season to separate “official” updated translations of the Christian Bible, which arrive in the year the magisterial King James Version celebrates its 400th birthday.

But with millions of dollars in publishing revenue and the trust of millions of churchgoers hanging in the balance, the new versions aren’t being met with universal acceptance.

While the changes may seem small, they are resounding throughout Christianity, whose many denominations formed or broke off from others over clashing interpretations of God’s word.

The two new translations touch on some of the most sensitive issues behind those differences, particularly on the inequality of women in society and on the divinity status of Mary and — by extension — the birth of Jesus.

Full story (Alex Johnson/msnbc.com)

Written by Alex

April 21, 2011 at 3:11 pm

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