• SOUDER: In elections, asking the right questions matters

    Whenever an election approaches, as the 2012 presidential race now quickly is, some (though not nearly enough) Christians begin to consider prayerfully for whom they should vote.  And many begin by asking questions like, “Whose side is God on?” or “Is God a Republican or a Democrat?”

    However, let me suggest that, for the Christian, these are the wrong questions.

  • Introducing, a new friend

    Let me tell you something about the newest critter on our farm.

    No, this isn’t the magnificent, golden-tailed hawk that comes to sit on the black wooden fences separating two of our paddocks, more or less watching the horses eat their fill.

    This isn’t about the smudge-sized black field mice I saw scurrying under the leaves of the decaying melon patch as I was turning over the garden for fall – one of whom, I must confess, met an untimely interface when he was unearthed by the blades of my tiller, God rest his little vermin soul.

  • Can you recall the fears of an October long ago?

    Perhaps the scariest time of my life came during a few weeks when I didn’t know how scared I should be.

    I was a third-grader, and at a time when most boys my age were concerned with being liked by classmates, having to take a regular bath and making the starting lineup, what I didn’t quite grasp was that the security of my world was teetering on the brink of total annihilation.

  • SOUDER: Part 3: Why you can’t separate politics and religion

    In my last two columns, I have waded into the often-perceived-as-controversial territory at the intersection of politics and religion. Though many try to keep them separate, it is my firm belief that because God established the idea of government (Romans 13) and because governing is first and foremost a moral and spiritual enterprise (making laws that determine right and wrong), trying to separate politics and religion is not only undesirable, it is impossible.

  • This man's virtuoso performance can't be overlooked

    Leon Mooneyhan has taken on the role of the “music man” in Shelby County, trumpeting his vision for a downtown performance and convention center and scoring his own little symphony out of the sometimes discordant notes he hears.

    When I first chatted with Mooneyhan about his concept of a “City Center” for Shelbyville, about three years ago on a Saturday morning in the historic home of a mutual friend, it was – mixing my metaphors here – as if he were preaching a sermon while I was right behind him, wearing a robe and singing bass.

  • Hey, UK fans: This is all a matter of perspective

    A cousin called from Mississippi on Saturday morning to say that my beloved alma mater and her favorite team, Southern Mississippi, should get a new football coach.

    “A new coach?.” I said via an intermediary. “The guy only has coached two games. How can you dislike a coach after two games?”

    Did I mention this cousin was of a mature age, a God-fearing, church-going woman who speaks in a quiet, honey-thick Southern drawl that Andy and Gomer surely would appreciate, that her mother was my Aunt Bea? Well, that’s a side point.

  • SOUDER: Part 2: On politics and religion

    In my last column, I jumped right into the usually taboo subject of the intersection of church and state, suggesting that because governing is first and foremost a moral enterprise (making laws that determine right and wrong), trying to separate politics and religion is not only undesirable, it is impossible.

    I then went on to say that because the Bible spoke directly to most of our social and political issues, and because followers of Jesus should be governed by what the Bible says, all Christians should have similar positions on those issues. 

  • One of those heart-stopping moments

    The heart-stopping sounds that raise us from deep sleeps and catapult us into an adrenaline-infused tidal wave of fear now have a new coconspirator.

    You know that remorse that automatically overwhelms you when you hear a telephone ringing in the middle of the night or a text message beeping on your cellular telephone while you are aslumber. Each of us to is ingrained to believe that no good news ever arrives during those hours. Our personal histories stand testament to that.

  • Sometimes silence is the answer

    If you are old enough to remember watching Green Acres, you likely will recall how Oliver Wendell Douglas had to climb a pole outside his bedroom wall – which slid open, conveniently – to place a call through Sam Drucker in Hooterville that would be relayed to his neighbors or beyond.

  • SOUDER: On politics and religion – in polite company

    In case you haven’t been paying attention to the news lately, both major political parties have had their respective conventions, and the presidential election season is now fully under way. Some of you no doubt follow such things very closely with great interest, and others generally dread the next two months of political advertisements that constantly will be interrupting your favorite television shows.