Links round-up offers this beautiful interview and song from David Wilcox … one of our planet’s best living songwriters, and someone who (as a friend of mine says) “speaks of faith in a way that doesn’t make me want to throw up.” The song is “Beyond Belief” – available on his new CD Open Hand.
Also at, Randy Woodley offers an important perspective on Afghanistan. I am with Randy, hoping and praying that President Obama won’t try to use a military solution to a problem that is not simply military.
One more from Sojourners – Jim Wallis offers important guidance for the Obama administration in dealing with the crisis in Darfur. See my related post from last week here.

Michael Gerson
reviews an important book by Newburg and Waldman on the brain’s role in faith, including this especially salient quote:

But Newberg’s research offers warnings for the religious as well. Contemplating a loving God strengthens portions of our brain — particularly the frontal lobes and the anterior cingulate — where empathy and reason reside. Contemplating a wrathful God empowers the limbic system, which is “filled with aggression and fear.” It is a sobering concept: The God we choose to love changes us into his image, whether he exists or not.
For Newberg, this is not a simple critique of religious fundamentalism — a phenomenon varied in its beliefs and motivations. It is a criticism of any institution that allies ideology or faith with anger and selfishness. “The enemy is not religion,” writes Newberg, “the enemy is anger, hostility, intolerance, separatism, extreme idealism, and prejudicial fear — be it secular, religious, or political.”

One of my favorite storytellers, Bart Campolo, tells a great one here.