The test of faith is whether I can make space for difference. Can I recognize God's image in someone who is not in my image, who language, faith, ideal, are different from mine? If I cannot, then I have made God in my image instead of allowing him to remake me in his.
We know – it has been measured in many experiments – that children with strong impulse control grow to be better adjusted, more dependable, achieve higher grades in school and college and have more success in their careers than others. Success depends on the ability to delay gratification, which is precisely what a consumerist culture undermines. At every stage, the emphasis is on the instant gratification of instinct. In the words of the pop group Queen, “I want it all and I want it now.” A whole culture is being infantilised.
In virtually every Western society in the 1960s there was a moral revolution, an abandonment of its entire traditional ethic of self-restraint.
Follow your passion. Nothing - not wealth, success, accolades or fame - is worth spending a lifetime doing things you don't enjoy.
No great achiever - even those who made it seem easy - ever succeeded without hard work.
Religion creates community, community creates altruism and altruism turns us away from self and towards the common good... There is something about the tenor of relationships within a religious community that makes it the best tutorial in citizenship and good neighborliness.
Britain, relative to the U.S., is a highly secular society. Philanthropy alone cannot fill the gap left by government cutbacks. And the sources of altruism go deep into our evolutionary past.
Religion is the best antidote to the individualism of the consumer age. The idea that society can do without it flies in the face of history and, now, evolutionary biology.
Food prices are often kept artificially high. The result is that the Millennium Development Goals set out by the United Nations at the start of the new millennium are not being reached. Fine words have not yet been turned into deeds.
Frequent worshippers are also significantly more active citizens. They are more likely to belong to community organizations, especially those concerned with young people, health, arts and leisure, neighborhood and civic groups and professional associations.
Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement, is the holy of holies of Jewish time. It is that rarest of phenomena, a Jewish festival without food. Instead it is a day of fasting and prayer, introspection and self-judgment when, collectively and repeatedly, we confess our sins and pray to be written into God's Book of Life.
If the history of the Day of Atonement has anything to say to us now it is: never relieve individuals of moral responsibility. The more we have, the more we grow.
The evidence shows that religious people - defined by regular attendance at a place of worship - actually do make better neighbors.
In thinking about religion and society in the 21st century, we should broaden the conversation about faith from doctrinal debates to the larger question of how it might inspire us to strengthen the bonds of belonging that redeem us from our solitude, helping us to construct together a gracious and generous social order.
Which European leader today would not relish the wonder-working powers of a Moses? Budget deficit? Unpopular cuts? How about just a little miracle, an overnight increase in gold reserves, a new oil field, or the next world-changing communications technology? Surely that's not too much to ask.
The build-up of personal and collective debt in America and Europe should have sent warning signals to anyone familiar with the biblical institutions of the Sabbatical and Jubilee years, created specifically because of the danger of people being trapped by debt.
Some years ago there was a study to discover the most stressful occupation. It turned out not to be the head of a large business, football manager or prime minister, but rather: bus driver.
Whole communities are growing up without fathers or male role models. Bringing up a family in the best of circumstances is not easy. To try to do it by placing the entire burden on women - 91% of single-parent families in Britain are headed by the mother, according to census data - is practically absurd and morally indefensible.
Cyberspace can't compensate for real space. We benefit from chatting to people face to face.
God's forgiveness allows us to be honest with ourselves. We recognize our imperfections, admit our failures, and plead to God for clemency.