I seem to get quite a few calls from the Chattanooga Times Free Press asking me to comment on various controversial religious news, such as the feud between the government and Catholics on birth control and the topic of prayer in school. Sometimes, I am able to pass the buck to someone else. Last October, for instance, I arranged for John Fea to provide an op-ed piece on Sunday, October 7 for the Times Free Press before the election, on the topic of whether America was founded as a Christian nation. This coincided nicely with Fea's lecture two days later on October 9 at UTC.
Today, I received a call asking for a comment on Pope Benedict XVI's recent decision to resign. Thankfully again, I was able to defer a response to Philip Jenkins, a person more qualified to answer queries on the significance of Ratzinger's decision, and the likelihood that the next pope will come from the exploding Global South.
Jenkins will be speaking on "The Coming of Global Christianity" at UTC on Wednesday, February 20, at 5pm. It could be our largest turnout for a lecture yet. I have placed four quarter-page ads in the Times Free Press, advertised on the local NPR and Christian radio stations, sent posters to surrounding colleges, and alerted the churches in the area.