News & Events

Dean Lawrence in the News

 

 

:: Dean William B. Lawrence: "I celebrate the courage of preachers who, like the ancient prophets, become critics of the political system. But, when they speak publicly, they forsake their own credibility if they prefer that the light of public awareness not lead others to criticize them." Part of a response to the question: Would Ted Cruz and champions of religious liberty had ridden to the rescue if Houston had subponaed [sic] mosques?
    The Dallas Morning News Opinion Blog (10/21/2014)

:: Dean Lawrence comments on the topic, Falling into Sin
   
The Dallas Morning News Texas Faith Blog (9/4/2014)

:: Dean Lawrence comments on the question, Why should the government say whether churches can preach politics from the pulpit?
   The Dallas Morning News Texas Faith Blog (8/19/2014)

:: Dean Lawrence comments on The endless entanglement of faith and war
   The Dallas Morning News Texas Faith Blog (8/6/2014)

:: Dean Lawrence comments in a United Methodist News Service article about the recent U.S. Supreme Court decision relating to Hobby Lobby and contraception: “[The court] seems to have handed a very narrow victory to one segment of the American economic order and also a defeat for women whose economic opportunities may be minimized to a limited assortment of employers. In effect, this court decision allows persons with financial clout to control the personal decisions of those without financial clout.” (6/30/2014).

:: Dean Lawrence comments on the question, What's the best religious movie ever?    
   The Dallas Morning News Texas Faith Blog (7/22/2014) 

:: Dean Lawrence comments on the question, Is religion to blame for the conflicts around the world?
   The Dallas Morning News Texas Faith Blog (6/24/2014)

:: Dean Lawrence comments on the question, In love and marriage, do different faiths really matter in America?
   The Dallas Morning News Texas Faith Blog (6/10/2014)

:: Dean Lawrence comments on the question, What does Southwestern Baptist acceptance of a Muslim student say about one faith engaging another?
   The Dallas Morning News Texas Faith Blog (5/27/2014)

:: Dean Lawrence on  False Prophets and Phony Messiahs:
    The Dallas Morning News Texas Faith Blog (5/13/2014) 

:: Dean Lawrence comments on the question, After the Religious Right, will the Religious Left reassert itself with a focus on economic justice?
    The Dallas Morning News Texas Faith Blog (4/29/2014)

:: Dean Lawrence comments on the question, In faith and gender politics, what does it mean to be submissive — as in submissive spouse?
   The Dallas Morning News Texas Faith Blog (4/1/2014)

:: Dean Lawrence comments on The Global South's influence on religion:
   The Dallas Morning News Texas Faith Blog (3/29/2014)

:: Dean Lawrence: When we Americans committed ourselves constitutionally to the First Amendment, prohibiting Congress from passing laws that establish religion or prohibit the free exercise of it, we did more than create the concept that the government had to refrain from defining religious boundaries. We also created a means for the social order to occupy a space in which freely functioning religions could not impose their preferences on anybody except their own voluntary adherents.
    Part of a response to the question, How to balance freedom of religion with freedom from discrimination?
    The Dallas Morning News Texas Faith Blog (3/4/2014)

:: Dean Lawrence comments on the question, Did United Nations report on Catholic Church go too far?
   The Dallas Morning News Opinion Blog (2/11/2014)

:: Dean Lawrence comments on the question, Is President Obama part of reinventing American civil religion — God and the public square?
   The Dallas Morning News Opinion Blog (2/4/2014)

:: Dean Lawrence: "Perhaps the real reason we call upon God for such unimportant things as victories in sports is that it allows us to avoid hearing God’s calling us to address the truly important issues in the world. What a tragic loss if we give up on God’s power that way!" Part of a response to the question: Is it crazy to pray for your team to win the Super Bowl?
   The Dallas Morning News Opinion Blog (1/28/2014)

:: Dean Lawrence comments on The religion and faith issues that will be the big story in 2014
   The Dallas Morning News Opinion Blog (1/7/2014)

:: Dean Lawrence: "Among the beauties and burdens of Christmas is that its wonders are generous and its hopes are abundant. Those traits mean that the experiences of Christmas allow all sorts of people to project all sorts of expectations on to the holiday." Part of a response to the question: Is Christmas a religious holiday or a cultural one?
    The Dallas Morning News Opinion Blog (12/23/2013)

:: Dean Lawrence: "[We] need a reprieve from the notion that there are no such things as objective facts. There are. And among them are that Jesus was a dark-skinned Palestinian Jew who did not speak English." Part of a response to the question: Does a white Christmas mean Santa and Jesus have to be white?
    The Dallas Morning News Opinion Blog (12/17/2013)

:: Dean Lawrence: "His final moment of greatness happened in the way he left us. He died in his own bed, of old age. He had outlasted, outlived, outmaneuvered, outwitted and out-believed all his enemies. He died in peace and left a gift of peace for the whole world." In an essay for SMU scholars remember extraordinary life of freedom fighter and humanitarian Nelson Mandela:
    
SMU News & Faculty Experts (12/11/2013)

:: Dean Lawrence: "The true meaning of life will be found in an openness to joy and peace. But to find it ... we will have to sacrifice an interest solely in ourselves in order to find peace with our sisters and brothers." Part of a response to the question: How would you describe your search for meaning?
    The Dallas Morning News Opinion Blog (11/26/2013)

:: Dean Lawrence on the question, Why does the nation still pause 50 years after JFK’s death?
    The Dallas Morning News Opinion Blog (11/19/2013) 

:: Dean Lawrence: Anyone who claims a deep devotion to God but exhibits a superficial indifference to the neighbor is simply not a follower of Jesus. Part of a response to the question: What words of religious faith should politicians really hear and heed?
    The Dallas Morning News Opinion Blog (11/12/2013)

:: Dean Lawrence: "Larry James [leader of City Square in Dallas] does not seek the spotlight. Instead, he focuses the light of his endeavors on persons in need... To be in his presence is to realize that, for persons of faith, loving one’s neighbor remains essential to a living faith." Part of a response to the question: Who would be your Texan of the Year?
    The Dallas Morning News Opinion Blog (11/5/2013)

:: Dean Lawrence on the question, Where was God in the ordeal that young Lauren Kavanaugh faced?
    The Dallas Morning News Opinion Blog (10/29/2013)

:: Dean Lawrence on the question, Did JFK have a greater impact on religion than any modern president?
    The Dallas Morning News Opinion Blog (10/15/2013)

:: Dean Lawrence: "Theology is an exploratory exercise. It is creative, critical, constructive work. Theology asks questions. It puts doctrines under a microscope and ponders doctrine through a telescope. Theology pursues new ways to express old doctrines. Feminist and womanist and liberationist and conservative and liberal and process and ethno-centric theologies are just a few of the forms in which theological thinking occurs. In some cases, theology is so effective that the Christian Church changes its doctrines." Part of a response to questions about recent statements by Pope Francis regarding abortion, gay rights, and conception.
    The Dallas Morning News Opinion Blog (9/24/2013)

:: Dean Lawrence on the question, Has college football become too violent for the faithful?
    The Dallas Morning News Opinion Blog (9/17/2013)

:: Dean Lawrence on the question, Why isn’t the West getting any better at handling religious conflict? Or are we? 
    The Dallas Morning News Faith Blog (9/3/2013)

:: Dean Lawrence: "There are lesser forces in this nation than the power of his dream. They can impede our progress to fulfilling Dr. King’s vision, but they cannot overcome it." Part of a response to the question, Is MLK’s dream for America achievable?
    The Dallas Morning News Faith Blog (8/27/2013)

:: Dean Lawrence on the question, Would you want to live to 120 years old?
    The Dallas Morning News Texas Faith Blog (8/13/2013)

:: Deian Lawrence on the question, Is it more important to do the right thing or have the right beliefs?
    The Dallas Morning News Texas Faith Blog (7/30/2013) 

:: Dean Lawrence: "If Christian people of faith are going to be taken seriously, then we will have to follow the leadership of Jesus. To be specific, we will have to be 'as wise as serpents and as gentle as doves.' When it comes to the political hardball associated with the need for immigration reform, this is serpent time." Part of a response to the question, How hard should evangelicals — or any other religious groups in favor of immigration reform — push for change?
    The Dallas Morning News Texas Faith Blog (7/23/2013); also quoted in The Wichita Eagle (7/26/2013)

:: Dean Lawrence on the question, Do the political comebacks of scandal-marred politicians mean we’re forgiving or indifferent?
    The Dallas Morning News Texas Faith Blog (7/16/2013)

:: Dean Lawrence interviewed for U.S. News & World Report article on Pope John Paul II (7/5/2013)

:: Dean Lawrence: "It is not yet clear whether the actions of the noisy crowd in the state Capitol will be heard by leaders of the state government, or be ignored. Regardless of the eventual outcome, they raised their voices on behalf of the people. Was it moral? If it be moral and just and fair for the people with the unlimited money to have free rein in political influence, then it is moral and just and fair for the people with the most patience and the loudest voices to be heard in the legislative chamber. If it be immoral for people to shout while legislators try to do their work, then it is immoral for those with the influence that wealth can buy to speak privately, quietly, and secretly to the legislators who are supposed to be doing the people’s work. ¶The exercise in Austin last week was not disruptive of the democratic process. It was the democratic process." Part of a response to the question, "Was it moral to shut down the Senate? Not whether it was politically successful or tactically expedient or even whether your side prevailed or not, but was it moral?", following the recent filibuster in the Texas Senate.
    The Dallas Morning News Texas Faith Blog (7/3/2013)

:: Dean Lawrence: "High Court rulings on marriage and voting rights do matter to churches" (6/27/2013) 

:: "The Rev. William Lawrence, dean of Southern Methodist University’s Perkins School of Theology, said he expects many pastors will address the court rulings in sermons Sunday. The United Methodist Church, which oversees the Perkins School, prohibits same-sex marriage. But not all congregants agree, he said. “There will be people who think the Supreme Court got it right and some who believe the Supreme Court got it wrong,” Lawrence said.
    The Dallas Morning News/State Headlines: "Supreme Court marriage rulings will have little impact on Texas same-sex couples - for now" [subscription may be required for full access] (6/26/2013)

:: Dean Lawrence on the question, Are interfaith marriages good for couples?
    The Dallas Morning News Texas Faith Blog (6/18/2013)

:: Dean on the question, What does it mean to be an American today?
The Dallas Morning News Texas Faith Blog (6/11/2013)

:: Dean Lawrence: "Wounded persons who lie along the side of the road leading to to Jericho are easy to ignore, given the press of our own business." Part of a response to the question, Do religious leaders and institutions in the U.S. not have some responsibility to speak out against the atrocities, pray for the victims and raise moral questions? 
    The Dallas Morning News Texas Faith Blog (6/4/2013)

:: Dean Lawrence: "Cheap garments made in sweatshops are disposable goods. The people who manufacture them are not." Part of a response to the question, Should we Americans boycott sweatshops in places like Bangladesh? 
    The Dallas Morning News Texas Faith Blog (5/23/2013)

:: Dean Lawrence responding to questions occasioned by the re-election in South Carolina of former Governor and new elected congressman Mark Sanford: From a theological perspective, what are we to make of politicians seeking second chances? Forgiveness is a concept espoused in many religions. In Christianity, it is arguably the central concept. But how does forgiveness apply in our public life? Or, at what point, does it not apply?
   The Dallas Morning News Texas Faith Blog (5/14/2013)

:: Dean Lawrence: “We are truly grateful for the generous and sustained support the Bridwell Foundation has provided through the years, which has made it possible for Bridwell Library to become one of the major theological research libraries in the United States. The foundation’s new gift will enable Bridwell to remain a leader in theological libraries for many decades into the future.” 
    Two SMU libraries get big gifts for renovations, in The Dallas Morning News (5/9/2013)

:: Dean William B. Lawrence: "To be human is to make choices, to articulate the reasons for those choices, to persuade others about the merits of those choices, and to engage in a critical assessment of one’s own or others’ choices." Comment in response to the question, Do we put too much emphasis on the brain to explain human behaviors?
   The Dallas Morning News Texas Faith Blog (5/7/2013)

:: Dean Lawrence on the question, "As baby boomers begin to retire, what is it that your faith tradition could offer to those in that generation who do not have a particular religious belief? Or, to put it another way, could boomers be your next source of growth? " 
    The Dallas Morning News Texas Faith Blog (4/16/2013)

:: An Easter column by Dean Lawrence was published March 29, 2013 on page one  
    of The North Texas Conference edition of The United Methodist Reporter: 
    Living as Easter people in a Good Friday world (3/29/2013)

:: Dean Lawrence: "The Biblical evangel is good news to the poor, release to the captives, and liberty for the oppressed, said Jesus according to the gospel of Luke. To emphasize those matters would be scripturally and theologically authentic."
    Comment in response to the question: "Is it time for religions to double-down on evangelism?"
    The Dallas Morning News Texas Faith Blog (3/26/2013)

:: Dean Lawrence: "My advice to Pope Francis is to embrace his own identity as a pastoral theologian. His academic training among the Jesuits and his pastoral affinities for the poor are the two fundamental sources of strength that shape his ministry. Whether ministry means the parish priesthood, the episcopacy, or the papacy, he is the same soul with a vocation to serve the Lord..."
    The Dallas Morning News Texas Faith Blog (3/19/2013)

:: Dean Lawrence featured in North Texas Conference edition of the United Methodist Reporter (PDF) 
    on 2013 Perkins Lectures at First UMC, Wichita Falls, Texas (3/15/2013) 

:: Dean Lawrence: “There are 1.1 billion Catholics in the world, there is about an equal number of Muslims in the world, but there’s no single leader of Islam... If you’re a Catholic in any part of the world, you may disagree with the pope or agree, but you have no doubt he’s the leader.” 
    Excerpt from an interview on the Papal Conclave, in The Brownsville Herald (3/9/2013)

:: Dean Lawrence on "The Global South's influence on religion":
    The Dallas Morning News Texas Faith Blog (3/6/2013)

:: Dean Lawrence delivers 2013 Perkins Lectures at First UMC, Wichita Falls, Texas (3/3-4/2013)

:: Dean Lawrence: "This is not a matter of compassion. It is a matter of justice. It is not a matter obliging those of us who have something (citizenship) to show kindness to those who lack it. Rather, the Biblical affirmation of human community emphasizes the equitable and just relationship that binds us together."
    Comment in response to the question: "How to balance compassion and justice in the immigration debate?" 
    The Dallas Morning News Texas Faith Blog (2/26/2013)

:: Dean Lawrence interviewed regarding Quarterback Tim Tebow's cancellation of a planned speech
    at First Baptist Church of Dallas: The Dallas Morning News [may require subscriber access] (2/22/2013)

:: Dean Lawrence: "Great leaders do not dissolve their integrity in some political intrigue. 
    They differentiate their identity from the political machinations of the moment and rise above them."
    Comment in response to the question: "Should leaders love their country more than their souls?"
    The Dallas Morning News Texas Faith Blog (2/19/2013)

:: Dean Lawrence on the Pope's announcement of his resignation:
    The Dallas Morning News Texas Faith Blog (2/11/2013)

:: Dean Lawrence on denominational discord: 
   National Public Radio affiliate KUHF-FM, Houston (1/24/2013)

:: Dean Lawrence on Atlanta evangelist Louie Giglio's withdrawal 
    from an invitation to give the benediction at President Obama's inauguration:
    The Dallas Morning News Texas Faith Blog (1/15/2013)

:: Dean Lawrence quoted in a Cleburne Times-Review article
    about a congregation's decision to call a minister with a previous felony conviction (1/8/2013)

:: Dean Lawrence named a "Notable UM Newsmaker of 2012"
    by The United Methodist Reporter (1/4/2013)

:: Dean Lawrence comments on creating the common good in Texas:
    The Dallas Morning News Texas Faith Blog (1/4/2013)

:: Dean Lawrence comments on the future of religion in America:
    The Dallas Morning News Texas Faith Blog (12/31/2012)

:: Dean Lawrence comments in a United Methodist News Service article on the influence of
    the United Methodist Judicial Council, which Lawrence currently serves as President (12/17/2012)

:: Dean Lawrence comments about offering comfort in times of tragedy,
    in the wake of the shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Connecticut:
    The Dallas Morning News Texas Faith Blog (12/14/2012)

:: Dean Lawrence comments on the influence of the Religious Right in American politics:
    The Dallas Morning News Texas Faith Blog (12/4/2012)

:: Dean Lawrence on saying grace over meals:
    The Dallas Morning News Texas Faith Blog (11/20/2012)

:: Dean Lawrence and Perkins student Shelly Gonzales on Cokesbury store closures 
    (Heather Hahn, "Cokesbury closures challenge seminaries," United Methodist News Service, 11/15/2012)

:: Dean Lawrence comments on what the 2012 election results mean for people of faith:
    The Dallas Morning News Texas Faith Blog (11/13/2012)

:: Dean Lawrence comments on the message that different faith traditions can send
    after the Nov. 6 elections about the importance of being one:
    The Dallas Morning News Texas Faith Blog (11/6/2012)

:: Dean Lawrence comments on the question, "Do we thirst too much for political leaders?" 
    The Dallas Morning News Texas Faith Blog (10/30/2012)

:: Dean Lawrence comments on whether religion is playing a shrinking role in the 2012 elections:
    The Dallas Morning News Texas Faith Blog (10/24/2012)

:: Dean Lawrence comments on Pew Research Center data indicating fewer Americans identify with any faith:
    The Dallas Morning News Texas Faith Blog (10/16/2012)

:: Dean Lawrence Interview on NPR: "New Profile of File" (10/11/2012)

:: Dean Lawrence comments on whether President Obama should "wear God" or "own God":
    The Dallas Morning News Texas Faith Blog (10/8/2012)

:: Dean Lawrence KDFW Fox 4 News Interview with Dan Godwin: On Grammar (10/7/2012) 

:: Dean Lawrence on University Conduct Issues and Church Affiliation, in Dallas Morning News (10/5/2012) 

:: Dean Lawrence comments on the morality of drone warfare:
    The Dallas Morning News Texas Faith Blog (10/2/2012)

:: Perkins Hosts Dallas Morning News "Texas Faith Public Forum" (9/27/2012)

:: Dean Lawrence on "Separation of Church and State," in The Dallas Morning News Texas Faith Blog (9/25/2012)

:: Interview on Valder Beebe Show (9/18/2012)

:: KERA Commentary (8/16/2012) 

:: Dean Lawrence Elected President of The United Methodist Church Judicial Council (05/03/2011)
   and President of the Association of United Methodist Theological Schools

:: Concluding Remarks: "The University and The City: Higher Education and the Common Good" (11/2/2011)

:: "Perry and the Evangelical Vote," KERA News Article with Interview (8/23/2011)

:: Interview on KXAN, Austin, Texas (6/2011)

:: Honorary Degree and Baccalaureate Sermon at LaGrange College (5/20-21/2011)

:: Dean Lawrence Commencement Benediction at SMU: TextAudio (5/14/2011)

:: KERA Commentary (12/8/2010)Image of Dean Lawrence in Perkins Chapel with Students - 2011

:: KERA Commentary (7/28/2010)

 

William B. Lawrence is Dean and professor of American Church History at Perkins School of Theology.