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  • 1984: Orwell and Barmen

    1984 is the 50th anniversary of the Confessing Church in Germany’s Barmen Declaration, issued in May 1934, well into Hitler’s second year in power. This declaration was one of the very few corporate challenges to Hitler and to what the Nazis were doing in Germany. We must protest today, as the signers of the Barmen Declaration did yesterday, when the leaders of a government begin to say, “Hear, trust and obey us.

  • A Bible Curriculum for Public Schools

    In reviewing a book on the influence of the Bible, the author comes to two conclusions about the book: 1. Students’ cultural ignorance goes far beyond the Bible. 2. The closer that writers and artists are to the present, the more difficult it is to make the case that they are in any sense shaped by the Bible.

  • A Biblical Perspective on the Problem of Hunger

    There is not enough bread to go around, and the bread we have is not equitably shared. Hunger calls us to repent of our economics of affluence, our politics of oppression and our religion of immanence.

  • A Breath of Fresh Fantasy

    Star Wars offers tasty morsels of the western, monster movie, swashbuckler, historical epic and sci-fi thriller all in one package. It offers a vision of fantasy as opposed to realism, and strikes us with the force of stepping from the cave into bright sunlight.

  • A Buddhist Response to Paul Ingram

    Dr. Kaza applauds Dr. Paul O. Ingram’s enthusiasm for Buddhist-Christian dialogue on the critical topic concerning the terrible cumulative impacts on the planet’s air and water, landforms and ecosystems and their devastation as an outcome of human activity over the recent past.

  • A Buddhist-Christian Critique of Neo-Liberal Economics

    It is incumbent on those of us who are in position to influence the thinking of faithful people to make clear that the neo-liberal economic thought that informs most current top-down development, riding roughshod over communities, and reshaping the lives and thinking of hundreds of millions of people, is based on assumptions that are antithetical to ours. We should articulately and unequivocally withdraw moral support from these practices.

  • A Call for Evangelical Nonviolence

    The author discusses nonviolence. Perhaps realism and rational self-interest will prevail, and Moscow, Washington and Peking will manage to cling to détente. But that will not be peace. But we hardly need the kind of unjust détente that the powerful rulers in the Kremlin and the Pentagon would ensure if they could.

  • A Careful Read (Matt. 18:15-20)

    These six verses are about listening and accountability -- and about a larger vision of God’s kingdom.

  • A Challenge to the Eco-Doomsters

    Garrett Hardin and the "lifeboat moralists" fail to see the connection between affluence in the U.S. and starvation in Third World countries. Hardin incorrectly holds Third World nations themselves largely responsible for their desperate plight.

  • A Chance to Reaffirm the Law of Nations

    During the cold war, U.S. adherence to the law of nations and its institutions waned, but Iraq’s invasion of Kuwait afforded an opportunity for the U.S. to reassert that adherence.

  • A Chesterton for the Religious Right

    Garry Wills takes a look at what he terms an "extraordinarily wrong-headed" reprint series of G.K. Chesterton’s writings.

  • A Child of His Time (Phil. 4:8)

    Like Christians of times past, we are inclined to absolutize the values and mores of the age in which we live. Unless we live in some Hitlerian society, there is bound to be real worth in the dominant values of any moment in history.

  • A Child Shall Lead Us (Is. 11:6, 8-9; Mk. 10:15; Matt. 18:1ff; Lk. 11:11ff)

    Mindful of the ghosts of Herod’s excess, our business in this Advent season is to treat our own children as God’s gift to us, despite the overwhelming burdens and responsibilities of parenthood and child-rearing in our society.

  • A Christian Appeal to Islam

    Like Christianity, Islam insists on God’s sovereign claim on all human beings. This implies that all human rights must be grounded in God’s right to sovereignty over human life, dignity, freedom, property and the future.

  • A Christian Critique of Pure Land Buddhism

    Cobb compares and contrasts his understanding of Christianity with Pure Land Buddhism.  He deals particularly the relation of faith to practice, the nature of salvation, the relationship of language and metaphysics, and the nature of grace. He finds many similarities between the two theologies.

  • A Christian Observes Yom Kippur

    A Christian’s view as an "insider" at Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement) because he is married to a Jew.

  • A Christian Scholar’s Dialogue with Muslims

    The image of the stubbornly dogmatic Muslim is as foolish a cliché as it is a fatal one. There can be no peace among nations without peace among religions. Peace is indivisible!

  • A Christological Hermeneutic: Crisis and Conflict in Hermeneutics

    Donald Bloesch's christological hermeneutic emphasizes the need to go beyond the literal sense of the text to discern its larger significance. Theology must show forth Christ.

  • A Church in the Wildwood

    We tend to forget how important a church building’s physical structure is to religious experience.

  • A College Recovers Its Christian Identity

    Many Christian colleges have become secularized. Others have made new efforts to reengage their heritage. Roanoke College in Virginia is one.

  • A Contested Classic: Critics Ask: Whose Christ? Which Culture?

    Although H. Richard Niebuhr claimed to present various theological points of view with no bias, his critics claim otherwise. His biases, they say, are often reflected in the very way in which he presents his materials.

  • A Crisis in Practical Theology

    Theological schools are looking for teachers of the ministry arts who are both practitioners and trained research scholars, but there is presently an extreme shortage. New initiatives in Ph.D. programs in this area are needed.

  • A Critical View of Inherited Theology

    Conversion to global survival concerns did not uproot Dr. Cobb from his Christian faith. It did make him view the historical forms of faith more critically, for he could not doubt that Christian doctrine had contributed to the insensitivity to the nonhuman world that now threatens to destroy the human world as well.

  • A Critique of Process Theodicy from an African Perspective

    There is a gap between the vocabulary of process thought and the mindset of traditional culture, but this is certainly not grounds for a rejection of Whitehead and his influence. The author looks at process theodicy (the problem of evil) in the context of the Shona people of Zimbabwe.

  • A Curious Man (John 3:1-17)

    How might your life be different if you were born again? How would you re-edit the narrative of your life?

  • A Curriculum on Dating and Marriage

    Amy Frykholm reviews a successful high school curriculum that teaches students how to build strong dating relationships in marriage preparation.

  • A Desert in Bloom (Is. 35:1-10; James 5:7-10; Matt. 11:2-11)

    The new life in the desert signals the presence and power of God. Water in abundance brings forth life, the barren desert blossoms with fragrant flowers.

  • A Dialogue on Bergson

    The author presents a dialogue with Bergson involving Gunter and Hausman with occasional comments by Auxier and Stark. The dialogue shows how their minds have been changed.

  • A Different Kind of Islamic State

    Malaysia is an authentically Muslim state that is religiously and culturally diverse, economically successful, educationally advanced, democratically governed and politically moderate. Thus Christianity might have a peaceful appointment with this kind of Islamic future.

  • A Disaster of ‘Biblical’ Proportions?

    Walter Brueggemann challenges the commentators who call the terribly destructive Hurricane Katrina a storm of biblical destruction and suggests some categories that give it some genuinely biblical terms.

  • A Doubt and a Promise (Matt. 28:16-20)

    The author is pleased that doubting Thomas didn’t let any of the disciples off the hook, for they still had a job to do.

  • A Fair Tax

    Those who believe that voluntary charitable giving can be a substitute for adequate tax revenues deny the effects of the fall and our dependence on God’s grace to help us fight the sin of greed.

  • A Father Grieves The Loss of a Child

    God, we hope, will one day emerge triumphant over evil -- though, on the way to that glad day, God sometimes takes a beating.

  • A Fresh Look at the Issues of Conversion and Baptism in Relation to Mission

    The author examines various issues in relation to baptism, conversion, and mission in India today. Included are questions about the nature of evangelization, the authority of the Bible, church memembership, and the role of Western churches.

  • A Friend's Love: Why Process Theology Matters

    The existence and nature of God are not made clear in this ambiguous world.

  • A Fund for ‘Evangelical’ Scholars

    All too often, John Wesley’s warmed heart is celebrated by those who ignore the import of that richly stored head of his and that superb set of scholarly tools that he kept burnished throughout his career.

  • A Fundamentalist Social Gospel

    A certain hermeneutical naïveté mars the otherwise admirable consciousness-raising that is now occurring among evangelicals in the social and political arena. One of the paramount tenets of the fundamentalist movement in the past was its individualistic piety, its stubborn withdrawal from the social and political concerns.

  • A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Pulpit

    As for the promise to abide by the lectionary, a funny thing happened on the way to the pulpit. The author found the use of the lectionary not only not constricting, but liberating.

  • A Generation Ago (Ezk. 37:1-14; Ps. 130; Rom. 8:6-11; John 11:1-45)

    John’s story of Jesus and Lazarus becomes another allegory about baptism.

  • A Generous Boss (Matthew 20:1-16)

    Jesus is asking those of us who have been called, first to understand the nature of the kingdom that has been initiated with his coming, and then to be workers with him. We will be great only by becoming others’ servants; we will be exalted only by humbling ourselves.

  • A Howl of Despair (Psalm 42)

    Like all true poetry, the Psalms seem to be newly minted, disarming, to be an utterance that comes straight from the gut as well as from the heart.

  • A Joking Matter: And Jesus Laughed

    The author reviews some insights into humor by several authors writing from religious perspectives.

  • A Judeo-Christian Looks at the Judeo-Christian Tradition

    To turn Jewish and Christian faiths into generic philosophies for civil purposes is to misunderstand whatever in them ever gave people hope or power.

  • A Leap of Faith, a Leap of Action: Excerpts from a Memoir

    William Sloane Coffin’s Once to Every Man (Atheneum) recounts the rich career of an activist clergyman who served as chaplain at Yale University for 17 years, during which time he was involved in civil rights demonstrations in the south, student work camps in Africa, Peace Corps training in Puerto Rico, and antiwar protests in Washington, D.C., and elsewhere.  Of the two excerpts from that book, the first is an account of Coffin’s own student days at Yale; the second concerns his activities as Yale chaplain in support of draft resistance.

  • A Letter to a Friend

    This letter was written by a layperson to a woman who asked the only church-going person she knew his opinions about her trying to find a church.

  • A Liberal Bandaged but Unbowed

    The author has been compelled to recognize that for theology two foundations are equally necessary: specific revelations of reality both divine and non-divine, and the principle of relevance or coherence which is basic to all rational living.

  • A Liberating Word in Water

    Far from being an outmoded vestige of a naive liturgical past, baptism is devastatingly contemporary -- a revolutionary manifesto that subverts many of the values on which we have sold ourselves in the past few years.

  • A Liturgical Stategy: Four Lines of Attack

    Ignorance and indifference are the primary obstacles that inhibit revitalization of worship in American churches. We have four lines of attack: seminaries, denominational agencies, workshops and publications. At present none of these is fully mobilized, and none is likely to be until worship receives a higher priority in the allocation of personnel and finances in the denominations and institutions of American Christianity.

  • A Local Display of World Communion

    How a small yet significant development in interracial relations in a congregation came to a climax on World Wide Communion Sunday.

  • A Lot of Junk (Luke 12:13-21)

    This story is not just about what we do personally; it has implications for what we do together.

  • A Mathematical Root of Whitehead’s Cosmological Thought

    Whitehead’s thought is not limited to metaphysics and science, but to diverse fields of inquiry -- mathematical logic, the philosophy of science, cosmology. A synthesis of these various systems were vital to the growth of his thought.

  • A Matter of Being, and a Matter of Being Right

    An elaboration on the reasons why Wangerin, along with Dietrich Bonhoeffer, found it easier to speak of God with religionless people than with the religious. "I find myself ‘reluctant to mention God by name to religious people’ for fear I may get it wrong."

  • A Matter of Taste?

    Centuries of European tradition and Christian habit are deliberately being abandoned to clear the way for new, contemporary forms of worship and belonging. But the possibility that a relatively casual and unchallenging style might be all there is to a community’s worship life is bound to be deflating to those whose call to discipleship and cause them to yearn for something more in aesthetic formation and development.

  • A Ministry to Students

    How is campus ministry changing? Is it still a vital institution? What characterizes today’s student generation? How is campus ministry being received by students? What does the future hold for ministries to college and university communities? These are some of the questions addressed by the five participants in our symposium. The writers represent a variety of religious traditions and styles of campus ministry.

  • A Model for Learned Pastors

    There is growing need for the learned pastor in the parish. Little substantial writing is now being done by those whose work is parish ministry.

  • A Modest Proposal

    A poem which grew out of a Pastoral Reflection Group in Guatemala City, reflecting on the the relationship between the words of the New Testament and life in a country full of repression and a world full of fear and false gospels.

  • A Monistic Interpretation of Whitehead’s Creativity

    Dr. Wilcox questions the philosophical and textual motivations of a pluralistic interpretation of Whitehead. He presents an explicitly monistic interpretation which holds that there is a sense in which creativity exists apart from its plurality of instances.

  • A Month Before Christmas and a Day After Darwin

    The author writes a parody on "The Night Before Christmas" with a bit of process interjection.

  • A Moratorium on Missionaries?

    Should the Western churches cease, for a time, sending money and missionaries to the Third World in order to break the domination/dependence syndrome that has long characterized the relationship?

  • A New Day for Jewish-Christian Partnership

    There is a need to stimulate the proliferation of Jewish-Christian dialogue groups based on realistic and honest premises.

  • A New Era in Catholic Church Communication

    A communication era ended in the U.S. Catholic Church when American bishops voted to close down the church's satellite system and to begin a strategic planning effort to discern current telecommunications needs. How can the church utilize these dazzling new technologies to respond to human need? The author suggests guidelines.

  • A New Kind of Church?

    The author is encouraged by the vision of a truly missional church, both relevant and resistant, that incarnates a real alternative to mainline "maintenance" churches and evangelical "megachurches."

  • A New Moon Sensitivity (Amos 8:4-7, I timothy 2:1-8, Luke 16:1-3)

    For Amos the connection betwen "profits" and "prophets" was more than a matter of literary elision. His words crackle with a telling contemporary ring.

  • A New Sexual Revolution: The Case for Modesty

    The author reviews a book that calls for a return to female modesty and male obligation in sexual matters: A Return to Modesty: Discovering the Lost Virtue, by Wendy Shalit (Free Press, 291 pp., $24.00).

  • A New Spirituality: Shaping Doctrine at the Grass Roots

    Herzog describes a new process of forming and teaching Christian doctrine based on dogmas arising out of discipleship rather than vice versa. Its origins are in the attempts of clergy and laity to meet the evils of the world as coworkers with God in the struggle for God's justice.

  • A New Vision for Eastern Orthodoxy?

    If Eastern Orthodoxy’s patriarch of Constantinople and the Greek patriarch of Jerusalem a can convince their fellow Eastern Orthodox that they belong together with Catholics, Protestants, Jews and Muslims in one family of faiths fathered by the God of Abraham, they will have awakened a church more that 500 years dormant.

  • A New World Order in Communication

    Insistence on ‘free flow’ of information is seen by the Third World as the freedom of the fox in the chicken coop. “We don’t have a free press; we have a press imprisoned by commercial interests.”

  • A Passion for Reconciliation: An interview with Chris Rice

    The author presents an interview with Chris Rice and what Rice has learned about race and the church, and about the church’s mission in reconciliation.

  • A Pastoral and Theological Response to Losses in Pregnancy

    Many believe that an early miscarriage is not a real loss.

  • A Pattern for Prayer

    The author believes the study of ancient liturgical materials facilitates special insight.  He discuses at length the understanding which lie in the structures and patterns of early collects and similar prayers, for preparing such prayers challenges us to draw on nearly the whole range of theological themes and motifs.

  • A Pattern for Prayer

    The author believes the study of ancient liturgical materials facilitates special insight.  He discuses at length the understanding which lie in the structures and patterns of early collects and similar prayers, for preparing such prayers challenges us to draw on nearly the whole range of theological themes and motifs.

  • A Pedestrian-Idealist’s Approach to Education

    Can an educational philosophy true to the Christian ideals of love, truth and justice -- and one that helps people in their daily lives -- actually work? The author presents eight ideas in helping students face the underlying philosophy of education.

  • A Pioneer Figure in Church-State Rulings

    A brief history of the First Amendment and Madalyn Murray O’Hair’s role in the Supreme Court’s defining the separation of Church and State.

  • A Place Called Community

    In community one learns that the problems we pose for one another are not obstacles blocking our progress but ways of refining our understandings, and if we can embrace the problems (and each other) then the possibilities appear.

  • A Place for God?

    Dr. Hauerwas believes future Gifford lecturers need a better understanding of what the politics of truth might entail and that the church is a place where the sustenance of truth is a resource.

  • A Plea for Conservative Radicals and Radical Conservatives

    We could make some progress toward a resolution by listening to each other more carefully. We need a kind of open, honest and fair-minded debate that might lead radicals to adopt some conservative strengths and conservatives to affirm some radical solutions.

  • A Pluralistic Church: Collapsing Tower or Growing Vine

    When does pluralism cease being Christian and become a polite word for compromising the faith? To sort out our thinking on pluralism, we need to discover whether the church grows as a tower or as a vine. All churches are branches called to bear the fruit Christ alone gives.

  • A Political Vision for the Organic Model

    The author states some of the analytical similarities between Deutsch (Karl W. Deutsch: The Nerves of Government) and Whitehead in the hope that they will provide an organic philosophy with a clearer sense of the terrain upon which can be discovered the form and content of its own particular political speech.

  • A Portrait of Shame (Genesis 3: 8-15)

    Looking at Adam and Eve, I see a family resemblance: a picture of my own fear and shame.

  • A Practical Christian Pacifism

    Practical pacifism deserves more serious consideration than it has received in Christian circles, especially since the major alternative to pacifism in Christian ethics, the just-war tradition, has significant deficiencies.

  • A Preacher Looks Back

    A good sermon is one side of a passionate conversation. It has to be heard in that way.

  • A Precarious Righteousness (Mark 7:1-9)

    By our very agreement with Jesus we stand accused despite our moments of righteous living. Given that we are rich when the world is poor, that we cling to our nuclear arms as if world extermination were a noble risk, destroy ancient forests, gouge the landscape, pollute the soil, water and air, that we copulate and abort with unrestrained abandon -- how then are we to interpret Jesus’ words, "It is what comes out of a person that defiles," so as to come up smelling like roses?

  • A Pro-Lifer’s Critique of Bush

    Glen Stassen gives a scathing critique of the Bush administration concerning his policies effecting mothers, parents, babies, pregnant teenagers, the poor, and so many others caught in the downward spiral of his policies.

  • A Process View of the Flesh: Whitehead and Merleau-Ponty

    Dr. Hamrick believes that Merleau-Ponty’s work might have been different if he had known Whitehead’s mature process metaphysics. Hamrick’s view is that Whitehead’s metaphysics can explain almost all of Merleau-Ponty’s subsequent reflections on the flesh.

  • A Prodigal's Return

    A segment excerpted from the novel Home, by Marilynne Robinson. It gives insight into the relationship taking place between the unexpected return of a wayward son, his sister and their retired minister father.

  • A Protestant Look At American Catholicism

    A debate between three ethicists about the state of Catholicism in America.

  • A Protestant Worship Manifesto

    The prophetic and priestly modes come together in worship. The service shapes Christians to do justice. Worship’s chief contribution to justice is persistence. We receive God’s self-giving regularly, enabling us to give.

  • A Psychologist’s Philosophy Evaluated After Fifty Years: Troland’s Psychical Monism

    Hartshorne states that Leonard Thompson Troland was wrong about all theoretical problems being scientific ones. All of Troland’s ethical views derive from science, but Hartshorne does agree with him that in an ultimate world-view the key science is not physics but psychology. Only psychology can deal with the inclusive form of reality, the concrete as such.

  • A Query Concerning the Plenum

    Dr. Schmidt draws attention to a neglected passage in Process and Reality regarding the discussion of the plenum summing up the extensive continuum in the ‘organic theory’.

  • A Question of Catholic Honesty

    Abortion is always tragic, but the tragedy of abortion is not always immoral. Hand-wringingly sensitive to divergent views, the Catholic bishops give all sides a hearing, even the winnable nuclear war hypothesis -- a position they themselves find abhorrent, but change the topic to abortion, and nothing is the same.

  • A Question of Faith (Lk. 1:13, 18; 30-31, 34)

    What it means to be an obedient servant of the Lord as in the example in which Mary asked a question of God’s angel in contrast to the way Zechariah asked one.

  • A Questionable God (Exodus 3:1-15, Matthew 16:21-28, Romans 12:9-21)

    The move from Moses and YHWH in the Sinai to Jesus and Peter at Caesarea Philippi presents something of a role reversal. Now the "I Am," the God-with-us, speaks, and Moses the questioner becomes Peter the questioned. "Who do you say that I am?" asks Jesus. Peter’s confident reply of "Messiah" is quickly followed by Jesus’ command for silence about his identity.

  • A Reformed Perspective on the Ecumenical Movement

    Ecumenism as viewed by one who served as President of the World Alliance of Reformed Churches.

  • A Rejoinder to Justus Buchler

    Ivor Leclerc discusses his disagreement with Professor Justus Buchler’s criticism of Whitehead’s metaphysical position of "ontological priority" as well as "ontological parity."

  • A Religious Naturalist Looks at Death

    Our need to be there in the future, to be "rewarded," vitiates our acts and turns them into ego trips instead of experiences of loving and living. We need not only to affirm death not only as inevitable but also as a valid and joyous part of the natural process of which birth, living and death are equally important.

  • A Resonance Model for Revelation

    The author presents a process model for revelation, an approach that is in keeping with Whitehead’s extensive use of physical analogies in the formulation of his metaphysics.

  • A Response to Joseph Bracken’s "Prehending God in and through the World"

    The author responds to Joseph Bracken as one who is moving the central debate away from the notion of God as a metaphysical necessity. Refer to Joseph Bracken, Prehending God in and Through the World in

  • A Road Map for Peace and Justice

    Seven simple principles to achieve peace in the context of the terrorist attacks.

  • A Sacramental Approach to Environmental Issues

    A sacramental approach to material reality, such as found in the sacraments, can give us a deep respect for the environment and its fulfillment of the divine purpose.

  • A Scientist's Search for Comprehensive Knowledge

    How well are the churches addressing the tensions felt in the minds of many educated Christians who internally hear two choruses: on the one hand, the voices of their pastor and Sunday school, the scriptures and tradition; on the other, the voices of their high school science teacher, their college biology professor and the science section of the New York Times?

  • A Season of Prayer (Acts 1:1-14)

    We are afraid to waste time, but waiting takes time and if we model our lives after Jesus, time is a gift to experience.

  • A Second Advent (Jer. 31:31-34).

    Despite our frustrations and doubts, we have seen the intimacy promised by Jeremiah partially realized in the coming of Christ. In Advent we are impelled to look beyond the first to the second coming, when God’s covenant will cease to be only a hint and a promise, when it will become our eternal destiny.

  • A Second Look at Inductive Preaching

    Some preachers think inductive preaching means being deliberately obscure; the congregation is invited to discover not the message in the text, but whatever it is the preacher is trying to say. A positive view of inductive preaching is presented.

  • A Seminary's Artist in Residence: Cathy Kapikian's Fabric of Faith

    The heart and soul of its Center for the Arts and Religion at Wesley Theological Seminary (United Methodist) in Washington, D.C is founder and director Catherine Kapikian, a practicing visual artist and a 1979 Wesley graduate. Kapikian proposed the idea for an art studio and an artist-in-residence program to the school’s administration. What she desires is for all Christians to share the joy of realizing how an understanding of art can heighten religious perceptions and vice versa.

  • A Short Guide to the Fine Art of Naysaying

    Naysaying is ubiquitous, rooted in all our lives. Dissent, in the biblical tradition that commends fidelity to God and neighbor, is a universal alternative to it.

  • A Small Church Redefines its Mission

    We need to learn that small size in churches might be an asset for mission. This article is about how a small church let go of the myths about size and without a fulltime professional minister converted its members into ministers.

  • A Soulful Afternoon in the Library

    To lose one's joy is to lose one's soul.

  • A Southern Baptist Context

    The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary as a whole has never formulated a plan for relating piety to learning and pastoral care to theology.

  • A Sustainable Society

    The commitment of corporations to short-term profits, and of ordinary people to get ahead economically, are facts of life with which those of us concerned with the sustainability of human society must contend. This is largely a moral issue, but not entirely so.

  • A Tale of Two Sundays: Liturgical Reform Gone Astray

    Dr. Parrella, a Catholic, concludes that something is deeply amiss in Catholic eucharistic celebrations -- a liturgical identity crisis that has escaped our attention.

  • A Tale That Will Tax the Imagination

    Jesus took a coin and said, ‘Whose name and picture do you see there? All right then, pay Caesar what is due Caesar!’ Now why would he say a thing like that?

  • A Televised Reconciliation in Northern Ireland

    This article describes a daring idea both for Desmond Tutu and the BBC in which the victims or families of the victims were invited to confront on TV either the perpetrator or someone associated with the organization that had sanctioned, planned and accomplished the killing or injury of their loved ones during the Civil rights marches in the late 1960s.

  • A Terrible Text (Mk. 7:14-29)

    It took more than a decapitation (of the head of John the Baptist) to stop the truth of God, more than a crucifixion to stop the Son of God, more than persecution to stop the mission of God.

  • A Theology of Church Music

    Trotter presents nine paragraphs detailing how and why church music uniquely preserves the theological heritage of the church. Church musicians thus deserve recognition for their role in theological work.

  • A Theology of Communication

    Theology is a statement that tries to make sense out of our lives. This essay is intended to provide a viewpoint from which to understand the workings of communication. It attempts to say what communication is all about, in the context of what the world is all about.

  • A Theology of Divorce

    Divorce is not an unforgivable act. In some contexts divorce may be a creative, positive and affirmative response, ethically justified as that option which best approximates fulfilling the Great Commandment in the midst of limited alternatives.

  • A Theology of Enjoyment for a Post Capitalist Life

    The author writes of happiness from a process theological point of view emphasizing how our industrial age has led to happiness only for the one in a thousand who is in control, and that the whole commercial system, now intrinsically part of our world, has been a mistake.

  • A Thesis Concerning Truth

    Truth is the properly qualified carryover of the value of a thing into the interpreting experience of that thing. The author suggests three preliminary parts: a theory of reality: a theory of interpretation, of value and of valuation -- each developed on the other.

  • A Time to be Born

    As an alternative to enacting legal controls over reproductive technology, a national commission of scientists, doctors and citizens is needed, a commission that could develop voluntary ethical guidelines.

  • A Tour Among the Evangelicals

    Review of a new book by Randall Balmer. Balmer is ambivalent about evangelicalism; he criticizes it while defending it against unjustified attacks by others.

  • A Trinitarian View of Religious Pluralism

    This article concludes a two-part series. (See Heim, "The Pluralism of Religious Ends.") In the triune God, the varied dimensions of God belong to all of the persons together, not to any one. Human interaction with the Trinity can "tune" itself to one or more of these dimensions.

  • A Twofold Death and Resurrection (Jn. 11:25-26)

    What is really going on here is not only a family crisis in Bethany but the crisis of the world, not only the raising of a dead man but the giving of life to the world.

  • A View of Life from the Sidelines

    Sidelines are on the one hand filled with athletes who have been injured in the battles of the arena, and on the other hand with spectators. My view of life since my stroke had to be informed by both connotations. I was dismissed from the battle, but I was also a spectator to engagements that had hitherto occupied me.

  • A Visit to Jacob’s Well

    Jacob's Well is an emergent church whose history remains elusive. Jason Byassee writes how this church is unique and seems to be postevangelical, postliberal, postconservative, and postmodern.

  • A Voice for Grunchy Conservatives

    How Birkenstocked Burkeans, Gun-Loving Organic Gardeners, Evangelical Free-Range Farmers, Hip Homeschooling Mamas, Right-Wing Nature Lovers, and Their Diverse Tribe of Countercultural Conservatives Plan to Save America (or at Least the Republican Party).

  • A Waiting Church (Isa. 25:9)

    Lent requires a severe discipline on the part of the church. It is the discipline of waiting, waiting for Easter but knowing nobody gets in on Easter who was not here for Good Friday.

  • A Wandering Faith (Heb. 11:1-3, 8-16)

    Our Western privilege is at odds with a faith that supposedly began in radical simplicity. Faith blooms in dispossession. When you don’t have anything else to hold onto, when you can no longer clutch lesser things, you hold onto your God, and your God holds onto you.

  • A Watery Solution (Mark 1:4-11; Genesis 1:1-5)

    Baptism reminds us that God’s creative force is still birthing us, claiming us, renewing us.

  • A Way in the Wilderness: Men and the Environment

    The author shows the intimate relationship between wilderness and spirituality.

  • A Way of Seeing: Chaim Potok and Tradition

    By freely engaging life, tradition grows stronger, gaining muscle through hard experience. Not rejecting ones own tradition, but being rejected by it is the greater pain. Where does the seeker go then? If tradition is sometimes a bed of misunderstanding and hatred, and the world a maze of ready but insufficient answers, is he or she left to walk a precarious tightrope buffeted by forces beyond his or her control?

  • A Way to Live

    The author talks about practices that address fundamental human needs: honoring the body, hospitality, household economics, saying yes and saying no, keeping Sabbath, testimony, discernment, shaping communities, forgiveness, healing, dying well and singing our lives.

  • A Whiteheadian Account of Value and Identity

    Whitehead seems to find what he calls the "intuition of peace." And he would hold that the experience of the love of man achieved in this intuition supports the belief that any individual can change from an evil to a virtuous propensity, for perhaps unaccountably complex reasons.

  • A Whiteheadian Chaosmos: Process Philosophy from a Deleuzean Perspective

    The author sees Giles Deleuze as a pagan in his theory of evolution, metamorphosed into a Chaosmological Myth: an unqualified affirmation of the endless, goalless, production of Difference.

  • A Whiteheadian Reflection on Subjective Immortality

    Whitehead's insights on death ("perpetual perishing" and "objective immortality.") were intuitive. The authors attempt to find a way of justifying some of these intuitions by Whitehead's own principles.

  • A Word and a Calling (1 Sam. 3:1-20; Jn. 1:43-51)

    Many of us find it hard to perceive the voice of the Lord.

  • A Word of Encouragement (Heb. 10:11-25)

    Perhaps in our public prayers we ought to make room for yet another category: "prayers of encouragement," For it is our spiritual obligation to encourage one another.

  • A Worried America

    Social science is a moral science and economics is political economy. Questions about dogma or even faith shrink to insignificance in a world in which the very existence of humanity is threatened.

  • A. N. W.: A Biographical Perspective

    Whitehead he did not keep a diary, and was famous for not writing letters; they took too much time from his work. His talk was witty. In criticism he was truthful. A devastating comment was made with the utmost gentleness. He had a tendency to be ironic; but there was no malice in his irony.

  • ABCs of Faith

    Alpha training is not an "evangelism solution on tape" or "evangelism in a can," but an effective tool of education and evangelism that can rejuvenate longtime church members and encourage them to share stories of faith and doubt. It is drawing skeptics and seekers to the Christian faith and into the church.

  • Abide in me . . . (John 15:1-8)

    As essential as lively biblical, doctrinal and liturgical catechesis is the desire to connect with God and people in ways that have depth and can last.

  • Abiding Love (John 15:1-17; 1 John 5:1-6)

    Jesus’ image of vine, branch and fruit is not about viticulture. It is about abiding. Loving is the highest form of abiding, of being present for another.

  • Abortion and Moral Consensus: Beyond Solomon’s Choice

    Some churchmen and politicians are so intransigent on the issue of abortion, over which men have no physical control, and so tolerant of killing in war, over which men have always had control.

  • Abortion and Theology

    The pro-life hecklers and speech disrupters evidently are breeding backlash by satisfying their own need to lash. They are driving more people into the camp that finds abortion to be a reasonable choice, at least under certain conditions.

  • About Questions of Guilt

    We are probably all murderers, thieves and sadists, but we have done little or nothing to stop the evil, and beyond all, we, that is the Church, have failed, for we knew the wrong and the right path, but we did not warn the people and allowed them to rush forward to their doom.

  • Above and Beyond (Lk. 24:44-53; Acts 1:1-11)

    Even as the ascension leaves us here, in the modern world, ascension points beyond it. Jesus may have risen, but in another sense he remains on the ground.

  • Abundant Life (Prov. 25:6-7; Heb. 13:1-8,15-16; Lk. 14:1, 7-14)

    After carefully watching guests do their subtle ballet of who should sit higher than whom, Jesus says, "Whoa. Why don’t you try this? Head for the lowest seat available; then your host will say in front of everybody, ‘Friend, come up higher,’ which would be a very satisfying experience."

  • Academic Values and Prophetic Discernment

    Our culture faces a spiritual crisis:. Faculty and students continue to operate in a spiritual climate where even the best are filling merely the outward requirements of their roles and suffering the malaise of aimlessness and false consciousness. The "worst," having no such tender sensibilities of mind or spirit, are zealous to fulfill whatever careerist goals are set for higher education by our technetronic and industrial society.

  • Achievable Miracles in Subsidized Housing

    Two projects operated by Ade Realty Management of Chicago are giving attention because they have traveled the road toward ruin and have returned to solvency. Their stories can provide a guide to the methods of turning near-failures into successes. A diversity of tenants is the key to success for low-cost housing projects.

  • Acknowledgment (Ps. 23; I Sam. 13:1-16;Eph. 5:8-14;John 9:1-41)

    The author uses the story of the man born blind to show what difficulty religious people have in acknowledging the power of God.

  • Acting Out Faith Through Organ Donation

    The need for human organs is acute, and pastors should be able to broach the sensitive subject of organ donation during bereavement counseling. However, organ donation is best facilitated by confronting the question before a tragedy occurs.

  • Activist Television: Sociological and Public Policy Implications of Public Service Campaigns

    The author examines the cultural significance of media campaigns. He concludes that The Electronic Marketplace, as it has come to be manipulated, is destroying the promise of technology to deliver honest truths to those without the sophistication to explore the more elite channels in print and film, and even of television itself, where they can still be found.

  • Actuality, Possibility, and Theodicy: A Response to Nelson Pike

    The author challenges Nelson Pike’s criticism that everything that happens contributes to the ultimate good: There exists countless forms of real evil in the world.

  • Added on Like Dome and Spire -- Wieman’s Later Critique of Whitehead

    Dr. Mesle shows four major strands in Henry Nelson Wieman’s critique of Whitehead: 1. An aesthetic approach to value; 2. God as "Something;" 3. The empiricism of Whitehead; 4. Whitehead’s speculations.

  • Adhering to Israel's God

    A detailed analysis of Walter Brueggemann's new book on theology and Old Testament. Perdue says that Brueggemann is certain that the past has to make room for new ways of interpreting the scripture and that he deftly guides us in these new directions as one of those few individuals who have decisively shaped this theology in the 20th century.

  • Adolescents' Moral Compass, Adults' Moral Presence

    Using a Girl Scout survey of the moral and spiritual perspectives of American youth, Heischman cites data that indicate youth are quite religious and moral in outlook, but have difficulty connecting their faith with issues of character. He suggests churches need to help youth develop a moral language through discussions of character and more effective modeling directly with young people by youth leaders and especially pastors.

  • Adopting Realism: The Century 1962-1971

    What we did have throughout that decade (1962-1971), as the Century pages indicate, was a growing dismay over the inability of a democracy to halt racism at home and an immoral war abroad.

  • Advent Alchemy (Isaiah 64:1-9, I Corinthians 1:3-9, Mark 13:24-37)

    We join Isaiah and Jesus and Paul and all the rest of them, longing for the heavens to open, for justice to come for the living and the dead., for mercy to make right this damned and beloved world. We will not choose indifference or resignation.

  • Advent Preaching: Burden and Hope (Rom. 8:24-25)

    The tension between our moment and the eschatological moment must be retained. For instance, when speaking eschatologically about the nuclear arms race, a preacher would refer to such things as the blasphemy of destroying God’s handiwork and the idolatry of the bomb, not simply to a nuclear freeze. And those eschatological statements are, in fact, more realistic about the nature of the present darkness than is any political solution.

  • Advertising: Commercial Rhetoric

    Modern advertising is not unlike total high-tech nuclear warfare. Both carry on practices from the dim past but each has so industrialized the process with advanced technologies that the fundamental activity is transmuted into something new that raises questions beyond standard discussions of right and wrong.

  • Aesthetic Value and Relational Power: An Essay on Personhood

    If we take seriously Whitehead’s claim that the fundamental form of order and hence of value is aesthetic, and the accompanying principle of relatedness, it is obvious that unilateral power (the ability to affect without being affected) inherently inhibits the growth of value in human experience.

  • Affluent Christians: Can We Talk About Money?

    Money mattered to Jesus, to Paul and to the prophets, and it ought to matter to the church. It is in its attitude toward money that the church is most likely to conform to the ways of the world rather than to transcend them.

  • Africa and Globalisation for the Common Good: The Quest for Justice and Peace

    A declaration by an international conference held April 12-24 , 2005 in Kericho, Kenya, regarding globalisation and ways to promote ethical, moral and spiritual values for the common good.

  • After a Child Dies

    The author refutes some assumed grief counseling through his own grief. Longtime grief, especially for a close family member, is more normal than assumed and has its value.

  • After Babel: The Virtues of Liberalism

    Academic theologians have increasingly given the impression of saying nothing atheists don’t already know.

  • After Divorce

    We need to be honest about the effects of divorce on kids, and knowing more about what children are living through, perhaps we can do more to help.

  • After Great Pain: Finding a Way Out

    It isn’t true that the loss of any single thing will destroy us. Everything in life has some value and life is full of valuable things, things worth living for, things worth doing, things worth becoming, things worth loving again.

  • After Liberation, What? (Lev.19:1-2, 15-18; Mt. 22:34-46)

    Christians need to realize that the liberation struggle and a responsible love ethic must come together in our way of living.

  • After Twenty Years

    Senator Norris here presents his arguments why he was the only senator who voted against our entry into World War I: we have multiplied most of the problems we went into that war to solve.

  • Against Free Trade: A Meeting of Opposites

    While our nation’s elite have celebrated the prosperity brought by globalizing the economy, working-class wages have declined.

  • Against the Death Penalty: Christian Stance in a Secular World

    Holding an offender responsible necessarily includes demanding that she respond as only moral agents can: by re-evaluating her behavior. If the punishment meted out makes reflective response to it impossible, then it is not a demand for response as a moral agent.

  • AIDS and the Church

    For the church to ignore the needs of the victims of AIDS, to fail to express itself redemptively, and to abandon a group of people who have almost no one to cry out in their behalf for justice and mercy, would constitute a failure in Christian discipleship.

  • AIDS in South Africa: Why the Churches Matter

    The absence of economic incentives to fight AIDS might make an observer feel, apart from any moral, sectarian or theological considerations, that a religious revival alone can save South Africa from eventually consigning perhaps a third of its population to death.

  • AIDS: An Evangelical Perspective

    The author says: "I do not ask that public policy enforce biblical sexual norms, but I do ask that public policy not undermine them." Can the church muster the obedience and courage to embody its teaching that all human life is sacred even in the midst of the racing panic and plague time?

  • Albert Borgmann on Taming Technology: An Interview

    Discussion with a philosopher who takes technology seriously. Technology is more than a tool, it’s an inducement, and it’s so strong that for the most part people find themselves unable to refuse it.

  • Albert C. Outler: United Methodist Ecumenist

    The mainline churches have not, in code language, recognized the expiration of the Enlightenment and Enlightenment rationalism. The evangelicals have not noticed its expiration either -- an irony.

  • Albert Camus: Political Moralist

    According to William May, Camus rejects political realism in both its conservative and revolutionary forms and summons man to a modesty, an honesty, and a decency that he believes to be within the reach of man—and certainly within the reach of Western man—as it recovers the best in the European revolutionary tradition. Camus argues, man overreaches himself, pretends to one sort of divinity or another, but concludes by justifying the violation of man.

  • Alfred North Whitehead’s Basic Philosophical Problem: The Development of a Relativistic Cosmology

    Whitehead’s relativistic cosmology as developed in his major work, Process and Reality, though complex and difficult, is questioned by Dr. Welker. Nevertheless, Walker states, Whitehead’s relativistic cosmology establishes new standards and sets before us new tasks.

  • Alien Gods in Black Experience

    Dr. Smith looks at process thought and black liberation from a pastoral psychology perspective and black people’s experience of oppression: The struggle against oppression in black people’s experience is a constant struggle against external forces as manifested in economic, social, and political exploitation. It is also a struggle against internalized forms of oppression as manifested in negative self-images, depression, a sense of hopelessness, and apathy.

  • All Agnostics Here

    Bloom declares that the American religion is not Protestant or Christian but Gnostic, that even most American Methodists, Roman Catholics, and even Jews and Muslims are more Gnostic than normative in their deepest and unwariest beliefs. Even our secularists, indeed even our professed atheists, are more Gnostic than humanist in their ultimate presuppositions.

  • All in the Family

    Instead of segregating youth from their parents in a "youth" program, one youth leader says churches should focus their energies on putting parents and youth together in family-based youth ministry. He wants to make use of the power that parents have to nurture and influence their teens toward maturity in faith.

  • All Things New (Revelation 21: 1-5)

    The biblical message is that in the midst of all fearful events of our day, God is opening up a new future for us. He has given us this hope in Jesus Christ. The book of Revelation is about this hope -- the hope for the future which God is bringing about.

  • Allah is my Lord and Yours

    Paul Griffiths discusses the letter Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, President of Iran, wrote to President Bush in the Fall of 2006, and was largely overlooked by the media. The lack of response indicates that in our loyalties, citizenship takes priority over our Christian commitments.

  • Altar Call (Psalm 51:5-17)

    Psalm 51 is one of the seven classic penitential psalms used on occasions of confessing sin. Sin is acknowledged with frequent repetition for intensification of feeling; petition is made for divine favor; a vow to God is made; worshipers affirm what really matters between them and God.

  • Altar or Table

    The altar is both the place of death and our shelter from it. It may be possible to demythologize, existentialize, structuralize or moralize the biblical picture of sacrifice, but not without a substantial loss -- the loss of the substance of sacrifice itself and all that it has meant to Christian theology and ethics.

  • Alternative Christian Communities

    The New Monastics are present day communities of Christians, living in the corners of the American empire, living and hoping for a new and radical form of Christian practice.

  • Amateur Atheists

    Haught criticizes the current rash of athiest books as amateurish. Belief in God may not be necessary in order for people to be highly moral beings, but the real question is: Can you rationally justify your unconditional adherence to timeless values without implicitly invoking the existence of God?

  • Amateurs and Rookies (Is. 6:1-8; 1 Cor. 1.5:1-11; Lk. 5:1-11)

    The Galilean fishermen learned how to become fishers of men, even though they -- like us -- were amateurs.

  • America’s Moral Landscape in the Fiction of Richard Ford

    Novelist and short-story writer Richard Ford is underrated and underread. Ford’s work discloses the moral consciousness of America in the ‘80s.

  • America’s Other Religion

    Our consumption-based society’s basic assumption: all needs require instant gratification. What we see in our country today is a perfectly good economic process -- the mechanisms for producing and consuming goods -- made into a religion.

  • America's Obligation

    The struggle against terrorism requires a human rights agenda that is global. Having caused a "regime change," the U.S. has an obligation to do far more than leave Iraq to itself.

  • America's Theologian

    Marsden’s Jonathan Edwards will be remembered less as a biography and more as a period piece from the "evangelical surge" in American academic culture, but let us hope it cultivates and encourages up-and-coming evangelicals to write a biography that Jonathan Edwards richly deserves.

  • America, the War, and Israel

    The author believes that the Israel—Palestine conflict a major contributor to modern anti-American feeling, and that Israel is behaving irresponsibly.

  • America’s Shift from Revolution to Counterrevolution

    Our country, which was born in revolution, has been opposed to all recent revolutions and in most cases has tried to undermine them. Humility before the immensity of the problems faced by many other nations should be the beginning of wisdom in American statesmanship, but this quality has been the one most lacking.

  • American Baptists: Bureaucratic and Democratic

    The carefully nurtured fiction that the locus of authority in the ABC resides in 6,300 autonomous’ congregations has become increasingly difficult to maintain. The author gives some "bare bones" suggestions concerning what the local associations of churches should do.

  • American Catholicism Assessed From Within

    An editor of a Protestant journal of opinion recently stated that one of the current tasks facing a Protestant religious journalist is to tell American Protestants that America is no longer a Protestant country.

  • American Ecumenism: Separatism, Separation and Schism

    Christians must seek unity for intrinsic, not strategic, reasons.

  • American Evangelicals in a Turning Time

    Christians may have to reconcile themselves to a growing misperception that Christianity is but one among the many living religions; worse yet, they may see their commitment to it increasingly detested and persecuted.

  • American Idol

    The attempt of David Barton, vice-chair of the Texas Republican Party (2004) and one of the "most influential evangelicals in America" (Time Magazine, 2005) to establish legally that the United States of America is a "Christian nation."

  • American Religion, Region by Region

    As much as American religion is "American," it is also local, shaped by the particular history of immigration and economic forces of each place, as well as the particular landscape that often fires religious imaginations. These books remind us that place matters.

  • Amida and Christ:: Buddhism and Christianity

    Amida is Christ, and Christ is Amida. The author states the respects in which this claim is clearly false and then explains how it is possible to claim that, nevertheless, at a deeper level it can be true. He explores the implications and consequences of this claim, especially with regard to the way it opens the door for Christians to learn from Buddhists and perhaps for Buddhists to learn also from Christians.

  • Among the Lilies

    In his masterpiece In the Beauty of the Lilies, John Updike attempts ‘to make God a character,’ although in ways that illuminate the spiritual emptiness in American life.

  • Among the Ruins - Dr. Kaj Baago’s Theological Challenge Revisited

    Dr. Kaj Baago, the Danish Theologian, quit teaching theology and left the church, not because of disappointment or disillusion, agnosticism or mere anthropology, but because of his understanding of Christ and his commitment to Christianity.

  • An ‘Intermediary Theology’: In Service of the Hearing of God’s Word

    The issue in Christian theology is not reflection or action, belief or life style, but both together -- an incarnational religion really has no other choice. God himself in a lowly man, Jesus of Nazareth, meant that human life in all its problematic, historical, ambiguous reality is the realm of the truly significant.

  • An American Protestant Perspective on World Order

    This paper asks what contribution the Protestant experience in the United States can make to the envisioning and shaping of a world order in the coming century. Part I describes three patterns that have emerged in this experience. Part II argues that the most fundamental Protestant principle requires that the economy be subordinated to broader human values in a way that is not now the case. Part III identifies other principles and considerations that should guide our quest for a new world order. Part IV sketches that system that seems most likely to implement these principles.

  • An Argument for Christian Ecofeminism

    Nature does establish limits which cannot be transgressed. The laws of Gaia are binding because they convey truths about global flourishing.

  • An Argument for Gay Marriage

    Marriage is for people who find themselves transformed by the desirous perception of another human being made in God’s image. Not to celebrate same-sex weddings may be morally dangerous.

  • An Early Whiteheadian View of Perception

    Whitehead devised his metaphysic to elucidate forms of experience besides perception, and to systematize concepts drawn from other sources Nevertheless, certain problems can be solved while accepting perception more nearly at face value than Whitehead did in his later theory.

  • An Earthly Theological Agenda

    In reviewing how her mind has changed from a Barthian position in the 1950's through the feminist and liberation theology emphases to a more wholistic and cosmic focus, Sallie McFague has experienced a deconstruction of the central symbol of God as patriarchal, hierarchical and militaristic, and a reconstruction of God as creator and sustainer of everything in his universe.

  • An Ecological Reading of the Qur’anic Understanding of Creation

    Different religious traditions give various responses to the ecological crises. Dialogue between these traditions not only helps us to live peacefully with the rest of creation but also helps us to live peacefully with people of other faiths. The author examines ecology from the point of view of the Koran (Qur’an ) and Islam.

  • An Economist's Reflections In A Time Of Prosperity

    The author suggests several economic policies that Christians might well pursue during this time of prosperity.

  • An Ecumenical Vision For the Year 2000

    The traditional ecumenical goal of ‘organic Unity’ has fallen on bad days -- largely because it is thought to call for a needless suppression of diversity, achieved through a generation or more of ecclesiastical self-preoccupation. Considering the infinite complexities of the problem, a covenant to accomplish conciliar unity rather than the actual realization of the goal might be the most likely accomplishment.

  • An Enduring Self: The Achilles’ Heel of Process Philosophy

    The Achilles’ heel of process metaphysics is in the epistemological argument which shows that the denial of an enduring self is guilty of self-referential inconsistency.

  • An Ethic of Eating and Drinking

    It seems doubtful that faith mandates a system of life that appears to require inhumane slaughter of creatures, uneconomical and exploitative uses of land, disregard of personal health, and ignorance of the probability that the key to world peace lies in the conscious cultivation of a practical philosophy of reverence for all that lives.

  • An Evangelical and Catholic Methodology

    For Robert Webber theology is an activity from out of the church's tradition. The standard for judging a theology's adequacy is not Scripture alone, for the thoughtful working out of much of theology took place in the centuries following the writing of Scripture. This is not to put church practice on a par with Scripture. It is only to recognize that the apostolic tradition did not fully emerge until the fourth and fifth centuries and, thus, it is the Church Fathers whom we must study if we are to theologize aright.

  • An Evangelical Feminist Confronts the Goddess

    Some of us evangelical feminists would argue that if one Creator is indeed responsible for all the tremendous variety of the creation, then radical monotheism of necessity must be pluralistic, receiving one God’s pluriform manifestations with gratitude and joy.

  • An Evangelical Theology of Liberation

    The central biblical doctrines is that God is on the side of the poor and the oppressed. Tragically, evangelical theology has largely ignored this doctrine, and thus our theology has been unbiblical -- indeed, even heretical -- on this important point.

  • An Incomplete Politics

    Choices between policies and directions must be generated outside of electoral politics.

  • An Indian Advent Meditation

    Can it be that through the festivals of non-Christians, Christians are prepared by God to worship and adore the true Light which enlightens everyone?

  • An Interview with David Tracy

    When God is linked with concrete experiences, God can be understood by way of persuasion and argument -- in an appeal to experience, reason or the imagination. Empirical or process theologies stress what is actual, and hermeneutic theologies deal with the possible.

  • An interview with John Polkinghorne

    This series of questions reveals the thinking of John Polkinghorne, the quantum physicist who left the discipline of physics to study religion. Questions include the fields of physics, Darwinism, motivated beliefs, theology, miracles and the resurrection.

  • An Interview with John Webster

    John Webster believes historical criticism has value but is plagued by historical naturalism. It misses the history of Jesus that is rooted in God’s being in a direct and immediate way. Without the movement of God's unrestricted love and self-giving, without the Son's eternal obedience to the Father, there is no history of Jesus.

  • An Interview with Jonathan L. Reed

    In this interview,  Jonathan L. Reed shows that archeology helps us understand the words and deeds of Jesus more as his contemporaries would have.  It gives a much better context to Jesus’ life and teachings. The world of Jesus was quite different from what we take it to mean in our times.

  • An Interview with Jonathan L. Reed

    Jonathan L. Reed shows that archeology helps us understand the words and deeds of Jesus more as his contemporaries would have.  It gives a much better context to Jesus’ life and teachings. The world of Jesus was quite different from what we take it to mean in our times.

  • An Interview with Ken Burns

    In this interview Ken Bourns says that in each of his documentary films he asks the simple questions: Who am I? Why am I hear? What is my purpose? Where did I come from and where am I going? What is bigger than me?

  • An Interview with Marilynne Robinson

    Novelist Marilynne Robinson expresses her insights into the role of pastors, contemporary and traditional worship, contributions of mainline churches, the abolitionist movement, the challenges of writing fiction and nonfiction, work and play and the joy of writing.

  • An Interview with Robert W. Jenson

    In this interview, Robert W. Jenson discusses many of the current Christian issues including Sanctification, Justification, Trinitarianism, Ecumenism, Liberalism, Pentecostalism, Catholicism.

  • An Interview With Ron Hansen

    Creativity is based on pushing boundaries, on taking risks, and religion provides the solidity and the connection needed in doing creative work.

  • An Invitation (Phil. 4:1-9; Mat. 22:1-14)

    When we are Christians in name only, we are invited to the wedding feast but we do not attend. Are others invited to take our places?

  • An Old/New Theology of History

    Pannenberg revives Hegel’s philosophy of history. Hegel’s influence on Pannenberg is explored here. Pannenberg’s theology relies too heavily on a philosophy from which anything can be and has been proved.

  • An Unapologetic Middle Ground

    William C. Placher’s Unapologetic Theology is an impressive analysis of revisionist and postliberal theologies.

  • An Unfolding Creation

    The author reviews a book on Darwin by John Haught, who seeks not simply to provide a theology in dialogue with evolutionary theory, but a theology of evolution. Haught takes a middle path in the dialogue between science and religion.

  • Anachronism and Adventurism: Recent Mission Trends

    The author examines the implications of the rising number of short-term volunteers engaged in mission, in particular the results of their often inadequate training in cross-cultural understanding.

  • Analyzing the Military-News Complex

    Fore explores the unusually tight control the United States military had over Gulf War news coverage in general and television coverage in particular. He suggests that there is no simple answer as to how and why this could have happened, that it involved a combination of technical, economic and cultural forces, and that everyone who views such events uncritically is asking to be controlled.

  • And Jesus Laughed (Luke 17:11-19)

    Jesus was laughing with delight when he prayed, "I thank thee, Father. . ."

  • And Then There Were None

    Is federal policy endangering the American Indian ‘species’? The U.S. government is performing irreversible surgeries upon what is in some critical ways a population at the mercy of the state.

  • Andrew Lloyd Webber: From Superstar to Requiem

    A conversation with Andrew Lloyd Webber, the prolific and popular British composer who frequently employs religious themes in his work. Lloyd Webber has demonstrated in Requiem that he can also write beautiful serious music in the English choral tradition – while still holding on to his more rock-inspired identity.

  • Animals and the Love of God

    In Genesis 1:1-2:4, God first creates the heavens and the earth, then the plants, fishes, birds and all the other animals. To repress our sympathy for animals leads to an all the more destructive disrespect for them and for all of creation.

  • Annie Dillard and the Fire of God

    In her interfusion of suffering throughout Dillard’s contemplative writing, we find a paradigm of the mystic life in our time. Annie Dillard’s work proposes that suffering is a chief characteristic of the contemporary mystic way. Her connection between knowing deeply and suffering deeply makes her a mystic for our time.

  • Annie Dillard’s Fictions to Live By

    Annie Dillard takes us on a remarkable journey, out from naïve unreflection into nature, suffering and despair, into an adventure with subjectivity and out the other end into commitment to others and the Other.

  • Annie Dillard: Pilgrim at Midstream

    Dillard’s small adventures are as exemplary of freedom as Augustine’s robbing the pear tree is of sin.

  • Another Commandment (Hebrews 9:11-14; Mark 12:28-34)

    If Jesus had answered only that "man must love god with all his heart, mind and strength..." when asked which is the great commandment and stopped there, the greatness of Christianity would not exist.

  • Anselm Kiefer: Art as Atonement

    The Nazi catastrophe is Kiefer’s all-consuming subject: Hitler’s perversion of the German nation and culture is the deep shadow that sometimes merely lurks in the background of Kiefer’s art, but more often darkens the entire foreground. Somber, guilt-ridden, accusing, mocking, enigmatic -- Kiefer’s vision of life, religion, ideology, national identity and history has been charred by the flames of the Holocaust.

  • Answering Pilate: Truth and the Postliberal Church

    ‘Tolerance’ is too often a vehicle for condemning those who demand that their differences be taken seriously.

  • Anti-Judaism in Process Christologies?

    The author reviews the history of anti-Judaism concluding with a number of process thinkers. He concludes, "Among process theologians God is not happily thought of as the ‘cosmic moralist,’ and the ‘divine lawgiver and judge’ often fails to find a warm welcome in our midst."

  • Anti-Semitism: Boundary of Jewish-Christian Understanding

    Christians can repudiate anti-Semitism by (1) supporting Zionism on theological grounds and (2) criticizing it on ethical grounds. The author raises charges of anti-Semitism that have been raised in connection with the New Testament, the film Jesus Christ Superstar, and critics (such as Dan Berrigan) of the State of Israel.

  • Anticipation (Jer. 33:14-16; 1 Thess. 3:9-13; Ps. 25:1-9; Lk. 21:25-36)

    We have been given a foretaste of the righteousness and justice promised by Jeremiah, and we have some experience of the holiness and abounding love described by Paul.

  • Anxious Moments (Matthew 11:16-19, 28-30, Romans 7:15-25a)

    We are anxious about many things: having enough money, having good enough health, being secure and safe. Perhaps the Eucharist addresses our need: "Come to me, all you who are weary and are carrying heavy burdens…"

  • Apocalypse and Beyond: The Novels of J. M. Coetzee

    All who write for publication in South Africa, both black and white, run the risk of being censored, banned, exiled or worse. Although Coetzee’s criticism of apartheid has been strong, he has escaped the usual censoring.

  • Apocalypse Now (Is. 64:1-9; Ps. 80:1-7, 17-19; 1Cor. 1:3-9; Mk. 13:24-37)

    The 1 Corinthians reference mirrors the thoughts of Isaiah as does Paul when he addresses what it means to be God’s people.

  • Apocalypse Now?

    Eschatology is a line stretching out to the distant, possibly infinite, future. That is the horizon of hope, of possibility and becoming. Apocalyptic, on the other hand, is a detour, caused by an immediate crisis threatening whole societies.

  • Apocalypticism and Modern Thinking

    The author considers apocaplypticism as it appears in Hegel's system and in current philosophy and theology, particularly that of D.G. Leahy who poses an ultimate challenge to both Catholicism and to Christianity itself. Altizer holds that Jesus was an apocalyptic prophet who proclaimed and enacted the dawning of the Kingdom of God, and that there is a comparable dawning in modern thinking which calls for a transformation of and a break from the old aeon or old world.

  • Apology For The Hireling: A Work Ethic For the Global Marketplace

    In embarrassment the churches have lapsed into silence about the Protestant work ethic.

  • Apostle at my Door (Is. 58:1-12; I Cor. 2:1-16;Ps. 112:1-10; Matt. 5:13-20.)

    A reflection prompted by viewing the movie, The Apostle, and a visit from a traveling missionary.

  • Approach and Avoidance: The Bible as Literature

    The Literary Guide to the Bible suffers from too narrow. or at least too traditional, a view of the literary. In seeking to distance itself both from the theologians of past biblical scholarship and from the ideological controversies of current literary criticism, it risks promoting a disturbing provincialism.

  • Are ‘Mother’ and ‘Father’ Appropriate Titles for Protestant Clergy?

    The author considers the historical and current usage in religion of such terms as "Reverend," "Doctor," "Mister," "D.D.," Father," "Brother," "Sister," "Dame," "Mother," "Mr.," and "Pastor."

  • Are Church-Related Colleges Also Christian Colleges?

    Mainline church colleges intentionally designate themselves "church-related," seldom using the term "Christian". And members of the flourishing Christian College Coalition have established a number of criteria for the "Christian" label, of which church-relatedness is not one.

  • Are Humans Wired to Dream?

    Myths, science, religious experience and empirical research are frequently set in opposition, but it’s an irony that some scientists can contribute to a recovery of what many people in churches have abandoned: a belief in a divine force outside ourselves, a healing presence deep within that still speaks through dreams and visions.

  • Are Tax Exemptions Subsidies?

    Religious bodies should seek to reclaim the original rationale of nontaxation of nonprofit organizations in general for the sake of freedom of association for everyone.  Tax exemptions are not the same as a governmental subsidy.

  • Are There Things a Novelist Shouldn’t Joke About?: An Interview with Kurt Vonnegut

    There is a difference between the comic and the humorist. Humor is an almost physiological response to fears. The comic is content with surface laughter while the humorist’s laughter is found at a deeper level.

  • Are We ‘Bowling Alone' -- And Does it Matter?

    Review of a book about American decline in religious, political and social life. The author points to evidence in a variety of other civic arenas as well -- labor unions, parent-teacher organizations and fraternal organizations.

  • Are We There Yet? (Rom. 5:1-8)

    The route from suffering to hope can be a very winding road, but fellow travelers along that road can give the lost traveler direction.

  • Are You Blocking for Me, Jesus?

    People create games and pass on through their games the rules and values and dreams of their real lives. Perhaps the real message of the Christian game is that as in every other age Christ is the one who exposes the violence and exploitation of our crassly commercial game of life and through his subsequent rejection by the powers-that-be dramatically illustrates his message of freedom to those who couldn’t see or hear it any other way.

  • Arguing with Muslims

    The God of Islam and the God of the church and synagogue appear to look enough like God to make dialogue possible, but also different enough to make for an interesting conversation.

  • Arguing with Paul (2 Corinthians 5:6-10, 14-17)

    The author confesses he doesn’t want to leave this body, to die, but when he is dragged out – kicking and screaming all the way – "at home with the Lord" is where he’ll be.

  • Aristotelian and Whiteheadian Conceptions of Actuality: I

    The relationship of Whitehead’s metaphysics to the traditional philosophy of substance, and especially to Aristotle’s concept of entity, is the central point not only for any systematic exposition of Whitehead but also for his historical interpretation.

  • Aristotelian and Whiteheadian Conceptions of Actuality: II

    The author compares the thoughts of Aristotle and Whitehead concerning the self-development of living beings.

  • Art and Propaganda

    There are three guidelines in dealing with art and propaganda. 1. An artful propagandist takes into account the ability of the audience to perceive. 2. Artful propaganda works like a deduction rather than a rationalization. 3. Artful propaganda must be “sincere.”

  • Art and the Expression of Meaning

    The author demonstrates a way of thinking which exhibits expression and truth as joint concerns of the artist.

  • Art for the Soul

    The relationship between artistic interests and spiritual direction is not coincidental. Spiritual direction is usually understood as a matter of the heart, rather than one strictly of the mind.

  • Artist and Believer

    The life of the artist offers many analogies to the life of faith. The strictness of his way of life, the combination of ascesis and joy, the law of incarnation which limits all false spirituality: such features of the artist's calling carry both rebuke and instruction for the Christian, especially in a time when indulgence and unreality have infected the practice of religion. In today's cultural disarray, moreover, the modern artist in particular has much to teach us bearing on the rediscovery of meaning, the sifting of traditions, the discernment of spirits, and the renewal of the word.

  • As a Hen Gathers Her Brood

    The mother hen has no fangs, no claws, no rippling muscles. All she has is her willingness to shield her babies with her own body. If the fox wants them, he will have to kill her first.

  • As Good as Dead (Rom. 4:13-25; Matt. 9:9-13, 18-26)

    The Spirit gives us the peace to withstand the pain, loss and ridicule we will encounter on the way to discovering new life after being as good as dead.

  • Asian Religions -- An Introduction to the Study of Hinduism, Buddhism, Islam, Confucianism, and Taoi

    The author deals with the place of Asian religions in the study of world history. When we study the history of Europe and America we can assume at least a minimal knowledge about the influence of Greek, Jewish, and Christian religious thought and practices, but for the study of the history of Asia we must prepare ourselves by gaining a sympathetic understanding of the quite different religious ideas and practices of that part of the world.

  • Asian Theology Today: Searching for Definitions

    Liberation is emerging as Asian theology’s chief motif. As in African theology, Latin American liberation theology and theologies of the oppressed in North America, the search for an Asian theology has its origin in the recognition that Euro-American theology is totally inadequate to provide universal concepts of religious understanding.

  • Asking the Existential Questions

    The author discusses her intellectual development in the following areas: (1) the relation of Christianity to other religions; (2) the relation of Roman Catholic Christianity to other Christian bodies; (3) the relation of American identity to anti-American criticism; and (4) the relation of feminism to male-dominated culture and institutions.

  • Assessing the Concerns of the Religious Right

    The "religious right" either neglect or respond inappropriately to the most fateful moral problems confronting humanity.

  • At Ground Zero (James 5:13-20)

    The author writes of those dying in traumatic moments and how their struggle with their illnesses is also a struggle of faith.

  • At Home and Not at Home: Religious Pluralism and Religious Truth

    Building on the observations of H. Richard Niebuhr, Bellah shows how the gap between the religious pluralism of Ernst Troeltsch and the absolute distinction between the revelation of God in Christ versus other religions can be bridged by the Christian without being unfaithful. Both Niebuhr and Troeltsch talked in terms of "the truth for us" in the context of historical relativism. That, plus the fact that as central as the community of the church is for us, it is not our only community, enables us - paradoxically - to be home and not at home in a religiously pluralistic world. This article is adapted from a presentation made at Yale Divinity School marking the 100th anniversary of the birth of H. Richard Niebuhr.

  • At Home in God (Acts 2:42-47;Ps.23;I Pet.2:l9-25;John l0:1-10)

    The author reminds us that we have a home in God and that God abides also in us.

  • At Home in the Spiritual Market Place

    Review of Spiritual Marketplace, by Wade Clark Roof, about the spiritual needs and pursuits of the post-World War II generations.

  • At Table With the Saints (I John 3:1-3)

    Going to church makes a difference in how we live and in how we die.

  • At the Divine Banquet

    Is there no salvation except through Christ? The author suggests we might take a lesson from earlier Christians who did not assume God’s judgment on others, but worried first and foremost about their own shortcomings.

  • At the Last Supper

    Our task is to try to draw near to Jesus and to each other. By believing against all odds and loving against all odds -- that is how we are to let Jesus show in the world and transform the world.

  • Atom, Duration, Form: Difficulties with Process Philosophy

    Dr. Pannenberg gives a critique of several Whiteheadian concepts: actual entities, atomism, prehension, subjective aim, superject, objective immortality.

  • Auden’ s Moral Comedy: A Late-Winter Reading

    Auden’s humor is designed to remind us that our attitude to our own limitations may govern how we respond to the harsh times of tragic choices.

  • Authority or Idolatry? Feminine Theology and the Church

    Feminine theology calls for an end to all authoritarian models of truth -- including the model of the ordained minister or priest, for "ordination" means accepting the authority of the traditional Christian framework and being licensed to carry on that tradition.

  • Autobiography

    Born in Japan, service in the army, then University of Chicago and Chicago Divinity School; local United Methodist pastor,five years teaching at Emory and finally thirty-two years at Claremont School of Theology. Influences, process studies and students.

  • Awakened by Easter

    The thought comes to the author that it is just not possible to sleep enveloped in the glow and glory of the Risen Christ. One has to be up and doing something worthwhile, something that draws strength from the resurrection, something related to the victory over death.

  • Axis of One: The ‘Unipolarist’ Agenda

    The Bush administration is loaded with policymakers who have long maintained that the U.S. should use its overwhelming economic and military power to remake the world in the image of Western capitalist democracy. Since 9/11 our leaders are invoking that experience to reinforce our arrogance and our obliviousness to the consequences of our actions.

  • Azusa Street Revival

    The imaginative power of the Azusa Street revival shapes not only narrative but also practice and makes the historiography of Pentecostalism surprisingly contentious because adherents generally embrace a particular version of the revival’s story and often engage parts of its legacy rather the whole.

  • Back to Baccalaureate

    The baccalaureate service is an effective way for institutions committed to educational objectives emphasizing human values to focus on that fact. Such rituals also serve to strengthen the sense of community among faculty and students.

  • Back to Basics: Rx for Congregational Health

    The origin of some of the unhealthiness that afflicts congregations is a lack of theological clarity, confidence and conviction. We are not autonomous, self-created individuals. We belong to God, who has created us for fellowship with the divine self.

  • Back to Fundamentals

    Former president Jimmy Carter challenges a gathering of Christian leaders to follow Paul’s example -- to be drawn to Christ thus drawn closer to one another, to follow Christ, the Prince of peace, and reach to out to the lost and alleviate the suffering of others.

  • Back to Life (John 11:1-45)

    Jesus’ death is planned by Caiaphas and the Sanhedrin because he had brought forth life in Lazarus -- a double irony.

  • Back to the Future: Fourth-Century Style Reaches Bay Area Seekers

    St. Gregory’s (of Nysssa Episcopal Church in San Francisco) highly participatory worship may not be for everyone, but it would be hard not to be moved by this congregation’s way of continuing the long conversation God has had with humanity.

  • Baffling Blindness (1 Sam. 16:1-13; Ps. 23; Eph. 5:8-14; Jn. 9:1-41)

    In the story of the blind man, John tells us the allegory that with completely good eyes, we can’t see the truth, that we aren’t worthy of the good things we get.

  • Balance Sheet (Mat. 22:15-22)

    Jesus may have been making the point that nothing belongs to Caesar. In the conflict between the secular and the religious, how liberating it is to say, "No, I cannot attend, I will be at church."

  • Balancing Out the Trinity: The Genders of the Godhead

    A case can be made that a female Holy Spirit represents an important early teaching of Jesus’ followers. For some early Christians, the baptismal initiation reversed the division of male and female, returning to the gender unity found in Adam.

  • Baptism in the Indian Context -- An Event of Separation or Human Solidarity?

    Conversion and baptism are all too commonly seen as part of a movement of 'denationalization.' Though the real fear is the awakening and uprising of the people, opposition is expressed in terms of religious conversion. But once we are freed from the obsession to baptize, to 'save`, and our concern becomes the much wider concern of God to bring about God's Kingdom, the obvious relativization of baptism opens the way to understand the Church not as an Institution of Salvation, but as a movement of Jesus followers at the service of all God's people and God's creation.

  • Bare-Bones Imbroglio: Repatriating Indian Remains and Sacred Artifacts

    On a recent trip to the Southwest, Dean Peerman encountered a variety of viewpoints among anthropologists, museum curators, antique dealers and Indian tribespeople toward proposed federal legislation called the Native American Grave and Repatriation Act.

  • Barth and Beyond

    To reckon with Barth is to encounter one whose theology later inspired liberation theologians in Latin America and antiapartheid theologians in South Africa -- a theologian who felt that what you pray for, you must also work for.

  • Barth on Mozart

    Mozart teaches us the sovereignty of the true servant. In his music, “the sun shines, but without burning or weighing upon the earth,” and “the earth also stays in its place, remains itself, without feeling that it must therefore rise in titanic revolt against the heavens.”

  • Battle for the Bible

    The "letter" of the Bible versus the "spirit" of the Bible regarding slavery immediately before the Civil War are discussed. The author discusses the theological and secular arguments for and against slavery.

  • Be Happy (Micah 6:1-8; Matthew 5:1-12)

    The Beatitudes place our lives in the context of the whole realm and scope and community of God’s love and justice. More description than instruction, more report than directive, they compose a litany in which all promises point to the same reality.

  • Be Watchful (Mark 13: 3l-37)

    That Christ will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead is an article of our faith. Unfortunately, the mainline churches have left it to the sectarian groups to teach and preach on the second coming.

  • Beam Me Up Theology

    The "Left Behind" series of very popular novels and their "end-times" theology are rightly criticized on all sides of the theological spectrum.

  • Bearing Witness in Life and Death

    Review of a series aired on PBS: On Our Own Terms. Bill Moyers’s series offers poignant portraits and many helpful suggestions about ways in which our dying and the dying of those around us can be grace-filled.

  • Becoming Church

    Where is the church of Stanley Hauerwas’ theology that calls for a radical, nonviolent discipleship?

  • Becoming: A Problem for Determinists?

    Determinism conflicts with the common sense understanding of time and is to be rejected on that ground, but determinism is not absurd. However, the issue resolved is of little systematic importance to process metaphysics. Process philosophers can maintain their critique of classical substance, of absolute idealism, of materialism, and of classical theology without having it rest on the rather flimsy structure of a "refutation" of determinism.

  • Begging to Give (2 Cor. 8:7-15)

    All families need access to adequate housing, a healthy diet, good education and security. But for huge numbers of people, those kinds of needs are fantasy. The answer just might lie in churches that are begging -- begging for the privilege of standing with those in need and applying a holistic gospel to the systems that deprive people of their dignity.

  • Beginning at Jerusalem

    The Jerusalem meeting made it clear that the missionary enterprise is coming to be not something that we do for other peoples but something that we do with them. Gone was the note of condescending superiority. It was a high-water mark in the history of foreign missions when the council declared that the churches of the West need to receive Christian missionaries as well as send them.

  • Behind Pinochet’s Reign of Terror

    Dr. Serbin reviews two books about the Chilean government and its repressive system under Pinochet’s reign of terror -- far more brutal than anyone realized.

  • Being and Freedom: The Metaphysics of Freedom

    Is human volition, which gives freedom to fix what otherwise would remain indeterminate, an exception in the natural order, or does freedom belong to Being?

  • Being and Person

    The author considers the importance of relating metaphysics to other domains of thought, in this case, economics.  In Cobb's  process theology, persons are in fact successions of acts of being, each of which is inclusive of many past acts of being.  And the well being of persons is deeply affected by the health of the communities to which they belong.  Thus economic practice that consistently undermines community is fundamentally misdirected.

  • Being Postliberal: A Response to James Gustafson

    The author, who identifies himself as a "postliberal," and answers a number of questions about what postliberalism is and what it is not.

  • Bell’s Theorem and Stapp’s Revised View of Space-Time

    Physicists now say what Whitehead said rather long ago: that nature consists, in the last analysis, of "events, not things." Physicists as such can hardly be expected to see also that causal inheritance is prehensive.

  • Bell’s Theorem, H. P. Stapp, and Process Theism

    An analysis of a concept in process thought dealing with one aspect of quantum mechanics which theorizes that the earlier of two events cannot affect the other if the distance between them is so great that a light signal cannot traverse it during the time interval separating the two events.

  • Bellow’s Gift

    Despite his disarming drollery, Saul Bellow has also accepted the role of agonist. His is a "subtle analysis of contemporary culture." As a novelist he remains something of a sociologist, though, to be sure, without graphs and statistics. Bellow has agreed that a novelist is inevitably a moralist.

  • Bergson and the Calculus of Intuition: Special Focus Introduction

    .The author introduces three papers concerning Henri Bergson the Calculus of Intuition. The three: 1. Pete A. Y. Gunter, Bergson, Mathematics, and Creativity; 2. Carl R. Hausman, Bergson, Peirce, and Reflective Intuition; and 3. Randall E. Auxier, Influence as Confluence: Bergson and Whitehead. These articles can be found at the web-site

  • Bergson on Science and Philosophy

    Bergson not only maintains an irreducible dualism of the ways of knowing but also the absolute character of both.

  • Bergson, Mathematics, and Creativity

    Dr. Gunter corrects two misunderstandings of Henri Bergson: 1. That his philosophy is "irrationalist." 2. That his philosophy is "literary." The author’s basic goal is to explain Dr. Bergson’s concept of the calculus.

  • Bergson, Peirce, and Reflective Intuition

    Dr. Hausman suggests that both Bergson and Peirce had the insight to see that the cosmos, as well as human language, involves evolution from past to future and expands reality.

  • Bergson, Prigogine and the Rediscovery of Time

    Science has traditionally ignored the significance of time. The attempt to treat all processes as theoretically reversible processes have failed to account for the results of many experimental investigations.

  • Bergson’s Dualism in ‘Time and Free Will’

    Bergsonian philosophy consists in a bold attempt to justify metaphysical knowledge on an intuitional basis. This current in Bergson’s thought is professedly anti-Cartesian. Bergson’s doctrine of durational embodiment constitutes, in fact, an early and highly original chapter in the effort to by-pass the nineteenth-century stalemate between intellectualistic-idealism and objectivistic-empiricism.

  • Berrigan, Buber, and the ‘Settler State’

    Father Berrigan’s address to a largely Arab audience generated controversy: was it or was it not anti-Semitic. The author agrees with some and disagrees with other parts of the speech and offers a survey of the varieties of the Zionist "settler ethos."

  • Beside the Lord (Prov. 8:22, 29-31)

    Trinitarian images ground Christian faith, love and hope by providing for the experiences of separation and distance in Christian life, while insisting on a unity with God that transcends all temporal and spatial boundaries.

  • Best of Intentions

    The kingdom of God that Jesus announced was not for people who never did anything wrong. It was for "sinners," for those who -- mostly -- tried their best to do the right thing, often failed, but accepted the forgiveness of God and of others, forgave others and themselves, and started over.

  • Bethlehem, Feminism and the New Creation

    Why should half the population risk their lives while the other half supports them from the sidelines? Of course, a nuclear war would make this whole matter moot. Except for the childbearing function, there is no biological or psychological basis for distinguishing between the roles of men and women.

  • Between Anarchy and Fanaticism: Religious Freedom’s Challenge

    The resurgence of religious orthodoxies has brought to the fore the issue of the religious ground of democracy and its role in social policy. The critical tasks of our time: teaching us how, while loving freedom, to mandate high standards of behavior; and how, while maintaining God’s truth, to accommodate variety and dissent.

  • Between East and West: Confrontation and Encounter

    The author reviews three books, which he describes as "variations on a theme," that being the response of Muslims to the ascendancy of the West and the West's attempt to annex or assimilate the Muslim worldview.

  • Between the Lines (Prov. 8: 1-4, 22-31; Ps. 8; Rom. 5: 1-5; Jn. 16: 12-15)

    Preachers seem to feel the need to explain the Trinity. But when you approach the mysterious feast of God, the direct approach simply will not work.

  • Between Two Advents: In the Interim (Luke 21:28)

    Our task "between the two advents" is simple faithfulness in our work and in our attitudes -- the kind of faithfulness that shows we are being drawn forward by the magnet force of the kingdom of God.

  • Beware of the Scribes

    A review of Misquoting Jesus: The Story Behind Who Changed the Bible and Why. The book reviewed gives a thorough introduction to New Testament textual analysis. It challenges the reviewer to do research in biblical criticism.

  • Beyond `Pluralism'

    Dr. Cobb believes we should appreciate and respect all religious traditions, but opposes the idea that the various religious traditions are more or less equally effective means of arriving at a common end or meeting a common need.

  • Beyond Darwin

    John Polkinghorne believes that classical Darwinian, despite its great insights into the struggle for survival, goes too far in its explanatory principle of almost universal scope. Theology can lay better claim to being the true Theory of Everything.

  • Beyond Liberation: An Agenda for Educational Justice

    Education in a multiracial society should place emphasis on growth in character and virtue. It is certainly time that advocates for racial justice began to insist that schools take on the high mission of developing such high qualities.

  • Beyond Neutrality

    A democracy that believes in religious freedom should be willing to live with tension between the two; so should a religion that believes in democracy.

  • Beyond Separation of Church and State

    Review of Separation of Church and State by Philip Hamburger, who argues that it is not true that our constitution and the First Amendment protect us from the entanglements of church and state.

  • Beyond Slogans: An Abortion Ethic for Women and the Unborn

    The pro-life movement has always known that in order to help the unborn, women must also be helped, but it has not yet found a way to make this moral insight the operative and unquestioned premise of the entire movement.

  • Beyond the Feminist Critique: A Shaking of the Foundations

    By facing feminism’s challenge to tradition, the church stands to gain much more than it conceivably could lose. Feminism opens the door for the most serious and radical rethinking of the nature of religious experience that the West has known since the inception of Christianity.

  • Beyond the Polarization: Grace and Surprise in Worship

    Can we break out of our own comfort zone in worship to exprience other faithful forms? If the grace of God is as extraordinary as we say it is, we should be willing to give surprise a chance.

  • Beyond Tolerance to Equal Rights

    Executive Al Campanis lost his job with the Los Angeles Dodgers which served to expose the fact that our culture has embraced tolerance without making a comparable commitment to the principle of equal rights. Tolerance of the rights and opinions of others is a virtue, but when that tolerance becomes a substitute faith, it reveals its emptiness.

  • Bible Stories, Literalists and the Sunday School

    To a family and children inescapably caught in literalistic Biblical interpretation: Children are amazingly resilient, even to stories of violence, especially when from a secure home. Stories are part of our culture and need to be known -- especially Biblical stories -- even in their violence. Your (liberal) presence in such an environment will have an impact, even if totally outnumbered.

  • Biblical Authority

    Rather than proclaiming loud, dogmatic slogans about the Bible, we might do better to consider the odd and intimate ways in which we have each been led to where we are in our relationship with the scriptures. What if liberals and conservatives in the church, for all their disagreement, would together put their energies to upholding the main truth against the main threat?

  • Biblical Foundations of the Power and Politics

    We find the most penetrating understanding of power and politics in the biblical literature. The vision of the politics of the people of God emerged in the form of the prophetic movement, priestly movement, and messianic movement. The apocalyptic literature should be regarded as the story of politically oppressed people about the dominating powers.

  • Biblical Literalism: Constricting the Cosmic Dance

    The recent wave of school-board hearings, legislative bills and court cases suggests that literalism is a persistent phenomenon. Indeed, we may be seeing only the top of the turnip.

  • Biblical Perspectives on Homosexuality

    There is no biblical sex ethic. The Bible knows only a love ethic, which is constantly being brought to bear on whatever sexual mores are dominant in a given country, culture or period. Despite ones revulsion against homosexuality, nevertheless, it appears, for some persons, to be the only natural form their sexuality takes.

  • Biblical Views of Nature

    This is primarily a religio-historical essay, not "biblical theology." Both the New Testament and the Old speak the same message, that the whole created order is God’s work and thus is good. God’s care extends to the most insignificant of animals, and to all living things.

  • Big Story (Romans 9:1-5; Matthew 14:13-21)

    Jesus’ feeding of the loaves and fishes to thousands is a metaphor of Paul’s insistence that the gospel is to be fed to everyone, gentile and Jew alike.

  • Biker Wedding

    The author’s contact with a wedding in a "Biker Society" surprised him with the care, concern and empathy each had for the other. Christianity could learn a lesson here, for we need the church as these bikers seemed to need each other. Christianity is not a solo activity.

  • Bin Laden’s Reasons: Interpreting Islamic Tradition

    What is the connection between Islam and the events of September 11? The only connection that ever exists between a religious tradition and the actions of believers is the one those believers create in their own minds. In the case of Osama bin Laden and his colleagues, it was the result of impudence and a lack of grounding in the Islamic tradition.

  • Biology Meets Theology

    The author reviews three books of human history from a rational perspective including such subjects as the Genesis story from a scientific viewpoint, Darwinism, Molecular biology and others. These are made up of non-believing or agnostic biologists who eschew radical anti-religious claims in favor of sober assessments of genetic influence.

  • Birth Defects: Are We Doing Enough?

    Birth defects do not respect ethnic, religious or socioeconomic backgrounds. The first and most basic step in research leading to their prevention is accurate knowledge of how often, when and where they occur. Since the existing system for collecting such data, even if it were working perfectly, would still miss two out of every three babies born with defects, it seems wise to modify it.

  • Birth Pangs: Liberation Theology in North America

    There can be no systematic theology in North America today without analysis of Marx. Theology that doesn’t take the poor into account from the outset isn’t Christian theology. Once considered exotic and fanciful, liberation theologies now have a good chance of becoming the way ahead for theology in the next century.

  • Biting the Bullet: The Case for Legalizing Drugs

    It is not drugs but drug laws that have made drug dealing profitable.

  • Bitten to Death by Ducks: A Reply to Griffin

    It seems Process thinking remains outside the main current of thought. This is one in a series of five articles written in exchange between William Hasker and David Griffin. (See the Problem of Evil in Process Theism and Classical Free-Will Theism by William Hasker; Traditional Free Will Theodicy and Process Theodicy: Haskeer’s Claim For Parity; "Bitten to Death By Ducks": A Reply to Griffin; On Hasker’s Defense of His Parity Claim by David Ray Griffin (in

  • Black Theology vs. Feminist Theology

    The tension between black churchmen and the women’s movement, seems to represent the defensive perspective of the black, middle-class, patriarchal church. It concentrates on confronting the racism of its counterparts in the white church. But it has not yet opened itself up to the disturbing countertrends in the lower-class black community that not only conflict with bourgeois male and female stereotypes but also are alienated from middle-class values and the Christian identity as well.

  • Blaming Women for the Sexually Abusive Male Pastor

    Discussions of the sexually abusive pastor tend to relieve the male pastor of responsibility for his actions. All to often the blame is placed on the woman, who is viewed as a predatory female in a manner that perpetuates "the misogyny of our theological heritage."

  • Blending Commitment and Politics

    The notion that politicians must not permit their religious sensibilities to affect political decision-making has reduced political dialogue to a seminar on pragmatism.

  • Blending Salt and Spice, Joining Wisdom and Prophecy

    To proclaim justice and to celebrate the goodness of life are the double measure of true faithfulness.

  • Blessing Both Jew and Palestinian: A Religious Zionist View

    According to Yehezkel Landau, a religious peace activist, the conflict over the land of Israel-Palestine will be resolved only when each side recognizes the other ‘as a potential sibling and partner" in the struggle for liberation.

  • Blind Spots (Mark 10:46-52)

    What are our blind spots, what corners of the church and of society need serious reformation in the 21st century? What do we allow to go unchallenged today that will one day cause our grandchildren to shake their heads at how blind we were to the gospel?

  • Blinded by Metaphor: Churches and Welfare Reform

    Conservatives argue that the real problem is not poverty but dependency while liberals respond that the problem underlying poverty is not dependency but a malfunctioning economic system. Both repeat their outworn positions instead of listening to each other.

  • Blinded by the Light (John 17:20-26)

    In the season of Ascension we are asked to behold a beauty that until now has been only inferred, conjectured, dreamed.

  • Bloody Gospel (Matthew 26:14-27:66)

    This article appeared in The Christian Century, March 11, 2008, p. 20. Copyright by the Christian Century Foundation; used by permission. Current articles and subscriptions information can be found at This material was prepared for Religion Online by Ted and Winnie Brock.

  • Boast Not (I Cor. 9:16-23)

    If we asked the question "who are we and what is our destiny?", and if we refuse to accept answers from the world, the question will not be what we ask but what is asked of us.

  • Bondage in Old Hispaniola: The Haitian Canecutters

    As Americans we want to foster democracies, not dictatorships; deal fairly with sovereign nations and treat them as friends, not subjects; respect our neighbors more than our corporate markets; and create jobs, not food dependencies. We will rightly earn the respect of other nations when we recognize the Dominicans and the Haitians as partners, and ease the Haitians’ forced labor and fight for their freedom.

  • Bonding in the Bleachers: A Visit to the Promise Keepers

    The author attends a meeting of the Promise Keepers at Oakland Coliseum and reports on the event, as well as the phenomenon of this successful men's movement.

  • Bonhoeffer and the Path of Resistance

    Bonhoeffer confronts us as someone who, in following Christ, made a personally costly decision that doing nothing to rid the world of Hitler was worse than doing what he did, however ambiguous the moral issues. In making that decision he could only "sin boldly" and cast himself on the grace of God.

  • Bonhoeffer’s Legacy: A New Generation

    There can be little doubt that Bonhoeffer’s legacy has had a major impact on Christianity since his martyrdom 50 years ago. The surprising, often risky elements of both action and thought in a life profoundly marked by consistency of faith and hope keep interest in Bonhoeffer alive.

  • Book 'Em (Jer. 1:4-10; Cor. 13:1-13; Lk. 4:21-30)

    Things were fine in Nazareth until Jesus opened his mouth and all hell broke lose.

  • Bound to be Free

    The author compares three levels of freedom: 1. Political freedom; 2. Moral freedom; 3. Freedom of living with God. Genuine freedom comes only when it is received by faith.

  • Brain, Mind and God

    A cross-disciplinary understanding that brings together a consideration of the brain-mind relationship and the symbol-images of Byzantine and medieval architecture. Buildings give us architectures of the mind, outward and visible images of inward and spiritual mind-sets.

  • Brainwashed or Converted?

    Once pejorative labels like "brainwashing" have been affixed to conversion, any church is fair game for claims of damages.

  • Branded by God (Jeremiah 31:31-34)

    Exposing our hearts to God, we are "branded" by the word that makes us community. Pain, indelibility and identity are the hallmarks of God writing the covenant on the heart of the people.

  • Bread and Miracles (John 6:1-21)

    John’s story about feeding the five thousand tells us that God wants hungry people fed. But the miracle, because it is also a "sign," teaches us that God wants more than stomachs filled.

  • Breadlines and Storm Clouds: The Century 1930-1937

    In the opinion of the Century’s editors, the 1929 depression signaled something more basic than a temporary malfunctioning of the capitalist system; it was indicative of fundamental flaws in the system itself. And in the war to follow, editor Morrison’s own position differed from that of both Niebuhr and Kirby Page, though it was closer to Page’s.

  • Breaking and Entering (Luke 13:1-9)

    The sign of the times, the clue to the breaking in of God’s reign, is the gracious and patient hand that reaches out to halt the ax, the merciful voice that says, "Let’s give this hopeless case one more year."

  • Breaking Away

    The author reviews four books that examine leaving fundamentalism and reorienting one's faith. Religious gifts and meaning as well as the flaws of fundamentalism are depicted.

  • Brideshead Revisited: A Twitch Upon the Thread

    Evelyn Waugh thought of his novel not as entertainment but as a camouflaged sermon, a case study of mercy being rejected and then accepted in the end. The real point was "to trace the divine purpose in a pagan world."

  • Bridging The Abyss of Revenge

    A thoughtful discussion of the possibility of forgiveness in the political realm.

  • Bringing Economics and Theology Together Again

    Economics should serve the good of all people, and should be based on and reflect the moral values upheld by the great religions. If these moral values are to have a practical impact then religious thinkers and economists need to work together on policies which embody these moral values.

  • Bringing Good Tidings to the Afflicted (Isa. 61:1-2)

    Christians should care for the afflicted simply because they are human and because the need us, because we or they will never again have this chance. Even if we can do nothing to mend or to prevent the tragedy, we can warm the night.

  • Bringing the Seminary to the Church

    In the view of even the most faithful and sophisticated church members, including those who are close friends of the clergy, the theological seminary and the seminary professor are mysterious and awesome -- familiar only to the privileged and spiritual elite, speaking an esoteric tongue, and no place for the laity. So a seminary professor was invited to spend his sabbatical at our church.

  • British Theology After a Trauma: Divisions and Conversations

    In the middle two quarters of the 20th century, a drastically reductionist way of thinking became the bottom line against which everything was measured. If there was one intellectual development in living memory that separates the "grandparent" from the "parent" generation of British theology, it was the rise of logical positivism and analytical philosophy.

  • British Theology: Movements and Churches

    There are institutional challenges to British theology to be met if the delicate ecology of theology and religious studies is not to succumb to the commodification of education, to ideologies with no room for theology (least of all for its celebratory mode), or to absorption in a range of other disciplines.

  • Broadening Care, Discerning Worth: The Environmental Contributions of Minimalist Religious Naturalis

    Dr. Stone calls us to face the worsening eco-crisis with new paradigms of thinking in all areas, in order to show the environmental relevance of a minimalist religious naturalism.

  • Broken Continuities: "Night" and "White Crucifixion"

    The works by two Jewish artist -- the painter Marc Chagall and the novelist Elie Wiesel -- exemplify Karl A. Plank’s contention that, "as the Holocaust chronicles make starkly clear, the Lord whom the church confesses is also its victim.

  • Brother, Are You Saved? or How to Handle the Religious Census Taker

    How can one deal firmly yet humanely with those people who feel called to push doorbells? They ask: "Do you believe in the inerrancy of the scriptures." How can the scriptures be inerrant when it contains so many errors?

  • Buchier’s Ordinal Metaphysics and Process Theology

    A discussion between Peter H. Hare and John Ryder concerning Justus Buchler’s Metaphysics of Natural Complexes and the relationship of his thoughts to process theology.

  • Buddhism and Christianity

    The essayist compares Christianity and Buddhism, suggesting both can learn from each other.

  • Buddhism and Christianity: Advancing the Dialogue

    The general Buddhist lack of interest in Christianity gives us no reason to abandon dialogue. Buddhism grasps some aspects of “ultimate reality” which Christianity does not explicate as fully.

  • Buddhism and the Natural Sciences

    The world today is in bondage to the quest of wealth, and it accepts mainstream economic thought as its theology. This economic thought models itself on the physics of the nineteenth century. It treats human beings as isolated substances. Both the goal of wealth and this atomistic understanding of human beings are in radical contradiction with Buddhist teaching.

  • Building a New Ecumenism Through Contextual Theology

    Ellingsen notes that numerous ecumenical breakthroughs resulted from the Second Vatican Council, but mutual respect does not always bridge the gap between the mainline churches with their primary commitment to contextual theology, and fundamentalists as well as evangelicals with their prevailing commitment to biblical authority. Both sides, however, have been coming to a growing appreciation of each other's concerns, with mainline denominations placing more emphasis on biblical hermeneutics and theological conservatives sounding the call to contextualize theology.

  • Building Bigger Closets (Ec. 1:2, 12-14; 2:18-23; Ps. 49:1-12; Col. 3:1-11 Lk. 12:13-21)

    For some of us it is always time to start getting ready to worry.

  • Building Communities From the Inside Out

    The best strategy for churches may be to again make the inner city a staging area for upward and outward mobility.

  • Building Community Amid Troubles (Phil. 22-4; Matt. 21:28-32; Ezek. 18:1-4)

    Paul’s words are both instructive and troubling to us today. They teach us that there can be no such thing as community without unity of consciousness, collective action free of individual greed, humility and respect for the other and as much concern for the other person’s welfare as for our own.

  • Bush’s God Talk

    President Bush believes God called him to the presidency. The author concludes that the president's theology and his actual deployment of it is less systematic than pragmatic..

  • Bush’s Religious Passions

    President George W. Bush’s religious intentions are deeply involved in his administration and especially in the war. It appears his is a religious crusade called by God.

  • Buying ‘Christian’

    Christianity, rightly understood, seeks to unite people in common community -- not to raise barriers and separate them because of theological differences.

  • By Our Love (Jn. 13:31-35)

    The love Jesus shows his disciples is the love we are called to show others.

  • C. S. Lewis: Natural Law, the Law in Our Hearts

    According to C. S. Lewis, we learn more about God from Natural Law than from the universe in general, just as we discover more about people by listening to their conversations than by looking at the houses they build. Natural Law shows that the Being behind the universe is intensely interested in fair play, unselfishness, courage, good faith, honesty and truthfulness.

  • C. S. Lewis’s Visionary World

    Lewis’ God asks not for a part of our life, but for the whole of it. Dr. Meilaender reviews four books about C.S.Lewis’ insights.

  • Cadets for Christ

    The Air Force Academy must clarify itself on questions central to democracy -- the separation of church and state and the free expression of religion.

  • Cakes for the Queen of Heaven: 2,500 Years of Religious Ecstasy

    A religion of pleasure, no matter what the intentions of its advocates, can only inhibit the efforts required by God’s demand that we engage in the moral struggles of this world.

  • Call Me (Deut. (18:15-20; Ps. 111; I Cor. 8:1-13)

    In our day, the word of the Lord is cheap, visions are widespread and telemarketers call us by name. How do we distinguish God’s call?

  • Called to Order (Deut. 18:15-20; Ps. 111; I Cor. 8:1-13

    If the word turns out not to be true, or the prediction does not come to pass, then it is evident that it was not a true word of Yahweh, but only prophetic arrogance.

  • Called to Unity Through the Cross

    The cross is a supremely ambiguous force in the life of every Christian. It is both bad and good, shameful and inspiring, a burden and a blessing, a curse and a cure. It is both condemnation and salvation. The cross uniquely symbolizes the complex theological content of the entire Christian faith.

  • Campus Ministry in the Last Decade of the Century

    A review of what has happened to the campus ministry in recent times.

  • Camus, God, and Process Thought

    Goss is not concerned here with the validity of Whitehead’s conception of God, but rather to demonstrate that Camus’ writings leave open the possibility of God as understood by Whitehead, and that Camus’ thoughts on rebellion and its source in the beauty of nature are compatible with and made consistent by a process notion of God.

  • Can "Sustainability" Be Sustained?

    Stackhouse reviews John Cobb, Sustainability: Economics, Ecology, and Justice, and challenges Cobb's activist pro-ecological stance as overly naturalistic, pessimistic, nostalgic and anti-development. He proposes instead that the central demand of our time is to use the technology that is now on the horizon to transform nature in ways that enhance the global structures of a "graceful, cosmopolitan civilization able to serve the whole of humanity."

  • Can a Jew Be a Christian?

    The author discusses Avodat Yisrael, a Messianic Jewish congregation in suburban Philadelphia which has more than casual relations with a Presbyterian Church -- raising significant questions about the relationship between Jews and Christians.

  • Can Catholics Find Common Ground?

    The author of the book reviewed suggests several views that might salvage the Catholic church: retain celibacy and call for heroic holiness; remove required celibacy and eventually ordain women; restudy and change the very idea of priesthood.

  • Can Christianity Shape Higher Education in a Pluralistic Age?

    We have understood higher education to be the untrammeled search for truth. But to be a Christian is to be already convinced as to some of the answers. Can answers that organize the institution and determine its goal be examined with the same openness as others? There is, thus, a profound tension in the idea of a Christian college or university. Either it must compromise its Christian commitment or it must compromise the ideals of higher education.

  • Can Christians Serve in the Armed Forces?

    The war criminal, the aggressor, the practitioner of genocide and the terrorist are not fading from the scene. In such a world, only the presence of effective military forces makes possible the maintenance of relative peace and security in international politics.

  • Can Churches Save the City? A Look at Resources

    Recent major media articles on congregation-based inner-city ministries give a false impression that much is really known about these saving enterprises. Farnsley asks, "What kinds of churches and pastors are involved in community development?" and "What resources are available to urban congregations?  

  • Can Corporations Assume Responsibility for the Environment?

    Nations have surrendered much of their power to transnational corporations. These TNCs have opposed the growth of the developing nations in favor of growth of a world-wide market. . They are constituted for the purpose of making a profit for their stockholders. Leaving the consequences for the environment entirely in their hands appears dangerous, and thus far the effects have in fact been very bad . The author believes that power instead should be in the hands of those who have othergoals than economic gain in view as part of their primary job description. Governments, including both legislators and administrators, are supposed to aim at the common good. Cobb advocates a massive effort to return power to the people and their elected representatives.

  • Can Evangelicalism Survive in the Context of Free Inquiry?

    There appears to be an inherent incompatibility between Christian evangelicalism and the idea of a university, for only an "open" style of Christian commitment can affirm a university's commitment to free inquiry.

  • Can Leclerc’s Composite Actualities Be Substances?

    Leclerc’s account of the nature of composite material substances is wrong on three counts: 1. Substantial unity is depicted of the composite; 2. Emergent wholes are presented as more than the sums of their parts; 3. Substances are shown as acquiring new substantial forms.

  • Can the Church Bless Divorce?

    Those human relationships that promise the greatest joy also hold the potential for the deepest hurt. In the searing pain of human brokenness there is redemption, forgiveness, hope and the opportunity to seek a new fulfillment along a new path.

  • Can the Church Help God Save the World?

    Probably the main influence of the church, one that can be malign or benign, is on the attitudes of people, especially its more active members. The author believes that in quite basic ways, the oldline Protestant denominations in this country are contributing positively to the attitudes that are now needed. He points to some of those attitudes, but suggests that if society continues to worship Wealth, it is hard to imagine how God can save the world.

  • Can the Nonconservative Seminaries Help the Churches?

    Theological schools can provide solid and effective professional education only if it is clear to the students that their school studies and experiences are pertinent to their future ministry.

  • Can We Expect Greatness from the Clergy

    To meet the laity’s expectations, leadership from grass-roots pastor-theologians is essential. For life in a highly fragmented and specialized society, the pastor as theological integrator can perform a socially unique role in building provisional bridges to enable us to stay in touch with our common humanity fashioned in the image of God.

  • Can Whitehead Be Made a Christian Philosopher?

    How do we define what a Christian is? Is it not dependent upon who does the defining? Whitehead was a Christian philosopher in the sense that will be recognized if Christianity becomes tolerant enough to universalize itself.

  • Can You Get There from Here? Problems in Bible Translation

    All translators of the Bible must confront certain exegetical problems: Textual, lexical, grammatical, terms of kinship, and pronoun gender. The plain fact is that one cannot translate the Bible without doing exegesis and interpretation.

  • Cancer in the Family: Roles of the Clergy

    Clergy are often among those guilty of making comments to patients and family members that are more harmful than helpful, the most maddening of these is "What has happened to you is God’s will." Clergy must become much more involved in the healing ministry.

  • Capek, Bergson, and Process Proto-Mentalism

    Dr. Bjelland attempts to make Capek’s views more readily accessible by providing a concise, synthetic statement of his many-faceted interpretation. Bergson’s proto-mentalism, as interpreted by Capek, is perhaps best viewed as a generalized theory of agency erected upon a phenomenology of experienced succession.

  • Capital

    Dr. Cobb examines wealth and how the wealthy gain control not only of the economy but also of society and government. He believes that the days of the global economy are numbered, and he is glad, because it has done the world great harm. If, on the other hand, the Chinese economy remains largely independent of the global market, China can experiment with its own form of a socially-controlled market economy.

  • Capital Gains

    Third World poverty is caused chiefly by kleptocratic governments and private interests in league with governments that make market exchange unprofitable. This is achieved by private wealth at the cost of other people’s wealth instead of by working, saving and inventing.

  • Capital Punishment: Deserved and Wrong

    George N. Boyd argues against the traditional position of the opponents of capital punishment that no crime ever "deserves" the death penalty, and suggests that the debate is not over what murderers deserve, but rather about how society should express and defend its fundamental values. His recommendation as to the best way to accomplish this is to acknowledge some murderers do "deserve" to lose their lives, but that society is better served by a commitment to the sanctity of human life by abstaining from taking it.

  • Capital Punishment: The Question of Justification

    Even if one is sympathetic to the claim that a murderer deserves to die, there are compelling reasons not to entrust the power to decide who shall die to the persons and procedures that constitute our judicial system.

  • Capital T (Ephesians 1:3-14; Mark 6:14-29)

    As the church continues to reflect on the gift of the Spirit and the challenge of our calling, it is time to once again take up the mantle of speaking truth in love and exposing the big and small lies that entangle us and threaten our undoing.

  • Captialism and Christianity: Pulling on Both Oars

    The churches have determined wrongly that modern political economy is incompatible with biblical religion and thus to be dismissed from Christian consciousness.

  • Caring and Working: An Agrarian Perspective

    The author argues for what he calls "the agrarian point of view" as regards the creation: It means taking seriously the Biblical mandate to care for the creation.

  • Caring as a Calling

    Insights about dealing with death and loss as opportunities for community growth and sharing are sharpened by practical suggestions. “If we can’t care about each other in community, in our little or large band of followers, how will we reach beyond those boundaries?”

  • Caring for Our Generations

    Christian family living does not refer to the form of the family in which one lives but to caring for the generations -- the generation before, one’s own generation, and the generations that follow.

  • Caring for Time’s Survivors

    Younger women should assume responsibility for and minister to elderly and widowed women.

  • Caring When it is Tough to Care

    The author deals with our feelings when confronted with a situation in which we want to care but find it difficult or almost impossible. She offers suggestions for how one can deal with those feelings in ways that show care for both self and others.

  • Cartesian Roots of the Ontological Principle

    In attempting to answer some of the basic questions about the nature of causality, actuality and the mental and physical poles, Whitehead is seeking a system that unifies knowledge, and is keeping alive the Cartesian approach to science and philosophy.

  • Cash and Character: Talking About Money in the Church

    Patterns of giving are uncertain and institutional loyalties are shaky. This is a recipe for financial turmoil. According to Wuthnow, the churches’ fiscal woes stem from a spiritual problem that demands a pastoral response.

  • Caste Off

    What happens when a dalit attempts to seek justice from the courts? Especially in a feudal, conservative state like Rajasthan, where he or she runs many challenges before a case is even registered?  In most cases, the struggle may be just getting to the courts, never mind what happens once they do. And the process is calculated to discourage all but the most determined. Both the data and a ground level investigation suggest that even the most high profile of cases may end with a whimper. In some instances, even charges are not framed years after going to court.

  • Catholic Nuns and the Need for Responsible Dissent

    While there has been substantial dissent among Roman Catholics from the bishops’ pastoral letters, "The Challenge of Peace" and ‘‘Economic Justice for All," dissent on sexual matters such as abortion, homosexuality, priestly ordination of women and even birth control has become increasingly less tolerable to church authorities.

  • Catholic Oaths and Academic Freedom

    The Vatican’s new restrictions on theological teaching at Catholic colleges and universities -- including the reinstatement of loyalty oaths -- will isolate Catholics and work to the detriment of the church.

  • Catholics and Abortion: Authority vs. Dissent

    Effort to make "truth" unitary and absolute, as a way of strengthening acquiescence to church teaching authority, has exactly the opposite effect. If the Catholic church can be wrong on birth control, it can be wrong on anything. If uncertainty exists about something which the church has taught with its full authority, then anything it teaches with its full authority may be wrong.

  • Catholics, Anabaptists and the Bomb

    A discussion of the nuclear deterrent versus the pacifist position concerning nuclear arms. Surprising parallels are to be found in the writings of a Roman Catholic thinker like John Finnis and a theologian in the Anabaptist tradition like John Howard Yoder.

  • Cats in a Wood Stove: Reflections on Building a New Social Gospel

    We are lapsing into well-defended ecclesiastical narcissism. We take care of ourselves -- tending our sick, stabilizing our marriages, providing a much-needed community for our members, worshiping enthusiastically on Sundays -- but about the “sickness of Joseph,” the tyranny in our land, we care not at all, or so it must seem to those outside the church.

  • Caught in the Act: Praise and Renewal in the Church

    Why has so much of mainline Protestantism become joyless? Perhaps we are more impressed by the problems of the world than the power of God. Perhaps we think everything depends on us; that surely ought to make us depressed.

  • Causality, Chaos, and Consciousness: Steps Toward a Normative Cosmological Principle in an Evolving

    Living in an evolving physical and biological universe, Dr. Ahmed claims that human beings have an enormous and abiding burden of responsibility for maintaining the viability of the natural world .

  • Caution: Bible Class in Session

    Most of’ Barbara Brown Taylor’s students profess to live by the Bible without ever having read more than 50 pages of it. Their knowledge of’ what is in it comes from their parents, their preachers and their Bible study leaders, as well as from movies such as Left Behind. When students are asked to read what is actually on the page, most see what they have been taught to see. The danger arises partly because many of them come from communities that censure nonconformity.

  • Caution: Contents May Be Hot (Matthew 5:1-12)

    Many of Jesus’ teachings are not only hot, they’re revolutionary But when they become too hot to handle, we retreat into one passage -- "Blessed are the meek" -- and throw it over any sparks that might ignite into a reordering of the world.

  • Cellmates (Isaiah 35:1-10; Matthew 11:2-11)

    John had prepared the way Jesus would traverse, though not in the manner the Baptizer may have thought.

  • Cemetery Picnic (Gen. 2:15-17; 3:1-7)

    In the eating and drinking the church becomes the eucharistic presence of Christ in the world.

  • Censorship or Education? Feminist Views on Pornography

    Throughout much of its history the church’s views of sexuality have differed little from those of contemporary pornographers. Many Christian thinkers have expressed contempt for human physicality and for women, a contempt that pornographers clearly share.

  • CEOs and Corporate Greed

    In the author's view there is no economic theory no matter how farfetched which can justify a CEO’s pay increase in twenty years by a factor of ten. He believes that is grotesquely immoral.

  • Chance, Purpose, and the Order of Nature

    Because science investigates nature as if it were machinery, it does not follow that nature is therefore machinery. Thus science concludes that all of nature is a product of chance and necessity, thus leaving no place for God’s purpose and creativity.

  • Changes in Attitude: the Lost World of the 1950s

    The best response to the Religious Right is to acknowledge that it is correct in believing that secularism does not deserve to be our enforced national faith. But a fundamentalist and parochial Christianity is not the answer to our quest for a moral center.

  • Changes in the Small-Town Church

    Our love of the past conflicts often with your plans for the future; our love of order does not show up on abstract statistics; our tendency to look to each other for affection and support stands against a minister’s wish to obtain emotional support away from the small church. The clergy never really belong to a small church, and because of that, we have a hard time trusting them.

  • Changing My Mind about the Changeable Church

    McCormick discusses areas in which his thoughts have shifted: The nature of the church; the church as the people of God; the church as servant; the church as collegial; the church as ecumenical; the ecclesiological nature of the church; importance of lay witness; the teaching competence of the episcopal and papal branch; the church and moral truth; the place of dissent; birth regulation; ecclesial honesty; the dynamic nature of faith.

  • Changing the Paradigms

    How is it possible to alter the discourse centering on male theological authorities in such a fashion that women's intellectual participation in it can matter? Although patriarchy as a complete sociopolitical system has been modified in the course of history, the classical politics of patriarchal domination has decisively shaped -- and still does so today -- modern Euro-American forms of democracy.

  • Chariot of Fire (2 Kg. 2:1-12)

    Seeing the master go, made it clear that now it was up to Elisha.

  • Chariots, UFOs, and the Mystery of God

    The Science and Religion of Erich von Däniken theorized in his Chariots of the Gods? that in ancient times earth was visited by technologically advanced travelers from outer space. The author shows this to be pseudo-science.

  • Charisma and Institution: The Assemblies of God

    One of the fastest-growing denominations in the U.S. in the past two decades has been the Assemblies of God. Sociologist Margaret Poloma believes the key to this growth has been that AG churches offer intense religious experiences. But the more prosperous and institutionalized the AG becomes, she suggests, the more it is in danger of diluting the charismatic spirit that has been its lifeblood.

  • Charismatic and Mainline

    John Dart gives a careful review of the birth and growth of the Charismatic movement within the mainline churches, rising to exhilarating peaks in the late 1970s, then scattering into other movements to where today, it’s influence is inconsequential but for a few exceptions.

  • Charismatics and Change in South Africa

    The odium once bestowed on Afrikaners in South Africa has been shifted to charismatics. But after interviewing more than 150 charismatic church members and more than 40 pastors, the authors were astonished by their openness and desire to end apartheid. Also surprising was the fact that the charismatic congregations generally are 20 to 60 per cent black. Nowhere else have they seen such real integration.

  • Charles Atlas with a Halo: America's Billy Graham

    Following a brief summary of Billy Graham’s popularity over nearly a half century, Wacker notes the hostility Graham has engendered from both the religious left and right. In what is essentially a complimentary review of William Martin’s book, A Prophet With Honor: The Billy Graham Story, Wacker credits the author with showing a balanced view of Graham, and summarizes Graham’s appeal from political, social, cultural, as well as homiletical, ecclesiastical and theological perspectives.

  • Charles Clayton Morrison: Shaping a Journal’s Identity

    In 1908 Charles Clayton Morrison took over The Christian Century, by then a publication floundering in financial distress, and eventually turned it into the most influential Protestant magazine of its time.

  • Charles Hartshorne And Subjective Immortality

    Hartshorne’s fundamental position, writes the author, is that birth and death are the necessary boundaries to an existence that is fragmentary, and only God is capable of sustaining the infinite novelty that would be required for everlasting life.

  • Charles Hartshorne and the Ontological Argument

    The ontological argument is by no means superfluous, since it does not rest on the other arguments to guarantee the postulate of logical possibility, and gains support from them only insofar as that postulate is protected by those arguments against options they show to be specious.

  • Charles Hartshorne on Metaphilosophy, Person and Immortality, and Other Issues

    In questioning Charles Hartshorne, the authors find that he is a prolific writer on topics ranging from neoclassical theism, the ontological argument for the existence of God, and philosophical psychology, to aesthetics, pacifism, and ornithology.

  • Charles Hartshorne: A Secondary Bibliography

    Charles Hartshorne’s wife has compiled this list of books referred to by Harshorne in his works.

  • Charles Hartshorne’s Rationalism

    The author’s object is to show that Hartshorne overestimates the argumentative power of his rationalistic principles in the process of eliminating other philosophical positions, and that genuine empirical criteria are inevitable if metaphysics is going to be something more than pure speculation.

  • Chasing Jesus (Ephesians 3:14-21; John 6:1-2)

    e employ human terms to communicate who God is, and here is God in human form among us in Jesus Christ.

  • Checkmate (Dan. 7:9-10, 13-14; Rev.:4b-8; Ps. 93; Jn. 18:33-37)

    Pilate and all the other tyrants who have come after him for 20 centuries challenge Jesus and his way of living and dying. Some of the challengers think that they have come up with a new move to get the best of the champion. But they never will.

  • Childish Behavior (I Th. 2:1-8)

    Paul said, "We were gentle among you." (RVS) James Howell points out the word could be translated as "infants," and he writes a commentary on the possibilities of this.

  • Children of Divorce

    Ministries that have assumed a two-parent, intact family structure may not work well for people who did not grow up in such families. In order to welcome young adults -- to teach, counsel and comfort them -- the church must do a better job of understanding and including their distinctive experience and perspective.

  • China: World Mission Policy

    China, as a whole, is now in a rapid transition towards the outside world. The Chinese church observes and adheres to the three-self principle, but this in no way implies self-isolation. A self-isolated church would lack vitality because a member separating itself from the body could not survive and grow alone. Only in the context of fellowship with the Church universal can selfhood be meaningful.

  • Choosing a Bible Study

    With only a few exceptions, too many study Bibles ignore contemporary biblical research. Recently, however, several high-quality study Bibles conversant with current scholarship have been published -- Bibles that by and large would interest mainline congregations.

  • Choosing Life

    Dr. Cobb indicts the church for substituting the service of wealth and death against service to God and life.

  • Choosing the Impossible: Seminary Students Speak Out

    Money problems seem to be the first concern of seminary students followed by the gap between church and seminary, the lack of time in seminary to learn all that is needed to know, the shortage of "practical" learning, the need for seminary to change with the times and other items are discussed by seminary students.

  • Christ and Culture in Moscow

    Russian Orthodoxy is deeply suspicious of people who promise social transformation.

  • Christ For The World (Is. 7:10-16; Ps. 80:1-7, 17-19; Rom. 1:1-7; Matt. 1:18-25)

    God shares the experience of terror and death and answers not in the language of hatred and rejection, but in giving us the Word made flesh, God with us.

  • Christ is Not as We Are (Matt. 17:1-9)

    Not all Christology fits the contours of our lives, not all Christology can be consumed without remainder in moral examples and ethical preachments. While Christ is as we are, and therefore will help, Matthew’s Christophanies remind us that he is not as we are, and therefore can help.

  • Christ is Risen (Matthew 28: 1-10)

    We have no scientific evidence or rational proof that Jesus is risen from the dead. But the church exists because of the Easter event. Because Jesus is risen, he has become not only our judge in whose presence all of our life is an open book, but also the source of our forgiveness, our healing and our wholeness.

  • Christ's Homelessness

    The author, a Japanese Christian, tells how a Taiwanese Christian helped him to deal with the spiritual homelessness that he experienced by going to live in other cultures.

  • Christ-haunted Landscape (Lev. 19:1-2,15-18)

    Leviticus reveals a God who is Wholly Other.

  • Christ’s Death To End Sacrifice

    The work of the cross is the work of a transcendent God breaking into a cycle we could not change alone.

  • Christian Colleges: A Dying Light or a New Refraction?

    The author offers the Lutheran understanding of "Christ and culture in paradox" as the proper rubric for looking at the relation of Christianity and higher education.

  • Christian Conscience and Nuclear Escapism

    When defense workers ask how they can resolve the conflict between their religious principles and their participation in nuclear weapons projects, the churches need to tell them that there is no resolution. Their work is necessary but it is still immoral.

  • Christian Council of Asia: Partnership in Mission

    The church comprises a community of Christian believers called to bear witness to the fact that racial and ethnic differences are transcended in Christ. On the other hand the church in any particular locality has to be thoroughly in solidarity with its neighbourhood in terms of its national and cultural contexts. The implications for mission of this double nature of transcendence and particularity need careful sorting out.

  • Christian Ethics and International Affairs

    Nuclear war would not only result in hundreds of millions of casualties and in the material destruction of nations; it would also probably destroy the institutions of freedom and the moral, cultural and political conditions on which our values depend. There is a moral necessity of shifting the emphasis from the fear of being destroyed to awareness of the moral meaning of our being destroyers.

  • Christian Ethics and Nuclear Power

    One does not have to be a Marxist to understand that ethical questions are often determined by economic considerations. As examples slavery has been abolished not only because of Christian conscience, but because it became unprofitable, and nuclear-fission has reached its nadir primarily because its economic balance has been found wanting

  • Christian Faith and Economic Practice

    If the Christian church has something helpful to say to the present, complex economic world, how can it put together needed words and ideas that are more than cliches? Roger Shinn, writing from personal experience, responds to criticisms of the process, demonstrates the pitfalls of the bargaining that goes on in drafting groups, shows how hard it is to move from conviction to relevance, and tells why the Catholic bishops have often been more effective in creating documents that lead to lively controversy and educational excitement.

  • Christian Faith and Technical Assistance

    The revolution that has taken place in the last decade in our capacity to speed up technological change has confronted the Christian churches with an ethical dilemma of no small proportions.

  • Christian Faith and the World Crisis

    We think it dangerous to allow religious sensitivity to obscure the fact that Nazi tyranny intends to annihilate the Jewish race, to subject the nations of Europe to the dominion of a "master" race, to extirpate the Christian religion, to annul the liberties and legal standards that are the priceless heritage of ages of Christian and humanistic culture, to make truth the prostitute of political power, to seek world dominion through its satraps and allies, and generally to destroy the very fabric of our western civilization.

  • Christian Fulfillment and Jewish-Christian Dialogue

    If redemption has occurred in Christ, why is the world still so obviously unredeemed?

  • Christian Megastar

    Bono of U2 musical fame may be one of the most important Christian activists of our time, for through his humanitarian efforts he has demonstrated a responsibility to the larger struggles and issues that burden humankind.

  • Christian Missions and the Western Guilt Complex

    Christian missions are better seen as a translation movement, with consequences for vernacular revitalization, religious change and social transformation. than as a vehicle for Western cultural domination.

  • Christian Obligation for the Liberation of Nature

    Christians must offer practical, workable guidelines for the value of some lives over others. The interests of different organisms are often in conflict.

  • Christian Perspectives on Suicide

    A person with a progressive terminal disease faces a unique situation -- one which calls for a new look at traditional assumptions about the motivation for choosing suicide. There is no explicit prohibition of suicide anywhere in the canonical texts of Christianity. This choice might be found to be reasoned, appropriate, altruistic, sacrificial, and loving.

  • Christian Politics ‘Reformation’ Style

    Robin Lovin's review of The Political Meaning of Christianity: An Interpretation, by Glenn Tinder. Tinder’s evaluation of politics is shaped by the conviction that Christianity has understood human possibilities and limitations better than its markets and liberal competitors, so that the prospects for the future depend greatly on recovering Christian insights, understanding them and using them to shape our political expectations.

  • Christian Politics ‘Reformation" Style

    Although "a useful antidote to secular optimism," Glenn Tinder’s Political Meaning of Christianity takes too narrow a view of human possibilities, says Robin W. Lovin in a review of the book.

  • Christian Science Today: Resuming the Dialogue

    How should one evaluate the healing efforts of a denomination which has been committed to Christian healing for over a century and which endeavors to practice it amid a secular climate in which medical assumptions are axiomatic?

  • Christian Spirituality (1 Corinthians 1:18-25)

    Christian spirituality is liberation, it is freedom. It is freedom to participate in the suffering of God for the world. It is suffering love. In Jesus we are liberated from self-seeking to share in the agony and pain of others.

  • Christian Themes in Harry Potter

    Rowling never loses sight of the eventual goal, which is ultimately Christocentric if not overtly Christian. She would argue the theme of the Potter books is more about character than magic.

  • Christian Theology: Towards an Asian Reconstruction

    The era in which we find ourselves demands Christian theologians to be engaged in reshaping and reconstructing Christian theology, open to what God is doing in the world, not of yesterday, but of today. The Christian church alone cannot deal with the mounting problems that threaten to tear apart the moral fabric of human community. As Christians we have to learn to work together with people of other faiths to be a spiritual force that creates a new vision for humanity.

  • Christianity and Academic Soul-searching

    Whom does the intellectual work of today's academics serve?

  • Christianity and Animal Rights: The Challenge and Promise

    The author takes an absolute stand on the unethical treatment of non-human animals. For him it is categorically wrong to use animals in such areas as science, sport, recreational hunting, trapping and certain uses in agriculture.

  • Christianity and Cultures: Transforming Niebuhr's Categories

    The author looks at Niebuhr's typology of various possible relations between Christianity and the culture and shows their relevance for our present time.

  • Christianity and Empire

    Dr. Cobb gives specific ways in which we as Americans can overcome our desire for empire -- the imposition of our will on others militarily and territorially.

  • Christianity and New Feminist Religions

    Radical or countercultural feminist religion offers a rejection of biblical faith and the creation of a new faith to respond to a vision of the equality of men and women; Christianity could offer an even more comprehensive and profound vision.

  • Christianity and the Status Quo

    After World War I there emerged a form of international "idealism" which was gravely weakened by legalistic and pharisaical heresies. It involved a system which was very convenient for the French and the British. This form of internationalism was bound to as a gigantic machine for the freezing of the status quo.


  • Christians and Social Ministry: Witnesses to a New Age

    The New Testament church could not escape the suspicion that it was a subversive movement, and its appeal was clearly to the socially restive poor. Its teaching was biased in favor of the poor. One is hard-pressed to find a good word about the rich, either in Jesus’ sayings or elsewhere in the New Testament literature.

  • Christians and Their Ancestors: A Dilemma of African Theology

    By incorporating ancestors into Christian theology, African theologians clearly flirt with danger -- and they know it. But the relationship to ancestors is so basic to the African sense of selfhood and society, and the pastoral problems created by negative and foreign approaches to the issue so widespread and destructive, that theologians feel compelled to attempt such a synthesis.

  • Christology 'From Below'

    A review of a book by Roger Haight that surveys Christologies from Biblical times to the present.

  • Christology 'From Below'

    A review of a book that surveys Christologies from Biblical times to the present.

  • Christology in the United States

    Beginning about 1965,  the questions of intelligibility and credibility that had dominated the liberal theological agenda and the questions of continuity with the tradition that had dominated the Neo-orthodox one gave way to issues of praxis.  What effect does Christological affirmations have on behavior?   The author discusses four basic responses that emerged in the late 20th century.

  • Christology Reconsidered: John Cobb’s 'Christ in a Pluralistic Age’

    The author writes that Cobb’s Christology describes a Jesus who is a mere possibility, not the actuality it purports to describe. Thus, it is at best a wholly speculative interpretation in no way grounded in the Jesus of history it professes to interpret.

  • Church and State in China

    There are academics affiliated with churches in China, both registered or unregistered, who perceive Christianity as the impetus for the greatness of Western science, politics, economy and freedom.

  • Church and State: The Ramparts Besieged

    The right-wing faction has promoted the school prayer amendment to the Consitituion and similar initiatives to declare America a "Christian nation;" it is workingintently to bring about a constitutional convention at which its representatives could propose curtailments of various freedoms; is drafting laws to confer official favor on specific religious establishments.

  • Church Education for Tomorrow

    No longer can we assume that the educational understandings that have informed us, or the theological foundations that have undergirded our programs are adequate for today. The author suggests some major modifications in educational assumptions.

  • Church Market: Investing in Congregations

    The author reviews five books about congregations. All of them take pains to say that congregational size is not a measure of success or failure. But the implicit message is unmistakable: congregations must come to terms with their changing social contexts or pay the price of numerical decline.

  • Church Music in the ‘90s: Problems and Prognoses

    Churches in the ‘90s will rely heavily on the historic experience of the church at worship.

  • Church Realities and Christian Identity in the 21st Century

    The author argues that in the 21st century, churches as institutions will remain essential to nurturing and shaping Christian identity. They will do this as they serve as communities of memory, denominations that help people act locally with thinking globally, or as support groups.

  • Church Vesture as Art

    A personal perspective on the liturgical significance of clerical garb: The norms of ceremony and rite encourage the use of the finest materials to express the intangible. The use of artistic expression to enhance the words and movements of the ritual is inseparable from the human need to be creative.

  • Churches in Communities: A Place to Stand

    Readers whose last contact with organized community action groups occurred in the 1960s and ‘70s may miss two important characteristics of the Industrial Areas Foundation-related new-style outfits. In the first place, IAF-related groups do not organize around issues; they organize around churches and other solid organizations for the benefit of people in the neighborhoods.

  • Churches’ Witness on the Family

    If mainline churches want to thrive and remain true to their deepest theological commitments, they must reach out to America’s growing ranks of unconventional families.

  • Churchgoers From Elsewhere

    The Unitarian Universalist church body’s Web site upholds a belief that "personal experience, conscience and reason should be the final authorities in religion. Underlying its actions is the belief that "ethical living is the supreme witness of religion."

  • Cityscape

    The author reviews four books concerned with the suburbs and the city: While Christians may disagree over specific policy recommendations, they must not live as if physical location and faith have nothing to do with each other. For Christians, place matters.

  • Civil Society: Unity and Oikos (the House of God)

    This essay provides a perspective for a new ecumenical movement as a movement of ONE in the OIKOS TOU THEOU. It requires discernment on the signs of times, and a renewed biblical reflection, taking the Biblical vision as the sources of our messianic imagination.

  • Class Issues

    What are the obligations of the student and teacher in the seminary classroom studying justice, ethics and fairness to the pickets outside the seminary who are demanding a fair wage?

  • Clay Pots (Romans 8:1-11; Matthew 13:1-9, 18-23)

    Disconnectedness is the greatest threat to our spiritual security, both in the here and now and in the hereafter. Paul was the embodiment of a "living sacrifice" as he shared God’s reconnecting love with peoples all across the Greco-Roman world.

  • Clean Sweep (Luke 15:1-10)

    Lost sheep and coins are parts of a whole, the search is a quest for restoration and wholeness. Thus, all of us are part of God’s creation and should be just as anxious as God until the lost are restored and are made whole.

  • Cleaning Up the Wedding

    The real pastoral task is to stand up boldly, even if embarrassedly, in the middle of all these tacky, romantic, transitory moments in so many weddings and dare to proclaim as clearly and sensitively and faithfully as we know how that through the gospel of Jesus Christ we are redeemed by his loving presence in our midst, and there by we give the wedding eternal significance.

  • Clergy Morale: The Ups and Downs

    Clergy need to be aware that they are not as powerless as they often perceive themselves to be -- victims of the ecclesiastical system and the whimsy of the local church. By taking responsibility for their own psychological well-being, social needs, spiritual growth and professional development, clergy can do a great deal toward creating a more positive professional experience, and a happier personal life for themselves and their families.

  • Clergywomen and Senior Pastorates

    Women have obvious difficulties carrying out ministry in church structures which are still heavily patriarchal. Women often see the large church, with its traditional male model of organization and decision-making, as the embodiment of all that is frustrating for them in parish ministry.

  • Climate Change and the Unraveling of Creation

    The author makes the argument that in the struggle to save and preserve the environment, the church's leadership is absolutely mandatory.

  • Cloning -- Has Dominion Gone Too Far?

    The author defines Christian theology as reflection about important questions from a Christian perspective. These include not only questions about God, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit, but also questions about the social, political, and economic order in which we live, including cloning. He believes humans have pressed our dominion too far. Like the builders of the tower of Babel we are exceeding acceptable limits, and that we need to draw some boundaries and stay within them. Dr. Cobb examines possible ethical boundaries.

  • Close Call (Genesis 22:1-14)

    The author believes that the Abraham-Isaac scripture comes to us not only to demonstrate how very arduous it is to have a true, abiding faith in God, but also to paint for us the magnificence of the Creator’s grace in our lives.

  • Close-knit Megachurches

    A compilation of megastatistics about the megachurch.

  • Clothed With Compassion (Acts 9:36-43)

    In God’s new world order, it is possible to be a widow and prosperous rather than poor. It is possible to be self-possessed rather than powerless. It is possible to be an agent of ministry instead of an object of ministry.

  • Colombia’s War: Drugs, Oil and Markets

    U.S. military aid to Colombia indirectly subsidizes the paramilitaries’ acts of terrorism against farmers and community leaders

  • Colombian Coal Mines: The Pits of Exploitation

    The conditions under which Colombian coal miners labor is appalling and is detailed in this Special Report by "C. Towers," a pseudonym of a writer whose identity must be concealed to protect his sources.

  • Combating Modern-day Feudalism: Land as God’s Gift

    Among the causes of poverty in the U.S. is the concentration of land and resources in fewer and fewer hands. There is growing awareness that neither private nor public charity is sufficient in dealing with poverty, joblessness and homelessness.

  • Combating Racism: Touch and Tell

    Many political leaders are symbolically turning their backs on the moral problems of the day, creating a climate which lends legitimation to prejudice, hate and worse. We have a long road to travel.

  • Come on Down (Ex. 34:29-35; Lk 9:28-36)

    A major clergy killer is the gap between our momentary but stirring mountaintop visions of the kingdom of God and the grubby sociological reality of the church in the valley. How do we keep at it?

  • Come Unto Me (Matthew 11:25-30)

    Jesus thanks the Father for revealing to the simple and unlearned what has been hidden from the wise and the learned.

  • Coming Into Focus (Jn. 15:25-27; 16:4b-15; Acts 2:1-21)

    The disciples were suddenly alone, and felt afraid and forsaken. Jesus was to have been the conquering messiah with an "In your face, Rome" attitude. What went wrong? More important, where would the disciples go now.

  • Coming Out: Journey without Maps

    The author speaks of resistance to all categorizing of human beings, including the use of sexual categories such as homosexual, heterosexual, and bisexual. The reason she cites for resisting is that "being human -- being sexual -- is not a matter of 'qualitative analysis' in which relationships of highest value become genital equations: woman plus woman equals gay; woman plus man equals straight." In her view, the labels we use do not express, but rather distort, the most important things we can know and say about our own sexuality and human sexuality in general.

  • Coming to Grips With an Aging Church

    Especially in mainline churches, the percentage of members who are 65 and older is increasing. How can churches meet the needs of graying congregations?

  • Common Roots, Divergent Paths: The Disciples and the Churches of Christ

    The Disciples and the Churches of Christ’s seemingly separate futures will in no small measure depend on evaluations of the vitality and limitations of their diverse legacies.

  • Communication and Mission

    In a post era - post-modern, post-industrial, post-ideological, post-confessional world, optimism arose among those involved in communication from the conviction that it was possible to reclaim the right people had to develop and sustain their own cultures. Today that optimism has disappeared.. In this new world, one of the most obvious facts is the growing concentration of media. Also many churches have taken paternalistic, critical and authoritarian positions. In contrast, the author discusses what is the New Testament concept of mission.

  • Communication and Proselytism

    The author examines proselytism from the standpoint of Christian communication. He lists four "impure motives" for evangelism: imperialistic, cultural, romantic and colonial. Conversion is possible only if people become subjects rather than objects of communication. And offering the present and future life as motivation must be used with care; it can be misused to prevent poor people from taking any action to improve their situation in the real world.

  • Communication: From Confrontation to Reconciliation

    We live in a world of confrontations in need of reconciliation. What are the grave problems that beset us? What are the possible ways of resolving them?

  • Communications Technologies and the Ethics of Access

    Why is access to communications a basic right? Information is the key word. In an information society, access to information equals empowerment. When large numbers of people are nodes in a communication network, the messages cannot be controlled. This communication pattern empowers groups.

  • Communion as a Culinary Art

    Willimon discusses the culinary art of communion from his viewpoint as a worshiper, a bread-baker, and an assistant professor of liturgy and worship. Only as we ministers rediscover the joy of inviting people to a bountiful table which we have helped prepare will we be able truly to invite people to the Feast which Christ prepares.

  • Communism’s Collapse: The Receding Shadow of Transcendence

    Communism is "the secularized remnant of a transcendent ideal... " There is a better alternative to that now-fading ideology than the hedonism and practical materialism of the West.

  • Communities of Faith and Radical discipleship – An Inerview with Jürgen Moltman

    Moltmann feels that the future of the Protestant church in Europe lies not with the large state church, but with small communities of faith, where the charismatic gifts of all can be recognized, and where Christians can live out a radical discipleship. In this interview he discusses the development of his theology, his interest in the international Pentecostal movement and his participation in the Christian-Marxist dialogue of the 60s.

  • Communities that Change, Congregations that Adapt

    Each congregation develops a complex network of rituals and habits that define everyday interactions. Congregations that adapt to change seem to be good at creating opportunities for different people to eat together.

  • Community & Computers: Babel, Bytes & Bits

    Technological achievements such as computers may increase efficiency, but they often do so at the expense of community. "If I see one more article extolling the virtues of computers for churches or telling us how the computer can help us organize our sermons, I’ll blow a circuit."

  • Community as a Way Of Life

    From the ethos of economic life to the chatter of talk radio, our society is busy promoting the appetites and fantasies of the individual more than it is encouraging an investment in the larger aspirations of a community.

  • Community of Life: Ecological Theology in African Perspective

    The mechanistic world view, imported to Africa, has been largely responsible for many eco-crises faced by Africa and has led us to the global crises we face today. Community must be based in a consciousness that all creatures are part of all others, that humans share a common destiny with nature.

  • Company of Friends

    A condition of community is described in the biblical concepts of salvation and shalom. We are more ourselves when we are together than when we are separate. Our health is dependent upon our connectedness.

  • Comparative Study of Religions: A Theological Necessity

    Without gaining a comparative world perspective, Christian theology can neither fully know its own strengths nor strengthen its weaknesses. Indeed, it cannot know itself. It is thus for its own sake that Christian theology needs to be grounded in the comparative study of religions.

  • Compassionate Conspiracy: AIDS Action in Namibia

    By late 1998, Namibia was the third most HIV-infected country in the world, with more than one in five adults estimated to be HIV-positive. Even more disturbing was that the churches were "conspirators in the silence," doing nothing to address the crisis.

  • Complementarity, Bell’s Theorem, and the Framework of Process Metaphysics

    Realism and quantum mechanics can both be retained once the ontology of classical materialism is fully relinquished. Process metaphysics has injected into the career of philosophy crucial ontological conceptions, both critical and constructive, which may well serve as seeds from which a fuller understanding of the nature of the physical world, in both science and philosophy, may grow.

  • Completing an Awakening

    What is needed is a quantum-jump in the sanctification of the minds of mainline Protestants, involving repentance after 200 years of drifting from the Reformation response to the Bible. We also need a repentance among evangelicals, dealing with their rejection of genuinely biblical values upheld by their theological opponents.

  • Compulsive Gamblers: Reno's Lost Souls

    Who will try to salvage the human wreckage of the green felt jungle? There are 6 million compulsive gamblers in the U.S., many living in Nevada. Because of the state government’s interest in increasing gambling revenues, there is little concern for rehabilitating those addicted to gambling, and the churches offer little help to these victims.

  • Concerning Abortion: An Attempt at a Rational View

    That persons have rights is a universal belief in our society, but that a fetus is already an actual person -- about that there is and there can be no consensus. Coercion in such matters is tyranny. Alas for our dangerously fragmented and alienated society if we persist in such tyranny.

  • Concerning Creativity and God: A Response

    Dr. Neville discusses criticisms of his thoughts by Hartshorne, Cobb and Ford. Freedom, Biblicism and dialogue are the main topics in which there is disagreement.

  • Confessing Christ in a Post-Christendom Context

    Hall deals with the meaning of the central belief that "Jesus is the Christ," and the Cross as God's act of solidarity and reconciliation.

  • Confession and Community: An Israel-like View of the Church

    The most important change for my work is the polarization between left and right in both Protestantism and Catholicism and the decline of a center rooted in communal traditions. I keep hoping that evangelicals will not think my work compromises their emphases on the love of Jesus and on biblical authority, and that liberals will not suppose it is inconsistent with intellectual openness or commitment to peace and justice.

  • Confessional Postmodernism and the Process-Relational Vision

    The author analyzes Stanley Hauerwas’ thought concerning character and virtue, the Christian story, and the relation between the church and the world based on process-relational thought.

  • Confessions of a Conservative

    "What I learned in Sunday School class: First, don't trust Sunday School teachers. They lie. And second, don't trust God too much. That experience made me a thoroughgoing skeptic, which I have been ever since." The author also learned that God loves everybody, and that includes blacks, lesbians, and pagans.

  • Confessions of a Glutton

    Drawing on her own experience as a compulsive overeater and dieter, Mary Louise Bringle maintains that the sin of gluttony is not against temperance but against trust, and that the remedy lies not in resorting to "caloric Pelagianism" but in following the path of grace.

  • Confessions of a Scientist-Theologian

    The notion of a war between science and religion is not accurate. But no other image has publicly emerged. Is there a genuine dialogue between religion and science or does it exist only within the minds of certain individuals?

  • Confidentiality and Child Abuse: Church and State Collide

    If clergy are forced to reveal a confession, people will refrain from penance or counseling. Therefore, clergy should not violate their sacred and moral trust involving child abuse.

  • Confidentiality and Mandatory Reporting: A False Dilemma?

    Those who sin and who harm others must be confronted with their deeds so that they might repent. Therefore, confidentiality should not be regarded as a sacred cow. The need for mandatory reporting and the need for pastoral confidentiality may not be as contradictory as they at first appear.

  • Confidentiality in the Church: What the Pastor Knows and Tells

    What determines whether a communication is confidential? That is a pastoral as we as a legal question. Although it’s awkward, sometimes it is necessary to explain to a parishioner that every disclosure cannot be treated as confidential.

  • Confirming Erick (Hebrews 5:1-10)

    We are ordained and baptized for the tragic moments of history – a priestly ministry of liturgy, articulation, peacemaking, programs of comfort and renewal justice-seeking -- and a ministry of word and sacraments that embraces other faith journeys and a world hungry for a communal story.

  • Confrontation and Escape: Mysteries of Graham Greene

    Book review of a biography of Graham Greene. The book tells us something about the man who has given us one notion of what it may mean to be a citizen fighting for a city that is no longer home.

  • Connecting Ministry with the Corporate World

    Capitalism, consisting of heavy doses of free markets and private capital, coupled with a pluralistic democratic political order, may be the only game in town for creating wealth in ways that satisfy the masses. If this trend is indeed the case, the need for the churches ministry to the corporate world is only magnified.

  • Conscience and the Economic Crisis

    The tragedy of unemployment can devastate families. Wife and child abuse increase. Divorce rates go up. Patterns of family authority break down. Watching their unemployed fathers or mothers, children give up on their own futures. The work ethic and its hope are crushed, and street crime flourishes.

  • Consciousness in Satisfaction as the Prereflective Cogito

    There are elements in Sartre’s philosophy which are applicable to the Whiteheadian cosmos.

  • Conservative Christians and Gay Civil Rights

    One city’s (Bloomington, Indiana) conservative Christians came to realize that there are at least three sides to the subject of homosexuality: the civil rights factor, the human factor, and the theological factor. Thy have found that it is possible to show compassion in recognizing the human aspect of homosexuality and to support laws against discrimination without compromising their theological position.

  • Consorting with Aliens (Luke 24:13-35; 1 Peter 1: 17-23)

    There are difficulties in recognizing and knowing Jesus. He is often noticed only as a stranger, an alien. Perhaps alien isn’t such an ugly word.

  • Constituents of a Theory of the Media

    The electronic media industry that shapes consciousness has become the pacemaker for the social and economic development of societies in the late industrial age. The author discusses this modern media development with the classical dissemination of information before the modern technologies.

  • Constructive Postmodernism

    Modernity has left us in a state of intellectual confusion and chaos. It thinks of nature in materialistic terms, but in these terms it can explain neither the natural world nor how it is related to human beings. It can provide no notion of substance, yet matter is inherently a substantialist notion, since matter is understood to take on different forms without ceasing to be the same matter.

  • Consumerism, Economism, and Christian Faith

    The author defines economic systems -- Socialism, Communism, nationalization, the welfare state, consumerism, the welfare state, the global economy. He concludes that today's economism is "the most powerful and successful idolatry of all time," and examines ways in which economism destroys both community life and human values.

  • Consumerism, Economism, and Christian Faith

    John Cobb discusses the issues of poverty and possessions, escape through asceticism and his rejection of consumerism and economism. An alternative is presented: economics for community.

  • Contemplative Worship

    Diana Bass describes the forms of contemplative worship in two churches: "Holy Communion" and "Calvin." These churches are full of normal, struggling people who are rediscovering God in meditative, centering, reflective silence.

  • Contextual Theology: Liberation and Indigenization

    It is our task to observe where God is at work and to join in the liberation of the oppressed. Each must discover God in Christ at work where he or she is and move from that center, being guided by the Spirit, toward making life more human.

  • Continuing in Sin (Rom. 6:1; Matt. 10:34, 38)

    How a cynic might delight in our liturgies that come stocked with prayers of confession.

  • Continuing Incarnation: Evelyn Underhill’s Double Thread of Spirituality

    Underhill was concerned that the clergy had lost their grounding in prayer.

  • Continuity, Possibility, and Omniscience

    Does God know all possibilities that could come to pass? Can God knows possibilities before they become actual? The significance of this is that a possibility is not knowable in its distinctness until it becomes actual because before it becomes actual there is no it to be known.

  • Continuity, Possibility, and Omniscience: A Contrasting View

    Is there a sense in which possibilities are understood as constituting a continuum and yet can be eternally known in a way which would permit God to use his knowledge of them to decide his action in response to any possible situation? The author discusses this question in the light of Hartshorne, Richard Creel, John Cobb and Whitehead.

  • Control as Original Sin

    Dr. Wall analyzes Sue Miller's novel For Love, and finds evidence of original sin.

  • Conversation with an Atheist -- Michael Harrington on Religion and Socialism

    The radical incarnation of the power of God in "the halt and the maimed" -- the powerless -- is such a compelling irony as to have revolutionary potential for atheist and Christian alike. The "question of God," for Harrington, is really a question about God’s guilt.

  • Conversations Among Exiles

    In response to times of crisis, Leviticus urged the practice of holiness, and Deuteronomy stressed neighborliness. Unless the experience of loss is expressed, examined and understood, new ways of living are not able to emerge.

  • Conversations with Camus

    Camus on baptism, the Bible, and church membership.

  • Conversion and its Discontents

    The author looks at the way Christian conversion in non-Western nations tends to bring about cultural dislocation. He raises critical questions from an Indian perspective. Is it possible to be non-interfering and yet be messengers of the gospel? Is it possible to remain Christians without creating fear and anxiety about conversions? Is it possible for religious people to continue to practice their religion without causing disruptions in the cultural contexts around us? Can there be conversion without discontent?

  • Coping in Jesus’ Absence (Jn. 9:1-41)

    A relationship to God does not remove one from but often places one in the line of fire.

  • Coping With Disaster: How Media Audiences Process Grief

    On December 21, 1988, Pan Am Flight 103 crashed over Lockerbie, Scotland. Two hundred people died. The concepts reported in this paper represent the author's attempt to analyze the impact, upon general audiences, of constant media disaster viewing, rather than focusing on victim's families.

  • Corporate and Community Life

    The author describes some of the dynamics and elements that are required for a church to become truly inclusive.

  • Corporate and Community Life

    The author describes some of the dynamics and elements that are required for a church to become truly inclusive.

  • Cosmic Epochs and the Scope of Scientific Laws

    According the author, there is a lack of discussion about Whitehead’s view that scientific laws state principles which are immanent in nature but which evolve concurrently with novel changes in the entities actually constituting the universe.

  • Cosmic Groanings

    Despite the 20-centuries-wide ditch that separates us from Paul, we would be mistaken to assume that his language about the anguish of the universe would have been more readily comprehensible to his contemporaries than it is to us.

  • Could the Civil War Have Been Prevented?

    With the benefit of hindsight, we are forced to conclude that almost any alternative to the Civil War would have been preferable. The cancerous nature of its social causes would not brook any other "solution," it is true. But the wastage of the actual and the potential was enormous.

  • Could There Have Been Nothing? A Reply

    That "there might have been nothing" is meaningless or contradictory. That we can conceive each particular thing not to exist implies that we can conceive nothing existing in its place. It assumes the falsity of how we make negative judgments.

  • Counterscript

    Walter Brueggemann offers a series of 19 theses about the Bible in the church. The dominant scripture that permeates every dimension of our common life is the scripture of therapeutic, technological, consumerist militarism. That scripture has failed.

  • Counting Diamonds (Mark 9:30-37)

    Jesus goes beyond simply providing a model of charity, such as those who rescue abandoned babies. He also links acceptance of them with acceptance of himself.

  • Couples (Mark 10:2-16)

    Theologically, Christians must wonder why the only couples legally living under Jesus’ proscription against divorce are same-sex couples.

  • Courage to Respond

    The needs of the worshipper are met in four ways: 1. The confessing of their sins. 2. The receiving of absolution for their sins. 3. They learn to separate pain from sin. 4. They pause to hear God’s voice.

  • Course Correction (Jeremiah 31:7-14)

    The poetic imagery of Jeremiah invites us to sit with this text’s recurring dance of reversal and triumph. In it we rediscover one of scripture’s principal themes: the story of God’s grace and compassion triumphing over God’s judgment.

  • Cousin Thomas (John 20: 19-31)

    Thomas’s caution makes him a more credible witness. Furthermore, after the invitation to touch the wounds of Jesus, he penetrates even beyond the superficial excitement of the moment.

  • Covenant and Creation

    God’s covenant as depicted in the Bible consists of promises not only to humans but to all of creation. By showing the relevance of the concept of covenant to the crises now faced by life on earth, Granberg-Michaelson calls for preserving the integrity of creation.

  • Covenant as a Subversive Paradigm

    A new covenant which recharacterizes the nature of of God, church and world is not simply a restatement of conventional Western assumptions; it requires drastically new affirmations.

  • Covenant with the Poor: Toward a New Concept of Economic Justice

    The Biblical history of the Old and the New Testaments, and church history testify that the people of God live within the process of history. Furthermore, our faith that God created the whole world and all its peoples therein dictates that they are all people(s) of God. Therefore, it is necessary that theology discern the political economy of the people of God. We cannot relegate the Christian faith to an other-worldly life.

  • Covenanting: New Directions for Ecumenism

    The appearance of the Baptism, Eucharist, and Ministry agreement of the World Council of Churches’ Faith and Order Commission, the theological consensus statement of the Consultation on Church Union (COCU), and the proliferation of local ecumenical efforts in countless places offer new possibilities for effective unity during this decade.

  • Coventry Cathedral's Message of Forgiveness

    A visit to Coventry Cathedral teaches the author to understand forgiveness in a new and deeper way.

  • Cover-ups (Psalm 85)

    Advent is a time for uncovering, for facing up to various cover-ups.

  • Creating a Respect for Theology

    Much theology in both liberal and conservative seminaries is abstract and unpreachable. Such theological intellectualism cannot be translated into the language of pulpit and worship and into the decision-making that must take place in the life of the churches.

  • Creating an Indigenous African Church

    Allen identifies and comments on seven areas of concern that African Christians face in their churches, including the Africanization of theology, relationships with other religions, church and state, pastoral leadership, relationship with Euro-American partner churches, theological education, and struggles with social concerns. Perplexing as these issues are, Allen sees them positively as signs of life and evidence of great courage and strength in the African churches.

  • Creating Open and Welcoming Communities

    The author describes the elements that go into creating an open and welcoming church.

  • Creation in Our Own Image: Ethical Questions

    The intrinsic earthiness of biblical faith, with its insistence that God has always been and remains constantly involved with matter through the creation and preservation and redemption of all things, has moved Christians into involvement in crucial decisions affecting science and technology, including the current debate over regulating recombinant DNA research. Theology involves the clarification of the church’s proclamation but also attempts to delineate the church’s stance toward the world and toward every new event and every new idea.

  • Crisis in Overseas Mission: Shall We Leave It to the Independents?

    No wonder that the debates between liberals and evangelicals about overseas mission are so often circular, fruitless, and frustrating to all concerned. The two sides are not talking about the same thing. There are fundamental differences between the "ecumenical" and "evangelical" understandings of mission.

  • Crisis in Science and Spirit

    Scientific-technological projects go on wildly, fueled only by their own momentum. Only a restored sense of spiritual destiny -- and a moral vision derived from it -- can now rescue us.

  • Crisis on the Mexican Border

    A global economy without a global community is morally bankrupt. One thing is certain. The migrants will keep coming.

  • Critiquing Codependence Theory and Reimaging Psychotherapy: A Process -- Relational Exploration

    In a world of pain, the need to continue to function is found in the hope that process-relational psychotherapy can empower people to critique and transform their world.

  • Croce and Whitehead On Concrescence

    Dr. George Allan examines Whiteheadian themes in some of Benedetto Croce’s thought, in an attempt to make Whitehead's thought more understandable.

  • Cross Meets Crescent: An Interview with Kenneth Cragg

    A major figure in the conversations between Christians and Muslims talks about the possibilities of dialogue and the problems that confront Islam in the modern world.

  • Cross Talk: A Feminist Appreciation of Luther’s Theology

    In our contemporary context, church reform as understood in historic Lutheranism is less urgent than the reform of political, social, and economic systems of domination, which today is exacerbated greatly by the economic globalization.

  • Crowd Control

    The Passion of Christ is flawed and deviates fundamentally from the most authentic version of the story in the New Testament.

  • Crumbling Pillars -- Anarchy at Home and Abroad

    The author analyzes the nature of terrorism. Disproportionate retaliatory action to terrorism may solve no problem, but simply produce thousands of terrorists in their place.

  • Crunch Time for American Catholicism

    Today the "always reforming church finds itself once again at a dramatic turning point in the U.S.

  • Crusader Zeal: Holy Wars, Then and Now

    Timothy Renick reviews two books about holy wars. The Crusades were a Christian holy war against Islam, not unlike the present call against the terrors of that faith.

  • Crying Shame (John 20:19-31)

    Nothing is more crippling to our souls than working at hiding shame. We think we are keeping the world out, but in fact we are keeping ourselves locked in. It doesn’t matter what you do, or how hard you try -- you are never going to have a better past.

  • Crying Shame (John 20:19-31)

    Nothing is more crippling to our souls than working at hiding shame. We think we are keeping the world out, but in fact we are keeping ourselves locked in. It doesn’t matter what you do, or how hard you try -- you are never going to have a better past.

  • Cultivating Babel: Disinformation and Dissent in South Africa

    A field trip during July and August of 1983 took the writer to all the major cities and many of the towns and villages in every province of the Republic of South Africa. Here he reports on the communication structures and processes which supported and maintained apartheid: the concept of "banning," the Publication Act, forced "relocation," and the influence of the mass media system, particularly radio.

  • Culture, History, and the Retrieval of the Past

    Perhaps we had best not attempt to distinguish culture and history. Better that we understand them as jointly constituted. Together they form a diachronous web the strands of which lead backward into multifarious pasts and forward toward an unintegratable plurality of presents.

  • Curriculum in the Public Schools: Can Compromise Be Reached?

    The author argues that the public schools ought not teach a value system and a world view contrary to the beliefs and values of the children's parents.

  • Cyberwalden

    Cyberspace is a new field for old dreams. It is the latest meeting place for both doing things together and trying to figure out, as we never cease to do, where we really are. Where the word comes from will help us to understand where we might be going with it.

  • Cynics, Martyrs and the Importance of Energy Conservation

    Our inability to conserve energy is likely to destroy the earth’s ecosystem. As the future of food, energy supplies, capital goods and mineral ores grow increasingly scarce, the idea of taking resources by military force will be on the minds of many nations. What kind of world do we want to leave to our children’s children?

  • Da Vinci Code as a Teaching Moment

    The Da Vinci Code -- both novel and the movie -- even though false, offer an exciting story which is a big help in understanding Christianity.

  • Dalit Conversion and Social Protest in Travancore, 1854-1890

    The Travancore Pulaya mass conversion movement to Anglicanism in the latter half of 19th century was an expression of social protest. For thousands these conversions were protests heralding exit from the inhumanity of the caste system. These oppressed also saw the doors opening for them as a way out of the misery with the success of the anti-slave campaign championed by the missionaries.

  • Damn Preacher (Lk 6:17-26)

    Preachers are always saying, "Bless, bless, bless" when they ought to be saying. "Damn! Damn! Damn!"

  • Damned in the Paradise of Sex

    Walker Percy's Lancelot seems at once pretentious and unfocused -- characters too cursorily sketched to sustain interest, the clanking machinery of the plot irritatingly audible, and the narration shifting unsatisfactorily from lucid monologue to leaden description.

  • Dancing the Decalogue ( Ex. 20:1-17)

    Regarding the Alabama judge carrying from place to place a two and three quarter ton monument of the ten commandments, it seems the ethical demands of that document have become burdens, weights and heavy obligations to him and to many.

  • Dangers of the Church Growth Movement

    Is it possible to maintain our identity as the church and to be a "successful" institution at the same time? We’re dealing with a heresy in the "church growth movement." It’s stance is based on false ideas and has many dangers.

  • Dangling Gospel (Mark 16:1-8)

    The author comments on Mark’s gospel ending and what his intention might have been in the suggested shorter version. What might we make of the various possible endings?

  • Dare to Discipline?

    It is difficult, on theological grounds, to disagree with those who would discipline a politician who strays wantonly from church teaching on a key moral issue.

  • Darkness and Light

    The author reviews the poetry of Jane Kenyon and her husband, Donald Hall. Both in their search for God are led to create poetic landscapes that are highly charged, often lovely, sometimes frightening.

  • Darwin and Some Philosophers

    A book review article by Hartshorne of John Bowlby’s Charles Darwin: A New Life. Hartshorne comments about Darwin’s theology.

  • Darwin, the Scientific Creationist

    Throughout his life Darwin held the view that evolution does not supplant creation, but that they supplement each other. He believed that a rational God who established a law-abiding cosmos is more worthy of devotion than a capricious God who intervenes in the natural order.

  • Darwin, the Scientific Creationist

    Throughout his life Darwin held the view that evolution does not supplant creation, but that they supplement each other. He believed that a rational God who established a law-abiding cosmos is more worthy of devotion than a capricious God who intervenes in the natural order.

  • David Pailin’s Theology of Divine Action

    The author reports on David Pailin, Britain’s foremost exponent of process-relational thought. Pailin speaks of the divine agency as a general teleological purpose -- a drive or intentional cosmic urge within the processes of reality.

  • Day Care: A Need Crying to Be Heard

    Joining forces with child-care professionals the churches can help protect both the best interests of children and the rights of parents against profiteers who are concerned for neither.

  • Days of Protest

    After World War II, the Century was in not about to engage in simple anti-communist banter. Instead, by 1968, editorials more regularly faced and addressed the shortcomings of American life..

  • Dazzling Darkness (Lk. 9:28-36)

    Jesus, like Moses before him, was about to set God’s people free, only it was not bondage to pharaoh they needed freeing from this time. It was bondage to their own fear of sin and death, which crippled them far worse than leg chains ever had.

  • Deafness: Physical and Spiritual (Mark 7:34)

    Physical deafness and spiritual deafness are alike; Jesus confronted one type in the man born deaf, the other type in the Pharisees and others who were dulled to his message. The writer shares out of his own experience some of the insights he has gained about both kinds of impairment.

  • Death as the Teacher of Wisdom

    Unpopular though the message is -- especially in our death-denying culture -- it is important to be aware of one’s own mortality. The message of eternal life in God should not be proclaimed in such a way as to obscure death as the teacher of wisdom.

  • Debating Darwin: The 'Intelligent Design' Movement

    A new generation of anti-evolutionists has arisen based on the perceived inadequacies of Darwin's theory. Although certain elements of the positions of the three books reviewed here may warrant further consideration, they are neither very convincing nor particularly original.

  • Debating Evolution: The God Who Would Intervene

    The authors report on the results of a survey of scientists and theological educators, asking about their belief in a God who intervenes in human affairs.

  • Debating the Incarnation

    There seems to be plenty of material in The Myth of God Incarnate for useful debate, and it is to be hoped that those who are afraid of the authors’ approaches or who disagree with their conclusions will keep their heads sufficiently to enable a constructive discussion to take place.

  • Debunking Myths About Foreign Aid

    Seven myths about foreign aid are listed. Before we can sustain a commitment to reducing hunger and poverty around the world, we must debunk these myths.

  • Debunking Some Pentecostal Stereotypes

    The results of several surveys indicate that charismatics and Pentecostals are not as apolitical, otherworld, bent on "speaking in tongues, the "hard-driving engines fueling the global spread of Christianity that is usually the stereotype.

  • Decentering Whitehead

    The author holds that there is only the plurality of actual occasions, each with a limited perspective. His process orientation is toward a Whitehead decentered, toward a Whitehead without God, toward a neo-Whiteheadian naturalism -- a process thought in quite a new key.

  • Deciding on a Christian Life Style

    Common to all Christian life styles include: 1. Trusting in God, not in material possessions or political power; 2. Sensitivity to the needs of the poor; 3. Working for justice; 4. Concern for the maintenance of basic ecological support systems.

  • Decisions (Joshua 24:1-2, 14-Th; John 6:56-69)

    It all starts when God says, "I will be your God; you will be my people." Israel doesn’t apply for the job; it’s God who takes the initiative. God chooses. But then the chosen are challenged: "Choose this day whom you will serve."

  • Deconstructing the Culture of Divorce

    The author believes that the church's greatest contribution to marital stability and growth will come from living a conviction that flies in the face of American individualism -- namely (in the words of the Heidelberg Catechism) "that we are not our own, but belong body and soul, in life and death to our faithful Savior Jesus Christ."

  • Deconstruction and the Philosophy of Culture

    Dr. Grange examines George Allan’s Importances of The Past. Allan shows that the past provides the present with spheres of relevance from which prevalent feelings of importances can be derived. Otherwise, we cannot hope to redeem their worth or beget their children.

  • Deep Ecology and Process Thought

    To Whitehead there is an intrinsic importance of what happens to all things and how the effects of each act ramify throughout the whole. Therefore his philosophy can be understood as a deep ecology.

  • Defending the Public Character of Theology

    No major religion, properly understood, can accept a privatistic self-understanding. Indeed, theologians of every radically monotheistic religion realize that its fundamental commitment to God demands that we express that theistic belief in ways that will render it public not merely to ourselves or our particular religious group.

  • Deficiencies in Whitehead’s Philosophy

    Two process philosophies, Organism and Organicism, serve three purposes for process studies: 1. Whitehead’s thought. 2. Other process philosophies. 3. "Radical critiques of process thought."

  • Defining Moment (Matt. 16:21-28)

    If we stop pursuing justice, peace, healing and wholeness for our lives and for our world, we become supporters of that which we oppose.

  • Defining Moment (Ps. 36:5-10; Is. 62:1-5; John 2:1-11)

    At the marriage in Cana Jesus shows that the destruction of carefully laid out plans can be changed by unexpected circumstances.

  • Dehumanizing People and Euphemizing War

    The euphemisms of war must be exposed for what they are -- words and phrases that fool us into accepting the unacceptable. Dehumanizing the “enemy” and euphemizing the weapons of war and war itself is a deadly combination that, unfortunately, has historically been successful in defending the indefensible.

  • Denis Hurtubise on Ford and the "Traditional" Interpretation

    Cobb’s main objection to Hurtubise’s formulation is that it seems to imply that Ford thinks that his textual analysis indicates that Whitehead himself did not affirm the efficacy of the Consequent Nature in the world. But Cobb says that Ford acknowledges that Whitehead’s statement affirms such efficacy. See Lewis S. Ford and Traditional Interpretations of Whitehead’s Metaphysics by Denis Hurtubise at

  • Denominations: Surviving the ‘70s

    America has been undergoing some sort of religious revival, but one that has not led to prosperity for most of the denominations. The challenge to churches, both left and right, will be in finding the balance between institutional self-preservation or self-assertiveness on the one hand and the act of living with open hands and hearts in service of others to interpret the surrounding world on the other.

  • Design-A-Kid

    Sooner, not later, we’ll know how to tweak the stretches of the genome that produce the proteins that make us tend toward whatever we wish -- prayer, piety and devotion for example. A kind of literal brainwashing will have taken place, and the free will that makes you real would have been, if not eliminated, then perhaps overpowered.

  • Designer Children: The Market World of Reproductive Choice

    Genetic screening of embryos may lead to a world in which children born the old-fashioned way are scorned. Procreative liberty should be presumed. Those who would limit choice must show why choice is harmful.

  • Designing Distinctive Churches

    The author selects eight examples of excellent contemporary church design, each embodying a particular community’s religious identity and mission in its context.

  • Designing the City

    Deep in the Christian tradition is the understanding that human communities exist to promote the "good life" for all, not just a few, but the past planning of cities has has restricted the fulfillment of this ideal.

  • Diagnose This!

    We’ll be all right. Goliath has size, but David has a good heart.

  • Dialectical vs. Di-Polar Theology

    The anthropocentrism to which the author is committed locates all reality in, and in relation to, consciousness and experience. Whitehead’s commitment refuses any reality whatsoever to that which is other than consciousness or experience. Altizer, a non-Whiteheadian theologian, entertains the supposition that Whitehead’s conception of the consequent nature of God has both a christological and an eschatological ground.

  • Dialogue as a Model for Communication in the Church

    Dialogue as a Model for Communication in the Church, by Hermann J. Pottmeyer
    The transition from a style of authority that was part patriarchal and part authoritarian to one that is exercised in the form of dialogue creates difficulties for the Church. The new awareness that 'we are all the Church' creates fear in some people. The author looks at the process of communication-reception-in the early Church, and concludes that the bishops must also be listeners and seek guidance in Holy Scripture and in the tradition of the faith of the People of God.

  • Dialogue at Christmas

    A Christmas poem.

  • Did Paul Teach the Doctrine of the Atonement?

    In analysis of Paul, especially in the book of Romans, Dr. Cobb along with David Lull’s translations, discusses how much we misunderstand Paul’s legalism and it’s impact on church doctrine.

  • Did Schweitzer Believe in God?

    The quest in which Albert Schweitzer was involved inevitably forced his intellectual and moral concerns to move beyond traditional theism. It was his belief that the ethic of reverence for life is not dependent upon a belief in God.

  • Did You Really Go To Church This Week? Behind the Poll Data

    The actual church attendance figure is about half the rate indicated by public opinion surveys. As people’s church-related identities erode, so too will their need to say they went to church when they didn’t.

  • Dietrich Bonhoeffer's Ecumenical Vision

    Saints are people whose faith is so much a part of their being that it leaves visible traces, just as the work we do leaves lines on our faces and alters our posture.

  • Dietrich Bonhoeffer: The Message of a Life

    Christ is the person for others. And his divinity lies precisely in that, and not in the glory of total power.

  • Dietrick Bonhoeffer

    In this comprehensive collection of letters, documents, essays and notes, as well as a smaller number of sermons and meditations, we read how Bonhoffer dealt with the escalating interruption that was Nazi Germany.

  • Digging in the Gardens of Feminist Theology

    By describing our gardens – our personal histories – we can begin to understand our differences.

  • Digital Advantage for Development

    In the information revolution, the most immediate challenge for national governments and the international community is the insight that the use of Information-Communication Technologies (ICTs) for sustainable development will not be determined by technological developments but by political decisions. The most perplexing question ICT-strategists may face is whether people-centered ideals can be achieved in a global order that is increasingly directed by market-centered realities.

  • Dinner Reservations (Matt. 21:33-46)

    The vineyard, left to us by God, is to be tended and made productive. His gift was luxuriant, creative and beautiful. How have we tended this garden God has given us?

  • Dinosaurs in the Garden

    Jason Byassee makes a first hand visit to AiG (Answers in Genesis), the Creation Museum in Petersburg, Kentucky. The exhibit is a spectacular failure, yet they can hardly be faulted for their attempt at an impossible task.

  • Diplomats Protest Lack of Information

    Hundreds of foreigners are being denied rights guaranteed under the American Constitution.

  • Dipolar Theism: Psychological Considerations

    Many theologians who follow Whitehead and Hartshorne are largely concerned with questions of logical, theodicy, and compatibility with biblical and traditional theology. The author attempts to apply some basic Jungian criteria in evaluating the image of God in terms of these concepts.

  • Disassembling the Mantra: Part/Whole Equivocation in the Category of the Ultimate

    Is the creating process itself one whole with "the many" as its parts, or is the completed satisfaction of a process the whole? The author discusses this and other ambiguities along with many of the insights of Whitehead.

  • Discerning the Spirit

    Pentecostals emphasize the charismatic and missiological components of Luke’s theological vision particularly as found in the book of Acts. The gifts of prophecy, tongues and the interpretation of tongues are of particular importance.

  • Discerning What is Right (I Kg. 3:5-12; Rom. 8:28-30; Mt. 13:44-52)

    The academic language of distancing analysis and explanation also serves to obfuscate the clear moral dimensions of life and the need to choose between right and wrong. On some issues, analysis and explanation are themselves a form of collusion.

  • Disciples on Trial

    Mark’s portrayal of the Twelve as abysmal failures before Christ’s resurrection serves to magnify and commend God’s amazing grace and power. Mark phrases the Good News in terms of the empowering of believers that takes place in single-minded prayer.

  • Discipleship as a Craft, Church as a Disciplined Community

    Hauerwas addresses the current malaise in mainline Protestantism, reflected in declining membership and influences, by presenting essentially conservative corrective suggestions.

  • Disciplined by Theology: A Profile of Paul Holmer

    Christianity should not be understood apart from the believer’s capacity for "repentance," "hope" and "despair". Emotions, therefore, play an important part in the process of understanding Christianity

  • Disconfirmation of Whitehead’s Relativity Theory -- A Critical Reply

    The author seeks to correct some weaknesses in Ariel’s article ("Recent Empirical Disconfirmation of Whitehead’s Relativity Theory") and to caution against too hasty a rejection of Whitehead’s theory of relativity (and with it his philosophy of nature) as a viable and living alternative to Einstein’s proposal. Currently there is considerable interest in correlating relativity theory with quantum mechanics. The efforts made in this direction tend to support Whitehead rather than Einstein.

  • Discussion of Palmyre M.F. Oomen’s Recent Essays in Process Studies

    Dr. Voskuil believes Palmyre M. F. Ooman blurs the distinction between concrete states and their generic aspects. She either imputes concreteness to common, abstract factors found in a series of concrete moments, committing the Fallacy of Misplaced Concreteness, or equivocates on the meaning of basic concepts.

  • Discussion Upon Fundamental Principles of Education (1919)

    This brief statement by Whitehead is introduced and edited by Robert S. Brumbaugh. It introduces the reader to some correspondence on Whitehead’s educational theory: 1. The development of genius; 2. The failure of classical education; 3. Some aspects of Whitehead’s interest in education.

  • Dismantling The Da Vinci Code

    Brown’s novel, The Da Vinci Code, is a conspiracy tract set in a fictional frame. It is based on manifestly bad history and driven by ideological passions. His religion of the grail requires no discipline of thought, no virtue in act and little in the category of spiritual commitment.

  • Dismantling the Cross: A Case Against Capital Punishment

    One of Rome’s prisoners gained unprecedented notoriety, partly as a result of his execution at their hands, and today the Roman equivalent of the electric chair is a religious symbol for hundreds of millions of Christians. Now, as during Roman times, capital punishment is nearly always reserved for the outsider, the feared and hated in our society.

  • Distorted Images: The Elderly and the Media

    There is a significant gap in the knowledge which media and most professionals, including the clergy, have about the aging process, particularly its emotional components. Even many physicians are relatively uninformed; and, surprisingly, psychiatrists and other mental health specialists seem particularly limited where the elderly are concerned, despite the fact that large numbers of older people experience depression and other emotional stresses.

  • Disturbing the Peace (Luke 12:49-56)

    The text confronts stark and conflicting sayings of Jesus that sit poorly with contemporary images of God. Nevertheless, This gospel lesson calls us to witness to the good news and to the crisis that is God’s consuming and compelling presence.

  • Diverse Currents in Whitehead’s View of Time

    In Whitehead’s treatment of time, three stages of development may be observed. The first embodies a philosophy of space-time with a realistic position assumed and nature accepted as consisting largely of space and of time. The second and third stages respectively stress concepts of "creativity" and of the "actual entity."

  • Divided We Fall: America's Two Civil Religions

    Extrapolating from Robert Bellah's division of American sacred and secular myths, Robert Wuthnow describes and contrasts what he calls our biblical civil religion and our Enlightenment-based moral and political philosophies. He finds current expressions of both to be internally divisive as well as at odds with each other, usually based on a conservative/liberal split that weakens the effectiveness of both "civil religions," and leaves the way open for secular ideologies including material success, radical individual freedom, and an amoral pragmatism.

  • Divine Omnipotence: Plantinga vs. Griffin

    The classical theist indicts the process theist for "solving" the problem of evil by forfeiting a meaningful notion of divine omnipotence while the process theist indicts the classical theist for proposing a view of divine omnipotence that makes the problem of evil unsolvable. The authors attempt to show that neither indictment holds.

  • Divine Principle and the Second Advent

    There is something wildly ironic about Christians’ protesting that the Unification Church’s demands that members turn over all worldly goods to the church are sinister, and that its members must be unbalanced to comply. Sun Myung Moon’s revelation calls forth real commitment, but commitment to a messiah without a cross who confirms us in our cultural predilections.

  • Divine Summons

    Having a vocation does not mean fulfilling who we are. It means becoming what God calls us to be. A vocation can sanctify the humblest kind of work. This does not mean that all work is automatically sanctified.

  • Do Christians and Muslims Worship the Same God? Part Five

    One would presume that if Christians can accept partnership with Jews as worshiping the same God, they should have no insurmountable problems with Muslims, who historically have seen themselves as occupying the theological middle ground between Jews and Christians.

  • Do Christians and Muslims Worship the Same God? Part Four

    We may think of god differently, believe about God differently, but God listens to the prayers of all people, for God cannot do otherwise. Happily no one has a monopoly on God.

  • Do Christians and Muslims Worship the Same God? Part One

    The author discusses differences in the concept of God between Christian and Muslim, but suggests there is enough in common to make a productive comparison.

  • Do Christians and Muslims Worship the Same God? Part Three

    The author writes of similar descriptions of God for Christians and Muslims, and concludes that they are not always as similar as they may at first appear.

  • Do Christians and Muslims Worship the Same God? Part Two

    Muslims and Christians both agree that it is the one God about whom they differ so strongly, yet they are within range of each other so that they may engage in mutual scrutiny.

  • Do Not Lose Heart (Luke 18:1-8)

    Justice alone is cold and calculating. The heart gives justice some breadth of emotional engagement, some passion. And the heart of God, whose preference is for all of us in our mortality and our various poverties, hears our cry for vindication and comes close by, speedily.

  • Do Oldline Churches Have a Future?

    To renew theological thinking in the church will not immediately end its statistical decline. It may even drive out some who are now members. But in the long run it would reinvigorate the church and develop a core of membership that can carry the church through its decline and provide a basis for new health and even growth.

  • Do You Have to Go to Church to Be Religious?

    It seems to be part of our tradition (1) to believe in God; (2) to say that one doesn’t need to go to church; (3) to go anyway.

  • Do-gooder Dilemma

    With the war in Iraq it seems appropriate to take a hard look at historical and political realities about U.S. response to atrocities, raised by the two books the author reviews..

  • Doctrine as Guide to Social Witness

    One striking accomplishment of the recent Presbyterian Study Catechism is that it deliberately draws out the political implications of fundamental doctrines. In doing so, it takes a significant step toward erasing the false opposition between traditional faith and progressive politics.

  • Does Omniscience Imply Foreknowledge? Craig on Hartshorne

    William Lane Craig’s views of Hartshorne, regarding God’s foreknowledge because of God’s omniscience, are misunderstood and unjust.

  • Does Whitehead’s God Possess a Moral Will?

    In the profoundest sense it would be strange to consider God amoral if the moral dimension in human experience is itself derived from God.

  • Dog Tale (Galatians 6:7-16)

    With Paul, we only have the right for one boast, and that is for the Love of God as displayed on the cross.

  • Dogging Jesus (Matthew 15:21-28)

    Jesus loses the argument and changes his mind 180 degrees as he learns something new and different through the remarks of a pagan. What’s more it’s from a pushy woman who is dogging his track.

  • Doing Justice to Justification

    The author reviews four books and proposes a new perspective on justification: Through the cross God inaugurates a new creation, a new space and time in which rectified, restored and renewed human action.

  • Doing the Right Thing (Is. 66:10-14; Ps. 66; Gal. 6:1-6, 7-16; Lk. 10:1-11, 16-20)

    We do right when we understand our differences as gifts of God and not devices of the devil. We do the right thing when we publicly acknowledge that left to ourselves we can do nothing right. We do right when we keep Christ in the center.

  • Doing Wrong, Getting Sick, and Dying

    Problems formerly considered sins to be dealt with by church authorities are now medical concerns to be cured by the scientific community.

  • Don't be Ridiculous (Ephesians 5:15-20; John 6:51-58)

    The fullness of the Spirit comes only when we are emptied of all the ego and self preoccupation that promises so much and delivers so little; emptied of all that is foolish and dying and ridiculous.

  • Don‘t talk nonsense: Why Herbert McCabe Still Matters

    The author reviews four books on ethics by Herbert Mcabe: The job of ethics is to aid us in discovering and living out the deepest desires of our fleshly, human hearts. And that deepest desire, the end of all our lives, turns out to be nothing other than sharing the life of God available to us through the body of the man Jesus and the Spirit whom he sent. A great mystery, yes; nonsense, no.

  • Donkey Fetchers (Mark 11:1-11)

    As Jesus was about to descend the Mount of Olives to enter Jerusalem, Mark reports, he dispatched two of his disciples to fetch a colt. A seemingly minor matter of transportation it would seem, but surprisingly, over half of Mark’s story of Jesus’ entry into the city is occupied with mundane details about acquiring this animal -- where to go to find it, what kind of colt to seek, what to do, what to say.

  • Dorothy Dohen’s Reclamation of Virginity

    The Catholic church’s admonitions to young women to preserve their virginity at all costs consisted chiefly, at least in the past, of dramatic warnings, what one might call "spiritual terrorism," in that all Catholic girls should be willing to die to preserve their virginity, because Catholic educators told them so and because the alternative was unthinkable. A new appreciation of virginity informed by church history and feminist theology is needed.

  • Dorothy L. Sayers: A Christian Humanist for Today

    Despite her recent reputation as a Christian humanist, certain Christian themes recur in all of Sayers’s writings -- detective novels, dramas, poems, essays and scholarly studies. She viewed all life in terms of the incarnation.

  • Dose of Forgiveness

    God says, "You are forgiven." What are we to make of that?

  • Doubting Theology

    Four theologians discuss the many attempts to understand the assumptions of the scriptures in light of scientific investigations into the origin of the universe and of the species.

  • Dr. Seuss, Prophet to Giant-Killers

    The popular Dr. Seuss has published a new book, but one totally inappropriate for children, a book engaged in a primitive form of military escalation, and a story with no resolution.

  • Drawing All to Himself (John 12:32)

    Alas, we would strip the body off the cross, embalm it and cover it with cosmetics, render the cross in bronze, polish it, make it triumphant and clean.

  • Dreaming of New Forms and Utterances: Seeds

    For many, ritual represents the very thing we are trying to escape, that is, boring repetition which leads to a lifeless expression of faith. The purpose of this essay is to juxtapose ritual and boredom within the culture shaped by telecommunications, and to formulate a response.

  • Dreams and Letting God Be God (Isa. 7:10-17)

    Dreams have fallen on hard times in our jaded world. We should be grateful that a previous age preserved their legacy in Scripture.

  • Dress Code (Matthew 22:1-14)

    What is the appropriate dress for a special occasion? Scripture tells us that our own righteousness is as filthy rags, so we understand that only God has the appropriate wardrobe for us.

  • Drinking from Our Own Wells

    Realizing the gifts he brings us, I find it both dismaying and disheartening to see Gustavo Gutiérrez once again under attack by heavy theological artillery from within his own church. Not only Catholics but all of us need his words, his witness and the example of his life.

  • Driving Global Warming

    If you drive an SUV for one year, it’s equivalent to leaving the door to the frige open for six years, or you bathroom light on for three decades. There’s no symbol much clearer in our time than SUVs. Stop driving global warming. If we can’t do even that, we’re unlikely ever to do much.

  • Drug Abuse and the Church: Are the Blind Leading the Blind?

    The church and its leaders are among the afflicted, if not the addicted. Turning to the church for help, people affected by substance abuse have often put their trust in dysfunctional people and places.

  • Drug policy: The Fix We're In

    The author argues that we should not address the problem of illicit drugs as a war to be one, but as an epidemic to be checked, a disease to be cured.

  • Dust and Ashes

    The author reviews a book about the perplexing book of Job.  The book concludes that questions about the world, human existence, and God necessarily remain open.

  • Dying to Live (Rom. 6:1b-11; Matt. 10:24-39)

    The author asks: what is more tragic than to be dead spiritually, yet be acting as if we were alive?

  • Dying Well: A Challenge to Christian Compassion

    The author reviews and evaluates three recent books on assisted suicide.

  • Easter (Acts 2:14a, 36-41; 1 Peter 1:17-23; Lk.24:13-35)

    Appearing to two nobodies going no where is an interesting choice when you think of all the other possibilities for the debut of the risen Lord.

  • Easter: The Demand and the Promise

    If Jesus’ resurrection is the end of the story, then we’re in really big trouble. All our hopes could be realized, and we’re being enlisted to make them come to pass. The bottom line is no longer Business As Usual, but Everything Is Up for Grabs. The lid is off: Neighbors are to be loved rather than mistrusted. Enemies are to be loved even when we oppose them. How inconvenient.

  • Eastern View of Economics

    The author examines several East Asian perspectives on the global economy including Bhutan, India, Kerala, Sri Lanka, and the Asian "tigers," Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore, South Korea, and Japan. He deals in more detail with his own personal role in the decision of the Chinese government to announce its goal of making of China an "ecological civilization."

  • Easy Affirmations (Luke 4:1-13)

    If we test for what we know or envision, then the god we discover will be only the size of our certainties, and as dead as our faith. Resurrection invites us into the mystery of creation and into the presence of the living God. In that place, even death itself is not a certainty.

  • Eating and Drinking with Jesus

    The author challenges traditional Christian thinking about the Lord’s supper as a "sacrament" to be set apart from secular eating and drinking.

  • Eavesdropping (Mic. 6:1-8;I Cor. 1:18-31;Matt. 5:1-12; Ps. 15)

    Eavesdropping on others as a way of getting operating instructions from God.

  • Eco-minded: Faith and Action

    Pinches reviews a book by Larry Rasmussen in which Rasmussen proposes "sustainability" as the correct goal for human interaction with the earth. But he also notes that this description is prone to abuse, for it has been too easily twined with expansionism.

  • Ecofeminism, Reverence for Life, and Feminist Theological Ethics

    We cannot understand the human/divine relationship until we understand and transform the human/nonhuman relationship. The ways of thinking that have led to a destruction of the earth and an exploitation of animals are often the very ways of thinking that have led to an exploitation of women. To overcome male-centeredness is also to overcome human-centeredness.

  • Ecological Agriculture

    Dr. Cobb explains the need for, and the appeal, of organic agriculture. The Green Revolution succeeded in its goal but made the human future more precarious in the long run. Agriculture has become too much a part of the overall industrial process. Instead, we should build on practices that have developed all over the world out of peasant experience, and follow nature’s guidance in the development of agricultural ecosystems that can have the generative capacities of natural ecosystems.

  • Ecological Degradation As The Judgment of God

    French approaches the ecological issues facing the world from the theological position that the ecological destruction occurring is evidence of God's judgment on our misuse of creation. Citing books by Al Gore and Bill McKibben to support his critique of our consumer-oriented culture, French emphasizes the crucial role churches can and should play in sensitizing us to the need for sacrifice if we are to reverse the destruction.

  • Ecology and Economy

    The economists believe a prosperous future awaits all our descendants, if only we will be patient and stay the course. The ecologists believe that continuing on our present course is a sure recipe for disaster. Perhaps China can help us find a way through this dilemma.

  • Ecology and the Church: Theology and Action

    The destruction of the earth is prompting churches to explore their role in protecting the environment. This article explores the theological and active roles of several denominations involved in ecological activity.

  • Ecology and the Fall

    The religious impulse of the ecological movement explains both its popularity -- it satisfies a basic human need -- and the uncertainty of its future. Since we can’t even guarantee that enlightened egotism will save the world from a nuclear doomsday, what will prevent the earth from turning into a gigantic feedlot for 40 or more billion people?

  • Ecology and the Structure of Society

    The essayist describes the impact upon his thinking about civilization, imperialism, modernity, education, colonialism, ecology, economy by three thinkers: Paolo Soleri, Paul Shepard, and Ivan Illich.

  • Ecology, Justice and Theology: Beyond the Preliminary Skirmishes

    Ecological theologians have, as a rule, taken seriously the predictions of crisis advanced by responsible scientists. Political theologians, on the other hand, have tended either to ignore ecological problems altogether or to regard them as expressions of unresolved political or economic problems.

  • Economic Aspects of Social and Environmental Violence

    Dr. Cobb claims that economism causes social and environmental violence. It does so by creating a society oriented to the increase of economic activity through the market, which tends to concentrate wealth among a few while destroying many small players. For example, the economic policies that drive millions of people off their land and out of their traditional villages are violent ones. Cobb suggest several remedies, including the idea is that when we purchase anything, we should pay the full cost, including all human, social and ecological costs.

  • Economics for the Common Good

    The author critiques the assumptions underlying the dominant market-place economic theory and proposes different assumptions which take into account the fact that people live in communities.

  • Economics for the Earth

    In this book review, John Cobb argues for an "earthist" rather than an "economist" approach to poverty by the World Bank.

  • Economism as Idolatry

    Economism is leading us into catastrophes even worse that the religious wars of the early seventeenth century and the Second World War in our own. Christians emphasize the positive value of human community, the principle of subsidiarity, preferential option for the poor, and the integrity of creation and the human use of the environment should be sustainable. The policies implementing economism, such as the globalization of the economy through free trade, are diametrically opposed to all of these Christian principles.

  • Ecumenical Hermeneutics for a Plural Christianity: Reflections on Contextuality and Catholicity

    Dr. von Sinner explores the significance of the Ecumenical Movment from the perspective of the Commission of the Faith and Order of the World Council of Churches. He discuses the dialogue with the trinitarian theology of two eminent theologians from two very different contexts. Leonardo Boff and Raimon Panikkar.

  • Ecumenicity: Rx for Urban Health

    Consolidation and centralization would serve to reduce costs and increase productivity in urban church life as well as in the business world, but denominations have long resisted this trend: they continue to maintain numbers of small, weak churches -- "loss operations" that drain the financial surplus from larger, healthier congregations.

  • Educating the Congregation

    The consequences of much of theological education are found in the dispersion and fragmentation of the curriculum and an individualistic understanding of the ministry.

  • Education and Economism

    Christianism led Western Europe to the catastrophe of the religious wars. Nationalism led to the catastrophe of two World Wars and the Holocaust. Economism is now leading to both social and ecological catastrophes of global proportions. Those who are already experiencing these catastrophes, along with others who see them coming in more massive forms, are forming alliances not only to protest but also to push for change before it is truly too late. The author calls this Earthism, and he holds that that seminaries and church-related colleges and universities must give leadership in the greening of higher education. He describes the challenge.

  • Education as Furniture and Propellant

    These provocative reflections excerpted from Joseph Sittler's book, Gravity and Grace, (Augsburg Publishing House, copyright 1986) express with pungent language and metaphors his lover's quarrel with higher education in general and with theological education in particular, focusing on the continuing education of clergy, college and university faculties, as well as the laity.

  • Educational Process, Feminist Practice

    The feminist practice of theological education features the themes of justice, dialogue, and imagination. Justice is central to the braiding together of ethics and epistemology in the formation of new meanings and functions of symbols. Dialogue is a process of concrete encounter, a conversation entailing risk and leading to transformation. Imagination, the ability to think the new, may well be one of the most crucial requirements of forming new ways of knowing and new ways of learning. Theological education is about the relationships formed, the style of teaching, and the extracurricular activities as well as the curriculum.

  • Edwards for Us

    Jonathan Edwards is interesting for contemporary theologians because he developed a balance of brilliant intellectual honesty, fidelity to the biblical traditions, and an openness to new insight brought by personal experience.

  • Efficient Causation Within Concrescence

    The author argues that we should reconceive concrescence itself as the active interweaving of efficient and final causation, understanding by efficient causation the entire career of physical feeling, not simply concentrating exclusively on its initial phase.

  • El Pueblo Unido Jamás Será Vencido

    "Christ has been killed again. But he will rise again."

  • Eliot's Cats Come Out Tonight

    Cats appeals to those latent religious impulses through dance and dramatic ritual, interwoven patterns of words and music, archetypal motifs and other intimations of a deeper order at the heart of things. It celebrates with equal intensity the word and body of the world.

  • Embarrassed by the Church: Congregations and the Seminary

    The curriculum of the seminary should be determined by and reflect the liturgical life of the church, for the most promising way to reclaim the integrity of theological language as the working language for a congregation is for seminaries to make liturgy the focus of their lives.

  • Emerging God

    God is affected by the pain of creatures, is genuinely responsive to their calls, acquires experiences as a result of these interactions that were not present beforehand -- all ideas familiar to readers of process theology. Is not such a picture of God closer to the biblical witness than the distant God-above-time of classical philosophical theism?

  • Emil Brunner: A Centennial Perspective

    Emil Brunner’s version of neo-orthodoxy was enormously influential in the postwar years. His approach to Christology, revelation, ethics and the church has entered our theological consciousness.

  • Emphasizing the Congregation: New Directions for Seminaries

    Because the individual congregation is such a rich expression of the church, studying it can focus theological education. The traditional disciplines of the church -- Bible, church history systematic and practical theology -- continue to function but at the same time, are coming apart.

  • Empirical Theology: A Revisable Tradition

    Dean suggests that American religious empiricists may have lapsed into objectivism at times, but a third position of speculative and radically empirical realism, a religious historicism, holds up well in the current forces of deconstructionism, neopragmatism, and language philosophy.

  • Empiricism and Process Theology: God Is What God Does

    We are called to re-examine data from the biblical and historic traditions as well as to interpret new data. The author sees reality as a process of becoming .and perishing, with new "becomings" building on that which has perished.

  • Empty Tomb, Empty Talk (Luke 24:1-12)

    It is somewhat reassuring to realize that the first Christian sermon ever preached did not register high on the Richter scale. When the women came back from the cemetery on Easter morning, they brought with them word of an empty tomb and astonishing news: "He is not here but has risen!" All Christian preaching begins here,

  • Encore (Jn. 21:1-19)

    Having heard the invitation to follow so long ago, we need to hear it again, and then to act.

  • End Missions Imperialism Now!

    Missions shares a struggle with the whole Christian fellowship; but there are certain points at which it is more immediate and concrete for the missionary, and for that reason the consciousness of the church is focused in his efforts. Three such issues have emerged today and demand the mature and responsible thought of the churches: (1) the relation of Christianity to other religions, (2) the relation of Christianity to the national state and (3) the relation of Christianity to the economic order.

  • Ending Hunger

    The authors argue that if we pay sufficient attention to the politics of hunger, all the people of the world can be fed.

  • Ending the Abortion War: A Modest Proposal

    Perhaps it is time to stop thinking and acting in 30-second sound bites and engage instead in serious moral discourse on abortion. A blanket No is simply not a sufficient response to regulation.

  • Energy Ethics Reaches the Church’s Agenda

    Seldom are the complexities of energy issues seen in moral terms, and seldom does energy appear high on the church’s ethical agenda, especially within the local congregation. The Energy Study Process of the National Council of Churches has been a fortunate exception to this lack of attention.

  • Energy-Events and Fields

    Bracken indicates how the field-approach to Whiteheadian societies allows for a trinitarian understanding of God in which the three divine persons of traditional Christian doctrine, by their dynamic interrelatedness from moment to moment, constitute a structured field of activity for the whole of creation. Metaphysics is considered to be an event-ontology rather than a substance-ontology.

  • Enter Here (Acts 2:42-47,1 Peter 2:19-25, John 10:1-10)

    The rapturous beginnings and sufferings mean nothing if we haven’t entered by the right door. For Christians the door is the person of Jesus Christ.

  • Envisioning a Fifth Model

    The author suggests alternatives to existing models of higher education. Liberal arts colleges should develop curricula directed to making future professionals historically, culturally, politically, and socially aware. Study and research should be organized around problems., such as the following: How can we feed humanity in the future; What would further human fulfillment? How does work contribute or take away from human well-being? What can the economy contribute? What is physical health, and how is it attained? Universities should be focused on the common good of humankind.

  • Epistemological Modesty: An Interview with Peter Berger

    The market introduces some tendencies toward democracy. But there is nothing inexorable about such development. There's a danger of romanticizing the idea of civil society. Not all mediating structures are good ones. The problem with liberal Protestantism is not the loss of orthodoxy but the loss of religious substance.

  • Equus: Human Conflicts and the Trinity

    ‘Equus’ prompts us to look again at the mystery of Christian faith through the analogy of parental, filial and professional conflicts. The play compels audiences to ask the ultimate meaning of life.

  • Eros and Agape in Creative Evolution: A Peircean Insight

    Hausman believes that Peirce's insight is restricted in the role of eros and agape in creative evolution, but he also suggests the fruitfulness of his insight. The notion of agape introduced here is preferable to the use of the notion of eros in accounting for creativity.

  • Error in Causal Efficacy

    The author has written critiques of Whitehead’s theory of perception and here gives new reasons to doubt the cogency and consistency of this theory of Whitehead’s. In particular, he argues that Whitehead’s account of perception in the mode of causal efficacy is question-begging.

  • Eruption of Truth: An Interview with Raimon Panikkar

    Panikkar on Christianity, Asian religions, and the need for inter-religious dialogue. The crisis today is not that of one country, one model, one religion; it is a crisis of humanity.

  • Escape From the Tomb (Jn. 20:1-18)

    After the resurrection, every time he came to his friends they became stronger, wiser, kinder, more daring. Every time he came to them, they became more like him.

  • Essential Question (John 6:56-69)

    Cynthia Campbell defends each generation’s scholarship in searching for the real Jesus providing the search is accompanied by the Holy Spirit.

  • Ethical Collapse in Higher Education

    Colleges and universities face ethical difficulties primarily because they are reflections of the moral aimlessness of our society as a whole. Children are mirrors of their parents.

  • Ethics and Evangelism: Learning from the Third-Century Church

    The recovery of the type of evangelism practiced in the third century, adapted to 20th-century circumstances, could meet the evangelistic needs of the mainline church.

  • Ethics for This World

    Sixty years after the war’s end, we are still waiting for the reconstruction of society for which Bonhoeffer dared to hope, but we have more resources for understanding his vision. The new translation of Ethics takes its place at the head of that list.

  • Ethics, Economics and Free Trade

    As the negative consequences of free trade become more evident, ethicists can begin to ask more critical questions. What does "free trade" really mean? What are its positive values? Are these so important as to justify support despite the losses it entails?

  • Eugene Peterson on Pastoral Ministry

    We’re probably at one of the low points in ministry because of the silliness and triviality that characterize so much of church life these days. Peterson suggests what should be the focus for the minister today.

  • Euthanasia: A Bedside View

    Physicians are asking if there should be one last act of care – to bring on death.

  • Evangelicalism Without Fundamentalism

    A review of a book on fundamentalism by James Barr. Barr writes of the "religious basis" of fundamentalism, surveys its attitudes toward such diverse phenomena as politics, science, culture, Zionism and Roman Catholicism; catalogues such variations as Pentecostalism, Calvinist and Arminian conflicts, and millennialism; and probes its anti-ecumenical and anticritical ethos. He considers fundamentalism a pathological condition of Christianity.

  • Evangelicals and Israel: Theological Roots of a Political Alliance

    Behind evangelical support for Israel lies a long tradition of Christian thinking about the millennium. Not Muslim persecution but the brutal Israeli occupation is causing Palestinian Christians to leave the Holy Land.

  • Evangelism as Entertainment

    In the era of the electronic church and the born-again media blitz, the message comes through loud and clear: evangelical ministry is such that whether the preacher really believes in it or not doesn’t matter! The mass-culture media religion is so superficial that it scarcely matters whether its adherents are cynically being "taken."

  • Evangelism When Certainty Is an Illusion

    A church that talks of salvation but does not battle for social justice will be dismissed as phony. A church that shuns controversy for fear of upsetting its membership has ceased to be the church and has become a club. No program of evangelism will save it.

  • Everyday Fortitude

    Review of a book on courage. Does it take a disaster to rouse us to virtuous action? Is our ordinary common life hostile or indifferent to moral excellence?

  • Everyday Theology

    The authors provide a "work session" to help the reader identify what theology is, why it is important and how it is done. Case study illustrations.

  • Everything I Know About Writing I Learned in Sunday School

    The author hears in current serious fiction a whisper of that still, small voice for which our faith has taught us to listen.

  • Evil and Persuasive Power

    The writers approach the problem of evil from the stance of process thought. Basic to their position is the view that God’s power is persuasive, not coercive.

  • Evil and Persuasive Power: A Response to Hare and Madden

    Whitehead’s conceptuality explains the rise of good and the rise of evil without making God responsible for any evil which cannot be justified. (A response to "Evil and Persuasive Power" by Peter H. Hare and Edward H. Madden).

  • Evolution and Evolutionism

    What the liberals do not see is that the neo-Darwinist account of how we got here is not much stronger than that of the evolutionists. Neo-Darwinism has unfortunate psychological consequences. Yet it is being taught as “gospel truth.”  The lip service being paid to science’s fallibility does little to lessen neo-Darwinism’s impact. The upshot is that the civil liberties of those who disagree with the theory are being compromised.

  • Evolutionary Futurism in Stapledon’s ‘Star Maker’

    Stapledon brings together basic concerns for a viable community and a metaphysic, as his narrator questions the ultimate meaning of the only good he is able to perceive -- the symbiotic love of two human beings.

  • Evolutionist Theories and Whitehead’s Philosophy

    Dr. Lucas argues that evolution and evolutionist theories play no significant role in Whitehead’s metaphysics, and that there is no evidence in his major works of any significant influence from earlier process-oriented "evolutionary cosmologies."

  • Evolving Sensibilities of our Conception of Nature

    The author suggests that a proper philosophy of nature is tied to environmental economics, a conception of labor that is thoughtful and with value, a vision of persons as inherently part of the natural world and as responsible decision-makers not alienated from nature.

  • Examining Islamic Militancy

    Many Muslims around the world are unimpressed by presidential speeches extolling our virtues as freedom-loving, peaceful people. They see U.S. support for many repressive regimes. They see the pervasive influence of hedonistic Western culture on their traditional societies. Add in the frustration over the plight of the Palestinians and of civilians in Iraq and you’ve got a volatile mix.

  • Excellence Beyond Standards (Is.25:6-9; Phil.4:4-13; Mt.22:1-10)

    The parables of Jesus demonstrate that sometimes we may be forced to change our standards to make traditions more accessible.

  • Exercising a Christian Intellect

    In his review of George M. Marsden's book The Outrageous Idea of Christian Scholarship, Tinder agrees with Marsden's argument that Christian scholars should stop being merely Christian in private and endeavor to break down the antireligious bias in our predominantly secular college and university facilities. However, Tinder suggests the Christian claim of revelation will render this change unlikely in the arena of scholarly discourse with its insistence on rational objectivity.

  • Expecting the Second Coming

    Why waste your time making preparations for an end time you cannot predict? Live prepared.

  • Experience and Philosophy: A Review of Hartshorne’s Creative Synthesis and Philosophic Method

    The author offers a listing of Hartshorne’s achievements and difficulties, and concludes that his philosophy does not capture the living waters of experience. That is, it makes experience philosophically uninteresting.

  • Experience, Dialectic, and God

    The author argues that the view that the process account rests on experiences in some sense while other metaphysical and theological accounts do not, is at the very least thoroughly misleading, and at the very worst quite false.

  • Explaining the Historical Process

    Whitehead’s scheme for analyzing the temporal emergence of particular events provides a justification and explanation for the dynamics of historical narrative and also a set of concepts that could satisfy the demands of analytical critics.

  • Explanation and Natural Philosophy: Or, The Rationalization of Mysticism

    Dr. Code holds that there is an unavoidable mystical dimension in every interpretation of nature. His conclusion is that the natural philosopher must strive to become as much mythologist as (to use Whitehead’s phrase) "critic of abstractions."

  • Exploring a Life of Prayer

    The author provides activities to help the reader you affirm and learn from the experiences of prayer. She explores what keeps us from responding when deep in our hearts we long to be in relationship with God. The encourages trying different forms of prayer.

  • Exploring the Role of Media in Religious Identity-construction Among Teens

    A summary of the author's doctoral dissertation research on U.S. teens and religious identity, in which she explored two interrelated questions: what do teens mean when they say they are religious (or not religious)? And how do these identifications relate to their experiences with the visual media?

  • Exposed and Waiting (Ps. 146; Is. 35:1-10; James 5:7-10; Matt. 11:2-11)

    In Advent, dare we risk exploring the meaning of our longing for God?

  • Exposing Zacchaeus

    How is Jesus calling us down from our success and wealth -- our Sycamore trees -- where we think our affluence and luxuries protect us from responsibilities and obligations to the poor, the hungry and the homeless?

  • Extra Credit (Mark 12:28-34)

    Jesus finds himself in the middle of a kind of theological cross-examination free-for-all. Priests, scribes, elders and other assorted defenders of the letter of the law are swarming all over him in a frenzy of entrapment.

  • Eye of the Needle (I Tim. 6:6-19; Lk. 16:19-31)

    We’re not to be haughty or set our hopes on the uncertainty of riches hut instead rely on our richly provident God.

  • Facing Fear (Genesis 21:8-12; Matthew 10:26-30)

    Through God’s graciousness, both Sarah and Hagar are blessed despite the fear they face -- Ishmael does become the father of a nation, and lo and behold, Abraham becomes the progenitor of both Jews and Arabs.

  • Facing up to Global Warming

    The massive problem of global warming will be helped only by massive action. We need to make it clear that any politician whose plan doesn’t call for cutting carbon by half’ or more simply hasn’t understood the situation -- or has understood it and sold out.

  • Facing Up To Inequalities

    The author reviews four books which offer theological, ethical and empirical reasons to be indignant about persistent domestic and global poverty and inequality.

  • Faith and Aging

    Trudy Bush reviews three books which deal with the phenomenal growth of aging in the last few decades. Many stereotypes of old age are untrue. Many problems with aging need to be addressed.

  • Faith and Freedom

    A significant shift in Odgen's recent thinking has been from being preoccupied for the most part with theoretical questions of belief and truth to giving greater attention to the practical issues of action and justice that likewise have their basis in the underlying concern for freedom.

  • Faith and Justice: A New Synthesis? The Interface of Process and Liberation Theologies

    Liberation theologians should take seriously the metaphysical framwork for a praxis-oriented theology implicitly offered to them by process theology. Process thinkers must come to grips with the urgent social justice issues raised by liberation theologians.

  • Faith and Modern Humanity: Two Approaches

    Rudolf Bultmann’s work has encouraged self-deception and confusion in the church. To become free from his influence, it is important that theologians and pastors understand his work. But the man who is sometimes said to be the source of Bultmann’s ideas, Søren Kierkegaard, can be instrumental in liberating us from Bultmann’s way of thinking.

  • Faith in Learning: Integrative Education and Incarnational Theology

    There remain the differences among those who advocate a faith above learning, those who simply place faith and learning side by side, and those who affirm a faith for learning.

  • Faith on Idle (2 Thessalonians 3:6-13)

    We are to address the bored and idle among us by gently fostering hope. This demands that we not rush to alleviate boredom, but that we negotiate true desire over hopelessness.

  • Faith, Hope and Bigotry

    The findings of this study of Americans suggest a pervasive social outlook among the religious-minded that seems to be incompatible with and often opposite to the compassion taught in the Sermon on the Mount.

  • Faith, Hope and Love: Psalm 82

    There was a time when the West took great efforts to protect the poor and weak, but today the rich and powerful work to advance their interests, rather then seeking justice for the poor and week. What is possible for those who survive is to live locally and in community with others who have the same values rather than those of the self-destroying society around us.

  • Faith-Based Action

    An analysis of the pros and cons of the Bush Administration's "faith-based" solution to social problems.

  • Faith-based Politics

    The Bush Administration misunderstands congregations: 1. It has unrealistic expectations of what a congregations is and what it does. 2. It gives a model of competition where the alternative service provider idea pits the secular against the faith-based non-profits.

  • Faithful Citizens

    There is no other nation that has a dual identity -- religious and national -- as does America. Dr. Sittser reviews three books that address the confusions in America and religion.

  • Faithful to the Script

    Bishop Willimon comments on the film The Gospel of John. In his opinion it is an even better Jesus movie than Pasolini's The Gospel According to St Matthew.

  • Falling Behind: An Interview with Jonathan Kozol

    There is a general sense that society no longer intends to bring black and Hispanic children into the mainstream of society. The public schools today are every bit as segregated as they were in 1964, in the days of Martin Luther King.

  • Falwell and Followers

    Review of a book about Jerry Falwell. The author shows the myriad ways in which fundamentalist rhetoric creates and transforms both the fundamentalist community itself and the wider American culture..

  • Families in Crisis

    A review of From Culture Wars to Common Ground: Religion and the American Family Debate. Families are in crisis and there is an urgent need for church and society to respond.

  • Family Feuds (Genesis 25:19-34; Romans 8:1-11)

    Without the grace of Christ, who makes God’s reconciliation a reality despite human sin, the devastation of relationships might get the best of us.

  • Family: Crisis or Change?

    The question to ask if we want to improve the quality of family life is this: Why are families changing? They aren’t changing as much as we might think, for the good old days were not as isolated from many of the modern problems of our technological age as we like to think.

  • Famine and Global Policy: An Interview with Joseph Fletcher

    An interview with social ethicist Joseph Flecher which delves into the ethical issues of the "triage/lifeboat" approach to world hunger relief.

  • Fanning The Flames (Acts 5:17-42)

    The death of Jesus only yielded three days of calm before the disciples came out of hiding claiming that he was raised to new life. By Pentecost the flames were beginning to roar. As the high priest’s frustration escalated, so did his attempts to deter Jesus’ disciples from teaching, healing and preaching.

  • Fantasy Literature’s Evocative Power

    Fantasy literature as a genre has the capacity to move a reader powerfully. And the motions and emotions involved are not simply visceral as is the case with much modern literature -- but spiritual. It affects one’s beliefs, one’s way of viewing life, one’s hopes and dreams and faith.

  • Farewell to the Clown: A Tribute to Charlie

    Chaplin, like all great clowns, was in a peculiar way a religious figure. He revealed to us in the clown’s inimitable way certain truths about ourselves; he poked fun at our pride and pretension and reconciled us to one another and to a common humanity.

  • Farm Factories

    Human dominion over the natural world must not be taken as an unqualified license to kill or inflict suffering on animals.

  • Farming for God

    The struggle for an ecological theology that is both biblical and fully in keeping with our cultural and ecological crisis is outlined by the author and the books reviewed.

  • Feeling as a Metaphysical Category: Hartshorne from an Analytical View

    Metaphysical principles have been attacked in recent years by analytic philosophers, but Hartshorne maintains that the analytic philosophers have succeeded only in tearing down antiquated metaphysical castles.

  • Feminism and Ministerial Education

    The current task of biblical interpreters of women’s issues should begin in the theological seminary. In the past, women were advised to enter religious education. No adviser would have thought of suggesting a Ph.D. in theology or New Testament. Women should be encouraged to explore the full range of academic offerings -- especially those that would strengthen skills in theology and/or biblical languages, for example.

  • Feminism and Peace

    It must be clear that we are children of one mother, the earth, part of one interdependent community of life. On this basis we must oppose all social systems that create wealth and privilege for some by impoverishing, degrading or eliminating other people, whether they be the systems of domination that repress or assault women, or the systems that plan nuclear annihilation in a futile search for security based on competitive world power.

  • Feminist Concerns and Whitehead’s Theory of Perception

    This article examines Whitehead’s theory of perception to indicate how this theory provides a philosophical reinterpretation for two issues of concern to feminists: criticism of cultural symbols, including language, and the importance of intuition and emotion, usually associated with women, in experience.

  • Feminist Hermeneutics and Biblical Studies

    In various and sundry ways feminist hermeneutics is challenging interpretations old and new. In time, perhaps, it will yield a biblical theology of womanhood with roots in the goodness of creation female and male.

  • Feminist Separatism -- The Dynamics of Self-Creation

    The author discusses the paper "Radical Relatedness and Feminist Separatism" by Nancy R. Howell. The more inclusive our actual world, the more expanded our potential for novel creations. However, there may well be a time and place for worldless dissociation.

  • Feminist Theology for a New Generation

    Dr. McDougall reviews suggests several books on feminist theology with emphasis on Serene Jones’s Feminist Theory and Christian Theology: Cartographies of Grace and Mary Grey’s Sacred Longings: The Ecological Spirit and Global Culture


  • Feminist Theology in a Global Perspective

    Feminist theology’s call to other liberation theologies is for them to take seriously the oppression of all women -- especially the double oppression of poor, minority and Third World women. In Christ there is neither…male nor female….all persons are created in the image of God and therefore have a right to develop their full potentials of personhood.

  • Feuerbach’s Religious Illusion

    Feuerbach thought he had unmasked all religions, showing them to be products of human imagination and desire. Christian theologians should not simply ignore Feuerbach’s claims about the subjective roots of religion. Perhaps it is possible to argue that Mother Teresa believes in a God who just gives her what she wants. But it strains our credulity.

  • Field of Corporate Dreams: Farming Without the Farmer

    The rise of corporate farming and the disappearance of the family farm are destroying local communities and economies. These developments also cause soil erosion, and reduce the quality of the food we eat.

  • Fierce Landscapes and the Indifference of God

    Both Judaism and Christianity tend to view the divine indifference as a way of teasing us out of ourselves and into relationship with God.

  • Filling in the Gaps of Liberal Culture

    An analysis of how American Christians have both interacted with and transcended liberal culture.

  • Finding a Place for Emotions

    The theologian must see that the emotions have definite implications for the Christian life and that the Christian story has important implications for the affectional life.

  • Finding Nourishment and Encouragement

    Drawing on his experience of nearly a half century of ministry - much of it connected with retreats - Raines gives a rationale for the offering of retreat experiences to clergy for purposes of sanctuary, nourishment, study, silence, healing and encouragement.

  • Finding the Church: Post-Traditional Discipleship

    Bellah holds that the initial shift in point of view that allowed him as an adult to consider religion as a viable option came from his exposure to Tillich and his confident assertion that Christianity is not "belief in the unbelievable." His later turn to more active fellowship in the company of believers was motivated as much by a feeling that the church had need of him as it was by any private needs of his own.

  • Finding the Face of Jesus

    It is curious that none of the evangelists, and certainly none of the great theologians of the church, ever met and conversed with Jesus, yet all have had strong, though differing, views of who he was. Christian artists have produced revealing, incisive portraits of a face no artist has ever seen (visions and raptures aside). The portraits of Jesus by some of the great classical artists are discussed.

  • Finding the Good at Garden Grove

    Robert Schuller’s gift to today’s church is to be found largely in his genius for winning a hearing from the unchurched. Regardless of our theology or our politics or our location, we can learn from him.

  • Fire in the Dark (Acts 2:1-21)

    Too much cheerfulness is displayed at many celebrations of the Pentecost. It is time to take Pentecost back from the celebrants of exuberant but easy triumph.

  • Fit For Ministry?

    Fifty years ago almost all seminarians in North America where white young men. Today women, ethnic and minority groups, all older, constitute the majority of students. Has this change been good or bad for theological education and for the churches’ ministry?

  • Fit for the Reign of God (I Kings 19:19-21; Luke 9:57-62; Gal. 5:1, 13-25)

    Every Christian struggles with the tensions of pragmatism and vision. But there is no one-time solution.

  • Flannery O'Connor: Her Vision

    A Roman Catholic, Flannery’s vision was of a world deeply infused with grace.

  • Fleeing Before Herod (Matt. 4:12-13)

    That Jesus can and does identify with the uprooted, the pursued, the victim, is in itself an encouraging and redeeming word. In Jesus, God has identified with those who suffer violence and with the homeless, those who have no place to lay their heads (Matt. 8:20).

  • Flesh Becomes Word: The Incarnational Poetry of Scott Cairns

    One of the better-known poets who accepts the label "Christian writer," Scott Cairns is probably best known for a single erotic poem, "Interval with Erato," and the controversy that erupted when the administration of Seattle Pacific University became aware of the poem and withdrew a job offer as a result.

  • Flipping the World on Its Head (Acts 17:6; I Pet. 2:91)

    Even a persecuted Christianity had a humanizing impact on the culture at large.

  • Flocking Together (John 10:1-10)

    The flock that Jesus so lovingly describes in the Gospel of John is the same flock that is divided today, for when modern Christians cannot even agree on the date of Easter, it seems that something has gone terribly wrong.

  • Floods (Matthew 5:45)

    We must confess that, by and large, we Christians prefer flood control -- God’s love tamed, so that we can have his blessings within the framework of the order we have created.

  • Food Fight

    Large agribusiness corporations are replacing the world’s agricultural diversity which was useful both to farmers and local consumers, with bioengineered and patented monocultures that are merely profitable to corporations.

  • Food to Die For

    Review of a book about food politics: For the sake of profit large corporations conspire with the government to manipulate and confuse consumers in the food they eat.

  • Foolhardy Faith (Ps.66:7-18;John 14:15-21;Acts 17:22-31;I Pet.3:13-22)

    The author remembers meeting a woman in Russia who was not ashamed to be a fool for Christ's sake.

  • Foolish Belonging (1 Corinthians 1:10-18)

    The news that some mainline Protestants have decided to recognize one another’s communion table means little to those who sit in our pluralistic pews. They’ve been bouncing around in their own private ecumenical movements for years, attending a wedding here and a baptism there. They have a growing sense that denominational divisions are a thing of the past.

  • Foolish Wisdom

    Dr. Wall examines the meaning of I Corinthians 4:10: "we are fools for Christ's sake."

  • Foot Washing and Last Things (John 13:1-20)

    An eschatology without ethics is futuristic and irrelevant. Ethics without an eschatology is desperate and futile. But joined together, they can produce the power to wash feet and sustain Peter’s rebuke; to live fully today because God is in the present as well as in the tomorrow, and to work for the impossible because with God all things are finally possible.

  • For Grown-ups (Isa.52:7-10;John 1:1-14)

    Here is a message for grown-ups at Christmas that is an essential part of the feast.

  • For Life and Against Death: A Theology That Takes Sides

    We are faced with a total system of death, a threat to all life and to the whole life. It is our Christian privilege and duty to witness concretely and unhesitantly, with all the resources we have, to God’s creative and redemptive concern for life and against death!

  • For Richer

    How the permissive capitalism of the boom of the late 1990's destroyed American equality.

  • For the Sake of Ten (Gen. 18:24)

    The good efect of the righteous, though they are a minority, must have healing power in the community.

  • Foreign Aid: Does It Harm or Help?

    The author reviews two books on foreign aid. Though the public wants the government to help end poverty and injustice, it increasingly doubts that aid really helps, and believes that sometimes it hurts..

  • Foreword To the Newly Reprinted British Edition of Science and the Modern World

    Science threatens to control our lives and scramble our ethics and sense of human dignity. The author suggests that Whitehead would redefine the world view so that science and other forms of research would serve us better.

  • Forgiven and Forgiving (Matt. 18:21-35)

    The parable of the unforgiving servant reminds us that to receive forgiveness, we must ourselves be forgiving.

  • Formative Years: The Seminary Experience

    Life at "Mainline Seminary" is a choreographed battleground with affinity groups hunkered down in the trenches. There is no doubt that students are shaped by seminaries. The real question is: Toward what end?

  • Formed for Ministry: A Program in Spiritual Formation

    Theological education ought to be about forming people for ministry, not simply conveying information.

  • Forming a Family

    A review of two books on the family which emphasize the need for a more compassionate, gender-conscious and tradition-aware understanding of marriage and the family.

  • Forming Students Through the Bible

    Our varied approaches to scripture, our theories about depth versus breadth of coverage, and our work and worry over students with vastly different degrees and kinds of formation don’t matter nearly so much as the ways we practice and embody the virtues of a faithful lover or a religious reader.

  • Forums for Dialogue: Teleconferencing and the American Catholic Church

    The author examines one specific kind of technological forum -- the teleconference -- reflecting on its history and its future potential as a mode of "assembly" within the Catholic Church. These concepts have new meaning as use of the Internet and the World Wide Web explodes.

  • Fostering Family (Romans 8:12-25)

    The redemption of the body of Christ surely calls for the timely and literal adoption of every child who is waiting to be wanted, accepted and loved, be the adopting couple straight or gay.

  • Foundations of Cognitive Metaphysics

    This article explores some of the implications for process philosophy of a new approach to brain psychology and the dynamics of the mental state -- microgenetic theory -- that has developed out of the study of symptoms in neurological cases.

  • Four Churches in One: Latin American Catholicism

    There are four churches of Catholicism in Latin America: 1. The escapist faith of nonhuman magical ritual. 2. The traditional church. 3. The progressive church of Vatican II. 4. The church of the liberation theologians: José Míguez Bonino, Juan Segundo, Gustavo Gutiérrez and the rest -- the church of the poor and the dispossessed.

  • Four Types of Universities

    Like public schools, higher education now functions in the service of the capitalist market. Whereas public schools are designed to produce workers for the market, higher education is designed to produce engineers, scientists, accountants, managers, consultants, and executives for corporations, as well as the teachers, doctors, and lawyers required for the market society.

  • Fourteen Years After ‘Unity in Mid-Career’

    Responding to God in the midst of this world includes public praise and thanksgiving that Christ is served in every place where people are clothed, housed, fed, and enabled to lead more dignified human lives. God is intensively at work in antireligious China, Cuba and Mozambique.

  • Fractures in the Future

    Within such denominations as the United Presbyterian Church, the United Methodist Church and the Episcopal Church, there exist important and influential groups going counter to denominational leadership.

  • Fragments from an Earthen Jar--James Robinson and the Nag Hammadi Library

    The writings of Gnostics themselves were relatively rare until December 1945 when 52 partial and whole texts, written in fourth century Coptic (Egyptian), were found in an earthen jar. James Robinson, more than any other, was instrumental in reviving studies in Gnosticism through his realization of the importance of these texts.

  • Free Trade And The World Trade Organization

    The World Trade Organization gives too little attention to: 1. the historical change of the nature and role of trade; 2. The excessive power and influence of corporations; 3. The costs of growth.

  • Freedom and Faithfulness In Whitehead’s God

    Faithfulness fundamentally pertains only to the repetition of free actions. A God who acts freely only once, whether or not that action is somehow eternally present, cannot be faithful. God is faithful because he could, but does not, "sin" -- against his own previous primordial ideals. That God continues to relate himself to the world in a given way is a matter of grace, not of necessity.

  • Freeing the American Pulpit

    Those who have dared to preach the truth have been martyred or persecuted; yet somehow we expect that the parish preacher can denounce sin and still continue to be popular. The pulpit that declares the unvarnished truth will not have a large following.

  • Fresh Evidence (Lk. 24:36b-48)

    After Easter, the disciples witnesses to the victory of God -- not expert witness, just witnesses -- witnessing to the risen Christ within them. We too are to witness to the risen Christ within us.

  • Friendship Tested

    Friendship finds its own distinctive place in a society where most other ties are commercial and programmed. A friend creates a haven of hospitality where you can regather your energies for a more open assault on less accepting portions an inhospitable world.

  • Frodo’s Faith

    Tolkien obliquely suggests a hope for radically renewed life beyond "the circles of the world." The transcendent is caputred, even the divine quality of real love, by having it issue in a pity and pardon utterly unknown either to the warrior cultures of the ancient world or to our own equally merciless culture of competition.

  • From ‘Liberation’ to ‘Exile’: A New Image for Church Mission

    Church people are not effectively engaged with social ills or with the poor. It is rare to come across teachings in the church dealing with the practical tasks of reforming communities.

  • From a God We Hardly Knew (Isa. 9:6)

    In the Christmas event, God confounds our claims of self-sufficiency and our self-image as generous givers by putting us on the receiving end of God’s love.

  • From Catacomb to Basilica: The Dilemma of Oldline Protestantism

    The greatest challenge facing oldline Protestantism today is whether within our life and thought we will welcome movements that buck the currents of establishmentarianism, Christendom and modernity and that call the church to speak once again the "language of dissent" to a culture and church of compliance and consumption.

  • From Creche to Crucifixion: A Pilgrimage

    Our dilemma is how to rejoice in the Nativity without sentimentalizing it; how to praise with the angels this new Beginning without forgetting the tragic ending.

  • From Criticism to Mutual Transformation? The Dialogue Between Process and Evangelical Theologies

    Dr. Culp describes several discussions between evangelical theologians and process thinkers. Wesleyan theology is neither exclusively liberal nor evangelical, thus this discussion revolved around the more specific relationship between Wesleyan theology and process theology.

  • From Earth to Heaven: Teilhard’s Politics and Eschatology

    The conventional and provisionally accurate assessment of Teilhard recognizes him as a master synthesis-builder, one whose vision of the whole included an easy coalition of science, religion and poetic imagination.

  • From God, to God (Ephesians 2:1-10)

    What does it mean to become a Christian? The text of Ephesians answers: You have been created again as God’s masterpiece for two purposes: to show what God can do through Jesus Christ, and to serve human need, engaging in good works which reflect the nature of God as gracious love.

  • From Guilt to Affirmation in the Mainline Churches

    Denominations have applied their energies to saving themselves through new structures, new curricula, new evangelism materials, new approaches to the role of the pastor and the people. But whatever benefits may have accrued, these efforts have apparently had little impact on the membership and dollar trends, which seem to have a life of their own. The church does much better when it functions as its founder envisioned -- as salt or leaven -- rather than when it attempts to be the whole loaf.

  • From Lorenzen Through Husserl to Whitehead

    The author is haunted by the question: What is the mechanism involved in our encounter with eternal objects?

  • From Mimesis to Kinesis: The Aristotelian Dramatic Matrix, Psychoanalysis, and Some Recent Alternati

    Ekbert Faas discusses the possible connections which might exist between Aristotelan poetics and the contemporary psychological theater as well as psychoanalysis itself.

  • From Preaching to Painting: Van Gogh’s Religious Zeal

    In van Gogh, the most mundane acts of human experience conveyed the presence of the divine with far more poignancy than the traditional subjects of cross and cathedral.

  • From Secularity to World Religions

    Both the extent and the inexorability of secularization have been exaggerated, even in Europe and North America, and much more so in other parts of the world.

  • From Seminary to Parish

    Seminaries, whether large or small, conservative or liberal, have more in common with each other than with the churches they serve. Their internal lives--how they construct their curricula, select their faculties and set expectations of their students--are based more on the models of other seminaries than on the mission of the church.

  • From Songs of Protest to Hymns of Praise

    The devoutly religious John Michael Talbot turned from folk-rock music to the life of a Franciscan monk and remains an incomparable singer and guitarist -- though a devoutly religious one. He spends half of his time in retreat and half in ministry.

  • From the Other Side of the Pulpit

    Brownsberger addresses the compartmentalization between faith and works in American churches, and suggests that if we are to morally integrate the two, theologians need to develop a hermeneutic that understands the moral foundations of American experience and incorporates contradictions, institutionalized disharmony, and ongoing debate that only occasionally and episodically reaches consensus.

  • From Time Immemorial? Dwellers in the Holy Land

    It is important that Westerners be aware of the presence of Arab Christians in Israel who are a living link between ourselves and the earliest Christian churches. They are descendants of people who have lived in the land for over 1,500 years, and their perseverance over the centuries deserves our respect and support.

  • From Wrath to Grace (Zeph. 1: 7,12-18; Ps. 90:1-12;I Thess. 5:1-11; Matt. 25:14-30).

    God took upon God's self the wrath deserved by humankind.

  • Fulfillment Theology and the Future of Christian-Jewish Relations

    To the growing debate on "fulfillment theology" the author adds a contribution from a Reformed theological perspective: the thesis that New Testament messianic claims can be abandoned only at the cost of sacrificing crucial aspects of the church’s witness to the gospel of the Kingdom, but that Christians do need to abandon a good deal of "fulfillment theology" that finds its source in ecclesiastical triumphalism.

  • Fundamentalism Around the World

    Fundamentalism essentially applies to those who have split off from modern Christianity’s mainline developments. These dissenters hold to inerrancy of Scripture, see both the faith and the world as caught in a militant struggle between the faithful and the secularizers (or compromisers), and understand history in terms of a dispensational premillennialism. These features differentiate fundamentalists from other evangelical and conservative thinkers.

  • Fundamentalism in the World

    In his review of Fundamentalism Observed, edited by Martin E. Marty and R. Scott Appleby, Wuthnow describes the commonalities and distinctions among various religious fundamental movements in the world and corrects numerous myths and misunderstandings about fundamentalism with scholarly research.

  • Gadamer, Derrida and How We Read

    The author compares two opposite thinkers -- Gadamer and Derida, and how we read: How we read and understand texts has an impact upon the texts themselves. Rather than being static, texts are constantly in motion, since our interpretation of them affects their very being.

  • Gaining One's Soul (Luke 21:5-19)

    Our calling now and always is not to sugarcoat the gospel as entertaining diversion from a writhing world but as the power from God for sharing in its convulsions as people of indestructible hope.

  • Garrison Keillor and Culture Protestantism

    Comments on storyteller Garrison Keillor’s retirement from public radio: Keillor mocks institutions and people for whom he has a gentleness and fondness. The "grace" Keillor refers to is a generic grace, one that comes from simply living the common life in Lake Wobegon.

  • Garrison Keillor’s ‘Prairie Home Companion’: Gospel of the Airwaves

    There is a special intimacy about radio. It is a companion for one’s quietude. We are vulnerable with radio in a way that is impossible with television -- TV is somehow too public, too visual; our defenses rise too easily against it. But radio makes few demands. It allows the mind to wander, explore, go for long walks alone. You can close your eyes and not miss a thing.

  • Gasping For Air (Isaiah 1: 10-18)

    Instead of perpetuating a world of violence, Isaiah proposes a vision that demands a reality that requires peacemaking: doing good, seeking justice, rescuing the oppressed, defending the orphan and pleading for the widow.

  • Gate-crashing God (Ps. 72; Is. 11:1-10; Rom. 15:4-13; Matt. 3:1-12)

    There are no boundaries to Advent hope, because there are no boundaries to God.

  • Gays and the Bible: A Response to Walter Wink

    Using Wink's test, one could not categorically deny any form of consensual sexual relationship.

  • Gen X Revisited

    Generation Xers want their churches to be churches, not soup kitchens. People come to church, after all, looking for spiritual food. They shouldn’t leave feeling like they have to go to an ashram to find it.

  • Gender and Creed: Confessing a Common Faith

    The leading candidate to serve as an "ecumenical symbol" appears to be the Nicene-Constantinopolitan Creed of 381, with its understanding of the word "father." No other symbol is so widely used or recognized among Christians as a statement of the apostolic faith.

  • General Principles

    The Pharisee has kept a precise record of his religious temperature and informs God of every change in degree.

  • Genethics: Implications of the Human Genome Project

    The authors discuss the awesome philosophical, theological and ethical questions regarding genetic manipulation that are being raised by research on the human genome.

  • Genetic and Coordinate Division Correlated

    The author defends his position in terms of insights and criticisms of several process thinkers: Robert Neville, John Cobb, F.H. Bradley, William A. Christian.

  • Genetic Succession, Time, and Becoming

    This article attempts to clarify the problem of succession. One of the most important problems is whether the genetic process within an actual occasion from initial data to satisfaction involves some kind of real or temporal succession.

  • Genetics and Theology: A Complementarity?

    Do the findings of molecular biologists threaten to replace biblical anthropology with the idea that human behavior is entirely genetically determined? It is possible to maintain a biblical view of human freedom and responsibility while acknowledging the power and significance of genetic coding.

  • Geopolitics Within Seventh-day Adventism

    The highly hierarchical -- and highly Americanized -- Seventh-day Adventist Church has reached a turning point, says Ronald Lawson. It is having to confront its growing international character and certain leadership issues that won’t go away -- including women’s ordination. Lawson reports on the changes wrought by the denomination’s most recent General Conference Session.

  • Get Out of Here! (I Cor. 15:1-11; Lk. 5:1-11)

    We who so often feel powerless over the elusiveness of language, the scarcity of natural resources, the horror of world hunger, are thrilled to witness the unveiled, magical power of Jesus.

  • Getting Organized

    Faith-based organizing shows the enormous potentials found in grass-roots America and particularly in the rich web of religious communities.

  • Ghostly and Monstrous Churches

    The type of growth proposed by the fountainhead of the movement, the Institute for Church Growth, is not to be undertaken to the detriment of other aspects of Christian life and witness.

  • Giving to Religion: How Generous Are We?

    There is good reason to believe that Americans are receiving an overly optimistic picture of charitable giving in the U.S. Amounts being widely publicized indicate that charitable giving has increased dramatically. The authors' analysis however, reveals that giving has been declining as a portion of income for almost 30 years. As Christians try to make intelligent decisions about giving, accurate information is indispensable. The authors suggest ways to improve that accuracy.

  • Giving Voice to the Silences

    The darkness of tragic deaths may tempt us toward agnosticism or atheism. But in the midst of such darkness, the Word embodied in the life, death and resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth enables us to give voice to the silences.

  • Global and Local

    Dr. Robeck contrasts the differences between Pentecostals in Korea, Central and Eastern Europe, Scandinavia, Latin America and Africa. Their independent, entrepreneurial spirit will continue to be both their greatest strength and their greatest weakness as they seek new ways to connect with one another.

  • Global Christianity and the Re-education of the West

    The author decries the failure of Western theology to allow itself to be transformed by the fact and feedback of global Christianity.

  • Global Communication for Justice, a National Council of Churches Policy Statement

    Communication is basic to community, and the right tocommunicate a basic human right.. It is a precondition of a just and democratic society. It is necessary if ever peace is to be achieved. This policy statement first reviews the biblical and theological basis, then looks at the role of the church, the influence of communication technologies and resources, regulation of a public resource in the public interest, the proglrm of concentration of media ownership and control, and the impace of global media on indigenous cultures. A Call to Action lists specific next steps.

  • Global Faith

    Christianity, long identified as primarily a Western, European religion, is so no longer. It is now predominantly a religion of Africans, Asians and Latin Americans, and of the descendants of these regions who now live in the North Atlantic world.

  • Global Gospel: Christianity is Alive and Well in the Southern Hemisphere

    Over the past century, Christian populations in the West have either been holding steady or declining, while in Africa, Asia and Latin the numbers have been rising significantly. Today there are more Christians in the global South than in Europe, North America, Russia and Japan combined. Roughly two-thirds of all Protestants live outside Europe and North America.

  • Global Market or Community

    While the Industrial Revolution brought about efficiency and inexpensive goods, it also caused work to lose its dignity and interest, forced workers into below subsistence wages, polluted the environment, and destroyed community. The new Global Economy increases both the benefits and the problems. The author suggests we must have global government to regulate global capital.

  • Globalization With A Human Face

    A critical review of Thomas Friedman's The Lexus and the Olive Tree: Understanding Globalization.

  • Glorious Promises (Is. 62:1-5; Jn. 2:1-11)

    Like Jesus’ life and work, our marriages share in the same irony -- the full weight and glory of each appears only when death comes to part the bride and groom.

  • Go Fast and Live

    God has chosen to teach us to care in a practical way for the oppressed, the homeless, the ones with empty bellies. We are to allow the gnawing in our own guts to break our hearts, and the breaking of our hearts to lead us to break others’ yokes and repair walls.

  • Go Out in Joy (Ps. 96; Is 9:2-7; Titus 2:11-14; Lk. 2:1-20)

    As always, God takes us by surprise.

  • God 101: Back to School with Julian of Norwich

    From Julian of Norwich we learn we are made for love, to bring joy to God because God loves us, to be loved by the God who delights in us, and to love God and God’s world and God’s creatures and take a deep delight in them in return. Indeed, love is the courteous, familiar ground of our own care of them, for God’s love is the ground of everything.

  • God Among the Philosophers

    Atheistic evidentialists conclude that those living in the 20th century who are fairly well educated in matters scientific and philosophical can believe in God only by sacrificing their rationality. Must one sacrifice rationality to believe in God? Using contemporary analytical philosophy, a number of philosophers have develped impressive responses to atheistic evidentialism.

  • God and Creativity: A Revisionist Proposal within a Whiteheadian Context

    Dr. Franklin suggests a revised doctrine of creativity in an attempt to affirm God as the source of creativity thus cohering better with some of Whitehead’s later systems.

  • God and Ourselves: The Witness of H. Richard Niebuhr

    We are always responding to the will and activity of God, Niebuhr contended, whether we realize it or not. A radically monotheistic faith resists devotion to lesser gods and critiques our loyalties to values that are less than universal.

  • God as Best Seller

    Christians must challenge the idolatry of any attempt to reduce God’s power and presence to our will for self-determination.

  • God as Composer-Director, Enjoyer, and, in a Sense, Player of the Cosmic Drama

    So long as there are those who identify God with some one-sided abstraction like infinity; absoluteness, or worst of all omnipotence (not even a self-consistent abstraction), we shall need the help both of more balanced theists and of nontheists to counteract these more subtle and intellectual forms of idolatry.

  • God as Santa

    Bruce Wilkinson’s popular book, The Prayer of Jabez, would substitute the prayer of Jabez from I Chronicles for the Lord’s prayer. The prayer is wry and ironic but hardly a formula for personal success much less a substitute for the prayer of Jesus.

  • God as the Future: On Not Taking Time Seriously

    The author shows that Lewis Ford’s attempt to solve the dilemma between Whitehead’s creativity and eternal objects is not solved but simply relocated.

  • God as Thelarrhenic

    The author illuminates problems generated by the appropriation of the terms "androgynous" and "gynandrous" in process theology.

  • God Beats Up on People Who Ask Useless Questions

    An interpretation of some negative and affirmative theologies of religion from a reading of Peter L. Berger's Questions of Faith: A Skeptical Affirmation of Christianity (Blackwell Publishing, 2004).

  • God Happens: The Timeliness of the Triune God

    God is not God apart from the story of Israel, the story of Jesus and the story of the church. God is an event, says Jenson. "God is what happens between Jesus and his Father in their Spirit."

  • God in a Pocket (Jer. 23:23-29; Ps. 82; Heb. 11:29-12:2; Lk. 12:49-56)

    Nobody likes prophets; there are other, more soothing, more entertaining voices uttering less demanding words. These are the voices of dreams, claiming to speak the will of God but not holding the dreams up to the light of the promise; few people ask if the dreams speak to love of neighbor. Instead they listen to voices of blame raised against whoever is not the listener and voices of painless solutions saying peace when there is no peace, but only cheap grace.

  • God in Evolution

    New ways of thinking and new metaphors are presented in the connection between evolutionary biology and Christian theology.

  • God Is Not Mocked?" (Rom. 3:8)

    Maybe the only comfort we the comfortable can legitimately embrace lies in the realization that God cannot be forever mocked -- that his grace will not forever endure ridicule, that the mockery of easy American Christianity will not endure forever.

  • God Lets Loose Karl Barth

    There is a vast company of folk in stations high and low who find Barth’s paradoxes singularly satisfying and alive. Barth, like Schleiermacher, and unlike many of the book-theologians of the last decades, has enjoyed the inestimable advantage of a pastoral contact with real people.

  • God Newborn

    At Christmas adults are offered again grace abundant in the newborn and embodied in three-year-olds. Theological sophistication will have its day. Ethical complexity will have its place. Working for justice will have its season. But at Christmas it is all right to lie on the floor -- dirt or carpet, prison or home, office or shelter -- eye-level with a baby, listening to a three-year-old, near or far, call out, "God’s my size!"

  • God on the Brain: The Neurobiology of Faith

    The authors of a new book show that the discoveries of neuroscience ---and most especially discoveries about the human brain -- have implications for how we speak of the self and the self's relationship to God.

  • God on the Loose (Ps. 29; Mt. 3:1-17)

    The voice of God can be heard outside the protective walls of the church -- but you might not like what you hear.

  • God So Loved (John 3:17)

    In the midst of our trivial moralizing, our scolding, supererogation, and scrambling for a few penitential brownie points, John reminds us of why we’re here. We are on the way of the cross not because of what we have done or left undone but because of what God has done.

  • God Spoke These Words (Exodus 20:1-17)

    The world is divided into the poor and the rich, those who long for freedom, and those who have freedom but don’t know what to do with it; those who long for God to come and bring justice, and those who fear that he just might.

  • God While God Is Near (Is. 55:6-9; Phil.1:1-5, 19-27; Mt. 20:1-16)

    Paul shows what the prophet Isaiah has in mind about "seeking the Lord while he is near." The interests of my neighbor are always near: But like the prophet and parable, he also reveals how far these thoughts are from being ours.

  • God’s Gift of Righteousness (Jer. 31:32)

    Unlike the gods and goddesses of the other nations and unlike the philosopher’s vision of a transcendent goodness, the God of Abraham has taken a stake in human affairs.

  • God’s Last Laugh

    On the Christian calendar Easter is a feast of gladness. Grief turns into jubilation. Bitter defeat becomes exuberant hope. Even those who walk in the valley of the shadow of death know they need fear no evil.

  • God’s Plan to Kill Jesus (Acts 2:23)

    It was God’s eternal plan to make us what he himself is.

  • God's Entrance (2 Sam. 7:1-16; Luke 1:26-38)

    The Christmas story raises this fundamental questions: Did God act?

  • God's Way of Acting

    In this companion article to "Light in the Darkness" by Marcus J. Borg, the author, while holding that Jesus' birth gets far more attention than its role in the New Testament warrants and supposing that his own Christian faith or that of the church to which he belongs would not have been very different if the first two chapters of both Matthew and Luke never existed, holds open his historical judgment and asks, "If that's what God deemed appropriate, who am I to object?"

  • God, Dialogue and Solidarity: A Theologian's Refrain

    David Tracy shares his present theological concern, which is to describe or discover a new hermeneutical practice, which he calls "mystical-prophetic."

  • God, Process, and Persons: Charles Hartshorne and Personalism

    The author analyzes Hartshorne’s personalism and compares it to Brightman’s and others. Hartshorne gives considerable attention to the concept of God as personal, and he might well be regarded as a personalist although he doesn’t fit the idealistic mode typical of American personalism.

  • God’s Arms (Romans 5:1-5; John 16:12-15)

    When we suffer together, God becomes present to us in the arm of the other resting upon our shoulders.

  • God’s Choice (James 2:1-17; Mark 7:24-37)

    Analysis of an apparent contradiction between these two passages of scripture, indicating a "wicked sense of humor on someone’s part."

  • God’s Love, Mother’s Milk

    The author presents the earlier but lost symbol of the lactating breast of the Virgin Mother as a more satisfactory symbol of God’s love than that of the later and more common presentation of the violence of the crucifixion.

  • God’s Nescience of Future Contingents: A Nineteenth-Century Theory

    Dr. King comments on the thoughts of Lorenzo Dow McCabe who attempted to challenge the metaphysical foundations of traditional Christian theology: If theological reconstruction is to meet the needs of philosophy, scriptural exegesis, and religious experience, thought McCabe, then theology must reassess its traditional theistic assumptions in such a way that it can speak of a God who is capable of relating fully to the contingencies of personal life and historical change.

  • God’s Presence in History

    There is no direct conceptual approach to God, or from God to human reality, but God’s presence is hidden in the particulars of history.

  • Goddesses and Witches: Liberation and Countercultural Feminism

    The best way to create such a feminist spirituality is not by means of separatism and rejection, but by means of synthesis and transformation. We need to work through, with great breadth and depth, what our actual experience has been, both in the dominant culture shaped by males and in the suppressed experiences of women.

  • Godless Theology

    Christian theology does not belong solely in the circle of people who are "insiders." It belongs just as much to the people who feel that they are "outside the gate," for the atheist cannot get away from God whose existence they must deny in order to be atheists.

  • Going Against the Stream

    The world wants Christmas jingles and the church sings a lament! The world has visions of sugar plums dancing in its head and the church sees only angry Jews standing by the fence, wailing toward heaven: We Americans are doing better, better and better. And the old church had better get in step or it shall be left behind as our joyous parade of happy, successful, progressive, positive people moves upward, upward and ever onward.

  • Going Catholic

    Jason Byassee analyses the theological arguments of a number of well known scholars who have converted to Roman Catholicism. For those in mainline churches these converts raise the question of what it means to be evangelical, catholic and orthodox.

  • Going Creedless

    Three book reviews. Pagels, Ehrman and King suggest three ways in which the alternative scriptures can benefit Christians today: 1. They would show more developmental diversity, 2. This diversity would show that there was more than what orthodoxy presented and 3. It would help us understand the varieties of contemporary Christianity.

  • Going Digital

    A media and religion scholar examines the effects of the Internet today in comparison with Martin Luther's use of the printing press in the 15th century.

  • Going Home to Israel

    In her return to Israel the author discovered that the values of progressive Judaism and Zionism to which she was committed have been deeply eroded in the past decade by forces over which there seems to be little control. The import of cheap Arab labor, the eroding of progressive Judaism and Zionism, Israel’s dependency on the U.S., the growth of fundamentalism and other issues of importance have undermined Israel.

  • Good Aging: A Christian Perspective

    The author deals with some deeply personal questions. What is it to age well? If adversity, loss and diminishment are inescapable parts of the human experience, how can I weave these things into the pattern of my life? How can I be realistic about the facts of death and still be a person of hope? Can one be realistic about the facts of aging, diminishment and death and still live with a sense of sanctity of existence and reverence for life? What is Christian wisdom on finding meaning in the midst of aging?

  • Good Company (Gen. 11:1-9; Jn. 14:8-17)

    Trying to get to God, the people of Babel ended up being scattered, for they had separated themselves from the people around them.

  • Good Grief! An Undertaker’s Reflections

    A funeral without the dead body has the significance of Job without the sores, or Calvary without the cross.

  • Good News at Wolf Creek

    Because Southern Baptists carry their piety close to the heart, it was inevitable that some of their women, nurtured in this good Baptist piety, challenged to this kind of commitment, would respond to the call to ministry.  None of these women who sought ordination remembers being told that there was one call they could never hear or commitment they could never make.

  • Good Shepherds (Ezekiel 34:11-16, 2022)

    "Good Shepherd" to us means what we seen in a stained glass window, but in this country Good Shepherds come in all sizes, shapes, ages and colors -- Men in jeans, boys in cowboy hats, a Navajo with lamb in hand keeping it from the coyotes – to Ezekiel, all are images of God.

  • Good Work: Learning About Ministry from Wendell Berry

    A good minister, like a good farmer, pays attention to the particulars of one place.

  • Gospel Sound Track (John 12:1-8)

    John is convinced that life is double-plotted, that ordinary events unfold around us but that hidden among all the mundane props are signs of the eternal .

  • Government Partners: Navigating ‘Charitable Choice'

    The law prohibits public officials from discriminating against religious social-service providers that seek to compete for government contracts. It also protects the religious integrity and character of faith-based organizations that accept government dollars.

  • Grace in the Face of Suicide

    The author reviews a book on suicide. A persuasive argument is given that "most suicides, although by no means all, can be prevented." How? Through the proper diagnosis and treatment of mental illnesses. Our failure to provide this care shows "how little value our society puts on saving the lives of those who are in such despair as to want to end them."

  • Grace Unliminted (Romans 11:32)

    It’s this standing in grace. It’s this having no other way to account for where one is. It’s this sense of having been held and fed and loved, as a child is loved, that drives us, as it certainly drove Paul, to a sense of grace universal.

  • Graham Greene: The Ambiguity of Death

    There is a death-centeredness in much of Greene’s work. In his novels, human love is a destructive and also a redeeming force which clouds all moral issues and makes the world an even more dangerous place.

  • Grand Introductions (Isaiah 49:1-7; John 1:29-42)

    When John the Baptist saw Jesus coming, he declared, "Here is the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world." Talk about a grand introduction! What could Jesus have felt in that moment?

  • Gratitude for Everything (Eph. 5:20)

    Our very struggle with Paul’s injunction to give thanks for everything has its redemptive benefits.

  • Grave Affairs

    The presence of the dead at their funerals ups the existential, emotional and spiritual ante in a way that virtual or symbolic memorials fail to do.

  • Great Debates

    This book, Lincoln and Douglas: The Debates That Defined America. by Allen C. Guellzo, gives great insight on the Lincoln-Douglas debates, showing that both were great Americans, together embodying the complicated identity of America.

  • Grief and the Art of Consolation: A Personal Testimony

    Grief is a helplessness that does not cry for help. One cries -- and hopes that help will come unbidden. Consolation is an art. It is the art of active love.

  • Groping in Darkness (I John 1:1-2:2)

    Walking in the light of loving behavior often appears to others as groping in the darkness.

  • Ground Rules for Muslim-Christian Conversation

    The Regensburg lecture of Pope Benedict XVI is critiqued by professor Gaffney. An isolated and remote quote about using the sword to spread Islam is contrasted with the many statements similar in the Christian tradition and contextually analyzed.

  • Grounding Theology in Practice

    Browning’s emphasis on ethics reflects his judgment that contemporary churches are disposed to avoid the ethical import of the Christian message, offering care without accountability.

  • Growing Pains (I Sam. 2:18-20; Ps. 148; Col. 3:12-17; Lk. 2:41-52)

    Jesus is 12 years old and has been separated from his parents in a huge city. He has an encounter that changes him forever, teaching him self-awareness and, above all, knowledge of the One whom he will always think of as a loving Father.

  • Growing Through Conflict

    The author deals with turning destructive conflict into a constructive experience for change and growth.

  • Growing Together in Spirituality: Pastor and Parish Have a Check-Up

    The understanding of the clergy as guides in matters of faith and morality persists. Attempts over the past generation to dispense with the pastoral model in favor of a therapeutic one—in which the minister is one professional alongside others—have been unsatisfying. The modern, "nonauthoritarian," "take-us-or-leave-us" style of pastoring owes more to the liberal world view—with its concept of the autonomous individual—than it does to any theological perspective. Christians believe—or should believe—in theonomy, not autonomy.

  • Growth Without Progress?

    Cobb examines the dynamics of growth and concludes that growth is quite different from sustaining the welfare of all citizens in a society. Instead of breaking down local communities in the interest of capital and labor mobility, the alternative would be to work for the economic health of local communities. The United States should recognize the importance of developing an economic policy designed to improve the economic well-being of its own people rather than to support its transnational corporations in their global competition with those of other great economic blocks.

  • Guest List (Lk. 14:1, 7-14; Heb. 13:1-8, 15-16)

    The way to entertain strangers is to invite everybody, all the nobodies, the transgressors of class boundaries. Don’t lower you standards, have none – all of them angels – sent by God. Simple acts and words can be a welcome, civilizing social lubricant.

  • Gun Deaths -- Some Real, Dead Cases

    Some 9,000 gun murders are committed every year by law-abiding citizens who might have continued to be law-abiding had they not possessed firearms. One thing is certain: guns don’t create love or trust. Guns don’t bring life -- they only take it away. And life is precious -- it is a gift of God.

  • Guns R Us?

    Walter Wink reviews a book on gun culture: In no other industrialized nation in the world are there so many gun deaths as in the United States. The National Rifle Association insists that people are unsafe without the protection of guns. In fact, the arming of America ushered in an avalanche of violent crimes.

  • Habits of the Heart

    Marty reviews the book Habits of the Heart, by Robert N. Bellah, Richard Madsen, William M. Sullivan, Ann Swidler and Steven Tipton. The authors describe how the self-reliant American leaves home, leaves church. Thus today citizens may believe in God, but their liberal religion has few holds on duty. Meanwhile our rigorous sectarian religion promotes few impulses toward the public good; rather, it stands off, supporting privatism beyond the walls of the church, individualism in the public zone and incoherence overall.

  • Halo Effect (Is.60:1-6; Ps. 72:1-7, 10-14; Eph. 3:1-12; Matt. 2:1-12)

    Epiphany, the feast of the shining, is here and we are expected to walk in his radiance as he guides us into the way of peace.

  • Handicapped and Wholeness

    While the church universal idealistically proclaims that people with special needs have a special place within the community of faith, individual churches give limited attention to the complex needs of the handicapped. Church must be a place where the handicapped can confront the reality of their situation and vent their accompanying anger creatively, without guilt.

  • Handshake Ritual

    The preacher can learn a lot while shaking hands at the close of worship. The word has been spoken, so now it is time to listen to what the responses and needs of the listeners might be.

  • Hang Tough

    The Thinking Person’s Guide to the Bible as the Book of Faith: No thinking person wants to undo the work of critical scholarship which has freed us from a rigid view of Scripture.

  • Hans Frei and the Meaning of Biblical Narrative

    Placker presents an appreciative summary of Hans Frei’s understanding of biblical narrative as neither moral teachings nor historical accounts, but rather as primarily narrative. Frei calls upon the Christian community to regain "its autonomous vocation as a religion" by telling its distinctive stories about how God worked in the life of Israel, and God’s self-revelation in the life of Jesus Christ.

  • Hans Küng and Tübingen: Compromise and Aftermath

    The Tübingen compromise which allowed Hans Küng to remain on the university faculty and to retain his status as director of the Ecumenical Institute, but at the same time removed him from the Roman Catholic theological faculty, appears initially to have resolved a delicate situation.

  • Happily Married with Children

    Reviews of two pioneering studies into patterns of marriage and divorce in American society.

  • Happiness and the Public World: Beyond Political Liberalism

    Whitehead’s metaphysical system offers a political vision beyond liberalism and its assumptions of economic success.

  • Harry Potter and the Bullies

    Rowling portrays evil in unflinching detail but also dramatizes the appeal of the good. Her success in this difficult endeavor reflects the sophistication of her comedy, and her sense of humor keeps her from falling into either irony or sentimentality.

  • Hartshorne and Creel on Impassibility

    Dr. Shields is not persuaded that Richard E. Creel’s critique of Hartshorne’s passibilism/impassibilism is acceptable, yet he feels Creel presents some sharp insights in examining some of Hartshorne’s primary doctrines.

  • Hartshorne and the Problem of Personal Identity

    Shalom and Robertson discuss Hartshorne and his ideas about "personal identity", about the idea that "to be" is "to create," about "soul-substance," about immortality, about the "person" and the "self."

  • Hartshorne and Utilitarianism: A Response to Moskop

    One cannot do justice to Charles Hartshorne’s ethical system without taking seriously his particular understanding of experience as creative synthesis and his demand that one constantly confront the question of God.

  • Hartshorne on Actuality

    Hartshorne makes the possible-actual distinction by insisting that the possible lacks the definiteness of the actual; possibility is essentially indefinite and determinable. Hence, actualization is the becoming (or incoming) of new definiteness. But Peters makes a clear distinction between facts and events, a distinction between definiteness (definite truth) and concrete entities themselves.

  • Hartshorne on Personal Identity: A Personalistic Critique

    Any resort to bodily unity-continuity to explain the awareness of self-identifying unity despite intermittent consciousness does not resolve the problem.

  • Hartshorne on the Ultimate Issue in Metaphysics

    The challenge of explaining reality’s ultimate features, which seems especially difficult to those who view all of reality, including God, in terms of process or becoming.

  • Hartshorne, God and Metaphysics: How the Cosmically Inclusive Personal Nexus and the World Interact

    God’s cosmic presence establishes an influence in every new actuality. God’s supraluminal influence on worldly events may be finding empirical supports in addition to its metaphysical necessity.

  • Hartshorne, God, and Relativity Physics

    Even Charles Hartshorne, the preeminent interpreter of process thinking, admitted that he could not reconcile his doctrine of god with relativity physics. The author discusses the dichotomy between the two ideas and offers some solutions.

  • Hartshorne, Metaphysics and The Law of Moderation

    Dr. Dombrowski examines Hartshorne’s views in three areas: 1. The features of virtue ethics; 2. Moderation as a feature of virtue ethics; 3. Abortion.

  • Hartshorne’s Neoclassical Theism and Black Theology

    Both black and process theologies are defined in large part by their opposition to or protest against certain features of classical Western theism.

  • Has Europe Become Theologically Barren?

    This lecture outlines the periods of scholarly greatness throughout the history of Christianity and tries to understand what quality marks today especially in European theological thought. Dr. Cobb believes that maybe Europe has the cultural and scholarly resources to respond to the present intellectual need.

  • Has Europe Become Theologically Barren?

    Cobb reviews the theological tradition of European thought, particularly the Thomists, Nietzsche and Kant, then considers the theologians of the past century, including of Maritain, Tillich, Moltmann, Rahner and Teilhard de Chardin. However, he believes that whereas European apologetic theology responded brilliantly to the intellectual challenges of the twentieth century world, it is not so well positioned to respond to the challenges that now face us, and he gives three reasons.

  • Has Ministry’s Nerve Been Cut by the Pastoral Counseling Movement?

    In contrast to the nondirective, Rogerian pattern, pastors have an obligation to total ministry, to have the freedom to assume initiative, to share their faith, for the parishioner seeks a particular help that the pastor can offer. We may even pray.

  • Hauerwas Represented: A Response to Muray

    Dr. Pinches critiques Leslie Muray’s "Confessional Postmodernism and the Process- Relational Vision." He believes Muray does not so much build on as offer an alternative to Hauerwas’ thinking about virtue, character and Christian theology.

  • Have a Happy Day (Lk. 23:28)

    For someone to be simultaneously atheistic and optimistic strikes us as the dumbest of all possible attitudes. How can we have it both ways except through the most exaggerated effort at ignorance? For roosters, optimism comes easily.

  • Have Ethics Disappeared from Wall Street.?

    The churches like to take what they call a "prophetic stance" toward economic and political issues. denouncing injustice and calling for change. But perhaps their first order of business should be repentance for having helped to foster a national moral environment that features a laissez-faire approach to moral decision making, that serves in turn to perpetuate economic irresponsibility.<

  • Hawaii’s Domestication of Shinto

    Shintoism gave its wholehearted support to the Japanese during the war, providing its very rationale, that the emperor was a descendant of the very gods who had created their islands, that Japan had a mandate to rule the world. In a good many churches in America it would be easier to remove the cross than to remove the American flag from the sanctuary. Are our temptations much different from that of Shitoism? Shitoism now regrets that they became to tool of the state.

  • He Had Compassion (Luke 10:31-33)

    The parable is not concerned about the conflict between the principle of good and evil. It is a story neither of fatalism nor of retribution. It suggests no philosophical system. It confronts us irresistibly, disturbing our conscience and urging us toward an ethic of social responsibility.

  • He Is Not Here (Mk 16: 1-8)

    Mark did not need an appearance of the risen Christ to affirm his faith in the resurrection.

  • He Is Risen (Mark 16: 1-8)

    Easter is the Christian Genesis: death and despair displaced by life and hope.

  • he World Comes to Qatar

    Religious differences in Qatar are being addressed in some of the universities, but only those connected with the West.  Many of the Eastern World students have greatly limited knowledge of any religion but their own.

  • Healed, Not Cured

    How ought one to pray for healing, anyway?

  • Healed, Not Cured (2 Kg. 5:1-14; Ps. 30; Mk. 1:40-45)

    We may or may not be cured by engaging and wrestling with God, but we will be healed. The difficulty is that engagement is hard work, and the vulnerability it requires is terrifying.

  • Heard About the Pastor Who...? Gossip as an Ethical Activity

    Most of us tend to be disdainful of gossip, even if it is a universal phenomenon But is gossip necessarily malicious? Although acknowledging its seamier side, Willimon discourses on its positive aspects: as "the moral casuistry of ordinary people" and as "a primary means of congregational bonding."

  • Hearing and Healing Hedda Nussbaum - A Reflection on Mark 5:21-43

    Battered women also seek solutions through the legal field or their religious community, but discover that others either do not detect the touch of a bleeding woman, or offer them only contempt, misunderstanding, indifference or blame.

  • Hearing God’s Blessing (Matt. 5:1-12)

    God’s favor is granted to those whom society regards as the ones left behind: the poor in spirit, the meek, the mourners, the merciful, those hungering for justice, the purehearted, the makers of peace, those mistreated for the cause of justice.

  • Heart of a Child

    Review of a book on the child. Jesus’ vision of compassion, blessing and service of the poor is simultaneously a vision of compassion, blessing and service of children.

  • Heart of the Matter

    The transfiguration helps us see beyond Jesus of Nazareth, radically transformed into the Son of God, the fulfillment of the law and the prophets, fully human and fully divine.

  • Hearts Sing (Is. 9:1-4; Psalm 27:1, 4-9;1 Cor. 1:10-18; Matt. 4:12-23)

    Division is so much a part of human experience that we are often divided against ourselves. Paul seems to assume that the Corinthians will always have their differences, but he wants them to see that it is only the unity found in Christ that matters.

  • Heavenly Minded (Luke 18: 9-14; 2 Timothy 4; 6-8, 16-18)

    What is heaven like? -- uninhibited presence with God.

  • Heidegger Is No Hero

    What account ought to be given of Heidegger's official and unofficial relation to Nazism and the trends of thought and belief which found culmination in the movement? Given the character of Heidegger’s life, I cannot see how that life recommends his proposals for how we ought to order our own lives.

  • Heidegger: Master of Questions

    Much has been written on Heidegger's Nazi past, but R. Safranski's new book gives us the most complete, accurate and fair account to date. Heidegger makes us think in fresh and helpful ways despite his Nazi connections.

  • Hello and Goodbye (Easter)

    "The post-Easter blahs that most churches face": Freebairn sees Easter as a process. Two of Jesus’ followers meet a stranger on the road and their hearts are strangely warmed in an hour of empty coldness. Then they began the task that changed this world.

  • Helping Omega Make Its Point: The Pitfalls and Promise of Understanding Catholics

    Ecclesiastical differences have to do with the Catholic willingness and the Protestant unwillingness to submit to an institution’s opinion or order even when it contradicts one’s own convictions. There’s just too much Aquinas in Catholics and too much Luther in Protestants.

  • Helping Theology Matter: A Challenge for the Mainline

    "Theology" is a word that scares off most Christians today, yet it simply means thinking about our faith. The author examines some of the political and economic reasons for the low estate of theological reflection by the laity. He suggests several ways to infuse vitality in that enterprise and describes a number of successful models in urban settings. The reader may find that Placher’s brief mention of the Internet will stir their imaginations to seek additional solutions in cyberspace.

  • Hemingway and Faulkner: Tracing Their Resemblances

    Hemingway and Faulkner, who were contemporaries, shared some of the same concerns, wrote on some of the same situations, became obsessed by some of the same themes -- yet they seem about as different as two writers can be from the standpoint of style and geography.

  • Hemophiliacs and AIDS: Contracting a Killer

    Because of the need for constant blood transfusions, about 90 percent of severe hemophiliacs have been exposed to the AIDS virus. Perhaps as many as 50 percent of these will contract the disease.

  • Henry Ward Beecher

    Henry Ward Beecher, charismatic leader, a brilliant but troubled man who reached the pinnacle of fame only to land in a sexual embarrassment

  • Here be Dragons (Acts 11:1-18; Ps. 148; Rev.21:1-6; Jn. 13:31-35)

    There is no way the disciples could imagine that, in the death and resurrection of the one they called Lord, God would defeat Leviathan?

  • Heresy, Diversity and Grace (Eph. 4:1-16)

    We can never be certain that we are not among the false prophets.

  • Hidden Dynamics Block Women’s Access to Pulpits

    The problems stem from the realities of human sexuality and of the hunger for power. These hungers are experienced differently by women and men, nevertheless, they are deep psychological realities.

  • Hidden Pursuits

    The author reviews a book about sex, drugs and cheap labor and concludes that if Christians are to be as wise as serpents and innocent as doves, some of that wise innocence needs to be used to critique what the market is selling, to expose its false promises and to return to practices of faith that offer more.

  • Higher Education and the Periodization of History

    The author portrays three periods in Western history -- Christianism, nationalism and economism -- and examines the implications for higher education. He proposes Earthism as a viable next step in our cultural development.

  • Hindutva, Religious and Ethnocultural Minorities, and Indian-Christian Theology

    Indian-Christian theology is invited to live off two fountains. One is fueled by the intercommunity dynamic of God’s ongoing activity in the world, primarily through the resistive-liberative momentum of minorities striving for life in all its related fullness. On the more confined side it is fueled by the intracommunity discernment of celebrating the experience of God as outlined by the life and teaching of Jesus Christ.

  • Hindutva, Religious and Ethnocultural Minorities, and Indian-Christian Theology

    Indian-Christian theology is invited to live off two fountains. One is fueled by the intercommunity dynamic of God’s ongoing activity in the world, primarily through the resistive-liberative momentum of minorities striving for life in all its related fullness. On the more confined side it is fueled by the intracommunity discernment of celebrating the experience of God as outlined by the life and teaching of Jesus Christ.

  • Hints of Redemption

    Dr. Baumgaertner defends good poetry in his review of two books on the subject -- The imagination and its image-making, word-creating, storytelling functions now and then afford us life-giving glimpses of the transcendent.

  • His Majesty: the President of the United States

    Step by step, the Bush administration is marching this nation toward an imperial presidencya presidency with unchecked power.

  • Historic Church Preservation: Clues from the Almost Incommunicable Past

    Happy are the preservers who can keep a building in a neighborhood where it is integrated with the surrounding profane structures.

  • Historical Process Theology: A Field in a Map of Thought

    The author discusses an "historical process theology," and compares it to the already well developed and still valuable rationalistic process theology, empirical process theology, and speculative process theology.

  • History and Policy in American Broadcast Treatment of Religion

    The authors examine the development of public policy about religion content in broadcasting -- policy that has implications for the treatment of religion in the society.

  • History or Legend

    What did the biblical writers know and when did they know it? The maximalist versus the minimalist approaches to the history of ancient Israel. The former starts with confidence in the historicity of the Bible, while the latter uses only the meager epigraphical and archaeological remains.

  • Hitting the Road (1 Corinthians 12:4-13; Acts 2:1-11)

    Knowing you may die intensifies the mission. You risk, you love, you speak. How many of us, when facing death, have felt more fully alive than at other times in life?

  • Holding Promises (Luke 2:22-40)

    As Simeon held the future in his arms, so we also have children now briefly intrusted to our arms for blessing and who will, we hope, live on after us.

  • Holiness: Baptism (Mark 1:9-15)

    This is what baptism is: God places a song in your heart. Your godparents’ role is to learn that song so well that they can sing it back to you when you forget how it goes.

  • Holiness: Sacrifice (Mark 8:31-38)

    If we want to be Jesus’ followers, we need to face both the public pain of humiliation and physical agony, and the private grief of losing our precious selves in order to be conformed to Christ.

  • Holiness: Simplicity (Matt. 6:1-6, 16-21)

    The disciple who can fast, who can depend on God for sustenance for a whole day or two, will not be easy prey to purveyors of instant gratification and immediate solutions, or to advertising, which dominates the contemporary world, with its promise of rapid -- and empty -- reward.

  • Holy Fire in Jerusalem

    Piety should not be confused with spirituality, inwardness, reflection – the stuff of which theology is made. Piety is direct and sensuous: – seeing fire, kissing stones, touching water.

  • Holy Fishes (Is.11;1-10; Rom. 15;4-13; Matt. 3:1-12)

    We love to dream of the promised land. In Advent, however, we tread the wilderness, out where fiery John induces nightmares. In the wilderness, prepare a way! God has raised up children from stones. Swim along, singing!

  • Holy Hate (Jeremiah 23:1-6; Luke 23:33-43)

    Too much of our times are drowning in mutual holy hate—"You’re wrong, but I’m right." But even "you and I" need to pray a variation of what he whom they mocked cried out: "Father, also forgive me; for I do not know what I am doing."

  • Holy Heartburn (Acts 2:14a,36-41;Ps.116:1-3,10-17;I Per.1:17-23;Lk. 24:13-35)

    Faith, the author reminds us, is a matter of the heart.

  • Holy Land Narratives of Lament and Hope

    The author reviews two books on the contemporary Holy Land.. A secular state where the key is citizenship, rather than ethnic or religious identity, can create new opportunities for both Israelis and Palestinians to transform history and identity into a new synthesis.

  • Holy Silence

    We sometimes find God in the most unexpected places.

  • Holy Therapy: Can a Drug do the Work of the Spirit?

    The author addresses the question of genetic influence in moderating environmental influence on antisocial or criminal behavior and how medication might help.

  • Home Court Disadvantage (Jer. 1:4-10; 1 Cor. 13:1-13; Lk. 4:21-30)

    Of all the prophets ever slain in Israel, America or anywhere else, God raised this one, this healer of gentiles and friend of sinners, so we might know that God has forgiven everything, and continues to do so even today.

  • Homes for the Unwanted

    Runaway kids may be locked up for offenses that are not punishable if committed by adults. Unfortunately, the tendency among charitable and church-related organizations has been to duplicate tax-supported efforts to institutionalize and professionalize means of child care and treatment.

  • Homeward Bound (Jn. 1-110-18; Jer. 31:7-14)

    The imminence of death has a way of making things clear -- the uncertainties of life, the importance of love, the startling discontinuities and continuities between this life and eternity.

  • Homosexuality and Christian Faith: A Theological Reflection

    Sexual life style and sexual preference are not morally neutral but morally ambiguous -- that is, heavy with the perils of temptation at the same time that they are, or may be, the good gifts of creation. How do the fundamental principles of Christian theology illuminate the question or complex of homosexual/heterosexual life styles?

  • Homosexuality and the Bible

    If the only form of homosexual activity of which Paul was aware was promiscuous and lustful, we can agree that what he observed expressed idolatry. But Cobb does not agree that the homosexual couples he knows, who, despite all social pressures, have remained faithful to one another through thick and thin, are behaving unnaturally or expressing idolatry. They do not illustrate Paul's general point in any way. On the contrary, against great odds they provide just that model of Christian sexuality that is relevant to millions of others. That most of our churches reject them for their courage and steadfast faith is no credit to our churches.

  • Homosexuality and the Church

    The church is called to do its ongoing theological and ethical work as responsibly as possible. Fresh insights from feminist theologians, gay Christians, and those secular scholars who frequently manifest God's "common grace" in the world remind us of the numerous ways in which our particular sexual conditions color our perceptions of God's nature and presence among us. If the Protestant Principle turns us against absolutizing historically relative theological judgments, so also our openness to continuing revelation should convince us, with some of our ancestors-in-faith, that "the Lord has yet more light and truth to break forth."

  • Homosexuality and the Evangelical: The Influence of Contemporary Culture

    The influence of contemporary culture that has forced evangelicals to reconsider their theological understanding of homosexuality. In conflicting views concerning the theological usefulness of contemporary culture one can discern the developing lines of division within evangelicalism concerning homosexuality in the church. The author examines different evangelical approaches to the issue: rejecting-punitive, non-rejecting punitive, qualified acceptance and full acceptance. He lists the issues still to be settled.

  • Homosexuality and the Message of Isaiah

    Isaiah overturned a biblical directive. Perhaps there is a message here for today’s debate concerning homosexuality.

  • Homosexuality and the Vatican

    The distinction between sexual orientation and behavior seems to have been lost or disregarded. It could hardly be argued that the Vatican is expressing support in a way for the “gay liberation movement” in the context of Educational Guidance in Human Love (Published December 1, 1983, by the Sacred congregation for Catholic Education) and magisterial teaching, it is quite evident that “self-control” means total sexual abstinence for homosexual Christians.

  • Homosexuality: Challenging the Church to Grow

    The author argues that not only is homosexuality a gift from God, but that the full inclusion of gays and lesbians into the Christian community is a positive event.

  • Honest to Jesus: Giving the Historical Jesus a Say in Our Future

    Jenks holds that a focus of scholarly work on the historical Jesus is essential for the health of Christianity. He gives an excellent short summary of what scholars know about the historical Jesus, and what these new insights mean for the future of churches.

  • Hooked on War

    The myth of war, honor and patriotism boosts ratings. Real war does not.

  • Hooked on War (Ps. 23; Jn. 10:11-18)

    To keep our heads clear of the narcotic of war, we must cultivate an alternative power, an alternative source of meaning. Good Shepherd Sunday may be the time to recall that we derive our identity not from the prestige of our country but from the presence of our Lord.

  • Hope and Fear in Ecumenical Union

    The ecumenical movement calls us not so much to find a common denominator as it does to join hands and to pledge ourselves to walk side by side, to enrich one another by all that can be brought out of our separate pasts, and to ask forgiveness for the blindness that for so long has kept us divided.

  • Hopeful Grieving (I Th. 4:13-18)

    Mourning elicits courageous, hopeful engagement, so be busy grieving and working on solid ground, not 17,000 feet in the air.

  • Horizons of Hope

    Jürgen Moltmann gives a rigorous critique of Pope Benedict XVI’s encyclical on hope, Spe Salvi: the pope limits hope to the blessedness of souls in eternal life, leaving out the prophetic promises of the Old testament.  Christian hope becomes hard to differentiate from a Gnostic religion of salvation. Passion for the liberation of the oppressed and for the rights of the humiliated are missing.

  • Hospice: Caring at Life’s Edge

    The primary aim of hospice is to help patients die with dignity. And one of the ways that is achieved is by allowing patients, whenever possible, to make choices about their treatment. Pain control is one of the most important services hospice provides, for a patient ravaged by pain has no dignity, and very often would prefer to have no life.

  • Hospitality Theology (Gen. 18:1-10a; Col. 1:15-28; Lk. 10:38-42)

    Hospitality is vital not because of the food shared but because of the word shared.

  • How Baptists Assessed Hitler

    Some U.S. Baptists wrote sympathetically of Hitler’s Germany in 1934: an emphasis on personal piety, an evangelism based on a bifurcated doctrine of salvation (which therefore had no ability to criticize national policy), and an anybody-but-the-communists criterion for judging foreign governments. Nevertheless, most members of the Baptist World Alliance meeting in Berlin spoke boldly against racism, nationalism and militarism which was so prevalent in Germany in 1934.

  • How Christians Can Cope with Inflation

    'Poortalk’ -- that peculiar affliction that shows up whenever middle-class conversation turns to economic issues -- focuses our attention on ourselves blinding us to the needs of others. Although our standard of living has doubled in the past three decades, we bemoan the near-impossibility of trying to make ends meet at today’s prices.

  • How Communication Studies Can Help Us to Bridge the Gap in Our Theology Megaphors

    What are the ramifications of living in a wired and mediated world? What, exactly, is this information age that we speak of so glibly? What do theologians have to do with the so called information superhighway and a five-hundred-channel world? A gospel response to new technologies is to safeguard access for all God's children rather than reserve most of the goods for a favored few. This requires media education within the churches.

  • How Divided are United Methodists?

    For all of us to be church, we must be clear in theological terms about why we must separate or why we should stay together before we determine how to separate or how to stay together.

  • How Do We Live with Dying? Job 19:23-27a, II Thess. 2:13-3:5, Luke 20:27-28)

    We cannot corrupt the memory of those faithful servants of God like Paul whose suffering is part of a witness to the gospel.

  • How Does the Bible Function in the Christian Life?

    William Dryness argues that to do theology properly we must begin not with a doctrine of Scripture but with our life in the world. "Scripture will function much more like a musical score than a blueprint for our lives. A score gives guidance but it must always be played afresh".

  • How Faith Shapes Fathers

    How American Protestantism shapes the behavior of modern husbands and fathers.

  • How I Have Been Snagged by the Seat of My Pants While Reading the Bible

    Study of the Bible that avoids facing issues of power, economics and social ideology becomes a justification of the status quo. Simply but quite precisely put, the historical-critical approach to biblical study had become bankrupt. Not dead: the critical tools have a potential usefulness, if they can only be brought under new management.

  • How I Use the Bible in Doing Theology

    For Clark Pinnock theology must be hermeneutical theology. The current tendency to relate theology to present-day issues is a "recipe for Scripture-twisting on a grand scale." Only what is revelation, i.e., only Scripture, can "be made a matter of theological truth."

  • How International Aid Fails the Poor

    This article appeared in The Christian Century, April 22, 2008, pp. 20-23. Copyright by the Christian Century Foundation; used by permission. Current articles and subscriptions information can be found at This material was prepared for Religion Online by Ted and Winnie Brock.

  • How Is Process Theology Theological?

    Most, if not all, process theologians are basically philosophical theologians rather than systematic theologians who interiorize the understandings within the Christian Church community. This calls into question, for example, whether the eucharist is essential, whether scripture is normative, and whether the resurrection is optional. Process theologians need to distinguish between the requirements and objectives of philosophical and systematic theology.

  • How Jesus Put an End to Sacrifice

    Only God can reveal the total reality of sacrifice and reverse its obliterated victims through resurrection, and bring about an alternative choice for human unity.

  • How Martyrs are Made

    Martyrdom is an eschatological claim about ultimate meaning, Martyrs are those who do not fail to be faithful when the world revolts against Christian claims. Martyrs make no argument, but they do tell a sort of truth: that there is something worth dying for.

  • How Moral Can a Business Be?

    Although it is difficult to explain how moral decisions are made, responsibility and accountability for them cannot be assigned to the institution of business in general or to any particular business. Responsibility and accountability are part of the process of judgment, and judgment is a characteristic reserved for real people. The personal value systems of all those who are involved in business are, then, crucial.

  • How My Mind Has Changed in This Decade: Part Two

    In the past ten years I have been occupied approximately equally with the deepening and the application of that knowledge which, in its main channels, I had gained before. I have had to rid myself of the last remnants of a philosophical. i.e. anthropological (in America one says “humanistic” or “naturalistic”) foundation and exposition of Christian doctrine. My theological thinking centers and has centered in its emphasis upon the majesty of God, the eschatological character of the whole Christian message, and the preaching of the gospel in its purity as the sole task of the Christian church.

  • How Process Theology Can Affirm Creation Ex Nihilo

    The author shows how we can retain valuable process insights, such as that God is necessarily creative, social, loving, and embodied in some actual universe, and still affirm ex nihilo for our universe.

  • How the Church Can Help the Chemically Sensitive

    More and more people suffer from the little understood immune system dysregulation. For some, the health hazard of attending a worship service in a sanctuary may put everything associated with the church under a cloud. If the church family can support and encourage the chemically sensitive and can help them find ways to serve, it will make a human investment that will be well repaid.

  • How the Early Church Practiced Charity

    Dr. Brueggemann reviews a book concerning classical views of poverty. In earlier times it was the wealthy who contributed to the well-being of society as a civic virtue, giving to an undifferentiated cultural system, making no social distinctions on the basis of need, thus keeping the poor invisible. In contrast, the Christian bishops brought the poor in to sharper focus. They funded hospitals and houses of care that were concerned especially with the poor.

  • How the Fundamentalists Learned to Thrive

    In an era in which confidence in traditional institutions is low, evangelicals have spawned a diverse collection of nontraditional ministries that are generally more efficient and effective than denominational bureaucracies.

  • How To Be a Disciple

    Willard offers a simply-worded guide on how to be a disciple, covering a wide variety of related matters, including a definition of discipleship, the meaning of vocation, the basis of ethics, the cost of commitment, the centrality of prayer and Bible reading, and the clarity that comes from decisiveness.

  • Human Agents as Actual Beings

    The concrete and reflexive circle invoked here by the author is the circle of Being, as the term "ontic power" concedes.

  • Human Coercion: A Fly in the Process Ointment?

    When, if ever, can the process theist condone the use of nonpersuasive power? Dr. Basinger argues that however the process theist attempts to respond, significant problems with the process system develop.

  • Human Dignity and the Christian Tradition

    If Christian teaching of universal human dignity was so central and so thoroughgoing, why has Christian practice so often violated the dignity both of Christians and of others? We need a post-liberal Christianity that relativizes the Enlightenment. We need to assimilate its gains in a wider context. This requires listening carefully to the voices of outsiders, especially those whose dignity it has repeatedly offended. Hence, interreligious dialogues are of the greatest importance.

  • Human Folly on a Grand Scale (Amos 6:4; I Tim. 6:9)

    A display of the sinful excesses of the age upon the environment.

  • Human Rights in Cyberspace

    The author explores whether the current international human rights regime can provide us with meaningful moral and legal guidance for the solution moral choices. He asks how relevant are the basic human rights standards relevant to cyberspace? He proposes a People's Communication Charter to assure human rights in the cyberspace environment.

  • Humility, Hope and the Divine Slowness

    Evangelical involvement in the present public dialogue must be characterized by a kindness and gentleness that is fitting for creatures who are on their way to the eschaton. Theological reflection requires that we relate all the information we have about God to all that falls within the scope of human concern.

  • Hunger, Poverty and Biblical Religion

    We are not called upon to discard completely the important salvation history themes of the Old Testament, but the church in America may find some other viewpoints more helpful in the challenges of world poverty.

  • Hungry For More (Ex. 16:2-4,9-15; Jn. 6:24-35)

    God feeds our deepest hunger with the bread of life, therefore we are to do his will.

  • Hymnologists in an Age of Prose

    Hymn writers and other worshipers find themselves aliens is a period of social, theological and liturgical turmoil; Christians are discovering that they cannot, as Peter Gomes has said, “continue living off the dividends of the piety of generations long past.”

  • I Am Jesus, Whom You Persecute (Acts 9:1-9)

    An unexpected halt is a religious experience if it occasions a discontinuity in one’s identity. Discontinuity, whether spiritual or physical, presents a crisis, a moment of truth. Is not this what religion is essentially about?

  • I Found the Lord in Jerusalem

    Most Christians in Israel do not proselytize among the Jews; but a few high-keyed evangelists have created in the minds of Israelis the illusion that many Christians are actively seeking to convert Jews.

  • I Smell the Cup

    Very real problems are posed by fermented communion wine for clergy (and laypeople) who are alcoholics. The overriding consideration is: if the alcoholic drinks the fermented communion wine, he or she gains absolutely nothing and risks losing everything.

  • I Was in Prison

    Many church members seem to agree with the surrounding culture that those in prison deserve to be there, and the more they suffer, the better. Jason Byassee describes several Christian groups who have been successful in their different approach to "Prison Ministry."

  • I’ve Known Rivers: Black Theology’s Response to Process Theology

    The author challenges the pretensions of process thought: The oppressed do not share process theology’s rationalism and idealism; it is too essentially rationalistic, European, and radically monistic.

  • ID Check (Mark 7:1-8, 14-15, 21-23)

    To the writer, the important question, in a religiously diverse culture, is how does one maintain Christian identity and integrity? The answer is found in Jesus: love God and neighbor.

  • Ida B. Wells-Barnett: An Afro-American Prophet

    According to Wells-Barnett, whites resented Afro-Americans who could successfully compete with them economically and advance socially.

  • Ideals into Practice: Reuniting Economics and Theology

    The author asks: what place is there for religion and religious values in the global economy, and what should be the relationship between economics and theology? He emphasizes the importance of religion in our quest to find solutions to the deepening crises of injustice and inequality in the globalized economy.

  • Identify Yourself

    We identify ourselves not by winning arguments in some religious marketplace but by living faithfully where God in Jesus has brought us to be.

  • Idol Behavior (Acts 17:22-31; 1 Peter 3:13-22)

    Too much like the Athenians, we want to engage God only as a concept, not as a God-man who lays a claim upon our lives.

  • Idolatry and the Family

    Augustine reminds us that loved ones are mortal and that they are not ours. One of the essential characteristics of all idolatry is the notion of possession: we possess our idols as objects.

  • If the Truth Weree Told

    The author examines truth telling.  If a truth is used to destroy another, that truth is a lie. Truth is always part of a relationship and not without context.

  • If You Give a Feast, Invite the Poor (Luke 14:7-14)

    But when you give a feast, invite the poor, the maimed, the lame, the blind, and you will be blessed because they cannot repay you. You will be repaid at the resurrection of the just. [Luke 14:7-14]

  • Imagination and History

    Trotter uses The Dean Earl Cranston Lecture at the School of Theology at Claremont on September 12, 1983 to explore the role of history and imagination in human experience. As Trotter builds his case for the recovery of imagination, he draws on a wide variety of sources in developing a careful and challenging proposal for fresh understanding and appreciation of the significance of a liberal arts education. Trotter also makes a case for why Christians should adopt such a stance in today's world.

  • Imagination and the Pastoral Life

    Ecclesial imagination is a gift that is given by God through the sustained nurture and shaping ministries of wise and faithful pastors with deep. rich pastoral imaginations.

  • Imagination in Religious Pluralism

    The new religious diversity in America calls for both understanding and transformation. Christians, Muslims, African religious traditions, Buddhists, Hindus, and many others -- all are now neighbors in our global village.

  • Imaginative Generalization as Epogoge

    Whitehead’s philosophy of organism, where the particular, actual entity is universal, resolves the epistemological problem of how to bridge the gap between the two orders -- existence and knowledge. Whitehead’s approach is unique among modem philosophical systems because he attempts to resolve a long-standing epistemological difficulty by an appeal to ontology, which is the inverse of the nominalist approach of most moderns.

  • Imagine Being Brilliant (Genesis 2:15-17; Matthew 4:1-11)

    MIT requires all students take the swim test. The Rev. Christian Coon compares a student’s question: "Why is this test necessary?" with the same question we might ask of Jesus and his temptation in the wilderness.

  • Imaging a Theology of Nature: The World as God’s Body

    McFague identifies four images that ecologically attuned Christians might find helpful: God as mother, as lover, as friend, and finally, God as embodied by the universe itself.

  • Imagining a New Church

    The author describes how his congregation moved to helping inquirers become faithful disciples of Christ.

  • Imagining Christ (Ezek. 34:11-16,20-24; Ps. 95:1-7a; Eph. 1:15-23; Mat. 25:31-46)

    If we are to find Christ in others we must exercise our imaginations.

  • Imagining The Afterlife

    Review of a book that ranges from a light-hearted survey of myths in which mortality is preferred to endless eternity, to a serious study of Locke and Spinoza.

  • Immediate and Mediate Memory

    Dr. Capek explains the distinction between immediate memory of earlier portions of the specious present and memory of the present. The totality of the past is present, not as a homogeneous bloc, but in the form of qualitative continuum of different degrees of vividness.

  • Immigrants and the Faith They Bring

    The great majority of immigrants coming to America are Christian, so immigrants do not represent the de-Christianization of American society but the de-Europeanization of American Christianity.

  • Impasse in India

    This essay is based on THE CLASH WITHIN: DEMOCRACY, RELIGIOUS VIOLENCE, AND INDIA'S FUTURE, by Martha C. Nussbaum. Martha Nussbaum received her Ph.D. in philosophy from Harvard. She currently hold a position in Law and Ethics at the University of Chicago Law School. She also holds cross-appointments in the Divinity School and in the Departments of Philosophy and Classics.

  • Imperial Claims?

    Protestant responses to the "Declaration on the Unicity and Salvific Universality of Jesus Christ and the Church" recently issued by Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger’s Office for the Doctrine of the Faith have been mostly pained surprise, sometimes anger. However, this controversial statement should be understood as a catechism for Catholics.

  • Imperialism, American-style

    We have entered the age of the "American Empire," but how can a nation that hates taxes become the world colonial empire we seem intent on becoming?

  • Implications of Just War Theory

    The people who hold the "just war" principle have much to do between wars, not only teaching the criteria but also nurturing the virtues commensurate with the tradition -- justice, temperance, patience, courage -- through preaching and teaching, liturgy and works of mercy.

  • Important Issues in the Translation of the Bible in the Indian Context

    Modern Indian translators do not pay careful attention for the right selection of text any more than other modern translators. Translations and interpretations at anytime should be on the basis of textual critical approaches and must be centered on the reliable Greek/Hebrew sources.

  • In Critique of Whitehead 1

    Whitehead’s importance lies in the prospects of a mediation between classical and contemporary philosophy and between philosophy. Since Whitehead meant for his philosophy to be judged in the changing situation of thought, new answers are required.

  • In Defense of “Lord” in Liturgy

    Adams explains why both logic and language suggest that we retain the use of "Lord" in liturgy until we can find a better word than "God" as a substitute.

  • In Defense of Organized Religion

    Here are many reasons to be suspicious of organized religion, as well as many reasons to support it.

  • In Defense of Public Broadcasting

    Public Broadcasting is an essential ingredient in maintaining an informed electorate in America.

  • In God’s Ecology

    What is needed in theological reflection about environmental issues is neither reconstructionist nor apologist, but rather is a "revisionist" approach in the tradition of orthodox theology.

  • In Keeping with the Prophets: The Mississippi Summer of 1964

    James Findlay reports that his survey of many of the 300 ministers who participated in the National Council of Churches' black voter education drive in the summer of 1964 revealed that it was a life-changing moment vividly remembered after nearly a quarter of a century. In addition Findlay comments that it was also a culture-changing time when an outpouring of support from outside the South in the struggle for racial justice forced this issue toward the beginning of a resolution.

  • In Need of a Pope?

    Dr. Long suggests that Protestants need the Papacy. 1. Because we must have something to protest against. 2. For the sake of the unity of the church. 3. For the sake of truth grounded in love.

  • In Piam Memoriam -- The Death of God After Ten Years

    "The death of God" movement has proved a liberating and stimulating religious event. It is still the decisive theological event of our time.

  • In Praise of Ignorance (Mark 13:31)

    How can Christians speak of about the purposes of God -- hence, in some way, God's nature -- when we have no knowledge of the divine timetable. The miraculous wonder of what we have been gifted to comprehend drives us to admit that we know nothing.

  • In Praise of the First Coming (Mark 13:1-8)

    Hope is the one thing for which there is no acceptable alternative. The most difficult thing about faith is how much faith it requires.

  • In Quest of Canonical Interpretation

    James I. Packer argues that the "biblical texts must be understood in their human context."

  • In Quest of Profound Courtesy: A Chaplain Enters the Anatomy Lab

    The world is far more ready to receive our ministry than we are to offer it. Ministry is too often diminished by ministers’ reluctance to go where we fear we will not be well received.

  • In Sacramento, A Publisher Stirs the Wrath of the Crowd

    In California, a commencement speaker urging that citizens work to safeguard their fights to free speech, against unlawful detainment, and for a fair trial, is booed off the stage.

  • In the Belly of Illness

    For those who are going through the experience of illness, those who face difficult disease and suffering and for their caregivers, and, indeed, for those who have not faced serious infirmities and sorrows, this short work can transform lives or at least ways of thinking about living. The ultimate value of illness is that it teaches us the value of being alive; this is why the ill are not just charity cases, but a presence to be valued.

  • In the Churches, in the Streets: Taylor Branch on ‘the King Years’

    The author reviews Branch's Parting the Waters, a history of the civil rights movement.

  • In the Know (James 3:1-12; Mark 8:27-88)

    James’ persistence and how it demonstrates the power to transform us and thereby our speech through the work of the Spirit.

  • In the West Bank

    Two American missionaries in Palestine are asked, why does the U.S. blame the Palestinians for what is happening, abstain from or veto UN resolutions, and welcome Ariel Sharon with open arms?

  • In-Your-Face Preaching (Luke 17:5-10)

    The reign of God is a reign of compassion in which we are to participate.

  • Inadvertent Ministry

    “There are only stories and each of us gets to carry one of them for a little while.” This statement summarizes the whole mystery of ministry. In the final analysis, there aren’t any polished and professional manipulators of the Word, there are only stories that seek out their own hearers and tellers, in their own time.

  • Incarnation and Institution

    It is not surprising that in many sectors of the church there exists an intense anti-institutionalism, a desire "to differentiate spiritual responsibilities from administrative responsibilities." But to separate the mundane from the spiritual is part of the scandal of the incarnation.

  • Inclusive Language, Women's Ordination, and Another Great Awakening

    While acknowledging the dangers of dilution of language and depersonalization of God inherent in some inclusive language, Browne Barr goes on to laud the positive results not only of inclusive language in word and table, but of the appropriate and long-delayed inclusion of women, both clergy and laity, as full participants and leaders in the majority of Protestant churches in the United States.

  • Indefensible War

    As Christians committed to justice and the well-being of all people, we must condemn Sadam Hussein’s injustices and work toward a just government in Iraq. For political, legal, moral and interfaith reasons, it is imperative for Christians to condemn the prospect of such a war unequivocally.

  • Indian Theism and Process Philosophy

    Process thought from an Indian perspective: The parallel between the Indian view of Isvara and Whitehead’s vision of the divine becomes apparent.

  • Indigenous Ministry in the Context of the United States

    Nothing is more clear in the mission of the church in the United States today than that ministry must be indigenous and must take with the utmost seriousness the particularities of this culture. The author provides a way to look at the United States in terms of three very broad cultural formations, each one housing significant diversity. He describes and compares each of them, focusing on their specific relevance for mission and ministry.

  • Individualism and the Crisis of Civic Membership

    The authors revisit their best-selling Habits of the Heart and discover that in American society individualism has not diminished. Rather, under the influence of neo-capitalism, it has increased.

  • Indonesia: World Mission Policy

    The emergence of indigenous churches in Indonesia is producing a new phenomenon, a mixture of elements: particularly western Christianity and indigenous ethnicity, which then result in various types of new churches in a very wide spectrum. Thus in practical life, the meeting of Gospel and Culture is an ongoing problem in the lives of the younger churches in Indonesia. This phenomenon is perhaps not only Indonesian, but also the phenomenon in the whole Third World generally.

  • Inequality, U.S.A.

    A review of Wealth and Democracy: A Political History of the American Rich, by Kevin Phillips. Carefully scripted public relations campaigns orchestrated by the White House will not undo the damage done by wealth’s undue influence over the nation’s political processes.

  • Inescapable Frameworks of Meaning

    In theological education, experienced voices are calling for a more central role for the practical disciplines - preaching, counseling, education, and the like. This may be seen as a return to an earlier effort to develop a comprehensive, integrated understanding of the life of faith in contemporary society. The central task of seminaries, however, must be to sustain pastoral leadership that is truly practical and truly theological -- able to continue in the churches the creative conversations sparked in the seminaries.

  • Infant versus Believers' Baptism: Search for Ecumenical Understanding

    The author examines the practice, meaning and implications of baptism, within a multi-cultural context.

  • Influence as Confluence: Bergson and Whitehead

    Bergson’s account of intuition and his method of intuitive calculus provide us a way of experiencing and describing what is there between the "frames." (Analogous to the space between motion picture frames).

  • Information Technology in Congregations

    Though some of the splashier and more publicized experiments of the "wired church" attract the most attention and concern, most congregations that use computer technology are simply trying to make the ministries in which they are already engaged more effective, attractive and applicable to the lives of the people they serve.

  • Information Technology in Seminaries

    Schools create "white elephants" if they don’t teach faculty and students effective use of the new technologies and resources. Wise deans spend as much on training as they do on hardware, and they don’t let the hardware get "out in front of" the training.

  • Inhuman Behavior

    Whenever we torture or mistreat prisoners, our morality is no better than that of the enemy, and we are adopting the terrorist ethic that the end justifies the means.

  • Insiders Look at Fundamentalism

    There is an intensity in the power struggle in reactionary Protestantism and the dilemmas of leadership within that faction. The many groups within this struggle are competing for a finite cohort of American prospects, a certain number of millions who make up the outer limits of their market potential.

  • Institutional Ties

    A review of Loose Connections: Joining Together in America's Fragmented Communities, by Robert Wuthnow.

  • Integration and Imperialism: The Century 1953-1961

    In the Christian Century, during the period of 1953 to 1961, the editors believed that the best way to propagate democracy was by example and through financial support, not by military might.

  • Intending Death: Moral Perspectives

    It appears that we indeed can hasten or delay death’s call. But should we? Does our dominion extend over our entire body? Death is the bittersweet end which is beginning, that judgment which is mercy, that terror which is peace.

  • Intensive Care: The Crucifixion of the Dying?

    Unless changes in physicians’ attitudes and behavior are modified, most of us will experience death in a hospital or a nursing home. We can only pray that our last words will not be: "Why hast thou forsaken me?"

  • Intentionality and Prehension

    Intentionality is found in process philosophy, particularly in Whitehead’s doctrine of prehension. There are substantial parallels between Whitehead and existential phenomenology.

  • Interactive Communications in the Church

    The Second Vatican Council we are called to communion and community. The author proposes ideas which relate to aspects of communications and the theology of communio.

  • Interactive Technologies: The Potential for Solidarity in Local and Global Networks

    How does the variable of communication interactivity offer potential changes to relationships among individuals, small groups, and nations at large? Computers are the printing presses of the twenty-first century. Whereas radio, television, and film are usually linear, many aspects of network interactivity find expression in new media technologies that are two way. This circumstance calls forth a new focus for communication analysts.

  • Interfaith ‘Prayer:’ What Is It and Should We Do It?

    When the peoples of the world cry out to god, are there Christian grounds for supposing they are addressing the true God?

  • International and Transnational Trade

    The author analyzes the ethics of international trade and concludes that we should withdraw support from the move toward transnational trade and seek to strengthen the ability of nations, especially in the Third World, to control their own affairs. He believes that what Christians value can be attained better when national governments, more or less representative of their people, make their own decisions about trade.

  • Interpoints: A Model for Divine Spacetime

    In Whitehead’s address, "On Mathematical Concepts of the Material World," he unified geometry and physics into a single set of axioms by symbolic logic. He does not comment theologically, but his idea proposes a theory in which the mathematical abstraction suggests a model for projecting Whitehead’s understanding of God’s relation to space.

  • Interpreting Mother Teresa

    Malcolm Muggeridge has suggested that maybe we cannot fathom Mother Teresa’s meaning to our time because our language and faith are too weak. Perhaps she represents something that will not register on our sophisticated minds. Maybe, after all is said and done, our age is simply so far off the track, that it takes a near-saint to make us see our own moral blindness.

  • Interpreting What the Bible Says about Homosexuals

    We all interpret out of our own particular and unique life contexts which in turn shape the way we listen to the Bible. Biblical scholars think of this as their "social location" and are careful to be aware of how it affects their interpretation. The author leads us through an examination of our own "social location" -- our life context -- what we know about the Bible, sexuality, and homosexuals as persons, our way of thinking about these matters, and our way of interpreting them.

  • Interreligious Encounter and the Problem of Salvation

    If Christians are to get to the heart of the problem of salvation for those who are not professing Christians, they will have to learn to think in terms of a truly universal Christ. This they can accomplish only if, first of all, they honestly open their minds to what other religions have said and are still saying on the great questions of life.

  • Intimations of the Year of Jubilee in the Parables of the Wicked Tenants and Workers in the Vineyard

    The ideals of redemption and restoration, detailed as the Jubilee in Leviticus 25, envisioned for the nation a covenantal relationship with God and its attendant establishment of justice. They were appropriated and applied by Israel's prophets to the social, economic and political conditions of their times. Jesus' ministry also appears to have been oriented toward the fulfillment of these jubilary ideals.

  • Invisible Palestinians: Ideology and Reality in Israel

    The first step Israel must take in reaching an accommodation with the Palestinians is to "Recognize (them) as fellow human beings who are angered by past humiliations but who can become friendly when treated with respect."

  • Irony of Ironies: Evaluating the Moderns

    A review of Martin E. Marty’s Modern American Religion (Vol. 1): The Irony of It All: 1893-1919. This book is balanced and fair, filled with wisdom, and informed by a voluminous array of historical scholarship.

  • Is Acceptance a Denial of Death? Another Look at Kubler-Ross

    Unlike Dr. Kübler-Ross, the Christian pastor and chaplain must accept death for what it is -- the implacable foe, "the last enemy to be destroyed."

  • Is America In A Culture A War? Yes -- No -- Sort Of

    The author analyzes the cultural and symbolic aspects of our lives which are deep sources of political motivation.

  • Is Divine Relativity Possible? Charles Hartshorne on God’s Sympathy with the World

    Hartshorne’s theory of Divine relativity means that God not only knows but feels.

  • Is Imperial Liquidation Possible for America?

    Johnson lays out in chilling detail the ways in which imperial overstretch imperils the American republic and what's left of our democratic system as well as the American economy. He considers whether we can end our empire before it ends us.

  • Is It Just Nostalgia? The Renewal of Wesleyan Studies

    The author examines the magnitude and meaning of the current passion for Wesleyan studies.

  • Is the Bible True?

    Whenever there is a really intense fight among American Protestants, sooner or later it seems to turn into an argument over the truth of scripture. Nonfundamentalists' discussions of appeals to the Bible have often consisted principally in ridiculing fundamentalism, without defining any clear Christian alternative to fundamentalism. The author sketches an alternative way of saying, "Yes, the Bible is true."

  • Is the Church an Addictive Organization?

    Addictive behavior robs Christians and churches of their full spirituality. Confronting these addictions offers the possibility of recovery and grace. It is a long process; as the Twelve Step Program of Alcoholics Anonymous states, addiction is cunning, baffling, powerful and patient. The first step is naming and facing the addiction.

  • Is the End Near?

    Biblical prophets all across the land are indeed making "minute predictions about events in world history," that God’s climactic and decisive intervention in human affairs is about to occur. This recent explosion of aggressive millenarianism is biblically and theologically perverse and historically dangerous.

  • Is the Past Finite? On Craig’s Kalam Argument

    Process theism might be judged cognitively superior over the classical type kalam model, not because it involves no paradox, but because it involves the least paradox in comparison with the formally possible theological alternatives, when all issues are considered.

  • Is Theological Pluralism Dead in the UMC?

    The United Methodist Church has traditionally accepted pluralism, but the acceptace of a diversity of view is now under attack.

  • Is There a Right to Peace?

    What do human rights mean if millions of human beings can be reduced to mathematical coefficients on nuclear targets? The right to peace becomes more challenging as nuclear weapons become more immoral and more savage.

  • Is There an Islamic Fundamentalism?

    The author believes that militant Muslims are not accurately labeled as "fundamentalists." Most American Christian fundamentalists are quite nationalistic ("superpatriots"), while Islamic "fundamentalist" violently reject nationalism as a Western virus designed to divide Muslims from each other and pervert their minds.

  • Is There Such a Thing as New Testament Ethics?

    Spohn outlines Richard B. Hays' attempt in his book The Moral Vision of the New Testament to discern a coherent moral stance in the wide range of New Testament witnesses by offering a synthesis of the varying and divergent canonical voices through biblical paradigms and root metaphors.

  • Is Whitehead Relevant in China Today?

    Constructive postmodernism of the Whiteheadian variety implies a program for public life, as well as that of individuals, that is quite different from the one that our modernist leaders are pursuing.

  • Is Whitehead’s Actual Entity A Contradiction in Terms?

    Whitehead has a more fluid understand of existence than many interpreters realize caused by some terminological ambiguity in Whitehead’s terms.

  • Is Willow Creek the Way of the Future?

    Personifying the person you are trying to reach is a helpful starting point. Church leaders used to do this intuitively. Though it is very media-oriented, Willow Creek has not opted for a TV ministry. And it is not focused on one personality.

  • Isaac Singer at Jabbok’s Ford

    To a marked degree, Singer possesses the Hasidic sense of the excitement hidden in the commonplace, the theology which recognizes a cosmic act in the proffer of a glass of water. It is a tribute to Singer’s broad appeal that he makes all his readers feel as though they were living on Krochmalna Street in the Warsaw ghetto.

  • Israel and the Evangelicals

    The use of religious validation to settle secular conflicts is a misuse of religion and a disservice to politics. Biblical prophecy anticipates a future of hope for humankind; it does not, however, provide an atlas for establishing the geographical boundaries of the countries that seek that hope.

  • Israel’s No: Jews and Jesus in an Unredeemed World

    The Gospels understand Jesus' whole coming and ministry in the context of Israel’s messianic hope. Yet it is the very same messianic hope which apparently makes it impossible for "all Israel" to see Jesus as being already the messiah.

  • Israel's Covenant

    A review of a book that calls for including the Palestinians in the Jewish Covenant in Israel.

  • Israel’s Fences

    Professor Klein describes the manipulation of Israel and the U.S. in refusing to move from unilateralism to end-game negotiations. It is the settlers, not Israel, that are "converging.," thus leaving the Palestinians behind three layers of borders.

  • It's in the Details (Lk. 19:28-40; Ps. 118:1-2, 19-29)

    Jesus ignored the details of life, yet the best news is that once we’ve learned to look for Jesus, we’ll find him in every detail of life.

  • J. B.: The Artistry of Ambiguity

    From a limited, bitter satire, Archibald MacLeish’s verse drama grew into a larger, poetic statement about the human condition. Job asks "Why?" He gets no reasoned answers but rather and act of faith. MacLeish’s modern story seeks not rationally comprehensible solutions but rather an artistic evocation of this "leap of faith."

  • Jacob's Ladder (Hebrews 1:1-4; 5-12)

    One must fathom the mystery of death and resurrection in facing the trauma inflicted upon those who worked the edges of the New York abyss at ground zero.

  • James Reston: Prophet of American Civil Religioin

    The writings of one of the nations most prominent journalists, James Reston, demonstrate that he has been a consistent and influential spokesman for civil religion. His is a prophetic voice whose Calvinist heritage has shaped his attitudes toward the behavior of people in power.

  • Jean Elshtain On Mothering and Other Duties

    Jean Elshtain applies the animating ethos of mothering to national and international struggles.

  • Jean-Luc Marion Tests the Limits of Logic

    The theme of "givenness" is central to the thought of Jean-Luc Marion, and his book, Being Give:Towards a Phenomenology of Givenness, stands as the summation of his thinking to date.

  • Jeremiah’s Barbs (Jer. 31:31-34)

    It’s a sobering thought -- as surrogate parents, you and I are about as good as Jesus, on balance, is likely to find. If the love of God cannot be advanced through such as we, it is not likely ever to be advanced. It is time for us to grow out of our juvenile, neurotic absorption with our frailties and begin assuming our roles as God’s earthly parents.

  • Jesus and History, the Believer and the Historian

    A review of The Elusive Messiah, by Raymond Martin. What should Christians make of the challenges New Testament scholarship poses to traditional Christian belief about Jesus? Martin delineates what he regards as the only three possible solutions: "Only Faith," "Only Reason," and "Faith Seeking Understanding," in which some sort of compromise is worked out between the historian and faith. He then proposes his own solution.

  • Jesus and Liberation Theology

    Liberation theology not only promises liberation of the oppressed, the poor and the marginals of society, but even liberation from the limited dreams of the oppressed for the eternal vision and dream of God, his own promised kingdom.

  • Jesus and Paul Versus the Empire

    John Dart shows how many Christian symbols and actions derived from their counterparts in the Roman Empire and the deification of the emperors, and that today is not much different.

  • Jesus Appears (Acts 2:14a,22-32;Ps.16;I Pet.1:3-9;John 20:19-31)

    It is the nature of Jesus--and of God--to keep showing up when and where we do not expect him.

  • Jesus as Lord, Jesus as Servant

    Jesus is a different kind of lord: he does not need followers. This makes him free to be a servant.

  • Jesus Christ Among Asian Minjung: A Christological Reflection

    Minjung means the People of God -- all people. Who is Jesus Christ among the people of Asia is very closely related to the question of who is the Minjung. The author asks how the Minjung experience God in their concrete historical context today. He reviews how Christian communities viewed Jesus Christ in Asia, that is, who they experience who God incarnate is. Western Christologies are deeply ingrained in the life of the Christian communities of Asia, but they have severe limitations.

  • Jesus Climbs the Charts: The business of Contemporary Christian Music

    The field of contemporary Christian Music is diverse -- ethnically, stylistically and theologically. One can list problems -- triumphalism, commercialism, individualism, a dearth of inclusive language and an uncritical approach to scripture. Such dysfunctions are also endemic to American popular religion today.

  • Jesus Had Compassion On Them (Matthew 14: 13-21)

    Jesus had compassion on the crowed for they were hungry and thirsty. This is the immediate context of the feeding of the five thousand. It is not a demonstration of Christ’s miraculous power. He was not a magician or wonder worker. The feeding of the people was the natural outcome of his compassion.

  • Jesus Is Lord

    The proclamation "Jesus the Christ is Lord" is the very Church of Christ and points to an ever-occurring happening in which a people find their self-understanding, an aspect of which is the very proclamation of this happening, which proclamation is both deed of concerned involvement in life and witness in the face of the life questions that such involvement provokes -- through which the Christ-happening happens to others and, in turn, becomes their life meaning.

  • Jesus Isn’t Cool

    We must help teens think about, practice and experience the theological details that make Christianity distinct. Living these details of the gospel is not supposed to be easy, or necessarily safe, but it’s what Christians do.

  • Jesus Loves Everybody

    Goetz addresses an obvious question: If Jesus loves everybody, why is there so much sin and suffering in the world? And why did Jesus need to suffer and die to reveal God's love? Goetz insists that sentimental notions of divine love will not suffice as substitutes for careful explorations of the Biblical, theological and historical sources of our faith in God's love.

  • Jesus Math (Matthew 18:21-31)

    It’s difficult for mortals to forgive totally but Jesus did. Mortals often fail, but to God all things are possible.

  • Jesus on Film

    In the final analysis, the central problem is dealing with a sacred story in a technological and pluralistic society. A melodrama fashioned from the paradigmatic story of Christ works against itself.

  • Jesus on Marriage and the Afterlife

    The nature of life after death, like the nature of God, transcends all of our conceptions. But New Testament theology assures us that it is not less than the happiest life of communal caring and sharing that we can now experience or conceive.

  • Jesus People: Scholars Search for the Early Church

    A review of In Search of the Early Christians: Selected Essays, by Wayne A. Meeks. Meeks contributes to New Testament studies in his careful and exacting mass of data telling the story of early Jesus movement groups.

  • Jesus Talks (Exodus 17:1-7; Romans, 5:1-11; John 4:5-42)

    Why does Jesus a Jew, choose a woman--a Samaritan woman whom the Jews hated, a woman who had had many husbands, a prostitute living in sin, an outcast—as the first to receive the message as to who he really is?

  • Jesus the Priest (Hebrews 5:5-10)

    A priest must not only be of God but also of the people. He must become like his brothers and sisters in every respect, tested through suffering in order to help those being tested, and Jesus is so qualified.

  • Jesus The True Vine (John 15: 1-6)

    All the synoptic gospels record that Jesus spoke of Israel as God’s vineyard. The parables make it clear that God cared for his vineyard and how disappointed he was that it didn’t produce the expected fruit. In the fourth gospel, Jesus is the true vine and we are the branches.

  • Jesus Up Close

    How appropriate or relevant is it to try to determine what Jesus really looked like?

  • Jesus’ Death: A Way of Finding (Heb. 12:2)

    We prefer the gentle Jesus, but how can we ignore that side of Jesus that is white-hot with righteous rage and impatience over the sinfulness and unbelief of the world? Indeed, in the Gospels the harsh sayings outnumber the gentle ones, but Jesus did not return from the grave casting his threatened wrathful “fire upon the earth.” In the cross, the fire of divine wrath had already fallen. Transposed by the resurrection, the threat of Jesus became a blessing.

  • Jesus’ Passion and Ours: To Love Justice Itself

    Although there is a conflict between our love and our fear of justice, for those who love God that conflict is absorbed by God’s purity.

  • Jesus’ Resurrection and the Search for Peace and Justice

    Nothing can more securely anchor our commitment to the struggle for peace and justice than the presence of the risen Jesus in our life. The risen Jesus is powerful evidence that even that last terror, death itself, will be but for a moment.

  • Jesus’ Final Exam

    The summary of the law, as simple as it may seem, is actually complex. Jesus ingeniously combined love of God (Deut. 6:5) and neighbor (Lev. 19:18). Jewish scholars had devised other summaries of Torah, but Jesus’ summary is unique, and his assertion that the two laws are inseparable is also distinctive.

  • Jewish Engagements with Christianity

    Two central goals characterize the essays in this book. The first is to renew Jewish self-understanding through traditional rabbinic categories, and the second is to understand and interpret Christianity from within these categories.

  • Jews vs. Jews

    According to Israel’s defenders, to speak on behalf of Palestinians is to seek Israel’s annihilation. A reversal has taken lace in Jewish history; and the victims have become victors.

  • Jim Bakker and the Eternal Revenue Service

    A review of Charles E. Shepard’s book recounting the rise and fall of Jim Bakker and PTL. The book is surprisingly objective though it fails to probe very deeply into the meaning of the PTL phenomenon.

  • Job on Prozac: the Pharmaceutical Option

    Reliance on a pill spares us from the messy business of having to think about and make sense of our experience, but the conviction is spreading as though the pill were the Good News itself.

  • John Bennett on Oxford '37

    Not only was Oxford for many a more significant embodiment of the universal church than they had previously experienced but it also confronted them with both theological and ethical thinking about the church which transcends nations.

  • John Updike’s ‘Rabbit’ Saga

    The product of Updike’s natural religion is his conviction that God is discovered, if at all, in the irresolvable dialectic of human existence. John Updike is our finest literary celebrant both of human ambiguity and human acceptance.

  • John Updike’s Theological World

    John Updike might seem just another writer clever in his use of words and in his ability to capitalize on sex, but he has faced today’s spiritual malaise by exploring what is close at hand -- family, tradition, loves -- in the hope of uncovering spiritual truth.

  • John XXIII: His Council and Achievement Remembered

    The wall of division, built up during 1,000 years, had been breached.  Pope John XXIII, the jolly old caretaker, had done it, and for reasons which were transparently in accord with the purpose declared in the New Testament.

  • Joined at the Heart (Ephesians 4:1-16)

    Paul’s vision is that when Christians are joined together they find strength rather than distress. They will be stronger together because they are together in Christ. It’s when they split up that they get into trouble.

  • Jose Maria Arguedas: Godfather of Liberationism

    The novelist, Arguedas, worked toward a Peruvian transculturation, whereby the values of the highland people will not succumb to the blind, scientific or Western mentality of coastal culture. His vision has been carried along by Gutiérrez and other liberationists, who have placed the struggle between the poor and the powerful centrally in their works.

  • Joseph Sittler and the Theater of Human Existence

    There is no reason why preparation for parish ministry should not be taught by people who have been trained in and who exhibit the soundest scholarship.

  • Journey to the Cross (1 Corinthians 1:18-25)

    Lent calls us to return to the source of our power: the victory of Christ.

  • Joyful Worship in the Midst of Danger

    Years ago I was told that if I wanted to see what the Holy Spirit is doing among gay Christians, I ought to visit the Metropolitan Community Church in Los Angeles. For one reason or another (homophobia, perhaps?) I never bothered to do it. Now at last I have experienced what it is like to worship the Lord among a persecuted people, and I have seen the Spirit in action there. Ever since, I have known that I must make this statement to my Christian sisters and brothers everywhere.

  • Judas as Patron Saint (Mark 14:21)

    Judas’ attitudes parallel our own. We are so caught within the iron vise of our secular, materialistic, hedonistic perspectives that the God of Jesus is like an illicit mistress or lover whom we, like Judas, kiss in the dark.

  • Just as I Am (Eph. 2:1-10)

    Dr. Long agonizes between his rejection of petitionary prayer and his need for it in traumatic situations.

  • Just War Divide: One Tradition, Two Views

    Politically conservative Christians tend to find in the just war theory grounds for support of nearly all U.S. military actions. Politically liberal Christians tend to find in the theory grounds for opposition to nearly all U.S. military actions.

  • Just War Tradition: Is It Credible?

    Just war discourse deceives sincere people by the very nature of its claim to base moral discernment upon the facts of the case and on universally accessible rational principles. It lets them think that their morality is somehow less provincial and more accessible to others than if it referred explicitly to the data of Christian faith, including the words and work of Jesus.

  • Just War, Jihad, and Abuse of Tradition

    The just war tradition continues to provide helpful set of serious moral issues concerning war and peace The misuse and abuse of that tradition, however, are among the most terrible facts of political, and religious, history.

  • Just What Is 'Postliberal Theology?

    The author asks editors and writers to clarify what they mean by "postliberal."

  • Justice and Class Struggle: A Challenge for Process Theology

    Process theology’s task is to gain sensitivity to God’s voice in the cry of our downtrodden brothers. Our response to this cry may be rendered more intelligent if we understand the call within the framework of a good metaphysical system.

  • Justice and Liberation in the Eucharist

    The practice of the Eucharist has become so ritualized and privatized that it has lost much of its meaning -- meaning which an examination of its original practice can help us recover. To confront death is to witness to and collaborate with the love that raised Jesus Christ from the dead.

  • Justice, Peace and Integrity of Creation: An Asian Perspective

    The issue of the relation of human life and nature is not merely the question of how to deal with the natural environment but that of the total creation, which involves the justice, participation and peace in an integral unity. Theologically the term creation does not refer only to the nature, but the whole creation, human and otherwise.

  • Justification by Faith: The Lutheran-Catholic Convergence

    Reumann outlines the historical hardening of theological categories between Lutherans and Catholics arising out of the Reformation doctrine of justification by faith, and the convergence toward a common understanding on justification and related doctrines through Lutheran-Catholic dialogues over the past thirty years.

  • Justus Buchler: Nature, Power, and Prospect

    Buchler’s work consists of a general ontology (a metaphysics of being), a metaphysics of human utterance (a theory of human being qua human) and a theory of poetry.

  • Kaufman on Kaplan and Process Theology: A Post-Positivist Perspective

    The author concludes that Mordecai Kaplan was a positivist and a modernist while Whitehead was one of the earliest post-positivists and post-modernists.

  • Keep It Religious!: The Morrison Era at the Century

    More often than not during his tenure at the Century, the magazine was caught up in the romance of some cause, whether it was pacifism, ecumenism, the ideal of separation of church and state, the fight against the encroachments of an authoritarian Roman Catholic hierarchy, or one of any number of other movements.

  • Keeping Quality in Sexual Experience

    It is time to stop being silenced by those who roar that "sex is fun," that anxiety and guilt are created only by outworn custom, and that all we really need is better technology and better technique so that we may "enjoy" each other’s bodies more.

  • Keeping Sabbath: Reviving a Christian Practice

    The Sabbath is not just a matter of law and liturgy. It is a time that opens up a space for God. On the Sabbath we celebrate the world as it is. We remember that the grain grows without the work of human hands.

  • Kids These Days: The Changing State of Childhood

    With Huck’s Raft, Steven Mintz indicates that children are extremely vulnerable to the fates of their parents, and he understands with clarity the history of families in this country.

  • Kids' Stuff: Media Fail the Test

    We have allowed market forces to control television and the rest of our modem communications media -- to such a degree that the lowest common denominator of interest prevails. A free society rises or falls on the exercise of a collective responsibility. When we fail to respond to the needs and vulnerabilities of our citizens, we revert to the law of the jungle, permitting only the powerful to determine how we shall live.

  • Kimball on Whitehead and Perception

    The author believes that Robert H. Kimball is mistaken in believing that Whitehead is trying to reconcile realism with mediatism.

  • Kindly Candor (Ephesians 4:25-5:2)

    Speaking is not truthful if it does not also "build up" and "give grace." When we speak truth and love together, we give the riches of God’s grace.

  • Kingdom of God and Ecology: A Parabolic Perspective

    The message that Jesus sought to communicate through the parables from nature was that there is a similarity between the divine work of the Kingdom and that of the process of nature. It is God who is active in both.

  • Kingly Presence (Is. 60:1-6; Ps. 72:1-7; 10-14; Eph. 3:1-12; Math. 2:1-12

    The Magi represent forever for all of us the wisdom that recognizes human life to be a journey taken in search of One who calls us beyond ourselves into faithful service.

  • Kirkpatrick on Subjective Becoming

    Lewis Ford gives a response to Frank Kirkpatrick’s view that "The fundamental difficulty which the process model faces is trying to retain language appropriate only to a subject (decision, purpose, intention, action) for a process which is not yet a subject but which is becoming a subject." Ford says this presupposes that it can be meaningful to analyze the becoming apart from (because prior to) the being it becomes.

  • Korean Americans Reshape their Churches

    Korean Americans are far more religious than Americans in general. The author reviews two books on the subject discussing the cultural patterns and problems of first and second generation Koreans, how they are different from other ethnic groups and the problems of assimilation into American culture.

  • Kraus’s Boethian Interpretation of Whitehead’s God

    Dr. Edwards declares the position of Elizabeth M.. Kraus’s The Metaphysics of Experience is impossible.. He holds that it is irreconcilable with the many texts in which Whitehead suggests that there is real succession and process in God himself.

  • Labors of Love (Jn. 5:1-6; Jn. 15:9-17)

    When we get it right, the work of love is hardly work at all.

  • Lamb of God (Is. 49:1-7; Ps. 40:1-11; 1 Cor. 1:1-9; John 1:29-42)

    Telling the thought in a story is far superior to simply thinking. It is not so much a matter of thinking as doing--and not doing so much as being and witnessing. Just come and see, and we might realize that Jesus came to make us both more holy and more fully human.

  • Lame Excuse (Isaiah 43:18:25; Mark 2:1-12)

    God sends patient caregivers, dedicated researchers and physicians, devoted family and friends to walk with the ill through their painful journey, whether it be a journey toward cure or a journey toward a fuller life. Such people are sent from God whether they know it or not.

  • Land and People: The Eco-Justice Connection

    The greatest strain on the environment and, hence, one of the major factors in the growth of world poverty, is the still-increasing rate of consumption and environmental degradation taking place in the rich countries of the north.

  • Land Ethics, Animal Rights, and Process Theology

    Creation consciousness is a needed attitude on the part of Christians if, in relation to the abuse of nature, Christians are to be part of the solution rather than part of the problem. Process theology provides a perspective for integrating the truths of these movements, thereby encouraging creation consciousness.

  • Landslide Lyndon

    Mr. Westbrook hoped that LBJ would fulfill the promise of southern liberalism.

  • Larger Than Life: Religious Functions of Television

    In the syncretistic way in which people today put together their own religious belief and life-style packages in ways that meet their individual needs, the mass media in their characteristic uses and contents are becoming a significant component of those belief systems. They are meeting needs and fulfilling some of the functions which people once found in theistic religion, and in the process are modifying some traditional expressions of religious faith

  • Late-Night Seminar (John 3:-1-17)

    We give Nicodemus a bad rap, reducing him to a foil, a cowardly dolt. But Jesus received him as a pilgrim, a sincere religious seeker. In truth, he is the Patron Saint of Seekers, a fellow traveler and a kindred spirit, someone to be embraced.

  • Latin America and the Need for a Life-Liberating Theology

    Latin American liberation perspectives must be committed to the integrity of creation if they are to meet the needs of the human poor. The author compares the diminishing migrations of birds from North America to Central and South America to the plight of the poor: "If this is happening with wild animals, we may easily guess who is to follow."

  • Leadership as a Spiritual Practice

    Leadership is godly work which addresses a fundamental human challenge faced in the environment and culture of communities, congregations and institutions.

  • Leadership That Matters

    Leaders don't have to be experts. They do need to define goals clearly and have the courage of their convictions.

  • Leading Congregations, Discovering Congregational Cultures

    Wind describes the contributions of anthropologists and enthnographers to understanding in depth the cultural complexity of congregations. He suggests that pastors need to learn to appreciate the diversity of the churches they serve, to care for those cultural differences, and to work with them rather than against them.

  • Learning from Lyle Schaller: Social Aspects of Congregatioins

    Olson suggests that Lyle Schaller's influence among mainline and conservative clergy is due to his closing a gap in their own training by bringing a social-science orientation to the understanding of congregations. Citing the significance of congregational size and subgroup structures, Schaller offers practical solutions to both clergy and laity for fulfilling their commitment to church growth.

  • Learning from New Forms of Church: Gospel Ventures

    A review of two books on the changing church. In a time when we are accustomed to speed, the flash of the Internet and the thrill of consumption, let the church, its function and it’s worship, never be trivial.

  • Learning Jesus

    Attentiveness is a moral attitude that acknowledges the freedom of the other person--a person who is capable of changing. Jesus calls us beyond our present place of comfort into a life that is infinitely richer and more frightening.

  • Learning to Pray

    The author sees prayer in multiple and unique forms, and its value from many different religious perspectives. In all cases, it works toward purposes we cannot predict or prescribe.

  • Learning to Pray

    Prayer is archaic, anachronistic, against the grain of modern life, solitary and often heartbreaking, embarked on without the certainty of fruit. Prayer does not promise fame, money, and the love of beautiful people. It’s working with blind faith, stubborn hope, dumb love. But the more you pray the better you’ll be.

  • Learning to Pray: An Interview with Roberta C. Bondi

    Bondi shares what she has learned about the practice of prayer from her study of Christian monks of ancient Egypt.

  • Learning to Read the Bible Again

    Fifteen scholars and pastors convened by the Center of Theological Inquiry in Princeton, New Jersey, in 1998-2002 as "The Scripture Project," have proposed "Nine Theses" in interpreting the Bible for our times. These Nine Theses are presented in this article.

  • Left Behind

    The "Left Behind" gets its title from Luke 17 but the fans of the series and others are influenced by dispensationalist theology and tend to see the ones taken as "raptured" heavenward. Most biblical scholars see this as a mistaken interpretation.

  • Legalisms or Logos?

    There seems to be a growing preoccupation with personal salvation, with being "born again," with biblical literalism, at the expense of ministering to the neighbor. Religion in America is becoming more conservative just when Christ’s radical theology is most needed.

  • Lenten Roadmap (Romans 4:13-25)

    For the one who believes in the God who gives life to the dead, the Lenten journey is not only to Good Friday and Easter, but is also a revisiting of one’s own experience.

  • Leonardo Boff: Theologian for All Christians

    It is primarily his creative views on ecclesiology that have gotten Brazil’s liberation theologian, Leonardo Boff, into trouble with the Vatican. Although his ban has been lifted, Vatican conservatives still have reason to fear his influence.

  • Lesson Plan (James 3:1-12; Mark 8:27-38)

    The Son of Man must suffer because he will reject every compromise with the authorities, the crowds, the Romans and even with his own beloved Peter.

  • Lessons in Retirement

    The author reviews a book about retirement. Retirement is worse than a heart operation, because there is no bypass for it.

  • Let it Be (Mic. 5:2-5a; Ps. 80:1-7; Heb. 10:5-10; Lk. 1:39-45 [46-55])

    Many of us have sung our own Magnificat without realizing that what we sing echoes Mary’s song.

  • Let Liberal Churches Stop Fooling Themselves

    Religion without a constantly replenished force of penitence easily becomes a romance which brutal men use to hide the real sources of their actions from themselves and from others. That is why romantic religion is dangerous and that is why liberal religion is not now an effective agent of moral redemption in our contemporary society.

  • Let the Imbongis Sing! (Ps. 96; Is. 9:2-7; Titus 2:11-14; Lk. 2:1-20)

    Whether we look to the liberation of peoples living in lands dark as death, or to that inner liberation that comes by the discipline of grace, we must hear creation’s imbongis sing praise as the psalmist commanded, "Glory to God in highest heaven, and on earth peace."

  • Let Us Pray

    How to pray to the God of love and justice, who exists in everything but isn't supernaturally powerful. Praying that the source of love fill your heart and help you decide what path to take, can be very effective.

  • Let’s Liberate the Sunday School

    The Sunday school must be freed from five stereotypes: 1. The Sunday school is an organism with a life of its own that cannot be changed. 2. “Sunday school,” is only for children. 3. The intellectual level of Sunday school content is superficial. 4. The Sunday school is characterized by the use of mindless methodology. 5. The purpose of the Sunday school is to teach the Bible.

  • Let's Meet

    An interview with Robert D. Putnam who wrote Bowling Alone: America’s Declining Social Capital. America and the church needs to build more "connections."

  • Lets Talk About Sex

    Dr. Freitas says it is everyone’s job to draw sex from the darkness of student dorm rooms into the public spaces of classrooms and church communities so young people aren’t left alone as they attempt to understand Christian teachings in a culture adept at "selling" sex.

  • Letting Go Down Here (Rom. 6:3)

    When he spoke of what happened to him on the Damascus Road, Paul never knew whether to call it being born or being killed. In a way, it felt like both at the same time. Whatever it was, it had something to do with letting go.

  • Letting Parables Live

    The parable has the capacity to tell us something we do not know and could not come by in any other way. We approach a parable shackled by the chains of rationalistic exegesis, thinking we "know what it’s all about." We need to find ways to defamiliarize the parable, to see it from new angles, to open new possibilities for hearing, as Jesus repeatedly warns us to do.

  • Lewis S. Ford and Traditional Interpretations of Whitehead’s Metaphysics

    Dr. Hurtubise shows that Lewis Ford’s genetic approach to Whitehead’s metaphysics rests on some key points differing from the traditional interpretations.

  • Lewis S. Ford: A Life In Process

    Dr. Lucas says that Lewis Ford possessed the requisite understanding, the confluence of intellectual talents, and most of all the patience to attempt the painstaking deconstruction and reconstruction of the pattern of authorship of Whitehead’s major work.

  • Lewis S. Ford’s Theology: A Critical Appreciation

    Although the author disagrees at some points with Ford, at the same time he pays him high tribute: Ford is one of the most penetrating theologians of our time, Christian or not.

  • Liberal Learning and the Practice of Freedom

    Dr. Phenix examines the central role of a liberal arts education in creating and maintaining human freedom. Truth not only makes men free; it is also what free men make.

  • Liberal Questions: A Response to William Placher

    Gustafson assesses the adequacy and inadequacy of Placher's answers to questions that he--Gustafson--put in his original article about postliberalism.

  • Liberalism After 9/11

    After 9/11 it didn’t matter in those buildings whether you were an investment banker or a janitor -- everybody was at risk, We are all in this together, and we have responsibility to each other. That feeling is becoming lost and liberals need to articulate it.

  • Liberalism and Lost Days: A Re-evaluation of Fosdick

    A review of Harry Emerson Fosdick: Preacher, Pastor, Prophet, by Robert Moats Miller. Fosdick’s life, including his let-downs, put-downs and come-downs, is explored with great sensitivity, insight and attentiveness to the personal and domestic spheres.

  • Liberation from Illusion

    Reviewing a recent biography of Simone Weil, Professor Allen reflects on the power of her life and thought and her curiously marginal status among theologians.

  • Liberation Theology and Social Justice

    In this lecture the author outlines the major social justice issues to which various forms of liberation theology are responding. Then he sketches, in an historical retrospect, the dead-ends of classical sacralism and of modern secularism.

  • Liberative Motifs in the Dalit Religion

    There is both need and possibility for finding and documenting the rich resources from dalit culture that can help in theologizing. The author finds liberative motifs and highlights their utility for this challenge.

  • Liberty and the Enfranchisement of Women

    Whitehead: "In the name of Liberty, we demand the Suffrage for Women."

  • Life-and-Death Choices (Deut. 30:15-20; Ps. 1; Lk. 14:25-33)

    Jesus proposes some very troubling conditions for discipleship. We are asked to "hate" our parents, spouse, children, siblings, even life itself. Jesus’ teaching must have surprised and confused the enthusiastic crowd, and quickly thinned out the ranks of his supporters.

  • Life-Giving Fear

    Terrible things happen, and you are not always to blame. But don’t let that stop you from doing what you are doing.

  • Life-Giving Law (Psalm 19)

    Critical self-examination brings two painful revelations of faults: faults that are proud, even arrogant, strutting openly and defiant, in full view of all; and faults buried so deep in the heart that even the transgressor is unaware of them. But God knows. As nothing is hidden from the sun, so nothing is hidden from God.

  • Limited-Time Offer (Is. 55:1-9; 1 Cor. 10:1-13; Lk. 13:1-9)

    Isaiah, Paul and Luke note an ongoing theological tension between the assurance of God’s kindness and the call to immediate repentance. God’s unaccountable mercy provides additional time for repentance. Yet there will be a reckoning, and human presumption can push even God’s patience too far.

  • Lincoln and Watergate: The American Past Speaks to the American Future

    A cogent defense of democratic ways already exists for us; we have only to render anew the counsel Lincoln offered in 1838. Included here is Lincoln’s address, set in the context of the 1970s.

  • Listen to Him (Genesis 12: 1-8, Luke 9: 28-36)

    To listen to Jesus, to be a disciple of Jesus, is to walk with Jesus to Golgotha. As we walk with him, as we talk with him, our human nature is being transformed into the likeness of divine nature.

  • Listen to the Voices: Re-Examining the Creation of Mission Goals

    Goals of mission can be created most authentically only in interdependent relationships through which there is true communication among participants perceived by one another as equals, rather than as bearers and receivers of the Gospel.

  • Listen Up (Genesis 2:1-9)

    Abram’s life was devoid of purpose or passion until he heard the word from the Lord. He needed this call to help him separate from his past and embrace God’s future for his life. He followed that voice to a place he had never seen before.

  • Listening to B F. Skinner

    The author spells spell out the implications of Skinner’s thought for religion. Skinner forces us to face up to the formidable reality of genetic and environmental conditioning and the elusive nature and scope of freedom.

  • Listening to the Speaking Bible

    In order to contest received interpretations, one ought to analyze both the interpretative processes and the context of the interpreter; in order to rid something of ideological trappings, one has to know the theories and societies through which the ideologies emerged.

  • Listening to the Text

    A review of a new translation and commentary on I and II Samuel.

  • Literary Criticism and Process Thought: Blackmur, Brooks, Sartre, and Whitehead

    This essay shows how three quite different criteria can be reconciled within the framework of Whitehead’s thought. Blackmur is concerned with the "poet’s version of the actual." Brooks’ thought is about the establishment of an experience that shall be structurally faithful to the complexity which is generically characteristic of reality. Sartre’s emphasis is on freedom and individual time.

  • Liturgy as Politics: An Interview with William Cavanaugh

    The Church must act seriously as a public body, for in reading Isaiah, the Christian sees that God has redeemed history.

  • Liturgy For Life

    People who are formed by the prayers and sacraments of the church should think and act distinctively in the face of terrorism.

  • Live and Let Die: Changing Attitudes

    During the past two decades there has been a steady increase in America's support for the right of persons with incurable diseases to end their own lives. Greeley's research implies that religious imagery, whether persons see God as a "spouse" rather than "master," results in the former seeing morality as a personal matter and the latter seeing morality as a matter of moral law. Another reason for the shift in attitudes is an American increase in tolerance for the moral views of other persons. In this 1991 article, Greely does not address the current debate on physician-assisted suicide.

  • Live Into Hope (Is. 2:1-5; Rom. 13:11-14; Matt. 24:36-44)

    Advent invites us to live in hope and not in despair. The violent death of Jesus on the cross was not the end, for in Jesus’ resurrection we are assured of new life. Violence will not have the last word.

  • Living by the Word (Romans 1:16-17; 3:22b-31)

    In the world of power politics, connections are hard-earned and easily lost; in the reign of God, power flows from a connection that is freely offered and must be freely received, for faith is grounded in a relationship, an encounter with the living God, who is the source of true and lasting power in this life.

  • Living by the Word Matthew 16:13-20

    Being able to confess Jesus as Messiah is a critical thing, but having a sense of what that means is an ongoing process. When confession is only knowledge, then the cross is only death on a tree and the resurrection is only reward.

  • Living by The Word (1 Corinthians 4:1-5: Matthew 6:24-36)

    Contemplation of nature is a reliable remedy for the worries that can paralyze and plague us. When Jesus points us toward the birds of the air or the lilies of the field, he is not just trying to get our minds off our worries; he is pointing us to a way of discerning the larger purposes of God.

  • Living by the Word (Matt. 14:13-21)

    Jesus’ miracles are not an in-your-face showcase for divine power. Instead, they herald Jesus' dying and rising, his relinquishment and resurrection. We who die and rise with Christ are lifted up even as we lift others.

  • Living by the Word (Matt. 14:13-21)

    Jesus’ miracles are not an in-your-face showcase for divine power. Instead, they herald Jesus' dying and rising, his relinquishment and resurrection. We who die and rise with Christ are lifted up even as we lift others.

  • Living by the Word (Matthew (13:31-33, 44-49a)

    The kingdom of god, the power of God, is like the leaven that works only when combined with flower.  It is among us, permeating every aspect of our lives, changing, enlightening and transforming us.

  • Living by the Word (Matthew 10:40-43)

    Everything changes when we realize that the only rewards that matter can't be earned. Trying to earn the blessing causes much unhappiness and pathology. Our inner striving becomes insatiable and cannibalizes itself into a black hole of exhaustion.

  • Living by the Word (Matthew 13:24-30, 36-43; Romans 8:12-25)

    Both passages suggest that this is a time of waiting, of letting things grow and unfold. But it's also a time of looking forward to some sort of resolution, an end time, in a not-yet time trusting that god’s promise will be fulfilled.

  • Living by the Word (Rom.10:5-15; Matt. 14:22-33)

    Through his death and resurrection, Jesus will save the whole creation. For Christians, this is the mystery of baptism, the paradoxical drowning that brings life.

  • Living by the Word (Rom.10:5-15; Matt. 14:22-33)

    Through his death and resurrection, Jesus will save the whole creation. For Christians, this is the mystery of baptism, the paradoxical drowning that brings life.

  • Living by the Word (Romans 4:13-25; Matthew: 9:9-13, 18-26)

    From words about Abraham, "He grew strong in his faith" we learn that faith is not only a gift from God, but also an aptitude that grows with use: we learn how to be faithful in the process of trusting God.

  • Living by the Word (Romans 5:1-8; Matthew 9:35-10:8 -23)

    God's extravagant act of mercy toward sinners in the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ should inspire hope and confidence in us sinners in all our dealings with God. The cross of Christ reveals that grace toward sinners lies at the very heart of God.

  • Living by the Word (Romans 6:1b-11)

    The waters of baptism offer more than explanations. They speak the silent, miraculous language of grace--the language that invites us, in rhythms deeper than words, to be buried, united, freed.

  • Living by the Word Romans 13:8-14<

    The first half of Romans easily subverts our faithfulness to the second half.  If the first half had been subordinated to the second half, the past few years might have been quite different.

  • Living by the Word: Speak My Word Faithfully (Jer. 23:28)

    We may quite unconsciously speak a mixture of our own deceits and the word of God.

  • Living by The Word  Matt. 15: (10-20),

    Jesus location far from Galilee and Jerusalem suggests that defilement and purity are not determined by physical, attributable or demonstrative components, but that purity is ultimately assessed by what one says and does.

  • Living by the Word  Matt. 20:1-16

    In the economy of God’s grace those who are hired at the very end, those whom no one else wants, are the closest to God’s heart. In that economy the last are placed first in line.

  • Living by the Word  Philippians 2:1-13; Matthew 21:23-32

    The questions in the temple are still the questions in our communities. Too many of us believe that God's activity is all past tense, or believe that the Spirit has nothing new to renew in us.

  • Living by the Word  Rom. 12:9-21

    These verses are a pep talk by Paul to the “body of Christ.”  Remember who you are and who got you where you are and who is the source of your strength.

  • Living by the Word  Rom. 14:1-12

    The goal of being together in the body of Christ is not to agree or get along. The hope is to help one another become more Christlike, to love God and neighbor in ever more praising ways.

  • Living Faithfully in a Democratic Society

    Growing religious diversity and the loosening of confessional orthodoxy have meant that Americans can no longer expect to deal with public political questions from a common theological perspective.

  • Living on Tiptoe (Lk. 2:22-40; Ps. 148)

    Simeon and the Annas invite reflection on whether what we know of the story of God’s redemption shapes our lives in ways that keep us open and attentive to God’s presence and present work.

  • Living Out the Gospel in Seminary Life

    Piety and learning should unite in a style of life that characterizes the seminary as a whole, as a unique community of scholars and ministerial students. Piety in theological seminaries cannot be preformed. It must grow out of the tasks in which God’s people are involved, the sufferings they endure and the challenges they bring.

  • Living Sacrifice (Hebrews 10: 11-18)

    Jesus has universalized the worship of God and has moved away from the central place given to temples made with hands. While the Jewish high priest enters the earthly sanctuary in Jerusalem, Jesus Christ the high priest has entered the heavenly one -- a temple made without hands.

  • Living with Alzheimer's: Body, Soul and the Remembering Community

    Sapp addresses the issue of memory loss in Alzheimer's sufferers as a sign that when the memory is lost, the essential part of what makes one a person is lost. He challenges this soul/body dualism by reaffirming the Christian theological position that body and soul are inextricably connected and that our memory, as Christians, is communally connected to one another and to God whose memory is unfailing.

  • Living with Chronic Illness: Why Should I Go On?

    Why go on when things are very bad? Because we need to, simply that.

  • Living with Martha (Luke 10:38-42)

    Jesus as host gives consent for troubled people to be filled with promise. We are to join them and be ready to put our whole selves to serve.

  • Living y the Word  Philippians 3:4b-14; Matthew 21:33-46

    Christians are to encourage one another in faithful stewardship, challenged by the idea that we are stewards of much and owners of nothing.

  • Lockeian Roots of the Ontological Principle

    Whitehead specifically directs his readers to Aristotle, Descartes, Locke, and Hume for early glimpses of his own philosophy, especially in connection with the ontological principle. The author analyzes Locke’s concept of power by examining the contexts in which that term is used in Locke's Essay Concerning Human Understanding, thus shedding light on problems common to both Whitehead and Locke.

  • Logic and the Metaphysics of Hegel and Whitehead

    The author raises questions concerning the relation between logic and metaphysics in the philosophies of Hegel and Whitehead. "We may hold that the existence of God cannot be directly established by any logical argument, dialectical or otherwise; but we can insist that some objective principle of order and value is immanent in rational thought in particular, and in the cosmos as a whole."

  • Lonely Crusade: Fighting the Gambling Industry

    Because churches have built-in constituencies and a moral stance, they can be effective in fighting gambling.  But when politicians raise the issue of funding for schools, someone in the legislature introduces a gambling bill.

  • Long Division (Acts 1:6-14 .John 17:1-11)

    We seem to have become complacent about our denominational and racial divisions. The pain of Christian division is rarely felt by any of us.

  • Long Goodbye (John 17:20-26; Acts 16:16-34)

    John thought that it was important to remind those who had never met Jesus in the flesh that Jesus was still present, but in a new way.

  • Looking for the Gospel at a Gospel Concert

    It was the note of incarnation that was missing in that contemporary "gospel" concert. The sounds and the technology were the latest, but the heresy was the oldest -- Docetism. Christ was off in heaven, waiting. Resurrection and ascension had completely superseded incarnation.

  • Looking for the Mainline with Roof and McKinney

    The authors, Roof and McKinney, are interested not in issuing a jeremiad or an apology about the state of American religion, but in ascertaining just how the landscape of American religion is being altered.

  • Looking Like Fools (I Cor. 1-23)

    The first Christians were thought to be drunk with new wine, and Festus thought Paul’s defense of the faith merited a court-ordered psychiatric examination. By the world’s standards of what works, and who is greatest, and what is practical, the Christian faith can look foolish indeed.

  • Looking Past Abortion Rhetoric

    If the pregnancy does not threaten the mother’s physical existence, then the rights of the child ought to be considered as on the same level as the mother’s. Compassion may be demonstrated in providing all possible assistance, including emotional support to the mother throughout pregnancy and beyond. It is not a perfect solution, but neither are many in life.

  • Lord, Teach Us to Pray (Luke 11:1-4)

    We’ve never had it so good, yet our civilization has managed to keep God at arm’s length. At the same time, we fear we have sold our birthrights. We are afraid and preoccupied. We know there is no way out of our dilemma that does not begin in prayer.

  • Lost in the Digital Cosmos

    The majority of popular Christian Web sites seems to be lost in the digital ether, with no sense of their own location in religious time and space. They reflect the entrepreneurial spirit of popular religion -- pragmatic and creative, even if historically disconnected and theologically unsophisticated.

  • Lottery Losers

    Lotteries may undercut the ethic of work and achievement, replacing it with an ethic of luck. The government’s has abdicated its responsibility for the care and well-being of people; it is an assault upon the poor and the uninformed by governments that are being irresponsibly financed. It is, therefore, a movement that deserves to be opposed by churches and those who care about the future of our people.

  • Love’s Double Victory (Jn. 3:1-5, 10; Mk. 1:14-20)

    Much of the training in nonviolent change consists of self-purification and the cleansing of hatred from the heart of those who would change the hearts of others.

  • Love, Power and Justice

    The very individuals who have done so much to renew the social conscience of the evangelical community have also been those who have rejected politics as a means of fulfilling social obligation. The evangelical community seeks to leap from piety to practice with little reflection on guiding principles and practical goals.

  • Loving a Prostitute

    Perhaps the greatest gift anyone can give is unconditional love. Too often love is part of a bargaining process for getting what one needs at the expense of another. Prostitutes, like all human beings, deserve respect and a chance to live life to the fullest.

  • Luther Against the Devil

    Satan may be no doctor of theology, but he is very well trained in philosophy, and has had 6,000 years to practice his craft.

  • Luther and Liberation

    Luther struggled to bring all of life under the rule of God. There is no lesser task for us. Our drive for world peace needs grounding in a deep spiritual commitment similar to that of the Reformation. Money needs to be dethroned as god and brought under control for just uses in peace.

  • Luther as Skeptic

    A review of a recent biography of Martin Luther.

  • Macro-Mystery (Matthew 28: 16-20)

    Some speculations of cosmologists come tantalizingly close to being religious.. We know by our faith that the triune God is how the world came to be, the energy that keeps it going, and the future toward which it -- and we -- move.

  • Made by Design

    Science has tried to cover up thoughts about purpose, or teleology. In Darwin and Design Michael Ruse argues that biology should not turn its back altogether on "final causes."

  • Mainstreaming the Alienated: The Church Responds to a ‘New’ Minority

    The church is far too often not the Good Samaritan, but the priest and the Levite passing by on the other side. A Lady Bountiful attitude which assumes that the church’s ministry is to the disabled -- rather than with them -- misses the gospel’s whole point.

  • Makeshift Communities (Is. 9:1-4; Ps. 27:1, 4-9;I Cor. 1:10-18; Matt. 4:12-23)

    Once in a while Christian congregations act like true communities.

  • Making a Real Return to Church Possible

    Many people may feel disillusioned with church worship services, especially when our worship words say one thing but our experience says something else. The words and songs of worship must be translated to current idiom and music.

  • Making Belief Intellibgible

    The authors summarize the apologetic stories of a number of writers including Collins, D’Souza, Keller and Wright. These operate from very different disciplines and social roles, and in all of it, character precedes argument, for it seems all arguments fail if Christianity does not create generous-hearted people.

  • Making Choices About the Final Exit

    To take one's own life before life involuntarily leaves us is a decision we are free to make, but it is a choice that is ultimately selfish.

  • Making Choices for the Common Good

    This lecture discuss two levels of caring: 1. The need to care for others. 2. But what is the goal of that caring, the common good? American history has not been clear on what is the common good.

  • Making Christians in a Secular World

    A Christianity without Christian formation is no match for the powerful social forces at work within our society. If it is to fulfill its function as the place where Christians are formed, the church must acknowledge its changed status and must now compete, in an open market, with other claimants for the truth.

  • Making It Safe to Grieve

    A probe of the nature of grief and the disrespect some people show toward grievers by one who was widowed at age 35. The intolerance of family and friends for those grieving a deceased spouse -- even for those who have lost their spouse in the first years of marriage -- is more the rule than the exception.

  • Making Moral Sense of the Market

    A review of two books on the financial market and morality. The real debate is not about whether the market economy is desirable or not, but about how citizens should harness the market system to serve ends that they consider fundamental. What goods and services are necessary for genuine well-being and quality of life?

  • Making Prenatal Choices

    Parents responsible for children with disabilities are the subjects of four books reviewed by the author. Challenges facing the parents are acute in a culture eager for efficient, calculable results. Perhaps, then, it should come as no surprise that nine out of every ten women who discover that their fetus has Down syndrome choose to abort.

  • Making Schools Work For The Rich And The Poor

    The author argues for large expenditures in public education to remedy the ills of inner-city school. Money should be spent to experiment both with school vouchers and with other reforms.

  • Making the Invisible Visible: Russian Icons of the Golden Age

    In her review of an exhibition of Russian Orthodox icons at Juniata College, Laurel Gasque addresses the relative ignorance of most western Christians, and indeed the artistic community in general, about sacred icons not only as art, but also as a liturgical and devotional aid. While summarizing the history of icons, she clarifies their place in Orthodox theology as an attempt to relate the spiritual world to the world of here and now - indeed to make the invisible visible.

  • Making Theology Central in Theological Education

    Theology, rightly conceived, is a communal, formative and critical activity that can serve both as the integrative factor in seminary teaching, and as a key link to the rest of the university and the wider society.

  • Male Clergy Adultery as Vocational Confusion

    For cultural and historical reasons it seems likely that clergy adultery is related to vocational confusion more often for men than for women. 1.The manhood of male clergy has been insecure for generations. 2. Religious affiliation is no longer required for social states, thus clergy, educated as professionals, find themselves the leaders of a marginal social institution.

  • Male Clergy in Economic Crisis

    Today's clergy cannot assume they will realize the gradual income growth that most Americans with graduate degrees take for granted.

  • Male Sexuality: Moving Beyond the Myths

    Homophobia undergirds men’s tendency to reject behaviors that are passive and gentle and to "prove" their masculinity through aggressive and violent behavior. It makes it difficult for men to develop intimate friendships with other men, and it complicates men’s relationships with their sons and their fathers.

  • Malnutrition in Third World Countries

    The lack of food and micronutrients is due not to acts of nature but to acts of people. There is enough food to feed everybody in the world now; in the year 2000 there will still be enough food for everyone. And yet 500 million people are malnourished. The means of helping the malnourished could be relatively simple if the affluent nations resolved that the reduction of deprivation is an important goal, and if the governments of developing nations made it an important priority.

  • Managing Appearances

    The concern of public relations professionals, advertisers, and politicians with image and appearance as an instrument for persuading people about important matters in the real world of events and decisions is matched by the growing scholarly and intellectual interest in signs and symbols as makers, not merely conveyers, of the world we live in.

  • Mandate for the Mainline

    An enumeration of the crucial contributions mainline churches have to make to Christian life and an outlining of a strategy for maintaining vitality.

  • Manichaeism in American Politics

    William May reviews Richard Hofstadter’s published series of essays on the Radical Right entitled The Paranoid Style in American Politics (Knopf). May suggests that Hofstadter is actually discussing the "Manichaean" style of our politics since the metaphysical and moral presuppostions of the Radical Right are Manichaean to the core. The Manichaeans were dualist, reducing all distinctions to the cosmic struggle between two rival powers: Good and Evil, Spirit and Matter, the Kingdom of Light and the Kingdom of Darkness.

  • Manifesto for the New Liberal Church

    It is now time for the liberal churches to come out of their corner fighting, to declare boldly and without apology for their own option. Five rejections of the old liberal church and five affirmations of the new are chronicled.

  • Manners and Ministry on the Internet

    The modern use of e-mail, especially for the church, has many benefits as well as shortcomings. It can be used to build community, to stay in touch, but it can easily become a substitute for hugging, eye contact or being together.

  • Many Mansions or One Way? The Crisis in Interfaith Dialogue

    Christians have entered into serious dialogue with people of other faiths only very recently. The question of what Christ means in our encounter with others inevitably raises the even more basic one of what Christ means for us as Christians.

  • Mapping the Brain: A Pathway to God

    Neurological research reveals a sophisticated yet sound biological basis for speaking of religious life. And the religious experience of Paul bears naïve yet eloquent personal witness to what we are now discovering about the brain.

  • Margaret Atwood’s Testaments: Resisting the Gilead Within

    The Handmaid’s Tale, by Margaret Atwood, is a futuristic novel about the wretched future which has much to say about the present. Although it is harrowing in its vision, it is not without an element of hope. She is neither a rescuer of biblical religion from its feminist critics nor only a "post-biblical feminist" who must reject the Bible wholesale as a gynocidal text. For her, women cannot live toward the future without having roots, nor is it safe for them to forget where they have been.

  • Marias Full of Grace (Gen. 12:1-4a; Mt. 17:1-9)

    There are many perils in the travels of life, but out of such darkness God’s glory appears in the midst of our journeys to the cross.

  • Mark: The Movie (Mark 10:32-45)

    Mark 10:32-45 summarizes all the major themes of Mark’s Gospel. In a nutshell, it offers everything that is quintessential Mark: the journey toward the cross, suffering and death, wrongheaded disciples, the reversal of power and Jesus’ reflection upon the meaning of his mission. For Mark, this is the guts of the gospel: that we follow a suffering Christ, a crucified criminal.

  • Mark’s Enigmatic Ending

    John Dart discusses the difficulties of the ending of Mark’s gospel. The 8th verse of the 16th chapter is probably where Mark ended his story. Most scholars agree that the "longer" endings were probably something added by a later editor.

  • Marked for a Purpose (Is. 42:1-9; Acts 10:34-43; Matt. 3:13-17)

    In our baptism, we celebrate the incomparable gift we receive as creatures who are beloved of God. Baptism is also about the responsibility this gift requires.

  • Marking Belief the Intelligible

    The author contrasts an ancient abbey with its traditions, history and rootedness, to the modern American megachurch without tradition, culture or weighted worship, to an ecological sound, modern, high-tech, all thought out community but where the state church seems of little consequence, yet in this latter place the gospel seemed to make more sense

  • Marriage Debate

    Authors Blankenthorn and his divisive and jabbing rhetoric on homosexual marriage and Fox-Genovese for her testy rebuff of feminism are severely criticized for their opinions in this review of their books.

  • Marriage Today

    Wall reviews a book on postmodern marriage. Marriage and the family are valuable social institutions, especially important for children, but they need to be newly understood in nonpatriarchal and egalitarian ways.

  • Marriage: The Impossible Commitment

    The profound pressures which marriage faces are a spiritual and not a psychosocial matter. The gospel provides few answers about how we should live or what decisions we should make. It is not a recipe for right living. The gospel transcends the law only to name a more difficult law -- that of love, first of God and then of each other, even ourselves.

  • Marrying Well

    The author reviews a book on marriage. Marriage as an institution entails public commitments not only between the husband and wife but also between them and their friends, extended families, the state and the church.

  • Martin Luther King, Jr., 1929-1968: In Memoriam

    It is possible to kill a human being but not an idea. Let us confess to God how often we destroy dreams with our apathy, violate visions with our sophisticated arrogance, and prevent prophecy with our politics of pragmatism.

  • Martin Luther King: The Preacher as Virtuoso

    American virtuosos like Lincoln and King knew how to invoke prophetic biblical texts and ancient moral injunctions and join them to calls to action.

  • Martin Luther King’s Vision of the Beloved Community

    King believed that a community of love, justice and solidarity would eventually be actualized. That is why he worked unceasingly for the realization of his dream.

  • Martin Luther’s Reckless Grasp of Grace

    Luther took a high risk in identifying Paul’s message as an emphatic naysaying to everything in humanity that strives for favor and grace. The loss which came with that risk is evident in the debris of Lutheran cultures today.

  • Martyrs and Heretics: Aspects of the Contribution of Women to Early Christian Tradition

    In listening to the voices of women in the early church and to the reporting of,and interpretation of, these voices by dominant male interpreters, we can glimpse the church as a movement in flux, in which paths yet untrodden were becoming pilgrim routes.

  • Marx and Christ: The Question of Violence

    Rapprochement between Marxists and Christians on the violence issue is possible -- and without the sacrifice of loyalties on either side. "violent force and nonviolent force" must be replaced by a definition that sees violence as "the imposition of one’s will upon another" and that recognizes violence as "an inescapable feature of the human condition."

  • Marx and Whitehead

    The author appreciates the thoughts of both Whitehead and Marx but defines the deficiencies of both.

  • Mary and the Body Snatchers (John 20:13b-15a)

    As Christ surprised Mary in the garden, he may also surprise us in the routine of the liturgy, the lections and hymns, perhaps even in the preaching.

  • Mary as Role Model (Luke 1:26-38)

    Neither Catholic nor Protestant tradition and practice have done Mary justice. Her story reminds us that the oddest, most inglorious moments are packed with the annunciation of God’s presence and God’s call to serve.

  • Mary Says Yes (Luke 1:26-38; Luke 1:47-55)

    In the annunciation God waits in breathless suspense for Mary’s answer – and for ours.

  • Mary’s Song -- and Ours (Lk. 1:39-55)

    Mary’s song sticks in our throats. But perhaps it can become our song.

  • Mary’s Hope and Our Hope (Luke 1:30-31)

    Something deep and universal in the human person needs hope in order to live, and many things in our society masquerade as hope but are not.

  • Mass Media and Ministry

    The author addresses some of the key issues in the relationship between the mass media and religion. First he indicates trends in the study of mass communication; then applies these to three areas of religious faith: hermeneutics and proclamation, church practice, and religious experience. He concludes by suggesting some possible courses of action.

  • Mass Media’s Mythic World: At Odds with Christian Values

    It is wrong to attack the media as if they were being manipulated and mishandled by greedy people at the top. In reality, the media reflect our own greed and weaknesses far more than we care to admit or to analyze.

  • Mastering Our Gen(i)es: When Do We Say No?

    At what point does genetic engineering violate the mystery of the human person? Gilbert Meilaender contends that a line should be drawn when altering germ cells becomes a way of exercising control over future generations.

  • Match Point to the Media

    A writer looks for something concrete to interest readers and to illustrate a point. Sometimes the illustration sweeps away the point.

  • Material Things (Mark 10:17-31)

    We define ourselves by our belongings, by our consumption. However, the materialism Jesus calls us to requires not the accumulation of material goods, but an engagement with people, especially those in need.

  • Materialist and Panexperientialist Physician: A Critique of Jaegwon Kim’s Supervenience and Mind

    Dr. Griffin responds to Jaegwon Kim’s Supervenience and Mind. He shows that Kim’s acceptance of a materialist version of physicallism leads to problems.

  • Matters of the Heart (Mark 7.1-8, 14-15, 21-23)

    Jesus takes issue with those whose spiritual focus is on the surface, who are concerned solely with outward actions. He is perturbed by those who have reduced religion to doing the "right things," to looking good, to maintaining outward appearances.

  • Matthew’s ‘Undercurrent’ and Ogden’s Christology

    A process perspective on the language through which Matthew brings his christological witness to expression lends support to Ogden’s contention that the message of the New Testament is one that "can be formulated in complete abstraction from the event Jesus of Nazareth and all that it specifically imports."

  • Maundy Thursday: Thomas’s Testimony (Luke 22:15)

    A narrative of a Lenten meditation in poetic form written from the standpoint of the apostle Thomas: And if it were not for his love, his grace that sought me out behind locked doors, called me to touch and then believe, I would not be here at your humble table ready now with you, to break the bread and pour the wine as he did years ago.

  • May God Continue to Bless Us (Ps. 67)

    Nature surrounds us and we are a part of it. Yet we have a spiritual quality that transcends the dictates of nature. This quality must constantly be nurtured to avoid falling into a variety of idolatries.

  • Measure of Faith (2 Tim. 1-14; Lk. 17; 5-10)

    The biblical meaning of faith cannot be reduced to individualistic voluntarism. Faith is the miracle of God-given trust, that willingness beyond willfulness that says, "Whoever I am thou knowest, O God, I am thine."

  • Measure of Faith (2 Timothy 1-14; Luke 17; 5-10)

    The biblical meaning of faith cannot be reduced to individualistic voluntarism. Faith is the miracle of God-given trust, that willingness beyond willfulness that says, "Whoever I am thou knowest, O God, I am thine."

  • Measure of Success

    Just because a person becomes famous, like a rock star or a movie actor, does not mean they are wise in politics or religion. The authors address the vocabulary of vocation.

  • Measuring Church Growth

    In working with those who believe without belonging, mainline Protestants may rediscover the true church. With them we apparently share many values of the past as well as hopes for the future. We may not get them “back” into the churches, but we can join with them to do the Lord’s work on earth.  And we may rediscover the Christian church in the process.

  • Media Dominance

    A plausible case can be made that the technology of the Net, the Web and television is more compatible with evangelical than with mainline understandings of theology and worship. Like the 16th-century Catholics and their delay in the use of the printing press while the Protestants were using it with great effect, today’s mainline needs to assess the positive educational potential of the Internet and Web and put it to use for its own faithful.

  • Media Violence: Hazardous to Our Health

    Now the verdict is as clear as the evidence that links smoking to cancer: violence in media is causing violence in the society.

  • Media: Their Structure and Moral and Public Policy Import

    The author outlines various approaches to media study. He points out that the most recent model leans away from the concern for concrete mechanical effects characteristic of the transmission model and leans toward what is loosely termed the ritualistic model more akin to anthropology and other cultural studies. He distinguishes between moral and ethical issues that arise within the context of the media and those that are raised by the nature of the system itself.

  • Medical Research: Establishing International Guidelines

    Difficult ethical issues arise when research is funded by or conducted in a foreign country whose medical and moral standards are different from those of the country whence the money or personnel come. Is the research to the advantage of those being tested? Or are they simply guinea pigs for a "more advanced" culture?

  • Meditation as a Subversive Activity

    The author found that a few moments of focused silence amid the noise and violence in a modern jail imparted spiritual power.

  • Meditation of a Middle-Aged, (Upper) Middle-Class, White, Liberal, Protestant Parent

    We elders may well have to face the millennium on our knees, because we surely didn’t teach our kids how to get down on theirs.

  • Medjugorje’s Miracles: Faith and Profit

    A critical eye is cast on the "apparition" of the Virgin in Medjugorje, Yugoslavia. "…I wonder what kind of God would heal the aches and pains of rich Americans while turning a deaf ear to the cries of starving children elsewhere in the world."

  • Meeting the Awesome She

    If one envisions the deity as female, it motivates one to find new ways to speak of God.

  • Megalessons

    The authors of the books reviewed give a good analysis of the Megachurch impact on the institution of the church. They analyze the myths, the future and how these are changing the shape of religion for better or for worse.

  • Meland’s Alternative in Ethics

    Bernard Meland’s aesthetic ethic acknowledges the value, though limited, of the moral obligations of continuity and faithfulness to the inherited good from the structure of experience. But it does not need to insist upon any given unchanging structure not itself subject to critical inquiry.

  • Memories of Martin Niemöller

    The finding and freeing of Martin Niemöller at the end of the war.

  • Men Behaving Badly

    Are women more religious than men, while men are more violent?

  • Men Without Women: An African-American Crisis

    Review of a book on the consequences of slavery in America. The reluctance of African-Americans to "air dirty laundry" in public is grounded in a justifiably defensive posture. Anyone growing up in America should be aware of the twisted nature of those bent on preserving the notion of white supremacy.

  • Men, Women, and the Remarriage of Public and Private Spheres

    The divorce between the public and private spheres of life is painful and debilitating for both men and women. We have tended to view the home as the proper place of woman, where as in the public sphere, the role has been given exclusively to men. Especially in the church, new ways of looking at power and leadership are needed.

  • Mental Phenomena as Causal Determinants in Brain Functions

    The author addresses the problem of the nature of consciousness and the mind/brain relation. As the brain process comes to be understood objectively, all mental phenomena, including the generation of values, can be treated as objective causal agents in human decision-making.

  • Mercy, Me (Is. 40:1-11; 2 Pet. 3:8-15a; Mk. 1:1-8)

    In the violence and hatred we’ve made of our world, can mercy really be at the heart of God? There is room for God’s mercy if we will only believe that God’s patience is salvation for us all.

  • Messianic Complex (John 1:6-8, 19-28)

    As did John, Jesus points away from himself and seeks to deflect the messianic expectations put upon him. Trying to evade his superstar status and the attributions of’ glory, he points instead to what is near and soon and already stirring in the lives of those to whom he speaks.

  • Messianic Politics: Toward a New Political Paradigm

    Humankind faces a grave political crisis, as its very existence is threatened by the most powerful and destructive political entities in history: the totalitarian and imperialist powers. These global powers include the military, the giant transnational corporations and the global information and communication industries, as well as the powerful nations themselves, which have permitted these powers to grow unchecked. In this situation the Christian faith is being tested by the political victims, who cry out for relief, because this political crisis is closely associated with the Christian civilization.

  • Metaphor and Sacrament

    If sacrament depends on Word becoming flesh, then metaphor depends on flesh becoming word. Our problem is that we have gotten stuck on a theory of substances -- transubstantiation, consubstantiation -- rather than looking into the nature of language and the ways meanings are made.

  • Metaphors as Imaginative Propositions

    How and where does the phenomenon of metaphor "fit" in Whitehead’s speculative scheme, and what contributions, if any, does the philosophy of organism provide for contemporary discourse on metaphor? The author maintains that the irreducible metaphor is a verbal approximation of a species of imaginative propositions.

  • Metaphysical Principles and the Category of the Ultimate

    Whitehead outlines twenty-seven items in his Categories of the Ultimate. Dr. Graham declares the ultimacy of three of these: The ‘one’ (the ontological principle), the ‘many’ (the principle of relativity), and ‘creativity’ (the principle of process).

  • Metaphysics and ‘Valid Inductions’

    The author attempts to elucidate what seems to be a necessary condition for the metaphysical understanding of "valid inductive inference" patterns.

  • Metaphysics and Induction

    The author rejects causality and "atomism" as sufficient or necessary conditions for solving the problem of induction in metapphysics.

  • Metaphysics and Induction’: Reply and Rejoinder

    The author replies to Gary Gutting's article "Metaphysics and Induction," stating that Gutting’s criticisms do not quite succeed in making the case. In a rejoinder, Gutting claims (and Felt seems to agree) that metaphysical theories of causal efficacy and internal relations are neither necessary nor sufficient for a solution of the problem.

  • Methodological Alternatives in Process Theology

    The authors give a broad overview of process theology and its methodological alternatives. Whitehead and process theology, rationalist process thought, and empirical process theology.

  • Michael Harrington: Socialist to the End

    The author reviews a book on the life of Michael Harrington written by Maurice Isserman: Isserman corrects some often-repeated exaggerations about Harrington’s bad relations with the New Left. Harrington never lost his access to the saner leaders of the New Left, and his fame as author of The Other America, which appeared in 1962, gave him an identity to a mass audience.

  • Michael Wyschogrod and God’s First Love

    A major theme for Wyschogrod is that God’s election of Israel is based solely on God’s unalterable love and hence cannot be abrogated from the human side.

  • Midwife’s Tale (Exodus 1:8-210; Matthew 16:13-20)

    Christ is pulling us out of darkness into light that we might be a witness to that light.

  • Mike McCurry on Church, Polities and Civil Debate

    The Century interviews Mike McCurry, President Clinton’s press secretary: Subjects include church politics, the duty of a public servant, the possibilities for a religious left, and President Clinton's personal difficulties.

  • Military Bases Boost Capability but Fuel Anger

    United States presence in nine countries ringing Afghanistan enhances capability but also fuels Islamic extremism

  • Militias, Christian Identity and the Radical Right

    The bombing of the federal building in Oklahoma City opened a window on the previously invisible subculture of militias, survivalists and conspiracy theorists.

  • Mill and Hartshorne

    Except for John Stuart Mill and Charles Hartshorne, process thinkers have not written much about ethics. These two bear a close relationship in their ethical insights and tell us much about what kind of experience is the end of morality.

  • Millennial Reflections on an Interdependent World

    he 21st century will demand that we attend to what it means to be creatures, and to what is the true vocation and chief end of human beings.

  • Ministering to the Collective Soul amid the Arms Race

    Some commentators on nuclear arms miss the mark. The author discusses such arguments as "nuclear madness," "death wishes" "the wrath of God," and the like. We must intervene in the cultural subconscious not just to understand but to change it.

  • Ministering to the Unemployed

    Joblessness creates loneliness and alienation. This is an area to which the church could respond. Historically, one thing the church has done well is providing support for people in times of crisis.

  • Ministry as Midwifery

    When pain is processed in public, lifted up and shared, it releases unsuspected energy.

  • Ministry as More Than a Helping Profession

    Hauerwas and Willimon insist that considering the ministry one of the "helping professions" devoted to meeting people’s needs is in fact a result of the practical atheism of most professing Christians, from liberals to fundamentalists. Denouncing as sentimentality the attitude of being always ready to understand but not to judge, they proceed to describe a kind of Protestant moralism that weighs in heavily on the side of judgment in the gospel balance between grace and judgment.

  • Minjung and Power : A Biblical and Theological Perspective on Doularchy (Servanthood)

    In the post-Cold War situation and the post-modernization process, the breakdown of modern social philosophies and political ideologies, as well as traditional social thoughts opened the door to great confusion in social thinking among Asian peoples and to a lack of ecumenical theological direction in the Christian communities. But at the same time it has opened a new era of creative and active social thinking in ecumenical movements and social movements round the world.

  • Minjung and Process Hermeneutics

    The author examines the hermeneutics of process and Minjung theologies by comparing their major problems, goals, and methodologies. Minjung theology is concerned with Han -- the compressed feeling of suffering caused by injustice and oppression. Han helps us understand the necessity of active involvement in the world for maximizing the intensity of experience.

  • Miracle Market (2 Kings 5:1-14, Mark 1:40-45)

    We set the evidentiary bar so high for a miracle of healing that a dozen miracles happen to us and we don’t notice any of them.

  • Miracle Worker (Mark 6: 1-6)

    The mystery of the incarnation holds our greatest solace and comfort, namely that wherever we go in suffering, in hurt and sorrow and despair, God has gone there first, goes with us, shows up (!), and is glad to be there with us and for us. It is amazing that the first great heresy in the church was not the denial of Christ’s divinity, but the denial of his full humanity.

  • Miracle, Mystery and Authority: Recalling Jonestown

    A retrospective piece marking the tenth anniversary of the Jonestown tragedy – in which more than 900 people affiliated with Jim Jones’s Peoples Temple in Guyana took part in a communal act of murder and suicide. The most frequently asked question: "How did they ever become involved?"

  • Miracles of Inclusion (Eph. 2:14)

    Every model of inclusivity entails specific convictions -- which will exclude somebody.

  • Miroslav Volf Spans Conflicting Worlds

    Theologian Miroslav Volf is unusual in many settings. He is a Pentecostal among evangelicals, a mainline Christian among evangelicals, and an evangelical in the mainline. Growing up, he was a Christian among communists.

  • Mirror of These Ten Years

    A major Christian thinker of the 20th century examines the practical steps of Christian witness in today's world. Only through complete refusal to compromise with the forms and forces of our society can we recover the hope of human freedom.

  • Missing the Point (Matthew 21:33-46)

    Jesus tells the story of the owner of the vineyard to show that his listeners, members of the religious establishment of his time, have missed the point. The story is breathtakingly clear. Those who "get it" have to do away with him. They mock him, deride him and finally kill him.

  • Missing the Resurrection (Acts 1:15-17, 22-26; Ps. 1; 1 John 5:9-13; Jn. 17:6-19)

    The early church was quick to build a case against Judas. What would have happened if Judas had repented, recanted and re-joined the twelve?

  • Missiology in a Pluralistic World: The Place of Mission Study in Theological Education

    The author explores and analyzes various concepts of mission and missiology.  The early Western missionary movement, generally speaking, aimed foremost at the saving of the souls from eternal damnation.  Mission as expansion of Christendom through conversion and church growth was a dominant view during the Western colonial period.  Then came the concept of missio dei, in which Christian mission was understood as Christian participation in God's mission. But this was too broad: “If everything is mission, nothing is mission.”  Instead, he proposes using "witness across religious boundaries" as the defining principle of mission and as the integrating principle of missiology, and he explores the implications of this defining hub for the future of theological study.

  • Mission and Dialogue: 50 Years After Tambaram

    Is there a common understanding of Christian witness that unites both mission and dialogue? Do non-Christian faiths offer alternate and parallel avenues of God’s saving action? Is the notion of a unique validity of some Christian doctrine or of Christianity itself as a religion arrogant?

  • Mission in Mexico

    Protestant-Catholic antagonisms in Mexico are disturbing, as they represent an obstacle in Mexico’s slow and fitful progress toward religious (and political) tolerance. And they reflect an exclusive brand of Protestantism.

  • Mission of the Korean Church

    Today the churches in the Third World have grown to the point where they should take charge of an important part of world mission. The Korean church is one of these churches. While the Western churches are burdened by their history of simultaneous colonization and mission in the Third World, the Korean church does not have such a negative historical past and therefore has a special role in world mission.

  • Missions and the Translatable Gospel

    Book review. In a provocative new reading of Christian missions, Lamin Sanneh contends that the hallmark of Christian missions has been a readiness to translate the message into the language of other cultures -- an act that has had dynamic and sometimes unforeseen effects on indigenous cultures.

  • Mister Rogers

    Keeping children safe is our inescapable obligation and the measure of our adulthood. We may not be pacifist vegetarian teetotalers like Fred Rogers, but if we can learn from him about the life-giving power of self-emptying attention, then there will always be reason for hope.

  • Moderates Unite? The Future of Southern Baptist Dissidents

    Southern Baptist conservatives won key presidential elections year after year, and after a final conservative presidential victory in 1989 in New Orleans, moderates gave up the battle and began taking steps toward forming their own moderate organizations, such as the Cooperative Fellowship.

  • Modern and Postmodern Forms of Unbelief

    The book review about the era of the Enlightenment and almost 40 skeptics or atheists, most of whom were unable to exorcise religion completely from their minds and psyches.

  • Moms’ Malaise

    The author reviews three books on motherhood, and comments that through a holy blend of social criticism and spiritual fortitude, women with children might be able to resist the guilt and perfectionism that, if these authors are correct, are now the signatures of motherhood.

  • Monastic Mentors (Luke 20:27-35)

    One ought not be intimidated by the judgmentalism of religious people for it has very little of God in it. Jesus gets out of the Saccucess trick question by quoting Exodus: "…God is not of the dead, but of the living, for they are all alive to him."

  • Moral Ambiguities and the Crime Novels of P.D. James

    The modern detective story has moved away from the earlier crudities and simplicities. Crime writers are as concerned as are other novelists with psychological truth and the moral ambiguities of human action. Theological and moral concerns have become apparent in Patricia James’s more recent fiction. The realities of evil and death are inescapable for her characters. How we live our lives is a sign of how we handle death, that unavoidable remind of our human condition.

  • Moral Clarity After 9/11

    Susan Neiman uses father Abraham as a model for focusing attention on action rather than person.  Have the courage to judge actions, rather than the presumption to judge the individual.  Leave it to the Lord to judge the agent.

  • Moral Dilemmas in Economics and Ecology

    The author takes issue wtih two leading Christian ethicists, Max Stackhouse and Dennis McCann. Because of the continuing suffering of industrial labor and the vast wealth accumulated by some capitalists, there arose a conviction on the part of many that industrialization should be controlled by the state and its products distributed equally. This vision is associated especially with Marx. But despite its obvious appeal to Christian ideals, it was always founded on erroneous assumptions. It calls into fundamental question the process of global industrialization. Cobb holds that our task is to find a way between the Scylla of ecological holocaust to which our present policies are leading us and the Charybdis of degrading poverty that would follow from deindustrialization.

  • Moral Wisdom and Sexual Conduct

    Lifestyle is life, and how we live determines who we are.

  • Morality and Foreign Policy

    The moral objectives of U.S. foreign policy have been too one-sided: the defect in our traditional scale of values is that we rank liberty much higher than distributive justice.

  • Morality and War

    Review of a book by James Turner Johnson. Ours is a post-cold-war world of small-scale ethnic and religious conflict amid the ruins of collapsed empires. Analyses applied to the Vietnam war or the problems of nuclear deterrence are ill suited to illuminate our current problems.

  • Morality-in-the-Making: A New Look at Some Old Foundations

    The only way of coping effectively with the kind of world we live in is to deal seriously and constantly with the questions that point toward at least relatively satisfactory answers to why we are what we are and do as we do.

  • Mordecai Kaplan: Prophet of Pragmatic Theology

    Denominationalism tends to reduce Christianity to a private faith based on a narrow revelation under the protection of competing agencies. It is at best a religious "philosophy" -- a set of beliefs and ideas which can be accepted if properly adjusted to an enlightened mind. Mordecai Kaplan, the formulator of Reconstructionism, insists that Judaism must be a civilization or it is nothing. The dimensions of Christian faithfulness demand that same totality.

  • Mordecai M. Kaplan and Process Theology: Metaphysical and Pragmatic Perspectives

    Both Mordecai Kaplan and Whitehead see the coherence of the idea of a non-absolute God within the framework of religious naturalism as a theological and philosophical concept. Thus, they steer a middle course between unreflective supernaturalism and reductive naturalism.

  • More than Enough

    The key to the politics of love, the key to that limitless imagination that sees only abundance, that desires only the things that are not in short supply -- that key lies in worship.

  • More Than Enough (John 6:1-21)

    Charles Hoffman shows that to John, religion is not melancholy, but full of God’s grace mediated through Christ. God’s grace is more prodigal than it is miserly.

  • Mosa-Dharma and Prehension: Nagarjuna and Whitehead Compared

    The authors compare the Indian Buddhist Nagarjuna and Whitehead. When levels of Buddhist and Western thoughts are analyzed, the religious differences are profound. Conceptually, Buddhists insist on nothingness while Westerners characteristically speak of being and think of things as having substantial reality.

  • Mourning at Eastertide: Revisiting a Broken Liturgy

    Whether one is considering a birthday celebration, civil ceremony, or ecclesiastical liturgy, our capacity for both imagining and assessing ritual processes and performances is weak.

  • Mousetraps (2 Sam. 11:26-12:10, 13-15; Lk.7:36-8:3)

    Forgiven much, this woman loves much more than good taste allows.

  • Move On (I Sam. 16:1-13; Ps.23; Eph. 5:8-14;John 9:1-41)

    The author criticizes the tendency of Americans to gloat in triumph over its victories. He is saddened when Christians pick up a new sword of Constantine, a wicked instrument of triumphalism.

  • Movies and Censorship: Who Will Protect Freedom?

    The classification system provided an excuse for exploitation of significant human emotions, trivializing sexuality in the name of freedom and making violence attractive when, by definition, it is ugly. However, the outrage of views has increased. Who will protect the industry? Who will protect our freedom?

  • Moving Christian Worship Toward Social Justice

    The author suggests a four-step process by which the worship of the congregation can be made more truly inclusive of all worshippers.

  • Mudddleheadedness and Simplemindedness - Whitehead and Russell

    Bertrand Russell has more process thought in his philosophy than most give him credit. Nevertheless, there is a conflict between Russell’s hard logic and Whiteheads process thought-- analytic versus continental; logical and linguistic versus the systematic and metaphysical; conceptual elucidation and clarification versus historical study and phenomenological description.

  • Muddling Through (II Kings)

    Most of the time, the ragged human convoy of divergent perceptions, piqued honor, high-minded posturing, insecurity, good humor and basic generosity will wend its way to insight and accomplishment.

  • Mujeristas: A Name of Our Own!!

    An exploration of the emergence of mujerista theology -- which brings together elements of feminist theology, Latin American liberation theology and cultural theology.

  • Multiethnic Mix

    The multiethnic pattern of the Mosaic church as seen by Gerardo Marti after being a participant-observer offers a "theological haven," in orthodox beliefs though quite unconventional, an "artistic haven" attracting all kinds of "mavericks, rebels or freaks," and an "ethnic haven" attracting a large and diverse immigrant population from Los Angeles.

  • Murdoch’ s Magic: The Consolations of Fiction

    Book review of Iris Murdoch's The Book and the Brotherhood, which seeks to salvage the aesthetic riches of the Christian tradition and to do so through the glorious ambiguities of art. Only art, with its spell of magic, can conjure up a world to shelter the good we desperately seek to hold on to.

  • Musings Of A Psychologist- Theologian: Reflections On The Method Of Charles Hartshorne

    Dr. Moore discusses three aspects of Dr. Hartshorne method: 1. His distinction between empirical and a priori knowing; 2. His understanding of phenomenology and pragmatism; 3. His use of linguistic and logical-mathematical ways of knowing.

  • Muslim in America

    For Muslims, establishing Islamic schools today takes precedence over building mosques. You can have a huge decorative and expensive mosque, but lose your children and end up having no one in the mosque to pray.

  • Muslim Visitors Question the American Way: Puzzled by Pluralism

    After meeting with Muslim scholars the author has a better understanding that in times of uncertainty it may be easier for people to trust a learned religious leader than a democratically elected elite put in place by dubiously motivated political constituencies.

  • Muslim-Christian Encounters: Governments under God

    There is a large body of material in both Muslim and Christian sources that supports a public role for religion without making territoriality a condition of faith. Westerners must keep abreast of moderate Muslim counsels.

  • Must God Be Really Related to Creatures?

    Dr. Ogden holds that God must be really related to animals otherwise he cannot be really related to them. He follows up with nine points of proof derived through classical logic.

  • Mutant Ministry (Jonah 3;1-5; I Cor. 7:29-31; Ps. 62-5-12)

    Jonah, Prophet of the Lord, may or may not have accepted the counterintuitive morality so prevalent throughout the Bible. Samaritans can be good neighbors; stutterers can be lawgivers; theophanies are likely to be encountered in the still, small voice; and not even Nineveh is beyond God’s compassion.

  • My Beating by Refugees is a Symbol of the Hatred and Fury of this Filthy War

    Fisk tells the harrowing story of his beating at the hands of Afghanistani refugees, and concludes that if he had been one of them, he would have done just what they did.

  • My Life on Antidepressants: Taming the Beast

    Rather than embracing depression, we must look past suffering and even happiness and consciously, willfully love others, even at great cost to ourselves. Rather than trying to feel well, we are to try to love well.

  • Mystery Women

    Review of several mystery novels. Beneath the surface of every one lies a powerful, sustaining faith: that perfect justice is not only possible but inevitable. Truth and righteousness ultimately will prevail..

  • Mystical Consciousness in a Process Perspective

    The author analyzes the mystical experience of Sri Aurobindo and the "Nirvana Experience." From a Whiteheadian perspective, yogic meditation involves the silencing of symbolic reference, so that the two pure modes of perception are experienced directly.

  • Myth and Incarnation

    If the transcendent is an especially rich dimension of reality which is humanly known by mediation, then it is only fitting that our talk of the transcendent be couched in metaphor, for such language allows one dimension of reality to be revealed in and through another.

  • Myths and Metaphors

    This interview with Janet Martin Soskice, a theologian at Cambridge, depicts her strong arguments for the reasonableness of belief.

  • Myths and Realities About Prisons and Jails

    The theory that capital punishment deters crime is being reestablished by its proponents, evidence that there is no measurable difference in the homicide rates of capital-punishment and non-capital-punishment states.

  • Namaan‘s No-nonsense Cure (2 Kings 5: 1-14)

    The situation is bizarre: a hostile pagan king asks an impossible favor for his generalissimo, thereby setting the stage for disappointment and what might well be the next political disaster. Jesus plays with the politics implicit in the story, making good use of the perennial tensions between Jew and gentile, us and them.

  • Name that Fear (Luke 8:26-39)

    The name "Legion" of the man from Gerasa is key to the story. It’s about Rome whose legions possessed Israel. This story is a coded identification of Jesus the liberator.

  • Naming and the Act of Faith (II Tim. 1:5)

    Paul suggests to Timothy that remembering his ancestors increases his faith, and more: it is a warrant for recognizing faith.

  • Naming Names (Is. 43:1-7; Lk. 3:15-17, 21-22)

    Those who know that they are owned by God recognize that their primary identity is not as cogs in the economic machine, for their baptism has taught them who they are and whose they are.

  • Narrative Teaching: An Organic Methodology

    The author writes about the power of the story in history and in imaginative construction of future possibility, and points out that narrative does not now occupy a central place in the school curriculum. She suggests the kind of narrative methodology that is needed in order to teach organically.

  • Naturalism, Theism, and the Origin of Life

    Dr. Earley comments on various theories of evolution and creationism, with some Whiteheadian insights.

  • Nature’s God: An Interview with Nancey Murphy

    Science and theology have different aims and employ different language, but separating them into two non-interacting spheres ultimately fails.

  • Nazism and Communism

    History has proved that if an Englishman or a Swiss puts on a uniform that is not the same as when a German puts one on. The German becomes a total soldier too easily and too quickly. In common with many Europeans I would rather not see the re-emergence of the German soldier. And even if I were a German, and perhaps particularly if I were a German, I would rather not have his re-emergence, not even when the peril from the East is considered.

  • Necessities for an Ecological Civilization

    The awareness of a tension between tradition and modernization in China may offer the most hope for the emergence of a new consciousness fully supportive of the move toward an ecological civilization. China deserves high marks for its efforts to deal with the problem of overpopulation. However, the most important research for China to engage in now is how to produce more food and fiber with less water and less arable land.

  • Needed: A Continuing Sexual Revolution

    The church continues to be silent, timid and negative about sexuality.

  • Never-Ending Story

    The author explains the importance of "story." The truly astonishing thing about the Bible is that it includes stories from outside the fold, where God seems determined to work through those whom the community of faith has cast out.

  • Neville’s Critique of Hartshorne

    David A. Pailin comes to the defense of Hartshorne in some of Robert Neville’s criticisms (see "Genetic Succession, Time, and Becoming," by Robert Neville). In contrast, Pailin believes Hartshorne may provide us with (or perhaps put us on the road toward) "genuine philosophic wisdom" as well as "mere metaphysical clarity".

  • New and Old Together (Gen. 1:1-5; Mk. 1:4-11)

    Jesus’ baptism is tied to a history that leads back from John the Baptist to Isaiah to the first words of Genesis. Our new life is bound to those who prepared us for faith, and through them to the history of the church, to the good news of Jesus Christ, the Son of God, to the affirmations and promises of the "First Testament" and to God’s kindness in creating the universe.

  • New Dynamics in Theology: Politically Active and Culturally Significant

    For better than two decades the consensus in theology and ethics has been that we have no consensus. That is changing.

  • New Kind of Christian

    The author discusses two books he considers most important: A New Kind of Christian and A Generous Orthodoxy, both by Brian McLaren. McLaren’s vision is that each of us, whatever our theology, old or new, will learn something of Jesus from one another that we would otherwise have missed.

  • New Life for Denominationalism

    Rather than disappearing, denominational boundaries have been reconstructed in ways that seem to keep them open and connected to a larger world. Rather than a strict denominationalism, distinctions are based more on ritual and doctrine than on social divisions.

  • New Math (Matthew 18:21-35)

    "Not seven times, but I tell you, seventy-seven times." This is strange language to us. We have mainlined grace so cheaply that we no longer understand the disconnect in our own spiritual lives.

  • New Politics and Not So New Politics

    According to Sherman, one of the best things about Jim Wallis' book, The Soul of Politics, is that it calls us to listen to the people who live there as we reflect on the inner city's woes. One of the worst things about the book is that the author seems unwilling to hear all that they have to say. In his emphasis on the injustice of the system he allows the poor to escape taking personal responsibility, even though he exalts an increasing spiritual awareness and the activist role of the (mostly) black churches. When he moves to the problems of economic stagnation in the less developed countries his proposal for a "third way", transcending liberalism and conservatism, ignores the successes of market-friendly systems.

  • New Religious Consciousness: Rejecting the Past, Designing the Future

    A noted sociologist analyzes the reasons behind the current religious malaise in American culture, then proposes three possible scenarios for the future.

  • New Testament Foundations for Understanding the Creation

    The value of non-Christian perspectives of the created order of nature. An Indian Orthodox point of view.

  • New-time Religion

    Bellah reviews a book that asks, "What does it mean to call our age secular?"

  • Niebuhr Versus Niebuhr: The Tragic Nature of History

    An intriguing debate took place on the pages of The Christian Century in 1932 between brothers H. Richard Niebuhr and Reinhold Niebuhr. The immediate occasion for the publication of their articles was Japan's invasion of Manchuria, and the concrete issue that the brothers addressed was the proper response of the United States to that invasion. Both appeal to the tragic character of human history to support their views, yet each draws a radically different conclusion.

  • Night Music (Zeph. 3:14-20; Is. 4:4-7; Luke 3:7-18)

    The greatest songs often come out of a generation facing pain and suffering. Observing Zephaniah, Isaiah and Paul, it is salutary to look at the extraordinary music generated through the difficulties faced by these great men.

  • No Communion Without Compassion: Visser ’ t Hooft , An Interview

    Churches that are not ready -- despite far-reaching theological agreement -- to put their individual traditions and idiosyncrasies in the background forego the right to proclaim to the nations an international order of law and peace.

  • No Comparison (Is. 49:21-31; Ps. 147:1-11)

    By worshiping its way to renewal and hope, the community of faith has something to offer a world full of weariness, faintness, powerlessness and despair.

  • No Faith Is an Island

    Christians tend to "let individualistic preoccupations take over when Lent rolls around." Community can only be created around a faith; faith can only be creative within a community.

  • No Good Divorce

    There may be the necessity of a divorce, but there’s no such thing as a good divorce.

  • No Joke (Acts 4:32-3.5, Jn. 20.19-31)

    After the resurrection, Jesus is in the room with the disciples. Jesus says a most ordinary but absurd thing -- "Peace be with you." Is this a joke in their fear and guilt? The words are neither a salutation nor an attempt at ironic humor, but the fulfillment of a promise.

  • No Keeping Score (Gen. 45:3-11,15; Ps. 37:1-12, 41-42; I Cor. 15:35-38,42-50; Lk. 6:27-38)

    We cannot tell someone who has suffered a great evil at the hands of others that God is bringing good out of the tragedy. If it is going to happen at all, the victims must discover for themselves that God has somehow created something new out of their suffering, that out of their survival God’s grace can even provide food to save someone else from famine.

  • No Miracles from the Media

    If Jesus had communicated via television, Christianity might never have survived. The old-time street-corner evangelist symbolizes both what the media most desperately try to accomplish and how they most dismally fail -- especially in evangelism.

  • No One is Disposable: The Fight Against Slavery in the New Global Economy

    Slavery still occurs and is on the rise in the new global economy. The author suggests what we can do about it.

  • No Posturing in Borrowed Plumes

    Plagiarism is widely practiced by parish pastors hard pressed to produce a fresh sermon weekly. The use of other minister’s materials in ones sermons brings us up against a profoundly ethical issue.

  • No Radicalism Here: Faculty Survey

    A recent faculty survey is devastating to the preconceptions of those who carry radical images of the theological professoriate. Doctrinally these faculty members are conventional. Ecclesiastically they are faithful. In general we get the image that, across the spectrum, they are bourgeois Hauspapas (although 7.7 per cent are female).

  • No Steps to Heaven

    Churches often seem to lag behind secular institutions in opening their doors -- in every way -- to the handicapped. It is time to respond affirmatively. Several major denominations have led the way in adopting statements voicing church concern for persons with handicaps. We within the churches must act on those statements, opening our doors -- in every way.

  • No Time to Linger (John 20: 1-18)

    Faithful to the unknown and unknowable, love not only transfigures the lover, but calls her by name:

  • No Turning Back (Ps 27; Phil 3:17-4:1; Lk 13:31-35)

    Though we often don’t "stand firm" as Paul admonishes the Philippian believers to do, we long for Jesus to reach out and draw us to him in spite of ourselves.

  • No Way Out (Luke 16:19-31)

    If our hearts are closed to hearing the cry for justice, mercy and bread, the words of the resurrected One will not be convincing, but convicting.

  • Non-Being and Hartshorne’s Concept of God

    Hartshorne’s argument, if valid, is valid only if Hartshorne’s God exists, but Hartshorne fails to prove the existence of his God.

  • Non-Violence and Racial Justice

    The aftermath of non-violence is the creation of a beloved community, while the aftermath of violence is tragic bitterness.

  • Nonhuman Experience: A Whiteheadian Analysis

    The author suggests that animal consciousness is closer to human consciousness than Whitehead believed.

  • Nonstandard Mathematics and a Doctrine of God

    An understanding of standard mathematics conditions the doctrine of God’s immutability. Contemporary developments in mathematics affect a contemporary doctrine of God. The author works with process theology to work with these two subjects.

  • Nonviolent Voices

    Not only are there very few voices in the mainstream media expressing doubts about the wisdom of the current military operation, but a number of commentators have waxed apoplectic over any possibility that there may be those in the land who oppose the war effort.

  • Norman Thomas: Socialism and the Social Gospel

    Norman Thomas’ thought and action was an outgrowth of the 19th-century Social Gospel theology as developed by Walter Rauschenbush. His pacifism had some limitations, and his socialistic stance violated all traditional images of normal socialist behavior.

  • North American Theology in the Twentieth Century

    The author analyzes the dominant streams of theological thinking in twentieth century North America: the Social Gospel Period, the Niebuhrian Generation, and the radical theologies of the 1960's including black theology, liberation theology, and feminist theology. For him the issue is what a post-modernist constructive theology can look like. He discusses five approaches: the contextualist movement, Jurgen Moltmann's theology of hope, Cobb's own theological approach, and Latin American liberation theology.

  • North India: World Mission Policy

    In global terms the forces of business, in their headlong rush to gain profit by any means, have already begun to engage upon a satanically mindless vandalism of Mother Earth. In this terrifying picture where are the women, children and indigenous people (dalits and tribals)? Where is the Church? Who is the Church? Who can claim to be God's people in India? What is our theological education all about? What is the relevance of dogmatic theology inherited from our benefactors in Europe?

  • Not About Me: Prayer is the Work of a Lifetime

    The author discusses three types of prayers: the prayers of Samuel, those of Mary, and a prayer sung by Elvis ("I want you, I need you, I love you with all my heart.").

  • Not All Cats Are Gray: Beyond Liberalism’s Uncertain Faith

    The difference between conservatives and liberals is not that one groups is certain and the other is not; rather, it is that conservatives are certain of too much. No matter how incomplete our vision, we must move from questions we cannot answer to answers we cannot evade.

  • Not All Mothers Are Angels, Not All Angels Are Mothers

    One of the most amazing evidences of the spiritual genius and human courage of Jesus is the way he transcended the male-dominated culture in which he lived and saw women as persons.

  • Not Global Villagers, but Global Voyeurs

    The electronic media allow us to look without being touched—to watch but not react. The mass media have made us not global villagers, but global voyeurs—looking without risking involvement.

  • Not in My Backyard!

    We need waste dumps just as we need prisons and halfway houses. We need somebody’s backyard. We need to be confident that future generations will enjoy the same protections we wish for ourselves.

  • Not in Our Backyard

    The author believes that fighting a war in someone else’s back yard, so that we do not have to fight it in our own, is morally questionable.

  • Not Through the Law (Gal. 2:15-21)

    A theology of grace does not negate the law, but it seeks to transform those aspects of human relationships which the law cannot touch and which may even make law a vehicle for hatred and sin.

  • Note on Whitehead and the Order of Nature

    Einstein’s formation of the theory of relativity states that the geometry of the world is variable, its metric being a function of gravitational and electromagnetic field variables. Whitehead disagreed: Our knowledge of nature requires the uniformity of the spatial-temporal continuum which is a continuum of overlapping events, some of which are indefinitely large.

  • Notes on Sacred Space

    If beauty -- not a particular beauty, but any beautiful thing -- is a metaphor of the sacred, then there is no such thing as a uniquely “religious” or ecclesiastical idiom in architecture or in the other arts. Beauty evokes in us the sense of the holy. So artists and priests are companions in every religion.

  • Notions of Purity: An Interview with Mary Gordon

    In this interview, Trudy Bush brings out the views of Mary Cordon about women’s choices and about moral and spiritual struggles in the context of strong family connections.

  • Now What? (Acts 4:32-35; Ps.133; 1 Jn.1:1-2:2; Jn. 20:19-31)

    Here is the agenda for the post-Easter journey -- joy and peace, mission and forgiveness, faith and proclamation, love and life.

  • Nuclear Absolutism and the Quest for Certainty

    Discerning true and false absolutes is a task that in the long haul should be accomplished by congregations.

  • Nullifiers and Insurrectionists: America’s Antigovernment Tradition

    The author reviews a book about American’s attitude toward the government. The writer, Garry Wills, offers a catalog of the various forms taken by American distrust of government since the late 18th century, and ventures to debunk the historical myths that have sustained them. He argues for government as a necessary good.

  • Obedience in Context (Ezek.33:7-9; Rom.13:1-10; Mt.18:15-20)

    How is our obedience to God mediated or intersected by loyalty to institutions and to our friends?

  • Obedience to the Heavenly Vision (Acts 26: 9-20; Philippians 3: 3-14)

    The life of Paul was an adventure of exploring the meaning of Christ for the Jews as well as for the Gentiles.

  • Of Time, the Self, and Rem Edwards

    Dr. Fancher refutes Rem Edward’s polemic against Whitehead’s theory of the self as a society (see "The Human Self: An Actual Entity or a Society?" ) Fancher asserts Edward is wrong because God is not exempt from the epochal theory of time, and also, Edward’s "gap theory" criticisms rest on Newtonian time and the fallacy of simple location.

  • Off By Nine Miles (Isaiah 60:1-7; Matthew 2:1-12)

    Bethlehem is nine miles south of Jerusalem. The wise men had a long intellectual history of erudition and a long-term practice of mastery. But they had missed their goal by nine miles. It is mind-boggling to think how the story might have gone had Herod’s interpreters not remembered Micah 2.

  • Off the Mountain (Ex. 34:29-35; Ps. 99; 2 Cor. 3:12-4:2; Lk. 9:28-43)

    The disciples on the Mount of Transfiguration not only saw a vision; they also heard God’s voice coming out of the cloud, saying, "This is my child, my Chosen; listen to him." I hear that voice, too, when members of the church hear and heed those things Christ has said: Love one another. Forgive, as God has forgiven you. Follow me.

  • Off the Record (Luke 13:10-17)

    In a world that continues to "bend" women’s lives, we must follow Jesus in claiming that the lives of women are sacred, and that women are invited to be healed and flourish in the presence of the Holy One.

  • Old Testament Ethics

    When one considers how often people invoke biblical teachings in matters of morality, it seems that biblical ethics would be an inviting terrain for scholars to explore. Yet there is a perplexing scarcity of comprehensive, systematic studies of the material.

  • Old Testament Foundations for Peacemaking in the Nuclear Era

    For theological resources regarding nuclear disaster we must turn to the prophets of exile, Ezekial and Deutero-Isaiah, reaffirming with them God’s creation and redemption as universal in scope, and thus repudiating nationalism. Instead, servanthood is an especially hopeful path to shalom.

  • Omniscience and Divine Synchronization

    The author deals with two questions raised by Hartshorne concerning the Whiteheadian understanding of the temporal structure of God. First, whether there is be a cosmic present; and second, the temporal length of the divine present.

  • On a Wild and Windy Mountain (Heb. 11:17)

    No stranger to the ways of the real God, Abraham would know that a mad, disordered, barbaric age needs more than a faith with no claim but that its god can be served without cost.

  • On an Alleged Inconsistency in Whitehead

    John D. Barrow and Frank J. Tipler claim contradictions in two of Whitehead’s works -- The Concept of Nature and Science and the Modern World. The author refutes their contradiction and shows it is only apparent.

  • On Anti-Semitism

    If the anti-Semitic regulations and propaganda are to endure for some years, we may imagine that many weak people will resign themselves to the worst. They will think that, after all, the concentration camps are more comfortable for their neighbors than the Jews say, and finally they will find themselves perfectly able to look at or contribute to the destruction of their friends, with the smile of a clear conscience (life must go on!).

  • On Applying Whitehead’s First Category of Existence

    Dr. Earley is concerned about issues raised by Felt against Wallack’s confounding "ontological" and "epistemological" aspects of actual entities.. "He has failed to clarify how satisfaction of subjective aim is connected with being perceived as a unitary whole."

  • On Behalf of the Unhappy Reader: A Response to Lee F. Werth

    The author examines Lee F. Werth’s critique of Whitehead’s theory of extensive connection. She adds: It’s a serious challenge to the coherence of the philosophy of organism. The attack and the doctrine attacked are so arcane and abstruse as to render them inaccessible and/or uninteresting to all but a few specialists in the philosophical community, with the end result that both are, in practice, passed over."

  • On Being a Survivor (Mark 10:45)

    Should civilization’s survival be our only issue in the nuclear age? As Jesus walked down a road to a place of the skull, survival was definitely not the issue.

  • On Being a Theologian of the Cross

    The "Suffering of God" has become a sentimental platitude that has little to do with the theology of the cross.

  • On Being Alive to the Arts and Religion: Painting

    This essay on art from a religious perspective deals with painting. After a brief account of the history of the church’s ambivalent understanding of art, Trotter proposes a scheme for identifying three types of "religious" art, going beyond subject matter to the effect different paintings have on us. Trotter demonstrates both an appreciation for art in general as well as theological insight on how we can be deeply enriched by our experience of fine art.

  • On Being Alive to the Arts and Religion: Film

    This brief essay evaluates film as an art form. Trotter explores how film developed, then looks at whether film has potential for communicating the Christian faith with integrity in the light of criticisms of such a project. Citing several films, Trotter turns to the three forms of biblical literature to suggest what is important for a film to provide religious content witn integrity.

  • On Being Alive to the Arts and Religion: Music

    Turning to music, Trotter provides a challenge to increased openness to diverse forms and styles of music. He provides careful analysis, following Tillich, of what constitutes "religious" music, then suggests that most believers consider that music to be religious with which they are familiar, in both content and style. Unwillingness to be open to new ways of expressing faith seriously restricts the possibilities of growth in our faith.

  • On Being Both Christian and Religious

    The author examines the distinctions between Christianity and religion.

  • On Being Sideswiped by Edvard Munch

    This piece provides a glimpse of Totter doing what he has discussed in other essays in this book. The occasion was visiting an exhibition of the work of Edvard Munch. Trotter provides a blending of background information with analysis of Munch’s work which provides a model of how a believer goes about "understanding" the work of a particular artist, opening one’s self to enrichment and surprise.

  • On Criticizing Israel

    Most people have little firsthand knowledge of Mideast history. Their sympathies are largely shaped by the media, a weak reed. Directions are given, in ascending order of difficulty, to help readers separate the rabid from the rational variety: 1. Identify the rabid style, and dismiss it. 2. Distrust the provocative literary image. 3. Maintain a sense of reality. 4. Consider the probable source. 5. Determine the critic’s ideology. 6. Suspect the worst.

  • On God’s Case (Luke 11:1-13)

    In Holy conversation with God we make known our needs, we learn to pray for the essential requirements and recognize God’s generous gifts providing our day to day necessities.

  • On Hasker’s Defense of his Parity Claim

    This is one in a series of four articles written in exchange between William Hasker and David Griffin. (See the Problem of Evil in Process Theism and Classical Free-Will Theism by William Hasker; Traditional Free Will Theodicy and Process Theodicy: Hasker’s Claim for Parity; "Bitten to Death by Ducks": A Reply to Griffin; On Hasker’s Defense of his Parity Claim by David Ray Griffin (see Dr. Griffin thinks Hasker’s reaction illustrates that more people need to realize they are not limited to the choice between traditional theism and atheism.

  • On Honesty and Self-deception: ‘You Are the Man’

    Where are the Nathans who will speak to us, even at personal risk, about our failures to be honest with ourselves? Nathan reminds us of who we are before God.

  • On Message

    The author reports on the way media coverage of the "war" is robbing the American public.

  • On Not Living Too Large

    The author contrasts an ancient abbey with its traditions, history and rootedness, to the modern American megachurch without tradition, culture or weighted worship, to an ecological sound, modern, high-tech, all thought out community but where the state church seems of little consequence, yet in this latter place the gospel seemed to make more sense.

  • On On the Vine (John 15:1-8)

    Sometimes it’s necessary for an institution to die in order to live. A wise church that is set in its ways will give up it’s traditions and die that a new generation will re-create it into one that is contemporary.

  • On Popper’s Understanding of Whitehead

    Pilon challenges Karl Popper's criticism of Whitehead’s "wander[ing] off to such questions as the (Platonic) collectivist theory of morality." Pilon suggests that Popper leapt to this conclusion a bit too hastily.

  • On Prehending the Past

    An occasion in its lifetime passes from becoming through being into nothingness. But as it reaches its endpoint and becomes a single unified Feeling (just before it becomes nothing at all) it becomes part of an actual world composed of other occasions which have reached their endpoints simultaneously, relative to the standpoint of the new occasion whose actual world they conjointly form.

  • On Providence and Prayer

    We are not to give up cooperating with God’s redemptive power. With this understanding of providence and prayer, it makes sense to keep on trusting God’s limitless love.

  • On Reading Augustine and on Augustine’s Reading

    Augustine was astonished to see Bishop Ambrose reading silently, and in private. This was a new style. Reading was nothing short of salvific for Augustine. Books had the power to heal and to transform.

  • On Seeking and Finding in the World’s Religions

    Our recognition of the mystery of salvation in men and women of other religious traditions shapes the concrete attitudes with which we Christians must approach them in interreligious dialogue.

  • On Situating Process Philosophy

    The author discusses "process" on the one hand and "process philosophy" on the other. "Process" is a sequentially structured sequence of successive stages or phases whereas "process philosophy" sees processes as central in the ontological scheme of things.

  • On the Devil and Politics

    The sentimental hatred of the evil that is in others may blind one to the evil that one bears in himself and to the gravity of evil in general. The overly facile condemnation of the wicked man on the opposite side may conceal and favor much inward complaisance toward that very wickedness.

  • On the Formation of Ontological Concepts: the Theories of Whitehead and Piaget

    The author compares Piaget’s genetic theory of cognition with Whitehead’s philosophy of organism. He discusses Whitehead’s metaphysical theories versus Piaget’s naturalistic theory, genetic ontology versus genetic epistemology, "organism" versus "thing."

  • On the Third Day: God’s Promise Fulfilled

    Jesus’ followers really did believe that Israel was being renewed through Jesus, and that his resurrection was ordained by Israel’s God, YHWH, marking him the true messiah.

  • On the Unique Origin of Revelation, Religious Intuition, and Theology

    Dr. Faber reflects on the non-metaphysical nature of revelation and also on the possibility of a process-theological notion of genuine revelation.

  • On the Wild Side (Is. 43:16-21)

    Yes, said Isaiah, they were being judged for their sins and the judgment was severe. But that was not God’s ultimate purpose in sending the Babylonians to drag the Hebrews away. The real purpose was to call them to a deeper understanding of the covenant.

  • On Your Mark (Mk 1:1-8, 2 Peter 3:8-15, Is.40:1-11, Ps. 5:1-2, 8-13)

    To be at a beginning is to find that we are not prisoners of the past. We can always begin again.

  • One Plot at a Time (Luke 2:5-19)

    Before the end-times, world problems will multiply. Problems in our times are climactic heralding the predictions of end-times. But Jesus indicated that no one knows when the end will appear.

  • One, Two, or Three Concepts of God in Alfred North Whitehead’s Process and Reality?

    Dr. Hurtubise details several different concepts of God as contained in Whitehead’s Process and Reality. Whitehead had not developed the distinction between a primordial and a consequent nature at an earlier stage. Even earlier, he did conceive God as nothing more than a formative element.

  • Ontological Hermeneutics: An Overlooked Bergsonian Perspective

    The author examines the contributions of Henri Bergson’s theology and claims he is the "father" of process philosophy. Bergson may have uncovered an ontological structure at the heart of any viable process stance.

  • Open Paths (2 Sam. 7:1-11, 16; Lk. 1:47-55; Lk. 1:26-88)

    The annunciation of the good news to Mary makes it clear that she was able to sing her song because she had listened well and said yes to God. We can trust that even in this violent, unjust and despairing world, God’s word of hope is true.

  • Opening Out (Malachi 3:1-4; Luke 1:68-79; Phil. 1:3-11)

    "He must increase but I must decrease." If we had heard nothing else from John’s lips, those seven words would assure us that he was no demagogue trumpeting an agenda of the self. Here is a sure way to assess the claims of anyone professing to have a message for us from God.

  • Openness to the New in Apocalyptic and in Process Theology

    Process thinking needs interaction with the field of imaginative exploration. The process perspective may serve to renew and reshape imaginative possibilities, so that we may refresh our vision of life as dramatic encounter and story.

  • Oprah on a Mission: Dispensing a Gospel of Health and Happiness

    Confession is the signature of Oprah’s TV show. According to Oprah, talk is crucial, even salvific.

  • Ordeal of a Happy Dilettante

    Outler: My conversion to liberalism came in the years of the Great Depression -- at the very time when the first effective critiques of liberal theology were being noticed in this country. It now seems long ago and far away, but that conversion left with me two significant residues that I still cherish: the liberal temper and the social gospel.

  • Order in the Court

    A judge must have humility to seek his primary insights from outside his own moral reasoning: from the text of a constitutional provision, its historical background, the nation’s widely recognized traditions, and the democratic body that passed the law that the judge is reviewing.

  • Ordering the Soul: Augustine's Manifold Legacy

    For Langdon Gilkey, Augustine of Hippo was not just a great classical mind, but a seminal theologian (and philosopher) whose work has influenced much of western thought to the present. His legacy forms the groundwork for many contemporary disciplines including psychology, history, political science, natural science and epistemology, as well as all of Roman Catholic theology.

  • Ordination and the Unity of the Church

    As "ministry" has become increasingly the task of all Christians, Trotter explores why the church ordains ministers, and how this relates to the unity of all Christians. While this seems to be a paradox, we find a case of surprising power for the ordained ministry as a mark of the continuity of the Church. Working from the dilemma in the Old Testament, Trotter points to ordination as a way of ensuring the integrity of the church through time.

  • Organization and Process: Systems Philosophy and Whiteheadian Metaphysics

    The author explores the philosophical visions of Whitehead and Ervin Laszlo, finding similarities and some serious differences. However, they both seem to agree on a pattern of meaningful organization.

  • Original Sin Revisited

    Dr. Suchocki addresses the wavering fortunes of original sin in these past few centuries and explores some of the resources of process, feminist, and black theology for a contemporary development of this doctrine.

  • Our Apostasy in Worship

    If we have been delinquent in the use of God’s Word in our worship, we have been equally careless with God’s sacraments. In worship both conservatives and liberals tend to reshape Scripture in their own images, and both consistently humanize the sacraments.

  • Our Jewish Problem (Genesis 32:22-30; Romans 9:1-5)

    The belief that Christians have "superseded" Israel as the chosen of God -- that we have replaced the Jews as the apple of God’s eye, that we are the singular recipients of God’s election -- has led, in the extreme, to the Holocaust. It has also kept the church from an honest examination of its flawed relationship with God.

  • Our Misfit Children, Young and Old

    Too often churches and church organizations overlook basic truisms: that the human impulse is to achieve; that children, like septuagenarians, respond to need more quickly than to praise; and that do-gooders all too often are egotists seeking applause rather than results.

  • Our Own Silly Faces: C.S. Lewis on Psalms

    If Christians, including C.S. Lewis, are to achieve any real insight into Psalms, several cautions must be observed. They must either know Hebrew or consult with someone who does; they should avoid invidious comparisons, explicit or implied; and they should hold their christological prejudices in abeyance.

  • Our Secularized Civilization

    America is living in a completely secularized civilization which has lost the art of bringing its dominant motives under any kind of moral control.

  • Outlining Rice-Roots Theology

    Liberation theology, although especially provocative, is little known to Western readers. The three continents of South America, Africa and Asia share liberation theology’s public enemy number one: the appalling political, social and economic oppression which has led to extreme human degradation.

  • Overt Language About the Death of God -- In Retrospect

    Dr Altizer is offered the opportunity to review his own book. He enters the game with gusto. Writing in the third person, his criticism is sweeping as he critically reassesses not only this book but several other of his own works as well, yet preserving the arguments.

  • Oxymorons as Theological Symbols

    An existent God must be a limited God – limited by all that is non-God. Our understanding of the Divine is enhanced by our joining the Buddhists in recognizing that words are “fingers that point to the moon.” Oxymorons help us, in the words of St. Augustine, to “see ineffably that which is ineffable,” and in the words of Deutero-Isaiah, to find what we do not seek (Isa. 65:1).

  • Pagels’s Augustine: The Dark Prophet of Grace

    A critique of Elaine Pagels’s Adam, Eve and the Serpent: Pagels’s success will encourage greater recognition of the religious foundations of our civilization, and lead even secularists to face the religious dimensions of their own post-Christian commitments.

  • Pakistan’s Christian Minority

    The author examines evidence of widespread Muslim prejudice against Christians in Pakistan.

  • Pannenberg Jousts with the World Council of Churches

    The idea of Christian unity is too radical for some people. We are tempted to give up on it, not because it has been tried and found to be wanting but because we have found it to be difficult.

  • Pannenberg on Marxism: Insights and Generalizations

    According to Pannenberg, Christians cannot use Marxism as a scientific, sociological tool in the task of understanding the dynamic of oppression in contemporary societies.

  • Panpsychism and Parsimony

    Dr. Shepherd holds that Whiteheadian panpsychism, from the argument of parsimony, is unwarranted, but also that it is actually incompatible with what it seems responsible to take to be facts about a physical world, and should therefore be deemed false.

  • Paraiyars Ellaiyamman as an Iconic Symbol of Collective Resistance and Emancipatory Mythography

    A probing of the religion of the Paraiyars in one community of the Dalits in India. This article is an investigation of the collective experience and voice of the Dalit community.

  • Parallel Conversions: Charismatics and Recovered Alcoholics

    Something happens to the converted alcoholic or the converted charismatic that brings about change, sometimes a quick illumination, but often a rather gradual and increasingly insistent spiritual awakening. The spiritual conversion experienced by both of these groups is intended to carry the individual along in a "new" way of life, and it does for those who stay with it.

  • Parenting and Politics: Giving new Shape to "Family Values"

    A review of The War Against Parents: What We Can Do for America's Beleaguered Moms and Dads,by Sylvia Ann Hewlett and Cornel West. Against liberal claims that it is only economic factors and not fluid family forms that predict child out-comes, they come down firmly against the culture of narcissism and sexual freedom.

  • Parking Lot Palms (Hebrews 5:1-10)

    The early believers grasped on to an image of Jesus as the priest who is in solidarity with humanity at its most vulnerable.

  • Participating in Revelation (I Kg.19:9-18; Rom.9:1-5; Mt.14:22-33)

    An essential part of Christianity is that the truth is not to be found in denying or escaping the arena of natural and historical activity, but within it.

  • Particularity, Pluralism and Commitment

    Lamin Sanneh reviews a new work by Leslie Newbigin in which Newbigin claims the focus on the dichotomy between "knowledge" of so-called objective facts and "belief" in so-called subjective values is a dichotomy that is rationally indefensible. Christianity in particular is a cogent "plausibility structure" in its own right.

  • Party Time (Matt. 22:1-14)

    The author compares the "party" with the golden calf with the parables of the kingdom that describe a great party that God throws for the elect.

  • Paschal Light (Acts 10:34-43; Cor. 15:1-11; Jn. 20:1-18 or Mk. 16:1-8)

    The world that is overcome by darkness and death is itself overcome by the light of Christ.

  • Passing Through Hard Facts: The Poetry of R.S. Thomas

    The poetry of Ronald Stuart Thomas, though deeply religious, can also be disturbing in its starkness. Where Christ has specificity it is at the end of along process of encountering the hard and unnuanced substance of the world’s surrounding.

  • Past Imperfect: History and the Prospect for Liberalism – I

    Does liberal Protestantism -- as a species of thought, faith and social commitment -- have a future? Religious liberalism, thus understood, is doing rather well and does assuredly have a future.

  • Past Imperfect: History and the Prospect for Liberalism -- II

    This is the second portion of a two-part article in which William R. Hutchison affirms the compatibility of a pluralistic society and strongly held convictions. There is "the need for a bolder, more explicit theistic rationale for pluralism as perhaps the greatest unattended need of the moment."

  • Pastor-Parish Relationships

    The author-pastor finds that there are limits in developing personal friends with members of her church. It cannot be the same as personal friends from outside her church.

  • Pastoral Care for Persons with AIDS and for Their Families

    Sound, practical advice to pastors about how to care for persons with AIDS.

  • Pastoral Counseling Comes of Age

    Increasingly, pastoral counseling centers are more like churches than like mental-health clinics. They are extensions of a central function of the church -- the preaching of the Word and administration of the sacraments.

  • Pastoral Learning at Bellevue Hospital

    The author describes the experience of being an assistant chaplain in a New York hospital for mental and physical illnesses.

  • Pastoral Ministry to Gays and Lesbians

    An openly gay pastor challenges those who are straight to consider many of the issues. needs and difficulties of his community, and how much they need the support of the church.

  • Pastors on Purpose

    Review of a book on leadership. Too many congregations are looking for management to solve technical problems rather than looking for leadership that would challenge people’s habits, beliefs and values, then create risk, conflict and instability.

  • Paul Almighty (2 Cor. 12:2-10, Mk. 6:1-13)

    Our prayers will be answered, in God’s own time and God’s own way, and when they are, I hope we won’t brag about it, but rather be humbly grateful and give the glory to God Almighty.

  • Paul and the Law

    Dr. Chancey reviews the theological work of E. P. Sanders: "The Judaism that emerges in his writing is a living, vibrant religion, not the Judaism of empty ritual and oppressive legalism found in many earlier studies."

  • Paul Tillich as Hero: An Interview with Rollo May

    Hannah (Tillich’s wife) leaves the impression Paulus was a prurient person trying to get as many women as possible into bed. This is a distortion of fact and, more seriously, a distortion of his character. Yet people want to hear and see the prurient.

  • Paul Tillich’s Gift of Understanding

    Tillich’s theology revealed a human being involved in a human struggle to understand. It contained a concern with the person of Jesus, encouraged a new look at the church and challenged the preacher during the times when required to preach even when life seemed cruel and sometimes meaningless.

  • Pauline Voices and Presence As Strategic Communication

    Whether one is considering a birthday celebration, civil ceremony, or ecclesiastical liturgy, our capacity for both imagining and assessing ritual processes and performances is weak. If we make performance do as much work for us as it is capable of doing, we not only reach a fuller understanding of our roles as rhetors and rhetoricians but we may also discover a stronger sense of agency.

  • Paying Attention

    When caregivers empty themselves of their own preoccupations in order to be fully present to another, they are, in their own small way, following the example of Christ, who emptied himself of his equality with God in order to participate fully in our human plight.

  • Paying Attention to Youth Culture

    Fashion, entertainment and possessions are identity markers for the youth of our times. Churches need critical perspective on the influence of contemporary media and values of consumer capitalism. The authors of these three works document the pervasiveness of this consumer capitalism and media in defining young peoples' experiences.

  • Peace and Pluralism: The Century 1946-1952

    On October 3, 1949, thirty-eight denominations set out to win as many as possible of the 70 million unchurched people of this country to a living evangelical faith.  Realism soon shattered their plans, and if latter-day celebrators of belligerence, tribalism and hard-headedness disdain some of their goals, this does not mean they have nothing to teach us.

  • Peace and Reconciliation: A Theological Reflection

    Peace and reconciliation are examined from the perspective of an Indian theologian. The author concludes with ten points useful in guiding thinking and discussion about the topic.

  • Penetrating the Darkness (John 1:9-13)

    An Advent meditation in which Goetz explores the abstract and paradoxical account of the advent of Jesus Christ as recorded in the Gospel of John.

  • Pent-Up Power (Jer. 33:14-16, Ps. 25:1-10, 1 Thess. 3:9-13, Lk. 21:25-36.)

    Confinement can bring into being a bursting-out into wide expanses, can send the mind and the heart on journeys toward the most distant horizons.

  • Pentecost for the World (Romans 8:22-27)

    Now that Pentecost has come, the primal divine command to have dominion over creation requires the church to get on with good stewardship of the earth. We do so not to the neglect of the gospel, but because we believe it and act upon it.

  • Pentecostalism‘s Dark Side

    Dr. Olson loves the Pentecostal moement that taught him to love "Jesus and the Bible." Yet he exposes serious instances of its "dark side" and appeals for its maturity.

  • Pentecostals on Motorcycles

    The author reviews a book about a motorcycle gang -- bikers with a pious language easily dismissed as bromides rather than reflections of serious practices.

  • Perception and Causality: Whitehead and Aristotle

    Aristotle took objects to be peculiar to conscious experience and the causal efficacy to be the more general factor lying at the base of consciousness. Whitehead took the subject-object structure as general and fundamental and interpreted causal efficacy in terms of it.

  • Perception and Externality in Whitehead’s "Enquiry"

    The author critiques various points of Whitehead’s Enquiry, yet adjudges Whitehead as contributing some of the most exciting contributions to epistemology.

  • Performance Turns in Homiletics

    "Performance" is a problematic term in discourse about homiletics. Usually equated with narrow applications of theatrical imagery, "performance" is often pejoratively used by homileticians to identify "inauthenticity" in preaching. Performance-centered research has permeated other disciplines of communication and offered conceptual replenishment as well as richer possibilities for dialogue among scholars. The purpose of this essay is to reconstitute the term for homiletics by grounding it in the emergent discipline of "performance studies."

  • Performing Scripture

    In this interview, Nicholas Lash speaks of God along with comments on modalism, tritheism, the "end of religion," Aquinas, Marxism, ecumenism, interpreting scripture, methods of teaching, Joseph Ratzinger and post-Christian culture.

  • Permeating All Things with Divinity:Jesus in Selected Writings of the Teachers of the Early Church i

    For us in the Indian and Asian context, an analysis of the Christological issues and themes which so engaged the teachers of the early church in the second century, as well as the adherents of the Jesus-movement, ought not to be a mere exercise in historical curiosity or because of the allure of antiquarian excavation. All Christians in India - Orthodox, Catholics, Protestants and Pentecostals - have inherited a legacy of God-talk and Christ-imagery.

  • Personal Identity from A to Z

    Hartshorne, in 26 steps, builds up his argument for personal identity. He submits that it is in harmony with Whitehead’s view and in some respects close to historical Buddhism, whether Theravada or Mahayana.

  • Personal Life Inspired by the Spirit: Redefining Virtue

    Kane summarizes his book, Through the Moral Maze: Searching for Absolute Values in a Pluralistic World, M. E. Sharpe Publishers, Armonk N.Y., 1994. (A North Castle Paperback), calling for a stage of consciousness that requires us to develop new kinds of spirituality and new understandings of religion and of ethics and values as well.

  • Persuasion and Discernment: The Gifts of Leadership

    May engages in dialogue with the author of a book on presidential leadership. May agrees with the author on the role of the president as persuader and teacher. But he faults the author for overlooking the communitarian aspects of American life. And he takes the occasion to argue his own exposition of what kind of leadership a democracy requires. He allows for the art of persuasion. But he also asks for wisdom, courage, temperance and public spiritedness.

  • Persuasive and Coercive Power in Process Metaphysics

    The author attempts to clarify some important differences between persuasive power and coercive power as encountered in our daily social experiences, and then see how the differences apply in metaphysical discourse.

  • Petitionary Prayer Reconsidered (Phil. 1:6)

    It is possible to pray for success in achieving such goals as weight reduction without being blasphemous as long as one understands the appropriate context of prayer. If we are prudent, we will never ask God to do anything for us unless we are prepared to pay the price in our own blood, toil, tears or sweat.

  • Peyote, Wine and the First Amendment

    Oregon’s disapproval of peyote use, even under controlled conditions, does not provide a compelling reason to forbid a religious ritual.

  • Pharisees Are Us (Mark 7:1-8, 21-23)

    The only person who has ever been truly free of a messiah complex was the Messiah.

  • Philosophical Growth, Future Subjectivity, and David Pailin

    Lewis Ford critiques Transforming Process Theism by David Pailin. Ford discusses some Whiteheadian concepts that to Pailin seem contradictions. Also discussed is the question: Is the notion of a future subjectivity credible?

  • Philosophy After Hartshorne

    The author gives references to many tributes paid to Hartshorne: The theistic metaphysics of Hartshorne along with Whitehead is one of the great intellectual contributions of the twentieth century.

  • Philosophy and Classical Determinism

    In two separate sections, Drs. Capek and Stearns agree and critique each other on their views of determinism as held by contemporary process philosophy. Is time as understood by process thought incompatible with causal determinism?

  • Physicalism and Panexperientialism: Response to David Ray Griffin

    Kim responds to Griffin’s article, Materialist and Panexperientialist Physicalism: A Critique of Jaegwon Kim’s Supervienience and Mind. (See his article in Kim wrote his material over a long period of time, so much of his thought have changed. Hence, he does not so much answer as discuss ideas from Dr. Griffin’s comments.

  • Physics and Faith: The Luminous Web

    The author describes the changes that took place in her experience of God when she became aware of the insights of quantum physics.

  • Pick it up, Read it. (Ps. 121;Gen. 12:1-4a; Rom. 4:1-5,13-17; John 3:1-l7)

    The meaning of conversion, with the encounter between Jesus and Nicodemus as case study.

  • Picturing a Vanishing (Luke 24:28-31)

    We are so shaped by modern skepticism that we may even be tempted to doubt the certainty of our own experience of Christ when he cannot be produced on command in a narrowly positivistic or rationalistic manner.

  • Pietists and Contextualists: The Indian Situation

    The author reports on a visit to India, in which he observed that Christianity is being contextualized in ways both unexpected and not of great interest to traditional theologians.

  • Piety and Preparation for New Life (Am.5:18-24; I Th.4:13-18; Mt. 25:1-13.)

    The church at large is not heeding the gravity of the message of the prophets. It cloaks itself in comfort, ignoring the politics of poverty, racism, sexism and homophobia that spreads oppression in the world like a fire out of control. The church thinks its task is to steep itself in spiritual exercises that have nothing to do with justice and righteousness in the world.

  • Piety, Commercialism, Activism: The Uses of Mother's Day

    The origin of Mother’s Day and its past, present, and future role in local churches.

  • Pious Materialism: How Americans View Faith and Money

    Wuthnow concludes, from his three-year research into how Americans view faith and money, that although there is much lip service to decrying the
    overemphasis on money and materialism, in practice mammon is winning out over God, and the churches are silent for the most part on stewardship issues.

  • Pivotal Leadership

    If a Christian congregation is faithful and effective it will make a difference. What does such a congregation look like?

  • Placing Blame in a Religious State

    The Talmud demands a higher standard that one’s merely absolving oneself of direct responsibility. Thus citizens of Israel take their politics seriously though most of the population is made up of nonobservant Jews. But even these people are willing to take note of the writings of Deuteronomy and the Talmud.

  • Plain Living: The Search for Simplicity

    The author introduces the reader to four people who have significant roles in what they call "the simplicity movement."

  • Planning ahead: The Enduring Appeal of Prophecy Belief

    The author reviews a study of what he calls "prophecy belief," which is traced to its origins in Darbyite theology, sketched in outline, and described in terms of contemporary American church life.

  • Plato as Dipolar Theist

    Plato was in possession of two theisms, one of absolute fixity, the other of absolute mobility. The author proposes the possibility that the two Platonic theisms coalesce as complementary into One. Thus Plato can be understood as at least a prophetic quasi-dipolar theist although this is probably not possible until the process thinking of current times.

  • Plato was Wrong (Jn. 1-1-9, 10-18)

    We know God is out there because the Logos became flesh. Now we’ve seen him; now we know.

  • Playboy's Doctrine of Male

    It is precisely because these magazines are anti-sexual that they deserve the most searching kind of theological criticism. They foster a heretical doctrine of man, one at radical variance with the biblical view. For Playboy’s man, others—especially women—are for him. They are his leisure accessories, his playthings. For the Bible, man only becomes fully man by being for the other.

  • Playing at Life: Robert Coover and His Fiction

    Coover suggests that we live in an essentially random universe and that whatever order may be derived says, more about the creative and imaginative faculties of men and women than about the world itself. In his latest book, Coover debunks America’s patriotic fervor and its quasi-religious sense of destiny.

  • Pledging Allegiance (Matt. 22:15-22)

    Blessing and sacrifice are closely linked in Christian living.

  • Pluralism and Consensus: Why Mainline Church Mission Budgets Are in Trouble

    The ‘unified’ approach to missions promoted by national church bureaucracies is collapsing because of the failure to take full account of the fact that churches are voluntary organizations. A genuine pluralism, with a variety of activities freely supported by a variety of constituencies, held together not by political victories but by mutual acceptance, must be the direction of the future.

  • Poetry of Religion on Broadway: ‘The Elephant Man’

    This play, with its pressing enigma of mercy and justice, has at its quiet dramatic center the story of an overwhelming need for faith in the face of malignant nature and one-dimensional culture.

  • Points of Contact Between Process Theology and Liberation Theology in Matters of Faith and Justice

    The points of contact between process thought and liberation theology. Collaborative and complementary work by process theologians and liberation theologians can contribute to the realization of South American Indian social justice.

  • Political Activism, Mainline Style

    Occupying the middle of the spectrum, mainline believers can bridge the gap between secular liberals on the one side, who share their politics but not their faith, and caring but conservative religious believers on the other, who share their faith but not their politics.

  • Political Economy and the Economization of Politics

    While economic considerations dominate the political sphere, it should not be applied to the real world in which markets are only one part of the whole of social life. For most people, there are other goals in life besides acquiring goods and services. Values cannot be identified simply with what is desired, and society cannot accept the market alone as the basis for deciding which desires should be fulfilled. The economization of politics is extremely damaging to human society and the natural world, and if the process continues, it will be disastrous.

  • Political Theology on the Right and Left

    Clergy have distinct social theologies. But how much of their views get passed on to their congregations? The Bully Pulpit provides and imaginative and persuasive account of white Protestant clergy and of how theological and political orientations are intertwined

  • Politically Feeble Churches and the Strategic Imperative

    Some forebears in the faith spent an uncommon amount of time in encounters with political leaders. In our time, we have a duty to maximize our effectiveness in influencing governmental decision-making. Ultimately the coming of God's Kingdom is in some way related to our sociopolitical achievements.

  • Politics and the Darkness of Lying

    Lying is wrong because it violates our covenant with God, a covenant that sustains us in our human frailty.

  • Politics and the Elderly: Toward a Sharing of Resources

    It is not right for the elderly to take resources for themselves in a way that discriminates against their grandchildren.

  • Pop Pulpits

    The author challenges us to think bigger, to make worship more participator, less like television and movies and more like taking part in dance or drama, making something worshipful and offering it to God.

  • Pope Pius XII and the Nazis

    The author reviews two books about Pope Pius XII. One is quite critical of the so called "Nazi" pope, the other strongly defense. There is no middle ground between the two authors. Both volumes are part of the current struggle over the possible beatification and canonization of Pius XII.

  • Pornography: An Agenda for the Churches

    If churches are to deal responsibly with pornography, they must also affirm healthy human sexuality. We in the churches especially need to concentrate upon disentangling sex and sexual violence from each other. Though its primary harms may be to women and children, pornography affects all of us, for it makes serious statements about our world and human life.

  • Postconservative Evangelicals Greet the Postmodern Age

    To the post-conservative evangelicals, liberalism and conservatism are both unfruitfully obsessed with "the modern mind." For post-conservatives, God is not an equal-opportunity savior, but he never leaves himself without a witness in nature and culture. The post-conservatives are critical of their conservative colleagues' fascination with "epistemological certainty" and "theological systems."

  • Postliterate Humanity

    Dr Hamrick relates process thought to issues unknown in Whitehead’s day, such as those revolving around the crisis schools face in competing with the information environment in an electronic age.

  • Power and Delight (Jn. 1:43-51; I Sam. 3:1-10)

    Voices from all sides beckon us, but amidst all the noise of competing authorities, the voice of the Lord breaks the heavens open to deliver a word of love.

  • Power Outage

    Jesus had power and he gave it away, which may finally be the most powerful and faithful exercise of power.

  • Power Point (Ephesians 1:15-23)

    The popular view of the ascension should be changed. If the ascension is understood as not about a direction but instead about the place Jesus occupies in creation and in our hearts, it becomes a powerful counter to the economic and political powers of our day.

  • Power Source (2 Corinthians 12:2-10)

    We may experience great religious heights, but it’s the valleys and deserts that tend to draw us nearest to God.

  • PowerPointless

    Microsoft’s PowerPoint used on the big screen in worship, overpowers the worshiper with its content that disrupts and trivializes the center of worship.

  • Practical Help for Afghans

    Microlending is a practical way to help the poor world-wide, at low cost and with significant results.

  • Practical Theology for Creative Ministry

    Neither academic theology nor popular Christian thinking typically deal with the most urgent issues facing humanity and the world.   Because of the remoteness of the academic discussion from the pressing concerns within the church, the church has in fact looked elsewhere for solutions to its problems. Thus we must reflect about what it means to think and act as Christians.  The author looks at how could we can do this in the church.

  • Practical Theology: What Will It Become

    The dream is that the old divisions in ministerial studies, with their clerical emphasis and their specialized disciplines such as Christian education, will dissolve, and that a field of practical theology made up of people with broad theological knowledge and a deep, holistic understanding of each dimension -- as well as a focused concern for one dimension -- will emerge.

  • Practicing Fidelity (Ps. 80:1-7; Is 7:10-17; Rom 1:1-7; Matt. 1:18-25)

    Times of silence of questioning are the prelude to new works of God in our lives.

  • Practicing Liberation in the Black Church

    The black church needs a practical theology that can help liberate it from social, political, and economic oppression.

  • Praising the Triune God: Beyond Gender?

    If we were to empty the term "Father" of human experience, we might as well call God some nonsense term and fill it with any meaning we choose.

  • Pray as You Can (Rom. 8:26-39; Matt. 13:31-33, 44-52)

    The Rev. Rachel Srubas confesses she does not know fully how to pray as she ought. She trusts that the Spirit, who deeply sighs where words leave off, intercedes for her -- and for us, and for "all creation." And that is enough.

  • Prayed Politics

    We are a people both summoned and sent. We are summoned before God to be judged and forgiven through confession and pardon. Then, nourished by Scripture and edified by preaching, we are sent again into the spheres of our public responsibility.

  • Prayer for Christian Unity (Ephesians 1: 9-10)

    From the foundation of the world, God had a plan and purpose for his creation. It was kept secret, but now he was pleased to reveal it to us in Jesus Christ. It is about the unity of all things.

  • Prayer from Gethsemane (Mk. 14:36)

    Who is Jesus? He is God become man. How can we say so radical a thing? It is because through his humanity, we are able to see the fullness of his majesty -- a majesty so sure that it can serve and die and still be the source of life.

  • Prayer, Metaphysics and an Eskimo Named Nuckkerweener

    How does prayer work? To ask such a question is to plunge us into the murky waters not of physics but of metaphysics -- and no one has bothered much with that topic for years. Whether or not I can prove prayer’s effects, I said a prayer for "Nuckkerweener" anyway.

  • Preaching and Teaching in the Early Church

    An historical investigation aimed at resolving the tension between the religious and ethical aspects of the Christian faith as preached and taught in the early church.

  • Preaching as a Communicative Act:  the Birth of a Performance

    As a Communication Act: The Birth of a Performance, by Richard F. Ward
    Performance is a resource for homiletics because it addresses this problem of integrating language, sound and movement in an oral, interpretive act in human communication. The author illustrates.

  • Preaching as One-Way Communication: An Interview with Gabe Campbell

    Most preaching is still one-way communication, despite all the talk about dialogue sermons; yet Protestantism becomes feeble whenever the laity become passive. Christian communication must always be two-way. The mainline churches are going to have their turn on the electronic stage as two-way communication becomes increasingly possible on radio and TV.

  • Preaching as Subversive Activity

    The greatest power of preaching is when it becomes a subversive language event and announces in familiar context of secular language something that is utterly hidden: the fugitive God of the Christian tradition. When this event occurs, the fragmenting, destructive power of inauthentic language is smashed and subverted.

  • Preaching Lawfully

    Whether we understand lawfully to mean according to the rules (2 Tim 2:5), or in line with the character of biblical law, those who preach must model sound preaching from the law.

  • Preaching on Ethical Issues

    One of the marks of a healthy conscience is an awareness of one's own limitations, a desire to test one's beliefs in a larger arena, to draw from the best that a religious tradition has to offer, to feel that one is not isolated and alone in the face of great moral perplexities. How will preachers respond to this hunger for guidance? The preacher may deliver a single message, but its meanings and implications will vary widely among the members of the congregation. The authors describe the contexts for preaching on ethical issues, and provide a case study.

  • Preaching to Deaf Ears (Ezek. 2:1-5)

    How is what you say shaped by whether or not you are heard or valued in the hearing?

  • Pregnancy and Childbirth: A Theological Event

    Pregnancy and birth can be a faithing experience, one that makes women aware of what they hold in common with the greater human family. Childbirth and pregnancy confront us with the Otherness we so easily explain away in other situations. It causes us to examine who we are as unique human individuals, and it shows us how we are like God.

  • Prehending God in and through the World

    The author’s goal is to make sense of the reality which is bigger than we are and of utmost importance for the health of our body and mind.

  • Prehension

    Dr. Cobb criticizes three positions -- materialism, Humean empiricism, and Kantian dualism -- and considers a fourth -- nonmaterialist naturalism -- with which he identifies Whitehead. He then clarifies one of Whitehead's key concepts: "prehension", that is, the way in which one momentary experience incorporates or takes account of earlier such moments, and considers its implications for process theology and the ecological movement.

  • Prepare The Way of the Lord (Isaiah 40: 1-11, Mark: 1:1-8)

    Awaiting with expectation and preparing to receive the Lord are two important aspects of the Advent season. We must prepare a straight path for the Lord, removing all obstacles which stand in the Lord’s way preventing him from coming. All the crooked ways in our life, in the life of our society need to be straightened out. Every mountain and hill should be brought low and every valley be lifted up.

  • Pressed into Service (2 Corinthians 8:7-15)

    Perhaps there are times when we need to be more aggressive than merely asking Christians to give. Sometimes a bit of Paul’s persuasiveness is needed.

  • Pressure on the Hyphen: Aspects of the Search for Identity Today in Indian-Christian Theology

    The question of identity is not something static and backward looking, but is a dynamic reality, where the context demands that answers be given and positions be taken regarding who Indian-Christians are. The power of the hyphen in Indian-Christian existence resides in its ability to reconstruct and reconceive. The challenge before us is to navigate the hyphen and be prepared to explore our varied histories.

  • Private Threats to Free Expression

    Television is taking over the traditional role of teacher and preacher in our culture, while at the same time becoming controlled by a few who limit the points of view. We need to extend First Amendment guarantees of free speech and free exercise of religion to the broadcast media.

  • Pro-Family Public Policy: Creating a Just Society

    We need a national vision that unifies the many and complex issues facing families, that understands that human need always exists in the context of relationship.

  • Probing Scripture: The New Biblical Critics

    If anything ties together the various strands of new approaches to biblical interpretation, it is a concern for the relationship of language, meaning and power.

  • Probing the Idea of Nature

    Nature is the complexity of any order, any of the innumerable orders, the complexity of any complexes, the ordinality of any order, the ordinality that limits each complex, the complexity that pluralizes each order.

  • Probing the Jewish-Christian Reality

    Christian theology has been wrong about Israel, the people of God, and therefore to that extent wrong about the God of Israel, wrong about the God and Father of Jesus Christ. The Jewish faith does not give an "indirect witness to Jesus Christ," but a fully historical living tradition, constituting a quite direct witness to the God of Israel.

  • Process and Generality

    The author does not believe that Whitehead’s "creativity" best serves as the concept of ultimate or final generality.

  • Process and Religion: The History of a Tradition at Chicago

    Process inquiry must continually be nudged toward a broader understanding of its traditions, so that it is not identified simply with one particular system. If it is to follow a genuinely organismic -- not atomistic -- model of inquiry, it must campaign against limited rationalisms and against limiting specializationalism.

  • Process and Revolution: Hegel, Whitehead, and Liberation Theology

    Dr. Lakeland compares the respective potentials of the thought of Hegel and Whitehead as philosophical support for the theology of liberation.

  • Process Philosophy and the Educational Canon

    The evidence showing the failure of the American educational system to teach its young people what they need to know is said by the canonicists to be the result of the fragmentation and the collapse of any distinction between essential and unessential materials. An educational canon, properly understood, marries modernists and post-modernists.

  • Process Philosophy and Trinitarian Theology

    The author brings together three unlikely German theologians whose notion of process is probably more Hegelian than Whiteheadian. Moltmann, Mühlen and Jüngel insist that three divine persons are intimately involved in Jesus’ passion, death, and resurrection. In and through Jesus the divine life is fulfilled in creation, and creation (above all, human history) is taken up into the ongoing life of God.

  • Process Psychotherapy

    Dr. Cobb introduces a series of three articles on psychotherapy: Critiquing Codependence Theory and Reimaging Psychotherapy: A Process -- Relational Exploration by Mary Elizabeth Moore; The Clinical Use of Whitehead’s Anthropology by David E. Roy; Process Relational Psychotherapy: Creatively transforming relationships by Robert Brizee. These articles can be found at

  • Process Relational Psychotherapy: Creatively Transforming Relationships

    The author presents the disciplines of philosophy, theology, and psychology as he experiences counseling through the perspective of process thought.

  • Process Social Philosophy: The Continuing Conversation

    The articles in Volume 15, Number 1 of Process Studies comprise a special issue devoted to social philosophy. The authors have significant differences between them, but they share a broad concern from a Whiteheadian perspective. They all grapple with two great conundrums: 1. The problem of the one and the many. 2. The problem of justice.

  • Process Theism Versus Free-Will Theism: A Response To Griffin

    Dr. Basinger discusses the problem of evil from three perspectives: 1. Theological determinism; 2. Free-will theism; 3. Process theology.

  • Process Theodicy and the Concept of Power

    Whitehead probably believed that no being is omnipotent. Thus the question: is there logical conflict between the statements "God exists" and "evil exists"?

  • Process Theology

    An outline of Process Theology, written by one of its creators.

  • Process Theology and Black Liberation: Testing the Whiteheadian Metaphysical Foundations

    Young believes that Whitehead’s conception of god is supportive of liberation struggles because it takes contextualization seriously by making God responsive to actual conditions of the world without resort to divine coercion.

  • Process Theology and God as Parent

    The experience of parenthood can serve to confirm the process theologians’ concepts as to the nature of God. There are limits to the concept of God as Parent, but God as parent has memory qualitatvely superior to ours, for it alone includes all time, all history, all experience. It is that memory which ascribes permanence and value to all of creation.

  • Process Theology and the Bible: How Science Has Changed Our View of God

    Dr. Cobb lends processes theological concepts to those who systematize the teaching of the Bible, to those who consider contemporary thought as normative and access the Bible in that context, to those who give simplistic traditional understanding of the Bible, and to those searching the perplexities and mysteries of quantum thought.

  • Process Theology as Empirical, Rational, and Speculative: Some Reflections on Method

    Griffin suggests that in order for Christian theology to do its job it must be totally empirical and totally rational, but also speculative, since speculation has always been inherent to Christian theology.

  • Process Theology: Guardian of the Oppressor or Goad to the Oppressed

    The author assesses process thought from a liberation theology perspective, challenging the claim by process theologians that process and liberation thought are compatible.

  • Process Thought and the Liberation of Homosexuals

    Process Theology suggests that in some ways God is immutable and absolute, while in other ways he is changeable and relative. In the case of homosexuality, although wrong in biblical times when population growth was important, the situation today has changed, and any insistence in the need for reproduction is not now advantageous or propitious. The process model of theology offers a valid, creative method of scriptural interpretation.

  • Process Thought and the Spaciness of Mind

    Dr. Edwards rejects the doctrine of the external imperceptibility of mind. There is no enduring essences of mindless spatiality or spaceless mentality.

  • Process Thought as Conceptual Framework

    The author explains the epistemological standpoint underlying his interest in process thought.

  • Process Thought From a European Perspective 1

    What is needed in this time of anti-metaphysical thinking is an outlook on reality which allows us to see the interconnectedness of our different concerns. The great danger threatening the world is to try to solve problems in isolation.

  • Process Thought On the Borders Between Hermeneutics and Theology

    Dr. Beardslee focuses on how a Whiteheadian perspective can bring into fruitful relation the Christian hope for the transformation of social structures and the Buddhist aim of detachment which frees us from suffering.

  • Process Thought: Its Value and Meaning to Me

    As a biologist who was presented with a mechanistic, substance image of reality, the author found that process theology lifted the richness of human experience to a level that gave him a new perspective of care for all creation. The world became more like a life than a mechanism, a feeling through and through, from protons to people.

  • Process, Creativity, and Technology: Reflections on The Uncertain Phoenix

    Dr. Limper discusses the concepts of David L. Hall’s book The Uncertain Phoenix and others of his writings, summarizing Hall’s main ideas relating to technology and technological society. He then offers a critique of a number of those ideas and of some related aspects of Hall’s thought, including his use of certain process concepts.

  • Process, Time, and God

    Whitehead has two types of process, and the understanding of the difference between these and their relationship to time is essential to understanding his conception of God.

  • Process-Relational Christian Soteriology: A Response to Wheeler

    The author responds to David Wheeler's "Toward a Process-Relational Christian Soteriology." What Wheeler says about the relationship between evangelical thought and Whiteheadian process seems uncertain. There are greater differences between these approaches than Wheeler realizes.

  • Processing Towards Life

    Subjective aspects of life such as consciousness, purpose and free will are either ignored or else attempts are made to reduce the subjective to the objective. The author suggests the laws of self organization help explain the sources of order in cosmic evolution including the origin of life.

  • Proclaiming Jubilee--For Whom?

    The author argues that simply forgiving the debts of Third World countries may be healing the wounds of their peoples too lightly--and just putting money in the hands of corrupt elites.

  • Prodded to Life (Is. 11:1-10; Ps. 72:1-7, 18-19; Rom. 15:4-13; Matt. 3:1-12)

    Current articles and subscriptions information can be found at This material was prepared for Religion Online by Ted and Winnie Brock.

  • Profit and Loss (Amos 8:4-7; Luke 16:1-13)

    Jesus teaches that those who are faithful in little are faithful in much, and those who are dishonest with earthly resources will be untrustworthy with more significant responsibilities. The small details matter.

  • Progeny of Programmers: Evangelical Religion and the Television Age

    More and more people who would otherwise have belonged to liberal, mainline churches are going to be “born again” out of television’s experiential womb. I see nothing that the liberal churches can do to stop it or change the evangelicals to become more like liberals.

  • Progress and ‘Relapse’: The Century and World War I

    This is the second in a series of articles on the 100th anniversary of The Christian Century examining particular eras in the life of the magazine. In spite of its extensive support for the World War I effort, the Century did not exhibit an uncritical jingoism.

  • Progress Toward an Open Church

    The author describes some practical aspects of helping a local church become truly "open."

  • Progressive Faith vs. the Illusion of Control

    When some law, whether from Moses or from some Leviticus priest, is unjust or oppressive to a minority, it has to be ignored or changed. That is what Jesus did, and he put his life on the line for it. And that is what the church that follows Jesus must do.

  • Promise Keeper (Genesis 18:1-15)

    Stock analysts were endorsing corporations even though they knew that the corporations would soon crumble into bankruptcy. Who can you trust? We can trust God. Our confidence rests in knowing that the promises God makes to us are connected to God’s presence with us.

  • Proof of God (Matt. 17:1-9; 2 Peter 1:16-21; Ex. 24:12-18)

    Music can inspire glimpses of glory, the proof of the existence of God. The author gives illustrations of how music can make this happen.

  • Property Rights

    A review of three books on Israel and Palestine. The reviewer fears that in the long run some 16 million Jews will not be able to withstand a Muslim tidal wave.

  • Prophecy in the Progressive Church

    The author lists seven characteristics of prophecy in a progressive church.

  • Prophetic Inquiry and the Danforth Study

    Ten years after its publication, Underwood’s study still has an essential vision that is painfully appropriate for achieving a holistic concept of ministry in the decade ahead. The only effective witness for the unity and catholicity we seek is that given by a Christian community which itself is overcoming its divisions and parochial mentality.

  • Prophets and Politics

    Walter Lippmann in The Public Philosophy grapples with an issue that has long concerned Reinhold Niebuhr in lectures and writings, namely, the problem of a relevant political ethic. There are, Mr. Lippmann argues, two realms that earlier and wiser philosophers and theologians described as the kingdom of God and the kingdom of man. The one is the realm of the spirit; the other is a realm of immediate, particular, and ambiguous events.

  • Protest March (Mk 11:1-11)

    Before the empty tomb, the disciples did not comprehend the words of Jesus, but rather were divisive in competition for seats of favor in the coming kingdom. But thereafter, they remembered and they understood, they regrouped and were faithful in continuing the work of Jesus, even in the face of opposition as strong as any Jesus himself had to endure.

  • Protestant Liberalism Reaffirmed

    Protestant liberalism is not infallible, but what are the alternatives: They are in recent times to retreat behind a revelation claim (neo-orthodoxy), to deny the reality of God (death of God), to dwell on one important yet narrow aspect of the struggle for justice (liberation), or to recite stories. Protestant liberalism opposes these alternatives.

  • Protestantism and the Quest for Certainty

    Religious institutions built on modern skepticism will be fragile, but they can show remarkable vitality.

  • Protestants and Marian Devotion -- What about Mary?

    This article appeared in The Christian Century, December 14, 2004, pp. 28-32. Copyright by the Christian Century Foundation; used by permission. Current articles and subscriptions information can be found at This material was prepared for Religion Online by Ted and Winnie Brock.

  • Protestants, Jews and the Law

    The richness of Judaism’s “sacramental” sensibilities, its wealth of ritual practices and its appreciation of religious action, may offer Protestantism some insights for resisting the divergent tendencies of American culture to encapsulate religion in feeling and inwardness on the one hand, or to package religion as for telemarketing (rationalizing even the inner life) on the other.

  • Proud to be Humble

    Christians must never be taken in by worldly attacks on humility -- not only for our souls’ sakes, but for the sake of the world itself. A prideful Christian is perhaps the world’s most dangerous citizen.

  • Provocations on the Church and the Arts

    We must somehow become less frenetic in activity and more dedicated to reflection. Maybe we should write less and ponder more, travel less and reflect more, say fewer things but better things. There is so little of this in the church today.

  • Provoked to Repentance (Eph. 2:1-10; Jn. 3:14-21)

    Belief in the saving and redeeming work of Jesus Christ, in his incarnation and his teaching, guiding and redemptive ministries is the sine qua non of salvation.

  • Psychiatry and Pastoral Counseling

    In this account of his experience as a counselor to a rap group of veterans affiliated with Vietnam Veterans Against the War, Lifton has given us a remarkably penetrating and sensitive psychohistorical study of these young men’s inner experience of the tenor and purposelessness of that war.

  • Psychoanalyzing C.S.Lewis

    One of the most striking qualities in all of C.S. Lewis’s writing is that he makes his readers want to read what he has read. Moreover, with respect not only to literary criticism but to all his writing -- Lewis’s conversion to Christianity released in him a literary flow which only ceased with death.

  • Psychological Physiology From the Standpoint of a Physiological Psychologist

    The author’s concern is how mind and body are related and how research in neurobehavior is influenced by process cosmology.

  • Psychology as a Tool to Interpret the Text

    There are at least three questions to ask those who would use psychological models to interpret the biblical text: What is wrong with the old ways? How can psychology add to our insights? Why are some people so resistant to such attempts?

  • Public Religion, Through Thick and Thin

    The author reviews a book by Martin E. Marty. "….the goal of the conversation is to help people envision and practice ways…..for good intentions to be true to themselves, their faith, their causes -- and do little damage to others along the way." His book reminds us that in public life difficult decisions must be made.

  • Public Versus Private Schools: A Divisive Issue for the 1980s

    The various denominations will not agree on the response to what may be the most divisive social-action issue of the coming decade. This struggle will split long-established Protestant alliances and will be another blow to Protestant-Catholic cooperation on issue-centered ministries.

  • Pulpit Play

    Barbara Brown Taylor reviews a book on preaching by Robert C. Dykstra: This is a brave book, in which Dykstra does what he counsels others to do. He dives deep into the human psyche (which is to say, the human soul) to discover powerful and therefore dangerous resources for faithful transformation.

  • Pulpit Supply

    Small churches with part-time pastors should be embraced for their special gifts and the contributions they make to the vitality of the denomination. For denominations to discount congregations on the basis of size and physical resources may be to discount their own future.

  • Punctured

    He who is coming will not preside over us. He will teach us how to make peace from within and to learn how to make it possible, so that we will be saved from our own self-destruction.

  • Purposive Organization: Whitehead and Kant

    Kant’s mature thought tests Whitehead’s insistence that experience and rationality represent a high degree of specialization and abstraction.

  • Pym’s Cup

    The author details Barbara Pym’s work as a gentle satire of the quirks and concerns of Anglican life. Readers who have spent their share of time hanging around churches -- even non-Anglican, American ones -- will find something familiar in Pym’s truthful fictions.

  • Quality Time

    A review of Receiving the Day: Christian Practices for Opening the Gift of Time, by Dorothy Bass.

  • Quantum Mechanics, Local Causality, and Process Philosophy

    The author deals with Whitehead’s proposed theory of reality that provides a natural ontological basis for quantum theory. The basic elements of his theory are events that actualize, or bring into existence, certain definite relationships from among a realm of possibilities or potentialities inhering in the set of prior events.

  • Questions on Abortion and the Struggle Against Tyranny

    This article questions the commonly held assumption that the pro-choice and pro-life camps inhabit completely different philosophical and moral worlds. Both sides see themselves as struggling against tyranny. The two camps diverge by maintaining differing intellectual conceptions of the tyranny against which they are fighting.

  • R.G.Collingwood and A.N. Whitehead on Metaphysics, History, and Cosmology

    Dr. Vanheeswijck compares the metaphysics of R.G. Collingwood and Whitehead and shows the evolution of Collingwood’s thought. In essence, Collingwood’s metaphysics is historical, while Whitehead’s is cosmological.

  • Rabbit Runs Down

    Rabbit Angstrom is one of us: the average sensual man, the American Adam, the carnally minded creature whom our moralistic religion and politics cannot encompass.

  • Race Still Matters: An Interview with Timothy Tyson

    Legal segregation is dead, yet America is more segregated in some respects now than a century ago. We need redemption, but we too easily put a redemptive spin on history. We don’t do ourselves any favors by producing a false historical narrative.

  • Rachel Weeping (Matthew 2:13-23)

    In the midst of our celebrations we also listen to Rachel’s lament because today her children and her neighbors’ children are still dying with their hands on each other’s throats in blind rage over disagreements as old as her own jealousy of Leah.

  • Racism, Reparations and Accountability Payback?

    While proponents of reparations for blacks present their case in the clear-cut language of a legal claim for damages, the issue is really political and moral, and this sets certain limitations.

  • Radha in the Erotic Play of the Universe

    This essay examines the crossing of forbidden boundaries, which is central to an adequate understanding of Radha bhakti: the transgression of moral and legal limits in the illicit relationship of Radha and Krisna. In the intimacy of the bhakti relationship the male bhakta, by experiencing himself as female partner, violates his primal sexual demarcation as a male. The author explores these elements and possible points of contact with elements in Christian tradition and experience, raising questions about religious language: reality, analogy and metaphor.

  • Radical Islamic Anthropology: Key to Christian Theologizing in the Context of Islam

    The conflict between Christians and Muslims is historic in that it goes back to the times of Muhammad with the Christians of his time. The nature of the conflict unlike in the case of the Jews-Muslim conflict was not political but dogmatic. It concerned the nature of God.

  • Radical Middle

    Matthew Miller, in the book reviewed, thinks it possible to bring thoughtful Democrats and Republicans together to work out the intricate set of compromises that would provide and pay for the large-scale programs that are both needed and possible.

  • Radical Relatedness and Feminist Separatism

    The author examine how Whiteheadian philosophy might complement radical feminism.

  • Radical, Orthodox

    The author reviews three books by John Milbank who calls his theme "Radical Orthodoxy." At the heart of Milbank’s work is the premise that modernity has ended and with it all systems of truth based on universal reason. He sees it as the opportunity for Christian theology to reclaim its own voice.

  • Raimundo Panikkar: Pluralism Without Relativism

    According to the author, theologian Raimundo Panikkar addresses himself to issues of cultural and religious diversity "in a refreshingly tough-minded way" -- a way that affirms pluralism without attenuating the particularities of Christian faith.

  • Raising Children in a Consumer Culture

    The author reviews how three different authors, each with a different perspective on the hold that the consumer society has over kids.

  • Rare Sightings (Is. 42:1-9; Psalm 29; Acts 10:34-43; Matt. 3:13-17)

    The writer shares an epiphany experience.

  • Rationality, Contributionism, and the Value of Love: Hartshorne on Abortion

    Charles Hartshorne believed that no other person and certainly no governmental body should dictate a woman’s decision about abortion. His theory of contributionism holds that the ultimate value of human life is in the contribution it makes to God.

  • Rauschenbusch Today: The Legacy of a Loving Prophet

    The thought of Walter Rauschenbusch in the light of the new biography by Paul Minus.

  • Rauschenbusch's Christianity and the Social Crisis

    Rauschenbusch’s encounter with urban poverty and the tragedies of it’s effects on children led him to reshape modern Christianity with his insights into the social gospel. He believed that the radical core of the social gospel was that though the kingdom of God may not be here and will probably never be totally here, it is always coming.

  • Re-Reading Science and the Modern World

    Dr. Cobb honors Dr. Ford for his independent metaphysical reflections and that he made clear his interest was not merely the scholarly study of particular texts but the solution of basic philosophical problems.

  • Re-reading Tribal and Dalit Conversion Movements: The Case of the Malayarayans and Pulayas of Kerala

    In the nineteenth century, the Indian "Tribals", such as the Malayarayans and Pulayas of Kerala, were called upon to face radical change. Issues related to preservation of their identity and space on the one hand, and dealing with the new world-view on the other, were vital to their sustained and meaningful continuance.

  • Re-Visioning Christianity: The Christian Life

    Jesus is, for Christians, the decisive disclosure of God, but not "the only one." If we see in Jesus as a model of the Christian life, what does such a life look like? How we see these issues will indicate how we will live our lives.

  • Reading Acts (Acts 2:42-47)

    They held all things in common. Despite the fear of being called communist, the reality is, that’s what they did—they shared all things in common. It was as radical as that.

  • Reading Islam

    Professor Kimball lays out the basics of Islam:, including the Qur’an, Islam in political context, contemporary Islamic reform, and suggests several helpful books. Too often we are led toward the most sensational and simplistic images of Islam.

  • Reading Romans

    A book review of Robert Jewett’s massive volume on Romans (1250 pp.). Jewett sees Paul’s concern with the individual rather than the group, and not with faith/works but with Jew/gentile. Romans is unlike the other Pauline writings.

  • Reading Scripture Across Interfaith Lines

    Scriptural Reasoning is a movement that holds that the resolution of religiously rooted political tensions will be attained not by avoiding religion in public, but by initiating more and better religious conversations in public.

  • Reading Scripture Aloud

    This essay is directed at lay persons and pastors who need to encourage full participation in the worship ministries of their congregation. It deals with proper techniques of oral interpretation for a biblical passage.

  • Reading Scripture with Kenneth Burke: Genesis

    This essay shows how Kenneth Burke's recommendations for literary and rhetorical analysis can direct the reading of a biblical text in preparation for preaching. If a Scripture text was designed to encourage, convict, or move to action, the sermon based on that text should do the same.

  • Reading the Signs (Is. 7:10-16; Ps. 80:1-7, 17-19; Rom. 1:1-7; Matt. 1:18-25)

    We celebrate the coming of the power that is confident enough to be vulnerable, indeed, confident enough to be vulnerable to us.

  • Ready for Prime Time (Lk. 3:1-6)

    Since Christianity has been such a civilizing success, it is doubly hard for us to return to the time when Christianity’s message was primed in the wilderness. But now this "prime time" has come again. As our exile looms, and marginality becomes our reality, is there any word from God? Any word for those streaming back into the wilderness?

  • Ready for Revolution (Matthew 3:13-17)

    The means by which John and Jesus meet their deaths should convince even the most hardened skeptics of the revolutionary nature of their ministries.

  • Ready or Not (Matthew 27:55-61)

    Both Marys and many others were there near the tomb watching from a distance. The writer suspects many people live their spiritual lives from a distance, in a threshold of silence, having not seen, yet believing.

  • Reality and Resonance: The Church Turns Toward Worship

    Worship is enjoying even more of a resurgence today than in 1974 when this piece was published. Trotter’s assessment of that "reality and resonance" are the keys to worship is perhaps even more pertinent today. Trotter even suggests three "diseases" of modern reactions to worship of God which bear careful attention. The hunger for transcendence may be a yearning for the "resonance of reality in our lives." What an insightful proposal!

  • Reality Show (Mk. 9:2-9)

    The abrupt appearance of a soaring mountain in the transformation story is an invitation to scale its heights with Peter, James and John so that we too can see what we cannot see in the valley.

  • Rearranging Mountains in Appalachia

    Dr. Williams writes about the violence accompanying the production of electricity -- past and present -- and insists that ways apart from that violence must be found.

  • Reasons and Arguments in the Constitution

    Those who take the time to peruse The Founder’s Constitution will find two things far more significant than transitory euphoria: they will understand why the constitution period was the most compelling episode of political reasoning in our history; and they will realize how clearly a discussion of "first principles" is necessary for rescuing American politics from it’s parlous state today.

  • Recent Classical/Process Dialogue on God and Change

    The author discusses classical versus process theological dialogue in four central themes: 1. Being and becoming; 2. The question of personal identity; 3. The part/whole relationship; 4. The Trinity.

  • Recent Empirical Disconfirmation of Whitehead’s Relativity Theory

    Whitehead’s linear theory of evolution gave identical predictions as Einstein’s, but was far simpler. There are differences between the two, however, that are exploited to the disconfirm of one or the other.

  • Reckoning with the Apocalypse

    In these times, the central jeopardy is separation from God.

  • Reclaiming the City: A Church Stays Put

    The church has been abandoning its strategic locations within city cores and traditional neighborhoods and trying to create a new kind of society in the form of suburban megachurches. We have come to view the particularities of functioning in the midst of the city (restricted parking, unsympathetic neighbors and pushy transients) as inconveniences rather than as opportunities for ministry.

  • Recognizing the Abused Child

    Abused children can be found in every city, in every neighborhood, in every congregation. To deny this or to ignore the warning signs is to help perpetuate the cycle of abuse.

  • Recollections of Alfred North Whitehead

    Dr. Weiss, a student of Dr. Whitehead, is interviewed by Lewis S. Ford, editor of Process Studies, about Weiss' many of his impressions: It was not professor Whitehead’s inclination to discuss philosophic problems. When he went to class, he presented his views as a kind of likely story, the result of ruminations and reflections, and not as a kind of doctrine that he wanted people to accept -- though what he did teach was his own view.

  • Reconciled in Worship

    Whether mainline or evangelical, we can, and should, meet in the intimate fellowship of prayer and liturgy.

  • Reconsidering Albert Schweitzer

    Once in Africa, Schweitzer gradually came to understand what well may be the most important mistake made by the Europeans (and Americans) since the rise of Western civilization -- namely, their pride in their superindustrialized "mastery" over the forces of Nature, a much-vaunted control which is leading to the destruction of our biosphere.

  • Recovering Healing Prayer

    We must cooperate with God to bring about our healing. The Kingdom includes both social justice and bodily wholeness. Healing prayer is not an effort to change God’s mind, but our minds.

  • Recovering the Covenant

    The author reviews four volumes by Daniel Elazar, whose thesis is that while the past 40 years have been times of liberation from oppressive orders, whether colonial, totalitarian, racist or sexist, the next 40 years must be times of founding and refounding orders of covenantal relationship.

  • Recreational Sex: Lost Souls at the University

    Bishop Willimon, former minister at Duke University Chapel, shows that Wolfe’s I Am Charlotte Simmons, uses Duke University, although not identified, as the university portrayed and gives a strong criticism of the book and its assumptions.

  • Refiner’s Fire (Zep. 3:14-20; Is. 12:2-6; Phil. 4:4-7; Lk. 3:7-18)

    Too many Christmas songs are "warm fuzzies." If the Baptizer can be described as a killjoy, it is because the joy that he kills is the false joy of manufactured sentimentality and superficial jolliness.

  • Refining the Question About Women's Ordination

    The new role of women in today's society is one of the most important signs of the time. What is the significance of Jesus' action in choosing and commissioning only men as members of the Twelve, and then after Easter sending women as the first witnesses and messengers of his resurrection? The question cannot be decided on the basis of either historical exegesis or church tradition. We have to consider Jesus' true intention afresh.

  • Reflections of an Ecclesiastical Expatriate

    Berger describes how the mainline Protestant churches have continued to be the home-of-choice for the middle class, but how this cultural captivity is also one of the reasons for the decline of these same mainline denominations.

  • Reflections on ‘Leaves from the Notebook of a Tamed Cynic’

    The concern Niebuhr raised about the conflict between priestly and prophetic roles is never fully resolved in any given time. Niebuhr reminds us of the necessity of living in this world, in the tension between it and the "other world," inescapably related to the ethical and social problems of the time.

  • Reflections on Human Cloning

    The author proposes ethical guidelines for research into human cloning.

  • Reflections on the Lectionary (Col. 3:1-4; Matt. 28:1-10)

    All debts and sins and our unfinished businesses are dumped in the graveyard. What we bury there never comes back, but he does, not to judge but to forgive.

  • Reformation Today

    Sound teaching is what God wrests from us in the struggle for holiness and justice. The issue is to see how shalom is tied into the fight against drug addiction, carnage on our highways due to alcoholism, ecology, commercial sex, oppression of women, racism and the whole range of evils that fills our news on the airwaves and in print.

  • Refusing Duty in Iraq

    The Century interviews an army sergeant who faces a military trial for refusing to return to Iraq for a second tour of duty. This war, as all wars, is designed to kill people, this soldier says, and he has decided he will have no part in it.

  • Regeneration (Psalm 51)

    What is the problem and what is the solution? Psalm 51 does not offer popular answers: The problem is sin. The solution is repentance.

  • Regional Inclusion and Psychological Physiology

    This exchange between John Cobb and Donald Sherburne concerns their continuing debate over "Regional Inclusion and the Extensive Continuum." Although Whitehead does not develop such a theory, the argument is whether such a theory would be compatible with Whitehead’s basic principle. Cobb claims in would, Sherburne claims it is an incoherent concept.

  • Regional Inclusion and the Extensive Continuum

    Cobb and Sherburne debate issues concerning regional inclusion and the extensive continuum. The argument is over the attributions of certain doctrines to Whitehead’s process thought.

  • Reimagining Ecumenism for the 21st Century

    Today social and ethical issues, such as racism, poverty, hunger, ecology, education, sexuality, seem to many people to be more important than "unity". Contextual theologies, justice causes, the voices of women and of the global South enrich, but also challenge, traditional theological thinking and styles.

  • Reinhold Niebuhr: A Reverberating Voice

    A personal and an intellectual biography of Reinhold Niebuhr in which the author has employed the research methods of an American historian to dig out and interpret the data: "At Union Seminary, where Niebuhr so often talked of ‘the irony of history,’ we remember him as an example of it."

  • Reinhold Niebuhr: His Theology in the 1980s

    Niebuhr’s lifelong prophetic commitment to exposing the sins of American imperialism prepares us for similar themes in the writings of those who view us from "the underside of history." His insistence that personal faith and politics go together prepares us to hear (from the very beginning) about a "spirituality of liberation."

  • Reinhold's Era

    The Serenity Prayer gives us a strong dose of the politicized Niebuhr, but it also splendidly conveys the hopeful, ironic, polemical, prophetic spirit of a great theologian who prayed from the heart and unfailingly asked himself, "What does the gospel ethic mean in this situation?"

  • Reinventing the Church

    The church's structure often seems to have lost its original purpose. New church styles sometimes result in forgetting cardinal values and forsaking critical vision. For example, a church that abandons its youth programs, abolishes its campus ministry, and abrogates its commitment to higher education probably shouldn't be surprised when young people don't find the church useful in providing shade or substance to their lives.

  • Rejection, Influence, and Development: Hartshorne in the History of Philosophy

    Gunton examines Hartshorne’s idealism -- his concept that God is dipolar, and that God is the soul of the world.

  • Relativity Physics and the God of Process Philosophy

    The bearing of relativity theory on process theism suggests two mutually incompatible approaches to the problem of conceiving God as a temporal being. The author spells out why and suggests the advantages and drawbacks which process theists might see in each.

  • Religion and Economics

    The author examines aspects of economism, including greed, industrialization, capitalism and consumerism and suggests a Christian alternative.

  • Religion and Education

    The contribution that current participants in the great religious traditions can make is to give up the competitive spirit for that of mutuality. The more we work together and learn from one another, the more our shared concerns can affect the public generally and public schools in particular.

  • Religion and Liberty: From Vision to Politics

    The liberty of conscience transcends any and all political orders. Human freedom rooted in God declares that all states and all political orders are under God. States can crush or kill human beings, but they cannot alienate them from their responsibility to God and conscience.

  • Religion and Politics

    The author asks: How do people of the progressive Christian movement deal with the very firm political reality that when you mention religion and politics in the U.S. you are talking about the religious right?

  • Religion and Television: Report on the Research

    Television, not the church, now communicates what is going on outside the parish, telling us how to behave, what to wear, who has power and who is powerless, what to believe about the world and what is of ultimate value. In this sense, general television, far more than religious TV, is the church’s real competitor.

  • Religion and the Constitution: The Triumph of Practical Politics

    The reviewer of two lenghthy volumes on the debates preceding the ratification of the U S Constitution reports on religious matters as these surfaced in the debates.

  • Religion and the Future of Human Rights

    The author asks whether universal human rights will remain only unreachable ideals without religious underpinnings.

  • Religion and the Media

    The author looks at the pluralist character of modern society, the place of media within it, and the nature of the media. He describes the way the churches have tried to use media, then the way media have usurped many traditional religious functions. Finally, he suggests three responses to the media's challenge to religion.

  • Religion and the Moral Rhetoric of Presidential Politics

    Moral rhetoric is no substitute for moral conduct and practical virtue, in politics as elsewhere. Neither of the 1984 presidential candidates (Reagan vs. Mondale) has fully understood the complexity of the other’s views on the religion-in-politics issue.

  • Religion Sells

    Something’s happening in the religious corner of the book world -- something that reflects religion’s prominence in public life, and the generating engine is the evangelical community.

  • Religion’s Place in Public Schools

    We must urge the schools to let religion compete on an equal footing with secular extracurricular activities. But at the same time, we must be wary of any attempt to make the schools transmitters of religious beliefs and practices. It is the place of churches and families to guide us in the ways of faith. The schools must not be given the power to tell our children when, where, or how to pray.

  • Religion-free Texts: Getting An Illiberal Education

    The author argues that in trying to be neutral to religion our public schools are actually hostile to religion. He would like to see religion restored to the curriculum.

  • Religiosity and the Christian Faith

    A visitor to our shores would probably come to the same conclusion at which St. Paul arrived in regard to the Athenians, namely, that we are "very religious." But the judgment might not imply a compliment any more than Paul wanted to so imply when he called attention to the worship of many gods in Athens, including the "unknown god." Our religiosity seems to have as little to do with the Christian faith as the religiosity of the Athenians.

  • Religious and Cosmic Homelessness: Some Environmental Implications

    Much theology rejects the earth as our hospitable habitat, our home, but the environmental needs of our times require us to accept this very earth and universe as hospitable habitats and our home.

  • Religious Broadcasting at the Crossroads

    While the evangelical broadcasters have demonstrated an aptitude for using innovations, nevertheless, they have not yet demonstrated a corresponding aptitude for justifying theologically the validity of their enterprise. Some of the compromises which have been made in order to adapt to the demands of these new technologies have fallen victims to its awesome power.

  • Religious Cause, Religious Cure

    There is a need for thoughtful people to make some discriminations between and within religious groups -- to look for curing impulses that are latent in the faiths that so easily can spread disease.

  • Religious Communities in the Struggle for Human Rights

    Perhaps the Universal Declaration of Human Rights is a sign of a new world community in which the religious traditions will find common ground. Jews, Christians and Muslims do agree that rights are gifts from God, and that people have duties toward one another and God that require the recognition of fundamental human rights.

  • Religious Freedom or ‘Catch-22’? The Private School Aid Issue

    A defense of government financial support of private schools. The success of such support can be found in France.

  • Religious Freedom: Tensions and Contentions

    Wall explores the meaning and application of the religious freedom amendment in the Bill of Rights for our pluralistic society with its many religious minorities, and a majority that is Christian, white and middle class.

  • Religious Liberty in Contemporary India

    The ideological model of a monolithic and homogenized India, which fueled the Indian national movement and still fuels contemporary Hindu nationalism, is an extension of Western colonialism. Christian mission must not adopt the ideology of the colonialists, as the Hindu nationalists have done. It will be most true to its Lord by proclaiming the gospel confidently, but in a way that respects the human right to be religiously different.

  • Reluctant Prophet (Lk. 4:14-21; 1 Cor. 12:12-31a)

    Prophetic ministry is most effective when it is engaged reluctantly, when it’s difficult and even frightening, and when the speaker is compelled by a power that will not be denied.

  • Remember Mama: Thoughts on Motherhood and Ministry

    A person could do much worse than to imagine God as an old mother hen or an overzealous ‘Jewish mother.’ Even though our images of totally committed, self-sacrificing, lifelong love are invariably limited to our taste of that kind of love through our human parents, they are still the best images we have and about the best we can manage in thinking about God.

  • Remembering

    An attack by family members on the author's memoir taught her how flawed is memory in this fallen world.

  • Remembering King Through His Ideals

    Why have many social critics and reformers, including both conservatives and liberals, found fault with the ideals of Martin Luther King, Jr.? His conviction was that only love can truly unite men and women of diverse cultures, religions, races and classes, for we all possess equally the dignity and respect that the God of love and power conferred upon us.

  • Remembering Rwanda

    Ninety percent of Rwanda is Christian, yet all the clerical garb and regalia, the Christian vocabulary and books, schools, seminaries and parishes, Bible studies, religious titles and education degrees, did nothing to stop genocide in that country.

  • Remembering the 50's

    External graces seem to have guided young Dan Wakefield on his path from Indianapolis to a remarkably creative community in New York in the ‘50s.

  • Remembering Who We Are (Psalm 8)

    Who are we? We are at the same time entirely insignificant in the context of all creation and of utter importance to the God who created it all.

  • Remorse and Hope (Joel 2:1-2, 12-17; Matt. 6:1-6, 16-21)

    The readings for Ash Wednesday leave us with conflicting admonitions: to put on sackcloth and ashes, and to wash our faces and comb our hair.

  • Renewed Appreciation for an Unchanging Story

    True freedom comes from being saturated by the word of God and having it burn in one's bones.

  • Reorientation and Retrieval in Systematic Theology

    Gabriel Fackre gives an overview of the current theological landscape from numerous theological seminary professors’ viewpoints, and concludes that there is a richly diverse field of complementary as well as contending positions. The emphasis in seminary teaching seems to focus on retrieval of traditions interpreted in a contemporary light, and leaving room for hope of a more ecumenical understanding of Christian faith.

  • Repeat Offenders (Romans 1:16-17)

    All are sinners -- how did we forget this? It is not the offices we occupy or the structures of power that govern our common life that save us. It is God who saves, and God will save.

  • Repent, Then Obey (Jer. 31:31-34; Ps.; 51:1-12; Ps. 119:9-16; Heb. 5:5-10)

    Neither repentance nor obedience is very high on the American scale of values. A culture that exalts individualism, self-affirmation, independence and assertiveness has a hard time digesting repentance and obedience.

  • Reply to the Basingers on Divine Omnipotence

    The author discusses some of the criticism put forth by David & Randall Basinger. He discusses I-omnipotence, free will and evil.

  • Report of the Spies

    The author shares vivid recollections of experiences in Vacation Bible School and Sunday School from her girlhood in a Methodist church.

  • Representatives and Partners (2 Sam.7:8-16; Lk.1:26-38)

    Christian loves demands that we become involved in the political processes and social movements advocating the elimination of poverty through the economic restructuring of our society? This means Christians working for and advocating the redistribution of goods and services so that poor people can experience a positive, productive quality of life.

  • Res Publica

    Lapham holds that the current laissez-faire theories of government do America an injustice. They don’t speak to the best of our character; neither do they express the cherished ideal embodied in the history of a courageous people, namely, the love of freedom.

  • Reservations About Gay Marriages

    The author is in favor of "civil union" as a concept more in keeping with our restrained sense of law and less tilted toward the equating of gay and heterosexual unions.

  • Reshuffling the Gospels: Jesus According to Spong and Wilson

    For Spong and Wilson, the void of skepticism is filled with inventive speculation that disregards historical method.

  • Resistance and Reconstruction

    A review of a collection of essays by liberation theologians.

  • Response to Ogden and Carpenter

    This is Dr. Cobb's reply to two articles: "The Christology of John Cobb." by James C. Carpenter, and "Christology Reconsidered: John Cobb’s 'Christ in a Pluralistic Age’" by Schubert M. Ogden. A major difference between Ogden and Cobb lies in their divergent views of the possibility of cognitive and existential certainty. Cobb contrasts Carpenter’s ethical concept of the quality of life Cobb’s own interest in historical "progress," which has not led to greater and greater virtue or improved quality of life but to greater possibilities for good and evil.

  • Resurgent Fundamentalism: Marching Backward into the ‘80s?

    Genuine dialogue, leaving open the possibility of mutual change, is by definition unknown to fundamentalists. "We will talk to you, but never actually with you." It is that incipient sect mentality that has tended to plague evangelicalism, and which has often kept it from building bridges with mainstream Christianity.

  • Resurrected Hopes (Ezekiel 37:1-14; Romans 8:6-11)

    In the times we most need to worship, we find it most difficult.

  • Resurrected Love: The Death and Life of the Body

    The author provides an extended review of a book that describes how patristic and medieval thinkers dealt with the Christian doctrine of the resurrection of the body. The reviewer calls it "a jewel among current intellectual endeavors."

  • Resurrection Faith: N. T. Wright Talks About History and Belief

    The Gospel writers think they’re talking about things that actually happened, like the resurrection If these things didn’t happen, N.T. Wright claims, he’s got other things to do with his life.

  • Rethinking Divorce Laws Fault or No Fault?

    Lawyers help people negotiate divorces. Can they be equally effective in shoring up support for marriage? ). This article is adapted from the essay "Is the Genie Out of the Bottle?" in the newly published book Marriage, Health, and the Professions, edited by John Wall, Don Browning, William J. Doherty and Stephen Post.(Eerdmans Publishing Co.)

  • Rethinking Drinking: The Moral Context

    The disease model of understanding alcohol abuse confuses moral thinking with moralizing and jugmentalism.

  • Rethinking Homosexuality

    In reviewing David Greenberg’s thorough world history of homosexuality from a sociological point of view, Don Browning explores how Greenberg challenges most current Western beliefs and attitudes, and suggests corrections that must certainly evoke major questions, if not adjustments, by society in general and the religious community in particular.

  • Rethinking Hunger in America: Adapting the Sullivan Principles

    We are the only industrialized nation for which children are the largest group in poverty. Hunger has become a fixture in our country, the wealthiest nation on earth. Doing something about it means changing the way we think about our responsibilities.

  • Rethinking the Death of Jesus: Cross Purposes

    These seven books look at the strengths and the weaknesses of the atonement: Is Jesus’ death and life his story or is the story mainly about the life and death that flows from it?

  • Returning to the Fold: Disbelief Within the Community of Faith

    To select a community freely and then to submit to its authority and discipline, pledging to reform and renew it, is not a step backward to a medieval pattern of religious authority but a recognition that personal fulfillment is to be found in community, in contributing to the maintenance and life of a collectivity of individuals for whom “new life” is to be found in commitment to a common symbolic form.

  • Reuniting Sexuality and Spirituality

    God, the cosmic Lover, graciously embraces not just a person’s disembodied spirit, but the whole fleshly self.

  • Reverence and the Freedom to Revise

    Societies which cannot combine reverence for their symbols with freedom of revision must ultimately decay.

  • Reverence for Our God, Faith in Another

    Lost within a constantly shifting boundary between knowledge and faith, the author proposes a flexibility which accommodates reverence in the evolving God of our ancestors and humility before the Power which we infer lies behind Him whom we reverence.

  • Revising Both Science and Theology

    John Cobb reviews the history of the relationship between science and religion focusing on how Western science and Christian theology are both influenced by philosophy. He believes God's role in the world has nothing to do with violating otherwise well-established laws of nature.

  • Revising the Concept of Vocation for the Industrial Age

    The old doctrine of vocation is unrealistic, especially for people who work in the industrial plants of our nation.

  • Revisioning God and the Self: Lessons from Buddhism

    The relevance of a dialogue with other religions -- in this instance a dialogue with Zen Buddhism -- to a deepening of Christian ecological consciousness. Buddhism can stimulate us to imagine that the world is our body and that, even more directly, it is God’s.

  • Revisioning Seminary as Ministry-Centered

    No one should be allowed to teach full time in a theological seminary longer than six years at a stretch.

  • Revisioning the Future of Oldline Protestantism

    In the light of oldline Protestant churches’ losses of membership and influence, William McKinney briefly traces their "disestablishment," and suggests if these churches are to have hope of reversing the trend, they will need to address five issues, including mission agencies, funding of programs, support of congregations, understanding denominational culture and sharing methods of coping.

  • Revisiting The Church In Socialism

    In its attempt to keep the church from identifying itself with the Nazis the German church distanced itself equally from all social theories and political systems.

  • Revitalizing College Ministry: the 'Church-on-Campus' Model

    The church-on-campus model is not a reactionary call for return to pre-‘60s "glory days" or to an outdated worship style or study method.

  • Rhetorical Criticism of the Bible: A Resource for Preaching

    A number of recent studies have been published that offer help to readers and communicators who wish to hear the stories of Genesis as they were intended to be heard and to discover their significance for life at the threshold of a new century.

  • Rhetorical Identification In Paul's Autobiographical Narrative

    Using Paul's autobiography in Galatians 1.13-2.14, this study examines the relationships that Paul portrays and creates with the Jerusalem apostles, his opponents, and the Galatians as a means to depict symbolically the issues at stake in Galatia.

  • Right and Wrong: A Framework for Moral Reasoning

    The one art most needful of restoration is the ancient art of moral reasoning, of wrangling not about personalities or policies but about the moral propositions and values underlying them.

  • Righteous Resistance and Martin Luther King, Jr.

    Whether they were learned 40 years ago in Warsaw, or 20 years ago along the hot and dusty roads of Mississippi, Alabama and Georgia, the lessons of righteous resistance are universal. They belong not to one but to all people who struggle for their dignity.

  • Rights and Wrongs, an Interview with Nicholas Wolterstorff

    A great number of social ills of our times can be laid at the door of capitalism and nationalism, and at the door of the church for failing to teach how to be critiques of capitalism and nationalism.

  • Risk and Fulfillment (Is. 63:7-9; Ps. 148; Heb.2:10-18; Matt. 2:13-23)

    Although Christmastide is a time of praise, we must no forget the whole narrative is beset by danger—by risk, flight, conspiracy, treachery and violent rage.

  • Risky Business (Prov. 25:6-7; Ps. 112; Heb. 13:1-8, 15-16; Lk. 14:1, 7-14)

    It is not the fragility of goodness that stands out in these texts but the sturdiness of righteousness.

  • Road Trip (Luke 24: 13-35)

    The story of the road to Emmaus is not about Cleopas and his companion and their disappointment, but about life, the universe and everything in it.

  • Robbing the Cradle of Civilization

    President Bush's supporters have talked endlessly about his global war on terrorism as a "clash of civilizations." But the civilization we are in the process of destroying in Iraq is part of our own heritage. Professor Johnson documents the looting and destruction of the Cradle of Civilization.

  • Robert Brumbaugh: Towards a Process Philosophy of Education

    The author shows that Brumbaugh deals with what is one of the central difficulties of modern pedigogy, what Whitehead calls the fallacy of misplaced concreteness, where abstractions or excerpted aspects of the fuller deeper occasions are treated as actual.

  • Robert Lowell: Death of an Elfking

    Robert Lowell saw that pain can be managed when it finds a perfect expression. Having faith smaller than any mustard seed, he saw no chance of moving mountains except by courage and incantation.

  • Robert Penn Warren’s Enormous Spider Web

    In a tribute to Robert Penn Warren, the author traces some of the recurring motifs in the work of the late poet, novelist, critic and teacher.

  • Robert Shaw’s Ministry of Music

    A biographical sketch of Robert Shaw and his thoughts on music and religion. "Worship is an art . . . in that it has a certain amount of time in which to consider matters of worth."

  • Robertson Davies: Shaking Hands with the Devil

    Perhaps Robertson Davies is a writer of Christian apocrypha, restrained by the canon of Christian thought, not a heretic, but a self-proclaimed moralist who holds that while we reap what we sow, it is often difficult to know the nature of the seed or the outcome of the harvest.

  • Roll Call (Ephesians 6:10-20; John 6:56-69)

    Few texts are more subversive than Paul’s words at the end of his letter to the Ephesians.

  • Roman Catholic Sexual Ethics: A Dissenting View

    It is obviously very difficult for the hierarchical teaching office, with its understanding of benefiting from the assistance of the Holy Spirit, to recognize that its teaching might be in error.

  • Romero: Evolution of a Martyr

    The author places the film Romero in political context and points out that conditions have not improved in El Salvador in the nine and a half years since the archbishop’s murder.

  • Royalty Stoops (Matt.25:31-46)

    God, who is terrible in glory, stoops to our need.

  • Rub Poor Lil' Judas’s Head (Revelation 21:10-11; 22:5; Is. 26:21)

    Some of my African-American slave ancestors tried to leave me and my people a message about compassion that defies what many of us want to hear. We do not want judgment to equal compassion and compassion to equal judgment in our relation to those who have so seriously sinned against us.

  • Rudolf Bultmann: Scholar of Faith

    Rudolf Bultmann’s theology helped to keep many individuals within the great tradition of faith in the eternal God, the God revealed in the crisis of the gospel of Christ; for in the jargon, although his work was to "demythologize," he refused to "dekerygmatize."

  • Rushdie’s Moral Hegira

    An examination of the cross-cultural encounter dramatized in Salman Rushdie’s The Satanic Verses -- and the furor the novel created in the Islamic world and the West.

  • Russell, Poincaré, and Whitehead’s ‘Relational Theory of Space’

    The author discusses: extensive abstraction, the problem of contiguous physical objects, causal transmission and temporal dimension.

  • Ruth and the New Abraham, Esther the New Moses

    The Books of Ruth and Esther testify that we are not trapped helplessly in a destructive global fate, for with bold faith, each of these women took events into her own hands to secure the future of the covenant.

  • Sacraments for the Christian Life

    Christians need to be re-Christianized, to have their true identity in Christ made palapable. The sacraments embody this.

  • Sacred Spaces

    Can churches build to reflect the idiom of a secular consumer society effectively counter the culture’s influences? This and other questions are pondered by the authors of the books here reviewed.

  • Sage, Sweetgrass, and the First Amendment

    Smudging involves burning material like sage or cedar as an act of worship among many native Americans. Bans on smudging condone policies that, intentionally or not, foster racism.

  • Sail On (Mk. 4:35-41; 2 Cor. 6:1-13)

    The experience the disciples had with Jesus on the Sea of Galilee preceded the cross, the resurrection and Pentecost. No wonder they asked themselves who this man was -- this man who could rebuke the wind.

  • Saints and Sinners (Mark 12:28-34)

    As we remember the strong shoulders of the saints on which we stand, we are challenged to strengthen our own shoulders.

  • Saints in the Making (All Saints Day)

    This is the standard New Testament designation for saints: the forgiven who know it, act upon it and live by grace without angling for stained-glass-window status.

  • Salt and Light (Matthew 5:13-16)

    The Christian’s task is to be the salt of society, preserving, reconciling, adding taste, giving meaning where there is no meaning, giving hope where there is no hope. We are called to be the light for the world. Jesus Christ is the real light which enlightens everyone.

  • Salvation by Trust? Reading the Bible Faithfully

    If the Bible is oppressive, how do we then relate to God? And on what grounds do we conduct our critique of scripture? We should indeed be suspicious when we read scripture—suspicious of ourselves, whose minds need to be transformed. Rereading scripture from a new perspective was as challenging for Paul as trusting God’s promise was for Abraham.

  • Salvation Workout

    To capture a robust sense of moral purpose, contemporary notions about self-fulfillment must be discarded along with romantic notions about inherent goodness. We are called to imitate Christ rather than try to be "ourselves."

  • Salvational Zionism and Religious Naturalism in the Thought of Mordecai M. Kaplan

    The major distinctive contributions of Mordecai M. Kaplan (1881-1983) to twentieth-century religious thought is his creative synthesis of modern Jewish nationalism with spiritual naturalism, religious humanism, and process theology.

  • Sanctuary for the Addicted

    St. Paul’s Central Park United Methodist Church serves a unique congregation of people who are broken with addictions. It is know as a Recovery Church, informing and defining its Christianity through 12-step principles.<

  • Sarah Coakley Reconstructs Feminism

    Sarah Coakley offers a feminist corrective to feminism: power which can come from submission to God.

  • Saul Alinsky: Homo Ludens for Urban Democracy

    An assessment of Sanford Horwitt’s biography of the legendary and controversial community organizer Saul Alinsky.

  • Sauntering

    The tensions a pastor faces between feeling "at home" and "not at home" among parishioners.

  • Save Your Roof! Build a Ramp!

    If one goes out into the world of the disabled, one will soon discover that, as always, there is only one world – that of the able-bodied. As Christians we are not asked to play God and decide about another person’s quality of life. We are asked only to love God and our neighbor, to be God’s agents on earth, not by taking away hope but by giving it.<

  • Saving Faith, Evangelical Witness

    William Placher reviews two books on faith, both by B.A. Gerrish. We are summoned to be loyal to the best we know and to bear faithful witness to it. We are not required to deny that the eternal goodness we believe in may reach out to other faiths in other ways.

  • Saving Saul (Acts 9:1-19)

    The lasting mark of conversion is not one date circled in red on the calendar, but the whole story of one’s life.

  • Saving the Earth

    Dr. Cobb reviews a book about global warming: Christians are called to worship God, not wealth. Surely we should put the long-term wellbeing of the earth and all its inhabitants above the enrichment of the rich.

  • Saving the Soul of Higher Education

    A review article analyzing new books on the problems confronting American higher education: While higher education is obliged to resist the pernicious forces of the larger society, to expect it to be immune to their pervasive effects is unrealistic.

  • Savior at Large (John 20:1-18)

    No one is ever ready to encounter Easter until he or she has spent time in the dark place where hope cannot be seen. What the Gospels ask is not "Do you believe?" but ‘Have you encountered a risen Christ?"

  • Savior Like a Shepherd (Ps. 23; 1 Jn. 3:16-24; Jn. 10:1-18)

    How complimentary is it to refer to the members of a church as a flock of sheep, and how appropriate is it to speak of clergy as pastors? Is that Jesus’ point in John 10?

  • Says Who? (Matthew 21:33-46)

    Power always protects itself. Those in religious leadership are just as venal as any in the world. We speak sanctimoniously of peace and unity and shut out those who challenge our authority.

  • Scandalous Behavior (Luke 7:36-8:3)

    Simon the rebuker is rebuked, while the rebuked woman is named the perfect hostess and is forgiven her sins even though she seems never to have confessed them, at least not in words. Unconditional love has a way of pulling one to grow to be more worthy of it.

  • Schemes from a Marriage

    The film, Scene’s from a Marriage, leaves unexamined the questions of how to redeem community in the larger society; it seems to have gone irrevocably to the devil as it has become technically more nearly perfect.

  • Schism Memoirs

    At the center of the feud in the ‘70s that resulted in the schism in the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod was John H. Tietjen. Bill J. Leonard reviews Tietjen’s autobiographical reflections on that era of turmoil.

  • Scholars for the Church

    The authors discuss the disconnect between seminary doctoral programs for future seminary teachers and the local church needs of seminary students whom they will be teaching.

  • Science and Religion: Getting the Conversation Going

    King addresses the long-standing differences between theology and science by suggesting ways pastors can reach out to scientists by understanding scientific method and philosophy, as well as by emphasizing the common ground both share, and by suggesting alternative ways of conceptualizing reality that are complementary and not antithetical.nding differences between theology and science by suggesting ways pastors can reach out to scientists by understanding scientific method and philosophy, as well as by emphasizing the common ground both share, and by suggesting alternative ways of conceptualizing reality that are complementary and not antithetical

  • Science under Siege

    America is far ahead of other nations in its scientific know-how and capability, but on the other hand, it seems that its leaders come close to having contempt for and are often ignorant about science.

  • Science: From the Womb of Religion

    The author argues that only on the basis of the Christian dogmas of Creation and Incarnation could science have emerged in the Western world.

  • Scientific Dreamers and Religious Speculation

    Science is important for exactly the same reason that the study of history or of language is important—because we are beings that need to understand the world.

  • Scripture and the Theological Enterprise: View from a Big Canoe

    Russell Spittler argues for an exegetical theology. Only through a commitment to Scripture does he find validation for his tradition.

  • Scroll Origins: An Exchange on the Qumran Hypothesis

    What kind of community lived at Qumran? What is the link between that community and the scrolls discovered in the caves at Qumran?

  • Search and Restore (Mark 9:38-50; James 5:13-20)

    Out of the obscurity of these verses in Mark and James, there seems to be the challenge of those on the margins, to be drawn by the generosity of Jesus closer inside the circle of disciples. Believers must not allow each other to wander away.

  • Searching for Faith’s Social Reality

    We have not worked out a vision of the social embodiment of Christian faith adequate to a post-Enlightenment world. Ironically, though today we possess more factual knowledge about humankind than ever before, we still have no universal symbols of what it means to be human.

  • Season’s Greetings (Luke 19:28-40)

    When Jesus entered Jerusalem, he did so as a king, but his royalty was not pomp and power but humble obedience. Thus, he entered the city to make peace with the offering of his own life.

  • Second Chance for Thomas

    Most Protestants have rejected Thomas Aquinas as being too Catholic. Dr. Renick reviews two books presenting Thomist views in a better light for Protestants.

  • Secret Gift of Ministry

    Most pastors claim to have found happiness in the ministry.

  • Secularism's Impact on Contemporary Theology

    Secularism is not so much a philosophy as the pre-rational basis of all potent contemporary philosophies. Four terms seem to be helpful in describing it secularism: naturalism, temporalism, relativism and autonomy. Theology must reflect the secular consciousness of our time if it is to be relevant. This means that whatever language it uses must be both discovered in and related to the experiences of man’s natural, temporal and communal life in this world.

  • Seeing Things (Mark 9:30-37)

    Jesus is unimpressed by the disciples’ tidy argument about their need to know who is the greatest. He calls a child to their presence to teach a lesson.

  • Seeing with a Thousand Eyes

    In reading great literature, as in worship, the participant-reader becomes a thousand men and yet remains himself while transcending himself, and never more himself than when he does.

  • Seeking a Theology of the Finite

    We are not who we are without our bodies. But our bodies do not define or exhaust who we are.

  • Seeking Christian Interiority: An Interview with Louis Dupré

    We have all become atheists, in the sense that God no longer matters absolutely in our closed world—if God matters at all. To survive as a genuine believer, the Christian must now personally integrate what tradition did in the past. Christians are responsible for the culture in which they live, however unlike-minded it may be.

  • Seeking the Lost Sheep (Ex. 32:7-14;Ps. 51;1-10; 1 Tim. 1:12-17; Lk. 15:1-10)

    Jesus seems to care inordinately about the ones who aren’t here. This interest in the absent may seem unreasonable to those of us who show up and keep the institutional church humming, but it is the gospel.

  • Seizing the Moment for Teaching Pastoral Care

    Seminary professors can teach pastoral care not only in the pastoral theology classroom, but in other seminary situations as well. Thus it is that seminaries should be prepared to help students grapple with searching, doubting and moral dilemmas. The new ideas they encounter at seminary may have brought their earlier faith understanding to an impasse.

  • Self-Emptying (Philippians 2: 5-8)

    vIt was the self-emptying Christ who was the attraction for the Hindus. Jesus emptied his life utterly that he became the transparent medium in which.

  • Self-Emptying (Philippians 2: 5-8)

    It was the self-emptying Christ who was the attraction for the Hindus. Jesus emptied his life utterly that he became the transparent medium through which people can see God.

  • Self-Organization and Agency: In Chemistry and In Process Philosophy

    Dr. Earley compares process philosophy with the science of chemistry -- both open-system structures which exist in an antecedent world.

  • Selling Native American Soul

    An analysis of: the popularizing and exploitation of Native American culture. The author is a longtime advocate of the rights of Native Americans.

  • Seminary Education Tested by Praxis

    Seminaries and denominations need to take greater care in monitoring what is happening to their candidates in student pastorates.  If pastors are to have a fair chance at learning the profession, seminaries and denominations must begin to accept responsibility for clergy formation.

  • Send Lazarus (Luke 16:19-31)

    Vouchers to beggars -- "not valid for alcohol, lottery tickets or tobacco" --.but what if this stranger wanted to rent The Sound of Music, or tour the city in an air-conditioned bus?

  • Sensa and Patterns

    Patterns not only require sensa for their physical ingression, but the "ideal realization" of the individual essences of patterns cannot exclude sensa from their very concept.

  • Sent of God to Witness (John 1:19-41)

    John is portrayed here (John 1:19-4) vastly different from the one we met earlier in the synoptics.

  • Sent Out

    The mission statement of the church is to make the world a Eucharist: the gathering of people as one body, opening lives to repentance and forgiveness, proclaiming the truth of God’s story, the sharing of food and the washing of feet. These are the embodiment of worship.

  • Separate and Unequal

    In The Shame of the Nation, Kozol reveals what school is like for the almost three-fourths of black and Latino students who attend "apartheid schools." In Tearing Down the Gates, Sacks documents the fierce war being waged to keep public education segregated.

  • Separate Unto God

    There is a need for a new ecumenism among black Christians as a task more pressing than that of an ecumenical rapprochement between black and white churches. The future of the black-white ecumenical movement must be based upon the commitment of the white church to Christ and liberation.

  • Settling for Less (Lk. 4:1-13)

    When the world did not end as Jesus himself had said it would, his followers stopped expecting so much from God or from themselves. They hung a wooden cross on the wall and settled back into their more or less comfortable routines, remembering their once passionate devotion to God the way they remembered the other enthusiasms of their youth.

  • Seven Ways to Change Congregational Culture: Renewed Life

    There is a basis for a renewed confidence that is reappearing in the church. Signs of renewed life are discernible in a host of vital and renewed congregations.

  • Seventy Years of the Century

    Struggling against poverty, inexperience and the low estate of religious journalism generally, Charles Clayton Morrison, within 15 years, lifted an obscure publication to a position of influence in church and state.

  • Sex and Politics: Bertrand Russell and ‘Human Sexuality’

    Only if marriage embodies a purpose beyond the self-enhancement of the individuals constituting it is there a basis sufficient for them to be bonded in pursuit of a common good.

  • Sexual and Family Violence: A Growing Issue for the Churches

    It is time to break the silence on sexual and family abuse -- a silence that still haunts churches and schools of theological education even as these very issues are front-page news. Our silence will not protect us; it is life-threatening, and it is unfaithful to our commission.

  • Sexual Taboos and Moral Restraints

    Can religious faith empower individuals to win inner struggles? In sexual temptation, more than religious commitment is needed.

  • Shaken Atheism: A Look at the Fine-Tuned Universe

    It is impossible that the universe has escaped being manipulated by a superintellect. The facts indicate that the numbers of combinations necessary for life to have happened through random choice is a conclusion beyond belief

  • Shakespeare in the Bush, and Encountering the Other

    The reader and the Biblical text are partners collaborating as co-creators in an aesthetic event of understanding that, by generating an experience of meaning, originates something that did not exist before. The more acutely the actual reader can perceive that "network of response-inviting structures" of the reader implied by the author, and fulfill that role as designed by the author, the more adequate the construal of meaning will be.

  • Shaping a Vision for Cultural Pluralism

    The nation state is giving way to cultural pluralism. The author looks at the U.S. forms, lists two promising models, and suggests the church's contribution and responsibility to furthering pluralism.

  • Shaping and Being Shaped

    One of the chief sources of difficulty in our time is the common, uncritical acceptance of the dichotomy between judgments of fact and judgments of value, between so-called "objectivity" and "subjectivity." In theology as in art, the question "What does it. mean?" can be answered only after it is reshaped to ask "How does it mean?"

  • Sharing a Language of Faith

    We must continue gently to insist that those who feel that a saving truth can be grasped only in Christian categories are mistaken. Jesus was not a Christian, or were his first disciples; Jesus’ faith, and his disciples’ allegiance to his cause, were, for them, a way of being Jewish.

  • Sharing a Vague Vision: Wieman’s Early Critique of Whitehead

    The author traces the development of four major strands in Wieman’s thought which should both clarify his relationship to the philosophy of Whitehead and illuminate the growth of his own thought. Wieman eventually expressed sharp criticism of Whitehead’s philosophy.

  • Sharing Faith Stories in Worship

    Lillian Daniel discusses the shortcomings of unplanned congregational input but argues positively for it. If one is willing to face the unpredictable and to release some control, it is in the very release of that control the blessings come.

  • Sharing in the Holy Spirit (Gen.1:1-2:4;Ps.8;Matt.28:16-20;2 Cor. 13:11-13)

    The author tells how two small children helped him to understand the doctrine of the Trinity.

  • Sharing the Wealth: The Church as Biblical Model for Public Policy

    What is the biblical view of God’s will for economic relations among his people? For an answer, we shall look at the jubilee passage in Leviticus, at the new community of Jesus’ disciples, at the first church in Jerusalem, and at the Pauline collection.

  • Shattering the Closure of Unbelief (Is. 55:10-11; Rom. 8:18-25; Matt. 13:1-9, 18-23)

    These texts shatter the "structure" of my unbelief, my idolatrous hold on my own interpretation of the world, my own despair at the lack of the world’s possibilities. They say to me: this is not a closed system but one open to its creator, whose possibilities are endless.

  • Shedding Light on the Darkness of Depression

    We should recognize depression, not as a stigma, but as an illness entailing specific spiritual and psychological needs, and requiring specific treatments. One great need of depressed people is for human contact, whether through greeting cards or visits. To the depressed person, the well of human kindness seems to have hit dry rocks; there never seems to be enough love available.

  • Sheep and Shepherds (Mark 6:30-34, 53-56)

    What's wrong with the title "pastor"?

  • Sheep on the Run (Psalm 23)

    The reason both the psalmist and Jesus spent so much time describing us as lost was not to judge us, but to help us find our salvation. Confessing that we are frightened and lost is the first step.

  • Sheepish (Psalm 23; John 10:22-30; Revelation 7:13-17)

    The trust of the sheep with its shepherd is a radical trust empowering us to believe life has Christian meaning even though immediate experience may seem otherwise.

  • Shepherding (Jn. 10:11-18)

    The mission is everywhere, and we must drop the language of home church and mission field.

  • Shopping for Justice

    Boycotting a product made in a sweatshop with unhealthy conditions, underpaid workers and long hours needs to be challenged. But the workers may be doing tasks they prefer over their other options. Public pressure might be better than boycotting.

  • Short-Term Mission Trips

    If we from the North are to open up our own spiritual and theological lives to refreshment from the South, we must get close to the people who ask the question: "Who is God for us?"

  • Should There Be a Christian Witness to the Jews

    In interfaith dialogue we are not just exchanging information; we are also testifying to truths that have taken hold of us and shaped our commitments. The great priority lies not in strategies, programs and campaigns to convert Jews, but in a major Christian educational effort to help church members recover the roots of their faith in Judaism.

  • Should Wildlife Trapping Have a Place in a Christian Environmental Ethic?

    Animal protectionist groups lobby for the banning of wildlife trapping because of its perceived cruelty and harm to the environment. This paper evaluates those claims and suggests that Christians carefully consider all the data before adopting an anti-trapping stance.

  • Showing Up (Matthew 21:23-32)

    The Pharisees knew it was easy to say "Lord, Lord," but not so easy to do what God asked. Most of us know the first son did the right thing, but we are more like the second son.

  • Shrewd Investment (Luke 16:1-13)

    Jesus offers more commentary on how to deal with wealth than on how to handle sex -- a fact ignored by today’s church, which is preoccupied by matters of sex while it says very little about money.

  • Shriveled Delight (Is. 58:9b-14; Ps. 103:1-8; Heb. 12:18-29; Lk. 13:10-17)

    Although comfortable about rescuing a farm animal on the Sabbath, the religious leader has trouble rejoicing when a bound woman is freed. But for Jesus, Isaiah, the woman, and the crowd, the healing of the broken does not distract from delighting in the Sabbath, because it is a way of delighting in God.

  • Shrubs and Scrubs (Jer. 1 7:5-10; Ps. 1; 1 Cor. 15:12-20; Lk. 6:17-26)

    What a difference in plants and people when someone tends their needs! Their growth is not stunted. They not only survive but thrive.

  • Siding with Grace (Romans 11:1-32; Matthew 15:21-28)

    Would it not be better, in the time of grace in which we still live, to proclaim to all people the good news, to confess and bear witness that Christ died for all, that Christ suffered also for them?

  • Signs of the King (Ps. 46; Jer 23:1-6; Col.1:11-20; Lk. 23:35-43)

    None of our ideas reflect God’s concept of kingship (human or divine) completely.

  • Simpsons Have Soul

    The Simpsons comedy takes many clever jabs at religion, but it also acknowledges the importance of religion in American culture.

  • Sin Insulation (Ex. 32:7-14; Ps. 51:1-10; 1 Tim. 1:12-17; Lk. 15:1-10)

    God’s steadfast love, the basis for Moses’ plea, David’s hope, and Paul’s ministry -- all these are available to each person because God’s abundant mercy continues to find us and make us new.

  • Sin Is When Life Freezes (I John 1:8)

    Sin means being separated from the ground of life; it means having a disturbed relationship to ourselves, our neighbor, the creation and the human family.

  • Sin of Scorn (Luke 18:9-14)

    Allowing ourselves to experience gratitude to God for the good we can do may truly provide some healing for our scornful souls.

  • Sin, Guilt and Mental Health: Confession and Restitution as Means of Therapy

    Mentally disturbed persons need a simple, step-by-step method to move from where they are toward health, community and usefulness: first, to tell others the truth about themselves, and second, to list the people they have harmed and make amends wherever possible. Then they have an obligation to work with others seeking the same help, insuring their own recovery.

  • Sin-Talk in Our World (Rom. 3:23-25)

    Acknowledging sin entails the happy assessment that nothing wrong with us is finally beyond forgiveness.

  • Sing a New Song

    Multiple insights and challenges are given here by John Bell concerning the proper use and misuse of singing in worship. Congregational singing shapes our identity. Thus the importance of its substance.

  • Sins and Sensibilities (Deut. 18:15-20, I Cor. 8:1-13, Mk. 1:21-28)

    Commentary on Lectionary Texts, Deut. 18:15-20,I Cor. 8:1-13, Mark 1:21-28

  • Sit on It (Judges 4:1-7)

    The lesson we learn from Deborah is the need to "sit." She was a wise, powerful woman who lead, counseled advised, preached, and sometimes just sat in silence.

  • Six Economic Myths Heard from the Pulpit

    Christian thinkers focus on the motives behind choices. Economists take motives (high and low) for granted. There is not a fixed pot of energy. There are resources whose quantities expand as prices rise. Business competition does not necessarily mean that somebody wins at the expense of somebody else.

  • Six Myths About Faith-Based Initiatives

    It is necessary to look beyond the rhetoric of the faith-based initiative. The author lists six myths.

  • Six Principles of Christian Catechesis after Rwanda

    The author suggests six basic principles to guide Christian behavior in a violent world.

  • Slain by the Music

    The classical hymn and choral music people, as well as those loving the good old gospel songs, register their dismay at the level of "pap" in praise-oriented songs and choruses. Yet the mainliners are offering at least some "blending of worship styles," or in larger churches, multiple worship services "cafeteria-style."

  • Slave Wages (Romans 6:12-23; Matthew 10:40-42)

    If you choose the right one to whom you are a slave, Paul believes rich benefits can be produced. Those who become slaves to God reap the benefit of holiness, the results of which are eternal life.

  • Slime-master: Inside the ‘vast right-wing conspiracy’

    David Brock’s Blinded by the Right is most disturbing as an account of how far conservative sentiments, backed by a well-endowed infrastructure of institutes and media outlets, can take someone in American politics and society.

  • Slippery Slope: Medical Technology and the Human Future

    A review of Life, Liberty and the Defense of Dignity: The Challenge of Bioethics, by Leon R. Kass. Kass ably led the President’s Council on Bioethics in a long debate on cloning. But for Kass, cloning of either kind is a fundamental assault on our humanity and our dignity. However, the author believes that Kass presents a distorted, out-of-date picture of the present field of bioethics, which has changed much over the past three decades.

  • Small Change (Hebrews 9:24-28; Mark 12:38-44)

    May God forgive us, his churchpeople, for using our social capital to attract to our churches those who are powerful and rich while we ignore those who might seem a burden -- those whose humble worship surely pleases God.

  • Small Groups Forge New Notions of Community and the Sacred

    The small-group movement is beginning to alter American society because it is changing our understandings of community and redefining spirituality.

  • Small Is Beautiful, and So Is Rome: Surprising Faith of E.F. Schumacher

    The surprising faith of E.F. Schumacher, who as a practical man is led to the abstract side of economics -- its metaphisical and religious underpinnings -- through more “practical” concepts like Intermediate Technology and Buddhist Economics.

  • Smoothing the Path (Mal. 3:1-4; Lk. 1:68-79; Phil. 1:3-11; Lk. 3:1-6)

    Injustice, immorality and inhumanity need to be changed into smooth paths so that everyone will see God’s salvation. That is God’s plan, and it is not wishful thinking to proclaim it.

  • So Explain It To Me (Prov.8:1-4,22-31;Ps.8;Rom.5:1-5;John 16:12-15)

    The author argues that the doctrine of the Trinity is a useful unifying tool for witness. It has been called a great hinge, this day of the Trinity. It stands between the two halves of the church year. The first half on the life of Christ, the second half on the life of the church, While some call it a great hinge, others call it a great pain!

  • So They May See My Glory (John 17:24)

    From love comes glory, not vice versa. Glory which is not rooted in love tends to be a false glory.

  • Social Consciousness and World Maps

    The projection of the Peter’s map shows all parts of the world in proportion to their true areas, while the Mercator Projection greatly distorts relative areas so that Europe, the Soviet Union, Canada and Greenland are shown as far larger relative to South America and Africa than they really are. Much controversy has surfaced over Peter’s map.

  • Social Differentiation and Class Structure: Some Implications of Whitehead’s Metaphysics

    Dr. Morris reveals some possible implications of Whitehead’s metaphysics for social and political thought, in particular the issue of social differentiation and class structure.

  • Social Insecurity

    The authors discuss the difficult problems facing Social Security, not only the overwhelming medical aspects, but the philosophy of the right of adequate financial retirement. They also offer some possible solutions.

  • Social Teaching and Social History: Learning from the Early Church

    The New Testament offers and explosively political vision without a political strategy.

  • Socialism and Sin

    Socialists believe that there is a fundamental moral distinction to be drawn between a system that encourages people to be greedy and one that instead encourages them to acquire only what they truly need. Capitalism is designed primarily to prevent the objectives which socialists seek, and its adherents will strongly resist the measures necessary to adapt private enterprise to anything seriously approaching a socialist program.

  • Socialism’s Obituary Is Premature

    Capitalism must generate a little love and human kindness in order to function in the human interest. At the same time, if an all encompassing socialism has proved too cumbersome, inefficient and corruptible, that does not mean that disaggregated forms of socialism are unworkable.

  • Socializing Capitalism: The Century During the Great Depression

    During the Great Depression, at a time when the vast majority of clergy in America disapproved of Roosevelt’s New Deal reforms, the Christian Century endorsed his 1936 bid for reelection.

  • Sociological Criticism of the Old Testament

    What is so controversial about sociological criticism? The sore point lies in the move from social observation to sociological criticism. “Social” is a catch-all category for group behaviors and meanings, whereas “sociological” refers to methods and theories for systematically describing and explaining group behaviors and meanings.

  • Sola Gratia in Lake Wobegon

    This is a second in a series about Garrison Keillor and his humorous but empathetic treatment of religion. Something like Amazing Grace is humming along through Keillor’s stuff.

  • Sold into Slavery

    The author gives a detailed account of the ubiquitous slave trade of our times (12 to 27 million in the world at present). 87% of the trade involves women and children in prostitution. He discusses the reasons and the difficulties of solution.

  • Solving the Housing Crisis Pragmatically

    Since 1981, the federal government has reduced its dollar commitment to housing by 75 per cent.

  • Solzhenitsyn: Postmodern Moralist

    Solzhenitsyn seeks to recover human integrity by attending to the particulars of history as part of a larger, if hidden, spiritual drama. It is as a moralist that he may have most influenced the thought of our time, for he has invented an aesthetic that recoups the traditional Christian verities on the other side of literary modernism.

  • Some Comments on Randall Morris' Process Philosophy and Political Ideology

    Hartshorne comments on some misunderstandings Samuel Morris has of some of Hartshorne's political views, especially his changing views on pacifism.

  • Some Not Ungrateful But Perhaps Inadequate Comments About Comments on My Writings and Ideas

    Dr. Hartshorne responds to each of several authors, writing in Process Studies, who critique his writings.

  • Some Proposals Concerning The Composition of Process and Reality

    Whitehead left much to be desired in his order of presentation. Instead of one fixed position, it becomes refracted into a whole series of positions, each leading to the next. Sometimes this sort of analysis is faulted as tending to undercut the systematic unity of the whole. An Appendix helpfully lists eight metaphysical principles that were presented by Whitehead in his classroom lectures at Harvard, October 1 and 4, 1927.

  • Some Themes in Protestant Theology Today

    Can Protestant theology be catholic?

  • Some Things Just Aren't Right

    The author examines drugs, race and the American penal system.  He asserts that America is continuing to wage war, but  with a different weapon -- prisons -- and that incarceration is a new form of lynching.

  • Some Under-and Some Over-rated Great Philosophers

    Hartshorne believes that Plato is the most underrated of all philosophers unless it’s Bergson. Aristotle is the most overrated of all unless it’s Kant. He discusses the differences between these thinkers.

  • Somebody’s Calling My Name (Is. 43:1-7; Lk. 3:15-22)

    In scripture, being called by one’s name is a rich gift. Names tell us we are loved and call us into accountability.

  • Something New Under the Sun: Computer Concordances and Biblical Study

    In seconds, computer programs can perform searches of the text that would otherwise be virtually impossible. The new software gives ministers a fighting chance to maintain or improve their skills in biblical languages. Lists many Web Sites with reference material.

  • Sons of Entitlement (Mark 10:35-45)

    Where ambition exists, it can be redirected and purified. But where it is entirely absent, mediocrity takes hold, the status quo hardens, and professors and committees debate endlessly about methodology and procedure.

  • Sophisticated Primitives Then, Primitive Sophisticates Now

    Marty comments on several studies of "primitivism" and its place in the life of the church, especially in America.

  • Soul and the Person: Defining Life

    Amid all of the stress caused by our uncertainties and conflicts over the abortion issue, the author wants the church to influence more surely the definition of life. "We too have something important to say about it. I don’t believe we have yet done so."

  • Soul Food (I Kings 19.4-8; Jn. 6:35, 41-51)

    Jesus seems to be prefiguring his death with phrases about his "hour" which was to come, and the temple of his body to be destroyed, about the kind of love that leads one to give one's life for a friend and a shepherd to give his life for the sheep.

  • Soul-Saving via Video

    The phenomenal success of the electronic church is in part a result of intelligent application of revolutionary technology, but a more important factor is America’s cultural drift toward conservatism.

  • Sound Theology

    Sound patterns are well suited to draw us into God’s purposes through music’s power and sound patterns. The author discusses music from a Christian perspective.

  • Sounds of Silence

    The authors examine preaching in 1,580 churches, and conclude that whether or not people listen, there is not much to hear. Most sermons rarely touch on controversial moral and ethical issues.

  • South Africa’s Blacks: Aliens in Their Own Land

    Which Bible do you read? Have you read Matthew, chapter 25? Jesus tells a strange parable there. He says, "How is it going to be determined how you go to heaven or to the warmer place? Did you feed the hungry? Did you clothe the naked? Did you visit the sick? Did you visit those who are in prison?" Jesus says, "Inasmuch as you have done it to these you would have done it to me." So if you want to know where I am in South Africa, you go to the KTC squatter camp. That is where I am.

  • Space as Neither Vacuum nor Plenum

    Space is symmetrical in its mathematical, abstract form: -- isotropic, static, one-modal. But concrete process finds space entangled with acting entities and with time, and in this concrete domain, the symmetries of abstract fields do not exactly match the facts of location.

  • Speak Up, God (Exodus 33:12-23)

    Even though God has revealed himself fully in Jesus Christ, there is a sense in which God remains hidden.

  • Speaking About Israel: Some Ground Rules

    Can Jews criticize the state of Israel without being perceived as disloyal? Can Christians criticize the state of Israel without being perceived as anti-Semitic? How can Jews and Christians talk creatively and honestly with one another about the state of Israel?

  • Speaking of Islam: Muslims and Militants – Three Views

    Three authors give different view about how we are to speak about Islam. Lewis see the Islamics as people alienated from the West. Esposito puts Usama bin Laden and his type on the margins of Islam. Kepel sees Muslim militants as forging coalitions that can alter the balance of power in specific societies.

  • Speaking of Religion

    Media coverage of religion is not biased against religious faith; it is biased in favor of Enlightenment rationality.

  • Speaking the Truth to Our Children

    It is wishful thinking to believe that the educational system can assume the responsibility of passing to the next generation the central and binding values, as well as the moral and ethical concepts, that set us free to be who we can be.

  • Spellbound (Deut. 18:15-20; Ps. 111; 1 Cor. 8:1-23; Mark 1:21-28)

    Jesus challenges us to choose to live free and close to God -- the word of life. This living word from God bestows freedom upon us to live the lives God intends.

  • Spirit and Society: A Study of Two Concepts

    Professor Bracken relies upon the careful work done by Lucas in the concept of Spirit in Hegel’s philosophy and the concept of society in Whitehead’s thought to illuminate each another’s potentialities for development in the direction of still another, more comprehensive process-oriented system of thought.

  • Spirit at the Solstice

    Self-help philosophies not only fall silent in the face of white hot pain but refuse to hear the cries of pain uttered. On such terms, sunny styles of religion cannot serve as a basis for any solidarity of experience with those whose horizon excludes God. On that horizon, nevertheless, is a faithful reporting of the human condition.

  • Spiritual Counsel

    American society is driven by competitive economic forces that cheapen and exploit the personal dimensions of human relations and community life. Our major academic and religious institutions must support disciplines of inquiry into the nature and practice of care-giving, and into the human needs and problems that prompt this care.

  • Spiritual Healing On Trial: A Christian Scientist Reports

    Christian Scientists do not claim that their practice of spiritual healing should be accommodated in law simply because it is religious, but rather that it should not be proscribed by law simply because it is religious, and there is not clear evidence that it is ineffectual.

  • Spiritual Snobs (Ps. 95; Jn. 4:5-42)

    What the Samaritan woman sees is Jesus the Living Water who summons her from her ageless racisms and divisiveness into eternal life. We do not walk this path of love and righteousness under our own power. The Living Water is reaching out to all in love.

  • Spirituality and Contemporary Culture

    This is a time of a major paradigm shift going on in the minds and hearts of millions of Christians in North America, a shift from an older and very widespread way of seeing Christianity, to a way of seeing Christianity again. In this movement lies the hope and the future of the mainline denominations. The older view emphasizes believing. The newer way is a relational understanding of the Christian life, and a sacramental understanding of the Christian tradition itself.

  • Spirituality and Contemporary Culture - II

    The function of spirituality is to enable us to leaven our times; to stretch our times, to bless our times, to break open our own times to the present will of God. And what does all that mean to us today?

  • Spirituality for Protestants

    Christians need to get themselves together on what spirituality is and is not, on what false conceptions they carry with them, and on what the spiritual challenges of our time are asking of them.

  • Spirituality in Abstract Art

    It was long assumed that abstract artists were engaging in abstraction for its own sake, but that theory is losing ground as it becomes increasingly evident that many such artists use abstraction to suggest ultimate ideals.

  • Spirituality While Facing Tragedy: How Then Shall We Live?

    Gustafson suggests how those who practice Reformed Spirituality might respond to the tragedy of September 11, 2002--as well as to other acts of terrorism.

  • Splitting Up

    Jason Byassee discusses the complex and confusing divisions within The Episcopal Church.  The splits are over interpretations of doctrine, salvation, scripture, homosexuality, women’s ordination and includes additional divisions within each of these issues.

  • Spread Too Thin

    A review of a new book on theological education. The massive quantity of information the seminary graduate needs to know, the time-demands placed upon him or her, the scholarly requirements, the need for "formation" (more than simply "learning things.") and a multitude of relevant issues is overwhelming.

  • Stalking the Spiritual in the Visual Arts

    John Dillenberger’s Visual Arts and Christianity in America is "an unprecedented contribution" to American art history, states David Morgan, but nevertheless he takes exception to much of the book.

  • Standing on Promises (Is. 6:1-4,8-11; Ps. 16; I Thes. 5:16-24; John 1:6-8, 19-28)

    Are we blessed people, standing in God’s favor when we have devastated God’s creation with war and willful misuse? We hear from a prophet, a psalmist and the writer of an ancient epistle that no matter what befalls us, God is faithful, and God’s promises are true.

  • Standing the Founding Fathers on Their Heads

    Evangelicals who promote a warped view of American history in an effort to undo the court rulings on church-state affairs ignore the fundamental point that no country can be called Christian, even though Christians are in it. The theism of the founding fathers and framers of the constitution was vague. From civil faith they drew up the ideals of theism, but it is wrong to assume therefore that the country was founded on Christian beliefs and thus is a Christian nation.

  • Starting Over (Gen. 9:8-17; 1 Pet. 3:18-22; Mk. 1:9-5)

    When we approach the waters of baptism we remember Noah and the flood. Both the flood story and a baptism remind us that we stand in need of God’s cleansing.

  • Statism, Not Separationism, Is the Problem

    The separationist interpretation of the religion clauses of the First Amendment has shackled religious liberty and pluralism. This is challenged instead with "the ideals of neutrality and accommodation."

  • Stay and Follow (Ps. 22: 19-28; Lk. 8:26-39)

    Jesus does not say, "follow me" to every one. Sometimes he says, "Return home and be a witness."

  • Stay the Course (2 Timothy 3:14-4:5)

    People will be found turning away from solid teaching, filling up on spiritual junk, seeking catchy opinions, turning their backs on truths and chasing mirages. Keep your eye on what you’re doing and keep the Message alive, doing a thorough job as God’s servant.

  • Stay the Course (Luke 17:11-19)

    The author, diagnosed with breast cancer, sees gratitude as bringing buoyancy, as an antidote for fear. It flips despair on its back and says, "You’re not robbing me of today!"

  • Staying Power (Luke 24:36-49; Acts 3:12-19)

    Everyone preaches about an "Emmaus road experience." Nobody preaches about a "stayed-in-Jerusalem-and-waited-to-see-what-happened" experience.

  • Stepping Out (Matthew 14:22-33)

    The ground beneath us may be no more substantial than water. The challenge in Peter attempting to walk on the water toward Jesus is that Jesus holds his hand toward each of us grasping us if we should fall.

  • Stewards of the Earth’s Resources: A Christian Response to Ecology

    Any ecological ethic which takes into account both God and humanity must begin with the rejection of unbridled human sovereignty over the earth. Here are a few ethical considerations: the obligation not to exhaust nonrenewable resources, the imperative to provide accessible replacements, the necessity to improve our heritage modestly and carefully, the greater responsibility of the advantaged to improve that which exists and to share, and the obligation to refrain from excessive consumption and waste.

  • Stick with the Story

    It’s not the preacher’s task to tell a bunch of stories that end in deflecting our attention as we stand before God, but to tell that one story which will make all the stories porous.

  • Sticks and Stones (Ps. 31:1-5; Acts 7:55-60; 1 Ptr. 2:2-10; Jn. 14:1-4)

    Though we are tempted to hide behind barricades, guns and bombs, the stories of the martyrs remind us of the one who overcame evil not by defeating the enemy but by loving the enemy and thus defeating death itself.

  • Still on a Mission

    The author of God and Gold believes that Anglo-American ideals will lead to a larger political accord that cannot be escaped as hard as we might wish. These values will set the conditions for the development and conflict of the globe.

  • Still Small Voice (2 Kings 2: 1-2, 6-14; Lk. 9: 51-62)

    The story of Elijah and his successor comforts us with the realization that while a good man is hard to find, there is always an Elisha to prove the rule with a glorious exception.

  • Still Untouchable: The Politics of Religious Conversion

    In India, the dalits (the "untouchables") have left Hinduism for Islam, Christianity, Sikhism or Buddhism, believing that they will better their lives by doing so. However, their lives have not improved significantly. Their religious champions prefer to harp on caste discrimination and religious conversion rather than take the real measures that might improve dalits’ lives.

  • Stimulating Faith by Way of Contradiction

    Learning by rote is no more useful in Bible study than in other fields, and it is often the Bible’s anomalous, even contradictory texts that lead us to deeper thought and strong faith.

  • Stirrings of Divinity (Luke 2:41-52)

    If we struggle with Jesus’ being "fully human and fully God," it should not be surprising if the child Jesus wrestled with his identity too.

  • Stopping by the Pit Stop

    We speak much these days of the importance of the physical elements in Jesus’ life. That is style. Any good writer knows that good writing -- style -- intensifies meaning. And if any people should be concerned about intensifying meaning, it should be the people of God.

  • Stories Science Tells: Defining the Human Quest

    Science explains the world and the self better than any predecessor method, "and yet it has preserved our sense of awe and mystery."

  • Storm System (Mark 4:35-41; 2 Corinthians 6:1-13)

    We may think we cannot endure what the future is thrusting upon us, but when that future arrives we have strength enough to sail in peace even across a sea of troubles.

  • Story Time (Dt. 26:1-11; Ps. 91:1-2, 9-1-16; Rom. 10:8b-13)

    May the stories of faith refresh us along the way, for they are the word that is near us, on our lips and in our hearts.

  • Strangers in the Night (Psalm 95; Ex. 17:1-7; Rom. 5:1-11;Jn. 4:5-42)

    The author exposes the many ironies in John's account of Jesus' meeting with the Samaritan woman.

  • Strategies for Urban Ministry

    The challenges of a number of urban churches in Chicago are outlined featuring diverse intellectual energy required in a changing city. Various ministries are improvising, trying new things, risking failure, scattering seed and seeing what fruit may spring up.

  • Strategies of Global Development

    McKibben reviews The End of Poverty by Jeffrey Sachs. Sachs convincingly presents world poverty as a manageable problem; offering a plausible and very nearly painless plan for dealing with it, and all with an unruffled self-confidence. Although the much of the optimism may be replaced, it’s a sign of hope.

  • Strength Revealed as Weakness (1 Cor. 8:1-13)

    There’s a deep human tendency to idolize one’s own perspective on the world.

  • Stress and Purpose: Clergy Spouses Today

    Marilyn Brown Oden writes out of her own experience as a clergy spouse, as well as her scholarship and writing in this field, in describing the changes and developments over two decades. Citing generously from her own survey, she finds that the major clergy spouse difficulties center around unrealistic expectations by congregants, loneliness, and lack of urgent purpose in parishioners - all leading to ambivalent feelings toward the church.

  • Stressed Out

    Most Protestant ministers who leave the parish ministry do so because of stressful conflict with staff, laity and denominational officials, compounded by a lack of support from these officials and fellow clergy.

  • Stressed-Out Mothers

    Several books are reviewed on the traumas women are unprepared to face in childbirth. Although they do not face the disadvantages of women in Third World countries, and although they have sophisticated facilities (access to the best medical help, committed husbands or partners, advanced educations, good health and economic comforts) they are unhappy, shell-shocked and angry.

  • Stretched Hearts (Is.:1-10; Ps. 146:5-10; Lk. 1:47-55; James 5:7-10; Matt. 11:2-11

    .What is it like to be stretched out in a wrathful world in expectation of the arrival of an incommensurable power who is not wrathful?

  • Strong Institutions, Good City

    If we are to reverse the decay of American cities, we must realize that at root their problems are moral. Our social ills are traceable to our deficit of community; if we want to solve them, we must build a moral framework.

  • Subjective Becoming: Unwarranted Abstraction?

    The process view has difficulty making sense out of the notion of a subject when the concepts appropriate to a subject are applied only to the becoming which produces a subject. The process view separates being and becoming to the extent that what is still becoming is not yet a being which is an abstraction.

  • Subjective Immortality Revisited

    Lori Krafte challenges Ford and Suchocki in "A Whiteheadian Reflection on Subjective Immortality" concerning the subjectifying and objectifying an experience.

  • Subjectivity in the Making

    The author is concerned with the ontological basis for subjectivity. He recounts Whitehead’s various theories about it. Becoming is identified with subjectivity, being with objectivity. Becoming has primary existence, being has derivative existence.

  • Substance Within Substance

    Does Whitehead’s metaphysics provide adequate support for his claim of "substance within substance?" To what extent is Whitehead in opposition to Aristotle on this subject? The author believes Whitehead provides adequate support of his assertions concerning this immanence.

  • Suffering and Doctrine

    A review of a book about the mystery of human suffering, especially as it relates to Christ's suffering.

  • Suffering and Victory (Mk. 8:31-38; Mk. 9:2-9)

    We must learn to see adversity as a sign pointing us toward the fullness of communion.

  • Suffering, Innocence and Love

    The insight gained from the life of Jesus is that the task of becoming a human being, as God became a man, involves death. But only if God is viewed as unconditional love is it conceivable that he would become a man and live a human life. Only in this way, too, is it possible to understand why, rather than attempting to achieve a goal -- that is, attempting to become a god -- Jesus revealed that the way to become whole is to become a person.

  • Suicide and Christian Moral Judgment

    Is it "right" for a Christian, under any circumstance, to take her or his own life? If there are such circumstances, how does one go about identifying them? How can we go about preventing such circumstances from occurring?

  • Suicide Bombers: The ‘Just War’ Debate, Islamic Style

    If the challenge for Muslims is to find ways to seek justice while honoring the distinctions between civilian and military targets, the challenge for Israel (and for the U.S. and its allies as they seek to limit the capacity of terrorists to inflict harm) is to honor the notion of proportionate means.

  • Suicide, Responsibility and the Sacredness of Life

    Complex moral decisions made with the counsel of family, friends and medical professionals are of quite a different order from the lonely judgment reached by someone for whom life is "no longer worth living."

  • Summoned (Luke 14:25-33; Philemon 1-21)

    Because of Paul’s relationship to Philemon, he could have turned his request into a simple command, but Paul uses persuasion rather than the imperial imperative, for Philemon owes Paul his "very self" because he has won him for Christ.

  • Sunday Monarchists and Monday Citizens?

    If we are to be faithful to a biblical perspective, we need to re-examine the language of worship when it no longer speaks the language of governance by which we live.

  • Super Glue (Colossians 1:11-20)

    Jesus Christ is the coherence of creation. He is not only "before all things," but "in him all things hold together." He is the glue that never dies, the bond that never fails, the togetherness of the complex world we inhabit.

  • Superheroes, Antiheroes, and the Heroism Void in Children’s TV

    Let the heroes not be more moral or didactic, but more interesting and lifelike, engaged in struggles whose outcome could be in real doubt. The prevalence throughout our popular media of larger-than-life heroes fosters passivity, submission to authority and a yearning for easy solutions.

  • Surprise Encounter (Jn. 1:43-51; I Sam. 3:1-10 [11-20])

    Face to face with God catches us by surprise and interrupts our regular patterns and challenges our assumptions.

  • Surprise Party (Luke 15:1-3, 11b-3)

    If we prodigals see the father running in our direction with open arms, we should know in our souls that this as an event so unexpected, so undeserved, so out of joint with all that life should bring us, that we fall down in awe before this joyful mystery.

  • Survivor of the First Degree

    The Holocaust is a phenomenon that must not be classified with anything else. People will continue to be dumbfounded as to how the Holocaust could have happened, and the fate of the victims will continue to haunt humankind.

  • Sweat, Stones and Visions: Native American Spirituality

    Our sense of time is unlike the essential character of Indian time. Our frequently misguided efforts to fit spirituality into neat time frames like those scheduled for theater performances or athletic events. As if we could regulate our encounters with God. The sweatlodge reminds us of another way: of surrendering; allowing ourselves to be “gripped” by the Other, renewed, recast, reborn.

  • System Failure

    The church is not a full realization of the New Jerusalem, but the citizenship of those whose primary loyalty is there, already alive in it’s transforming light.

  • T. S. Eliot’s Christian Society: Still Relevant Today?

    Modernist in poetic style, traditionalist in almost every other respect, T.S. Eliot espoused the concept of a hierarchical, unified Christian society. He believed that unless England and America recovered a form of Christian society, they would fall into the paganism that had overtaken Germany and Russia. He believed that liberalism was a corrosive force, for it provided people with no positive values. A liberal society is a negative society, for it does not work toward any end, it merely creates a vacuum.

  • Table Blessings

    We take food for granted, and generally neglect to regard it with the proper seriousness and reverence. The fast food factory liberates us to live in the jet age, but it does not teach us that food is holy. Fast food teaches us that food is fuel; consequently, we are much better at cursing food than at blessing it.

  • Table Manners

    People saw him eating and they knew who he was: someone who had lost all sense of what was right, who condoned sin by eating with sinners and who might as well have spit in the faces of the good people who raised him.

  • Tackling the World’s Unsolvable Problems

    Local pastors, where enabling leadership is concerned, may be at a better and more advantageous position to build a more effective peace movement than any other group in the world.

  • Take Heed to Yourselves (Luke 21:29-34)

    Ah, to be free from time’s tyranny, measuring time as our ancestors did -- by the gentle passage of seasons, by sunrise and sunset, not by seconds, minutes and hours. But to live as if there will always be a tomorrow is to live like a fool.

  • Taking Confirmation Out of the Classroom

    A new look at the purpose and method of confirmation, along with some appropriate suggestions that Willimon has put into practice in his own ministry.

  • Taking the Bad With the Good

    The author reviews two books on religious violence. Is religion part of the problem or part of the solution? Is one kind of religion bad and another good? Do we know how to tell the difference?

  • Taking the Bible on Its Own Terms

    A full appreciation of the Bible with all its resonances will emerge from a combination of approaches to it. The biblical scholar cannot avoid the question, “What does it mean for me?” For the answer he or she will need some knowledge of the lay world -- but also of the world within which the Bible and the first Christian communities took shape.

  • Taking the Emperor’s Clothes Seriously: New Testament and the Roman Emperor

    The author examines the importance of the concept of the Roman emperor in the New Testament period.

  • Taking the Good News Home (I Cor. 12.12-31a, Lk. 4;14-21)

    Jesus’ program continues today.

  • Taking the Next Step in Inclusive Language

    The most important way to redress the patriarchal imbalance of our faith is to refer to the deity as feminine. A balanced use of all types of imagery in both word and song can help us to achieve a more accurate -- though never definitive -- idea of who God is.

  • Taking Up the Cross (Mark 8:31)

    We, like Peter, still find it inordinately difficult to believe that the Christ of Easter is the same Son of man who must suffer, be rejected and killed. Even more than Peter, we resist the notion that the cross is the definition of what it means to follow Jesus.

  • Tales of Miraculous Healing (Luke 17:19)

    Nature, for the great 17th-century scientific pioneers was God’s Book, inscribed with holy laws every bit as valid as the laws of the other book, Holy Scripture.

  • Taming the Beast

    There is a long standing history of misappropriation of Christian concepts for capitalist ends. The church needs to have a more critical conversation about which parts of economic life contribute to freedom and which do not.

  • Taming the Savage Market

    Economy cannot be separated from government and society. Political economy is thus a moral and institutional as well as a technical term. The democratization of the economy would limit the harshness of the labor market, give everyone who works a stake in the enterprise he or she works in and even in the economy at large, thus reducing both the anxiety and the cynicism that are rampant in our present economic life.

  • Taxing Church Property: An Imminent Possibility?

    The foundation has been laid for taxing church property and perhaps even church income. The power to tax religious institutions must be construed as the power to limit the free exercise of religion. Levying property taxes upon churches would have the effect of closing the doors of thousands of small congregations that operate on a shoestring.

  • Teaching About Religion: A Middle Way for Schools

    The Supreme Court has explicitly encouraged “teach about religion” as part of a curriculum of secular education. In the landmark Schempp-Murray decisions, it often has been overlooked that although the justices forbade worship in the schools, they encouraged “teaching about religion.”

  • Teaching the Eco-Justice Ethic: The Parable of the Billerica Dam

    The churches’ ability to teach the ethic of eco-justice to the public depends on the assessment we make of the religious and ethical significance of our public traditions -- in particular, the civic tradition of participatory democracy.

  • Teaching Theology in a New Cultural Environment

    The structure, content, functioning and theological ramifications of the mass media are largely ignored in the work of most theological thinkers and theological education institutions. Therefore, the culture addressed and referred to in most theological education has tended to be an elite culture. While such culture may give elevated and cultured expression to theological truth, it does not adequately express or touch the lived situation of the majority of people. The author describes the theological and hermeneutical implications of the new media reality.

  • Teaching Theology in Context

    Report on Candler School of Theology's attempt to provide the means of integrating theological learning and practice – i.e. teaching theology in context.

  • Teaching Theology in the Church

    Coming from the position that doing theology is not so much a matter of picking a system of thought as it is acquiring a way of life and a perspective for understanding all of life, Anthony B. Robinson reports on his experience of teaching a class on theology for his parishioners based on the idea that the main business of theology is to make sense of one’s life.

  • Teaching Values in South India: An Experiment in Education

    Several of the teachers of values education believe that only a Christian perspective can renew the foundations of public morality. Does Christianity provide universal values that can influence the reconstruction of a great Asian civilization?

  • Teen-age Sexuality and Public Morality

    The church needs to help teen-agers become more aware of the social and ethical consequences of sexual activities. Sexual practices can never be examined and understood independently of other social factors. Sexual behavior is intertwined with issues of education, economics, politics, national security and employment.

  • Tell All or Go to Jail: A Dilemma for the Clergy

    The case of Paul Boe -- a minister found guilty of contempt of court for refusing to testify about what he saw at Wounded Knee -- poses some significant legal and theological problems with some wider implications of the clergy confidentiality issue.

  • Tempering the Spirit of Wrath: Anger and the Christian Life

    Roberts analyzes the destructive nature of anger that Paul warned about using metaphors from psychology and computer language to clarify anger's positive and negative qualities, and to present a Christian model of how to master its destructive potential.

  • Temporal Concepts: A Schematic Analysis

    It is difficult to answer what time is because of the paradoxes of being and non-being, the experiential and emotional weightiness of the subject and the metaphysical centrality of time in understanding such things as substances, events, causation, and consciousness. Dr. Miller explores especially the existence of a plurality of sometimes discordant temporal concepts.

  • Tensions Beset Church of South India

    It may be that in the near future the church of India will find ways to include a new emphasis on both church growth and significant social engagement. It may also reinvigorate preaching and principled leadership, find ways to modulate the influence of caste, extend democratic participation and balance it with judicious episcopal oversight, while reducing the temptation to submit every intrachurch disagreement to the secular courts.

  • Terrorism And ‘Just War’

    The mainstream of Christian ethics has contended that there can be a legitimate or ‘just" use of military force -- legitimacy being determined by a variety of factors, such as the presence of a "just cause," "right authority," "last resort," and the use of "means proportional to the end." Four different authors present their perspectives.

  • Terrorism and Religions

    Religiously affiliated people are called to work together to face the issues of terrorism, violence and injustice.

  • Test


  • Test Run (Mark 1:9-15)

    Temptation is deceptive, not obvious, and it definitely is not a caricature. The tempter often looks and sounds like a friend or relative, offering no debauchery often associated with temptation. Personal, social and professional ruin is in the small print at the bottom of the temptation.

  • Testing That Never Ceases (Matt.4:1-2; 4:3-11; Gen. 3:5; Deut. 8:2; Deut. 34:1-8; Deut. 18:18)

    It was this serving, suffering, dying Jesus whom God vindicated by raising him from the dead. A church too fond of power, place and claims would do well to walk in his steps.

  • Textual Appeal

    Teaching Christianity’s sacred texts to Christians can be dangerous, for biblical scholars and their students have very different presuppositions regarding the Bible.

  • That They May Be One (John 17:6-19)

    The apostolic messengers would proclaim one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of us all, in whom all those made new in the Easter Lord are no longer male or female, slave or free, Jew or gentile, but one in Christ Jesus.

  • The "Highest Standards" of Clergy Morality

    United Methodism, perhaps unwittingly, has recently added to our corporeal mythology by rendering its judgment that fidelity is located not in the heart, but in the genitals. The highest standards apparently were beyond the grasp of United Methodism’s General Conference. We have instead settled for standards well below the highest. So where is fidelity seated? Is it in the genitals, the heart, the will or the actions?

  • The ‘Multiple Factor’ and Economic Development

    Just by being itself, the church could provide the key to self-help programs that work. It is so easy to concentrate on either/or: either service to humanity or propagation of the faith, as though they were mutually exclusive.

  • The ‘Postmodern’ Barth? The Word of God As True Myth

    When most theologians were trying to adjust themselves to modernism, Karl Barth perceived that modernism was bankrupt. We should make use of "mythical" language, said Barth. Otherwise it would be impossible to bear witness to Christ.

  • The Century and Civil Rights: Indirect Action

    This is the fifth in a series of articles during the 100th-anniversary of The Christian Century. It discusses the Century's involvement in civil rights movement.. The Century supported the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, the NAACP and the Urban League.

  • The Century and Women Feminist Gains

    Throughout the mid-nineteenth century, mainline Christian editors remained reluctant to support women’s working outside the home. Although the Century did not necessarily taken the lead in feminist issues, it did open its pages to the contributions of those who had.

  • The Century in Transition: 1916-1922

    From 1919 to 1922 the Century became nondenominational and assumed a role as a leading forum for the expression of social-gospel positions.

  • The Natures’ of Whitehead’s God

    To Whitehead, the nature of God is primordial as a unified actual entity. As a result of God’s prehension of the world he is consequent as a unified actual entity. And as a unified actual entity, God is "superjective" in that he is present to and immanent in the world.

  • The ‘Sense’ of Advent (Is.40:9-11; II Pet.3:8-14; Mk.1:1-8)

    Israel’s sin was not unlike the sin of which our nation has been guilty: the sin of supporting the wealthy and ignoring the poor.

  • The ‘Unnecessary Necessity’: The Century in World War II

    This is the fourth in a series of 100th anniversary articles examining key moments in the life of the Christian Century magazine. Because of the shame they continued to feel for their unqualified blessing of World War I, many Protestants were hesitant to bless another war. Reinhold Niebuhr and Charles Clayton Morrison differed in what to do about the rise of Hitler in Germany.

  • The Activism of Interpretation: Black Pastors and Public Life

    Black preachers are socially bilingual. Their ability to communicate across racial lines and the cultural expectation that they do so has given them social and political clout disproportionate to their numbers.

  • The Actualization of Christ’s Achievement in Our Historical Existence

    Resurrection is the entry into a new moral order that is constituted as a terrestrial reality by the creative act of God, and therefore it is something that happens to individual human beings.

  • The Ambiguities of Transcendence

    Christianity does not call us to flee to another world, but to hallow this world where we are placed.

  • The American Spirituality of Loren Eiseley

    Loren Eisely, in his autobiography, says: “I who profess no religion find the whole of my life a religious pilgrimage.” What does it mean to say that the religious chord does not sound in someone, but that the person vibrates to the concerns historically related to religion?

  • The American Success Syndrome

    Athena, goddess of careers, is fast becoming the most admired deity in our contemporary American pantheon. American studies, biblical literature and Reinhold Niebuhr’s social ethics focus on careerism, are issues consuming attention on American campuses, especially at predominantly women’s colleges.

  • The Anachronism of Jonathan Edwards

    Niebuhr asks us--in light of what has happened in this century--to re-consider Edward's understanding of the holiness of God.

  • The Antimuseum

    Dr. Jenkins is critical of many aspects of the American Indian history and culture as presented in the new National Museum of the American Indian and wonders why so much of importance is left out.

  • The Anxiety of the Runner: Terminal Helplessness

    The jogger who says ‘I’m going to run till I die’ is seeking to still a peculiarly modern angst. The church must try to deal specifically with the environments of the terminally ill and the terminally aged. As hospices make their way into abandoned maternity and pediatrics wings of local hospitals, churches can push for their acceptance and church people can serve on boards of directors and aid in ministering to dying patients and their families.

  • The Apologetics of Universal Grace (Acts 17:23b; I Pet.3:18b-l9; John 14:17)

    The traditions of both Paul and Peter were driven to say things about the universal implications of Christ’s death that the historical Jesus as a first-century Palestinian Jew would not and could not have imagined.

  • The Appeal of the Da Vinci Code

    Truthiness – the notion that what "feels true" must be treatd as true – helps account for the extraordinary success of The Da Vinci Code.

  • The Approach to Whitehead: Traditional? Genetic? or Systematic?

    Dr. Nobo believes Dr. Ford’s genetic approach must be given up for a more systematic approach.

  • The Authority of Hope

    Trotter wrestles with "hope" as a distinctively Christian term. Utilizing various theologians, as well as other traditions, Trotter presents a strong case for hope as a critical aspect of Christian faith which has too often been relegated to obscurity or simply neglected. He ends with a ringing endorsement of "hope" as a source of strength for believers.

  • The Axiomatic Matrix of Whitehead’s Process and Reality

    Dr. McHenry investigates the structural similarity between Whitehead’s celebrated work with Bertrand Russell's Principia Mathematica.

  • The Barbaric 20th Century

    A review of Humanity: A Moral History of the Twentieth Century. Jonathan Glover undertakes the momentous task of offering a moral history of the past century -- a history of the failure of our humanity and the concurrent rise of barbarism. He charts the constant threat of barbarism, and suggests ways to build up ethical defenses against it.

  • The Basingers on Divine Omnipotence: A Further Point

    Classical theologians typically limit self-determining (free) creatures on this earth to humans (or perhaps also to certain higher animals), while process theologians typically would affirm that creative self-determination is characteristic of all beings.

  • The Battle for the Bible: Renewing the Inerrancy Debate

    Evangelicals are jittery, fearing that Lindsell’s book The Battle for the Bible might herald a new era of faculty purges and organizational splits -- a replay of earlier conflicts, this time rending the evangelical world asunder.

  • The Battle for the Catholic Church

    The author criticizes the Curia and the pope himself for an attempt to return Catholicism to a pre-Vatican II authoritarian church.

  • The Beginning of a Ministry

    Two poignant requests confront a minister arriving at a new parish. Even before the first Sunday, requirements are forthcoming that no seminary education can bequeath. Yet who we are is what matters.

  • The Benefits of Fasting

    Fasting, prayer and meditation blend easily together and improve the author's ability to pray “Thy will be done” with wholehearted commitment. Proponents of fasting say that this discipline is an effective means of improving one’s mental, physical and spiritual health.

  • The Best of Times, the Worst of Times

    ven though Jesus made it clear we cannot serve both God and wealth, our government, our society and our personal lives are sucked into a life where wealth is the primary value. If we choose God, we will become part of the solution of the world’s problems rather than part of the problem.

  • The Bible and Communication

    In what ways can the Bible, a book from a largely agricultural, pre-industrial, and pre-electronic culture, have any bearing on how we should live and work out our faith in a global media-dominated culture today?

  • The Bible and Public Policy

    In the realm of public-policy discussion, the Bible has no place. As American Christians, we are privileged to participate in a government of, by and for the people. We must not abuse this privilege by either ignoring our responsibility or by thinking we can and should use it as an opportunity to establish God’s kingdom here and now.

  • The Bible as Canon

    Biblical criticism can no longer ignore the charges that it has atomized the Bible in its own special way, then stuffed the pieces back into antiquity, while often acting irresponsibly about the nature of the Bible itself. The claim to objectivity and thoroughness rings hollow when the Bible as canon is ignored.

  • The Bible as Scripture

    Dr. Brueggemann reviews Brevard Child's book on Isaiah. The nature of the biblical material itself makes interpretation inescapably theological. It has as its subject the theological claims made in and through the text and received by the church.

  • The Bible in the Classroom

    There is a countrywide push to teach the National Council on Biblical Curriculum in public schools, but its curriculum is a blatant attempt to project far-right aspects of the Bible.

  • The Bible’s Place in the Public School

    The Supreme Court Justices have strongly encouraged instruction in the Bible as a literary and historical document, use of the Bible as a reference book, and study of the role religions have played in the development of civilization. Now that religion is ‘in’ it is possible to teach the most influential book in all of Western literature -- and to teach it without coercion or apology.

  • The Biblical Vision of the Ecological Crisis

    The biblical understanding of nature inheres in a human ethical vision, a vision of ecojustice, in which the enmity or harmony of nature with humanity is part of the human historical drama of good and evil.

  • The Birth of Evil: Genesis According to Bergman

    It is artistic imaginations that can conceive, bring to birth, more intricately detailed human figures, which can give us what we most need now -- a conviction of our capacity for life that is textured richly enough to disclose our creaturehood as both problem and promise.

  • The Black Churches: A New Agenda

    Black churches are called to actualize their potential as agents of social change without abandoning their traditional role as communities of faith. The most significant development in recent years has been an increasing awareness among blacks not affiliated with the churches that religious institutions are as critical to the survival of Afro-Americans in the present as they have been in the past.

  • The Black Religious Crisis

    White students seem deeply interested in the study and practice of religion, but religion apparently holds little or no appeal for black students. Black religion is a survival tool that can be (and is) discarded when the individual no longer feels in need of the emotional reinforcement it can provide.

  • The Blame Game (Romans 7:15-25a; Matthew 11:16-19, 25-30)

    All of us struggle in the battle between good and evil, right and wrong choices, thoughts and actions. Who can see us free? Paul could not answer this question.. All we can say, with Pau,l is "Thanks be to God – through Jesus Christ our Lord."

  • The Bread of Life for the Life of the World

    Christ’s presence is real presence. This must be reiterated, because an unreal presence is no presence at all. "For Christ is our life" (Col. 3:4). Even as Jesus Christ is "really present" in us, and especially in the context of the sacrament, so we are "really present" in him. Because of this belief, Christians of many communions are moving toward consensus on interpretation of the Eucharist.

  • The Breath of God: A Primer in Pacific/Asian Theology

    The spirit of God broods over the waters of East and West, breathing new life in both directions.

  • The Brightman-Hartshorne Correspondence, 1934-1944

    The author follows the correspondence between Edgar S. Brightman and Chalres Hartshorne over a number of years. They tried to converge on fundamental issues, but there were some basic differences. In particular in their epistemology, the two were separated by the ancient perspectives of monism and dualism.

  • The Buddhist Ground of the Whiteheadian God

    Whitehead’s language is not Buddhist as such, and not even meaningful within a Buddhist context. But the relation of mutual and total coinherence which it establishes between God and the World can be seen to be a purely religious relation. It is grounded in a religious vision, and this ground is in fundamental continuity with Mahayana Buddhism and more in continuity with Buddhism than with any religious language in the Christian world.

  • The Burden of the Gospels

    To take Jesus literally is excruciatingly painful, for to take him seriously is the beginning of troubles. To escape by saying Jesus is taking part in exaggeration to make his point is like saying "He didn’t really mean it."

  • The Call For God

    Insofar as prayer is rooted in our situation and in our sensibility, it is rooted not in our sense of God’s presence but in our sense of God’s absence. The greatest obstacle to prayer is that it is too often addressed not to the One whom Jesus called Abba but to ourselves or to an idol of our fantasy.

  • The Call to Downward Mobility (Mk. 10:35-45)

    It is easy to assume that relationship with God translates into entitlement.

  • The Call to Prison Ministry

    Few ministers and laity show much concern for the incarcerated. Unless they are involved with the people in jails and prisons, Christians will surely lack integrity, consistency and dependability -- qualities needed by the imprisoned.

  • The Call’s Cry in the Wilderness

    Explanations of Contemporary Christian music. The author takes a look at the "spiritual adventuring" of a rock band named The Call.

  • The Case for Catechism

    The leaders of the Reformation had some good reasons to foster catechetical instruction. So do we. After almost a century of experience-based education, how well do mainline Protestants know the faith?

  • The Case for Regulating Campaign Finances: A Religious Perspective

    Do inequalities in wealth benefit the wider community? That question should be the subject of political discussion. Is the freedom to contribute money to a political campaign part of our guarantee of freedom of speech?

  • The Case for Single-child Families

    China and India are adding more people to the planet than the U.S., but it’s the Americans who put more strain on the environment. Isn’t there something selfish about not having children? The notion cannot be easily dismissed.

  • The Case of the Missing Liver (I Cor. 15:44)

    Will we need all our body parts at the resurrection? "I must say that something is terribly missing from the Christianity of anybody who is more concerned about what happens to a liver after death than about what happens to somebody who needs a sound liver while still alive."

  • The Catholic Experience at Taming Pluralism

    At the dawn of the 20th century, Catholics finally learned that the First Amendment gave the churches wide latitude to influence public policy.

  • The Challenge of Conservative Theology

    Since Christian theology is by definition evangelical, it is both natural and arrogant to suggest that theology is evangelical only when it fits into a particular position.

  • The Challenge of John 3:16 for Theological Education

    Does the church really want leadership willing to risk for the world? The church, reformed and always reforming, is the hallmark of our heritage. Without this reforming bias, we will never be able to fulfill the challenge of John 3:16 in this intimidating world.

  • The Challenge to Theological Education

    The deep changes needed in our world cannot occur without the self-reform of major institutions, most of which are inherently conservative and resistant to change. The church is one such institution. However, some of the smaller institutions affiliated with the church may be in position to bring about change, and theological seminaries are among the most important of them.

  • The Challenges of Adulthood for a Liberal Society

    Novak identifies the United States as a liberal society in the process of maturing, and proposes that the liberty of this society has and always will be dependent upon vigilance of mind with regard to such concerns as free speech, terrorism, and freedom of the press.

  • The Changing Face of Old Testament Studies

    It should remain possible for an interpretive community to make a conscious decision to hear the Bible as scripture, to believe in the coercive and constraining force of the Bibles' own unique literary construction, and to regard itself as trying to live out the demands of a word and a God that stand over it, in continuity with communities of faith within the Bible and in the church's ongoing history of interpretation.

  • The Choice and the Responsibility

    Whatever we do either creates the framework for continuing the grand adventure of life and mind on this planet, or sets the stage for its termination.

  • The Christian Church’s Struggle to be Faithful

    If the Church is faithful, it will not be the same in the future as it is today. It will not use the same forms of organization, teach the same way, relate to society in the same way, or worry about the same issues. In a word, the church will be transformed.

  • The Christian Church: Engaging the Future

    In a time of a global transformation of consciousness, the church needs to engage the world based on its radical roots in God's revelation, but informed by current views of the nature of reality. Also, the hierarchical structure of governance needs to be reformed into a more democratic one.

  • The Christian Churches' Response to the Principalities and Powers

    The Christian church has not dealt seriously, according to Biblical standard, with the violence and destruction brought by the principalities and powers. By and large, the churches have lived by adapting themselves to the reality of the power rather than transforming it.

  • The Christian Gospel and the American Way of Life

    It is always too dangerous for men to grasp the real import of the New Testament -- any time, anywhere, in any society. This is because the gospel always lays bare elements of tyranny which society regards as necessary for its own security.

  • The Christian Mission in a Pluralistic World

    We can witness to Christ as savior of the world. Our hope lies in the resilience of life, which is Christ, the emergence of new understanding, which is possible only as Christ brings it to pass, in the extension of love to all human beings and to other species, which  is Christ within us. This may mean that many Christians find in Buddha a true realization of what and who they are.

  • The Christian Witness in a Secular Age

    Dr. Niebuhr analyses the nature of the Christian witness to justice and peace, in the context of post-WW II colonialism.

  • The Christian, the Future, and Paolo Soleri

    No mere dreamer, Soleri has planned -- and has begun to build -- cities that do not sacrifice our relation to nature for the sake of urban values. He calls his elements of architecture and ecology Arcology.

  • The Christology of John Cobb

    Dr. Carpenter discusses two general problems faced by John Cobb: 1. Accounting for God’s presence in any person without displacing some aspect of that person’s humanity. 2. Accounting for God’s unique presence in Jesus.

  • The Church Amid Racial Tensions

    We do not like the thought that it may be our own unconvertedness, our own unregenerateness, that causes racial tension within the church. A Christian may still like his own race better than others, but it is getting very hard to think that God agrees with him. And even if he does think that God agrees with him, it is getting very hard, almost impossible, to say it out loud.

  • The Church and Abortion: Signs of Consensus

    The difference between radical and conservative statements on abortion reflects the difference between relational and static views of humans.

  • The Church and Communication in the Technological Era

    Only by providing alternative environments to the mass media, using the media for messages about human values, and helping viewers overcome their growing dependence upon the media environment and its values can the church hope to liberate people from control by "The Technique" and to set them free from the potential tyranny of the technological era.

  • The Church and Electronic Culture

    In the late 20th Century, churches face a situation unprecedented since the Church's formation (comparable in magnitude to the era of the Christian apologists and the Reformation), in which most churches' thought and practice - and by implication God's revelation - are framed within and associated with communication and modes of thought of a past stage of cultural development. The author suggests implications for the church.

  • The Church and Political Life: A Loss of Confidence

    The vigorous defense of the separation of church and state at the institutional level must be matched by a quest for an integrated view of life at another -- and deeper -- level. We are in for a longer and more arduous struggle than we have yet recognized, for our vision is tarnished and the message of the ecumenical church unsure without whose mainstays people make decisions according to their own interests -- and the interests of the powerful generally prevail.

  • The Church and Power Conflicts

    The church needs many ministers who identify themselves with the efforts of the poor to gain power to balance the thousands of ministers who, implicitly, give their blessings to the way the strong keep their power. In no church should the Gospel be reduced to simple advocacy of this or that social goal. The preaching and the liturgy should clearly transcend the immediate teaching about the social issues.

  • The Church and Social Responsibility: Where Do We Go from Here

    Church leaders have not given adequate attention to the local congregation as a vital context for addressing social issues. Unless these issues are placed in the context of worship or of debate on the budget, members are effectively educated to regard them as unimportant.

  • The Church and Sustainable Living

    The most important contribution of the churches, called for by those who newly look to it with hope, is to affirm the values of our tradition.  But, it is important that these values be taken seriously, and that means that they inform individual and corporate life.  The tension within the churches is between values based on caring and service and values based on the economic paradigm.

  • The Church and the Coming Electronic Revolution: An interview with

    Churches must take care to avoid efforts to use TV, video recorders and cable TV in place of people-to-people relationships.

  • The Church and the Family Crisis:

    Research shows that none of the alternatives to the intact nuclear family (first marriages) performs well the task of rearing children. Neither the state nor the church can be a substitute. If the church is interested in helping society raise strong, healthy and self-directed children, it must help produce as many intact first marriages as possible.

  • The Church as a Global Society

    The author asserts that God governs according to the legal principle of vicarious liability: God assumes culpability for human sin, for God's own sake. Made in God's image, humans are to accept responsibility for the way in which they are governed. African churches need recover the sovereignty they lost by accepting Western models of governance.

  • The Church as Prophetic Critic

    Mounting criticism of the church’s role as critic of the prevailing order brought John C. Bennet, the professor of Christian theology and ethics at Union Theological Seminary, to write a spirited defense of that role and a challenge to the churches to serve not only as healer but also as prophet.

  • The Church Faces Its World

    To ask the members of an ecumenical conference to give, within a fortnight, a diagnosis of the world’s ills, an evaluation of the church’s previous and present efforts to cure them, a statement of the rights and duties of the church in relation to political and cultural organizations, and a prospectus for future action which will satisfy the legitimate claims of both and promote the welfare of all mankind -- that seems to be asking the impossible. The Oxford Conference; with certain limitations, made significant advances in these directions.

  • The Church in the Centrifuge

    Liberals must come to terms with the personal religious vocabulary and quit discrediting people’s spiritual quests or somehow looking upon them as less important than social and political matters.

  • The Church Moves Toward Film Discrimination

    In the early 1968's, the National Council of Churches radically revised its approach to the film industry, moving from a self-serving pietism to a support for artistically superior films that deal honestly with the human condition.

  • The Church of the Living God

    The church of the living God needs men and women who will expect great things from God and attempt great things in the name of Jesus Christ our Lord.

  • The Church’s False Witness Against Jews

    To anyone who knows the tragic history of the Jews, it comes as no great surprise that the Holocaust could and did take place in the heart of Christendom. The Nazis’ “final solution” cannot be divorced from the attempts to get rid of the Jews throughout church history -- first by forced conversion, then by expulsion, then by extermination.

  • The Church’s Stake in the Arts

    Trotter takes the church’s stake in the arts seriously. Working from the derivation of "religion," Trotter contends that arts have a critical role in "the church’s very existence." Such an understanding has not recently been popular, which underlines the significance of the issue for writer and reader. The implications drawn from this analysis challenge and excite the reader.

  • The Church's New Concern with the Arts

    The encounter of the gospel with the world, whether in evangelism, religious education, apologetics, or theology, requires a deep appreciation of, and initiation into, the varied symbolic expressions of culture. It is in such manifestations at all levels that the moral and spiritual life of the age discloses itself.

  • The Church-Based University

    The author reviews two books showing the problems which challenge church related colleges and universities in America. He gives one example of how one college has retained its academic quality and soul.

  • The Church: Beyond the Christian Religion

    Hall addresses with the question How shall we be able to fashion our life as the community of Christ's disciples (after all, our only raison d'être), and how shall we carry on as a missionary faith, in a world that is multicultural and pluralistic? His answer suggests new understandings of "One," "Holy," "Catholic," and "Apostolic."

  • The Churches and Day Care

    Child care -- provided to preschool children outside of their homes -- once was considered to be remedial care for children of pathological or needy families. Today it is America’s way of raising its children. The church’s close association with so many providers (70% are held in church buildings) gives it a unique opportunity to stimulate a long and much-needed national dialogue about child care.

  • The Churches' Role in Media Education and Communication Advocacy

    Promoting understanding of how media work, how media affect our lives and how to use media wisely includes differentiating among the values, messages and meaning of life as espoused by faith groups and as interpreted by the media. Media education becomes the key.

  • The City and the Good Life

    Good cities are an essential component of the good life for human beings, who are made in the image of God. Post-World War II suburban sprawl is the antithesis of good urbanism. To the extent that we Christians simply accept the premises of suburban culture, we compromise both the substance of our faith and the effectiveness of our evangelical effort.

  • The Claim to Uniqueness

    There are two meanings in the word “unique.”  1. To be different from all others. 2. That which distinguishes a person from a thing (that is, the ontological meaning). Many statements in Christian history can be misunderstood if one misses the paradox in the meanings of this word.

  • The Class Struggle in American Religion

    If one says of a particular political position that it and no other is the will of God, one is implicitly excommunicating those who disagree. The effortless linkage between reactionary religion and reactionary politics is most troubling, especially in terms of an aggressive and at least potentially bellicose nationalism.

  • The Clinical Use of Whitehead’s Anthropology

    The author discusses the following areas of psychotherapy and how process thought might apply in each: I. Psyche and Soma; II. Radical Novelty and Continuity Through Time; III. Confluence (Causal Efficacy) and Boundaries; IV. Presentational Immediacy and Separation; V. Internal Relations; VI. Metaphors, Grounded Possibilities and Projections; VII. Dissociation; VIII. The Self; IX. Parts Work and Contrasts; X. The Role of Consciousness; XI. The Structure of Perception and the Phases of the Self; and XII. Nature and Source of Healing.

  • The Closet Socialists

    As a religious vision, socialism commands respect; as a practical system, it evokes skepticism. I confess as a matter of considered judgment that democratic capitalism is not only a more humane and rational economic-political system than socialism has yet produced but also the most advanced human form of liberty, justice and equality of opportunity yet fashioned by the human race.

  • The Closet, the House and the Sanctuary

    Each worship setting is unique, and people need to have access to more than one. Let the sanctuary stick to its role of the public and corporate recital of the drama of grace. Then let us find ways to train sensitive lay leaders who can enable house worship. And let us also encourage and support those persons and groups that are providing spiritual direction for solitude,

  • The Collapse of Marriage

    The author of the book reviewed here believes that the institution of marriage is about to collapse and there’s little that can be done about it. Dr. Browning refutes this and proclaims that both society and the church need to be more supportive of marriage.

  • The Common Faith

    There are three aspects to the the meaning and understanding of the word "Christ" as found in the new Testament: First, the event itself. Second, who He was. Third, His presence in the community established.

  • The Common Good in a Postmodern World

    Modern economics is not an empirical or historical discipline making globalization of the economy harder and harder to ignore.

  • The Common Good: Individual Rights and Community Responsibility

    Our shrinking planet cannot afford the continuation of the view of individual people or individual nations competing for scarce resources. It can only survive if the movements toward cooperation for the common good gain dominance.

  • The Complex Face of Orthodoxy

    Despite the problems confronting the Russian Orthodox Church today, and the issues that cloud its past, many positive things are happening.

  • The Concept of Mass in Process Theory

    The authors examine the connection between mass and substance, from both the traditional and process perspectives.

  • The Concept of Trinity and Its Implication for Christian Communication in Indian Context

    The author discusses some practical applications of the concept of the Trinity to the praxis of Christian life. He does this within an Indian context, including a look at later developments and the implications for Christian communication.

  • The Conference at Stockholm

    Every question regarding the practical application of Christianity came in for frank and free discussion. And there was no attempt to disguise those disagreements which emerged as the discussions wore on. God’s purposes for the world, economic and industrial problems, social and moral problems, international relations, Christian education and plans and methods of co-operation were all discussed from almost every conceivable point of view.

  • The Consequences of Prehending the Consequent Nature

    This essay refers to a number of articles written about Lewis S. Ford, which can be found in the Process Studies category. They include: Jorge L. Nobo: Celebrating Lewis S. Ford’s Thought in Process; Robert C. Neville, Lewis S. Ford’s Theology: A Critical Appreciation; John B. Cobb, Jr., Re-Reading Science and the Modern World; Denis Hurtubise, The Enigmatic "Passage of the consequent Nature to the Temporal World" in Process and Reality: An Alternative Proposal; Palmyre Oomen: The Prehensibility of God’s Consequent Nature.

  • The Constitution and the Congregation: Time to Celebrate

    If Christians don’t get Christian amendments, anti-secular humanist court decisions, the right to write the textbooks or to post the Ten Commandments on the schoolhouse wall, that does not mean that Jews and Christians are silenced. No law keeps them from prime-time media, literary and intellectual life, the decision-making institutions of a free-enterprise economy -- board rooms, foundations, advertising -- or the public sector, including the gallery, the concert hall and the town forum.

  • The Contemporary Resource of Liberal Theology

    As evangelical Christians emerge as leaders of our society, they can find in the despised and ignored liberal theology important resources for relating the legitimate concerns of Christian faith to the pressing problems of our time. But as they emerge as leaders of our society, they can find in the now somewhat despised and ignored liberal theology important resources for relating the legitimate concerns of Christian faith to the pressing problems of our time.

  • The Continuing Christian Need for Judaism

    Both overt and covert acts of anti-Semitism have soiled the pages of history with unforgettable amounts of both blood and shame which stand forever on the Christian church’s record. When Christianity severed itself from Judaism the Christian faith itself became distorted.

  • The Conversation Continues: Rorty and Dewey

    Dr. Hendley contrasts Richard Rorty and John Dewey in their views of the meaning of human life -- in their attempts to makes sense of the multidimensional aspects of human experience.

  • The Corruption of Capital Punishment

    A review of four books covering the field of capital punishment. The empirical grounding in the arguments of the authors makes a powerful and eloquent case for the abolition of the death penalty.

  • The Cost of Reconciliation

    Two books on South African apartheid show how it was possible for 40 million South Africans to avoid a disastrous civil war and create a new society that raised the hope for peace among long-alienated peoples.

  • The Costliness of Grace (Mark 9:43-48)

    Jesus’ language in all its vigorous overstatement still reflects a sense of divine fury over the failure of the divine purpose to work itself out in the actions of human beings that does not compute with our urbane, 20th-century middle-class liberal Christianity.

  • The Creature’s Creation: Is Art ‘Helpful’ to Faith?

    A work of art stands as a creation which, like God’s creation, reverberates into new possibilities that could not have been foreseen. With the exception of the New England meetinghouses which indeed to have a kind of rarefied puritan beauty, Protestantism in America has produced no significant styles of Christian architecture. Protestantism has largely failed to produce visual beauty, it has had to borrow.

  • The Crisis of Meaning in Religion and Art

    Literature itself (no less than religion) is, in this view, an ideology, with the most intimate relations to social power.

  • The Criterion of Metaphysical Truth and the Senses of ‘Metaphysics’

    If metaphysics is defined as the human intellect’s self-understanding, then metaphysics comprises contingent as well as necessary truths -- although even the contingent truths it comprises are such that in one sense they cannot be coherently denied and, therefore, must be believed, if only implicitly or nonreflectively..

  • The Critique of Pure Feeling: Bradley, Whitehead, and the Anglo-Saxon Metaphysical Tradition

    In determining the nature and status of Whitehead’s thought in the history of modern philosophy one must refer to F. H. Bradley’s Appearance and Reality: A Metaphysical Essay. Whitehead’s Process and Reality is a critical reworking of Bradley.

  • The Crowd is Untruth: a Comparison of Kierkegaard and Girard

    Kierkegaard described the relationship between the individual and God the Creator, when the individual is attempting to avoid the process of spiritual growth. His idea that "the crowd is untruth" was developed by Girard into a comprehensive social theory. The result is a very strong testimony to the power of the Christian intellectual tradition as a resource for understanding the psychology of violence.

  • The Cup of Death (I Cor. 10 : 16a)

    Without the cross, our faith wouldn’t be a comfort to anybody. What would you say to the terminal cancer victim? The mother of a starving child in an Ethiopian desert? The 80-year-old resident of a shoddy nursing home? “Smile, God Loves You!”

  • The Cyborg: Technological Socialization and Its Link to the Religious Function of Popular Culture

    Brasher observes that media technologies play a formative role in human socialization such that the term "cyborg" is an apt metaphor for contemporary humanity. For traditional religions, whose canonical texts emerged from pastoral and agricultural societies, the challenges this change in the locus of human identity brings with it are profound. Yet the `cyborgs’ who fail to connect with the meaning goods of traditional religions show scant sign of abandoning religion en masse. Instead, they are fashioning popular culture religions out of the ingredients of their hyper-mediated environment. Brasher concludes the article with an examination of the insights and dangers that these emerging popular culture theologies present.

  • The Dangerous God: A Profile of William Hamilton

    Death-of-God theology has not disappeared at all; it has simply been transformed. It has entered mainstream theology. Hamilton believes that the death of God, rather than rendering Jesus superfluous, makes him all the more indispensable.

  • The Death of God: A Belated Personal Postscript

    There is no reason to give up a strong suspicion that the reality of both ourselves and the cosmic context in which we find ourselves is far richer than we know and doubtless contains dimensions of which we have only scratched the surface.

  • The Debate on ‘Open Theism’

    Open theists contend that God cannot know the future of free moral agents not because God lacks the knowledge or power or cognitive ability, but because the future of such free agents does not exist as an object to be known.

  • The Debate on Intelligent Design

    The inadequate theology of intelligent design should not be allowed to discourage good theology. Mainline churches will not be joining the fundamentalist jihad against evolution, but that does mean they can be indifferent to the doctrine of creation.

  • The Difference Jesus Makes

    God sends suffering as part of the process of our redemption from spiritual and moral imperfection, and it is particularly through suffering that human souls are purified and made perfect.

  • The Dilemma of Broadcast Ministry

    David L. Glusker outlines the major problem faced by mainline religious radio and television ministries - namely, how to raise enough money to stay on the air while avoiding offense by stressing fund-raising during broadcasts. That such programming uniquely reaches significant audiences - the homebound, the unchurched, as well as some regular churchgoers - seems valid reason to continue to search for solutions to the funding difficulties. Glusker suggests several options.

  • The Dilemmas of Humanitarian Intervention

    Could the world’s religions offer resources for resolving international conflicts? The book's author says yes, but that there is a hidden barrier to any convergence of religion and diplomacy.

  • The Dilemmas of Humanitarian Intervention

    Could the world’s religions offer resources for resolving international conflicts? The book's author says yes, but that there is a hidden barrier to any convergence of religion and diplomacy.

  • The Dimensions of God’s Life

    No longer can we speak of God in isolation. The divine life is also our life. As soon as we free ourselves from thinking of two levels of Trinity, one inner and the other outer, then we can see again that there is but one life of the triune God, and that life includes God’s relation to us

  • The Disappearance of Theology from the Oldline Churches

    What has disappeared is the serious activity of faith seeking understanding or self-consciously Christian reflection on important issues. The authors suggests that denominational leaders must function as theologians, and pastors must reclaim not only the title but the reality. And lay theology must be renewed.

  • The Discovery Channel (Gen. 15:1-l2, 17-18; Lk. 13:31-35; Phil. 3:17-4:1)

    A religious community can pressure us not to think outside the lines of its doctrine. We must, of course, make commitments and honor allegiances. But Paul’s experience warns us that even religious commitments can defeat the purposes of God. We must examine all our allegiances for their capacity to distort our integrity.

  • The Disembodied Soul

    Whitehead alludes to a disembodied existence in one passage, but he writes counter to this in other places. Whitehead’s system does not provide the conditions for speaking of continued, ongoing personal existence after death in separation from one’s body.

  • The Divine Activity of the Future

    It is difficult to speak of God as a actual entity, for God cannot be objectified, yet God does not transcend the categories. Whitehead transforms the categories of being into categories of becoming.

  • The Divine Burden

    No one, not even God, can act in this world without bringing unintentional suffering to others. Our innocent good fortune can be the cause of someone else’s grievous disappointments. If God who wills to be involved has created a world in which not even he can act in perfect blamelessness, how can God avoid the accusation of guilt -- ultimate, primordial culpability for all human suffering?

  • The Dominance Syndrome

    The movement to correct the injustices of sexism can reach deep enough to effect changes in racial and political areas of our common life. But it will do so only if the cultural transformation is genuinely profound -- that is, if structures of hierarchy and authoritarian leadership are transformed into structures of partnership and collegial agreement.

  • The Effects on Korea of Un-Ecological Theology

    Liberation theology from a Korean Minjung perspective -- particularly an analysis of theologies that reflect and endorse first world and imperialistic or colonialistic interests.

  • The Electronic Church’s Aesthetic of Evil

    There have been at least three major explanations for the presence of the ugly in art: 1. The transformational theory. 2. The educational or didactic theory. 3. The pleasure theory. The electronic church so often both depicts evil and implicitly denies its seriousness, the pleasure theory best articulates the core of the electronic church’s aesthetic and sensibilities.

  • The Emergent Paradigm and Divine Causation

    This article suggests two critical emendations in the metaphysical description of God provided in Process and Reality: 1. An identification of "God" with the "totality" and the clarification of the meaning of the concreteness of that datum by assimilating it to the emergent paradigm in science; 2. An articulation of the physical roots of religion’s experience which intends to rectify the preoccupation among process philosophers with final causes to the neglect of efficient causes.

  • The Emerging Church: A New Form for a New Era

    The form of the church is forever in process. This realization raises some historical questions. How did the church evolve into its present shape? What historic forces molded it? What new forces are at work? How adequate is the present shape for what the church conceives its task to be? What will the church of the future look like? The institutional shape of the church in history is always determined by the attitude of the world toward that which the church professes.

  • The Emerging Dalit Theology: A Historical Appraisal

    The emergence of Dalit Theology in the Indian context and suggestions for its future directions. The term "Dalit" comes from the Sanskrit "dal". It means burst, split, broken or torn asunder, downtrodden, scattered, crushed and destroyed. In popular parlance "Dalit" refers to the "untouchable" population of India.

  • The Empirical Dimension of Religious Experience

    The empirical dimension of religious experience is founded on a sensitivity to what Whitehead has discerned as the value matrix of existence, whose religious meaning is grasped in the moment of consciousness which fuses the value of the individual for itself, the value of the diverse individuals for each other, and the value of the world-totality.

  • The Encounter of Christian Faith and African Religion

    The missionaries who introduced the gospel to Africa in the past 200 years did not bring God. Instead, God brought them, for the God described in the Bible is none other than the God who was already known in the framework of our traditional African religiosity.

  • The Endless Quest for the Perfect Novel

    Summary: Dr. Wall analyzes Kazuo Ishiguro's 1989 novel The Remains of the Day.

  • The Enemy Church

    The authors summaries the contents of Philip Pullman’s stories about the "evil church," and oppressive organized religion, but these stories portray a God who is not the God of the Bible. Nevertheless, the stories are powerful, enjoyable and imaginative.

  • The Enigmatic "Passage of the Consequent Nature to the Temporal World" in Process and Reality: An Al

    Whitehead’s meaning about "a passage of consequent nature into the world" from Process and Reality is addressed. The author makes two proposals: 1. A reconstruction of the meaning of "passage." 2. A critique of various interpretations preparing the way for an alternative.

  • The Establishment That Was

    The establishment prospered when it was chauvinist and super-American in ways its heirs would refuse to be.

  • The Ethereal Body as a Means of Survival

    Philosophers have been unwilling to affirm the crude notion of resurrection when understood as the reanimation of a physical corpus. The notion of an ethereal or "astral" body, however, deserves much more consideration from philosophers than it has previously received. The etheric body conceived in terms of Whiteheadian occasions of experience might not be so far-fetched.

  • The Ethical Foundations of Health Care Reform

    We can now deliver the good of health care to all our people, and this good will help secure and enhance the life, liberty and welfare that is our nation’s promise to its citizens. It is time to make that promise to each other.

  • The Ethicist as Theologian

    Ethics is at the heart of theology because the grammar of Christian discourse is fundamentally practical. The most appropriate means to arrive at a practical ethical theology is to articulate how Christians have understood, and do and should understand, the relationship between Christ and the moral life.

  • The Ethics of Immigration Reform

    There is a dire need for a comprehensive solution to the broken U.S. immigration system and Ralston Deffenbaugh, in this interview, discusses many solutions.

  • The Ethics of Radwaste Disposal

    Where will nuclear waste go? It will have to be buried in somebody’s backyard.  The bigger question is whether we should allow contemporary affluence to become dependent on fission power. If we fail to come up with a satisfactory disposal program, the answer has to be no.

  • The Ethics of Triage: A Perspective on the World Food Conference

    People are starving -- yet there is no scarcity. Before the crisis resolves itself, countless millions -- perhaps as many as 1 billion persons -- will perish. To stop the holocaust in the underdeveloped world, important moral choices have to be made in ours.

  • The Ethnic Pastor in a Multicultural Society

    At the very end of his ministry, Jesus threw open the shutters. ‘Make disciples of all nations,’ he said, but we are asking newcomers to cross language and culture barriers to become white Anglo-Saxon Anglicans.

  • The Etiquette of Democracy

    Our rights are protected by the Constitution, but our exercise of those rights is governed by our moral disciplines. Civility entails treating fellow citizens as people of goodwill—which is a risky act of trust. Laws on sexual harassment and "hate speech" sprout up when people do not share a code of civility.

  • The Eugenics Temptation

    A review of two books on eugenics. How many children people should have, and how parents (and society) can ensure that only genetically fit children are born, have been enduring questions in American culture. Christians must disentangle the fundamentally "utilitarian considerations" that have come to define procreation in the United States.

  • The Evangelical Groundswell in Latin America

    Cook reviews three books which concern Latin American Protestantism, analyzing its recent explosive growth. Grand patterns in religious movements as well as grass roots phenomena are discussed. However, evangelicals cannot be neatly labeled. One emphasis in these articles is that Evangelicals’ emphasis on the family makes for stability and growth.

  • The Evangelical-Jewish Alliance

    In providing political and economic support for Israeli militancy against Palestinian Christians and Muslims, Christian Zionists are aiding the collapse of Christianity in the Holy Land.

  • The Expansion of Christianity: An Interview with Andrew Walls

    We live now at a time when the church is multicultural. The fullness of the stature of Christ will emerge only when Christians from all different cultures come together.

  • The Experience of Value and Theological Argumentation

    The author holds that only the methodological alternative found in process theology can properly be regarded as adequate in the experience of value and theological argument.

  • The Faculty Members of the Future: How Are They Being Shaped?

    Wheeler cites the research done by Auburn Seminary's Center for the Study of Theological Education in intensively examining theological faculties in several seminaries, with particular emphasis on whether such schools will be able to recruit enough qualified faculty to replace the many who are currently retiring. After reassuring that enough qualified applicants are available, she warns of the current dangerous practice of replacing full-time tenured faculty with part-time adjunct faculty, and the importance of seminaries nurturing faculty members' sense of vocation, particularly junior faculty.

  • The Fading of an Era: The Last Missionaries in the Punjab

    An equality among Christian communities is beginning to replace the dependency and inequity of the past in the great missionary era of the church. It is a welcome change. Still, there is something poignant about the shifting of eras, and a small event -- the farewell of the last evangelistic missionaries in north India -- may signal the shape of a much larger history.

  • The Failure of Individualism

    A disturbing new economic study sees a coming confrontation over the distribution of wealth. Fred Hirsch, in his book, Social Limits to Growth, gives successful insight in fixing the limits beyond which most people should not expect to improve their lot under a market economy.

  • The Faith of the Scholars

    A review of a book by Donald Wiebe attacking present day religious studies as less than the objective science they were originally supposed to be.

  • The Fall and Rise of Creationism

    Apparently it is almost unthinkable to the militant creationists that the ancient Hebrew texts could have been written without a understanding and interest in the physical relationships of space and time. But they were.

  • The Family Debate: A Middle Way

    Mainline churches need to say something relevant to the family debate. Before speaking up, however, they need to face squarely the disturbing trends in family life that are fueling the debate.

  • The Fantasies of the New Theologians

    Where fantasy tends to split apart social worlds and to open up a Pandora’s box of illusions, imagination fosters the growth of a common self-understanding. The aesthetic dimension of all theologizing is grossly overplayed when it implies a retreat from intelligibility or consistency. The distinction between a theology of the imagination and a theology of the fantastic parallels that between art and mere self-expression.

  • The Feeling for the Future: A Comment on Ann Plamondon’s Essay

    Professor Felt attempts to show that Plamondon’s discussion on "valid inductive inference" from a Whiteheadian perspective has left something out which is of key metaphysical importance. (see Plamondon, "Metaphysics and ‘Valid Inductions")

  • The Feminine Mystique and the Ministry

    The church has not yet dealt with the full reality of the female presence in the clergy -- nor has the profession. There has always been a masculine mystique in the ordained ministry, but now, with the sudden influx of hundreds of women into the profession, it is logical to ask whether there is also a feminine ministerial mystique.

  • The Fight Over Water in the Middle East

    The Israelis have made a desert bloom by confiscating far more than their share of the water from Palestinian lands. Palestinians could do the same. But it would require cooperation between the two -- plus U.S. aid.

  • The Fine Print of Commitment (Ps. 69:ll;l8-20; Jer. 20:7-13; Rom. 6:1b-11, Matt. 10:24-39)

    Commentary on the Lectionary Texts for the 12th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year A.

  • The Free Play of Thought

    Society needs criticism that aspires to transcend immediate practical and political considerations. But today the rule "No conflict, no news" governs cultural criticism.

  • The Free-Church Tradition and Social Ministry

    Today the free-church tradition is called to reclaim and recast its heritage. By engaging itself in the world it helps prepare the world for Christ. And in Christ we not only enhance human rights; we find, finally and fully, what is truly human and what is most right.

  • The Freedom of Necessity (Mark 8:31)

    Jesus proves that perfect obedience to God is perfect freedom. Sin is not freedom; it is a malignant pollution of freedom. Sin is death. Sin thereby brings the very possibility of freedom to an end.

  • The Frightful, Beneficial Mess of American Religion

    Religious differences in the United Sates are numerous and varied, yet they rarely lead to extended violent conflicts such as happens in Northern Ireland, the Middle East, the subcontinent of Asia , and in many other places. Determining the reason for this realative tolerance could prove useful for future civil crises.

  • The Fundamentalist Surge in Latin America

    While experience shows that the Catholics’ answer to the fundamentalists lies in the base communities, only a minority of bishops have strongly pushed for them because of the Vatican’s frequently voiced concern that they are too "horizontal" -- meaning that they are a democratic influence on a hierarchical church -- and liable to become involved in social and political issues.

  • The Future Came Yesterday

    Some educators think it is too late, that the church school is dead, that the church itself may be dying. Others are convinced that the positive signs point to a future of enormous potential. The question is not which point of view is true, but which one we should accept, and then, with God’s help, try to make it come true.

  • The Future of Liberal Christianity

    Can the liberal church provide an answer to the basic human needs?  If liberal Christianity merely accommodates itself to contemporary culture, it will cease being a religion.

  • The Future of Postliberal Theology

    This is the second of two articles on postliberalism. (See Gary Dorrien, The Origins of Postliberalism, July 4-11, 2001): What does it mean to say Christianity is "true"? That question has surrounded much of the discussion of postliberalism.

  • The Future We Shan’t See: Evelyn Underhill"s Pacificism

    Even the majority of those who treasure Underhill’s chief works may be unaware that she became a pacifist during her later years. Her change of opinion took place sometime between the two global conflicts. Her vision of peace was ahead of its time. It is still not widely accepted. Yet it contains a power dynamism.

  • The Gift of Aging

    The self can die only if and when it loses all wonder, either this side of the grave or beyond.

  • The Gift of Faith

    Faith, the author asserts, comes through hearing the testimony of the church--and is not dependent on accurate knowledge of the historical Jesus.

  • The Giving and Taking of Life: New Power at Life’s Thresholds

    Our ambivalences in the areas of abortion, euthanasia and elective suicide call us to coordinate our scientific knowledge with moral wisdom. Although the global problems in these areas are compelling, we cannot expect to resolve them without first reforming our personal values and life styles.

  • The Global Economy and its Theoretical Justification

    The present form of globalization is not sustainable. In some areas it cannot last more than a few decades. The transition from an unsustainable to a sustainable form of globalization will not be easy. The longer we wait to begin that process of transition, the more painful the change will be.

  • The Goal of Youth Ministry

    Youth ministry will become what it should be when the churches start asking what the gospel means in our time, in our own neighborhoods, and starts practices that build a distinct way of life.

  • The God of Narnia

    If the Disney version of the Narnia stories features radical conversions of hearts and wills – rather than easy victories of good over evil -- then we shall have cause to be thankful.

  • The God’s Aren’t Angry (Acts 17:22-31; Psalm 66:8-20;1 Peter 3:13-22)

    We don’t have to live as if God is angry with us. The God does not need anything from us. Our baptismal covenant reminds us that to be incorporated into God’s mighty acts of salvation is a gift from God, offered to us without price.

  • The Godforsaken Messiah (Hebrews 12:2)

    We must testify of the God who willed the cross of Christ, that this selfsame God is love. God has taken up into himself, through the person of his Son, our human outrage. God himself has turned the other cheek. He has not rejected that outrage; he has endured it and has answered it with the risen Christ.

  • The Golden Calf

    This essay seeks to reach, with a layman's tools, a personal accommodation with a Bible that both repels him and attracts him.

  • The Goodness of Grief

    Raines exposes the often forgotten positive aspects of grief and the benefits of the grieving process, reminding us that good grieving rescues us from self-pity and other life-denying attitudes by enabling us to preserve our past with solidity and depth, by opening us to new meanings in the future beyond anger and regret, and by building compassion into our lives for all who struggle to make their grieving selves a friend of life.

  • The Gospel and the Liberation of the Poor

    How can theology be black if the sources used for its explication are derived primarily from the white Western theological tradition?

  • The Gospel of Christian Atheism

    Dr. Altizer considers this essay, written in 1997, to be the best summary of his theological position.

  • The Gospel of Equality and the Gospel of Efficiency

    Both efficiency in production and fairness in distribution are necessary values for an economy, but neither is sufficient in itself. Clergy need to help business people see that it is they themselves, with their tax-deductible mortgage interest payments and low-interest student loans, who constitute America’s great welfare class.

  • The Gotcha Game (Lk. 20:27-38;Mk. 12:18; Acts 23:8)

    The Gotcha game still goes on. Every time it does, Christ is crucified anew.

  • The Grandeur of Politics

    The trouble with liberalism is that too many liberals are disenchanted with politics. We have had a strange procession of candidates who dislike the actual tasks of politics. Although liberal politics in America is at a low point, the sweep of our history is so filled with recoveries that no one has any right to despair.

  • The Grapes of Wrath Fifty Years Later

    John Steinbeck’s classic novel, while important as a social document that vivifies the despair of the early 1930s, is also significant for its spiritual affirmations.

  • The Greatest Songs

    Scholarship suggests that the Song was not composed by King Solomon. The point of view is that of a woman and it describes a kind of unbridled rebellious passion which might only have been expressed by a woman. What if this was a book by a woman for women? What difference would that make in the way it is read and heard?

  • The Greening of Theology

    The first step in the greening of theology would be to orient theological school research , whether in term papers, dissertations, or books and articles, to the needs of the world.

  • The Habit of Imagining

    The author questions the Golden Rule, and suggests an improvement.It takes time, energy and a bit of imagination to know about somebody else’s situation in order to decide how best to treat that person, or how to judge him or her justly.

  • The Hanna-Barbera Cartoons: Compounding Bible Ignorance?

    Hanna-Barbera portrays the heroes as so mighty and good that they overshadow God. Instead of providing a generation with knowledge of the Bible, the Hanna-Barbera cartoons may be fostering the worst kind of biblical ignorance.

  • The Health and Wealth Gospel

    Without both heights and depths, the gospel offered by Joel Osteen, the smiling preacher, on the TV screen is simply the same platitude over and over. The church has much more to offer than that.

  • The Hidden Kingdom (Psalm 148; Revelation 21:1-6; John 13:31-35)

    The season of Easter reconciles times and dimensions, exercising the substance of love within us to see into the reality beyond.

  • The Highest Knowledge (Matt. 2:10-11)

    The recognition that God was in Christ is both a statement about God’s doing and a summary statement of the whole of human destiny. To say that God was in Christ is to say that it is within the power and promise of God to make us "partakers of the divine nature" (II Pet. 1:4).

  • The Hispanics Next Door

    When we look at the contemporary Latin American world, we see an oppressed people bearing an affliction as painful as that of the Hebrew slaves in Egypt. They need our response.  Only through concerted church, agency and individual leadership can that response be effective.

  • The Historical Jesus and Christian Preaching

    The image of Jesus as a man of Spirit, deeply involved in the historical crisis of his own time, besides being more historically adequate than either the popular or dominant scholarly image, can shape the church’s discipleship today.

  • The Historical Jesus and the Life of Faith

    Bartlett gives not only a review of two current scholarly approaches to the "quest for the historical Jesus" by John P. Meier and John Dominic Crossan, but a more general survey of the current state of this research, as well as the reviewer's personal evaluation.

  • The Holiness and Pentecostal Churches: Emerging from Cultural Isolation

    Holiness and Pentecostal folk are busily engaged in creating all those agencies and patterns of church life that their maverick forebears found too confining.

  • The Holiness Churches: A Significant Ethical Tradition

    The "Holiness" movement is perhaps best viewed as a synthesis of Methodism with the revivalism of Charles G. Finney, as it found expression in pre-Civil War America in a reaffirmation of the doctrine of "Christian perfection." It differs from fundamentalism and evangelicalism in that it is more oriented to ethics and spiritual life than to a defense of doctrinal orthodoxy.

  • The Holocaust’s Lessons for the Church

    Three books on the Holocaust are reviewed: When the available evidence is examined in its entirety, Pius XII emerges as neither a saint nor a Nazi, but as a complex, enigmatic figure who reveals a great deal about the troubling ambiguity that characterized the Christian world’s response to the Holocaust.

  • The Holy Trinity (John 3: 11-18)

    God as Trinity had happened in the experience of the early church before it was formulated into a doctrine. The challenge which the theologians faced was how to express the faith that God is one and at the same time affirm that Jesus Christ was divine, and the Holy Spirit was divine.

  • The Homeless: On the Street, on the Road

    Shelters are not the real answer to homelessness in the richest and most powerful country in the world. They are a Band-Aid on wounds whose source lies in the very structure of our society.

  • The Hopeful Years: Children of the South Bronx

    The more time the author spends with inner-city children, the less credible and less legitimate large distinctions between them and other children seem.

  • The Horizons of the Organic Vision of the Universe and Humanity: Vladimir Solovyev

    Dr. Gubman sees Process Theology as one answer to the urgent problems of our century, proposing a synthetic fusion of scientific, philosophical. and theological approaches to the universe considered as a developing totality.

  • The Human Self: An Actual Entity or a Society?

    Dr. Edwards considers himself an unorthodox Whiteheadian as he objects to the epochal theory of time.

  • The Human Web: Reflections on the State of Pastoral Theology

    Pastoral theologians may have felt uneasy about the ethos of pop psychology and self-analysis, but they flourished within it.

  • The Icon Tree

    The Bible is not a moral tract. It may contain all that is necessary for salvation, but the glory of Easter is not a result of self-righteousness. I discovered that the Bible is a great deal more alive than the church establishment seemed to be.

  • The Identity Crisis in the Seminaries

    The self-identity of the seminary faculty has tended to move toward a discipline of peers independent of religion. There is a need to expand the world of the student beyond the strictly academic.

  • The Image of a Machine in The Liberation of Life

    The author presents a mechanistic position based on a contemporary image of a machine and attempts to show its relationship to the ecological model of Birch and Cobb, in which a classical mechanism is presented based on an outdated image of a machine.

  • The Impact of a Cultural Revolutionary

    All Americans owe Malcolm a great debt. He was not a racist, as many misguided observers have claimed. He was an uncompromising truth-teller whose love for his people empowered him to respect all human beings.

  • The Impact of Orthodox Theology

    While the West has struggled to come to terms with the relationship between modern forms of inquiry and ancient church dogma, the Orthodox seem to march on, untroubled by modern historical consciousness.

  • The Implicate Order: A New Order for Physics<

    The author suggests that emptiness is really the essence. It contains implicitly all the forms of matter The implicate order really refers to something immensely beyond matter as we know it -- beyond space and time. However, somehow the order of time and space are built in this vacuum. At present there is no law that determines the vacuum state.

  • The Incoherence of Whitehead’s Theory of Perception

    Whitehead’s theory of perception is unable to reconcile its opposing tendencies of realism and mediatism. Whitehead does not provide sufficient evidence for the unification of his two pure modes of perception, and his theory fails to overcome the traditional difficulties which prevent the consistent unification of the phenomenological (Or sense-datum) or the causal (or physiological) accounts of perception.

  • The Increasingly Visible Female and the Need for Generic Terms

    Language both reflects reality and shapes our ideas of reality. Linguists frequently acknowledge that the standard language reflects the usage and outlook of the group in power.

  • The Inflated Self

    True humility is more like self-forgetfulness than false modesty. Both the neighbor's talents and one's own are recognized as gifts and, like one's height are not fit subjects for either inordinate pride or self-deprecation.

  • The Intellectual and Moral Dilemma of History

    Nowhere, except in the contemplation of his suffering and hope, is man more triumphantly aware of his kinship with the Creator than in his cognitive and manipulative relations with nature. In the world of nature, which he faces ready-made and which he leaves as he finds it, man proves himself a master of understanding, imitation and control. The moral dilemmas of history, like its intellectual counterpart, are existential. They can be mitigated but not resolved.

  • The Intelligence ‘Flap’: Lies My Uncle Told Me

    The subversive activities of the FBI, CIA and Department of Defense have seriously undermined the security of the Republic, within and without. Absent strong public pressure, the Congress may be unable to sustain a critical posture toward the executive branch with its insistent claim that national security requires public trust in secret power.

  • The Jericho Affair

    The author imagines a committee of congress set up to report on the disquieting events on the Jerusalem-Jericho road and their aftermath: The good Samaritan loses.

  • The Jesus Diet (Ephesians 4:25-5:2; John 6:35, 41-51)

    Too often we are exhausted by the busyness of plans and preparations, instead of being exhilarated by enjoying the bread of life.

  • The Jesus of Nineteenth Century Indian Christian Theology

    To empower the powerless and the afflicted, Indian Christian theology needs to recover both (a) the distinct social locatedness and the concrete social praxis of Jesus and (b) the tangible aspects of the cosmic potency of Jesus.

  • The Jeweled Net of Nature

    The author’s thesis is this: dialogical encounter with Buddhist tradition -- in this case illustrated by the esoteric teachings of Kukai -- and Western ecological models of reality emerging in the natural sciences and Christian process theology, may energize an already evolving global vision.

  • The Jewish Uncertainty Principle

    It is impossible to specify or determine simultaneously both the position and velocity of a particle (from the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle).   To Jews, however, history is like a railroad train; It lurches forward as we sit in the observation car, facing backward. We do not know where the train is going, but see only where it has been. We have no control over its destination because the engine, and even the club car, are off-limits. Hence is born the Jewish Uncertainty Principle.

  • The Joke Is On Us (Matthew 13:31-33,44-52)

    The careful reader will notice that Matthew casts the religious experts of the day (those robed in canonical or clerical dress) in the role of "them," a move that supports a tongue-in-cheek, foot-in-mouth reading of the disciples when they claim to understand it all.

  • The Journey Begins (Psalm 32;Genesis 2:15-l7;3:1-7;Romans 5:12-19; Matthew 4:1-11)

    The author discusses Lent as a journey of faith.

  • The Judas Chromosome (Matthew 26:14-27.10)

    Judas portrays the tragic story of a fall from the heights to the depths. It is a fall that all of us will make sooner or later. But the greatest tragedy was that Judas was not at the cross to hear Jesus say, "Father, forgive . . ."

  • The Justice of God (Matthew 20: 1-16)

    In the perspective of the kingdom, those who are powerful and influential will not get more. A society is just only to the extent that the underprivileged, the disabled, the poor and the oppressed receive special care.

  • The Justification of God (Rom. 5:8-9)

    Our sense of the inevitability of suffering compels us to affirm dimensions in the cross of Jesus that Paul might not have found.

  • The Karl Barth Centennial: An Appreciative Critique

    Though Barth failed to see how completely God’s free love entailed human freedom, he did powerfully realize that human liberation is possible only if the God who creates and sustains this universe has the all-sufficient freedom and love to sustain that liberation. His greatness lies in his radical insistence that the God who humbled himself is the self-same almighty sovereign who created heaven and earth.

  • The King Assassination: After Three Decades, Another Verdict

    Almost 32 years after King’s murder at the Lorraine Motel in Memphis on April 4, 1968, a court extended the circle of responsibility for the assassination beyond the now deceased James Earl Ray, the man sentenced for the crime.

  • The King’s Chapel and the King’s Court

    The founding fathers ordained in the first article of the Bill of Rights that "Congress shall pass no laws respecting the establishment of religion or the suppression thereof." This constitutional disestablishment of all churches embodied the wisdom of Roger Williams and Thomas Jefferson -- the one from his experience with the Massachusetts theocracy and the other from his experience with the less dangerous Anglican establishment in Virginia -- which knew that a combination of religious sanctity and political power represents a heady mixture for status quo conservatism.

  • The Kingdom of God Belongs to the Poor

    The wealthy and the mighty of this world trust in their wealth and influence. The poor are favored in the kingdom not only because injustice is done to them in this world, but also because they trust in God.

  • The Kingdom of God is Like This (Ezekiel 17:22-23, Mark 4:26-29)

    The kingdom does not operate according to human calculations. The little things we do will bear fruit in their own time. We trust in God to bring about the result. We wait in hope.

  • The Land That Greed Forgot

    In the Ecuadorian Eden of Vilcabamba, the people live to an astounding old age. Their freedom from greed helps keep their environment pure, their wants simple and their lives purposeful.

  • The Last Committee on Sexuality (Ever)

    No self-respecting gay man or lesbian should have to listen to his or her ontology debated ever again, and the church should be the last institution to sponsor such a forum.

  • The Last Passage: Re-visioning Dying, Death, and Funeral

    We need to reconsider our attitudes toward dying, death and funeral. It is time to create rich rites of passage which give God and the community and the mourners and the one who has died their dues.

  • The Last Temptation: A Lifeless Jesus

    Wall’s reasons for disliking The Last Temptation of Christ are not the same as those of the fundamentalists who have been protesting the film. Nevertheless, he has found it to be highly disappointing.

  • The Last Things

    Our sense of the "last things" must be tethered to Christ, who is present in the church and is the basis of hope.

  • The Last Word: A Good Friday Meditation on Luke 23:46 (Luke 23:46)

    Luke leaves it at "he breathed his last." The ultimate question is not "What happens when I die?" but "In whom can I trust to the end?" The Christian is called to trust in God who sides with Job, who will not let his people go, who dies alone.

  • The Law: Sacred Writ or Institutionalized Injustice?

    At its best the law is a guide to motives and actions that point toward what is holy. As a people, we do not wish to suffer under the law as institutionalized injustice that stands in the way of justice and decency. We seek a balanced vision of the law as necessary, and based on justice and suffused with love and mercy.

  • The Legitimacy and Limits of Freedom of Choice

    There is no position on the issue of abortion -- and other just and good decisions -- that does not have highly objectionable consequences. Clarity and consistency are well-nigh impossible, no matter which of the many options we choose. Giving us all the more reason to think as clearly, coherently and deeply as we possibly can.

  • The Liberal Choice: Adam Smith or FDR?

    Liberalism as a political theory, understood as a cooperative enterprise for mutual advantage among free and equal persons, is considered by friend and foe alike the essential expression of what it means to he a political animal in the modern West. These two books address these quite different understandings of liberalism, and reach quite different conclusions about its prospects.

  • The Liberated Legalist

    Paul cautions Christians against legalistic protests; he challenges us to repent of our rigid conceptions of truth and to turn to Christ and find in him both the pattern of life and the gospel of faith. Anyone who thinks he or she knows all things -- whether in innocence or in arrogance -- in fact does not know enough of God and his messiah.

  • The Liberation of White Theology

    Protestant theology has largely stood aside from peoples who are outcast, downtrodden, humiliated. It has served the rich, the successful, the property owners. So people who could not afford an enterprise called theology see it as "white theology" standing against them.

  • The Light in the Darkness

    In this companion article to God's Way of Acting by N. T. wright, the author thinks the birth stories of Jesus are metaphorically true, though not historically factual. He contrasts the functions of the birth narratives in Matthew and Luke and offers reasons for their absence in Mark and John. The theme of remarkable births is part of the tradition of Israel. The story of the virginal conception is not a marvel of biology, but an early Christian narratival confession of faith in and affirmation of allegiance to Jesus. It points to the truly important questions: "Is Jesus the Light of the World? Is he the true Lord? Is what happened in him 'of God'?" The story of Jesus' birth is not just about the past, but about the internal birth in us in the present.

  • The Light of God in Action

    Christ, the Light that enlightens everyone, is the creative saving love of God for all people. The Divine became a member of our sinful human family of frail, short-lived creatures of a day.

  • The Limits of Celebrity Activism

    Dr. Long believes that Bono, of U2 fame, in his efforts in public education, communication and mobilization, makes an intriguing case of celebrity leadership. But his true measure is if his efforts can deliver political and economic change.

  • The Listening Point

    Steffen describes a college course in which students learned to listen -- and in which they themselves were the texts.

  • The Liturgy of Abundance, The Myth of Scarcity

    It is the author's thesis that God created a world of great abundance. If we share, there is enough for all.

  • The Living Bread (John 6: 52-58)

    In this Gospel, different metaphors are used to describe the person of Christ: living water, life giving water; living bread, bread which gives eternal life; light of the world, light of life; good shepherd, shepherd who gives his life for the sheep. Whatever metaphor we use, he is the true source and giver of eternal life to the individual as well as to the world. He is the source of true and authentic human existence.

  • The Living of These Days: A Tribute to Harry Emerson Fosdick

    A man for all seasons, Fosdick speaks as clearly to us today as he did at the height of his influence. For forty years he was at the forefront of theological and social thinking and controversy. He brought to his country a prophetic voice of reasoned faith and enlightened hope. He teaches us that personal and social experiences are equally important and that both should form the crucible of authentic faith.

  • The Living Word: Dance as a Language of Faith

    Dance as a liturgical form and a means of worship.

  • The LSD Experience: A Whiteheadian Interpretation

    Is LSD a drug inducing psychotic alterations of behavior and personality similar to insanity, or is it an instrument of enlightenment that creates an understanding of the mystical experiences it produces?

  • The Lure of Upward Mobility

    Three failings of mainline denominations are targeted: overemphasis on large-membership churches, inflexible liturgy, and an unfair method of paying clergy.

  • The Magic Kingdom (Jer. 23:5)

    Christ rules those who have received the redemption, reconciliation and forgiveness that result from his death on a cross.

  • The Making of Jesus

    More than two decades after its original release, Bill Bright’s movie Jesus has become not only the most-translated film ever, but perhaps the most-viewed movie in history.

  • The Making of Taizé

    From a small group of Monks at Taizé the influence upon the Christian community has been immense, both on Catholics and Protestants.

  • The Man Who Belongs to the World

    As respect for the organized church has declined, reverence for Jesus has grown. Within the church, but also far beyond its walls, his person and message are, in the phrase of Augustine, a "beauty ever ancient, ever new," and now he belongs to the world.

  • The Marrying, Burying World of J. F. Powers

    For author J. F. Powers, the enemy is boredom, careerism or despair. The real challenge is keeping the faith while battling life’s endless monotonies.

  • The Mary in Us All (Luke 1:4b-42)

    Who better than Mary illustrated the fact that every one of us is a passive and indeed virgin recipient of God’s purpose and calling?

  • The Matrix of Personality: A Whiteheadian Corroboration of Harry Stack Sullivan’s Interpersonal Theo

    The author addresses the ongoing dialogue between process thought and psychotherapy by corroborating some of the central features of Harry Stack Sullivan’s interpersonal theory of psychiatry in light of Alfred North Whitehead’s philosophical insights about the nature of reality.

  • The Meaning Is in You: Flannery O’Connor in Her Letters

    The novelist Flannery O’Connor’s Catholic faith nourished her art is amply evidenced in her letters as well as in her fiction. Because she accepted sacrament as truth, she found it easy to view the natural thins of this world as vehicles for God’s grace.

  • The Meaning of Life

    In 1984 a friend of the author faced severe cancer, and from that experience asked questions which sophisticated professionals rarely pose: Did he pray? Was there a meaning in life? What, really, was the meaning of life? This is the author's reply.

  • The Media and Violence: Needed - a Paradigm for Public Policy

    Against the context of three recent media investigations in Australia, the author asks what should policy makers do in response to genuine expressions of community concern? He suggests that what is needed is a new paradigm for understanding the relationship between media and society, and proposes reconceiving the problem in the context of media as the creator of our symbolic environment.

  • The Menace of the New Paganism

    Post-Christian paganism has succeeded in capturing, for its own trivial and narrow ends, some of that wholehearted Christian devotion which ought to be given to God alone.The idolatrous worship of organized human power is the fatal error which is common to all the varieties of our postwar paganism. The error is so profound that the triumph of this paganism could spell nothing but disaster for mankind.

  • The Mentally Retarded: Recognizing Their Rights

    As Christians, we must learn to treat mentally retarded people with dignity -- not with pity or ridicule -- and to help change our society’s attitudes toward them.

  • The Mercy of God (Exodus 20: 1-20; Matthew 18: 21-35)

    The meaning of the kingdom of God, which is the central message of Jesus, is the unlimited love and mercy of God.

  • The Message and the Messenger

    As prophet, teacher and champion of God’s dominion, Jesus bid us see not himself but the will of God. So it is with the gift Mary holds on Christmas morning. In desire for us, God has forgotten himself. The words and implications come later; but now, first, the Word is an infant and cannot, need not, speak.

  • The Messianic Jewish Congregational Movement

    The fact that Judaism and Christianity are not compatible has, it seems, been a well-guarded secret. The Messianic Jewish movement (e.g., "Jews for Jesus") continues to grow and may well be one of the most important religious phenomena of the decade.

  • The Metaphysical Ground of the Whiteheadian God

    Dr. Suchocki proposes some answers to questions raised by John Cobb’s suggestion that greater coherence is obtained if God be considered not as an actual entity, as Whitehead thought necessary, but as a society of occasions such as obtains in living persons.

  • The Metaphysical Significance of Whitehead’s Creativity

    Dr. Coots discusses creativity: 1. A different interpretation; 2. Differences and problems with Whitehead’s view; 3. What does creativity try to answer? 4. Ultimacy and creativity; 5. The relevance of Whitehead’s metaphysics of creativity in contemporary metaphysics.

  • The Metaphysical Status of Civilized Society

    Dr. Lewis addresses one of the most neglected aspect of Whitehead’s philosophical system: his social philosophy in general and his views on civilization in particular. A civilized society, itself a one living in the many, and a many striving to live as one, comes to exemplify the ultimate creativity of things.

  • The Metaphysics of Cumulative Penetration Revisited

    Dr. Inada discusses Hua-yen thought. In Appearance and the latter Reality Whitehead agrees in a descriptive sense, with the dharmadhatu is seen as a "merging" phenomenon where such characteristics as harmonization, mutual identity, and penetration, and interfusion are rightly applied.

  • The Metaphysics of Faith and Justice

    Can there be any such thing as proper metaphysical analogy, that is, the kind of thinking and speaking on which any categorial or speculative metaphysics necessarily depends? This is one of the issues that Christian theology must resolve if it is to carry out its task of explicating and defending the metaphysics of faith and justice.

  • The Method of Abstraction: A Musical Analysis

    The author discusses the metaphysical traits found in music based up his analysis of "universal principles" as found in Whitehead’s chapter entitled "Abstraction" in Science and the Modern World.

  • The Methodist Story

    The author looks at Methodism as an international enterprise but at the same time, he penetrates beneath the surface of the Methodist institutions to grasp it’s heart, something that is elusive and important.

  • The Militarization of the American Rifle

    Tens of thousands of Americans are busily outfitting themselves like army rangers or SWAT police. When members of a local gun club in New Hampshire, Indiana or New Mexico can control more devastating firepower than the armies of Tanzania or Paraguay, it is time to rethink priorities.

  • The Millstone (Mark 9:38-50)

    The same Jesus who in Mark 9 says that it would be better if child abusers had never been born, in Mark 10 points to his own abused body as a sign of hope for all.

  • The Mind of Christ (Philippians 2: 3-11)

    Paul exhorts the church at Philippi to look to Jesus and follow the same mind we find in him and which we can also receive from him. Then Paul in a sentence or two very graphically describes the person of Christ: What is he, what is his mission, and what it is that we learn from him?

  • The Ministerial Mystique

    A discussion of the plight of pastors who have chosen to cooperate in the cultural victimization that confines them to a limited number of non-threatening activities. The pastorate can be a trap frustrating the ministers need of fulfillment as a person -- a prison in which all of the minister’s work may be no more than institutionally self-serving trivia.

  • The Misapprehension of Presentational Immediacy

    The body inherits conditions from the physical environment according to the physical laws. Thus Whitehead elaborated on the general continuity between human experience and physical occasions.

  • The Mississippi Freedom Summer Twenty Years Later

    No monuments or celebrations commemorate the 1964 invasion of Mississippi. Instead, there are dedicated people living and working here, resolved to carry on the way begun then -- and largely abandoned by the rest of the country.

  • The Misuse of Embryos

    The author says the moral cost involved is the reason why she believes embryonic stem cell research is not consonant with Christian faith.

  • The Modest and Charitable Humanism of John Cheever

    Cheever’s restrained and compassionate kind of humanism can provide at least a distant echo of the gospel.

  • The Moral Roots of the New Despair

    Today’s pessimism has little to fasten on -- no islands of hope, no prefabricated ideologies. It gropes in semidarkness, conscious only that the light at the end of the tunnel is flickering.

  • The Moral Stance of Theism Without the Transcendent God

    A sense of the mystery of Being can enrich the sense of meaningfulness in life, setting limits to our attempts to reorder nature. Such writers as Wieman and Heidegger have written of concepts suggesting we seek this experience.

  • The Morality of Single-Issue Voting

    In single-issue campaigns, voters may be manipulated for ends not their own. Single-issue voting can, in some cases, be morally justifiable and even required -- an appropriate expression of the politics of principle.

  • The Mormons: Looking Forward and Outward

    The Mormons inhabit a radically different world from the rest of Christendom. Never-the-less, without accepting the work at face value, it is possible to regard the Book of Mormon as the product of an extraordinary and profound act of the religious imagination.

  • The Most Uncomfortable Day of the Year (Mk 1:15)

    I am nervous and uncomfortable on Ash Wednesday because I must confess publicly that I am a sinner; not only that, but I must stand within the faith community and witness while others confess the same.

  • The National Rifle Association: Public Enemy No. 2

    Judged by its activity, the NRA operates on the same principle as less reputable and less legal organizations: the principle that the end justifies the means. The author explains how the NRA fights effective gun control legislation.

  • The Nativity as Divine Comedy (Luke 1:51-52, RSV)

    The biblical themes of scattering the proud, putting down the mighty, and elevating the lowly are an important part of the symbolism of comedy and the repertoire of clowns and fools. The uplifting of the lowly is particularly evident in the story of the nativity.

  • The Nature and Function of Theology

    The following is Chapter Ten in Robert K. Johnston (ed.) The Use of the Bible in Theology: Evangelical Options (John Knox 1985

  • The Necessity Today of the Philosophy of Nature

    In the past, science and philosophy were separated and apart, each going it alone. Today we face the need for a radical change in this dichotomy, a philosophy of nature where the metaphysical and physical be conjoined.

  • The Need to Remember

    The story reviewed here is about the repudiating of vengeance. It is about matters of mystery, death, disorientation, incongruity, and the importance of a name.

  • The Needle’s Eye: Christians and Their Money

    The most pressing issue in the world today -- political, economic and moral -- is the fact that a minority of human beings pursue without limits their own pleasure, while the majority pay for that privilege with their very lives.

  • The Neglected Phenomenon of Female Homosexuality

    A possible explanation of society’s apparent lack of concern over female homosexuality, and an assessment of a new study on lesbianism to be soon published.

  • The New Age of the Spirit (Acts 2:17-17a; 20a; 21)

    Though driven by the Spirit to speak and act, our expectation of the perfect freedom of the reign of God can be uttered and our praxis realized only in terms of particular metaphors, projects or cultural prejudices.

  • The New Challenge to Public Health

    Review of a book by Laurie Garrett, one of the nation’s premier science writers and a specialist on HIV/AIDS. She explores the failure of public health systems in a selected group of nations and in global health groups such as the World Health Organization.

  • The New National Security Strategy

    The author reviews America's current National Security Strategy. While many of its premises appear rational, the document has serious deficiencies, which the author examines in detail, including extension of the justification for a preemptive war to include a preventive war.

  • The New Orthodoxy?

    A review of Radical Orthodoxy, edited by John Milbank. The book contains nine essays, setting forth the ideas of those identified as belonging to a movement in Britain called "radical orthodoxy."

  • The New RSV: The Best Translation, Halfway There

    The author finds much to praise in the New Revised Standard Version of the Bible.

  • The New Testament and the Comic Genre

    The New Testament suggests that existence does have a narrative quality, and that comic renewal is a possibility at points within the stream of history itself. But we must reflect more on the New Testament affirmations in the light of ever-changing understandings of history, language and literature and the psyche in order to see how these affirmations might be substantiated.

  • The New Testament and the Examined Life: Thoughts on Teaching

    The author finds that many of today's New Testament students are not predominantly the children of lifelong believers; not well-shaped by church traditions; not well-read in the Bible. Many are seeking meaning. Johnson's challenge, as a teacher, is to introduce students to a tradition they should have learned elsewhere and to enable them to engage in critical thinking about that tradition.

  • The Nonspeculative Basis of Metaphysics

    Indirect knowledge -- whether philosophic or scientific -- is both based upon and enframed by direct knowledge, thus it must surely be the philosopher’s chief function to work towards deepening our direct knowledge.

  • The Nuclear Reality: Beyond Niebuhr and the Just War

    We have ascribed an idolatrous power and ultimacy to weapons, which has deepened our dependence on them and increased our feelings of inevitable disaster. Our politicians and the technicians of violence have shown great dedication to perfecting the means for human extinction.

  • The Obedient Son (Phil. 2:1-13;Matt.21:23-32)

    Jesus' parable of the two sons points to the radical obedience of Jesus himself, which is a model for Christians.

  • The Offense (Lk. 4:21-30)

    Impatience can be a healthy sign of life, part of the yearning to cast off old ways.

  • The Office Of Prayer

    The author reviews six books on prayer.

  • The Old Question: Politics and Religion

    Churches should be more cautious than individuals or groups of Christians in taking political stands. Christians, especially churches, should be more ready to make pronouncements on issues than on candidates—always recognizing that times come when issues and men are inseparable. Christian judgments should never stem solely from the clergy but should involve lay specialists with skill in public affairs.

  • The Oldest Extant Editions of the Letters of Paul

    The author reaches 1,800 years back into history, looking at the oldest, handwritten editions of the letters of Paul. Actual photographs of the manuscripts are included in this article.

  • The Oral, the Local and the Timely

    What modernism sought to escape can help us find direction for social and congregational life.

  • The Ordinary as Mask of the Holy

    Our tendency to seek the holy directly, apart from any mask or ambiguity -- through what Luther criticized as a theology of glory. In other words, we want to possess the sacred without owning the ordinary.

  • The Organ Business: Second Thoughts on Transplants

    Review of Raising the Dead: Organ Transplants, Ethics, and Society, by Ronald Munson. Munson seems to imagine that there are no human goods more valuable than the continuation of physical life, and nothing to hope for beyond earthly existence.

  • The Origin of Jesus Christ: Matthew 1:1-25

    As the child of Mary, Jesus is a new creation generated by the holy Spirit. As the adopted son of Joseph, he is a descendant of David and Abraham. Although he represents two generations and wears two christological hats concurrently, he is one person and has one name, Jesus. His life manifests a direct correspondence between his activity and his name, between his person and his work. That is why his naming is so important.

  • The Original Version Of Process And Reality, Part V. A Tentative Reconstruction

    This article is concerned with that original version of Part V of Whitehead’s Process and Reality. The author proposes a reconstruction of Part V before the numerous modifications Whitehead made of it.

  • The Origins of Postliberalism

    This is the first of two articles on postliberalism. The next article will appear in the issue of July 18-25 (see Gary Dorrien, The Future of Postliberalism.): Here is a theology that aims to be neither conservative nor liberal, and offers fresh approaches to scripture and Christian life.

  • The Origins of the Christian Century, 1884-1914

    The Christian Century started humbly as the Christian Oracle. Early on, the magazine displayed a tendency to use both contemporary events and cultural mainstays to speak of larger truths through the influence of Charles Clayton Morrison.

  • The Other "H" Word (I Cor. 1:1-9; Jn. 1:29-42)

    Hospitality was a strong aspect of Jesus’ teaching, and the church could use more of it today concerning homosexuality, race, disability and women.

  • The Other Borges: A Precursor from the Future

    A discussion of some of the lesser known aspects of the famed blind Argentinian writer, the late Jorge Luis Borges. He was a master of the fantastic tale, a critical theorist ahead of his time, who discarded old genres in order to create his own, which challenge and enrich our literary traditions. Borges’s intertextuality is baffling to some, but a treat to hedonic readers and lovers of literariness.

  • The Other Kingdom (Luke 23:33-43)

    What should we be doing in the face of the violence portrayed to us on television as well as in the real world?

  • The Outlook for Mental Health Services

    A review of approaches to mental health care in the last couple of centuries. Every step forward in the health care has usually been followed, sooner rather than later, by at least a half-step backward.

  • The Outset (Luke 3:15-17, 21-22)

    Our first calling, the baptismal call, is the one that simply loves and names: You are my child. I delight in you. Anointing is a sign of blessing, but it is also a commissioning. As for Jesus, so for us.

  • The Owl in the Daylight (Rom. 13:11; Mark 4:22; Luke 8:17; 11:33)

    The mature Christian utilizes the mystical ability to be "awake" to things kept in the dark and thus has a new perspective and an alertness to the passing day.

  • The Pacifism Debate in the Hartshorne -- Brightman Correspondence

    Dr. Davies stresses the main points of Brightman’s and Hartshorne’s disagreements about pacifism. He discusses the weaknesses and strengths of both their arguments and pays tribute to Martin Luther King, Jr., who instituted the strengths and ignored the weaknesses of the principle.

  • The Palestinian Christian : Betrayed, Persecuted, Sacrificed

    Palestinian Christians are in danger of being slowly destroyed, because of a combination of Israeli lawlessness, American religious right misunderstanding of the Bible, and American politicians' hypocracy and cyncism.

  • The Passion of Picasso

    The violence, the lust, the despair and finally the darkness of Picasso's art reflect the passion he finds in himself.

  • The Peirceian Influence on Hartshorne’s Subjectivism

    The author is concerned with the role Charles Peirce’s categories play in the development of Hartshorne’s principles of internal and external relations. Together with the influence of Whitehead, Peirce’s categories helped shape Hartshorne’s philosophy of subjectivism.

  • The Perfect Mirror (Jn 18:1-19:37)

    One of the many things this story tells us is that Jesus was not brought down by atheism and anarchy. He was brought down by law and order allied with religion, which is always a deadly mix.

  • The Perils of Riches (Mk. 10:17-31)

    The Bible contains more warnings about the dangers of wealth than about the pitfalls of poverty.

  • The Petrine Ministry in a Changing Church

    Pope John XXII, even deeply committed Catholics severely criticize the church's central administration, the papacy included. The Catholic Church is struggling today towards a new model of church. The Petrine ministry too is evolving. It has an indispensable role in shaping the new ecclesial model.

  • The Pharisaic Jesus and His Gospel Parables

    The earliest church was barely, if at all, removed from Judaism. But now, 20 centuries later, the Christian faith is far removed from it. In the process of that widening estrangement, Christianity has lost its understanding of the Jewishness of Jesus.

  • The Philosopher’s Poet: Boris Pasternak, Dr. Zhivago, and Whitehead’s Cosmological Vision

    Pasternak speculated that forms are creatively engendered by the protean nature of life itself, in its active self-renewal with concrete worldly settings. This is more radical and "unPlatonic" than Whitehead’s speculative adventures.

  • The Philosophy of Charles Hartshorne

    The philosophers of Hartshorne’s time tried to hold him as irrelevant or meaningless and his thought absurd, but they found this impossible. He answered their objects too astutely and responded critically to their own positions in ways they could not ignore.

  • The Pictures Inside Our Heads

    The Christian knows that the dichotomy between "truth" as a linear narrative and "truth" as shaped by images and the "pictures inside our heads" must be bridged.

  • The Play that Carries a Plague

    Mr. Driver was disturbed by signs of commercialism in the village, by the cardboard figure interpetations on the huge stage, and the evidences of anti-Semitism in the production.

  • The Plight of Cosmology

    It is time we realize that the basic problem with cosmological theories lies not with the powers of explanation of the philosophers who have proposed them, but the incompatibility of the two fundamental components of cosmological analysis -- logic and fact.

  • The Pluralism of Religious Ends Dreams Fulfilled

    This article begins a two-part series. (See Heim, "A Trinitarian View of Religious Pluralism"). Is there one way or many ways to salvation? The dogmatic pluralist believes that the particularities of all religions are insignificant. The dogmatic exclusivist believes that the particularities of all religions but one are insignificant. There are good reasons to think that both these positions are mistaken.

  • The Police, the Social Order, and the Christian: Apologia and Apologies

    The extent of Christian confusion, clerical masochism and destructive illusions bodes ill for the future. A central and urgent task for the theologian is to address the problems of violence and the need for order within a legal democratic framework.

  • The Political and Economic Conditions of Freedom of Information

    A leading Canadian mass communication scholar analyzes what is required to achieve truly free and open communication in today's world.

  • The Politics of Loss

    A review of Falling from Grace: The Experience of Downward Mobility in the American Middle Class, by Katherine Newman.

  • The Politics of Rage: Militias and the Future of the Far Right

    Militias and the Future of the Far Right, by Jeffrey Kaplan
    Both books reviewed serve to explain the appearance of a great deal of anti-government anger in the militia movement and other right-wing causes.

  • The Politics of U.S. Refugee Policy

    The nature of U.S. policy toward refugees is all too capricious.

  • The Possibility of Repentance (Mark 1:4)

    In an unexpected way, Jesus was the warrior Messiah of first century Israel’s hope, for he vanquished the elemental spirits of the universe; he conquered sin and death. By setting us free, he cast our repentance in a wholly new light.

  • The Potential Contribution of Process Thought

    Dr. Cobb uses process thought both broadly and narrowly, discussing it in terms of speculative metaphysics, as assumption criticism in general and as assumption criticism in physics, along with alternative assumptions in economics and theology.

  • The Power of a Picture: How Protestants Imaged the Gospel

    Protestants have been inclined to underestimate the power of images in religion. Yet images, symbols and rituals can impart feelings, understanding and aptitude of which we literally cannot speak.

  • The Power of Dreams in the Bible

    Dream interpretation, so Jewish in its imaginative attentiveness, pertains to psychological matters and the reality of repression. But it is not limited to those concerns. Dreams concern larger realities and possible futures.

  • The Power of God-with-Us

    In these last years scarred by AIDS, by the dominant culture of greed and violence, and by personal loss and pain, the author has come to see more distinctly the vital link between the healing process (traditionally the prerogative of religious and medical traditions) and the work of liberation (assumed to be the business of revolutionary movements for justice).

  • The Power of Myth: Lessons from Joseph Campbell

    Starting from the proposition that the whole history of Western culture can be seen as a history of demythologization, Lane reviews Joseph Campbell’s espousal of what could be called a remythologization of culture. While critical of Western theology for its neglect of myth, Campbell’s irenic spirit encourages theologians to treasure their metaphors, their poetry, their universal stories.

  • The Power of Sin Is the Law (I Cor. 15:56)

    Laws that treat offenders as subhuman are certainly sinful. Violence sanctioned by the community begets more violence.

  • The Power of the Bible in the Global South

    The Bible has found a congenial home among people who identify with the social and economic realities it portrays. Wile a literal interpretation finds great support in the Global South, in economic terms the interpretation is inclined to be more progressive.

  • The Power of the Past

    Whitehead’s account of the nature of experience places great emphasis on the power of the past, the primacy of physical feelings, and the literal transmission of energy as creative causal influx.

  • The Practical Life of the Church Musician

    The role of the church musician is not to satisfy the musical desires of everyone in the congregation -- a practical, theological description of the church musician’s vocation.

  • The Practical Need for Metaphysics

    Dr. Cobb examines the damage done by holding to established metaphysics in the natural sciences and theology, and also the danger of dismissing metaphysical inquiry altogether. He then proposes a process metaphysics as a way forward in those two fields.

  • The Practical Theology of David Ford

    UK theologian David Ford is interviewed. Wisdom demands an integration of rigorous thought with imagination and practical concerns -- how things actually work out in living life.

  • The Practice and Theology of Adoption

    The church has failed to recognize that adoption is a paradigm for the church -- a "family of faith" made up of people who are not biologically related.

  • The Practice of Pilgrimage

    Five books on the practice of "pilgrimage" are reviewed. The reviewer testifies to his own steps to holy places and the religious meanings that developed. These books give an invitation to deeper and richer pursuits in the potential of religious pilgrimages.

  • The Prehensibility of God’s Consequent Nature

    The author examines the problem "if and how God’s consequent nature can be prehensible and therefore efficacious…" if God’s consequent nature is "incomplete." He discusses various interpretations of this concept as found in Process and Reality.

  • The Presence of the Past and the Eucharist

    The presence of Jesus is not limited to the Eucharist. But this does not remove the importance of it to many forms of Christianity. If the contributions of the Eucharist were better understood they might dispel the tendency to conceive of it magically and the total rejection so often exhibited.

  • The Prints of Sadao Watanabe

    East and West draw closer together in this Japanese artist’s seemingly naïve images. His spirit seems to permit forces beyond himself to flow through his brush and knife, touching fundamental chords that are universal.

  • The Prize Is Life

    The author relates his visit in the hospital to Birtis, a small boy with a lethal disease: “I leave the hospital: back among the germs, back to my everyday life of compromises, relative failures. Here’s to it, then. And to Science. And to friendship with a person whose struggle makes our lives a little nobler: Birtis the true revolutionary, Birtis the hero.”

  • The Problem of Evil in Process Theism and Classical Free Will Theism

    Dr. Hasker writes that Process thought leaves God’s control over the events of the world so much less than classical theism. God provides the initial aim for each occasion, and that aim, we are assured, is for the best that is attainable in the given situation.

  • The Problem of God in Whitehead’s System

    Whitehead was the scientist who in the twentieth century most clearly perceived the fundamental unsatisfactoriness of the scheme of materialist mechanism and who develops an alternative philosophical basis.

  • The Problem of Persons

    The authors project the idea that persons are organic entities and that their actual entities are unexplained by single occasions alone.

  • The Problem of the Mainline

    Christian churches exist to worship God, to teach and nurture people in the faith, and to spread the Good News. They do not exist to establish "strictness" and clear church-culture boundaries or to claim the church’s "success" by the world’s standards.

  • The Problem with "The Passion"

    The trouble with the movie The Passion is that it proclaims a Braveheart Christianity. The Christ of the New Testament, by contrast, has a heart not so much brave as broken -- "broken for you," Christians recall.

  • The Problem with "Under God"

    If one considers Elk Grove Unified School v. Newdow theologically, with the conviction that God ultimately refers to the Creator-Redeemer met in Israel and Jesus Christ, then the "God" Americans are to pledge their nation to be "under" is at worst an idol and at best the true God’s name taken in vain.

  • The Problem with Government Subsidies

    The U.S. subsidy program is not only problematic for Americans but also disrupts the global food economy. It is not so much a means of stabilizing family farms as a way of supporting agribusinesses.

  • The Process Paradigm, Rites of Passage, and Spiritual Quests

    By providing a unifying concept that shows a common structure of a great number of spiritual quests, the process paradigm is presented and should illuminate and give coherence to the varieties of women’s and men’s experiences.

  • The Process Perspective as Context for Educational Evaluation

    Dr. Sherburne agrees with Whitehead that a fundamental weakness in modern education is its failure to exploit the value for education of exposure to the arts.

  • The Proclamation (Neh 8:1-3, 5-6, 8-10; 1 Cor. 12:12-31a; Lk 4:14-21)

    Jesus proclaims that the words of the prophet are not about some distant future, nor even about the near millennium. The jubilee year, the good news for the poor, the release of captives, the recovered vision, the liberation of the oppressed: these are proclaimed now, here, this day.

  • The Promise of a Process Feminist Theory of Relations

    When God generates an initial aim for each event, God’s aim is toward the richest possible experience for each moment. If the universe is understood in this sacramental perspective, our relative decisions about the value of all events in the world will be less dependent upon hierarchical formulas.

  • The Promised Land of Weight Loss:

    To dismiss Bible-based diet books for their shallowness is to ignore the pain and spiritual struggle behind them.

  • The Pros and Cons of Robert Schuller

    It is no more possible to be a nonprophetic church than to be a nonevangelistic church. When there are injustices in a community and the members of a church are in positions of power, it is their Christian witness also to use their positions in the secular world to work for justice.

  • The Protestant Church in the People's Republic of China

    The range of issues that the churches face in China, and the theological methodologies that they are devising to handle them suggest that in the near future a new kind of theology may come from this part of the world.

  • The Protestant Dilemma (Jer. 31:7-9; Ps. 126; Heb. 7:23-28; Mk. 10:46-52.)

    If Catholics and Protestants in these enlightened times share any belief, it is that God and the word of God are not constrained by the cultural context and prejudices in which we have been accustomed to operate.

  • The Protestant Struggle with the Image

    It is no wonder that the church and modern art have largely gone separate ways; the two do not see with the same eyes.

  • The Psalmist (Acts 2:14a, 22-32; Ps. 16; 1 Peter 1:3-9; Jn. 20:19-31)

    The Biblical writers talk about bodily, physical characteristics of life (heart-flesh-pulse-being born). The resurrected body is at the heart of the Easter proclamation.

  • The Pseudo-Content of the Processed Image

    The author argues that the electronically transmitted image will become the medium of greatest authority. This poses ethical and moral problems of profound dimension because of the medium's divorce from the language base of all ethical traditions, which themselves flow from spoken oral traditions and written canons. It is significant that at a common stage of development, religious traditions are suspicious, if not condemnatory, of images, graven or otherwise.

  • The Public Meaning of the Gospels

    The Western world and church seem determined to make sure that the Gospels can’t say what they want to say.

  • The Purpose of Human Rights

    This writing details various theories of human rights: Do all human individuals have human rights? Should these rights be stipulated in a political constitution?

  • The Quest for Justice and Peace in the Age of Globalisation

    The author views the problem and challenge of globalisation partly from economic but primarily from ethical, spiritual and theological points of view. Globalisation will need to combine economic efficiency with social justice and environmental sustainability.

  • The Quest for Unity

    Our most realistic minds have become aware of the fact that the church has been giving away both itself and its treasures in its compromises with secular philosophies. Others have seen this surrender as due mainly to the preoccupation of the divided churches with their fractional apprehension of Christian truth, which left each sect an easy prey to the encroachment of an aggressive secularism.

  • The Radical Witness of Bill Coffin

    Few leaders have been more central and visible in the tumultuous years of the civil rights movement than William Sloane Coffin. He made many of the events of that era happen and inspired hundreds of young people to be involved.

  • The Rapprochement of the Churches

    The Christians groups of the world are pleagued by sectarianism, which is the affirmation by one particular communion that it is right and all the others are wrong. This attitude shows how completely the pride and opinion of men, rather than the Holy Spirit, rule in the consciousness of Christian people. Would that all communions might stress penitence, rather than pride!

  • The Real Jesus of the Sayings "Q" Gospel

    Robinson explains the relationship of the Q document (Sayings Gospel Q) to Matthew and Luke and shows what it can tell us about the ministry of Jesus before that ministry was interpreted by Matthew and Luke.

  • The Real Prodigal (2 Cor. 5:16-21; Lk 15:1-3, 11b-32)

    Jesus’ parable requires discernment beyond human ways of thinking, discernment of the new creation that compels the ministry of reconciliation.

  • The Real Task of Practical Theology

    Lovin enters into the ongoing discussion of what theological education should be and how "practical theology" is to be understood and included. The author works from the premise that all theology must be practical theology in that it must enable individual faith to be effectively connected to social context. Practical theology's task is to inform the theological dialogue about the complexity of communicating the gospel and the resources available to help.

  • The Reception Process: The Challenge at the Threshold of a New Phase of the Ecumenical Movement

    Koinonia and communio describe the form of Christian unity; dialogue and reception describe the way to unity. The effort to achieve a more complete reception of one another in Christ through dialogue in truth is precisely the way that will lead to a full communio among sister Churches.

  • The Reconstruction of Faith

    What appears to happen in fellowship with Jesus is that our distrust of God is turned somewhat in the direction of trust.

  • The Reconstructionist Movement on the New Christian Right

    Reconstructionists believe Mosaic Law offers a perfect blueprint for rebuilding modern society.

  • The Recovery of Simplicity: Notes from the Land of Birds and Frogs

    We are all children and clowns and fools, even in our most serious, sublime and frenzied moments -- perhaps especially then -- and most certainly when we pretend that we are not.

  • The Red-Haired Saint: Is Mary Magdaline Key to the Easter Narratives?

    Is Mary Magdalene the key to the Easter Narratives? All we need do is demonstrate honestly the true role of Mary Magdalene in the story of redemption, the apparent fact that she was Jesus’ partner, wife or lover, his favorite disciple, a full member of a revolutionary community created by One who considered men and women equal.

  • The Reformed Churches: Enlarging Their Witness

    The Christian Reformed Church and the Reformed Church of America must address themselves seriously to the schism which has marred the lives of both for more than a century. The great thing that has happened in the Reformed churches recently is a new awareness of themselves and of their responsibilities and their possibilities.

  • The Reformed Subjectivist Principle Revisited

    Although rarely mentioned by Whitehead in Process and Reality, the reformed subjectivist principle epitomizes much with far reaching implications.

  • The Reinvented Church: Styles and Strategies

    Research into "the new paradigm" congregations, which have discarded many of the attributes of establishment religion.

  • The Relevance of An Introduction to Mathematics to Whitehead’s Philosophy

    We must see in Whitehead's mathematical publications not only pre-figurations of later thoughts, but also part of the coercive force that caused him to develop his metaphysics the way he did. To him mathematics was a guarantee for the reality and significance of eternal objects and their ingression into nature.

  • The Religious Music Without the Words

    Protestant cultural dominance has given way to a bland secular voice that offends no one but also fails to provide a religious worldview to help shape public discourse.

  • The Religious Response to Reproductive Technology

    As medical knowledge about infertility has increased, the ethics of reproduction is no longer the sole concern of the church.

  • The Renewal of the Sense of Wonder in the Church

    "Wonder" may be an attractive word for us. Trotter reminds us not only what it is, but also provides guides from ancient and contemporary sources in what we have lost, and how we might recover this essential ingredient of our humanness.

  • The Reshaping of Word

    The Christian Community has paid little attention to work as a religious issue. As technology makes jobs increasingly specialized, work is becoming meaningless, alienating and dehumanizing.

  • The Responsibility of the Church for Society

    Dr. Niebuhr spells out the nature and scope of the Churches' responsibility for society and challenges the churches to be both shepherds of the lost and social pioneers.

  • The Restoration Vision in Pentecostalism

    In an extended review of Edith L. Blumhofer’s two-volume history of the Assemblies of God, D. William Faupel highlights the restoration motif in the denomination’s history.

  • The Resurrection of the Human Jesus

    That the second person of the trinity rises from the dead is not surprising, because he cannot die. It is the resurrection of the human Jesus which is remarkable, and it is this resurrection which is constitutive of Christian faith.

  • The Resurrection: A Truth Beyond Understanding

    We should rejoice that the Easter event is more true than any of our explanations. Am I more loved by Christ because I become increasingly skeptical of scientism and find myself more deeply appreciative of Plato the older I get? Perhaps the real Christian believing is being done by those modernists whose naturalistic prejudices make faith an enormous intellectual struggle.

  • The Revelation of God in Christ

    In these times all people and cultures must live together in close association with one another. At the same moment, science is revolutionizing our world views. Hence, we must live in a creative, expansive transformation of our vision but at the same time not identify our faith with any one perception that happens to be most popular at the time.

  • The Revival of Practical Theology

    Although the phrase “practical theology” has been associated in recent decades with the least prestigious theological disciplines, there are several authors now trying to rehabilitate its meaning. Much more work needs to be done to establish practical theology as procedure and as method before it can become more central to theological education.

  • The Revival of Religion and the Decay of Ethics

    Our society, which no longer feels the need to disguise (let alone control or subdue) its aggressiveness and materialism, finds in the various fundamentalist versions of religion an imprimatur for its anti-intellectualism and indifference to human needs. Fundamentalism is a faithful expression of the goals that seem to dominate our age. That may well prove to be its epitaph.

  • The Riddle of Religion in the Making

    Whitehead’s Religion in the Making is straightforward except for chapter three. Dr. Ford wonders why Whitehead, at this point, drew back from his magnificent portrayal of God. This is the real riddle.

  • The Rise and Fall of Public Housing

    A review of two books on public housing. At a time of huge government surpluses, universal shelter, like universal health care, is on the agenda of few politicians, who argue instead about how many billions of dollars to return to wealthy taxpayers..

  • The Risk of Divorce

    If marriage involves a creative, courageous, demanding and risky act, then it also contains the possibility of failure. Our word to divorced persons must be that the failure and evil inherent in divorce (or any other human separation) would destroy us were it not for the fact that God keeps his promises and continues his love even when we break our promises and our love fails. The past cannot be erased, but it can be forgiven.

  • The Road Ahead in Theology -- Revisited

    Many theologians of the past 15 years have seduced theology into well-meaning but self-serving purposes. We must reaffirm the critical task of theology and the importance of reason in clarifying issues and making plain the alternatives for belief.

  • The Road that Leads Through the Bible

    Romney traces the "road" that runs through the entire Bible, a road which, if followed faithfully, leads to the heart of a living, loving God.

  • The Road to Emmaus

    This report is the third of a three-part series on Israel by Editor James M. Wall: Israel has found itself in the uncomfortable role of an occupying military power, controlling the lives of a large population of Palestinian Arabs.  Both the Jewish people and the Palestinian Arabs insist the time has come for them each to have their own homeland.

  • The Road to Sustainability: Progress and Regress

    While the dominant economic theory supports policies that are destructive both of human community and of the natural environment creating a global situation becoming less sustainable daily, nevertheless, the writer believes, there are helpful signs.

  • The Role of Theology of Nature in the Church

    Dr. Cobb suggests that Christianity needs the actual adoption of already-developed ideas as well as new ideas: "It is as important to liberate theology to pursue saving truth wherever it can be found (scientists, philosophers, Hindus…) as to liberate particular groups of people from oppression."

  • The Romantic Appeal of Joseph Campbell

    Campbell’s appeal derives from the unashamed romanticism of his theory of myth. His message is far more mystical than individualistic.

  • The Roots of Economics -- And Why it has Gone So Wrong

    Economics is perceived as a science concerned with scarcity, competition, production, consumption and the satisfying of unlimited desires. There is no reference to abundance, co-operation, sustainability, justice, compassion, humanity, morality or spirituality. No wonder it has brought us such a bitter harvest!

  • The Roots of Terrorism

    Terrorists the world over have appropriated concepts and military strategies that originated in the West (Nuclear bombing of Hiroshima; the fire bombing of Dresden). As victims of terrorism we may be forced to rethink our own policies on the use of force, including nuclear force, in order to bring the terrorists in line with our moral denunciations of their acts.

  • The Sacrament of Civilization: The Groundwork of a Philosophy of Technology for Theology

    Technology, and the new information technologies in particular, reveal the underlying nature of our culture today, and thus act as a kind of sacrament of our civilization. Therefore we must critically engage our technology to see how it shapes our values, our epistemology, and our rationality.

  • The Sacrament of Creative Transformation

    Jesus as the Christ is the objectification, the sacrament, of the universal proposition which God has made to the world. The church is the living, historical medium, the continuing sacrament, of God’s offer.

  • The Sacred and the Mundane: The Message of Leviticus

    The world of Leviticus, with its temple and priesthood, is strange to us, but it is central to the story of Israel. The regulations in Leviticus are important not because they serve a pragmatic purpose but because they are divinely ordained. What does it mean to be holy not in religious intention or feeling but in the details of everyday life?

  • The Salvation of Growth (Isaiah 5:1-7)

    It is important for our children to see us and to help us be involved in tending the soil beyond our own little vineyards -- to see and help us work in the larger society to make a better and more just world for all people. This kind of involvement introduces our children to goals not inspired by the greed of our capitalist culture gone wrong.

  • The Samaritan Spends the Night (Deut. 30: 9-14; Luke 10:25-37)

    The Bible reminds us that the word of the Lord is accessible, perhaps even too close for comfort. God may ultimately be unknowable, but loving the Lord and walking in God’s path are possibilities open to anyone.

  • The Satanic Verses and Beyond

    A study of the strong reaction, particularly in the Islamic world, against Salman Rushdie’s novel.

  • The Screwtape Letters and Process Theism

    Though God instills within every entity its initial conceptual aim, the person of Jesus is important for humankind because Jesus strove diligently and successfully to prehend God and obey the resulting prehensions, thereby keeping his own subjective aim aligned with God’s aim and purpose.

  • The Search for Mary Magdalene

    The author reviews several books giving detailed information about Mary Magdalene with early historical information concerning her relationship with Jesus and the disciples.

  • The Search for Mary Magdalene

    The author reviews several books giving detailed information about Mary Magdalene with early historical information concerning her relationship with Jesus and the disciples.

  • The Second Coming of the Liberal Jesus?

    The author reviews three recent books that take up the quest of the historical Jesus, using noncanonical sources as evidence that must be taken seriously.

  • The Secular City -- Ten Years Later

    For Cox the main thesis of The Secular City is still valid: that the secular, "nonreligious" world is also the sphere of God’s judging and freeing action. The movement of God in Christ is always toward this world, and the mission of the church and of the Christian is to move in the same direction.

  • The Secular City 25 Years Later

    In the years that have passed since The Secular City was published much has happened to the cities of the world, including American cities, and most of it has not been good

  • The Secular Relevance of the Church

    The majority of the laity are loyal churchmen, but at the same time, they do not see themselves as the special people of God who have a secular task to perform for his whole people.

  • The Secular Selling of a Religion

    There are certain deceptions being practiced in Transcendental Meditation which are troubling: claims to originality, claims to compatibility with all religions, claims that TM is not a religion, claims that it is best not to tell an initiate where he is being led.

  • The Secular Vision of a New Humanity in People’s China

    MacInnis found the "total secularization of…society and culture" in China so that organized religion finds no parallel in the experience of China’s youth today. Yet the fruits of religion and the practice of the moral life are in many ways more evident in China than in the West.

  • The Secularist Prejudice

    Historian/journalist/political scientist Garry Wills notes how some scholars -- including such eminent historians as Henry Steele Commager and Arthur Schlesinger, Jr. -- and public figures, including Michael Dukakis (whom Wills has called "the first truly secular candidate we have ever had for the presidency") have undervalued, ignored or maligned the role of religion in American life.

  • The Sense of God’s Reality

    Nothing is more clear in the light of history, than this: new political, economic and ecclesiastical machinery does not alone solve problems; it creates problems, and, above all, it puts a strain on moral foundations, on spiritual resources, that must successfully be met or the best-laid plans come down in ruin.

  • The Sense of God’s Reality

    Nothing is more clear in the light of history than this: new political, economic and ecclesiastical machinery does not alone solve problems; it creates problems, and, above all, it puts a strain on moral foundations, on spiritual resources, that must successfully be met or the best-laid plans come down in ruin.

  • The Sent and the Sender (Is. 61:1-2, 65:17-25; I Th. 5:16-28; Jn. 1:6-8, 19-28.)

    Generations of believers have found hope in the notion that someone (or something) is coming to relieve them of their burden.

  • The Shadow Side

    The darkest fear of all, the fear that has the power not only to shape a life for death-dealing, but also to distort an entire community, is the fear that lurks beneath the pretense of power and privilege, the fear which crouches behind the doorways of prejudice and preys upon the least of those in the community.

  • The Shape of an Irreverent Spirituality

    One goal of an irreverent spirituality challenges all ecclesial traditions to affirm that the God question can never be closed or fixed. Every church tradition, no matter how extensive or authoritative its dogma, must constantly be subject to a painful examination of its spirituality and theology.

  • The Shape of the Church: Congregational and Trinitarian

    Stewart's review of Miroslav Volf's book After Our Likeness describes Volf's perspective in identifying what makes a congregation a Christian church as "unflagging congregationalism." Volf's rigorous ecclesiology is rooted in the theology of the Trinity, and presents a challenge to the ecclesiologies of Catholic, Orthodox and most mainline Protestant churches.

  • The Short One (Luke 19:1-10)

    Why do we assume Zacchaeus was short? Maybe he couldn’t see Jesus because Jesus was short. How easily we become trapped in unrealistic cultural ideals of the perfect being.

  • The Show-Me Disciple (John 20:19-31)

    Doubts and uncertainty frighten us. That’s why we reject Thomas -- he dares to bring doubt into our lives of faith.

  • The Significance of Mircea Eliade for Christian Theology

    New Testament studies are nourished primarily by Western thinking, but Micera Eliade's emphasis on religious historical studies helps to correct this bias -- for example, through understanding the reciprocal influences between Indio-Iranian, Mesopotamian, and Mediterranean worlds. The author examines Eliade's influences on Paul Tillich, Rudolph Bultmann and others, and analyzes his creative hermeneutics, orientalism and "new humanism."

  • The Skewing of America: Disparities in Wealth and Income

    The cause of poverty is an inevitable consequence of the maldistribution of wealth and the lack of a true sense of the common good.

  • The Slow Death of the Two-State Solution

    A viable two-state solution to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict is dying; perhaps it is already dead. This reality should prompt new theological and political analysis among Christians and others who yearn for justice, peace and security for Palestinians and Israelis.

  • The Soul of Christianity

    Christians’ love for each other were baffling to others. Non-Christians said: "See how they love each other." In addition, the continuing state of the Christian’s happiness added to the mystery.

  • The Spirit in Sound Doctrine (II Timothy 1; II Timothy 3:14-4:5)

    Sound doctrine has deep social roots, not merely the ephemeral ones in wealth, strength, prestige and power -- though, thank goodness, the church as its share of those -- but also in humanity’s awesome diversity.

  • The Spirituality and Politics of Holy Folly

    Many times in the history of divine and human affairs, Holy Folly has been the cause of deliverance and salvation. A sudden paradoxical turn is frequently the Holy Spirit's preferred way of liberating God's people from spiritual and political impasses alike.

  • The Spirituality of the Earth

    The earth, in a very real sense, is our mother. We are born from this mother, from Gaia; we are extensions of the earth and the cosmos of which it is a part. This means that our conceptualizing and our spirituality also extend from the spiritual dimension of the cosmos and the earth.

  • The Square Dance of Eternal Objects

    The author uses the square dance as an analogy of Whitehead’s eternal objects -- the primary structure by which experience is unified. The nature of being is to be found in the ideal patterns which Whitehead indicated with this term ‘eternal object.’

  • The St. John’s Bible Project

    The St. John’s Bible does much to bring together the Protestant’s zeal in printing the text on one hand, and the Catholic care for ecclesial art on the other.

  • The Status of Artistic Illusion in Concrescence

    The function of artistic illusion is not "make-believe," as many philosophers and psychologists assume, but the very opposite -- disengagement from belief. The author’s purpose is to show how Susanne K. Langer’s view of art may be understood within the philosophy of organism, wherein all things must satisfy the Ontological Principle.

  • The Story of Liam Q

    Lifers released prior to the truth-in-sentencing rules in which they had a hope of parole had the lowest recidivism rate of any group of offenders. With the strict rules continuing and no possibility of restoration, only punishment, there is no hope, especially for the young.

  • The Strange World of Conspiracy Theories

    The danger of the "conspiracy theorists" lies less in such beliefs themselves . . than in the behavior they might stimulate or justify. Should they believe that the prophesied evil predictions had in fact arrived, their behavior would become far more difficult to predict.

  • The Structure of the Free Act in Bergson

    The author reconstructs and explains the necessary conditions of individual free acts treated by Henri Bergson. Bergson's initial acceptance of the fact of freedom finally includes the entirety of physical and psychic reality as its precondition.

  • The Subjectivist Principle and Its Reformed and Unreformed Versions

    Whitehead uses the term ‘subjectivist principle’ in two ways: one refers to a principle which he rejects (affirming that the datum includes actual entities, not just eternal objects), while the second refers to a more general principle which he accepts (the datum of experience involves only universals and hence no actualities).

  • The Subjectivist Principle and the Linguistic Turn Revisited

    The subjectivist principle is that the datum in the act of experience can be adequately analyzed purely in terms of universals. Part of Whitehead’s cure for the ills of modern philosophy involves the repudiation of aspects of the substance-quality mode of thought that are not immediate premises of the subjectivist principle and are not necessarily connected with the problem of repeatability and unrepeatability.

  • The Suffering God: The Rise of a New Orthodoxy

    The death of God’s Christ is in part God’s atonement to his creatures for evil. The ancient doctrine of divine impassibility and immutability has been largely rejected by contemporary theologians -- and the ancient theopaschite heresy that God suffers has, in fact, become the new orthodoxy.

  • The Summons to a New Era in World Mission

    The intensifying quest for justice and human rights by millions of people across the earth gives a new dimension to world mission, calling for a depth of witnessing, caring and humility beyond anything we have yet employed. The nonviolent quest by the world’s poor challenges the churches with the most urgent summons of this century.

  • The Sunday School of Tomorrow

    Despite all evidence to the contrary, the author does not see a place of significance for the Sunday school in the future. It is too bound to the past to meet the needs of a new age. He has a different vision of the future of the church and religious education.

  • The Sunday School: Battered Survivor

    If there cannot be three cheers for the Sunday school as a thriving institution, or two cheers for its record, let there be at least one cheer for the ways the grace of God lives on in it.

  • The Super Bowl as Religious Festival

    There is a remarkable sense in which the Super Bowl functions as a major religious festival for American culture, for the event signals a convergence of sports, politics and myth. Like festivals in ancient societies, which made no distinctions regarding the religious, political and sporting character of certain events, the Super Bowl succeeds in reuniting these now disparate dimensions of social life.

  • The Superbowl Culture of Male Violence

    There is a close relationship between violence and sexism in our culture, as lived out in family life, the world of sports, and the economic and political scene.

  • The Symbiosis Between Poverty and Globalization: A Need for a Critique from Political Ethics

    The author questions the assumption of world leaders that globalization would be benevolent thereby eradicating or reducing poverty. He calls for an ethical critique of the politics of globalization.

  • The Teaching Life: Defining a Calling

    Review of a book on the theological teacher. The Lilly Foundation funded a gathering of a cross-section of theological teachers and administrators from seminaries, university divinity schools and colleges to explore the subject of theological teaching.

  • The Temporality of Divine Freedom

    Dr. Felt calls attention to a peculiar aspect of one the arguments used to support the "societal" view. He thinks it betrays an inadequacy in all current Whiteheadian views which has not been appreciated.

  • The Testament of Friends

    Hauerwas began seeking to recover the importance of virtue and the virtues and ended up with the church.

  • The Thanatos Syndrome: Exciting, Horrifying, Disappointing

    It is not a restored religious humanism that will make Christian faith a vital answer to the thanatos syndrome. Perhaps Percy should consider writing a novel in which, instead of having apes teach humans how to communicate, Jews teach Christians how not to be ashamed of their scandalous specificity of God’s redemptive people.

  • The Theater of Revelation: Art and the Grace-Fullness of Form

    For the artist, the physical world may not be the only reality, but it is the theater of revelation, just as it is in the story of Christ’s incarnation.

  • The Theological Challenge of Globalization

    The shock of deprovincialization makes us aware that Christianity is not the only great religion. Isolated ignorance of other faiths is both socially irresponsible and religiously foolish.

  • The Theological Stake in Globalization

    Deliberate planning and massive human effort have created the present system of globalization. This system exploits the poor and enriches the wealthy. It destroys human communities and devastates the natural world. The author suggests other solutions.

  • The Theological Use of Scripture in Process Hermeneutics

    Dr. Kelsey faces three questions in process hermeneutics: 1. How is the interpretation of the Bible an exercise in process hermeneutics? 2. Is it an equivocal notion naming quite different enterprises? 3. What guidance does process hermeneutics give to normative Biblical texts?

  • The Theology of Pac-Man

    Pac-Man is based on the biblical narrative, its story the same one Jesus told in a different way. Pac-Man is existence, captured in the bleeps and blips of the electronic board. It is, in short, life as we hear it in the Judeo-Christian tradition  It is the most thoroughly theological of all the video games.

  • The Things That Make for Peace (Luke 21:5-191)

    The United Methodist Bishop’s pastoral letter on peace, In Defense of Creation, is theologically flawed and focuses too much on mere survival. Resisting the historic Wesleyan emphasis on sanctification -- making better people -- they take up a more acceptable activism -- doing effective politics. Jesus called us to a change of heart and life -- but now it’s enough, it seems, simply to be politically effective. Politics has become our only means of transcendence.

  • The Thoroughly Modern Mysticism of Matthew Fox

    Creation and redemption are so close together in Fox’s work that his social programs are almost inevitably simplistic.

  • The Time of Whitehead’s Concrescence

    Dr. Lango discusses in detail the actual occasions in the Temporal World in abstraction from the Whiteheadian conception of God in Process and Reality. Concrescence is temporally ordered. Dr. Lango calls this answer temporalism.

  • The Translation of Wonder (John 5:10)

    The fish story thus becomes not about luck, but about blessing. It becomes personal, and Simon’s wonder turns from simple and greedy pleasure to deep awe at the unearned gift. The translation from luck to grace is what makes a miracle of what might otherwise have been just another fisherman’s tale.

  • The Troubling Future of Ethnicity

    Political entrepreneurs are beginning to exploit the rise of ethnic consciousness in the U.S. Political ethnicity and conflict are certain to grow when government validates or legitimates racial, religious or nationality quotas, proportional representation, community control, communalism or sectionalism.

  • The Truth of the Christian Fiction: Belief in the Modern Age

    Our conceptualizations of Jesus and God, and the liturgical forms with which we celebrate their presence within out community of faith, are the creative products of individuals who have wrestled with their own faith.

  • The Turn in the Path (Revelation 21:10; John 14:23-29)

    Ascension recognizes the separation of the Risen Lord from the disciples as He goes to dwell at the right hand of the Father.

  • The Ultimate and the Ordinary: A Profile of Langdon Gilkey

    Langdon Gilkey recognized that if theological discourse is to be meaningful today, it must be grounded in ordinary experience.

  • The Ultimate Church

    A prediction of what the future holds for the megachurch movement. Where will this apotheosization of numbers for numbers’ sake end?

  • The Unitarian Universalists: Style and Substance

    There is evidence that the Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA)’s very real stylistic freedom is accompanied by a homogenous substance of beliefs and values. The most striking fact about the denomination is that nine out of ten of its members are “converts,” having grown up religiously somewhere else. Given the lack of membership growth, it is clear that UUA churches are in some sense “revolving doors.” Most of the newcomers have left some kind of liberal Protestantism behind, but we do not know where those who leave go next.

  • The Unity We Seek

    Ecumenism is now in the hands of the evangelical and Pentecostal movement on the one hand and the Roman Catholic and Orthodox on the other, the polar opposites of the mainline folks, yet there is a measure of agreement on where and how the apostolic tradition is to be located and retrieved in the affirmations regarding the Trinity, or that Jesus Christ is true god and true man.

  • The Universal Declaration at 50: Changing the World?

    December 1998 marked the 50th anniversary of the United Nation's adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. While abundant, dramatic violations of human rights still dominate the headlines, the last half-century has seen explosive growth in human rights consciousness and activism and in international humans rights laws and institutions. The United States is one of a dwindling number of nations unenthusiastic about the application of world law when applied to its own conduct,but for reasons supplied by the author, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights is still a tool for people of conscience to use in the struggle for a world more respectful of human dignity.

  • The Unknown History of Televangelism

    Fundamentalist broadcasters have greatly leverage their cultural and political power in the U.S. due to the failure of the FCC to require their radio and television stations to meet the public interest standard.

  • The Unsung Work of Padre Manuel Freire

    The author tells about what one Catholic priest is doing to improve the status of the undernourished and depraved children of the poor in the tropical seaport of Guayaquil in Ecuador.

  • The Untenability of Werth’s Untenability Essay

    Dr. Clarke presents a critique of Lee F. Werth’s critique of Whitehead’s Theory of Extensive Connection. Clarke says, "If Werth has succeeded in demonstrating anything, it is the need for someone to cast Whitehead’s theory of extensive connection and abstraction in a systematic form and in logical notation."

  • The Untenability of Whitehead’s Theory of Extensive Connection

    If no geometrical element is a point, then Whitehead’s geometrical account of the perceptive mode of presentational immediacy in terms of mere extensiveness is untenable, as it is when all geometrical elements are points.

  • The Urban Church: Symbol and Reality

    It is vital for the urban church to take seriously its teaching function as a self-conscience Christian Community. These churches are essential to the urban life and must be given the utmost care. Their structures need to shine as centers of beauty, as symbols of hope, as signs of the Kingdom.

  • The Urge to Travel (Genesis 12:1-4; Psalm, 121)

    Did Abraham leave his homeland because the older generation refused to change. Is the membership decline in our older churches caused by the alienation of the younger aged members?

  • The Use of Scripture in the Wesleyan

    Alternative visions of the word evangelicalism result in such different content that its use is confusing without consideration of those transformations of meaning. Understanding these differences is key to reconciling the core meaningof evangelicalism with the Wesleyan tradition.

  • The Use of the Bible in Theology

    For John Howard Yoder theology is an activity on behalf of the church. Its function is neither that of maintenance nor that of generalization. Theology is the church's servant through a missionary and aggressive "biblical realism." Theology protects against overly confident or overly relevant applications. It is meant to correct and renew the church.

  • The Uses of American Power: On a Mission

    These four books discuss the concept that America has received a divinely approved mission to spread freedom, democracy and capitalist prosperity to the world and is increasingly preoccupied with the very activities John Quincy Adams feared -- searching out monsters (terrorists), entangling the nation in wars of interest and intrigue, and becoming an imperial "dictatress."

  • The Uses of an Ecumenical Seminary

    All denominations can be strengthened by the ecumenical education of some of their clergy. The strong students whom church leaders send to ecumenical seminaries will come back to them even stronger.

  • The Uses of Imagination in Religious Experience

    Building on Northrup Frye's analysis of language, Trotter proceeds to sketch how much contemporary language has lost the dimension of imagination, leaving us impoverished and yearning for something more satisfying. Trotter proposes three ways in which imagination in religion contributes to enriching human experience. Quoting from contemporary novels and poetry, as well as Scripture, his case demonstrates as well as describes his position.

  • The Value of a Theological Education: Is It Worth It?

    An interview with a prominent Christian educator about the problems seminaries face: finances, mergers, loss of interest from sponsoring churches, non-traditional students, and the enrollment of minorities and women.

  • The Value of the Dialogue Between Process Thought and Psychotherapy

    A dialogue between process theology and psychotherapy is needed on both a theoretical and a applied basis. Such a dialogue will further psychotherapy’s evolution thus improving the human condition.

  • The Vatican’s Quarrel with Roger Haight

    Dr. Rausch looks at the views of Thomas P. Haight who argues that pluralism in our times demands that we can no longer claim the superiority of Christianity over all other religions.

  • The Violets: "A Cosmological Reading of a Cosmology"

    The writer attempts to convert metaphysics into poetry, thus connecting it to the "real."

  • The Virgin Mary is No Wonder Woman

    Bishop Spong recounts the "Mary story," and concludes that she was both de-sexed and de-humanized by a condescending and patriarchal hierarchy. The clear message was that both the body and the sexuality of a woman were evil. The ideal woman was not a flesh and blood woman, but sweet, passive, docile, compliant, obedient, virginal, and unreal, And the Christian Church today is still one of the most sexist institutions in Western civilization.

  • The Vitality of the Franciscan Spirit: Reflections on the 750th Anniversary of the Death of St. Fran

    St. Francis of Assisi stands as an example of the cultured European mind during the Enlightenment period, who caused a tremendous outpouring of cultural activities after his death.

  • The Voices of Muslim Reformers

    Since 9/11, if the world is to be made safe, moderate Muslims, militant Muslims and Christians must struggle together to make the world a safer place for communities and families who see things differently from one another.

  • The Water of Life

    There are no laws on the books enforcing segregation, but the social and economic forces at play In Haiti are so powerful they create a de facto apartheid.

  • The Waters of Solidarity (Gen. 1:1-5;Acts 19:1-7; Mark 1:4-11)

    People still fear sin, death, and the devil.

  • The Way We Work, the Way We Live

    We sell ourselves cheap, so that work can demand always more of our time, and families can claim always less. The sin most abhorrent to God is the failure of generosity, the neglect of widow and orphan, the oppression of the poor.

  • The Whole World Singing: A Journey to Iona and Taizé

    The Taizé and Iona communities are very much alive. Both are based on a rule and a common life of prayer that joins work and worship in a Benedictine pattern. And yet they are extremely different.

  • The Winning That Is Everything

    Not only is the widespread emphasis on winning over others less than Christian, argues the writer, but even the concept of "doing one’s best" is easily perverted into workaholism and pride.

  • The Witness at the Well (Jn. 4:5-42.)

    Jesus does not urge the Samaritan woman at the well to repent or change her behavior.

  • The Women-Church Movement

    The women-church movement is an initiative of the Holy Spirit among those who are religiously marginalized and oppressed.

  • The Word Becomes Flesh (John 1:1-3)

    Without the word, there would be no human race, no civilization. If you take from me the ability to speak and to record words, you take away all that is. Without the word, there is nothing. If it is true that nothing exists without a word, then everything that is, is the speech of God.

  • The Word Made Rock (Matt. 7:21-29)

    The Bible and the desert land of Arizona both offer the author a foundation laid out for her by the solid rock of faith.

  • The Words of Worship: Beyond Liturgical Sexism

    Our growing awareness of the sexist problems inherent in our language provides us with a valuable new hermeneutical tool. A change in speech habits is necessary if we are to change attitudes.

  • The World as God's Body

    In perverse imitations of God the creator of life, we have become potential uncreators. We have the knowledge and the power to destroy ourselves and much of the rest of life.

  • The World Missionaiy Conference, 1910

    There is no home problem which the church is today facing which is not forced to the foreground in the consideration of missionary expansion. This meeting in Edinburgh is a gathering of missionary specialists, in the main, who come together to exchange views on the ways and means of executing the Lord’s command to preach the gospel to the whole creation.

  • The World Missionary Conference

    This meeting in Edinburgh was a gathering of missionary specialists, in the main, who come together to exchange views on the ways and means of executing the Lord’s command to preach the gospel to the whole creation. The missionary conscience is assumed here. The church’s duty is taken for granted. Every delegate is already an ardent missionary believer.

  • The World of Fundamentalism

    Wuthnow explores Fundamentalisms Observed, edited by Martin E. Marty and R. Scott Appleby, to outline a scholarly-acceptable description of American, Christian fundamentalism. Instead of discovering a monolithic movement, he concludes that it is group of diverse yet specific theological movements related to particular times, places, events and figures, clarifying the word "fundamentalisms" in the title.

  • The World Trade Organization: A Theological Critique

    The author makes the case for and against "free trade." Since World Trade places its faith not in God but in the market, Christians may suspect that idolatry is at work. This is a call for the world to serve Mammon or wealth rather than God.

  • The Wounded Body in Early Christian Thought: Implications for the Care of HIV/AIDS Survivors

    However much one may talk about life as a gift from the beyond, which, nevertheless, has to be lived in the here-and-now, any attempt to brush aside a debate on the responsibility of church and society using so-called “moral” categories in a narrow and restrictive sense would be irresponsible.

  • The Wounded Self: The Religious Meaning of Mental Suffering

    The ill of mind represent the alienation of all of humanity, symbolizing the human condition in its fundamental need for redemption. The condition of such illness could be instructive to "healthy" minds, reminding them of the precarious complexity of inner selfhood.

  • The Wright Quest for the Historical Jesus

    Witherington, in this review of N.T. Wright's Jesus and the Victory of God, argues that it is the most revealing of all the Jesus books in what has been called the "Third Quest" for the historical Jesus, not just because Wright offers a challenge to the dominant form criticism model championed by Bultmann and his followers, but because he takes Jesus' Jewishness and Torah-centric matrix seriously.

  • The Years of the Evangelicals

    Evangelicalism, as described by Marty, is a grouping of diverse religious denominations and movements that have difficulty in defining "evangelicalism" to themselves. While not increasing in numbers of recent decades, they have grown in public awareness through aggressive moralizing on issues like abortion and school prayer. Marty outlines the evolution in various evangelicals’ theology and rhetoric, and suggests some of the hurdles they face in an increasingly religously-diverse nation and world.

  • The Zambian Debt Dilemma: A Just Repayment Plan

    If we as Christians are serious about justice, the time to talk about Zambia’s debt and interest dilemma is past. Zambia’s massive debt is contributing to its death. I hope our voices will be heard on the side of life.

  • Theism and Religious Humanism: The Chasm Narrows

    There is an absence of a systematic theology/philosophy of religious humanism. Unfortunately, religious humanism has not yet found a Barth to articulate its inner logic. Nor can we identify a concrete culture or historical era in the West in which humanism was in command.

  • Then and Now: The Recovery of Patristic Wisdom

    Oden tells how his fascination with modernity has been replaced with a fascination for the thought of the early church fathers. He is a proponent of what he calls paleo-orthodoxy.

  • Theologian in the Service of Piety: A New Portrait of Calvin

    Zachman suggests that the Calvin of recent scholarship emerges as a more intriguing figure than the conventional view that he was a cold, rigidly systematic thinker whose most important book, Institutes of the Christian Religion of 1559, emphasized God's judgment and the doctrine of predestination. Zachman puts Calvin's life and work in context, emphasizing the pastoral concern expressed in his biblical commentaries.

  • Theologians Re-Imaging Redemption

    Rather than using Jesus as an escape hatch for fear, we need an understanding of redemption that will allow us to engage our fears in their most terrifying dimensions.

  • Theological Education: Healing the Blind Beggar

    Four conclusions are drawn from the healing miracle of the blind beggar narrated in Mark 10:46-52: 1. His powerlessness leads to economic disadvantage and physical liability. 2. The community perpetuates his powerlessness by forcing him to be silent. 3. Hope leads the man to speak out -- an act of social subversion. 4. The result of the transformation transforms the community’s life as well.

  • Theological Publishing: In Need of a Mandate

    Surveying the distressed and distressing state of serious theological publishing, the churches are challenged to give their presses the support and the resources they require and deserve, for few denominational officials regard theological publishing as a critical element in their church’s mission.

  • Theological Realism

    Because we have inherited, in the old-line churches, a vague belief in the reality of God, the church has declined. Dr. Cobb challenges the diverse group of the American Academy of Religion, to work in complementary ways to a commitment to a "real God."

  • Theological Wisdom, British Style

    Theology in Britain is in many respects very different from that in the U.S., and its distinctiveness is one of the reasons for the U.S. interest. In general, the two leading moods in British theological discourse generally have been the indicative (this is what is believed, affirmed) and the imperative (this is what should be done).

  • Theologizing in a Win/Lose Culture

    To say that winning is not everything doesn’t make one a “poor sport” or a masochist. God accepts us despite our failings. This relationship is not earned; it is a divine gift. We can learn from our failures something of the profundity of Christ’s cross.

  • Theology and Civil Society: A Proposal for Ecumenical Inquiry

    What roles should Christian churches now play in the dialogue about democratic participation, discursive civility, and moral responsibility now emerging in diverse political cultures across the globe? The Christian vision of the people of God, understood as an inclusive company of human beings transcending the borders of churches and other religious institutions, offers a model whose intellectual reach and cogency is enhanced when it is allowed to underlie and transform our whole notion of what "communicative action" between human beings and human communities can mean.

  • Theology and Ecology

    The seriousness of the ecological crisis creates major new theological challenges. Dr. Cobb summarizes the features of the inherited theology that block attention to what is going on in the natural environment, then suggests how these obstacles can be removed.  Finally he inquires into whether Christianity not only can cease to be an obstacle to the needed response but also can become a positive contributor.

  • Theology and Imagination

    Speaking to the Indiana Area School of the Prophets in August, 1980, Trotter explores how theology and imagination are related, this time from the perspective of the words a religious community chooses to express what is finally incapable of being expressed in any definitive way. Drawing on novelists, poets, as well as Scripture, Trotter leads us through a perilous issue with a result that opens up new options for religious expressions, as well as warnings about traditional religious language.

  • Theology and the English Language

    Recent theological writing is imprecise and pretentious in the use of the language. More precision and clarity are needed in the writing of theology -- along with a more careful examination of why and for whom it is being written.

  • Theology as Public Discourse

    It is time to attempt a genuinely dialectical and postecumenical Christian systematic theology faithful to both Protestant principle and Catholic substance. Only a sustained collaborative effort of this sort can hope to produce the kind of public and communicative theology needed now.

  • Theology for a Time of Troubles

    All of us alike face the same issue of understanding our own tradition in the light of our modem cultural and social situations -- only let us, in assaying that problem, not forget the present precariousness, the moral temptations and the religious requirements of that infinitely risky modern situation!

  • Theology in 1977 and Beyond

    In our tumultuous times, three areas need our attention in charting a theological program today, particularly for the preparation of future priests and ministers.: 1. Philosophy; 2. Professionalism; 3. Spirituality.

  • Theology in the Twenty-First Century

    We are seeing a shift of world history to a new center around the Pacific basin. What hopeful implications does that have for theology in the next century? It opens up the possibility of a liberation from the dominance of Mediterranean and European habits of thought without a loss of the achievements of these traditions. Dr. Cobb suggests implications for religious pluralism, the relationship of science and religion, the character of postmodern thought, and the construction of a postmodern theology.

  • Theology Now?

    It can hardly remain hidden that the American system of competition, domination and violence, of sexism and oppression, carefully programming us by the pattern of the marketplace and subliminally driven into us by advertising, inhibits, to say the least, our walking as men and women of love and hope.

  • Theology: What Is It? Who Does It? How Is It Done?

    How can theologians -- members of a privileged elite -- be the interpreters of a Message which so ringingly challenges all established power and all elites? The answer lies in their recognizing for whom they are doing their theology. The coming of the Kingdom of God through the poor and the disinherited, both inside and outside the church, must provide the theologian's frame of reference. This means that human life in society constitutes the absolute value, and that all religious institutions, all dogmas, all the sacraments and all ecclesiastical authorities have only a relative, that is, a functional value.

  • Therapies Ministers Use

    The popular works of Carl Rogers, Fritz Perls and Eric Berne are being embraced as major therapeutic systems, useful in pastoral-care work, but these thearapies, although popular, are demonstrably inadequate. They are no more scientific, or validated, than Emile Coué or Dianetics.

  • They are a Stiff-Necked People (Exod. 32: 9-10)

    God criticizes his own people, for the God of Moses and of the Israelites is a unique God. No other Gods are impartial.

  • Thieves and Robbers (John 10:1; Acts 7:51;I Pet. 2:23)

    How dependent we are upon the Holy Spirit to get anything right.

  • Thinking Globally

    Douglas Hicks reviews three books on globalization. The faces of globalization that matter are not technology, economics, politics or rapid social changes. They are the 6 billion people who are affected by those factors. Globalization should neither be welcomed uncritically nor dismissed as wholly deleterious.

  • Thinking Like a Mountain: Toward a Sensible Land Ethic

    The vision of lions lying down with lambs represents a gross misunderstanding of harmony in nature. Nature provides self-limiting factors which we must take into account.

  • Thinking Our Way to the Ultimate

    For theologians like Gordon Kaufman, we know what we value for the universe and for human life, and we pick the religious symbols that best serve those ends.

  • Thinking Theologically about Church and State

    Dr. Barrett challenges the "Christ and Culture" typology of H. Richard Niebuhr, and suggests an alternate four models of how people and their churches relate to the culture. She then outlines five normative tasks of the church in relationship with government.

  • Thirst Quencher (Jn. 7: 37-39, Acts 2:1-21, Ps, 104:24-34,35b)

    If there is to be peace in the Middle East, in Afghanistan or in the United States, it will come about through peacemakers whose grace and power flow from some explicit or implicit anointing by the Holy Spirit.

  • This War is Not Just

    Carroll examines the historic "just war" theory as applied to the current terrorist situation.

  • Thomas Aquinas and Three Poets Who Do Not Agree with Him

    Hartshorne analyzes the thinking of Thomas Aquinas, Omar Khayyám, and Sidney Lanier from a Process Thought point of view. Properly interpreted, these writers can help us live better than we might live without them.

  • Thomas Berry and a New Creation Story

    Is the human species viable, or are we careening toward self-destruction, carrying with us our fellow earthlings? Can we move from an anthropocentric to a biocentric vision? How can we help activate the intercommunion of all living and nonliving members of the earth community in the emerging ecological period?

  • Thomas Merton: The Global Future and Parish Priorities

    Thomas Merton was himself a man who lived on the edge: the edge of great realization and great compassion, the edge of the future that was also the edge of his own growth -- a growth directed toward ever-increasing personal and global apprehension of the depths of God. His great concerns offer us and our churches a very useful litmus test or checklist by which to sort out all the possibilities that come at us in parish life.

  • Thomas Merton: The Pursuit of Marginality

    Thomas Merton was one of those rare persons who could step back from the traditional ways of life to see life from a detached point of view, who was able to turn the marginality of life into a presence of importance for the whole church.

  • Thorn in the Side

    The author reviews a book by Stanley Hauerwas: When Hauerwas asserts that liberal Christians are those who take "humans, not God, as the center of Christian faith," or when he says that one of "the most cherished conceits of modernity" is that "humans are the measure of all that is," he reveals that he has not thought hard enough about what liberalism and modernity mean to their proponents.

  • Those Who Have Not Seen (Jn. 20:19-31)

    These things are written not that you might have the facts, but that you might believe.

  • Thoughts on Smashing Idols: Church Music in the ‘80s

    The church has always struggled to maintain the connection between two terms: the dogma (or teaching), and the doxa (or praise). Perhaps we all need to remind each other that dogma and doxa are best held together when the church sees itself first of all as a worshiping community, that orthodoxy means "right praise."

  • Three Axioms for Land Use

    Redeeming the land and redeeming humanity are not separate tasks; they are interdependent. When people are brought back together with the land, there is a possibility of a careful, loving, productive and saving relationship between them. So long as the land is held by corporations and machines, this possibility does not exist.

  • Three Resources for Christian Formation

    This article reviews three teaching orders: 1. Progressive Lectures and teaching materials by James Efird. 2. The Web-based curriculum, The Thoughtful Christian, written by an enormous diverse group of respected scholars. 3. The work of the New Monastics which cuts against the grain of conventional wisdom.

  • Three Responses to Neville’s Creativity and God

    Separate articles by Charles Hartshorne, John B. Cobb Jr., and Lewis S. Ford are presented each discussing Robert C. Neville’s Creativity and God. Neville’s insights are considered significant and helpful, but some subtle differences are analyzed by each author.

  • Three Types of Divine Power

    Dr. Gier writes of God’s Omnipotence versus our freedom, contending that our freedom, not God’s authority is the our first principle.

  • Three-Dimensional Faith (Hebrews 2:10-18)

    Paul declares that the revelation of Christ makes a real difference in at least three different dimensions: the personal, the communal and the cosmic.

  • Thy Will Be Done (Jonah 3:1-5, 10; I Cor.7:29-31; Mk. 1:14-20)

    When we decide to follow, we are called to lay down some of our most valuable possessions: our understanding of the world, our view of right and wrong, our assumptions about whom God favors and whom God despises, our ways and our thoughts.

  • Tidings of Great Joy (Luke 2:10-17)

    Christ is born in a manger and not in a palace. This is why the religious leaders, the rich and powerful of his as well as our day failed and fail to recognize him. Only the poor shepherds could recognize him, and only to the poor and the frightened does Christmas comes as a message of good news.

  • Ties That Bind (1 John 3:16-24; John 10:11-18; Acts 4:-12)

    We are there for each other but why are we reluctant to tell each other that we will be there in their need?

  • Tillich’s Social Thought: New Perspectives

    Much of what Paul Tillich has to say is pertinent to any effort to relate Christian theology and ethics to the social problems of our times and embraced a form of socialism. But he showed a full appreciation of the danger, as seen in the Soviet example, of turning socialism into a form of totalitarianism.

  • Time and Timelessness in the Philosophy of A. N. Whitehead

    It may be that time belongs among those objects which are very specially suited to call into question the whole idea of essences. Conversely, it may be that the concept of essence bears a particularly negative affinity to the idea of time, since it seems always to make time look as if it were a bare nothing that has no essence.

  • Time in Whitehead and Heidegger: A Response

    The author responds to David R. Mason’s article in this Journal entitled Time In Whitehead and Heidegger: Some Comparisons. Mason’s notion of ‘temporality,’ taken from his claim that is parallel to Whitehead’s ‘concrescence’, is simply that of time and misses the force of Heidegger’s careful distinction between temporality and time.

  • Time in Whitehead and Heidegger: Some Comparisons

    That the whole of reality is fundamentally temporal, that every actual entity is primordially temporal, but that human reality is more complex, more fully integrated, and more readily accessible to our inspection -- all this is particularly revelatory of the full structure of the temporality of Being.

  • Time Makes Ancient Good Uncouth: The Catholic Report on Sexuality

    The new study issued by the Catholic Theological Society of America calls people of all kinds and conditions to the difficult task of using their sexuality to be fully human. Given the peculiar 2,000-year history of Christian attitudes toward sexuality, it is not at all surprising that sex-related matters have become one arena for confrontation.

  • Time Out

    Sabbath observance is not simply a moment of a week. It frames our attitudes, focuses our desires and helps us shape the pace and direction of our daily walk. It inspires and enables us to greet life with care and delight.

  • Time's Up (Mark 13:1-8)

    Those of us who are not ill or elderly are busy living in the middle of things. But what if we all needed to prepare for the end? End times call for alertness, sharpness. They tingle with expectation. They are times of uncertainty and fear only for those whose faith is thin.

  • TM Comes to the Heartland of the Midwest

    Transcendental Meditation is not a compromise with one’s own personal faith or religious convictions. It gives additional release from pressure and stress which allows our minds, bodies and spirits to soar to greater heights than previously experienced.

  • TNIV Bible Braves Gender-Inclusive World

    Every new version of the Bible brings controversy, this time over a "gender neutral" version. The author discusses the recently published New International Version (TNIV).

  • To and Fro: Education for the Art of Life

    Whitehead’s life was steeped in mathematics and philosophy, but he has insights of importance in two other areas of thought: 1. The teaching/learning process is a rhythmic occasion, not a skill. 2. None of our educational goals can claim a position of ideal completeness.

  • To Animate the Body of Christ: Sarah Bentley Talks About Sacred Dance

    In many ways dance is the re-creation of sheer pleasure in being alive -- something we don’t have in our formal liturgies. We need to push the bounds more so that religious dance isn’t trapped in conventions of beauty or harmony or ‘nice’ emotions. Dance and movement are different ways of knowing -- about oneself, one's world and one's ultimate reality.

  • To Be Accurate and Blunt: The Activist as Writer

    An Interview with Philip Berrigan: “I’m trying to, number one, clarify for folks what resistance is and the necessity for that as just a means to living a sane life; and number two, I’m trying to share with them the various directions that resistance might take in their lives.”

  • To End the Bloodshed

    The peace process for the Middle East must have ironclad deadlines and fixed objectives: a rapid and phased end to occupation, the complete removal of settlements, Palestinian self-determination and statehood with Jerusalem as a capital for both Palestine and Israel, and a real security framework for all nations of the region.

  • To Hell with Gays: Sex and the Bible

    A review of The Bible and Homosexual Practice, by Robert A.J. Gagnon. The author of the review thinks this book sinks under its own weight, for its author makes no secret of his loathing of the whole homosexual community, quoting every passage in the bible that can even remotely be translated against them, often twisting passages to say what they do not mean.

  • To Israel and Back Again: Journey of an American Jew

    As a Jew, the author finds that her supposed enemies, the Palestinians, look very different up close. Jews in the U.S. who deeply care about juistice, have a unique role in addressing the struggles in the Middle East, since they are able to do so more objectively than can the people caught up in the day-to-day struggles. By working for justice, we are working for both peoples.

  • To See and Not to See (Acts 17:22-31; John 14:15-21)

    By proclaiming the invisible and the unknown, Paul refuses to let God become just another novelty, just another idol.

  • To Whom Can We Go? I. Jesus' Call for Progressive Protestants

    Should we continue to follow Jesus today? Cobb professes to be among "progressive" Christians -- liberals who have broken with the dominant strand of past liberalism but have continued to remain open to developments in the culture and presentation of reasons for the Christian faith without any appeal to supernatural authority. To follow Jesus means to hope and pray for a world structured on principles that would turn present society upside down, create countercultural communities, nonviolently, and to do this while remaining open to ideas and ways of being of quite different sorts.

  • To Whom Can We Go? II. Secular and Religious Alternatives

    Cobb examines secular alternatives to following Jesus, especially Buddhism, then gives reasons for choosing to follow Jesus. He concludes that the response of Jesus to the Roman Empire of his day is deeply needed in our time. We must demonstrate in our communities that "another world is possible." And we must so present that other world that hundreds of millions of people will gravitate towards it and create the context in which that other world will replace the present one.

  • To Whom Can We Go? III. Jesus and the University

    Dr. Cobb examines an option to which Western Christians commonly turn today, namely the University, and enumerates its failings. He then suggests that we need to resist the imperial order in which we, like Jesus, live. A large part of that resistance consists in demonstrating that another order is possible and far superior. The vision of this other order has practical implications for the reordering of the world system for the sake of all of its inhabitants instead of the exploitation of the many for the enrichment of the few. We have much to learn from the university. But we must learn it as disciples of Jesus and not as promoters of the university’s mentality.

  • Tolkien the Movie

    A review of Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings. No film critic acknowledged Tolkien’s claim that his heroic fantasy is "a fundamentally religious and Catholic work.

  • Tolkien’s Crucible of Faith: The Sub-Creation

    By simplicity of diction, appropriate naming, skill in evoking mood and emphasis upon concerns which affect every human being, Tolkien has created an accessible world that both invites and directs us.

  • Tomorrow's Catholics

    James Carroll, George Weigel and Garry Wills all agree that the sexual-abuse crisis is symptomatic of a deeper cultural war in Catholicism, but they differ -- often diametrically -- on what is at stake.

  • Toni Morrison and the Color of Life

    The author looks at the writings of Toni Morrison. Color, once part of the language of oppression, is being transformed into the language of life itself. To reclaim color, all color, is part of reclaiming the inseparability of body and spirit and the historic witness of the enduring community.

  • Torture, Terrorism and Theology: The Need for a Universal Ethic

    Ethically, we are in an age in which there is grave doubt among theologians, philosophers, jurists and social scientists as to whether any universal principles exist which can be reliably known and used by the international community to define torture or terrorism as fundamentally wrong.

  • Totalitarian Evangelicalism

    The desire to impose a preconceived pattern on other’s thoughts and actions, though not biblical, is a dangerous temptation for many evangelicals.

  • Touch and See

    Acceptance, encouragement, trust and hope come through in the touch of hand upon hands as the risen Lord touches us through others.

  • Toward a Common Morality

    Life in the global village requires a global ethic that is more than empty rhetoric.

  • Toward a Definition of Religion as Philosophy

    Since we in the late 20th century now have good scientific, epistemological, and even metaphysical reasons to abandon our former belief in the supernatural, the time has come for yet another rationally ordained supersession of an old god.

  • Toward a Kierkegaardian Understanding of Hitler, Stalin, and the Cold War

    The author uses Kierkegaard's thought as a help in understanding three momentous events in 20th century history--the Holocaust, Stalin's purges, and the nuclear arms race. Kierkegaard's insights into the roots of violence grow out of his distinctive interpretation of the Christian doctrine of creation.

  • Toward a New Asceticism

    We must reclaim the use of ascetic practices as tools for the care of both body and soul, for we have ignored the bodily practices that recognize and affirm our incarnated life in which what we do is as important as what we think.

  • Toward a Process-Relational Christian Eschatology

    The author conjectures that biblical images and the process-relational concepts are richly mutually illuminating -- that in the eschaton, we find a quantum leap into a new kind of divine-human relatedness.

  • Toward a Process-Relational Christian Soteriology

    Dr. Wheeler envisions from an evangelistic background, the transformation of humanity through relationship with Christ, as per Biblical tradition and Christian experience, in a process-relational mode.

  • Toward a Public Sense of Pastoral Care

    At both seminaries, Candler and Union (N.Y.), students and faculty participate in the perplexed American religious consciousness of the ‘70s: In a global community whose faiths are many, by what faith shall we live? In a time of disjunction between old and new languages of faith, by what language shall we witness to faith? And in a society whose institutions, seem mostly to threaten personal integrity, can we minister to persons without overhauling institutions?

  • Toward an Earth Charter

    Several theological models in response to the ecocrisis are worthy of our attention. This article was written in anticipation of an "Earth Summit" that took place in June of 1992.

  • Toward the Heart of the Matter

    It remains an urgent task to travel the road toward a theology of the religions -- which would have to include atheism among its concerns -- in such a way that the christological particula exclusiva would not be misused in order to make a claim for the absoluteness of Christianity.

  • Toward the Prophetic: A New Direction in the Practice of New Thought

    An overview of the origins and beliefs of New Thought, a religious movement growing out of 19th century Transcendentalism and mental healing practices. New Thought emphasizes the practical application of spiritual principles to support personal health, happiness, and enlightenment, and an increasing commitment to social justice issues.

  • Toward Theological Understanding: An Interview with Edward Farley

    Certain deep cultural values have eroded. Unless this problem is addressed, religious talk will turn into banalities.

  • Towards a Dalit Liberative Hermeneutics: Re-reading The Psalms of Lament

    Dalit-liberative hermeneutics is scientific and praxis-oriented. The Psalms of Lament enhances and empowers the Dalits in their struggles.

  • Towards Reclaiming the Symbol of the Family of God: Identity and Sexuality

    The authors identify the characteristics of an optimal family in terms of control, power and intimacy.

  • Trade in Process Perspective

    To be for free trade is to be for the transfer of power from the political sector to the economic one. When put in this way, it becomes clear that the issues are complex. It is not evident that in all cases and in all respects governments should surrender their powers.

  • Traditional Free Will Theodicy and Process Theodicy: Hasker’s Claim for Parity

    Dr. Griffin challenges Hasker’s parity claim between classical and process theism. (See The Problem of Evil in Process Theism and Classical Free Will Theism by William Hasker,

  • Transformed

    Christian faith entails a belief in change, but it is change grounded in the redemptive life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.  The author reviews six books that reveal many meanings and interpretations of the transfiguration of Christ.

  • Transforming a Lukewarm Church

    What intrigues the author is that certain specific oldline congregations do manifest vitality and show the marks of transformation. Perhaps that is where the leaders of the oldline denominations should begin in their search for a strategy of change.

  • Transforming Vision: Alice Walker and Zora Neale Hurston

    The contributions made to black women’s literary tradition by the pioneering folklorist/storyteller Zora Neale Hurston and contemporary novelist Alice Walker are assessed. The great achievement of both writers has been to open the larger literary tradition to black women’s voices and to transforming the spiritual power of their vision.

  • Transmitting a Vision: Religion in Independent Schools

    Few other intellectual disciplines in our modern technological world go as unattended as moral and spiritual awareness among young people.

  • Transparent Lives

    People are fed up with leaders and friends who talk learnedly and officiously about God but show little evidence of being interested in God. It has always been more difficult to come to terms with Jesus as the way than with Jesus as the truth.

  • Trapped Within History?: A Process Philosophical Refutation Of Historicist Relativism

    Dr. Rescher refutes the idea that humans do everything within a setting of place and time, only viewing things from where they are, seeing things only from the particular perspective they happen to occupy. The idea that we can be cognitively trapped within history by a relativism that tethers us to our time and culture founders on fundamental considerations of process thought.

  • Trends in World Communication

    Flows of words, images, text and data across the globe have become the arena of a major commercial activity. A multi-billion dollar world communication market has developed that is still expanding. The key trends on this market are: digitization, consolidation, Liberalization. Globalization increases the mega-corporate control over the provision of information and culture. There is a very realistic chance that the Lords of the Global Village will, before the turn of the century, control most of the world's expression, creativity, and instruction.

  • Trinity and Women's Experience

    The author shows how the doctrine of the Trinity, understood as revealing community within Godself, is consistent with women's experience.

  • Trojan Horse (Mat. 25:14-39)

    The word "talent" for the Greek word talanta, is really a miss-interpretation. It probably means a whole "bag of gold." According to the author, this huge amount gives the parable an entirely different emphasis.

  • True Confession: A Presbyterian Dissenter Thinks About the Church

    In reformed traditions, the church is both a fully human community--all churches, says Calvin, are "blemished," and also Christ's very body. Wheeler examines the questions: what is the body of Christ called to do? What is its purpose? To tell the truth; and to "stay put."

  • True Grit (Joshua 24:1-3a, 14-25)

    Joshua’s willingness to affirm what he believed challenges, but how do you do it without damning other faiths? How does one retain the essence of Joshua’s covenant without its exclusivity?

  • True Grit (Mk. 7:24-37; James 2:1-10; Matt. 15:21-28)

    Jesus’ followers are still tested in offices and cubicles, at school desks and cafeterias, at the boundary lines between nations, races and cultures, around breakfast tables and family rooms.

  • Truth, Lies and the Media

    Studies show that Americans are full of misperceptions about the war in Iraq and especially about three issues -- the link between Iraqu and al-Qaeda, the existence of weapons of mass destruction, and the nature of world public opinion. These misperceptions are closely related to the news sources.

  • Truth-Telling and Peacemaking: A Reflection on Ezekiel

    God promises peacemaking. That peacemaking by God only happens, however, when there is truth-telling - costly, urgent and subversive.

  • Turn in the Road

    Paul’s traumatic experience on Damascus road is not the only way one can be transformed by Christ.

  • Turning to Islam -- African-American Conversion Stories

    African-Americans have found in Islam a new sense of personal empowerment and a rigorous call to discipline.

  • Turning to Orthodoxy

    In the past several decades there has been an increase in conversions to Orthodoxy. Although migration is small, the author looks at some of the reasons for this among both liberals and evangelicals.

  • Tutu’s Story

    In this book review, Bishop Tutu merits the highest praise. An unlikely prophet, he brought the Christian gospel into a real world of slums, past laws, detentions and deferred hopes.

  • TV Faith: Rituals of Secular Life

    From soap operas to news to sports, commercial telecasting performs a fundamentally sacramental function: it mediates and legitimates a belief in the American way of life.

  • Twelve Steps for Women Alcoholics

    A feminist recovery program would find God’s power evident in the relationships between caring people in a supportive community.

  • Twice Healed (2 Cor. 1:18-22; Mk. 2:1-12)

    The power of intercessory prayer.

  • Two Arenas for Faithfulness (Matthew 5:13-20)

    To cling uncritically to the past is to purchase security at the price of denying that God is a living God, continually doing new things among us,

  • Two Cheers for Thomas Aquinas

    The ideal that Aquinas set up for a Christian theology is one that remains as correct in its rigorous demands as it was when first formulated. Thomas Aquinas was a first-rank thinker whose witness to the Christian faith endures, and in addition an authentic saint whose sanctity was sufficiently human to forbid sentimentalizing him.

  • Two Conceptions of Power

    There are two kinds of power -- linear and relational. The former is the traditional, the later is the needed.

  • Two Divine Promises (Ex.6:2-8; Rom.11:33-36; Mt.16:13-20)

    The trouble with liberation theology is not Jesus’ death and resurrection and sending of the Spirit, but his earthly life of solidarity with the oppressed is normative. Paul’s attention to the life of the spirit is not taken as a "fulfillment" but at best as a distraction, at worst a distortion. Paul’s puzzlement over God’s "inscrutable ways" in a crucified Messiah is replaced by a simplistic "preferential option for the poor."

  • Two or Three and God

    Education, like physical growth itself, is the product of two dissimilar aspects: 1. Experience -- in the form of words, actions, sights and sounds -- to be collected and funneled into an individual. 2. Time -- in which to sort out and reject and organize the information, to select and integrate what is significant and relate it to the previous integrations in one’s life.

  • Two Religions?

    Review of a book on the differences between Catholic and Protestant thought. The reformation sprang from a theological disagreement so fundamental that schism was inevitable and of which no amount of good will could have settled.

  • Tying Knots

    Most weddings may be utterly pagan, but even these can be moments of utter joy, and Jesus is present.

  • UFOs: The Next Theological Challenge?

    We have no generally workable and agreed-on consensus that the UFOs are real, and further investigation will have to settle this, one way or the other. If it proves to be true, then we must find out what the UFOs really are and what the intent of their guiding intelligence is.

  • Ulrich Zwingli: Prophet of the Modern World

    Who has a greater claim to Zwingli’s military activist heritage -- fundamentalist militarists in the United States or liberation theologians and radical priests in Latin America?. Does God ever approve our endorsement of and participation in violence for “just” ends? Or may we judge that Zwingli was entirely wrong to take up the sword in the name of Christ against those he viewed as oppressors?

  • UMC’s Women Clergy: Sisterhood and Survival

    The United Methodists have granted full ordination rights to females since 1956, but only in this decade have women entered the ministry in appreciable numbers. With seminary enrollments now totaling from 25 to 50 per cent women, the next four years could be crucial as the numbers of females seeking ordination and appointment double.

  • Uncommon Sense (Mark 8:27-38)

    Christian theology has always seen Jesus’ terrible, degrading death as a victory, indeed the victory by which God vanquished the power of evil once and for all.

  • Understanding Evangelicals

    A review of a book about the rise of Evangelicalism as a separate movement within Protestantism.

  • Understanding Faith and Miracle (II Kings 17:17-24)

    The Scriptures have always used the widow and orphan as symbols of society’s most vulnerable and defenseless people. Both justice and compassion require that Christian churches make the gospel a real word of good news by reaching out to such people.

  • Unforgiven (Matthew 18:15-20, Romans 13:8-14)

    More than anything else, the unwillingness to perform the difficult task of forgiveness and reconciliation in the love and spirit of Christ is what robs the church of that quality of life that first attracted outsiders.

  • Unity and Diversity in Evangelical Theology

    This essay is the introduction to the nine documents which follow, all derived from Johnston (ed.), The Uses of the Bible in Theology: Evangelical Options. Evangelicals are increasingly recognizing the need to ask methodological questions as they do theology. This growing hermeneutical concern is not a capitulation to modernity, but rather is evidence of evangelicalism's continuing commitment to the lordship of Christ and the authority of Scripture.

  • Unless Someone Guides Me (Acts 8:26-40; 1 John 4:7-21)

    Love must have been hard to come by in this beloved community which I John addresses; 29 times in the space of 15 verses the author uses one form or another of agape.

  • Unlikely Messenger (John 4:5-42)

    Not only is she a woman, but a divorced woman with a shady past and a Samaritan. By custom, Rabbi Jesus ought not even speak with her in public, let alone drink from her Samaritan bucket. But what transpires between these two is nothing short of miraculous. These strangers, these enemies, discover at the well that they need each other.

  • Unmasking the Black Conservatives

    The narrowness of the black conservatives’ viewpoint reflects the narrowness of the liberal perspective with which they are obsessed. With more rational debates among conservative, liberal and leftist voices, the truth about the black poor can be more easily ascertained.

  • Unmediated Prehensions: Some Observations

    The attenuations, enhancements, and supplementations of emotion and value in which prehensions of the past effect us are all important in experience.

  • Unquenchable Fire (Lk. 3:7-18)

    The church is commissioned not to proclaim the advent of hell to all who are on their mad way there, but rather the advent of Jesus Christ. He has come, as John promised. Alone and abandoned he descended into the depths of hell. Thus, there is absolutely no possibility for us that is beyond the reach of God’s inexhaustible grace.

  • Unrecognized Internal Threats to Liberal Churches

    Our distinctive liberal contribution is denied when we become simply custodial liberals, caretakers doing minor janitorial maintenance or cosmetic repairs on what we have inherited.

  • Up for Adoption (Romans 8:12-25)

    In God’s family, all of us are adopted and none has a birthright. Whatever our experience of family loss and brokenness we will always belong to God.

  • Updike’s Song of Himself

    Ralph C. Wood regards John Updike as a writer to be "reckoned with theologically" though he finds in the novelist’s recent memoirs -- and in his work as a whole -- more "justification by sin" then justification by faith.

  • Ups and Downs of the Religious Right

    Despite divisions and personality clashes, the Religious Right remains a significant political force. The fortunes of the Religious Right are now closely tied to George W. Bush, but it’s possible that Bush will pay only lip service to the cause.

  • Upside-Down World (Mark 10:46-52)

    Dr. Chapman fears that many churches have relegated primary concerns to the background by pushing secondary matters up front, so that what is central to the gospel is lost.

  • Using Literary Criticism on the Gospels

    The challenge that literary criticism presents is to rediscover a sense of the wholeness of each of the Gospels. When we do that, we will begin to hear once again the unmistakable voice of each individual evangelist as he tells us his own version of the story of Jesus, from beginning to end.

  • Using Private Lynch

    The true story of Jessica Lynch is hardly the heroic tale presented by the media.

  • Utilitarian Christianity

    In the present crisis of mankind, all emphasis seems to be placed on utilitarianism in both science and religion. In religion, to which we want to direct our attention, the growth of the utilitarian spirit is an alarming phenomenon. Utilitarianism seems to mark not only the attitude of the political powers that use religion for the sake of social control and transform it to suit their purposes, but also the attitude of many who oppose them.

  • Václav Havel: Heir to a Spiritual Legacy

    Havel wonders at the tremendous strength of an oppressed people who "seemingly believed in nothing," yet who cast off a totalitarian system within a few short weeks, "in an entirely peaceful and dignified manner."

  • V. S. Naipaul and the Plight of the Dispossessed

    Naipaul's writing highlights the experiences of non-Western peoples who have been uprooted by historical currents. He presents a consistent image of social reality in the non-Western world where dispossessed people search for order in their lives.

  • Varieties of Temporal Experience

    There is real promise in Whitehead’s philosophy of organism which makes sense of our experience of time and its apparently variable rate.

  • Verdict

    Maybe that grand goal of the good society is brought into being not by vigilante types, nor yet by romantic revolutionaries, nor by any visionary ideologies and scenarios of the right or left, but by the ambiguous resolution of human tragedies in thousands of little courtrooms across the land.

  • Vicious Cycles

    Institutional decline and too many unmet objectives have created a vicious cycle of anxiety leading to a high level of activity that is without clear focus or sense of purpose. Congregations can gain clarity and confidence if the focus is on a few but obtainable goals.

  • Video Shootout

    When the average American child spends nine hours a week playing video games we need to ask what sort of a worldview are the games causing? Are they teaching what it means to be human, about decision-making, about social roles, about living in the real world? In this world there is no socialization, no engagement with a live opponent – it’s a very lonely place.

  • Video Ventures: Two Alternatives to ‘Alpha’

    The author discusses two alternates to the more fundamentalist video, "Alpha:" "Beginnings" and "LTQ" ("Living the Question"). Both have their strengths and weaknesses from the liberal point of view.

  • Viewing The Bible Through The Eyes And Ears of Subalterns In India

    Dr. Clarke discusses the problems facing the cultural outcasts (Dalits) of India, giving a Biblical perspective concerning their plight.

  • Viewing The Bible Through The Eyes And Ears of Subalterns In India

    Dr. Clarke discusses the problems facing the cultural outcasts (Dalits) of India, giving a Biblical perspective concerning their plight.

  • Violence in Electronic Media and Film, a National Council of Churches Polity Statement

    While films and television are certainly not the only cause of a climate of violence, they bear a considerable share of responsibility. The NCC objects to what they see as the misuse of the First Amendment, by commercial interests, as a cover for a quest for profit. They hold media industries accountable for what they produce and distribute, and propose critical analysis of the cultural, social, political and economic influences on media messages, the development of creative production centers that create community, and taking personal and public action to challenge government and industry abuses.

  • Violence Undone

    There seems to be a fascination with nihilism in situations of massive violence. We must refuse this fascination which so easily aggrandizes the perpetuators and gives them aid to others who might imitate them. Only those grounded in slow, quiet creation can resist this fascination of nihilism.

  • Violence: Media’s Desperate Remedy

    The mass media are brainwashing all of us into being priests and Levites on the Jericho road. Instead of love and compassion, they teach us distrust and fear. They face incredible competitive pressures to grab the most dollars and the largest audiences. The demands of topicality and of instant journalism make reflective insights almost impossible. Collective cynicism among media people sees nobler impulses only as an aberration -- if it perceives them at all.

  • Virtual Seminary

    The Wesley Ministry Network (WMN) enables people to sit in on the seminary lecture hall (via DVD), chat with other students and even the professor (over the Internet), and read the books their ministers had to go to seminary to learn about.

  • Virtual Virtuosity (Mark 12:38-44)

    The most insidious thing about being a "parson" (the person), who agrees to be on display as an example of what the gospel actually does to a person, is that an insidious, largely subconscious form of compensation begins to produce a kind of "virtual virtuosity" The performance becomes the product.

  • Virtual Worship

    The author looks at "Zchurch" -- online. The body of Christ is not confined to time or space, but it is not virtual. It is transcendent.

  • Von Balthasar and Christian Humanism

    The author discusses Von Balthasar’s Christian humanism and suggests that it is a Christian spirituality, that Christian humanism is not Eurocentric but Christocentric.

  • Wages of Corporate Sin

    The prevailing attitude in corner offices seems to be ‘grab all the money you can while you can, and don’t worry about little things like ethics, morals or the law.’ The soul of a company should not be the result of a creative public relations campaign; rather, it should be the collective result of the souls of every individual within the company.

  • Waiting for the Mahdi

    The Shi’a’s branch of Muslim belief, most prominent in Iran, expects the return of the Mahdi, a savior who, along with Jesus, is expected to bring justice and peace to the world at the end of this age. Because of their respect for Jesus as a great prophet, (though nothing more) there is hope for future dialogue with the Iranians.

  • Waiting on God (Isa. 35:1f)

    Christians wait for the feast to come with grateful hearts even though in the interim their minds are set on unresolved troubles and unreachable horizons.

  • Wake Up, America

    The military tribunal proposal seriously threatens America's basic Constitutional rights.

  • Wake-up Call (Isaiah 2:1-5; Matthew 24:36-44)

    Jesus reminds us that life is far too precious to allow us to put up with business as usual.

  • Walker Percy as Satirist: Christian and Humanist Still in Conflict

    Walker Percy’s satire is premised on the conviction -- fictionally adumbrated rather than overtly stated -- that the God who sits in his heavens and laughs t our folly is first and finally the God of grace who, in Jesus Christ, humorously accepts and thus transforms our sin into the occasion for his mercy.

  • Wang Yang-Ming’s ‘Inquiry on the Great Learning

    The author traces some affinities within neo-Confucianism that point in the direction of many themes of process philosophy, namely the relations of mind, action, and value.

  • War on the Web

    Congress has not found a way to handle email, this new means of communication, which swamped congresspersons with 80,000,000 messages during the past year. But the Web may yet make a huge difference in giving citizens a more effective voice in government.

  • War’s Dilemmas: The Century 1938-1945

    While monitoring the war and its devastations, the Century stayed faithful to the Day-to-day doings of Americans in culture and society. Nevertheless, the war colored almost everything in those years. Dr. Morrison’s legacy sounded strong and clear throughout the war years: “Keep it religious!”

  • War-Tax Resistance -- Why Not?

    The Christian cannot justify continuing to pay for Caesar’s wars, for unilateral action and nonviolent resistance are the ways of Christ.

  • Was Schweitzer a Mystic After All?

    Albert Schweitzer’s curious claims lead one to wonder what he means by mysticism and whether, in the face of being variously labeled "idealist," "rationalist," "existentialist" and "radical" free-thinker, he is a mystic after all.

  • Washed in the Blood? A Search for Relevant Symbols of Salvation

    When we try to communicate the experience of salvation we can only use analogies, symbols and poetic images. Unfortunately, most of the traditional ones come from another era, another culture, time and place. How can we find more relevant ways to communicate the Gospel today?

  • Ways of Knowing God: Gender and the Brain

    How does gender affect the ways we perceive the world and come to know God? What are the implications of brain research for religious experience?

  • We Are Aliens (Ephesians 2:11-22; Mark 6:30-34, 53-56)

    We want to think of ourselves as good and others as bad. Jesus continues his work of tearing down walls and extending God’s mercy to those who are scattered and alienated.

  • We Are the Church Alive, the Church with AIDS

    We have come to understand ourselves as a church with AIDS, which helps us to see how fragile and important every moment is. This doesn’t mean that our church will soon be dead and gone. No, in fact it means that we live more deeply. The whole gay male community is undergoing a parallel transformation.

  • We Are What We Read

    Though church attendance continues to drop, sales of religious books continue to rise. What’s going on?

  • We’re All Terminal (Luke 24:1-12)

    To say that Jesus is risen from the dead is not to say he has returned to his earthly life, but to say that God lifted Jesus up to new life. It says that God will do the same thing for us.

  • Weariness in Well-Doing (II Thess. 3:11-131)

    We are even more driven than our predecessors by the demand for visible results and achievement.

  • Weatherproof (Job 38:1-11; Mark 4:35-41)

    Mark’s purpose, not just in this story of quelling the storm but in all of his Gospel, is to tell us "who this man is" and how he may be trusted. Not only is he the Savior of the world, he is also our close, storm-proof companion, our fellow traveler.

  • Weaving a Coherent Pattern of Discipleship

    We will never be able to experience the "Christian fellowship" that fundamentalists claim to cherish without a change in the political and economic patterns that are presently barriers to genuine reconciliation. However, the argument must also move in the other direction: a concern for structural change must be rooted in an experience of personal liberation.

  • Weaving the World

    Suchocki’s goal is to "weave" together feminist theology and process theology. The "weaving" is the vision of a world woven together in full community. The "weaving" of our ideas and the "weaving" of our world are finally only two aspects of the same task.

  • Weddings, Inc.

    The wedding industry is an $80 billion business. These books offer many insights including historical background, the contemporary wedding scene and stories about weddings.

  • Welcome to Kabul

    What is needed more than anything is for Americans to show leadership not just in destroying, but also in rebuilding.

  • Welcoming the Stranger

    The author reviews a book on the nature of the church written by Christine Pohl. Hospitality in the church is central to the Christian tradition.

  • Welfare, Charity and Ministry: Postures in the Helping Relationship

    What makes running a soup kitchen and food pantry such a tough job is that so many others want us to do it differently. Some want us to “save their souls before we warm their bellies.” Some want us to help the hungry, but to “keep them in their place” while we do it. Some want us to screen people accor