A Prodigal’s Return

Article by Marilynne Robinson

Set parallel in time, place and theme to Gilead, her prizewinning novel of 2004, Marilynne Robinson’s new novel, Home, takes the reader inside the home of retired Presbyterian pastor Robert Boughton for another perspective on Jack Boughton, the black sheep of the family, who left Gilead as a young man after fathering a child. Now, …

A Way to Live

Article by Trudy Bush

Books by Trudy Bush: Practicing Our Faith: Away of Life for a Searching People. Edited by Dorothy C. Bass. Jossey-Bass, 256 pp. Practicing Theology. Edited by Miroslav Volf and Dorothy C Bass. Eerdmans, 265 pp., Way to Live: Christian Practices for Teens. Edited by Dorothy C. Bass and Don C. Richter. Upper Room, 304 pp. …

Acting Out Faith Through Organ Donation

Article by Mark Moran

Rarely in recent history has there been a scientific advancement that has not shaken the foundations of Judeo-Christian faith. And hardly ever has scientific virtuosity actually invited a reaffirmation of basic Christian themes or opened up new possibilities for their application. However, the transplantation of human organs and the possibility of organ donation may be …

Bound to be Free

Article by Reinhard Hütter

At the end of the popular movie Braveheart, just before being beheaded, the Scottish hero William Wallace utters his last word: "Freedom." In light of this cruel ending, many might want to respond with a sigh of relief and a sense of pride: "I’m proud to be an American, where at least I know I’m …

Buying ‘Christian’

Article by Aubrey B. Haines

Christianity, rightly understood, seeks to unite people in common community — not to raise barriers and separate them because of theological differences. Text: For years campaigns have occasionally been waged to persuade the public to buy locally or even to buy only American-made products. Now in the religious realm a kind of “born-again” Yellow Page …

Caring for Our Generations

Article by John Patton

As a specialist in pastoral counseling, I am concerned that the family often celebrated by the church is different from the family I see in my clinical practice. I see many single persons, persons separated and divorced, persons in second marriages, and families with children from two different marriages. In contrast, much of what is …

Chapter 1: Believing by Peter Baelz  in  The Phenomenon of Christian Belief

Book Chapter by G.W.H. Lampe (ed.)

The affirmations which the Christian makes about God arise out of relationships which have been constituted and reconstituted. History rather than nature or thought is the context in which such relation-making can occur. As other traditions engage each other, it will be discovered that the God of history will be none other than the One whom Christians call the Father of Jesus Christ.

Chapter 1: First Things First  in  Twelve Tests of Character

Book Chapter by Harry Emerson Fosdick

Preoccupation is the most common form of failure. For the ultimate trouble with preoccupation is that it takes no account of the flight of time. So the day passes and the enriching experiences which fellowship with the Highest offers us are lost, not because we deliberately discard them, but because our time and attention are preëngaged.

Chapter 1: Hearers of the Call (I Corinthians 1:1-2, 9, 26a)  in  Returning God's Call: The Challenge of Christian Living

Book Chapter by John C. Purdy

In Jesus, the call of God comes to us in two ways: in the example of his own obedience, through which the world is saved from sin; and through his verbal calls. We may say then in answer to the question, Who is this Jesus who calls to us from the pages of scripture? that he is the one who in both deed and word summons us to fulfil our Creator’s intent.

Chapter 1:<B> </B>How Fares Goodness without God?  in  Dear Mr. Brown: Letters to a Person Perplexed about Religion

Book Chapter by Harry Emerson Fosdick

You propose to live a good life, to be a decent character and a useful citizen. That is to say, you are planning to be what is technically called a "nontheistic humanist." No more religion for me, you say; I will live by the golden rule, and that is enough. But one needs more than just ethics. One needs a philosophy of life that will put sense, meaning, hope, into one’s existence.

Chapter 10: Magnanimity  in  Twelve Tests of Character

Book Chapter by Harry Emerson Fosdick

To care about the welfare of mankind supremely, to rejoice in better work than ours which helps the cause along, to be interested in the thing that needs to be done and to be careless who gets the credit for doing it, to be glad of any chance to help, and glad, too, of any greater chance than another may possess, such magnanimity is both good sense and good Christianity.

Chapter 10: Was Jesus an Impractical Idealist?  in  Dear Mr. Brown: Letters to a Person Perplexed about Religion

Book Chapter by Harry Emerson Fosdick

Jesus an impractical idealist? — who more than he knew the ugly facts of life? Who more than he was hated, rejected by his people, betrayed by a friend, spat upon, and crucified? Who better than he knew what base things can come from the black depths of the human heart, dealing as he did with extortioners and prostitutes, the cruelty of the strong and the bigotry of the religious, and feeling over all the tyranny of a vast military empire? But it is he and his teaching that have endured and have again and again, in one field after another, realistically confirmed his saying, “I am the truth.”

Chapter 11: Possessing a Past Tense  in  Twelve Tests of Character

Book Chapter by Harry Emerson Fosdick

The principles of Jesus, the power of applied science, the idea of democracy — from these three things the most hopeful elements of our civilization flow. These things are the heart of the heritage which we hold in trust from our fathers before us for our children after us. God pity the man who ever grows so sophisticated that the thrill drops out from any one of them!

Chapter 11: What about the Other Great Religions?  in  Dear Mr. Brown: Letters to a Person Perplexed about Religion

Book Chapter by Harry Emerson Fosdick

Eleven living faiths claiming man’s devotion are discussed: Confucianism, Taoism, Shintoism, Hinduism, Jainism, Buddllism, Zoroastrianism, Sikhism, Judaism, Islam, and Christianity. If, in view of all these varied kinds of religion and diverse interpretations of Christianity, you feel bewildered, and wonder just what being a Christian really is, I would call your thoughts home to Christianity’s unique Fact, Jesus Christ.

Chapter 12: What about the Trinity?  in  Dear Mr. Brown: Letters to a Person Perplexed about Religion

Book Chapter by Harry Emerson Fosdick

The doctrine of the Trinity is an artificial construct. It tries to relate different problems and to fit them into an arbitrary and traditional threeness. It produces confusion rather than clarification; and while the problems with which it deals are real ones, the solutions it offers are not illuminating. It has posed for many Christians dark and mysterious statements, which are ultimately meaningless…. We are confronted in the New Testament with three dominant symbols of God. These we call and should use to express deep Christian concerns. But we should avoid supposing that they do not overlap, or that they imply three distinct persons in the Trinity.

Chapter 13: What About the Atonement?  in  Dear Mr. Brown: Letters to a Person Perplexed about Religion

Book Chapter by Harry Emerson Fosdick

There never has been any salvation in this world from any evil thing except through vicarious sacrifice. Someone who did not have to do it volunteered to shoulder another’s burden — the well for the sick, the intelligent for the ignorant, the privileged for the unprivileged, the innocent for the guilty. Isn’t it a paradox that some of the most controversial words in Christian theology — "Trinity" and "atonement," for example — are not to be found in the New Testament? In the King James Version "atonement" occurs only once — Romans 5:11 — but the revised versions correct that translation and use "reconciliation."

Chapter 14: What to Do about the Curse of Conformity?  in  Dear Mr. Brown: Letters to a Person Perplexed about Religion

Book Chapter by Harry Emerson Fosdick

Genuine independence is the substitution of inward self-control for outward, circumstantial control. An uncontrolled life is not independent; it’s a mess, a shambles. A life controlled by outward pressures, pushed about by fads and crazes, compliantly conforming with popular attitudes and fashions, is obviously not independent. The only way anyone achieves genuine independence is by strong, intelligent, inward self-control — something inside that judges right from wrong, determines conduct and, if need be, refuses compliance no matter what the cost.

Chapter 15: Why Join a Church?  in  Dear Mr. Brown: Letters to a Person Perplexed about Religion

Book Chapter by Harry Emerson Fosdick

The Church needs us; and our children and their children are going to need the Church. Let’s see to it that the costly heritage does not suffer by our neglect of it. More and more churches are not simply talking about Jesus, but are exhibiting his spirit in practical service seven days and nights a week. They present to a layman one of the best opportunities he can ever find to invest his time and energy in useful work.

Chapter 16: How Surmount Discouragement about the World?  in  Dear Mr. Brown: Letters to a Person Perplexed about Religion

Book Chapter by Harry Emerson Fosdick

We should be encouraged by the fact that our problem is, not how to handle debility and feebleness, but how to handle power. I refuse to surrender to discouragement. Because I believe that there is Mind behind our lives here, Meaning in them, Purpose running through them, Destiny ahead of them, confidence and hope will not down. Such a situation as we face today, far from weakening that faith, calls it out, makes it seem all the more indispensable.

Chapter 17:<B> </B>How Distinguish Good from Bad Religion?  in  Dear Mr. Brown: Letters to a Person Perplexed about Religion

Book Chapter by Harry Emerson Fosdick

Christianity at its best is radiant because it sees profound meaning in life, worth living and, if need be, dying for. What is the worst thing in human experience? Not tragedy — that can often bring out a man’s best. The worst thing is meaninglessness, seeing no sense or purpose in life, tedium, boredom, ennui, questioning whether anything matters. Existence is an exciting, stimulating confidence in the meaningfulness of life, its divine origin, significance, and destiny.

Chapter 18: How Handle Tragedy?  in  Dear Mr. Brown: Letters to a Person Perplexed about Religion

Book Chapter by Harry Emerson Fosdick

What a strange paradox our life is! We dread tragedy, we deplore and abhor it, and yet there is nothing on earth which we admire more than a character that handles it triumphantly. Trouble and grief can add a new dimensions to life. There is no hardihood with no hardship; no fortitude without a fight; no sympathy without suffering; no patience without pain. We may not like the tragedies of our world, but that is the kind of world we live in.

Chapter 2 The God of Jesus by Mark Santer  in  The Phenomenon of Christian Belief

Book Chapter by G.W.H. Lampe (ed.)

Having been overwhelmed by other nations, Israel had two choices: either acknowledge that their gods had done the overwhelming, and thus deny YHWH; or assert that YHWH himself had overwhelmed his own people, and thus deny the power of the gods of Babylon. And to deny their power was to deny their effective existence. It was, paradoxically, the experience of the absence of their God that drove Israel to the confession of his universal power and presence.

Chapter 3: The God of the Christians by G.W.H. Lampe  in  The Phenomenon of Christian Belief

Book Chapter by G.W.H. Lampe (ed.)

Jesus, so far as we know, never addressed himself to the kind of question that asks who, or what, God is, or what we mean when we use the word ‘God’. The Gospels contain no attempt to explain that word. They do not seem to be interested in what is now our major theological problem. The Christians’ God is encountered in the active business of caring and concern, in the practical working out of obedience to God’s kingdom, with its immense social and individual implications, and in worship and prayer.

Chapter 4: How Do You Picture God?  in  Dear Mr. Brown: Letters to a Person Perplexed about Religion

Book Chapter by Harry Emerson Fosdick

No wonder that many people have difficulty believing in God! Like all the rest of us, they start with childish ideas of God — a venerable bookkeeper, with white flowing beard, standing behind a high desk and writing down everybody’s bad deeds. Yet a man’s best is so marvelously revealed in Jesus Christ that he is the best picture, the best symbol, the best image of God.

Chapter 4: Seeing the Invisible  in  Twelve Tests of Character

Book Chapter by Harry Emerson Fosdick

No man is the whole of himself until he has developed this capacity to see something in life besides its prose. Any man’s life has been a failure when its whole story can be told in prosaic, indicative sentences. The deepest and finest experiences of humankind have always been expressed in poetry, bodied forth in pictures, symbolized in imagination, set to music and sung.

Chapter 6: What About Modern Science and the Bible?  in  Dear Mr. Brown: Letters to a Person Perplexed about Religion

Book Chapter by Harry Emerson Fosdick

The Bible and science are utterly irreconcilable. That is to say, the Bible is not a book of science. It contains many literary types — history, poetry, fiction, biography, drama, preaching, letters — but it contains no book that can be called scientific. I turn to the Bible, not for scientific instruction, but for spiritual illumination. Despite modern science, this is still a miraculous world.

Chapter 7: How Explain the World’s Evil?  in  Dear Mr. Brown: Letters to a Person Perplexed about Religion

Book Chapter by Harry Emerson Fosdick

Evil presents us with a problem not merely speculative but very practical. How to be the kind of person who can stand up to life, face its difficult challenges and hardships, and carry off a victory in quality of character and useful living — that central problem confronts us all. Jesus never said, I have explained the world, but he did say, "I have overcome the world."

Chapter 7: Obedience  in  Twelve Tests of Character

Book Chapter by Harry Emerson Fosdick

Almost every aspect of God’s significance for human life has been pushed to the fore in our generation, except this. We have made him very amiable, very approachable, even affectionately maternal, and we often have forgotten that, whatever else God means, he represents moral order. He is no friend of undisciplined living.

Chapter 8: Above the Average  in  Twelve Tests of Character

Book Chapter by Harry Emerson Fosdick

Our innermost temptation is to reduce ourselves to some denomination’s lowest common denominator, to sink to the ecclesiastical average, to help to put down the worst in men, but at the same time to miss the best, lacking vision to see what the Most High would reveal to us, and then lacking courage to say what we see, until, like other ministers of organized religion in history, we help to put three crosses on Calvary. The hope of the church lies in leadership above the average and ahead of the time.

Chapter 8: But How Can We Be Sure?  in  Dear Mr. Brown: Letters to a Person Perplexed about Religion

Book Chapter by Harry Emerson Fosdick

The most important truths cannot be reached by theory, speculation, induction alone; they must be experienced if they are to be known. When I think of faith, I think of Cape Canaveral in Florida. What built that rocket base? Faith — amazing faith that we can conquer space, put men in orbit, reach the moon, perhaps reach Mars and Venus. And there at Cape Canaveral, as everywhere in science, faith is marshaling intelligence, organizing experimentation, leading the way to knowledge.

Chapter Four: Play: A Biblical Model  in  The Christian at Play

Book Chapter by Robert K. Johnston

Christians have most often been content to allow Western culture to shape their understanding of the human at play. In contrast the author analyzes three models of a theology of play: Greek, Protestant, and Hebraic. He demonstrates that Scripture, (including Ecclesiastes, the Song of Songs, Proverbs, Hosea, and the gospel accounts of Jesus’ friendships, for example) has much to say about play. As Christians we have failed to allow Scripture to speak to us authoritatively about our need to play.

Chapter Three: Play: Three Theological Options  in  The Christian at Play

Book Chapter by Robert K. Johnston

Play is not for the sake of anything else. It is part of that “area of freedom” which has its own justification, The writings of two theologians — Sam Keen and Jürgen Moltmann examine play as a way to celebrate life or a way to change the world, both making play a means to an end. The thoughts of non-theologians — Peter Berger and C. S. Lewis — are better suited to fit into an adequate theological formulation which recognizes play as part of our God-intended humanity.

Darkness and Light

Article by Jeff Gundy

Book Review The Best Day the Worst Day: Life with Jane Kenyon. By Donald Hall. Houghton Mifflin, 272 pp. A Hundred White Daffodils. By Jane Kenyon Graywolf 226 pp., paperback. Collected Poems. By Jane Kenyon. Graywolf 320 pp.   Edgar Allan Poe once famously opined that the death of a beautiful woman is “unquestionably the …

Dear Mr. Brown: Letters to a Person Perplexed about Religion

Book by Harry Emerson Fosdick

(ENTIRE BOOK) The fictional character of Ted Brown represents a young man who comes from a religious background, who is seriously trying to work out an intelligent philosophy of life, is sensitive to spiritual values, and who seeks a vocation where he can make the most of his best for the sake of others. This is not an attempt to give an answer those totally apart from a religious background — "beatnik" contemporaries for example, that would consider Ted Brown a "square."

Divine Summons

Article by Gilbert Meilaender

I have learned over the years that students, wearily carrying out a writing assignment, often have recourse to the dictionary. Assigned to write on a specific topic, they will begin with a dictionary definition. Let it never be said that I have learned nothing from reading their papers all these years. Look up the word …

Do You Have to Go to Church to Be Religious?

Article by Celia Allison Hahn

The statement that one can be religious without attending church is seen by some as a new, gratuitous assault on organized religion. Americans believe in a vanished golden age when people attended church regularly, when families were cohesive and when virtue reigned triumphant. But Russell Hale spells out the historical reality: “Contrary to popular celebrationist …

Everyday Fortitude

Article by Albert Borgmann

Book Review: The Mystery of Courage By William Ian Miller Harvard University Press, 346 pp. We will never forget the terror of September 11, but neither will we forget the heroic efforts of the police and firefighters who rushed into the World Trade Center to help people escape. Some of them paid for their courage …

Foreword  in  Twelve Tests of Character

Book Chapter by Harry Emerson Fosdick

These essays on practical religion and right living were written because the editor of the Ladies’ Home Journal offered his large circle of readers as an audience. Their serial nature also is occasionally indicated as in the eleventh article, which appeared in November and which commemorates Thanksgiving Day. Except as I have retained in the …

Friendship Tested

Article by Martin E. Marty

People who resist having friends take on one set of problems. Loneliness and isolation gnaw at those who are incapable of being friends or of being befriended. It would be nice to picture friendship as the arrival of a utopia in which all turned out well — though that kind of niceness might also induce …

Go Fast and Live

Article by Mark Buchanan

Recently some huge billboards along British Columbia’s major roadways showed black-and-white photos of car wrecks — gashed and mangled metal, clouds of steam and smoke — all illumined under the luridness of fire, flares, searchlights and siren lights. The caption beneath the ads was as stark and grim as the photos: "Speed is killing us. …

Holy Silence

Article by Belden C. Lane

In late June, weary of another long year behind a desk, I headed toward Ring Lake Ranch, an ecumenical retreat and study center in northwest Wyoming. A week in the high desert country of the Wind River Range, with time for silence and solitude, sounded just about right. I’d heard that Quakers have as many …

Identify Yourself

Article by Rowan Williams

How do we as Christians identify, ourselves? We carry the name of Christ. We are the people who are known for their loyalty to the historical person who was given the title of “anointed monarch” by his followers — Jesus, the Jew of Nazareth. Every time we say “Christian,” we take for granted a story …

Learning Jesus

Article by Luke Timothy Johnson

Belief in the resurrection has important implications for our knowledge of Jesus. We deal not with a dead person of the past but with a person whose life continues, however mysteriously, in the present. This changes everything. If Jesus is alive among us, what we learn about Jesus must include what we can continue to …

Marriage Debate

Article by Bonnie J. Miller-McLemore

Book Review: The Future of Marriage. By David Blankenhorn. Encounter, 260 pp.   Marriage: The Dream That Refuses to Die. By Elizabeth Fox-Genovese. Intercollegiate Studies Institute, 225 pp., $25.00.   It would be hard to find more divisive, jabbing rhetoric on marriage than in these publications by self-described "marriage nut" David Blankenhorn, the founder and …

On Not Living Too Large

Article by Bill McKibben

Not far from Siena, in the Tuscan hill town of Montalcino, is the Abbey of Sant’Antimo. It was first built in–well, no one’s certain. It was there by the ninth century. What you see now is a modern reconstruction, modern meaning 12th century. In other words, it’s a part of the landscape. And the landscape …

Paying Attention

Article by George Hunsinger

Christian caregivers seek to orient persons toward God as the One who will provide for them. All ministry is Christ’s ministry, in which the church is privileged to participate. In his book Life Together, Bonhoeffer theologically grounds the practice of listening to others in God’s love for humanity. God demonstrates his love for us by …

Preface  in  Christianity and the Scientist

Book Chapter by Ian Barbour

Being a physicist as well as a student of theology, the author has avoided the claim that there is only one way in which the life of the scientist can be a proper life. And it is not necessary to suppose that the life and work of a scientist is a purely secular affair.

Preface  in  The Christian at Play

Book Chapter by Robert K. Johnston

It was the late Paul Tillich who, more than anyother modern theologian, introduced Christians to the need for a theology of culture. Writing from a liberal Protestant perspective, he attempted to show the religious dimensions of our varied cultural activity, to illuminate the spiritual lines that oftentimes lie hidden within our human creations. Evangelical Christians …

Quality Time

Article by Linda Lee Nelson

Receiving the Day: Christian Practices for Opening the Gift of Time. By Dorothy Bass. (Jossey-Bass), 142 pp., $20.00. Driven by her conviction that “the practices of living religious traditions have great wisdom to impart,” Dorothy Bass examines Christian practices in “both their ancient grounding and the fresh and vibrant forms they take today.” A historian …

Remembering

Article by Roberta C. Bondi

I remember myself as an insomniac nine-year-old, lying sleepless in bed after my parents had turned out the lights. In those self-centered, introspective days of childhood I hardly believed in the realty of the present. How could anything really happen? I wondered. Reality didn’t seem real until it was past, when I could turn it …

Returning to the Fold: Disbelief Within the Community of Faith

Article by Donald E. Miller

Increasingly I sense in myself, and in many individuals I encounter, an emerging new basis for commitment to the church and the Christian heritage. By any orthodox standard this basis is heretical. But then, that is exactly where many of us find ourselves today: in a state of disbelief, struggling for some constructive way to …

Revising the Concept of Vocation for the Industrial Age

Article by Robert G. Middleton

George MacLeod, the founder of the Iona Community of Scotland, customarily took on the community’s least attractive job, that of cleaning the latrines. He did this, he said, so "I will not be tempted to preach irrelevant sermons on the dignity of all labor" (quoted in Robert McAfee Brown, The Spirit of Protestantism [Oxford University …

Salvation Workout

Article by Paula Huston

Lately I’ve been getting invitations to speak to youth about the virtues, so I’ve been trying to recall my own early training on the subject. I grew up in a Lutheran church, and much of who I am can be traced back to those second- and third-generation Norwegian, Swedish, Danish and German immigrants who left …

Selected Bibliography On Play (and Work)  in  The Christian at Play

Book Chapter by Robert K. Johnston

Selected Bibliography On Play (and Work) Alves, Rubem. Tomorrow’s Child: Imagination, Creativity, and the Rebirth of Culture. New York: Harper & Row, 1972. Bannister, Roger. The Four Minute Mile. New York: Dodd, Mead, 1957. Barth, Karl. Church Dogmatics, Vol. III, 2, 3, 4: The Doctrine of Creation. Ed. G. W Bromiley and T. F. Torrance. …

Spirituality While Facing Tragedy: How Then Shall We Live?

Article by Henry Gustafson

A preliminary observation: There is no single perspective on spirituality among Reformed Protestant Christians. Some of them are very nervous about spirituality. They think the term is an oxymoron. One can be “Reformed” or one can be “spiritual,” not both. These persons sometimes describe themselves as God’s “frozen Chosen.” There is a story, perhaps apocryphal, …

Stressed-Out Mothers

Article by Debra Bendis

Book Review Baby Catcher: Chronicles of a Modern Midwife. By Peggy Vincent. Scribner, 336 pp. Having Faith: An Ecologist’s Journey to Motherhood. By Susan Steingraber. Perseus Publishing, 288 pp. I Don’t Know How She Does It: The Life of Kate Reddy, Working Mother. By Allison Pearson. Knopf., 337 pp. Misconceptions: Truth, Lies and the Unexpected …

The Habit of Imagining

Article by Judith Moffett

Something is fundamentally wrong with the golden rule, that much-quoted piece of advice formulated by Jesus in his Sermon on the Mount which has come into common speech as “Do unto others as you would have others do unto you.” Its wrongness is not gross oversimplification; the amended version I’m going to suggest is almost …

The Inflated Self

Article by David G. Myers

Poised somewhere between sinful vanity and self-destructive submissiveness is a golden mean of self-esteem appropriate to the human condition. Stanford Lyman.   There is no doubt about it. High self-esteem pays dividends. Those with a positive self-image are happier, freer of ulcers and insomnia, less prone to drug and alcohol addictions. Researchers have also found …

The Last Things

Article by Carl E. Bratten

The Apostles Creed ends with a statement of Christian belief in "the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting." The second article of the Nicene Creed states that Jesus Christ "will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead, and his kingdom will have no end." Eschatology, from the Greek word …

The Phenomenon of Christian Belief

Book by G.W.H. Lampe (ed.)

(ENTIRE BOOK) Four English theologians describe how Christianity appears personally to them, not as neutral observers, but as committed believers. The results are clear statements about the nature of belief, the God of Jesus, the Christian God, and the nature of prayer.

The Practice of Pilgrimage

Article by Arthur Paul Boers

Book Review: American Pilgrimage: Eleven Sacred Journeys and Spiritual Destinations. By Mark Ogilbee and Jana Riess. Paraclete, 176 pp., $16.95 paperback. Sacred Travels: Recovering the Ancient Practice of Pilgrimage. By Christian George. InterVarsity Press, , 179 pp., $13.00 paperback. In Search of Sacred Places: Looking for Wisdom on Celtic Holy Islands. By Daniel Taylor. Bog …

The Shape of an Irreverent Spirituality

Article by Matthias Neuman

The first episode was reading some commentaries on Current Catholicism offered by various newspapers. That week’s issue of the Wanderer featured an article headlined “A Catholic Loyalist Looks at the Herpes Scourge” (September 23, 1982). In terms reminiscent of the fervor of ancient prophets, the writer proclaimed that the current epidemic of venereal herpes was …

Toward a New Asceticism

Article by Margaret R. Miles

In the theological discourse of our time, the word "asceticism" has become one that collects everything we want to reject in ourselves and in historical Christian tradition. Theologies of embodiment, of play and of sexual identity celebrate the demise of asceticism. We lump together all historical asceticism and indicate our evaluation of it by labeling …

Transparent Lives

Article by Eugene H. Peterson

Forty years ago, I found myself distracted. I was living 20 miles northeast of Baltimore in a small town that was fast becoming a suburb. Assigned there by my denomination to start a new congregation, I started out with a fair amount of confidence and energy and with strong personal, organizational and financial support. But …

Weaving a Coherent Pattern of Discipleship

Article by Richard J. Mouw

Like most Calvinistic Augustinians, I have difficulty drawing clear lines between philosophy and theology. My continual commerce between the two seems to me to be an instance of what Tillich meant by the "method of correlation." The Christian philosopher must attempt to find points of contact between the ongoing philosophical/cultural dialogue and those themes which …