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  1. A Pro-Lifer’s Critique of Bush by Glen H. Stassen

    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.

  2. A Question of Catholic Honesty by Daniel C. Maguire

    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.

  3. Abortion and Moral Consensus: Beyond Solomon’s Choice by Madonna Kolbenschlag

    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.

  4. Abortion and Theology by Martin E. Marty

    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.

  5. Beyond Slogans: An Abortion Ethic for Women and the Unborn by James R. Kelley

    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.

  6. Catholics and Abortion: Authority vs. Dissent by Rosemary Ruether

    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.

  7. Concerning Abortion: An Attempt at a Rational View by Charles Hartshorne

    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.

  8. Ending the Abortion War: A Modest Proposal by Frances Kissling

    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.

  9. Looking Past Abortion Rhetoric by James A. Brix

    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.

  10. Questions on Abortion and the Struggle Against Tyranny by Charles K. Bellinger

    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.

  11. Soul and the Person: Defining Life by Richard Gist

    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."

  12. The Church and Abortion: Signs of Consensus by Mark Ellingsen

    The difference between radical and conservative statements on abortion reflects the difference between relational and static views of humans.

  13. The Legitimacy and Limits of Freedom of Choice by Kenneth Cauthen

    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.

  14. What Does It Mean to Be ‘Pro-Life’? by Donald Granberg

    Being antiabortion is not synonymous with or equivalent to being “pro-life.” This is not to say that they are incompatible or contradictory. Rather, they are at different levels of abstraction.


  1. Aging Well: Theological Reflections on the Call and Retirement by Jack L. Stotts

    (ENTIRE BOOK) God's calling is the ultimate context of our lives. This is the dimension of depth that is the proper source of our identity and community. This is the ground of our life. From that power we can never be separated. "In life and in death we belong to God." That is a good word we know in Jesus Christ.

  2. Caring for Time’s Survivors by Nancy G. Westerfield

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

  3. Distorted Images: The Elderly and the Media by Linda-Marie Delloff

    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.

  4. Good Aging: A Christian Perspective by Harvey H. Potthoff

    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?

  5. Lessons in Retirement by Jerry K. Robbins

    The author reviews a book about retirement. Retirement is worse than a heart operation, because there is no bypass for it.

  6. The Gift of Aging by Carroll E. Simcox

    The self can die only if and when it loses all wonder, either this side of the grave or beyond.


  1. A Church in the Wildwood by James T. Baker

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

  2. Brain, Mind and God by James B. Ashbrook

    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.

  3. Coventry Cathedral's Message of Forgiveness by David Douglas

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

  4. Designing Distinctive Churches by Michael J. Crosbie

    The author selects eight examples of excellent contemporary church design, each embodying a particular community’s religious identity and mission in its context.

  5. Notes on Sacred Space by E. A. Sovik

    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.

  6. Sacred Spaces by Gretchen T. Buggeln

    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.


    Authority of the Bible

    1. A Christological Hermeneutic: Crisis and Conflict in Hermeneutics by Donald G. Bloesch

      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.

    2. A Guide to Understanding the Bible by Harry Emerson Fosdick

      (ENTIRE BOOK) A clear and helpful explanation of the development of key ideas within the Old and New Testament including the idea of God, man, right and wrong, suffering, paryer and immortality.

    3. A New Quest of the Biblical Jesus by James M. Robinson

      (ENTIRE BOOK) A respected New Testament scholar indicates the impossibility of the nineteenth-century German quest for the historical Jesus, and describes a different kind of quest based upon new premises, procedures and objectives. This quest calls for a total encounter with the person of Jesus, and calls upon the seeker himself to make a radical decision.

    4. An Evangelical and Catholic Methodology by Robert E. Webber

      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.

    5. An Interview with Jonathan L. Reed by John D. Spalding

      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.

    6. An Interview with Jonathan L. Reed by John D. Spalding

      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.

    7. Approach and Avoidance: The Bible as Literature by Giles Gunn

      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.

    8. Battle for the Bible by Mark A. Noll

      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.

    9. Biblical Authority by Walter Brueggemann

      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?

    10. Biblical Literalism: Constricting the Cosmic Dance by Conrad Hyers

      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.

    11. Can You Get There from Here? Problems in Bible Translation by Roger L. Omanson

      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.

    12. Caution: Bible Class in Session by Barbara Brown Taylor

      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.

    13. Choosing a Bible Study by Timothy F.and Walter Brueggmann Simpson

      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.

    14. Counterscript by Walter Brueggemann

      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.

    15. Essays on Biblical Interpretation by Paul Ricoeur

      (ENTIRE BOOK) Paul Ricoeur presents a hermeneutics of biblical interpretation from his position as a philosopher, aided by Lewis Mudge’s clarification of Ricoeur’s thought.

    16. Evangelicals at an Impasse: Biblical Authority in Practice by Robert K. Johnston

      The author analyzes the evangelical's need to develop a consensus theology, one arising out of Biblical, traditional and contemporary data.

    17. Gadamer, Derrida and How We Read by Bruce Ellis Benson

      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.

    18. God's Way of Acting by N.T. Wright

      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?"

    19. Going Creedless by John P. Burgess

      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.

    20. Hang Tough by Browne Barr

      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.

    21. Hans Frei and the Meaning of Biblical Narrative by William C. Placher

      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.

    22. History or Legend by J. Maxwell Miller

      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.

    23. Honest to Jesus: Giving the Historical Jesus a Say in Our Future by Gregory C. Jenks

      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.

    24. How Does the Bible Function in the Christian Life? by William A. Dryness

      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".

    25. How I Have Been Snagged by the Seat of My Pants While Reading the Bible by Walter Wink

      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.

    26. How I Use the Bible in Doing Theology by Clark H. Pinnock

      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."

    27. Important Issues in the Translation of the Bible in the Indian Context by T. Johnson Chakkuvarackal

      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.

    28. In Quest of Canonical Interpretation by James I. Packer

      James I. Packer argues that the "biblical texts must be understood in their human context."

    29. Is the Bible True? by William C. Placher

      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."

    30. Is the End Near? by Robert Bachelder

      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.

    31. Jesus and History, the Believer and the Historian by Van Harvey

      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.

    32. Learning to Read the Bible Again by Ellen F. Davis and Richard B. Hays

      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.

    33. Myth and Incarnation by Jerry H. Gill

      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.

    34. Probing Scripture: The New Biblical Critics by Carol Newsom

      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.

    35. Progressive Faith vs. the Illusion of Control by Fred Plumer

      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.

    36. Psychology as a Tool to Interpret the Text by Robin Scroggs

      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?

    37. Resurrection Faith: N. T. Wright Talks About History and Belief by N.T. Wright

      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.

    38. Salvation by Trust? Reading the Bible Faithfully by Richard B. Hays

      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.

    39. Scripture and the Theological Enterprise: View from a Big Canoe by Russell P. Spittler

      Russell Spittler argues for an exegetical theology. Only through a commitment to Scripture does he find validation for his tradition.

    40. Stimulating Faith by Way of Contradiction by Gaylord Noyce

      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.

    41. Taking the Bible on Its Own Terms by Ronald D. Worden

      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.

    42. Taking the Bible Seriously by Leander E. Keck

      (ENTIRE BOOK) There is a way of reading the bible which opens the door to vital faith without shutting the door to critical thought.

    43. The Battle for the Bible: Renewing the Inerrancy Debate by Donald W. Dayton

      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.

    44. The Bible as Canon by James A. Sanders

      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.

    45. The Bible as Scripture by Walter Brueggemann

      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.

    46. The Bible in Human Transformation by Walter Wink

      (ENTIRE BOOK) Citing the disconnection if not alienation that exists between the community of biblical scholars and the community of faith, the author calls for a serious reassessment of the driving forces in biblical scholarship, and suggests a new paradigm that holds promise of making the Bible more widely available and humanly applicable.

    47. The Design of the Scriptures - A First Reader in Biblical Theology by Robert C. Dentan

      (ENTIRE BOOK) This book gives an overview of the Bible, Old and New Testaments, showing the consistency and organic unity of biblical thought – a harmony underlying the obvious differences between the two testaments. It is arranged by topics for easy reading.

    48. The Golden Calf by Daniel J. Ritter

      This essay seeks to reach, with a layman's tools, a personal accommodation with a Bible that both repels him and attracts him.

    49. The Hanna-Barbera Cartoons: Compounding Bible Ignorance? by Helen Lee Turner, Jones & Blazer

      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.

    50. The Icon Tree by Madeline L'Engle

      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.

    51. The Light in the Darkness by Marcus Borg

      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.

    52. The Nature and Function of Theology by David F. Wells

      The following is Chapter Ten in Robert K. Johnston (ed.) The Use of the Bible in Theology: Evangelical Options (John Knox 1985

    53. The New RSV: The Best Translation, Halfway There by Walter Wink

      The author finds much to praise in the New Revised Standard Version of the Bible.

    54. The Power of Dreams in the Bible by Walter Brueggemann

      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.

    55. The Resurrection: A Dialogue by G.W.H. Lampe and D.M. MacKinnon

      (ENTIRE BOOK) Professor Lampe states that the resurrection of Christ certainly was not a resurrection of the physical body and that the "empty tomb" story is as much a hinderance as a help to believing Christians. Professor MacKinnon examines the Easter Narrative in light of the the passion narrative.

    56. The Road that Leads Through the Bible by Rodney Romney

      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.

    57. The Story of the New Testament by Edgar J. Goodspeed

      (ENTIRE BOOK) The situations out of which each of the books of the New Testament grew, and how each book met that situation.

    58. The Use of Scripture in the Wesleyan by Donald W. Dayton

      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.

    59. The Use of the Bible in Theology by John Howard Yoder

      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.

    60. Toward Understanding the Bible by Georgia Harkness

      (ENTIRE BOOK) A review of the place of the Bible in our culture, examining the crucial question of what is meant by its being the inspired Word of God. Excellent summary of the geographical, social and religious setting within which the Bible emerged, the stages of its development, the literary types in the Old and New Testaments, and the main themes.

    61. Understanding the Kingdom of God by Georgia Harkness

      (ENTIRE BOOK) There is a dilemma in understanding the meaning of the Kingdom of God. Various approaches to kingdom study are presented. Among these are included: 1. Dr. Harkness’ own understanding of the kingdom. 2. the Scriptural views of understanding of the kingdom. 3. a theological analysis of the message. 4. The message itself.

    62. Unity and Diversity in Evangelical Theology by Robert K. Johnston

      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.

    63. What to Say About Hell by David Heim

      Despite the deeply embedded concept of hell, the perception seems to be fading from current talk in mainline churches. These commentaries on hell suggest many divergent views still exist about the value of this concept.

    64. Will Jesus Return? (No Trick Answers!) by Robert M. Herhold

      Will our attention to Jesus' return cause us to become indifferent to the care of the earth and to our sister and brother in need?


    1. Barth and Beyond by William Stacy Johnson

      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.

    2. Barth on Mozart by Howard Schomer

      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.”

    3. God Lets Loose Karl Barth by Douglas Horton

      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.

    4. How My Mind Has Changed in This Decade: Part Two by Karl Barth

      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.

    5. The ‘Postmodern’ Barth? The Word of God As True Myth by Gary Dorrien

      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.

    6. The Karl Barth Centennial: An Appreciative Critique by Ronald Goetz

      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.

    Bible Commentary

    1. A Careful Read (Matt. 18:15-20) by Deanna Langle

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

    2. A Child of His Time (Phil. 4:8) by Ronald Goetz

      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.

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

      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.

    4. A Curious Man (John 3:1-17) by Margaret B. Hess

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

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

      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.

    6. A Doubt and a Promise (Matt. 28:16-20) by Talitha Arnold

      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.

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

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

    8. A Generous Boss (Matthew 20:1-16) by In-Yong Lee

      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.

    9. A Howl of Despair (Psalm 42) by Peter S. Hawkins

      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.

    10. A Lot of Junk (Luke 12:13-21) by Lawrence Wood

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

    11. A New Moon Sensitivity (Amos 8:4-7, I timothy 2:1-8, Luke 16:1-3) by Lamin Sanneh

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

    12. A Portrait of Shame (Genesis 3: 8-15) by Margaret B. Hess

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

    13. A Precarious Righteousness (Mark 7:1-9) by Ronald Goetz

      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?

    14. A Question of Faith (Lk. 1:13, 18; 30-31, 34) by Jennette F. Scholer

      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.

    15. A Questionable God (Exodus 3:1-15, Matthew 16:21-28, Romans 12:9-21) by William L. Hawkins

      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.

    16. A Season of Prayer (Acts 1:1-14) by Kelly Lyn Logue

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

    17. A Second Advent (Jer. 31:31-34). by Ronald Goetz

      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.

    18. A Terrible Text (Mk. 7:14-29) by Joanna Adams

      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.

    19. A Twofold Death and Resurrection (Jn. 11:25-26) by Fred B. Craddock

      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.

    20. A Waiting Church (Isa. 25:9) by William Willimon

      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.

    21. A Wandering Faith (Heb. 11:1-3, 8-16) by Lawrence Wood

      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.

    22. A Watery Solution (Mark 1:4-11; Genesis 1:1-5) by Barbara Sholis

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

    23. A Word and a Calling (1 Sam. 3:1-20; Jn. 1:43-51) by Susan B. W. Johnson

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

    24. A Word of Encouragement (Heb. 10:11-25) by Peter J. Gomes

      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.

    25. Abide in me . . . (John 15:1-8) by F. Dean Lueking

      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.

    26. Abiding Love (John 15:1-17; 1 John 5:1-6) by William Brosend

      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.

    27. Above and Beyond (Lk. 24:44-53; Acts 1:1-11) by Lawrence Wood

      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.

    28. Abundant Life (Prov. 25:6-7; Heb. 13:1-8,15-16; Lk. 14:1, 7-14) by Martha P. Sterne

      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."

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

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

    30. Advent Alchemy (Isaiah 64:1-9, I Corinthians 1:3-9, Mark 13:24-37) by John Stendahl

      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.

    31. Advent Preaching: Burden and Hope (Rom. 8:24-25) by Robert H. Herhold

      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.

    32. After Liberation, What? (Lev.19:1-2, 15-18; Mt. 22:34-46) by Delores S. Williams

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

    33. All Things New (Revelation 21: 1-5) by T.V. Philip

      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.

    34. Altar Call (Psalm 51:5-17) by Fred B. Craddock

      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.

    35. Amateurs and Rookies (Is. 6:1-8; 1 Cor. 1.5:1-11; Lk. 5:1-11) by Frederick Niedner

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

    36. An Invitation (Phil. 4:1-9; Mat. 22:1-14) by Judith Johnson-Siebold

      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?

    37. And Jesus Laughed (Luke 17:11-19) by Mark Harris

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

    38. Another Commandment (Hebrews 9:11-14; Mark 12:28-34) by Maria Teresa Palmer

      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.

    39. Anticipation (Jer. 33:14-16; 1 Thess. 3:9-13; Ps. 25:1-9; Lk. 21:25-36) by John C. Morris

      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.

    40. Anxious Moments (Matthew 11:16-19, 28-30, Romans 7:15-25a) by Verity A. Jones

      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…"

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

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

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

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

    43. Are We There Yet? (Rom. 5:1-8) by Felipe N. Martinez

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

    44. Arguing with Paul (2 Corinthians 5:6-10, 14-17) by Michael A. King

      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.

    45. As a Hen Gathers Her Brood by Barbara Brown Taylor

      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.

    46. As Good as Dead (Rom. 4:13-25; Matt. 9:9-13, 18-26) by Felipe N. Martinez

      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.

    47. At Ground Zero (James 5:13-20) by Stephen Paul Bouman

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

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

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

    49. At Table With the Saints (I John 3:1-3) by Bruce Modahl

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

    50. Back to Life (John 11:1-45) by Suzanne Guthrie

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

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

      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.

    52. Balance Sheet (Mat. 22:15-22) by Judith Johnson-Siebold

      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."

    53. Be Happy (Micah 6:1-8; Matthew 5:1-12) by Patricia Farris

      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.

    54. Be Watchful (Mark 13: 3l-37) by T.V. Philip

      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.

    55. Begging to Give (2 Cor. 8:7-15) by Heiko A. Oberman

      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.

    56. Beside the Lord (Prov. 8:22, 29-31) by Joseph M. Mcshane, S.J.

      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.

    57. Between the Lines (Prov. 8: 1-4, 22-31; Ps. 8; Rom. 5: 1-5; Jn. 16: 12-15) by Peter S. Hawkins

      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.

    58. Between Two Advents: In the Interim (Luke 21:28) by Cornelius Plantinga, Jr.

      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.

    59. Big Story (Romans 9:1-5; Matthew 14:13-21) by Amy B. Hunter

      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.

    60. Blind Spots (Mark 10:46-52) by Mary W. Anderson

      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?

    61. Blinded by the Light (John 17:20-26) by Suzanne Guthrie

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

    62. Bloody Gospel (Matthew 26:14-27:66) by Frederick Niedner

      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.

    63. Boast Not (I Cor. 9:16-23) by Ray Rhoads

      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.

    64. Book 'Em (Jer. 1:4-10; Cor. 13:1-13; Lk. 4:21-30) by William Willimon

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

    65. Branded by God (Jeremiah 31:31-34) by Stacey Elizabeth Simpson

      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.

    66. Bread and Miracles (John 6:1-21) by H. Stephen Shoemaker

      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.

    67. Breaking and Entering (Luke 13:1-9) by Thomas G. Long

      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."

    68. Bringing Good Tidings to the Afflicted (Isa. 61:1-2) by Glenn Loafmann

      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.

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

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

    70. Building Community Amid Troubles (Phil. 22-4; Matt. 21:28-32; Ezek. 18:1-4) by Delores S. Williams

      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.

    71. By Our Love (Jn. 13:31-35) by James C. Somerville

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

    72. Call Me (Deut. (18:15-20; Ps. 111; I Cor. 8:1-13) by Paul Keim

      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?

    73. Called to Order (Deut. 18:15-20; Ps. 111; I Cor. 8:1-13 by Paul Keim

      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.

    74. Capital T (Ephesians 1:3-14; Mark 6:14-29) by Kevin Baker

      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.

    75. Caution: Contents May Be Hot (Matthew 5:1-12) by Lillian Daniel

      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.

    76. Cellmates (Isaiah 35:1-10; Matthew 11:2-11) by Frederick Niedner

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

    77. Cemetery Picnic (Gen. 2:15-17; 3:1-7) by Stephen Paul Bouman

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

    78. Chariot of Fire (2 Kg. 2:1-12) by Martin B. Copenhaver

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

    79. Chasing Jesus (Ephesians 3:14-21; John 6:1-2) by William H. Lamar. IV

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

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

      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.

    81. Childish Behavior (I Th. 2:1-8) by James Howell

      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.

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

      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.

    83. Christ is Not as We Are (Matt. 17:1-9) by Fred B. Craddock

      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.

    84. Christ is Risen (Matthew 28: 1-10) by T.V. Philip

      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.

    85. Christ-haunted Landscape (Lev. 19:1-2,15-18) by Bruce Modahl

      Leviticus reveals a God who is Wholly Other.

    86. Christian Spirituality (1 Corinthians 1:18-25) by T.V. Philip

      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.

    87. Clay Pots (Romans 8:1-11; Matthew 13:1-9, 18-23) by Bill O'Brien

      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.

    88. Clean Sweep (Luke 15:1-10) by Jennifer E. Copeland

      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.

    89. Close Call (Genesis 22:1-14) by Melinda Bresee Hinners

      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.

    90. Clothed With Compassion (Acts 9:36-43) by Heidi A. Peterson

      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.

    91. Come on Down (Ex. 34:29-35; Lk 9:28-36) by William Willimon

      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?

    92. Come Unto Me (Matthew 11:25-30) by T.V. Philip

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

    93. Coming Into Focus (Jn. 15:25-27; 16:4b-15; Acts 2:1-21) by Bill O'Brien

      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.

    94. Confirming Erick (Hebrews 5:1-10) by Stephen Paul Bouman

      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.

    95. Consorting with Aliens (Luke 24:13-35; 1 Peter 1: 17-23) by Edgardo Antonio Colón-Emeric

      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.

    96. Continuing in Sin (Rom. 6:1; Matt. 10:34, 38) by Ronald Goetz

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

    97. Coping in Jesus’ Absence (Jn. 9:1-41) by Fred B. Craddock

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

    98. Counting Diamonds (Mark 9:30-37) by Joel Marcus

      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.

    99. Couples (Mark 10:2-16) by Andrew Warner

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

    100. Course Correction (Jeremiah 31:7-14) by Barbara Sholis

      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.

    101. Cousin Thomas (John 20: 19-31) by Suzanne Guthrie

      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.

    102. Cover-ups (Psalm 85) by Fleming Rutledge

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

    103. Crying Shame (John 20:19-31) by Craig Barnes

      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.

    104. Crying Shame (John 20:19-31) by Craig Barnes

      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.

    105. Damn Preacher (Lk 6:17-26) by William Willimon

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

    106. Dancing the Decalogue ( Ex. 20:1-17) by Thomas G. Long

      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.

    107. Dangling Gospel (Mark 16:1-8) by Thomas G. Long

      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?

    108. Dazzling Darkness (Lk. 9:28-36) by Barbara Brown Taylor

      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.

    109. Deafness: Physical and Spiritual (Mark 7:34) by Lawton Posey

      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.

    110. Decisions (Joshua 24:1-2, 14-Th; John 6:56-69) by Heidi Husted

      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."

    111. Defining Moment (Matt. 16:21-28) by Deanna Langle

      If we stop pursuing justice, peace, healing and wholeness for our lives and for our world, we become supporters of that which we oppose.

    112. Defining Moment (Ps. 36:5-10; Is. 62:1-5; John 2:1-11) by Jack Good

      At the marriage in Cana Jesus shows that the destruction of carefully laid out plans can be changed by unexpected circumstances.

    113. Dinner Reservations (Matt. 21:33-46) by Roger Lovette

      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?

    114. Discerning What is Right (I Kg. 3:5-12; Rom. 8:28-30; Mt. 13:44-52) by Luke Timothy Johnson

      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.

    115. Disturbing the Peace (Luke 12:49-56) by Teresa Berger

      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.

    116. Do Not Lose Heart (Luke 18:1-8) by Mark Harris

      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.

    117. Dog Tale (Galatians 6:7-16) by Samuel Wells

      With Paul, we only have the right for one boast, and that is for the Love of God as displayed on the cross.

    118. Dogging Jesus (Matthew 15:21-28) by Peter S. Hawkins

      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.

    119. Doing the Right Thing (Is. 66:10-14; Ps. 66; Gal. 6:1-6, 7-16; Lk. 10:1-11, 16-20) by Mary W. Anderson

      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.

    120. Don't be Ridiculous (Ephesians 5:15-20; John 6:51-58) by John Ortberg

      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.

    121. Donkey Fetchers (Mark 11:1-11) by Thomas G. Long

      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.

    122. Dose of Forgiveness by Debra Farrington

      God says, "You are forgiven." What are we to make of that?

    123. Drawing All to Himself (John 12:32) by William Willimon

      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.

    124. Dreams and Letting God Be God (Isa. 7:10-17) by Lamin Sanneh

      Dreams have fallen on hard times in our jaded world. We should be grateful that a previous age preserved their legacy in Scripture.

    125. Dress Code (Matthew 22:1-14) by Gracia Grindal

      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.

    126. Dust and Ashes by Bruce van Voorst

      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.

    127. Dying to Live (Rom. 6:1b-11; Matt. 10:24-39) by Bill O'Brien

      The author asks: what is more tragic than to be dead spiritually, yet be acting as if we were alive?

    128. Easter (Acts 2:14a, 36-41; 1 Peter 1:17-23; Lk.24:13-35) by Debbie Blue

      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.

    129. Easy Affirmations (Luke 4:1-13) by Hal W. LeMert Jr.

      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.

    130. Eavesdropping (Mic. 6:1-8;I Cor. 1:18-31;Matt. 5:1-12; Ps. 15) by Barbara Lemmel

      Eavesdropping on others as a way of getting operating instructions from God.

    131. Empty Tomb, Empty Talk (Luke 24:1-12) by Thomas G. Long

      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,

    132. Encore (Jn. 21:1-19) by James C. Somerville

      Having heard the invitation to follow so long ago, we need to hear it again, and then to act.

    133. Enter Here (Acts 2:42-47,1 Peter 2:19-25, John 10:1-10) by Amy B. Hunter

      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.

    134. Escape From the Tomb (Jn. 20:1-18) by Barbara Brown Taylor

      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.

    135. Essential Question (John 6:56-69) by Cynthia M. Campbell

      Cynthia Campbell defends each generation’s scholarship in searching for the real Jesus providing the search is accompanied by the Holy Spirit.

    136. Excellence Beyond Standards (Is.25:6-9; Phil.4:4-13; Mt.22:1-10) by Delores S. Williams

      The parables of Jesus demonstrate that sometimes we may be forced to change our standards to make traditions more accessible.

    137. Exposed and Waiting (Ps. 146; Is. 35:1-10; James 5:7-10; Matt. 11:2-11) by Rosalind Brown

      In Advent, dare we risk exploring the meaning of our longing for God?

    138. Extra Credit (Mark 12:28-34) by Robin R. Meyers

      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.

    139. Eye of the Needle (I Tim. 6:6-19; Lk. 16:19-31) by John Rollefson

      We’re not to be haughty or set our hopes on the uncertainty of riches hut instead rely on our richly provident God.

    140. Facing Fear (Genesis 21:8-12; Matthew 10:26-30) by Melinda Bresee Hinners

      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.

    141. Facing Up To Inequalities by Harlan Beckley

      The author reviews four books which offer theological, ethical and empirical reasons to be indignant about persistent domestic and global poverty and inequality.

    142. Faith on Idle (2 Thessalonians 3:6-13) by Michael Battle

      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.

    143. Family Feuds (Genesis 25:19-34; Romans 8:1-11) by Verity A. Jones

      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.

    144. Fanning The Flames (Acts 5:17-42) by Heidi A. Peterson

      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.

    145. Fire in the Dark (Acts 2:1-21) by Mark Harris

      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.

    146. Fit for the Reign of God (I Kings 19:19-21; Luke 9:57-62; Gal. 5:1, 13-25) by Joseph M. Mcshane, S.J.

      Every Christian struggles with the tensions of pragmatism and vision. But there is no one-time solution.

    147. Fleeing Before Herod (Matt. 4:12-13) by Fred B. Craddock

      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).

    148. Flipping the World on Its Head (Acts 17:6; I Pet. 2:91) by Ronald Goetz

      Even a persecuted Christianity had a humanizing impact on the culture at large.

    149. Flocking Together (John 10:1-10) by Edgardo Antonio Colón-Emeric

      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.

    150. Floods (Matthew 5:45) by Ronald Goetz

      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.

    151. Foolhardy Faith (Ps.66:7-18;John 14:15-21;Acts 17:22-31;I Pet.3:13-22) by Michael W. Spangler

      The author remembers meeting a woman in Russia who was not ashamed to be a fool for Christ's sake.

    152. Foolish Belonging (1 Corinthians 1:10-18) by Lillian Daniel

      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.

    153. Foolish Wisdom by James M. Wall

      Dr. Wall examines the meaning of I Corinthians 4:10: "we are fools for Christ's sake."

    154. Foot Washing and Last Things (John 13:1-20) by Robert H. Herhold

      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.

    155. For Grown-ups (Isa.52:7-10;John 1:1-14) by Fleming Rutledge

      Here is a message for grown-ups at Christmas that is an essential part of the feast.

    156. For the Sake of Ten (Gen. 18:24) by Kosuke Koyama

      The good efect of the righteous, though they are a minority, must have healing power in the community.

    157. Forgiven and Forgiving (Matt. 18:21-35) by Susan Pendelton Jones

      The parable of the unforgiving servant reminds us that to receive forgiveness, we must ourselves be forgiving.

    158. Forming Students Through the Bible by Frederick Niedner

      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.

    159. Fostering Family (Romans 8:12-25) by Rachel M. Srubas

      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.

    160. Fresh Evidence (Lk. 24:36b-48) by Kristen Bargeron Grant

      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.

    161. From a God We Hardly Knew (Isa. 9:6) by William Willimon

      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.

    162. From God, to God (Ephesians 2:1-10) by Fred B. Craddock

      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.

    163. From Wrath to Grace (Zeph. 1: 7,12-18; Ps. 90:1-12;I Thess. 5:1-11; Matt. 25:14-30). by Bruce Modahl

      God took upon God's self the wrath deserved by humankind.

    164. Gaining One's Soul (Luke 21:5-19) by F. Dean Lueking

      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.

    165. Gasping For Air (Isaiah 1: 10-18) by Michael Battle

      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.

    166. Gate-crashing God (Ps. 72; Is. 11:1-10; Rom. 15:4-13; Matt. 3:1-12) by Rosalind Brown

      There are no boundaries to Advent hope, because there are no boundaries to God.

    167. General Principles by J. Mary Luti

      The Pharisee has kept a precise record of his religious temperature and informs God of every change in degree.

    168. Get Out of Here! (I Cor. 15:1-11; Lk. 5:1-11) by William Willimon

      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.

    169. Glorious Promises (Is. 62:1-5; Jn. 2:1-11) by Frederick Niedner

      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.

    170. Go Out in Joy (Ps. 96; Is 9:2-7; Titus 2:11-14; Lk. 2:1-20) by Rosalind Brown

      As always, God takes us by surprise.

    171. God in a Pocket (Jer. 23:23-29; Ps. 82; Heb. 11:29-12:2; Lk. 12:49-56) by Martha P. Sterne

      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.

    172. God Is Not Mocked?" (Rom. 3:8) by Ronald Goetz

      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.

    173. God on the Loose (Ps. 29; Mt. 3:1-17) by Sarah Hinlicky Wilson

      The voice of God can be heard outside the protective walls of the church -- but you might not like what you hear.

    174. God So Loved (John 3:17) by William Willimon

      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.

    175. God Spoke These Words (Exodus 20:1-17) by Samuel Wells

      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.

    176. God While God Is Near (Is. 55:6-9; Phil.1:1-5, 19-27; Mt. 20:1-16) by Luke Timothy Johnson

      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.

    177. God’s Gift of Righteousness (Jer. 31:32) by Joseph M. Mcshane, S.J.

      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.

    178. God’s Plan to Kill Jesus (Acts 2:23) by Ronald Goetz

      It was God’s eternal plan to make us what he himself is.

    179. God's Entrance (2 Sam. 7:1-16; Luke 1:26-38) by Fleming Rutledge

      The Christmas story raises this fundamental questions: Did God act?

    180. God’s Arms (Romans 5:1-5; John 16:12-15) by Michael Lindvall

      When we suffer together, God becomes present to us in the arm of the other resting upon our shoulders.

    181. God’s Choice (James 2:1-17; Mark 7:24-37) by Stephen Fowl

      Analysis of an apparent contradiction between these two passages of scripture, indicating a "wicked sense of humor on someone’s part."

    182. Going Against the Stream by William Willimon

      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.

    183. Good Company (Gen. 11:1-9; Jn. 14:8-17) by Eliott Wright

      Trying to get to God, the people of Babel ended up being scattered, for they had separated themselves from the people around them.

    184. Good Shepherds (Ezekiel 34:11-16, 2022) by Talitha Arnold

      "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.

    185. Gospel Sound Track (John 12:1-8) by Thomas G. Long

      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 .

    186. Grace Unliminted (Romans 11:32) by Ronald Goetz

      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.

    187. Grand Introductions (Isaiah 49:1-7; John 1:29-42) by Lillian Daniel

      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?

    188. Gratitude for Everything (Eph. 5:20) by Ronald Goetz

      Our very struggle with Paul’s injunction to give thanks for everything has its redemptive benefits.

    189. Groping in Darkness (I John 1:1-2:2) by Craig A. Satterlee

      Walking in the light of loving behavior often appears to others as groping in the darkness.

    190. Growing Pains (I Sam. 2:18-20; Ps. 148; Col. 3:12-17; Lk. 2:41-52) by Herbert O'Driscoll

      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.

    191. Guest List (Lk. 14:1, 7-14; Heb. 13:1-8, 15-16) by Bruce Wollenberg

      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.

    192. Halo Effect (Is.60:1-6; Ps. 72:1-7, 10-14; Eph. 3:1-12; Matt. 2:1-12) by James Alison

      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.

    193. Have a Happy Day (Lk. 23:28) by William Willimon

      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.

    194. He Had Compassion (Luke 10:31-33) by Kosuke Koyama

      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.

    195. He Is Not Here (Mk 16: 1-8) by Fred B. Craddock

      Mark did not need an appearance of the risen Christ to affirm his faith in the resurrection.

    196. He Is Risen (Mark 16: 1-8) by Samuel Wells

      Easter is the Christian Genesis: death and despair displaced by life and hope.

    197. Healed, Not Cured (2 Kg. 5:1-14; Ps. 30; Mk. 1:40-45) by Debra Farrington

      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.

    198. Hearing God’s Blessing (Matt. 5:1-12) by Fred B. Craddock

      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.

    199. Heart of the Matter by Patricia Farris

      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.

    200. Hearts Sing (Is. 9:1-4; Psalm 27:1, 4-9;1 Cor. 1:10-18; Matt. 4:12-23) by Kathleen Norris

      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.

    201. Heavenly Minded (Luke 18: 9-14; 2 Timothy 4; 6-8, 16-18) by Michael Battle

      What is heaven like? -- uninhibited presence with God.

    202. Hello and Goodbye (Easter) by Harry A. Freebairn

      "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.

    203. Here be Dragons (Acts 11:1-18; Ps. 148; Rev.21:1-6; Jn. 13:31-35) by J. Nelson Kraybill

      There is no way the disciples could imagine that, in the death and resurrection of the one they called Lord, God would defeat Leviathan?

    204. Heresy, Diversity and Grace (Eph. 4:1-16) by Ronald Goetz

      We can never be certain that we are not among the false prophets.

    205. Hitting the Road (1 Corinthians 12:4-13; Acts 2:1-11) by Suzanne Guthrie

      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?

    206. Holding Promises (Luke 2:22-40) by John Stendahl

      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.

    207. Holiness: Baptism (Mark 1:9-15) by David F. Wells

      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.

    208. Holiness: Sacrifice (Mark 8:31-38) by David F. Wells

      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.

    209. Holiness: Simplicity (Matt. 6:1-6, 16-21) by David F. Wells

      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.

    210. Holy Fishes (Is.11;1-10; Rom. 15;4-13; Matt. 3:1-12) by Frederick Niedner

      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!

    211. Holy Hate (Jeremiah 23:1-6; Luke 23:33-43) by Michael A. King

      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."

    212. Holy Heartburn (Acts 2:14a,36-41;Ps.116:1-3,10-17;I Per.1:17-23;Lk. 24:13-35) by Susan R. Andrews

      Faith, the author reminds us, is a matter of the heart.

    213. Home Court Disadvantage (Jer. 1:4-10; 1 Cor. 13:1-13; Lk. 4:21-30) by Frederick Niedner

      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.

    214. Homeward Bound (Jn. 1-110-18; Jer. 31:7-14) by Christine Pohl

      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.

    215. Hooked on War (Ps. 23; Jn. 10:11-18) by Andrew Warner

      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.

    216. Hopeful Grieving (I Th. 4:13-18) by James Howell

      Mourning elicits courageous, hopeful engagement, so be busy grieving and working on solid ground, not 17,000 feet in the air.

    217. Hospitality Theology (Gen. 18:1-10a; Col. 1:15-28; Lk. 10:38-42) by Mary W. Anderson

      Hospitality is vital not because of the food shared but because of the word shared.

    218. How Do We Live with Dying? Job 19:23-27a, II Thess. 2:13-3:5, Luke 20:27-28) by Joseph M. Mcshane, S.J.

      We cannot corrupt the memory of those faithful servants of God like Paul whose suffering is part of a witness to the gospel.

    219. Human Folly on a Grand Scale (Amos 6:4; I Tim. 6:9) by Lamin Sanneh

      A display of the sinful excesses of the age upon the environment.

    220. Hungry For More (Ex. 16:2-4,9-15; Jn. 6:24-35) by H. Stephen Shoemaker

      God feeds our deepest hunger with the bread of life, therefore we are to do his will.

    221. I Am Jesus, Whom You Persecute (Acts 9:1-9) by Kosuke Koyama

      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?

    222. ID Check (Mark 7:1-8, 14-15, 21-23) by Cynthia M. Campbell

      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.

    223. Idol Behavior (Acts 17:22-31; 1 Peter 3:13-22) by Jenny Williams

      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.

    224. If You Give a Feast, Invite the Poor (Luke 14:7-14) by Kosuke Koyama

      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]

    225. Imagine Being Brilliant (Genesis 2:15-17; Matthew 4:1-11) by Christien Coon

      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.

    226. Imagining Christ (Ezek. 34:11-16,20-24; Ps. 95:1-7a; Eph. 1:15-23; Mat. 25:31-46) by Kathleen Norris

      If we are to find Christ in others we must exercise our imaginations.

    227. In Praise of Ignorance (Mark 13:31) by Ronald Goetz

      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.

    228. In Praise of the First Coming (Mark 13:1-8) by Robin R. Meyers

      Hope is the one thing for which there is no acceptable alternative. The most difficult thing about faith is how much faith it requires.

    229. In the Know (James 3:1-12; Mark 8:27-88) by Stephen Fowl

      James’ persistence and how it demonstrates the power to transform us and thereby our speech through the work of the Spirit.

    230. In-Your-Face Preaching (Luke 17:5-10) by Mark Harris

      The reign of God is a reign of compassion in which we are to participate.

    231. It's in the Details (Lk. 19:28-40; Ps. 118:1-2, 19-29) by Craig Barnes

      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.

    232. Jacob's Ladder (Hebrews 1:1-4; 5-12) by Stephen Paul Bouman

      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.

    233. Jeremiah’s Barbs (Jer. 31:31-34) by Ronald Goetz

      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.

    234. Jesus Appears (Acts 2:14a,22-32;Ps.16;I Pet.1:3-9;John 20:19-31) by Susan R. Andrews

      It is the nature of Jesus--and of God--to keep showing up when and where we do not expect him.

    235. Jesus Had Compassion On Them (Matthew 14: 13-21) by T.V. Philip

      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.

    236. Jesus Math (Matthew 18:21-31) by In-Yong Lee

      It’s difficult for mortals to forgive totally but Jesus did. Mortals often fail, but to God all things are possible.

    237. Jesus Talks (Exodus 17:1-7; Romans, 5:1-11; John 4:5-42) by Barbara Brown Taylor

      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?

    238. Jesus the Priest (Hebrews 5:5-10) by Fred B. Craddock

      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.

    239. Jesus The True Vine (John 15: 1-6) by T.V. Philip

      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.

    240. Jesus’ Death: A Way of Finding (Heb. 12:2) by Ronald Goetz

      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.

    241. Jesus’ Final Exam by Martha Greene

      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.

    242. Joined at the Heart (Ephesians 4:1-16) by Paul Stroble

      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.

    243. Journey to the Cross (1 Corinthians 1:18-25) by Stanley S. Harakas

      Lent calls us to return to the source of our power: the victory of Christ.

    244. Judas as Patron Saint (Mark 14:21) by Ronald Goetz

      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.

    245. Just as I Am (Eph. 2:1-10) by Thomas G. Long

      Dr. Long agonizes between his rejection of petitionary prayer and his need for it in traumatic situations.

    246. Kindly Candor (Ephesians 4:25-5:2) by Paul Stroble

      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.

    247. Kingly Presence (Is. 60:1-6; Ps. 72:1-7; 10-14; Eph. 3:1-12; Math. 2:1-12 by Herbert O'Driscoll

      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.

    248. Labors of Love (Jn. 5:1-6; Jn. 15:9-17) by Lawrence Wood

      When we get it right, the work of love is hardly work at all.

    249. Lamb of God (Is. 49:1-7; Ps. 40:1-11; 1 Cor. 1:1-9; John 1:29-42) by Kathleen Norris

      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.

    250. Lame Excuse (Isaiah 43:18:25; Mark 2:1-12) by Barbara Crafton

      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.

    251. Late-Night Seminar (John 3:-1-17) by Patricia Farris

      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.

    252. Lenten Roadmap (Romans 4:13-25) by Fred B. Craddock

      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.

    253. Lesson Plan (James 3:1-12; Mark 8:27-38) by Mary E. Hinkle

      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.

    254. Let it Be (Mic. 5:2-5a; Ps. 80:1-7; Heb. 10:5-10; Lk. 1:39-45 [46-55]) by Herbert O'Driscoll

      Many of us have sung our own Magnificat without realizing that what we sing echoes Mary’s song.

    255. Let the Imbongis Sing! (Ps. 96; Is. 9:2-7; Titus 2:11-14; Lk. 2:1-20) by Peter Storey

      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."

    256. Letting Go Down Here (Rom. 6:3) by William Willimon

      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.

    257. Life-and-Death Choices (Deut. 30:15-20; Ps. 1; Lk. 14:25-33) by Christine Pohl

      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.

    258. Life-Giving Fear by Barbara Brown Taylor

      Terrible things happen, and you are not always to blame. But don’t let that stop you from doing what you are doing.

    259. Life-Giving Law (Psalm 19) by Fred B. Craddock

      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.

    260. Limited-Time Offer (Is. 55:1-9; 1 Cor. 10:1-13; Lk. 13:1-9) by A. Katherine Grieb

      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.

    261. Listen to Him (Genesis 12: 1-8, Luke 9: 28-36) by T.V. Philip

      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.

    262. Listen Up (Genesis 2:1-9) by Prince Raney Rivers

      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.

    263. Live Into Hope (Is. 2:1-5; Rom. 13:11-14; Matt. 24:36-44) by Ruth A. Meyers

      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.

    264. Living by the Word (Romans 1:16-17; 3:22b-31) by Tom McGrath

      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.

    265. Living by the Word Matthew 16:13-20 by Karoline M. Lewis

      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.

    266. Living by The Word (1 Corinthians 4:1-5: Matthew 6:24-36) by Tom McGrath

      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.

    267. Living by the Word (Matt. 14:13-21) by Don C. Richter

      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.

    268. Living by the Word (Matt. 14:13-21) by Don C. Richter

      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.

    269. Living by the Word (Matthew (13:31-33, 44-49a) by Margaret B. Guenther

      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.

    270. Living by the Word (Matthew 10:40-43) by Evan Drake Howard

      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.

    271. Living by the Word (Matthew 13:24-30, 36-43; Romans 8:12-25) by Margaret B. Guenther

      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.

    272. Living by the Word (Rom.10:5-15; Matt. 14:22-33) by Don C. Richter

      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.

    273. Living by the Word (Rom.10:5-15; Matt. 14:22-33) by Don C. Richter

      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.

    274. Living by the Word (Romans 4:13-25; Matthew: 9:9-13, 18-26) by A. Katherine Grieb

      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.

    275. Living by the Word (Romans 5:1-8; Matthew 9:35-10:8 -23) by A. Katherine Grieb

      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.

    276. Living by the Word (Romans 6:1b-11) by Evan Drake Howard

      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.

    277. Living by the Word Romans 13:8-14< by Thomas R. Yoder-Neufeld

      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.

    278. Living by the Word: Speak My Word Faithfully (Jer. 23:28) by Kosuke Koyama

      We may quite unconsciously speak a mixture of our own deceits and the word of God.

    279. Living by The Word  Matt. 15: (10-20), by Karoline M. Lewis

      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.

    280. Living by the Word  Matt. 20:1-16 by Craig Kocher

      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.

    281. Living by the Word  Philippians 2:1-13; Matthew 21:23-32 by Mary W. Anderson

      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.

    282. Living by the Word  Rom. 12:9-21 by Thomas R. Yoder-Neufeld

      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.

    283. Living by the Word  Rom. 14:1-12 by Craig Kocher

      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.

    284. Living on Tiptoe (Lk. 2:22-40; Ps. 148) by Christine Pohl

      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.

    285. Living Sacrifice (Hebrews 10: 11-18) by T.V. Philip

      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.

    286. Living with Martha (Luke 10:38-42) by Stephanie Frey

      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.

    287. Living y the Word  Philippians 3:4b-14; Matthew 21:33-46 by Mary W. Anderson

      Christians are to encourage one another in faithful stewardship, challenged by the idea that we are stewards of much and owners of nothing.

    288. Long Division (Acts 1:6-14 .John 17:1-11) by Scott Bader-Saye

      We seem to have become complacent about our denominational and racial divisions. The pain of Christian division is rarely felt by any of us.

    289. Long Goodbye (John 17:20-26; Acts 16:16-34) by Amanda Wright

      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.

    290. Looking Like Fools (I Cor. 1-23) by William Willimon

      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.

    291. Love’s Double Victory (Jn. 3:1-5, 10; Mk. 1:14-20) by Susan B. W. Johnson

      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.

    292. Macro-Mystery (Matthew 28: 16-20) by Maureen Dallison Kemeza

      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.

    293. Makeshift Communities (Is. 9:1-4; Ps. 27:1, 4-9;I Cor. 1:10-18; Matt. 4:12-23) by Barbara Lemmel

      Once in a while Christian congregations act like true communities.

    294. Marias Full of Grace (Gen. 12:1-4a; Mt. 17:1-9) by Stephen Paul Bouman

      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.

    295. Mark: The Movie (Mark 10:32-45) by Stacey Elizabeth Simpson

      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.

    296. Marked for a Purpose (Is. 42:1-9; Acts 10:34-43; Matt. 3:13-17) by Kathleen Norris

      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.

    297. Mary and the Body Snatchers (John 20:13b-15a) by Ronald Goetz

      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.

    298. Mary as Role Model (Luke 1:26-38) by Byron L. Rohrig

      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.

    299. Mary Says Yes (Luke 1:26-38; Luke 1:47-55) by John Stendahl

      In the annunciation God waits in breathless suspense for Mary’s answer – and for ours.

    300. Mary’s Song -- and Ours (Lk. 1:39-55) by James F. Kay

      Mary’s song sticks in our throats. But perhaps it can become our song.

    301. Mary’s Hope and Our Hope (Luke 1:30-31) by Nancy D. Becker

      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.

    302. Material Things (Mark 10:17-31) by Andrew Warner

      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.

    303. Matters of the Heart (Mark 7.1-8, 14-15, 21-23) by Heidi Husted

      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.

    304. Maundy Thursday: Thomas’s Testimony (Luke 22:15) by J. Barrie Shepherd

      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.

    305. May God Continue to Bless Us (Ps. 67) by Kosuke Koyama

      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.

    306. Measure of Faith (2 Tim. 1-14; Lk. 17; 5-10) by Bernard E. Rollin

      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."

    307. Measure of Faith (2 Timothy 1-14; Luke 17; 5-10) by John Rollefson

      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."

    308. Mercy, Me (Is. 40:1-11; 2 Pet. 3:8-15a; Mk. 1:1-8) by Kathleen Norris

      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.

    309. Messianic Complex (John 1:6-8, 19-28) by John Stendahl

      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.

    310. Midwife’s Tale (Exodus 1:8-210; Matthew 16:13-20) by Cynthia A. Jarvis

      Christ is pulling us out of darkness into light that we might be a witness to that light.

    311. Miracle Market (2 Kings 5:1-14, Mark 1:40-45) by Barbara Crafton

      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.

    312. Miracle Worker (Mark 6: 1-6) by Jim Callahan

      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.

    313. Miracles of Inclusion (Eph. 2:14) by Ronald Goetz

      Every model of inclusivity entails specific convictions -- which will exclude somebody.

    314. Missing the Point (Matthew 21:33-46) by Gracia Grindal

      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.

    315. Missing the Resurrection (Acts 1:15-17, 22-26; Ps. 1; 1 John 5:9-13; Jn. 17:6-19) by John Killinger

      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?

    316. Monastic Mentors (Luke 20:27-35) by Roberta C. Bondi

      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."

    317. More than Enough by Samuel Wells

      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.

    318. More Than Enough (John 6:1-21) by Charles Hoffman

      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.

    319. Mousetraps (2 Sam. 11:26-12:10, 13-15; Lk.7:36-8:3) by Peter S. Hawkins

      Forgiven much, this woman loves much more than good taste allows.

    320. Move On (I Sam. 16:1-13; Ps.23; Eph. 5:8-14;John 9:1-41) by Scott McKnight

      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.

    321. Muddling Through (II Kings) by J. Mary Luti

      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.

    322. Mutant Ministry (Jonah 3;1-5; I Cor. 7:29-31; Ps. 62-5-12) by Paul Keim

      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.

    323. Namaan‘s No-nonsense Cure (2 Kings 5: 1-14) by Peter S. Hawkins

      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.

    324. Name that Fear (Luke 8:26-39) by Samuel Wells

      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.

    325. Naming and the Act of Faith (II Tim. 1:5) by Lamin Sanneh

      Paul suggests to Timothy that remembering his ancestors increases his faith, and more: it is a warrant for recognizing faith.

    326. Naming Names (Is. 43:1-7; Lk. 3:15-17, 21-22) by Jack Good

      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.

    327. New and Old Together (Gen. 1:1-5; Mk. 1:4-11) by David L. Bartlett

      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.

    328. New Math (Matthew 18:21-35) by Gracia Grindal

      "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.

    329. Night Music (Zeph. 3:14-20; Is. 4:4-7; Luke 3:7-18) by Herbert O'Driscoll

      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.

    330. No Comparison (Is. 49:21-31; Ps. 147:1-11) by Paul Keim

      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.

    331. No Joke (Acts 4:32-3.5, Jn. 20.19-31) by Kristen Bargeron Grant

      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.

    332. 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) by Phyllis Kersten

      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.

    333. No Time to Linger (John 20: 1-18) by Suzanne Guthrie

      Faithful to the unknown and unknowable, love not only transfigures the lover, but calls her by name:

    334. No Turning Back (Ps 27; Phil 3:17-4:1; Lk 13:31-35) by Jennifer M. Ginn

      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.

    335. No Way Out (Luke 16:19-31) by Mark Harris

      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.

    336. Not Through the Law (Gal. 2:15-21) by Joseph M. Mcshane, S.J.

      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.

    337. Now What? (Acts 4:32-35; Ps.133; 1 Jn.1:1-2:2; Jn. 20:19-31) by Stanley S. Harakas

      Here is the agenda for the post-Easter journey -- joy and peace, mission and forgiveness, faith and proclamation, love and life.

    338. Obedience in Context (Ezek.33:7-9; Rom.13:1-10; Mt.18:15-20) by Luke Timothy Johnson

      How is our obedience to God mediated or intersected by loyalty to institutions and to our friends?

    339. Obedience to the Heavenly Vision (Acts 26: 9-20; Philippians 3: 3-14) by T.V. Philip

      The life of Paul was an adventure of exploring the meaning of Christ for the Jews as well as for the Gentiles.

    340. Off By Nine Miles (Isaiah 60:1-7; Matthew 2:1-12) by Walter Brueggemann

      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.

    341. Off the Mountain (Ex. 34:29-35; Ps. 99; 2 Cor. 3:12-4:2; Lk. 9:28-43) by Phyllis Kersten

      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.

    342. Off the Record (Luke 13:10-17) by Teresa Berger

      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.

    343. On a Wild and Windy Mountain (Heb. 11:17) by William Willimon

      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.

    344. On Being a Survivor (Mark 10:45) by William Willimon

      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.

    345. On God’s Case (Luke 11:1-13) by Stephanie Frey

      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.

    346. On the Wild Side (Is. 43:16-21) by Craig Barnes

      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.

    347. On Your Mark (Mk 1:1-8, 2 Peter 3:8-15, Is.40:1-11, Ps. 5:1-2, 8-13) by John Stendahl

      To be at a beginning is to find that we are not prisoners of the past. We can always begin again.

    348. One Plot at a Time (Luke 2:5-19) by Roberta C. Bondi

      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.

    349. Open Paths (2 Sam. 7:1-11, 16; Lk. 1:47-55; Lk. 1:26-88) by Kathleen Norris

      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.

    350. Opening Out (Malachi 3:1-4; Luke 1:68-79; Phil. 1:3-11) by Herbert O'Driscoll

      "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.

    351. Our Jewish Problem (Genesis 32:22-30; Romans 9:1-5) by Cynthia A. Jarvis

      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.

    352. Parking Lot Palms (Hebrews 5:1-10) by Stephen Paul Bouman

      The early believers grasped on to an image of Jesus as the priest who is in solidarity with humanity at its most vulnerable.

    353. Participating in Revelation (I Kg.19:9-18; Rom.9:1-5; Mt.14:22-33) by Luke Timothy Johnson

      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.

    354. Party Time (Matt. 22:1-14) by Susan Pendelton Jones

      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.

    355. Paschal Light (Acts 10:34-43; Cor. 15:1-11; Jn. 20:1-18 or Mk. 16:1-8) by Stanley S. Harakas

      The world that is overcome by darkness and death is itself overcome by the light of Christ.

    356. Paul Almighty (2 Cor. 12:2-10, Mk. 6:1-13) by Joanna Adams

      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.

    357. Penetrating the Darkness (John 1:9-13) by Ronald Goetz

      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.

    358. Pent-Up Power (Jer. 33:14-16, Ps. 25:1-10, 1 Thess. 3:9-13, Lk. 21:25-36.) by Herbert O'Driscoll

      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.

    359. Pentecost for the World (Romans 8:22-27) by F. Dean Lueking

      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.

    360. Petitionary Prayer Reconsidered (Phil. 1:6) by Carroll E. Simcox

      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.

    361. Pharisees Are Us (Mark 7:1-8, 21-23) by John Ortberg

      The only person who has ever been truly free of a messiah complex was the Messiah.

    362. Pick it up, Read it. (Ps. 121;Gen. 12:1-4a; Rom. 4:1-5,13-17; John 3:1-l7) by Richard Lischer

      The meaning of conversion, with the encounter between Jesus and Nicodemus as case study.

    363. Picturing a Vanishing (Luke 24:28-31) by Ronald Goetz

      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.

    364. Piety and Preparation for New Life (Am.5:18-24; I Th.4:13-18; Mt. 25:1-13.) by Delores S. Williams

      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.

    365. Plato was Wrong (Jn. 1-1-9, 10-18) by Sarah Hinlicky Wilson

      We know God is out there because the Logos became flesh. Now we’ve seen him; now we know.

    366. Pledging Allegiance (Matt. 22:15-22) by Susan Pendelton Jones

      Blessing and sacrifice are closely linked in Christian living.

    367. Power and Delight (Jn. 1:43-51; I Sam. 3:1-10) by Christine Pohl

      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.

    368. Power Point (Ephesians 1:15-23) by Mark Harris

      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.

    369. Power Source (2 Corinthians 12:2-10) by Daniel Harrell

      We may experience great religious heights, but it’s the valleys and deserts that tend to draw us nearest to God.

    370. Practicing Fidelity (Ps. 80:1-7; Is 7:10-17; Rom 1:1-7; Matt. 1:18-25) by Rosalind Brown

      Times of silence of questioning are the prelude to new works of God in our lives.

    371. Pray as You Can (Rom. 8:26-39; Matt. 13:31-33, 44-52) by Rachel M. Srubas

      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.

    372. Prayer for Christian Unity (Ephesians 1: 9-10) by T.V. Philip

      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.

    373. Prayer from Gethsemane (Mk. 14:36) by Ronald Goetz

      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.

    374. Preaching to Deaf Ears (Ezek. 2:1-5) by Margaret B. Hess

      How is what you say shaped by whether or not you are heard or valued in the hearing?

    375. Prepare The Way of the Lord (Isaiah 40: 1-11, Mark: 1:1-8) by T.V. Philip

      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.

    376. Pressed into Service (2 Corinthians 8:7-15) by Daniel Harrell

      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.

    377. Prodded to Life (Is. 11:1-10; Ps. 72:1-7, 18-19; Rom. 15:4-13; Matt. 3:1-12) by James Alison

      Current articles and subscriptions information can be found at This material was prepared for Religion Online by Ted and Winnie Brock.

    378. Profit and Loss (Amos 8:4-7; Luke 16:1-13) by Christine Pohl

      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.

    379. Promise Keeper (Genesis 18:1-15) by Prince Raney Rivers

      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.

    380. Proof of God (Matt. 17:1-9; 2 Peter 1:16-21; Ex. 24:12-18) by Christien Coon

      Music can inspire glimpses of glory, the proof of the existence of God. The author gives illustrations of how music can make this happen.

    381. Protest March (Mk 11:1-11) by Fred B. Craddock

      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.

    382. Proud to be Humble by Ronald Goetz

      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.

    383. Provoked to Repentance (Eph. 2:1-10; Jn. 3:14-21) by Stanley S. Harakas

      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.

    384. Punctured by James Alison

      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.

    385. Rachel Weeping (Matthew 2:13-23) by Frederick Niedner

      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.

    386. Rare Sightings (Is. 42:1-9; Psalm 29; Acts 10:34-43; Matt. 3:13-17) by Barbara Lemmel

      The writer shares an epiphany experience.

    387. Reading Acts (Acts 2:42-47) by William Brosend

      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.

    388. Reading Romans by Luke Timothy Johnson

      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.

    389. Reading the Signs (Is. 7:10-16; Ps. 80:1-7, 17-19; Rom. 1:1-7; Matt. 1:18-25) by James Alison

      We celebrate the coming of the power that is confident enough to be vulnerable, indeed, confident enough to be vulnerable to us.

    390. Ready for Prime Time (Lk. 3:1-6) by James F. Kay

      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?

    391. Ready for Revolution (Matthew 3:13-17) by Brad Ronnell Braxton

      The means by which John and Jesus meet their deaths should convince even the most hardened skeptics of the revolutionary nature of their ministries.

    392. Ready or Not (Matthew 27:55-61) by Suzanne Guthrie

      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.

    393. Reality Show (Mk. 9:2-9) by Thomas G. Long

      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.

    394. Refiner’s Fire (Zep. 3:14-20; Is. 12:2-6; Phil. 4:4-7; Lk. 3:7-18) by John C. Morris

      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.

    395. Reflections on the Lectionary (Col. 3:1-4; Matt. 28:1-10) by Frederick Niedner

      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.

    396. Regeneration (Psalm 51) by David F. Wells

      What is the problem and what is the solution? Psalm 51 does not offer popular answers: The problem is sin. The solution is repentance.

    397. Reluctant Prophet (Lk. 4:14-21; 1 Cor. 12:12-31a) by Jack Good

      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.

    398. Remembering Who We Are (Psalm 8) by Stacey Elizabeth Simpson

      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.

    399. Remorse and Hope (Joel 2:1-2, 12-17; Matt. 6:1-6, 16-21) by Susan B. W. Johnson

      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.

    400. Repeat Offenders (Romans 1:16-17) by Maureen Dallison Kemeza

      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.

    401. Repent, Then Obey (Jer. 31:31-34; Ps.; 51:1-12; Ps. 119:9-16; Heb. 5:5-10) by Stanley S. Harakas

      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.

    402. Representatives and Partners (2 Sam.7:8-16; Lk.1:26-38) by Delores S. Williams

      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.

    403. Resurrected Hopes (Ezekiel 37:1-14; Romans 8:6-11) by Craig Barnes

      In the times we most need to worship, we find it most difficult.

    404. Risk and Fulfillment (Is. 63:7-9; Ps. 148; Heb.2:10-18; Matt. 2:13-23) by James Alison

      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.

    405. Risky Business (Prov. 25:6-7; Ps. 112; Heb. 13:1-8, 15-16; Lk. 14:1, 7-14) by Christine Pohl

      It is not the fragility of goodness that stands out in these texts but the sturdiness of righteousness.

    406. Road Trip (Luke 24: 13-35) by Amy B. Hunter

      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.

    407. Roll Call (Ephesians 6:10-20; John 6:56-69) by John Ortberg

      Few texts are more subversive than Paul’s words at the end of his letter to the Ephesians.

    408. Royalty Stoops (Matt.25:31-46) by Fleming Rutledge

      God, who is terrible in glory, stoops to our need.

    409. Rub Poor Lil' Judas’s Head (Revelation 21:10-11; 22:5; Is. 26:21) by Delores S. Williams

      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.

    410. Sail On (Mk. 4:35-41; 2 Cor. 6:1-13) by Bill O'Brien

      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.

    411. Saints and Sinners (Mark 12:28-34) by Mary W. Anderson

      As we remember the strong shoulders of the saints on which we stand, we are challenged to strengthen our own shoulders.

    412. Saints in the Making (All Saints Day) by F. Dean Lueking

      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.

    413. Salt and Light (Matthew 5:13-16) by T.V. Philip

      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.

    414. Saving Saul (Acts 9:1-19) by Heidi A. Peterson

      The lasting mark of conversion is not one date circled in red on the calendar, but the whole story of one’s life.

    415. Savior at Large (John 20:1-18) by Craig Barnes

      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?"

    416. Savior Like a Shepherd (Ps. 23; 1 Jn. 3:16-24; Jn. 10:1-18) by William Brosend

      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?

    417. Says Who? (Matthew 21:33-46) by Gracia Grindal

      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.

    418. Scandalous Behavior (Luke 7:36-8:3) by Michael Lindvall

      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.

    419. Search and Restore (Mark 9:38-50; James 5:13-20) by Stephen Fowl

      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.

    420. Season’s Greetings (Luke 19:28-40) by Thomas G. Long

      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.

    421. Seeing Things (Mark 9:30-37) by Mary E. Hinkle

      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.

    422. Seeking the Lost Sheep (Ex. 32:7-14;Ps. 51;1-10; 1 Tim. 1:12-17; Lk. 15:1-10) by Martha P. Sterne

      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.

    423. Self-Emptying (Philippians 2: 5-8) by T.V. Philip

      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.

    424. Self-Emptying (Philippians 2: 5-8) by T.V. Philip

      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.

    425. Send Lazarus (Luke 16:19-31) by J. Mary Luti

      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?

    426. Sent of God to Witness (John 1:19-41) by Fred B. Craddock

      John is portrayed here (John 1:19-4) vastly different from the one we met earlier in the synoptics.

    427. Settling for Less (Lk. 4:1-13) by Barbara Brown Taylor

      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.

    428. Sharing in the Holy Spirit (Gen.1:1-2:4;Ps.8;Matt.28:16-20;2 Cor. 13:11-13) by David L. Beck

      The author tells how two small children helped him to understand the doctrine of the Trinity.

    429. Shattering the Closure of Unbelief (Is. 55:10-11; Rom. 8:18-25; Matt. 13:1-9, 18-23) by Luke Timothy Johnson

      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.

    430. Sheep and Shepherds (Mark 6:30-34, 53-56) by H. Stephen Shoemaker

      What's wrong with the title "pastor"?

    431. Sheep on the Run (Psalm 23) by Craig Barnes

      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.

    432. Sheepish (Psalm 23; John 10:22-30; Revelation 7:13-17) by Mary Schertz

      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.

    433. Shepherding (Jn. 10:11-18) by F. Dean Lueking

      The mission is everywhere, and we must drop the language of home church and mission field.

    434. Showing Up (Matthew 21:23-32) by Roger Lovette

      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.

    435. Shrewd Investment (Luke 16:1-13) by Jennifer E. Copeland

      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.

    436. Shriveled Delight (Is. 58:9b-14; Ps. 103:1-8; Heb. 12:18-29; Lk. 13:10-17) by Christine Pohl

      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.

    437. Shrubs and Scrubs (Jer. 1 7:5-10; Ps. 1; 1 Cor. 15:12-20; Lk. 6:17-26) by Phyllis Kersten

      What a difference in plants and people when someone tends their needs! Their growth is not stunted. They not only survive but thrive.

    438. Siding with Grace (Romans 11:1-32; Matthew 15:21-28) by Cynthia A. Jarvis

      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?

    439. Signs of the King (Ps. 46; Jer 23:1-6; Col.1:11-20; Lk. 23:35-43) by Rosalind Brown

      None of our ideas reflect God’s concept of kingship (human or divine) completely.

    440. Sin Insulation (Ex. 32:7-14; Ps. 51:1-10; 1 Tim. 1:12-17; Lk. 15:1-10) by Christine Pohl

      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.

    441. Sin Is When Life Freezes (I John 1:8) by Dorothy Solle

      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.

    442. Sin of Scorn (Luke 18:9-14) by Roberta C. Bondi

      Allowing ourselves to experience gratitude to God for the good we can do may truly provide some healing for our scornful souls.

    443. Sin-Talk in Our World (Rom. 3:23-25) by Ronald Goetz

      Acknowledging sin entails the happy assessment that nothing wrong with us is finally beyond forgiveness.

    444. Sins and Sensibilities (Deut. 18:15-20, I Cor. 8:1-13, Mk. 1:21-28) by Mary W. Anderson

      Commentary on Lectionary Texts, Deut. 18:15-20,I Cor. 8:1-13, Mark 1:21-28

    445. Sit on It (Judges 4:1-7) by Talitha Arnold

      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.

    446. Slave Wages (Romans 6:12-23; Matthew 10:40-42) by Bill O'Brien

      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.

    447. Small Change (Hebrews 9:24-28; Mark 12:38-44) by Maria Teresa Palmer

      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.

    448. Smoothing the Path (Mal. 3:1-4; Lk. 1:68-79; Phil. 1:3-11; Lk. 3:1-6) by John C. Morris

      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.

    449. So Explain It To Me (Prov.8:1-4,22-31;Ps.8;Rom.5:1-5;John 16:12-15) by Mary W. Anderson

      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!

    450. So They May See My Glory (John 17:24) by Kosuke Koyama

      From love comes glory, not vice versa. Glory which is not rooted in love tends to be a false glory.

    451. Somebody’s Calling My Name (Is. 43:1-7; Lk. 3:15-22) by Peter Storey

      In scripture, being called by one’s name is a rich gift. Names tell us we are loved and call us into accountability.

    452. Sons of Entitlement (Mark 10:35-45) by Stephen B. Chapman

      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.

    453. Soul Food (I Kings 19.4-8; Jn. 6:35, 41-51) by H. Stephen Shoemaker

      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.

    454. Speak Up, God (Exodus 33:12-23) by Martha Greene

      Even though God has revealed himself fully in Jesus Christ, there is a sense in which God remains hidden.

    455. Spellbound (Deut. 18:15-20; Ps. 111; 1 Cor. 8:1-23; Mark 1:21-28) by Ray Rhoads

      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.

    456. Spiritual Snobs (Ps. 95; Jn. 4:5-42) by Scott McKnight

      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.

    457. Standing on Promises (Is. 6:1-4,8-11; Ps. 16; I Thes. 5:16-24; John 1:6-8, 19-28) by Kathleen Norris

      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.

    458. Starting Over (Gen. 9:8-17; 1 Pet. 3:18-22; Mk. 1:9-5) by Martin B. Copenhaver

      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.

    459. Stay and Follow (Ps. 22: 19-28; Lk. 8:26-39) by Mary W. Anderson

      Jesus does not say, "follow me" to every one. Sometimes he says, "Return home and be a witness."

    460. Stay the Course (2 Timothy 3:14-4:5) by Barbara Sholis

      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.

    461. Stay the Course (Luke 17:11-19) by Barbara Sholis

      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!"

    462. Staying Power (Luke 24:36-49; Acts 3:12-19) by William Brosend

      Everyone preaches about an "Emmaus road experience." Nobody preaches about a "stayed-in-Jerusalem-and-waited-to-see-what-happened" experience.

    463. Stepping Out (Matthew 14:22-33) by Amy B. Hunter

      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.

    464. Sticks and Stones (Ps. 31:1-5; Acts 7:55-60; 1 Ptr. 2:2-10; Jn. 14:1-4) by Scott Bader-Saye

      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.

    465. Still Small Voice (2 Kings 2: 1-2, 6-14; Lk. 9: 51-62) by Peter S. Hawkins

      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.

    466. Stirrings of Divinity (Luke 2:41-52) by Peter Storey

      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.

    467. Storm System (Mark 4:35-41; 2 Corinthians 6:1-13) by Michael A. King

      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.

    468. Story Time (Dt. 26:1-11; Ps. 91:1-2, 9-1-16; Rom. 10:8b-13) by Jennifer M. Ginn

      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.

    469. Strangers in the Night (Psalm 95; Ex. 17:1-7; Rom. 5:1-11;Jn. 4:5-42) by Richard Lischer

      The author exposes the many ironies in John's account of Jesus' meeting with the Samaritan woman.

    470. Strength Revealed as Weakness (1 Cor. 8:1-13) by Susan B. W. Johnson

      There’s a deep human tendency to idolize one’s own perspective on the world.

    471. Stretched Hearts (Is.:1-10; Ps. 146:5-10; Lk. 1:47-55; James 5:7-10; Matt. 11:2-11 by James Alison

      .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?

    472. Suffering and Victory (Mk. 8:31-38; Mk. 9:2-9) by Stanley S. Harakas

      We must learn to see adversity as a sign pointing us toward the fullness of communion.

    473. Summoned (Luke 14:25-33; Philemon 1-21) by Bruce Wollenberg

      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.

    474. Super Glue (Colossians 1:11-20) by Peter W. Marty

      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.

    475. Surprise Encounter (Jn. 1:43-51; I Sam. 3:1-10 [11-20]) by Christine Pohl

      Face to face with God catches us by surprise and interrupts our regular patterns and challenges our assumptions.

    476. Surprise Party (Luke 15:1-3, 11b-3) by Thomas G. Long

      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.

    477. System Failure by J. Nelson Kraybill

      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.

    478. Table Manners by Barbara Brown Taylor

      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.

    479. Take Heed to Yourselves (Luke 21:29-34) by William Willimon

      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.

    480. Taking the Good News Home (I Cor. 12.12-31a, Lk. 4;14-21) by Frederick Niedner

      Jesus’ program continues today.

    481. Taking Up the Cross (Mark 8:31) by William Willimon

      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.

    482. Tales of Miraculous Healing (Luke 17:19) by Lamin Sanneh

      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.

    483. Test Run (Mark 1:9-15) by Fred B. Craddock

      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.

    484. Testing That Never Ceases (Matt.4:1-2; 4:3-11; Gen. 3:5; Deut. 8:2; Deut. 34:1-8; Deut. 18:18) by Fred B. Craddock

      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.

    485. That They May Be One (John 17:6-19) by F. Dean Lueking

      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.

    486. The ‘Sense’ of Advent (Is.40:9-11; II Pet.3:8-14; Mk.1:1-8) by Delores S. Williams

      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.

    487. The Apologetics of Universal Grace (Acts 17:23b; I Pet.3:18b-l9; John 14:17) by Ronald Goetz

      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.

    488. The Bible Today by C. H. Dodd

      (ENTIRE BOOK) A simple and clear analysis of the nature of the Bible. What is the Bible? How do you approach it? The Old Testament. The New Testament. Revelation. The Bible and the modern historical view. History and the Individual.

    489. The Blame Game (Romans 7:15-25a; Matthew 11:16-19, 25-30) by Bill O'Brien

      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."

    490. The Call to Downward Mobility (Mk. 10:35-45) by Kenneth L. Carder

      It is easy to assume that relationship with God translates into entitlement.

    491. The Case of the Missing Liver (I Cor. 15:44) by Carroll E. Simcox

      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."

    492. The Costliness of Grace (Mark 9:43-48) by Ronald Goetz

      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.

    493. The Cup of Death (I Cor. 10 : 16a) by William Willimon

      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!”

    494. The Discovery Channel (Gen. 15:1-l2, 17-18; Lk. 13:31-35; Phil. 3:17-4:1) by Hal W. LeMert Jr.

      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.

    495. The Fine Print of Commitment (Ps. 69:ll;l8-20; Jer. 20:7-13; Rom. 6:1b-11, Matt. 10:24-39) by Elizabeth D. Beck

      Commentary on the Lectionary Texts for the 12th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year A.

    496. The Freedom of Necessity (Mark 8:31) by Ronald Goetz

      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.

    497. The God’s Aren’t Angry (Acts 17:22-31; Psalm 66:8-20;1 Peter 3:13-22) by Kelly Lyn Logue

      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.

    498. The Godforsaken Messiah (Hebrews 12:2) by Ronald Goetz

      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.

    499. The Gotcha Game (Lk. 20:27-38;Mk. 12:18; Acts 23:8) by F. Dean Lueking

      The Gotcha game still goes on. Every time it does, Christ is crucified anew.

    500. The Hidden Kingdom (Psalm 148; Revelation 21:1-6; John 13:31-35) by Suzanne Guthrie

      The season of Easter reconciles times and dimensions, exercising the substance of love within us to see into the reality beyond.

    501. The Highest Knowledge (Matt. 2:10-11) by Ronald Goetz

      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).

    502. The Holy Trinity (John 3: 11-18) by T.V. Philip

      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.

    503. The Jericho Affair by Samuel Wells

      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.

    504. The Jesus Diet (Ephesians 4:25-5:2; John 6:35, 41-51) by Paul Stroble

      Too often we are exhausted by the busyness of plans and preparations, instead of being exhilarated by enjoying the bread of life.

    505. The Joke Is On Us (Matthew 13:31-33,44-52) by David K. Jaeger

      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.

    506. The Journey Begins (Psalm 32;Genesis 2:15-l7;3:1-7;Romans 5:12-19; Matthew 4:1-11) by Richard Lischer

      The author discusses Lent as a journey of faith.

    507. The Judas Chromosome (Matthew 26:14-27.10) by Craig Barnes

      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 . . ."

    508. The Justice of God (Matthew 20: 1-16) by T.V. Philip

      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.

    509. The Justification of God (Rom. 5:8-9) by Ronald Goetz

      Our sense of the inevitability of suffering compels us to affirm dimensions in the cross of Jesus that Paul might not have found.

    510. The Kingdom of God Belongs to the Poor by T.V. Philip

      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.

    511. The Kingdom of God is Like This (Ezekiel 17:22-23, Mark 4:26-29) by T.V. Philip

      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.

    512. The Last Word: A Good Friday Meditation on Luke 23:46 (Luke 23:46) by Patrick Henry

      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.

    513. The Living Bread (John 6: 52-58) by T.V. Philip

      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.

    514. The Magic Kingdom (Jer. 23:5) by Joseph M. Mcshane, S.J.

      Christ rules those who have received the redemption, reconciliation and forgiveness that result from his death on a cross.

    515. The Mary in Us All (Luke 1:4b-42) by Ronald Goetz

      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?

    516. The Mercy of God (Exodus 20: 1-20; Matthew 18: 21-35) by T.V. Philip

      The meaning of the kingdom of God, which is the central message of Jesus, is the unlimited love and mercy of God.

    517. The Message and the Messenger by John Stendahl

      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.

    518. The Millstone (Mark 9:38-50) by Joel Marcus

      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.

    519. The Mind of Christ (Philippians 2: 3-11) by T.V. Philip

      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?

    520. The Most Uncomfortable Day of the Year (Mk 1:15) by Byron L. Rohrig

      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.

    521. The Nativity as Divine Comedy (Luke 1:51-52, RSV) by Conrad Hyers

      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.

    522. The New Age of the Spirit (Acts 2:17-17a; 20a; 21) by Ronald Goetz

      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.

    523. The Obedient Son (Phil. 2:1-13;Matt.21:23-32) by Susan Pendelton Jones

      Jesus' parable of the two sons points to the radical obedience of Jesus himself, which is a model for Christians.

    524. The Offense (Lk. 4:21-30) by John Stendahl

      Impatience can be a healthy sign of life, part of the yearning to cast off old ways.

    525. The Other "H" Word (I Cor. 1:1-9; Jn. 1:29-42) by Mark Ralls

      Hospitality was a strong aspect of Jesus’ teaching, and the church could use more of it today concerning homosexuality, race, disability and women.

    526. The Other Kingdom (Luke 23:33-43) by Michael Battle

      What should we be doing in the face of the violence portrayed to us on television as well as in the real world?

    527. The Outset (Luke 3:15-17, 21-22) by John Stendahl

      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.

    528. The Owl in the Daylight (Rom. 13:11; Mark 4:22; Luke 8:17; 11:33) by Lamin Sanneh

      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.

    529. The Perfect Mirror (Jn 18:1-19:37) by Barbara Brown Taylor

      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.

    530. The Perils of Riches (Mk. 10:17-31) by Kenneth L. Carder

      The Bible contains more warnings about the dangers of wealth than about the pitfalls of poverty.

    531. The Power of Sin Is the Law (I Cor. 15:56) by Joseph M. Mcshane, S.J.

      Laws that treat offenders as subhuman are certainly sinful. Violence sanctioned by the community begets more violence.

    532. The Proclamation (Neh 8:1-3, 5-6, 8-10; 1 Cor. 12:12-31a; Lk 4:14-21) by John Stendahl

      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.

    533. The Protestant Dilemma (Jer. 31:7-9; Ps. 126; Heb. 7:23-28; Mk. 10:46-52.) by Peter J. Gomes

      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.

    534. The Psalmist (Acts 2:14a, 22-32; Ps. 16; 1 Peter 1:3-9; Jn. 20:19-31) by Debbie Blue

      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.

    535. The Real Prodigal (2 Cor. 5:16-21; Lk 15:1-3, 11b-32) by A. Katherine Grieb

      Jesus’ parable requires discernment beyond human ways of thinking, discernment of the new creation that compels the ministry of reconciliation.

    536. The Salvation of Growth (Isaiah 5:1-7) by Delores S. Williams

      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.

    537. The Samaritan Spends the Night (Deut. 30: 9-14; Luke 10:25-37) by Peter S. Hawkins

      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.

    538. The Sent and the Sender (Is. 61:1-2, 65:17-25; I Th. 5:16-28; Jn. 1:6-8, 19-28.) by Delores S. Williams

      Generations of believers have found hope in the notion that someone (or something) is coming to relieve them of their burden.

    539. The Shadow Side by Cynthia A. Jarvis

      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.

    540. The Short One (Luke 19:1-10) by Roberta C. Bondi

      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.

    541. The Show-Me Disciple (John 20:19-31) by Amy B. Hunter

      Doubts and uncertainty frighten us. That’s why we reject Thomas -- he dares to bring doubt into our lives of faith.

    542. The Spirit in Sound Doctrine (II Timothy 1; II Timothy 3:14-4:5) by Lamin Sanneh

      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.

    543. The Things That Make for Peace (Luke 21:5-191) by William Willimon

      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.

    544. The Translation of Wonder (John 5:10) by John Stendahl

      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.

    545. The Turn in the Path (Revelation 21:10; John 14:23-29) by Suzanne Guthrie

      Ascension recognizes the separation of the Risen Lord from the disciples as He goes to dwell at the right hand of the Father.

    546. The Urge to Travel (Genesis 12:1-4; Psalm, 121) by Wilma Ann Bailey

      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?

    547. The Waters of Solidarity (Gen. 1:1-5;Acts 19:1-7; Mark 1:4-11) by Mary W. Anderson

      People still fear sin, death, and the devil.

    548. The Witness at the Well (Jn. 4:5-42.) by Fred B. Craddock

      Jesus does not urge the Samaritan woman at the well to repent or change her behavior.

    549. The Word Becomes Flesh (John 1:1-3) by Richard E. Wentz

      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.

    550. The Word Made Rock (Matt. 7:21-29) by Talitha Arnold

      The Bible and the desert land of Arizona both offer the author a foundation laid out for her by the solid rock of faith.

    551. They are a Stiff-Necked People (Exod. 32: 9-10) by Kosuke Koyama

      God criticizes his own people, for the God of Moses and of the Israelites is a unique God. No other Gods are impartial.

    552. Thieves and Robbers (John 10:1; Acts 7:51;I Pet. 2:23) by Ronald Goetz

      How dependent we are upon the Holy Spirit to get anything right.

    553. Thirst Quencher (Jn. 7: 37-39, Acts 2:1-21, Ps, 104:24-34,35b) by Maureen Dallison Kemeza

      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.

    554. Those Who Have Not Seen (Jn. 20:19-31) by James C. Somerville

      These things are written not that you might have the facts, but that you might believe.

    555. Three-Dimensional Faith (Hebrews 2:10-18) by Brad Ronnell Braxton

      Paul declares that the revelation of Christ makes a real difference in at least three different dimensions: the personal, the communal and the cosmic.

    556. Thy Will Be Done (Jonah 3:1-5, 10; I Cor.7:29-31; Mk. 1:14-20) by Mary W. Anderson

      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.

    557. Tidings of Great Joy (Luke 2:10-17) by T.V. Philip

      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.

    558. Ties That Bind (1 John 3:16-24; John 10:11-18; Acts 4:-12) by Stan Wilson

      We are there for each other but why are we reluctant to tell each other that we will be there in their need?

    559. Time's Up (Mark 13:1-8) by Mary W. Anderson

      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.

    560. To See and Not to See (Acts 17:22-31; John 14:15-21) by Scott Bader-Saye

      By proclaiming the invisible and the unknown, Paul refuses to let God become just another novelty, just another idol.

    561. Touch and See by F. Dean Lueking

      Acceptance, encouragement, trust and hope come through in the touch of hand upon hands as the risen Lord touches us through others.

    562. Trojan Horse (Mat. 25:14-39) by James Howell

      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.

    563. True Grit (Joshua 24:1-3a, 14-25) by Talitha Arnold

      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?

    564. True Grit (Mk. 7:24-37; James 2:1-10; Matt. 15:21-28) by John Ortberg

      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.

    565. Turn in the Road by Mary Schertz

      Paul’s traumatic experience on Damascus road is not the only way one can be transformed by Christ.

    566. Twice Healed (2 Cor. 1:18-22; Mk. 2:1-12) by Douglas R. Loving

      The power of intercessory prayer.

    567. Two Arenas for Faithfulness (Matthew 5:13-20) by Fred B. Craddock

      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,

    568. Two Divine Promises (Ex.6:2-8; Rom.11:33-36; Mt.16:13-20) by Luke Timothy Johnson

      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."

    569. Uncommon Sense (Mark 8:27-38) by Joel Marcus

      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.

    570. Understanding Faith and Miracle (II Kings 17:17-24) by Joseph M. Mcshane, S.J.

      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.

    571. Unforgiven (Matthew 18:15-20, Romans 13:8-14) by William L. Hawkins

      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.

    572. Unless Someone Guides Me (Acts 8:26-40; 1 John 4:7-21) by William Brosend

      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.

    573. Unlikely Messenger (John 4:5-42) by Patricia Farris

      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.

    574. Unquenchable Fire (Lk. 3:7-18) by James F. Kay

      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.

    575. Up for Adoption (Romans 8:12-25) by Verity A. Jones

      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.

    576. Upside-Down World (Mark 10:46-52) by Stephen B. Chapman

      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.

    577. Virtual Virtuosity (Mark 12:38-44) by Robin R. Meyers

      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.

    578. Waiting on God (Isa. 35:1f) by Lamin Sanneh

      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.

    579. Wake-up Call (Isaiah 2:1-5; Matthew 24:36-44) by Peter W. Marty

      Jesus reminds us that life is far too precious to allow us to put up with business as usual.

    580. We Are Aliens (Ephesians 2:11-22; Mark 6:30-34, 53-56) by William H. Lamar. IV

      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.

    581. We’re All Terminal (Luke 24:1-12) by Craig Barnes

      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.

    582. Weariness in Well-Doing (II Thess. 3:11-131) by Joseph M. Mcshane, S.J.

      We are even more driven than our predecessors by the demand for visible results and achievement.

    583. Weatherproof (Job 38:1-11; Mark 4:35-41) by Jim Callahan

      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.

    584. West Coast Witness (Matthew 16:13-20) by Peter S. Hawkins

      "Whom do you say that I am?" Dr. Hawkins suggests the answer is most difficult, but suggests: "We have come to know and to believe that you are the Holy One of God," is an affirmation to stake a life on, a Lord not to explain but to follow.

    585. What About Zebedee? (Mt. 4:12-23) by Mark Ralls

      The author identifies with Zebedee, who stayed in the boat when the others jumped out in response to Jesus’ call.

    586. What Child is This? (Isaiah 7:10-16; Matthew 1:18-25) by Frederick Niedner

      Pay attention to your dreams. Joseph’s dream named his son, but he did not own him any more than we own ours.

    587. What Do the Palms Say? (A Meditation for Palm Sunday) by Byron L. Rohrig

      A reflection on the significance of the palm branches with which Jesus was greeted on his entry into Jerusalem. The tradition of waving the fronds is not what we think.

    588. What Does the Bible Say? (Ezek. 34:11-16; I Cor. 15:20-28; Mt. 25:31-46.) by Delores S. Williams

      From the perspective of the biblically illiterate, the final question may be, as one student put it: "Why read a book telling about a kingdom coming when technology has already created paradise? And it’s getting better every day."

    589. What God Wants by Thomas G. Long

      Can we expect an ethical God to punish us for our injustices through vengeance upon the innocent with a surging tsunami or a ravaging cancer encrypted into human tissue?

    590. What Has the Gospel of John Given Us (John 14:1-14) by William Brosend

      Some of the difficult verses of John’s gospel, those words that are often contested, are confronted, discussed and given broader and more meaningful interpretation.

    591. What Then Shall We Do? by William Willimon

      In John's time, Israel practiced proselyte baptism -- that is, gentile converts had to be bathed as a sign of radical change, purity in the new faith and birth into the people of Israel. John makes the shocking assertion that even Israel must be washed. Remember, our Lord comes not only to save us but also to change us.

    592. Wheat and Chaff (Is. 11:1-10; Rom. 15:4-13; Matt. 3:1-12) by Ruth A. Meyers

      The scriptural command to die to self has been used for centuries to reinforce social systems that limit the ability of women, people of color, poor people and other oppressed people to claim their full human dignity.

    593. When the Gospel Goes to the Dogs (Mark 7:24-30) by Heidi Husted

      Even after the response of the Greek woman to Jesus who had compared her to the dogs, Jesus does not hold his saving power in reserve, but expands the circle of God’s mercy to include those once considered outsiders.

    594. Whitewash (Revelation 7:9-17) by Martha Greene

      The lesson from Revelation contains words for those who strive to be faithful, but who are ground down by life.

    595. Who Can Be Saved? (Mark 10:17-31) by Stacey Elizabeth Simpson

      What must we do to inherit eternal life? We must let go of all that we have and all that we do that gets in the way of seeing that there is nothing we can do to save ourselves.

    596. Who is He Kidding? (Mark 11: 1-11) by David F. Wells

      So much of Mark’s gospel seems to be some kind of joke. The defining moment of our ministry may leave us feeling foolish too. It comes when we, like Jesus, realize we are near the end of our journey; and we finally face up to evil, bringing nothing in our hands but what he had: peace and truth and love.

    597. Who Is Like Thee? (Isaiah 40:21-31) by Mary W. Anderson

      In a risky but effective homiletical strategy: Isaiah proclaims the greatness of the Lord in contrast to the insignificance of the people. Who are they to question God’s ways, God’s abilities? He is a master at putting God and humankind in perspective.

    598. Who Will Take Care of Us? (Jn. 14:23-29) by James C. Somerville

      I don’t know that the Holy Spirit has ever been compared to a babysitter. But if you can imagine Jesus as a mother, then it may not be so hard to imagine the Spirit in this other role, as one who cares for the church in the interim between Jesus’ departure and return, as one who comforts, teaches, reminds and, yes, sometimes even romps with the sons and daughters of God.

    599. Whose Casserole (John 6:51-58) by Paul Stroble

      Christ’s living bread is quite adaptable to all kinds of circumstances. He feeds us anywhere, anytime, in all ways, for Christ is our constant benefactor.

    600. Why Bother With Reformation? (John 8:31-36) by Bruce Modahl

      The changes that have taken place in relations between Roman Catholics and Protestants since Vatican II.

    601. Why Follow a Crucified Christ? (Mk. 8:27-38) by Kenneth L. Carder

      Because we follow a crucified Christ, we enter into solidarity with the world’s suffering masses. We experience the power and love of God through the vulnerable and suffering.

    602. Widow's Walk (Mark 12:38-44) by Mary W. Anderson

      The issue is not how much we have in the bank, but what that money is for us. Is it our heart, our security, our source of power, or is it a tool for our stewardship?

    603. Wild Fire (Job 19: 23-27a) by Michael Battle

      Perhaps we should feel insecure in making the claim that Christians are called to suffer, but consider the vision of Job, who sees God only "after my skin has been thus destroyed." And so we must claim that we are called to suffer if we want to see the living God.

    604. Wildfire (Acts10:44-48; Psalm 98; 1 John 5:1-6; John 15:9-7) by John Killinger

      John Killinger speaks of the Holy Spirit, it’s miss-use its value. He is led to say that the more eloquently and confidently we discuss the Holy Spirit and commemorate the Spirit in our high holy days, the less we are truly in touch with the Spirit.

    605. Wildfire (Acts10:44-48; Psalm 98; 1 John 5:1-6; John 15:9-7) by John Killinger

      John Killinger speaks of the Holy Spirit, it’s miss-use its value. He is led to say that the more eloquently and confidently we discuss the Holy Spirit and commemorate the Spirit in our high holy days, the less we are truly in touch with the Spirit.

    606. Wind Blown (Jn. 3:1-17; Rom. 8:12-17) by Bill O'Brien

      The wind is blowing. God is at work through the church and beyond the church. Political systems resist anything beyond themselves and the elite class they serve, while at the same time the country’s churches may be poor, weak and helpless. But Jesus demonstrated that there is always room for surprises.

    607. Windblown (Acts 2:1-11) by Jim Callahan

      In today’s world, especially in our anxious Western culture, we seem hell-bent on happiness and on any shortcut that can get us there. Generally we seek a happiness that is a far cry from what went on that day of Pentecost.

    608. Wine Tasting (2 Corinthians 3:1-6; Mark 2:13-22) by Douglas R. Loving

      Christ invites us beyond the ruts we’ve worn, the truncated lives we’ve settled for. Embrace the new; relish God’s continuing creative energy, and find a way to modify priorities so that all benefit!

    609. Wisdom (James 3:13 -- 4:3a; Mark 9:30-37) by Stephen Fowl

      The cross is central to all accounts of Christian wisdom. The crucified and resurrected Christ is the standard by which that wisdom is measured.

    610. Wisdom Famine (Proverbs 9:1-6; Ephesians 5:15-20) by Heidi Husted

      Who wants to be wise anymore? People want to be right, rich, popular and in control. Information is fast, loud, superficial, numbing. We can’t get away from it. Wisdom is slower, deeper, lasting, more elusive.

    611. With the World Watching (John 17:20-26) by James C. Somerville

      Jesus’ prayer for unity among his followers has not been answered. We are not all one.

    612. Woe Is Me! (Isaiah 6:1-7) by Ronald Goetz

      God does not declare unto us our sin in order to destroy us. In the very moment he accuses us as sinners, we are already forgiven.

    613. Wonder Bread (John 6:24-35) by Charles Hoffman

      Jesus takes the risk of doing something more pertinent and more useful than complying with the crowd's misguided agenda. These people followed Jesus for the wrong reasons. This should not surprise us; today it's still common practice.

    614. Word Perfect (I Th. 2:9-13) by James Howell

      It’s possible the mundane words of the street are closer to God’s Word, then some of our pious words from the pulpit.

    615. Works of God in Our Tongues (Acts 2:1-11) by Joseph M. Mcshane, S.J.

      The public message of Pentecost is a challenge to all the peoples of the earth to discover their unity as children of God. It does not support isolation in Christian sects, which claim an exclusive monopoly on the Spirit and demand conversion to the language and mores of their tribe as the price of salvation.

    616. Wrecking Crew (Ephesians 2:11-22) by Kevin Baker

      Walls are needed to keep out the predator and to protect against the elements, but literal walls and spiritual ones can lead to grief, division and violence. All walls have a purpose, but not all walls serve the purposes of God.

    617. Wrestling with Advent (Luke 1:29) by Janet Karsten Lawson

      Prodded by Jean-Luc Godard’s provocative film Hail Mary, Janet Karsten Larson meditates on the annunciation to Mary and the theme of embodiment.

    618. Yahweh Is Generous to All (Psalms 145:8-11) by Kosuke Koyama

      God’s tenderness and generosity is fundamental to the Christian faith. The holy God is a tender and generous God. This is the heart of the Christian sacrament.

    619. You Are Israel by J. Mary Luti

      Scripture is not meant primarily to fit or foster individual inner lives -- not in the modern sense, anyway. It is meant first for shaping, celebrating, instructing, warning and vexing the life of a people, a community chosen to show God’s glory to the world.

    620. You are My Beloved Son (Luke 3: 21-22) by T.V. Philip

      At the baptism of Jesus God has declared to the world that Jesus is the Son of God in whom he is well pleased . Therefore, in our baptism, our identity as sons and daughters of God is established.

    621. You Prepare a Table for Me (Psalms 23) by Kosuke Koyama

      Our self-understanding is challenged by a God who prepares a table -- a feast, not a fortress with guns! -- for us in full view of our enemies.

    622. You, Therefore, Must Be Perfect (Matt. 5:20) by Fred B. Craddock

      One’s life is not to be determined by friend or foe but by God, who relates to all not on the basis of their behavior or attitude toward God but according to God’s own nature, which is love.

    623. Your God is Too Nice (Matthew 20:1-16) by Gracia Grindal

      A fair wage for an unfair days work? God is being merciful, not fair, and this is what mercy looks like. God is truly love, and wills that all may be saved.

    624. Zealous Hopes (Is. 9:2-7; Ps. 96; Titus 2:11-14; Lk. 2:1-20) by Kathleen Norris

      The Christmas story calls us to be willing, like Mary, to take the words in, to treasure and ponder them, because so much is possible when we do.

    Black Churches

    1. Practicing Liberation in the Black Church by James Henry Harris

      The black church needs a practical theology that can help liberate it from social, political, and economic oppression.

    2. Separate Unto God by Willie White

      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.

    3. The Activism of Interpretation: Black Pastors and Public Life by Kirk Byron Jones

      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.

    4. The Black Churches: A New Agenda by Lawrence N. Jones

      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.

    5. The Black Religious Crisis by Joseph R. Washington, Jr.

      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.

    6. Unmasking the Black Conservatives by Cornel West

      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.


    1. Bonhoeffer’s Legacy: A New Generation by John W. DeGrunchy

      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.

    2. Dietrich Bonhoeffer by Dallas M. Roark

      (ENTIRE BOOK) A helpful understanding of the major themes in Bonhoeffer’s works that cover not only theology, philosophy, Christology, ethics and sociology, but also the mystique surrounding his opposition to the Nazi state, leading to his execution.

    3. Dietrich Bonhoeffer: The Message of a Life by Albrecht Schoenherr

      Christ is the person for others. And his divinity lies precisely in that, and not in the glory of total power.

    4. Encounter in Humanization: Insights for Christian-Marxist Dialogue and Cooperation by Paulose Mar Paulose

      (ENTIRE BOOK) A brilliant analysis of Bonhoeffer’s theology as a corrective of Karl Marx’s Critique of Religion.

    5. Who Am I? by Dietrich Bonhoeffer

      A poem written from prison in the summer of 1944—"Who am I?...Whoever I am, Thou knowest, O God, I am Thine!"


    1. America’s Other Religion by W. Fred Graham

      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.

    2. Capital Gains by Diedre McCloskey

      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.

    3. Captialism and Christianity: Pulling on Both Oars by Robert Bachelder

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

    4. CEOs and Corporate Greed by William J. McDonough

      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.

    5. Communism’s Collapse: The Receding Shadow of Transcendence by A.J. Conyers

      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.

    6. Connecting Ministry with the Corporate World by David A. Krueger

      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.

    7. Consumerism, Economism, and Christian Faith by John B. Cobb, Jr.

      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.

    8. Economism as Idolatry by John B. Cobb, Jr.

      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.

    9. Food Fight by Bill McKibben

      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.

    10. For Richer by Paul Krugman

      How the permissive capitalism of the boom of the late 1990's destroyed American equality.

    11. Making Moral Sense of the Market by Douglas A. Hicks

      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?

    12. Michael Harrington: Socialist to the End by Gary Dorrien

      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.

    13. Norman Thomas: Socialism and the Social Gospel by Elizabeth Balanoff

      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.

    14. Revisiting The Church In Socialism by Max L. Stackhouse

      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.

    15. Rights and Wrongs, an Interview with Nicholas Wolterstorff by 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.

    16. Shopping for Justice by Charles M. and Bob Smietana North

      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.

    17. Socialism and Sin by Bruce Douglass

      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.

    18. Socialism’s Obituary Is Premature by Philip Wogaman

      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.

    19. Taming the Beast by Douglas A. Hicks

      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.

    20. Wages of Corporate Sin by Whitworth Ferguson III

      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.

    21. Will China Democratize? by Franklin Woo

      This is a review of ` Andrew J. Nathan, Larry Diamond, and Marc F. Plattner, editors. Will China Democratize? Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2013. xx, 311 pp. Paperback $26.96, ISBN 13:978-1-4214-1243-0. It was written for China Review International, the Journal of the Center for Chinese Studies, University of Hawaii, February 10,, 2014 by Franklin J. Woo (

    Catholic Theology

    1. Changing My Mind about the Changeable Church by Richard A. McCormick, S.J.

      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.

    2. Drinking from Our Own Wells by Robert McAfee Brown

      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.

    3. Going Catholic by Jason Byassee

      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.

    4. Grace in Freedom by Karl Rahner

      (ENTIRE BOOK) A collection of Professor Rahner's speeches and radio talks, dealing with the relationship between grace and freedom as understood in the Catholic Church. Chapters include the Catholic's responsibility after Vatican II, the nature of the Christian faith, ecumenical perspectives, the church and personal freedom, the nature of "God," and the nature of freedom and morality.

    5. Helping Omega Make Its Point: The Pitfalls and Promise of Understanding Catholics by James T. Baker

      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.

    6. Homanisation by Karl Rahner

      (ENTIRE BOOK) A famous Catholic theologian deals with the position of Catholic theology in regard to hominisation, the theory of man’s evolutionary origins.

    7. Imperial Claims? by Kilian McDonnell

      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.

    8. Mystery and Promise: A Theology of Revelation by John F. Haught

      (ENTIRE BOOK) The author deals with revelation from within a Roman Catholic perspective. Revelation comes in the form of a divine promise which upon reflection turns out to be nothing less than God’s own self-donation to the world. It is the gift of an image of divine humility which renders reality intelligible in an unprecedented way.

    9. Reverence for Our God, Faith in Another by Daniel J. Ritter

      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.

    10. Roman Catholic Sexual Ethics: A Dissenting View by Charles E. Curran

      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.

    11. The Petrine Ministry in a Changing Church by Hermann J. Pottmeyer

      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.

    12. The Reception Process: The Challenge at the Threshold of a New Phase of the Ecumenical Movement by Hermann J. Pottmeyer

      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.

    13. The Vatican’s Quarrel with Roger Haight by Thomas P. Rausch

      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.


    1. A Protestant Look At American Catholicism by John C. Bennett, Stanley Lowell and William Clancy

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

    2. American Catholicism Assessed From Within by Gustave Weigel

      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.

    3. Can Catholics Find Common Ground? by Bill O'Brien

      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.

    4. Catholic Nuns and the Need for Responsible Dissent by Jeannine Gramick

      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.

    5. Catholic Oaths and Academic Freedom by Michael B. Lukens

      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.

    6. Dorothy Dohen’s Reclamation of Virginity by Debra Campbell

      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.

    7. Four Churches in One: Latin American Catholicism by Robert Jones

      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.

    8. Medjugorje’s Miracles: Faith and Profit by Denis R. Janz

      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."

    9. Pope Pius XII and the Nazis by John T. Pawlikowski

      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.

    10. The Battle for the Catholic Church by Phillip Berryman

      The author criticizes the Curia and the pope himself for an attempt to return Catholicism to a pre-Vatican II authoritarian church.

    11. The Catholic Experience at Taming Pluralism by Joseph M. McShane, S.J.

      At the dawn of the 20th century, Catholics finally learned that the First Amendment gave the churches wide latitude to influence public policy.

    12. The Christian of the Future by Karl Rahner

      (ENTIRE BOOK) A reflection on the nature, limits, and possibilities of change taking place in the Roman Catholic Church during and since the Second Vatican Council.

    13. Tomorrow's Catholics by Christopher J. Ruddy

      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.

    Christian Ethics

    1. A Disaster of ‘Biblical’ Proportions? by Walter Brueggemann

      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.

    2. A Fair Tax by Susan Pace Hamill

      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.

    3. A Short Guide to the Fine Art of Naysaying by James Sellers

      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.

    4. At Home and Not at Home: Religious Pluralism and Religious Truth by Robert N. Bellah

      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.

    5. Best of Intentions by Harvey Cox

      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.

    6. Christian Ethics by Georgia Harkness

      (ENTIRE BOOK) Dr. Harkness has applied Christian ethical principles to the major issues of contemporary life. From the starting point of the revelation of the nature and will of God that has come to man through Christ, she has dealt first with the biblical foundations of Christian ethics followed by their application to specific contemporary problems, including self and society, marriage, economic life, race, the state, war, peace and others.

    7. Christian Ethics and Nuclear Power by J. George Butler

      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

    8. Don‘t talk nonsense: Why Herbert McCabe Still Matters by L. Roger Owens

      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.

    9. Ethics for This World by Robin Lovin

      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.

    10. Human Dignity and the Christian Tradition by John B. Cobb, Jr.

      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.

    11. Is There Such a Thing as New Testament Ethics? by William C. Spohn

      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.

    12. Jesus’ Passion and Ours: To Love Justice Itself by Diogenes Allen

      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.

    13. Living Faithfully in a Democratic Society by Robin Lovin

      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.

    14. Loving a Prostitute by Judith Hahn

      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.

    15. Moral Clarity After 9/11 by Susan Neiman

      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.

    16. Morality-in-the-Making: A New Look at Some Old Foundations by William Daniel Cobb

      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.

    17. Niebuhr Versus Niebuhr: The Tragic Nature of History by John D. Barbour

      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.

    18. On Honesty and Self-deception: ‘You Are the Man’ by Lloyd H. Steffen

      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.

    19. On the Devil and Politics by Dennis de Rougemont

      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.

    20. Religiosity and the Christian Faith by Reinhold Niebuhr

      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.

    21. Rethinking Drinking: The Moral Context by Lloyd H. Steffen

      The disease model of understanding alcohol abuse confuses moral thinking with moralizing and jugmentalism.

    22. Right and Wrong: A Framework for Moral Reasoning by Kenneth W. Thompson

      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.

    23. The Case for Single-child Families by Bill McKibben

      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.

    24. The Challenges of Adulthood for a Liberal Society by Michael Novak

      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.

    25. The Christian Churches' Response to the Principalities and Powers by Yong-Bok Kim

      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.

    26. The Church Amid Racial Tensions by Alan Paton

      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.

    27. The Ethicist as Theologian by Stanley Hauerwas

      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.

    28. The Ethics of Enjoyment: The Christian’s Pursuit of Happiness by Kenneth Cauthen

      (ENTIRE BOOK) Can the church help citizens of the emerging postindustrial society be more "saintly" in their "scientific" endeavors? What does it mean to be a morally responsible citizen in a complicated world?

    29. The Eugenics Temptation by Amy Laura Hall

      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.

    30. The Organ Business: Second Thoughts on Transplants by Jennifer Girod

      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.

    31. The Way We Work, the Way We Live by Marilynne Robinson

      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.

    32. The Winning That Is Everything by John G. Stackhouse

      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.

    33. Toward a Common Morality by William P. George

      Life in the global village requires a global ethic that is more than empty rhetoric.

    34. Václav Havel: Heir to a Spiritual Legacy by Richard L. Stanger

      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."

    35. When My Virtue Doesn’t Match Your Virtue by Martin E. Marty

      What do we do in a republic when my virtue does not match your virtue, when my discourse, metaphysics, ethics, theology, history, views and kind are or seem incommensurate with yours? We do not have to resort to strategies of ignoring present realities, overwhelming minorities, or inventing fictional homogeneous pasts.

    36. Who Lives? Who Dies? The Utility of Peter Singer by Mark Oppenheimer

      An analysis of Peter Singer's ethics, as seen in his writings. Singer wants the best for all humankind. But if, by some chance, he’s found the way to get it for us, it’s despite not understanding us at all.

    Christian Music

    1. Andrew Lloyd Webber: From Superstar to Requiem by Dennis Polkow

      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.

    2. Eliot's Cats Come Out Tonight by Janet Karsten Larson

      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.

    3. Jesus Climbs the Charts: The business of Contemporary Christian Music by Mark Allan Powell

      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.

    4. Looking for the Gospel at a Gospel Concert by John Robert McFarland

      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.

    5. On Being Alive to the Arts and Religion: Music by F. Thomas Trotter

      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.

    6. Robert Shaw’s Ministry of Music by Gretchen E. Ziegenhals

      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."

    7. Slain by the Music by Larry Eskridge

      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."

    8. Sound Theology by Jeremy Begbie

      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.

    9. The Call’s Cry in the Wilderness by Brent Short

      Explanations of Contemporary Christian music. The author takes a look at the "spiritual adventuring" of a rock band named The Call.

    10. With Heart and Voice by Lysa Lynne Mathis

      The author challenges us to be brave enough to be moved by a song that’s "not our style." Whatever that style, its authenticity should bring us into the presence of the Holy Spirit.

    Church and State

    1. A Pioneer Figure in Church-State Rulings by John Dart

      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.

    2. Are Tax Exemptions Subsidies? by Dean M Kelley

      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.

    3. Beyond Neutrality by Stephen L. Carter

      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.

    4. Church and State: The Ramparts Besieged by Robert L. Maccox

      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.

    5. Confidentiality and Child Abuse: Church and State Collide by Jeffrey Warren Scott

      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.

    6. Faith-Based Action by Arthur E. Farnsley II

      An analysis of the pros and cons of the Bush Administration's "faith-based" solution to social problems.

    7. Government Partners: Navigating ‘Charitable Choice' by Amy Sherman

      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.

    8. Public Versus Private Schools: A Divisive Issue for the 1980s by Lyle Schaller

      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.

    9. Religion’s Place in Public Schools by Donald L. Drakeman

      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.

    10. Religious Freedom or ‘Catch-22’? The Private School Aid Issue by Robert M. Healey

      A defense of government financial support of private schools. The success of such support can be found in France.

    11. Statism, Not Separationism, Is the Problem by Dean M Kelley

      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."

    12. Taxing Church Property: An Imminent Possibility? by Jeffrey Warren Scott

      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.

    13. Teaching About Religion: A Middle Way for Schools by Niels C. Nielsen

      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.”

    14. Tell All or Go to Jail: A Dilemma for the Clergy by Dean M Kelley

      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.

    15. The King’s Chapel and the King’s Court by Reinhold Niebuhr

      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.

    16. Thinking Theologically about Church and State by Lois Barrett

      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.

    17. Why ‘Separation’ Is Not the Key to Church-State Relations by Michael W. McConnell

      We need a definition of constitutional religious liberty that preserves the protection of separation without stifling religious choice.

    Church in Society

    1. A Modest Proposal by Dennis Smith

      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.

    2. About Questions of Guilt by Martin Niemoller

      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.

    3. Between Anarchy and Fanaticism: Religious Freedom’s Challenge by Eugene B. Borowitz

      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.

    4. Beyond Separation of Church and State by Andrew B Murphy

      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.

    5. Building Communities From the Inside Out by Robert Bachelder

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

    6. Cadets for Christ by Amy Johnson Frkyholm

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

    7. Cats in a Wood Stove: Reflections on Building a New Social Gospel by William Barnwell

      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.

    8. Christian Faith and Technical Assistance by Margaret Mead

      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.

    9. Christian Politics ‘Reformation" Style by Robin Lovin

      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.

    10. Doctrine as Guide to Social Witness by George Hunsinger

      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.

    11. El Pueblo Unido Jamás Será Vencido by Jorge Lara-Braud

      "Christ has been killed again. But he will rise again."

    12. Faith-based Politics by Arthur E. Farnsley II

      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.

    13. Faithful Citizens by Gerald L. Sittser

      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.

    14. Filling in the Gaps of Liberal Culture by Martin E. Marty

      An analysis of how American Christians have both interacted with and transcended liberal culture.

    15. Jesus and Paul Versus the Empire by John Dart

      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.

    16. Martin Luther King: The Preacher as Virtuoso by Martin E. Marty

      American virtuosos like Lincoln and King knew how to invoke prophetic biblical texts and ancient moral injunctions and join them to calls to action.

    17. New-time Religion by Robert N. Bellah

      Bellah reviews a book that asks, "What does it mean to call our age secular?"

    18. Public Religion, Through Thick and Thin by Richard J. Mouw

      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.

    19. Recognizing the Abused Child by Sandra L. Sheldon, P.A. Poos and G.M. Balch, Jr.

      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.

    20. Seeking Christian Interiority: An Interview with Louis Dupré by Louis Dupre

      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.

    21. Shaping a Vision for Cultural Pluralism by John B. Cobb, Jr.

      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.

    22. The Christian Church’s Struggle to be Faithful by Ken Bedell

      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.

    23. The Christian Gospel and the American Way of Life by David E. Roberts

      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.

    24. The Church Against the World by H. Richard Niebuhr, Wilhelm Pauck and Francis P. Miller

      (ENTIRE BOOK) The authors see Christianity threatened not only by the rival religions of capitalism and nationalism, but in America it is becoming a purely national religion, unintelligible to Christians of other lands, as their Protestantism is becoming unintelligible to us. This may be the beginning of a process, which in Germany resulted in a new national religion. The chapters speak about ways of dealing with this threat to the Christian religion.

    25. The Church as Prophetic Critic by John C. Bennett

      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.

    26. The Class Struggle in American Religion by Peter Berger

      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.

    27. The Free-Church Tradition and Social Ministry by Max L. Stackhouse

      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.

    28. The Frightful, Beneficial Mess of American Religion by Martin E. Marty

      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.

    29. The Predicament of Modern Man by Elton Trueblood

      (ENTIRE BOOK) To say that no one solution is a panacea is not to deny that some approaches to a problem come nearer to the center of the difficulty than others do. To say that we shall not make a perfect society in the next century or the next millennium is no excuse for failure to do our best to create an order relatively better than the one in which we now live. It is the gospel that can save our decaying society and the gospel alone.

    30. The Problem with "Under God" by Rodney Clapp

      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.

    31. The Radical Witness of Bill Coffin by Harvey Cox

      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.

    32. The Secular City 25 Years Later by Harvey Cox

      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

    33. The Secularist Prejudice by Gary Wills

      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.

    34. The Sense of God’s Reality by Harry Emerson Fosdick

      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.

    35. The Story of Liam Q by Jens Soaring

      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.

    36. The Urban Church: Symbol and Reality by John Shelby Spong

      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.

    37. Theology and Civil Society: A Proposal for Ecumenical Inquiry by Lewis S. Mudge

      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.

    38. Welfare, Charity and Ministry: Postures in the Helping Relationship by Gilbert R. Rendle, Jr.

      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 according to income and possessions before we feed them, and some want us to close down before we lower property values.

    39. What Can We Hope For In Society? by John C. Bennett

      A major figure in Christian ethics describes the elements of hope for our society.

    Church in the World

    1. A Worried America by Gunnar Myrdal

      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.

    2. An American Protestant Perspective on World Order by John B. Cobb, Jr.

      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.

    3. Apocalypse Now? by Walter Wink

      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.

    4. Becoming Church by Jason Byassee

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

    5. Can the Church Help God Save the World? by John B. Cobb, Jr.

      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.

    6. Christians and Social Ministry: Witnesses to a New Age by Arthur E. Walmsley

      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.

    7. Church and State in China by K.K. Yeo

      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.

    8. Dare to Discipline? by Jason Byassee

      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.

    9. Debunking Myths About Foreign Aid by David Beckmann

      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.

    10. Global Faith by Dale T. Irvin

      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.

    11. Liturgy as Politics: An Interview with William Cavanaugh by William Cavanaugh

      The Church must act seriously as a public body, for in reading Isaiah, the Christian sees that God has redeemed history.

    12. Men, Women, and the Remarriage of Public and Private Spheres by Celia Allison Hahn

      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.

    13. Millennial Reflections on an Interdependent World by Douglas F. Ottati

      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.

    14. Mirror of These Ten Years by Jacques Ellul

      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.

    15. New Dynamics in Theology: Politically Active and Culturally Significant by Larry Rassmussen

      For better than two decades the consensus in theology and ethics has been that we have no consensus. That is changing.

    16. Political Activism, Mainline Style by Alan Wolfe

      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.

    17. Politically Feeble Churches and the Strategic Imperative by James A. Nash

      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.

    18. Reformation Today by Frederick Herzog

      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.

    19. Religion and the Future of Human Rights by Robert F. Drinan

      The author asks whether universal human rights will remain only unreachable ideals without religious underpinnings.

    20. Searching for Faith’s Social Reality by Lewis S. Mudge

      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.

    21. The Church and Sustainable Living by John B. Cobb, Jr.

      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.

    22. The Constitution and the Congregation: Time to Celebrate by Martin E. Marty

      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.

    23. The Hispanics Next Door by Orlando E. Costas

      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.

    24. The New Challenge to Public Health by Dan Beauchamp

      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.

    25. Thinking Globally by Douglas A. Hicks

      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.

    26. Von Balthasar and Christian Humanism by Edgardo Antonio Colón-Emeric

      The author discusses Von Balthasar’s Christian humanism and suggests that it is a Christian spirituality, that Christian humanism is not Eurocentric but Christocentric.

    Civil Rights Movement

    1. A Leap of Faith, a Leap of Action: Excerpts from a Memoir by William Sloane Coffin

      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.

    2. In Keeping with the Prophets: The Mississippi Summer of 1964 by James Findlay

      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.

    3. In the Churches, in the Streets: Taylor Branch on ‘the King Years’ by Robert Westbrook

      The author reviews Branch's Parting the Waters, a history of the civil rights movement.

    4. Martin Luther King, Jr., 1929-1968: In Memoriam by Gilbert H. Caldwell

      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.

    5. Martin Luther King’s Vision of the Beloved Community by Kenneth L. Smith and Ira G. Zepp, Jr.

      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.

    6. Non-Violence and Racial Justice by Martin Luther King

      The aftermath of non-violence is the creation of a beloved community, while the aftermath of violence is tragic bitterness.

    7. Racism, Reparations and Accountability Payback? by Victoria J. Barnett

      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.

    8. Remembering King Through His Ideals by Preston Williams

      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.

    9. Righteous Resistance and Martin Luther King, Jr. by John C. Raines

      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.

    10. The Impact of a Cultural Revolutionary by James M. Cone

      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.

    11. The King Assassination: After Three Decades, Another Verdict by James W. Douglass

      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.

    12. The Mississippi Freedom Summer Twenty Years Later by Edward McNulty

      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.


    1. A Critical View of Inherited Theology by John B. Cobb, Jr.

      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.

    2. A Theology of Enjoyment for a Post Capitalist Life by John B. Cobb, Jr.

      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.

    3. Autobiography by John B. Cobb, Jr.

      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.

    4. Beyond `Pluralism' by John B. Cobb, Jr.

      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.

    5. Buddhism and Christianity by John B. Cobb, Jr.

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

    6. Capital by John B. Cobb, Jr.

      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.

    7. Choosing Life by John B. Cobb, Jr.

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

    8. Christianity and Empire by John B. Cobb, Jr.

      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.

    9. Constructive Postmodernism by John B. Cobb, Jr.

      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.

    10. Consumerism, Economism, and Christian Faith by John B. Cobb, Jr.

      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.

    11. Did Paul Teach the Doctrine of the Atonement? by John B. Cobb, Jr.

      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.

    12. Eastern View of Economics by John B. Cobb, Jr.

      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."

    13. Ecological Agriculture by John B. Cobb, Jr.

      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.

    14. Ecology and the Structure of Society by John B. Cobb, Jr.

      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.

    15. Faith, Hope and Love: Psalm 82 by John B. Cobb, Jr.

      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.

    16. Has Europe Become Theologically Barren? by John B. Cobb, Jr.

      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.

    17. Making Choices for the Common Good by John B. Cobb, Jr.

      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.

    18. Marx and Whitehead by John B. Cobb, Jr.

      The author appreciates the thoughts of both Whitehead and Marx but defines the deficiencies of both.

    19. Necessities for an Ecological Civilization by John B. Cobb, Jr.

      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.

    20. Prehension by John B. Cobb, Jr.

      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.

    21. Process Theology and the Bible: How Science Has Changed Our View of God by John B. Cobb, Jr.

      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.

    22. Process Theology as Political Theology by John B. Cobb, Jr.

      (ENTIRE BOOK) Dr. Cobb applies process theology to the relevance of the world in expressions of hope, liberation theology, political theology and issues facing the global environment.

    23. Religion and Economics by John B. Cobb, Jr.

      The author examines aspects of economism, including greed, industrialization, capitalism and consumerism and suggests a Christian alternative.

    24. Revising Both Science and Theology by John B. Cobb, Jr.

      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.

    25. The Best of Times, the Worst of Times by John B. Cobb, Jr.

      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.

    26. The Common Good in a Postmodern World by John B. Cobb, Jr.

      Modern economics is not an empirical or historical discipline making globalization of the economy harder and harder to ignore.

    27. The Common Good: Individual Rights and Community Responsibility by John B. Cobb, Jr.

      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.

    28. The Potential Contribution of Process Thought by John B. Cobb, Jr.

      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.

    29. The Practical Need for Metaphysics by John B. Cobb, Jr.

      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.

    30. The Road to Sustainability: Progress and Regress by John B. Cobb, Jr.

      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.

    31. The Role of Theology of Nature in the Church by John B. Cobb, Jr.

      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."

    32. Theological Realism by John B. Cobb, Jr.

      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."

    33. To Whom Can We Go? I. Jesus' Call for Progressive Protestants by John B. Cobb, Jr.

      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.

    34. To Whom Can We Go? II. Secular and Religious Alternatives by John B. Cobb, Jr.

      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.

    35. To Whom Can We Go? III. Jesus and the University by John B. Cobb, Jr.

      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.

    36. What Shall We Do About "God"? by John B. Cobb, Jr.

      Both the East and the West have largely abandoned their religious traditions. There are severe limitations to these traditions, but their abandonment is not promising. Dr. Cobb discusses the challenge in terms of Process Theology. Following Jesus today requires complete openness to the best thinking of our times, both religiously and scientifically.

    37. Who Was Jesus? (Colossians 1:19) by John B. Cobb, Jr.

      Dr. Cobb shows how misinterpretations of Jesus as God has done great harm to our history. It’s not authentic Christianity and has separated Jews and Muslims from Christians far more than they should be.

    38. Why Faith Needs Process Philosophy by John B. Cobb, Jr.

      Dr. Cobb presents the process theology view that the exclusion of God in our universal experience is contrary to that very experience, that God plays a role in human life and in the whole of history and nature.

    Communication and Public Policy

    1. A New World Order in Communication by William F. Fore

      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.”

    2. Activist Television: Sociological and Public Policy Implications of Public Service Campaigns by John M. Phelan

      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.

    3. Advertising: Commercial Rhetoric by John M. Phelan

      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.

    4. Communication: From Confrontation to Reconciliation by Carlos A. Valle

      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?

    5. Constituents of a Theory of the Media by Hans Magnus Enzensberger

      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.

    6. Digital Advantage for Development by Cees Hamelink

      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.

    7. Global Communication for Justice, a National Council of Churches Policy Statement by National Council of Churches

      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.

    8. Human Rights in Cyberspace by Cees Hamelink

      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.

    9. In Defense of Public Broadcasting by William F. Fore

      Public Broadcasting is an essential ingredient in maintaining an informed electorate in America.

    10. Media: Their Structure and Moral and Public Policy Import by John M. Phelan

      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.

    11. Private Threats to Free Expression by George Gerbner

      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.

    12. The Media and Violence: Needed - a Paradigm for Public Policy by Peter Horsfield

      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.

    13. The Political and Economic Conditions of Freedom of Information by Dallas W. Smythe

      A leading Canadian mass communication scholar analyzes what is required to achieve truly free and open communication in today's world.

    14. Trends in World Communication by Cees Hamelink

      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.

    15. Truth, Lies and the Media by William F. Fore

      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.

    16. Violence in Electronic Media and Film, a National Council of Churches Polity Statement by National Council of Churches

      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.

    17. Violence: Media’s Desperate Remedy by James A. Taylor

      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.

    18. War on the Web by Fred Strickert

      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.

    19. What You Don't Know Can Kill You by William F. Fore

      The media environment in America is seriously dysfunctional and therefore a threat to the democratic process. The author analyses the problem and suggests remedies, including regulation in the public interest..

    Communication and Religion

    1. A Theology of Communication by William F. Fore

      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.

    2. Analyzing the Military-News Complex by William F. Fore

      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.

    3. Christian Megastar by Mark Yaconelli

      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.

    4. Communications Technologies and the Ethics of Access by Frances Ford Plude

      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.

    5. Coping With Disaster: How Media Audiences Process Grief by Frances Ford Plude

      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.

    6. Cultivating Babel: Disinformation and Dissent in South Africa by John M. Phelan

      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.

    7. Cyberwalden by John M. Phelan

      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.

    8. Going Digital by Quentin J. Schultze

      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.

    9. History and Policy in American Broadcast Treatment of Religion by Stewart M. Hoover and Douglas K. Wagner

      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.

    10. Interactive Technologies: The Potential for Solidarity in Local and Global Networks by Frances Ford Plude

      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.

    11. Jim Bakker and the Eternal Revenue Service by Grant Wacker

      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.

    12. Lost in the Digital Cosmos by Quentin J. Schultze

      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.

    13. Managing Appearances by John M. Phelan

      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.

    14. Mass Media and Ministry by Peter Horsfield

      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.

    15. Mass Media’s Mythic World: At Odds with Christian Values by William F. Fore

      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.

    16. Match Point to the Media by William Lee Miller

      A writer looks for something concrete to interest readers and to illustrate a point. Sometimes the illustration sweeps away the point.

    17. Media Dominance by Mark U. Edwards, Jr.

      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.

    18. Mythmakers: Gospel, Culture and the Media by William F. Fore

      This book helps us look closely at the values of our "mediated" culture in light of the Christian Gospel.

    19. No Miracles from the Media by James A. Taylor

      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.

    20. Oprah on a Mission: Dispensing a Gospel of Health and Happiness by Marcia Z. Nelson

      Confession is the signature of Oprah’s TV show. According to Oprah, talk is crucial, even salvific.

    21. Religion and the Media by Carlos A. Valle

      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.

    22. Religious Broadcasting at the Crossroads by Peter Horsfield

      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.

    23. Religious Television: The American Experience by Peter Horsfield

      (ENTIRE BOOK) A comprehensive study of religious television. History of its early development. Who views religious TV, why they view, and how the experience affects both viewers and the local church.

    24. Soul-Saving via Video by Jeffrey K. Hadden

      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.

    25. Television and Religion: The Shaping of Faith, Values and Culture by William F. Fore

      ENTIRE BOOK An examination of the values and cultural significance of secular television, and the role of mass media in shaping our lives. The author provides a theology of communication, a critique of the Electronic Church, and concludes with practical suggestions for those who are concerned about the impact of American television worldwide.

    26. The Electronic Church’s Aesthetic of Evil by S. Dennis Ford

      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.

    27. The Humiliation of the Word by Jacques Ellul

      (ENTIRE BOOK) We are addicted to images, a wholesale abuse of language, a dangerous addiction to surface trivia, a fixation on the unimportant, an obsession with the insignificant. Ellul’s solution is to discover a "new language." It is the only way understanding can begin to flow again, so that we can communicate the gospel in such a way that it "penetrates."

    28. The Limits of Celebrity Activism by Douglas A. Hicks

      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.

    29. The Pseudo-Content of the Processed Image by John M. Phelan

      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.

    30. The Sacrament of Civilization: The Groundwork of a Philosophy of Technology for Theology by Andrew Tatusko

      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.

    31. Video Ventures: Two Alternatives to ‘Alpha’ by Debra Bendis and Jason Byassee

      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.

    Communication in the Local Church

    1. A New Era in Catholic Church Communication by Frances Ford Plude

      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.

    2. Dialogue as a Model for Communication in the Church by Hermann J. Pottmeyer

      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.

    3. Forums for Dialogue: Teleconferencing and the American Catholic Church by Frances Ford Plude

      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.

    4. Interactive Communications in the Church by Frances Ford Plude

      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.

    5. Religion and Television: Report on the Research by William F. Fore

      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.

    6. The Church and the Coming Electronic Revolution: An interview with by Parker Rossman

      Churches must take care to avoid efforts to use TV, video recorders and cable TV in place of people-to-people relationships.

    7. The Dilemma of Broadcast Ministry by David L. Glusker

      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.


    1. A Place Called Community by Parker J. Palmer

      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.

    2. Achievable Miracles in Subsidized Housing by J. S. Fuerst

      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.

    3. Can Churches Save the City? A Look at Resources by Arthur E. Farnsley II

      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?  

    4. Churches in Communities: A Place to Stand by Jim Gittings

      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.

    Comparative Religions

    1. by Lao Tze

      The classic Taoist text translated in Pinyin by nineteenth century sinologist, James Legge.

    2. A New Day for Jewish-Christian Partnership by Simeon J. Maslin

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

    3. A New Vision for Eastern Orthodoxy? by Yishai Eldar and Thomas Idinopulos

      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.

    4. Amida and Christ:: Buddhism and Christianity by John B. Cobb, Jr.

      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.

    5. An Indian Advent Meditation by David C. Scott

      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?

    6. Asian Religions -- An Introduction to the Study of Hinduism, Buddhism, Islam, Confucianism, and Taoi by Kenneth W. Morgan

      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.

    7. Buddhism and Christianity: Advancing the Dialogue by Niels C. Nielsen

      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.

    8. Charisma and Institution: The Assemblies of God by Margaret Poloma

      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.

    9. Charismatics and Change in South Africa by Irving Hexham and Karla Powe-Hexham

      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.

    10. Christian Fulfillment and Jewish-Christian Dialogue by Isaac C. Rottenberg

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

    11. Christian Science Today: Resuming the Dialogue by Stephen Gottschalk

      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?

    12. Comparative Study of Religions: A Theological Necessity by Ivan Strenski

      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.

    13. Geopolitics Within Seventh-day Adventism by Ronald Lawson

      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.

    14. Hawaii’s Domestication of Shinto by James Whitehurst

      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.

    15. Justification by Faith: The Lutheran-Catholic Convergence by John Reumann

      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.

    16. Many Mansions or One Way? The Crisis in Interfaith Dialogue by Harvey Cox

      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.

    17. On Seeking and Finding in the World’s Religions by Diana L. Eck

      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.

    18. Sharing a Language of Faith by Charles W. Swain

      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.

    19. Spiritual Healing On Trial: A Christian Scientist Reports by Stephen Gottschalk

      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.

    20. The History of Religions: Essays in Methodology by Mircea Eliade and Joseph M. Kitagawa (eds.)

      (ENTIRE BOOK) These essays in methodology are concerned with the need to establish the history of religion and comparative religion as a leading scholarly activity at the modern university. There is a danger that the history of religion and comparative religion will be totally absorbed by certain other fields (philosophy of religion, psychology, sociology, anthropology, history and theology). This book demonstrates that it is not merely ancillary to these other studies but is a discipline in its own right, drawing upon, yet making unique additions to, these areas of knowledge.

    21. The Restoration Vision in Pentecostalism by D. William Faupel

      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.

    22. The Scriptures of Mankind: An Introduction by Charles Samuel Braden

      (ENTIRE BOOK) The scriptures of the world's great religions are not easily available to students. This book is an attempt to bridge the gap. Actual quotations from the great religions are quoted and discussed.

    23. The Secular Selling of a Religion by George E. La More, Jr.

      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.

    24. What Can Liberals and Evangelicals Teach Each Other by Donald W. Shriver, Jr.

      The problem of writing about evangelicals, liberals and fundamentalists in today’s world of religion is one of undisciplined squads of definitions.

    25. What Can We Learn from Hinduism : Recovering the Mystical by Marcus Braybrooke

      (ENTIRE BOOK) A short, concise and helpful guide to understanding Hinduism.

    26. What’s the Difference? A Comparison of the Faiths Men Live By by Louis Cassels

      (ENTIRE BOOK) Cassels provides a useful guide to understanding the beliefs and unique characteristics of the different religious groups in the United States.

    Congregational Life

    1. A Matter of Being, and a Matter of Being Right by Walter Wangerin, Jr.

      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."

    2. A New Kind of Church? by Scott Bader-Saye

      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."

    3. A New Spirituality: Shaping Doctrine at the Grass Roots by Frederick Herzog

      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.

    4. A Small Church Redefines its Mission by Richard H. Bliese

      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.

    5. Alternative Christian Communities by Jason Byassee

      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.

    6. Back to Basics: Rx for Congregational Health by Anthony B. Robinson

      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.

    7. Bringing the Seminary to the Church by Jerome J. Hevey, Jr.

      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.

    8. Coming to Grips With an Aging Church by Frank Hutchinson

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

    9. Community & Computers: Babel, Bytes & Bits by William Willimon

      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."

    10. Community as a Way Of Life by Peter W. Marty

      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.

    11. Confessing Christ in a Post-Christendom Context by Douglas John Hall

      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.

    12. Congregation: Stories and Structures by James F. Hopewell

      (ENTIRE BOOK) James F. Hopewell provides a definitive study of congregational life. His thesis: we must understand each congregation's unique story that catches up and gives pattern to a church’s local culture -- its beliefs, its mission work, and its everyday administrative transactions, because it also reveals God's intention for that community of believers.

    13. Imagining a New Church by Glen McDonald

      The author describes how his congregation moved to helping inquirers become faithful disciples of Christ.

    14. In Defense of Organized Religion by Garret Keizer

      Here are many reasons to be suspicious of organized religion, as well as many reasons to support it.

    15. Is the Church an Addictive Organization? by Anne Wilson Schaef

      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.

    16. Jesus Is Lord by James K. Mathews

      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.

    17. Korean Americans Reshape their Churches by R. Stephen Warner

      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.

    18. Multiethnic Mix by R. Stephen Warner

      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.

    19. No Faith Is an Island by Robert McAfee Brown

      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.

    20. Pivotal Leadership by L. Gregory Jones and Susan Pendleton

      If a Christian congregation is faithful and effective it will make a difference. What does such a congregation look like?

    21. Sanctuary for the Addicted by Stan Friedman

      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.<

    22. The Church and Social Responsibility: Where Do We Go from Here by Dana W. Wilbanks

      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.

    23. The Gospel and Our World by Georgia Harkness

      (ENTIRE BOOK) There is need of a much closer connection than we have had thus far between theology and evangelism. The Christian faith is both something to be believed and something to be lived.

    24. The Oral, the Local and the Timely by Richard Luecke

      What modernism sought to escape can help us find direction for social and congregational life.

    25. The Problem of the Mainline by Nancy T. Ammerman

      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.

    26. The Reinvented Church: Styles and Strategies by Donald E. Miller

      Research into "the new paradigm" congregations, which have discarded many of the attributes of establishment religion.

    27. Time Out by Norman Wirzba

      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.

    28. Transforming a Lukewarm Church by Edward Farley

      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.

    29. Worship For The Next Generation by Paul Wilkes

      A warehouse is a temporary place where you hold things. Stuff comes in and out. . . . Like churches should be, bringing people in, equipping them for life and sending them back into the world.

    Counseling and Mental Health

    1. After a Child Dies by Harold K. Bush, Jr.

      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.

    2. After Great Pain: Finding a Way Out by Joan Chittister

      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.

    3. Care of Souls in the Classic Tradition by Thomas C. Oden

      (ENTIRE BOOK) Prof. Oden offers a critique of contemporary pastoral counseling that notes the advantages of modern clinical psychotherapy while pointing out its limitations for pastoral counseling which he asserts has all but ignored the classical Christian pastoral tradition exemplified in the work of Gregory of Nazianzus.

    4. Caring When it is Tough to Care by Joretta L. Marshall

      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.

    5. Community Mental Health: The Role of Church and Temple by Howard J. Clinebell, Jr., (Ed.)

      (ENTIRE BOOK) Thirty-three authorities, representing both the clergy and professionals active in mental health programs, respond to the challenge to church and temple made by the community mental health revolution.

    6. Confidentiality and Mandatory Reporting: A False Dilemma? by Marie M. Fortune

      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.

    7. Confidentiality in the Church: What the Pastor Knows and Tells by D. Elizabeth Audette

      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.

    8. Contemporary Growth Therapies by Howard J. Clinebell, Jr.

      (ENTIRE BOOK) A survey of current psychotherapy methods, including very helpful summaries of the views of Sigmund Freud, Alfred Adler, Ottor Rank, Eric Fromm, Karen Horney, Harry Stack Sullivan, Carl Jung, and Carl Rogers, as well as behavioral, transactional, gestalt and other therapies.

    9. Counseling For Liberation by Charlotte Ellen

      (ENTIRE BOOK) This book is not primarily about counseling theory and technique. Rather, it is an attempt to describe the important connection between good counseling and consciousness raising.

    10. Ethics and Evangelism: Learning from the Third-Century Church by Robert E. Webber

      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.

    11. Finding Nourishment and Encouragement by Robert Raines

      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.

    12. Grief and the Art of Consolation: A Personal Testimony by Troy Organ

      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.

    13. Growing Through Conflict by Donald E. Bossart

      The author deals with turning destructive conflict into a constructive experience for change and growth.

    14. Growth Counseling for Marriage Enrichment by Howard J. Clinebell, Jr.

      (ENTIRE BOOK) Dr. Clinebell provides practical suggestions and programs to make good marriages better, to turn crises into opportunities for growth, and to activate congregations of faith as communities of caring.

    15. Growth Counseling for Mid-Years Couples by Howard J. Clinebell, Jr.

      (ENTIRE BOOK) You have more going for you than you think you do -- probably lots more! Here are tools for discovering and using the rich potentialities of the mid-years, for personal renewal and for the enlivening of marriage. The author states that this book grew out of his own struggles and his experiences in enriching mid-years marriages, including his own.

    16. Growth Groups by Howard J. Clinebell, Jr.

      (ENTIRE BOOK) This handbook addresses marriage and family enrichment, creative singlehood, human liberation, youth work and social change. These qualities of the human potential movement are brought together in a concise, clear and comprehensive way.

    17. Happily Married with Children by Trudy Bush

      Reviews of two pioneering studies into patterns of marriage and divorce in American society.

    18. Ministering to the Collective Soul amid the Arms Race by Jeff Smith

      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.

    19. Pastoral Counseling Comes of Age by John Patton

      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.

    20. Pastoral Learning at Bellevue Hospital by Chloe Breyer

      The author describes the experience of being an assistant chaplain in a New York hospital for mental and physical illnesses.

    21. Sin, Guilt and Mental Health: Confession and Restitution as Means of Therapy by Paul Martin

      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.

    22. Spiritual Counsel by Rodney J. Hunter

      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.

    23. The Anxiety of the Runner: Terminal Helplessness by D. William Faupel

      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.

    24. The Benefits of Fasting by Paul Martin

      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.

    25. The Intimate Marriage by Howard J. and Charlotte H. Clinebell

      The role of intimacy in marriage. Includes practical steps for group discussion.

    26. The Mental Health Ministry of the Local Church by Howard J. Clinebell, Jr.

      (ENTIRE BOOK) Mental health is a central and inescapable concern for any local church that is a healing-redemptive fellowship. A local church today has an unprecedented opportunity to multiply its contributions to both the prevention and the therapeutic dimensions of mental health. A church can seize this opportunity most effectively by allowing mental health to become a leavening concern, permeating all areas of its life.

    27. The Minister and the Care of Souls by Daniel Day Williams

      (ENTIRE BOOK) A theologian’s perspective on the issues involved in the pastoral task.

    28. The Outlook for Mental Health Services by Seward Hiltner

      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.

    29. The Power of God-with-Us by Carter Heyward

      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).

    30. Therapies Ministers Use by James S. Miller

      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.

    31. Understanding and Counseling the Alcoholic by Howard J. Clinebell, Jr.

      (ENTIRE BOOK) This book is written for the person, professional or lay, who wishes to apply religious resources more effectively to the problem of alcoholism. It deals with what to teach concerning alcoholism and how to handle the alcoholic who comes seeking counsel.

    Cultural Criticism

    1. Are You Blocking for Me, Jesus? by James T. Baker

      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.

    2. Changes in Attitude: the Lost World of the 1950s by James M. Wall

      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.

    3. Is America In A Culture A War? Yes -- No -- Sort Of by Rhys H. Williams

      The author analyzes the cultural and symbolic aspects of our lives which are deep sources of political motivation.

    4. Paying Attention to Youth Culture by Charles R. Foster

      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.

    5. Piety, Commercialism, Activism: The Uses of Mother's Day by Leigh E. Schmidt

      The origin of Mother’s Day and its past, present, and future role in local churches.

    6. Playboy's Doctrine of Male by Harvey Cox

      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.

    7. Remembering the 50's by James M. Wall

      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.

    8. Reverence and the Freedom to Revise by James M. Wall

      Societies which cannot combine reverence for their symbols with freedom of revision must ultimately decay.

    9. Social Consciousness and World Maps by John P. Snyder

      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.

    10. Speaking of Religion by James M. Wall

      Media coverage of religion is not biased against religious faith; it is biased in favor of Enlightenment rationality.

    11. The Church and Electronic Culture by Peter Horsfield

      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.

    12. The Cyborg: Technological Socialization and Its Link to the Religious Function of Popular Culture by Brenda E. Brasher

      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.

    13. The Free Play of Thought by Robert Allen Warrior

      Society needs criticism that aspires to transcend immediate practical and political considerations. But today the rule "No conflict, no news" governs cultural criticism.

    14. The Need to Remember by Robert McAfee Brown

      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.

    15. The Pictures Inside Our Heads by James M. Wall

      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.

    16. The Power of Myth: Lessons from Joseph Campbell by Belden C. Lane

      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.

    17. The Religious Music Without the Words by James M. Wall

      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.

    18. The Romantic Appeal of Joseph Campbell by Robert Segal

      Campbell’s appeal derives from the unashamed romanticism of his theory of myth. His message is far more mystical than individualistic.

    19. The Super Bowl as Religious Festival by Joseph L. Price

      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.

    20. The Superbowl Culture of Male Violence by Eugene C. Bianchi

      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.

    21. The Theology of Pac-Man by John Robert McFarland

      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.

    22. Willimon’s Project: Does It make Sense? by William L. Sachs

      In opposing historic assumptions about mainstream Christianity, Willimon may be kicking an already comatose form of Christianity.

    23. Zeal Without Understanding: Reflections on Rambo and Oliver North by Robert Jewett

      Patriotism of the type popularized by the fictional John Rambo and the real-life Ollie North is gravely threatening to a constitution democracy. What is required now in our society is to combine zeal with understanding, a process that calls for discussion, argument, debate and clarification.

    Dalit Theology

    1. Dalit Conversion and Social Protest in Travancore, 1854-1890 by George Oommen

      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.

    2. Liberative Motifs in the Dalit Religion by James Elisha

      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.

    3. Paraiyars Ellaiyamman as an Iconic Symbol of Collective Resistance and Emancipatory Mythography by Sathianathan Clarke

      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.

    4. Re-reading Tribal and Dalit Conversion Movements: The Case of the Malayarayans and Pulayas of Kerala by George Oommen

      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.

    5. The Emerging Dalit Theology: A Historical Appraisal by George Oommen

      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.

    6. Towards a Dalit Liberative Hermeneutics: Re-reading The Psalms of Lament by K. Jesurathnam

      Dalit-liberative hermeneutics is scientific and praxis-oriented. The Psalms of Lament enhances and empowers the Dalits in their struggles.

    7. Viewing The Bible Through The Eyes And Ears of Subalterns In India by Sathianathan Clarke

      Dr. Clarke discusses the problems facing the cultural outcasts (Dalits) of India, giving a Biblical perspective concerning their plight.

    8. Viewing The Bible Through The Eyes And Ears of Subalterns In India by Sathianathan Clarke

      Dr. Clarke discusses the problems facing the cultural outcasts (Dalits) of India, giving a Biblical perspective concerning their plight.


    1. An Unfolding Creation by Greg Peterson

      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.

    2. Beyond Darwin by John Polkinghorne

      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.

    3. Debating Darwin: The 'Intelligent Design' Movement by Edward B. Davis

      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.

    4. Evolution and Evolutionism by Huston Smith

      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.

    5. Made by Design by John F. Haught

      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."

    Death and Dying

    1. A Father Grieves The Loss of a Child by Lewis B. Smedes

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

    2. A Religious Naturalist Looks at Death by Doris Webster Havice

      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.

    3. After Death: Life in God by Norman Pittenger

      (ENTIRE BOOK) A reformulation of the conventional notions of life after death. The author asserts that in God, the value of human existence is guaranteed and the worth of all those for whom one has cared is assured and becomes an abiding and unshakable occasion for joy.

    4. Bearing Witness in Life and Death by Keith C. and L. Gregory Jones Meador

      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.

    5. Cancer in the Family: Roles of the Clergy by Betty Satterwhite Stevenson

      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.

    6. Christian Perspectives on Suicide by William E. Phipps

      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.

    7. Death as the Teacher of Wisdom by Marcus Borg

      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.

    8. Dying Well: A Challenge to Christian Compassion by Richard M. Gula

      The author reviews and evaluates three recent books on assisted suicide.

    9. Grace in the Face of Suicide by Mary T. Stimming

      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."

    10. Grave Affairs by Thomas Lynch

      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.

    11. Imagining The Afterlife by Lucy Bregman

      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.

    12. Intending Death: Moral Perspectives by Kenneth Vaux

      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.

    13. Is Acceptance a Denial of Death? Another Look at Kubler-Ross by Roy Branson

      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."

    14. Live and Let Die: Changing Attitudes by Andrew Greeley

      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.

    15. Making Choices About the Final Exit by James M. Wall

      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.

    16. Suicide and Christian Moral Judgment by James T. Clemons

      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?

    17. Suicide, Responsibility and the Sacredness of Life by James M. Wall

      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."

    18. When A Person Dies: Pastoral Theology in Death Experiences by Robert L. Kinast

      (ENTIRE BOOK) This book gives important insights into the theology of death. It deal with the impact of our death upon God, and how God in turn impacts our death with profound meaning.


    1. Albert C. Outler: United Methodist Ecumenist by Martin E. Marty

      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.

    2. American Baptists: Bureaucratic and Democratic by Paul M. Harrison

      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.

    3. Christ and Culture in Moscow by Robin Lovin

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

    4. Churchgoers From Elsewhere by John Dart

      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."

    5. Common Roots, Divergent Paths: The Disciples and the Churches of Christ by W. Clark Gilpin

      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.

    6. Denominations: Surviving the ‘70s by Martin E. Marty

      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.

    7. Fractures in the Future by Douglas W. Johnson

      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.

    8. How Divided are United Methodists? by O. Wesley Allen, Jr.

      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.

    9. Is Theological Pluralism Dead in the UMC? by John B. Cobb, Jr.

      The United Methodist Church has traditionally accepted pluralism, but the acceptace of a diversity of view is now under attack.

    10. Moderates Unite? The Future of Southern Baptist Dissidents by Jim Jones

      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.

    11. New Life for Denominationalism by Nancy T. Ammerman

      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.

    12. The Complex Face of Orthodoxy by Michael Bourdeaux

      Despite the problems confronting the Russian Orthodox Church today, and the issues that cloud its past, many positive things are happening.

    13. The Holiness and Pentecostal Churches: Emerging from Cultural Isolation by Donald W. Dayton

      Holiness and Pentecostal folk are busily engaged in creating all those agencies and patterns of church life that their maverick forebears found too confining.

    14. The Impact of Orthodox Theology by Jason Byassee

      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.

    15. The Methodist Story by Grant Wacker

      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.

    16. The Mormons: Looking Forward and Outward by Jan Shipps

      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.

    17. The Reformed Churches: Enlarging Their Witness by Howard G. Hageman

      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.

    18. The Unitarian Universalists: Style and Substance by Robert B. Tapp

      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.

    19. TM Comes to the Heartland of the Midwest by John R. Dilley

      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.

    20. Toward the Prophetic: A New Direction in the Practice of New Thought by Liza J. Rankow

      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.

    21. Turning to Orthodoxy by Amy Johnson Frkyholm

      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.

    22. Two Religions? by Michael Root

      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.

    23. Who Owns Ascension Church? by Marjorie Hyer

      An Episcopal Church quarrel over the ordination of women, the Book of Common Prayer, who gets the property in separation and the division of memorial gifts.

    24. Why Conservatives Need Liberals by Richard J. Mouw

      The author considers the schisms within the Presbyterian Church. He urges the different sides to continue to talk to each other, and even to argue passionately with each other about crucial issues, but within the framework of a commitment to God.

    25. Why Liberals Need Conservatives by Barbara G. Wheeler

      As long as Presbyterians continue to club the other into submission with constitutional amendments, judicial cases and economic boycotts, we have no word for a world full of murderous divisions, most of them cloaked in religion.


    1. Biting the Bullet: The Case for Legalizing Drugs by Walter Wink

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

    2. Drug Abuse and the Church: Are the Blind Leading the Blind? by Stephen P. Apthorp

      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.

    3. Drug policy: The Fix We're In by Walter Wink

      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.

    4. Ecology and the Church: Theology and Action by Diane E. Sherwood

      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.

    5. God and Alcoholism by Dick B.

      An overview of the Alcoholics Anonymous movement. The author,"Dick B.," covers the biblical roots of the movement, its Twelve Step recovery program, and its emphasis on God.

    6. Hidden Pursuits by Lillian Daniel

      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.


    1. A Challenge to the Eco-Doomsters by Walter W. Benjamin

      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.

    2. A Sacramental Approach to Environmental Issues by John Habgood

      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.

    3. A Way in the Wilderness: Men and the Environment by David Douglas

      The author shows the intimate relationship between wilderness and spirituality.

    4. An Ethic of Eating and Drinking by Stephen C. Rose

      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.

    5. Animals and the Love of God by William Greenway

      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.

    6. Biblical Views of Nature by James Austin Baker

      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.

    7. Can Corporations Assume Responsibility for the Environment? by John B. Cobb, Jr.

      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.

    8. Caring and Working: An Agrarian Perspective by Norman Wirzba

      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.

    9. Christian Obligation for the Liberation of Nature by L. Charles Birch

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

    10. Christianity and Animal Rights: The Challenge and Promise by Tom Regan

      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.

    11. Climate Change and the Unraveling of Creation by Bill McKibben

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

    12. Community of Life: Ecological Theology in African Perspective by Harvey Sindima

      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.

    13. Covenant and Creation by Wesley Granberg-Michaelson

      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.

    14. Cynics, Martyrs and the Importance of Energy Conservation by Peter Penner

      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?

    15. Driving Global Warming by Bill McKibben

      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.

    16. Eco-minded: Faith and Action by Charles Pinches

      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.

    17. Ecological Degradation As The Judgment of God by William F. French

      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.

    18. Ecology and Economy by John B. Cobb, Jr.

      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.

    19. Ecology and the Fall by Donald Heinz

      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?

    20. Ecology, Justice and Theology: Beyond the Preliminary Skirmishes by H. Paul Santmire

      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.

    21. Energy Ethics Reaches the Church’s Agenda by Bruce C. Birch

      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.

    22. Facing up to Global Warming by Bill McKibben

      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.

    23. Farm Factories by Bernard E. Rollin

      Human dominion over the natural world must not be taken as an unqualified license to kill or inflict suffering on animals.

    24. Farming for God by H. Paul Santmire

      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.

    25. Field of Corporate Dreams: Farming Without the Farmer by Debra Bendis

      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.

    26. Imaging a Theology of Nature: The World as God’s Body by Sallie McFague

      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.

    27. In God’s Ecology by H. Paul Santmire

      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.

    28. Land and People: The Eco-Justice Connection by Joseph C. Hough

      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.

    29. New Testament Foundations for Understanding the Creation by Paulos Mar Gregorios

      The value of non-Christian perspectives of the created order of nature. An Indian Orthodox point of view.

    30. Rearranging Mountains in Appalachia by Scott Williams

      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.

    31. Religious and Cosmic Homelessness: Some Environmental Implications by John F. Haught

      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.

    32. Revisioning God and the Self: Lessons from Buddhism by Glen McDonald

      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.

    33. Saving the Earth by John B. Cobb, Jr.

      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.

    34. Stewards of the Earth’s Resources: A Christian Response to Ecology by J. Patrick Dobel

      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.

    35. The Biblical Vision of the Ecological Crisis by Rosemary Ruether

      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.

    36. The Christian, the Future, and Paolo Soleri by John B. Cobb, Jr.

      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.

    37. The Ethics of Radwaste Disposal by Ted Peters

      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.

    38. The Liturgy of Abundance, The Myth of Scarcity by Walter Brueggemann

      It is the author's thesis that God created a world of great abundance. If we share, there is enough for all.

    39. The Spirituality of the Earth by Thomas Berry

      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.

    40. The Splendor of Creation, a Biblical Ecology (excerpts) by Ellen Bernstein

      (BOOK EXCERPTS) The introduction and three excerpts from The Splendor of Creation, A Biblical Ecology by Ellen Bernstein. The book is comprised of 31 ecologically oriented essays inspired by the 31 verses of Genesis 1:1- Genesis 2:3, the first Creation story. The excerpts are on the Mystery of Creation, The Gift of Time, and Genesis 1:28: Dominion.

    41. The World as God's Body by Sallie McFague

      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.

    42. Theology and Ecology by John B. Cobb, Jr.

      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.

    43. Thinking Like a Mountain: Toward a Sensible Land Ethic by Julia Ahlers

      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.

    44. Thomas Berry and a New Creation Story by Majorie Hope and James Young

      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?

    45. Three Axioms for Land Use by Richard Cartwright Austin

      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.

    46. Toward an Earth Charter by Larry Rassmussen

      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.

    47. Wild Country and Wildlife by David Douglas

      The church has often seen nature as a window to God. But with few exceptions it has been tamed nature -- the pastoral and bucolic that humans have fenced and framed. The wilder corners of creation, bearing no imprint of humankind, have been allowed to slip into disrepair.

    Economic Justice

    1. A Buddhist-Christian Critique of Neo-Liberal Economics by John B. Cobb, Jr.

      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.

    2. A Sustainable Society by John B. Cobb, Jr.

      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.

    3. Africa and Globalisation for the Common Good: The Quest for Justice and Peace by An International Conf. on Globalisation for the Common Good

      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.

    4. Against Free Trade: A Meeting of Opposites by John B. Cobb, Jr.

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

    5. An Economist's Reflections In A Time Of Prosperity by Robin Klay

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

    6. Apology For The Hireling: A Work Ethic For the Global Marketplace by Dennis P. McCann

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

    7. Bringing Economics and Theology Together Again by Marcus Braybrooke

      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.

    8. Can "Sustainability" Be Sustained? by Max L. Stackhouse

      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."

    9. Christian Faith and Economic Practice by Roger Shinn

      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.

    10. Combating Modern-day Feudalism: Land as God’s Gift by Walter Rybeck and Ronald Pasquariello

      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.

    11. Conscience and the Economic Crisis by John C. Raines

      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.

    12. Covenant with the Poor: Toward a New Concept of Economic Justice by Yong-Bok Kim

      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.

    13. Economic Aspects of Social and Environmental Violence by John B. Cobb, Jr.

      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.

    14. Economics for the Common Good by John B. Cobb, Jr.

      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.

    15. Economics for the Earth by David A. Krueger

      In this book review, John Cobb argues for an "earthist" rather than an "economist" approach to poverty by the World Bank.

    16. Ethics, Economics and Free Trade by John B. Cobb, Jr.

      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?

    17. Foreign Aid: Does It Harm or Help? by David Sogge

      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..

    18. Free Trade And The World Trade Organization by John B. Cobb, Jr.

      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.

    19. Have Ethics Disappeared from Wall Street.? by Robert Bachelder

      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.<

    20. How Christians Can Cope with Inflation by Thomas E. Ludwig and David Myers

      '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.

    21. How Moral Can a Business Be? by Sidney C. Sufrin

      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.

    22. Ideals into Practice: Reuniting Economics and Theology by Kamran Mofid

      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.

    23. Inequality, U.S.A. by Michael Jinkins

      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.

    24. International and Transnational Trade by John B. Cobb, Jr.

      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.

    25. Proclaiming Jubilee--For Whom? by Robert Snyder

      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.

    26. Sharing the Wealth: The Church as Biblical Model for Public Policy by Ronald J. Sider

      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.

    27. Taming the Savage Market by Robert Bellah, et al

      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.

    28. Teaching the Eco-Justice Ethic: The Parable of the Billerica Dam by J. Ronald Engel

      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.

    29. The Failure of Individualism by Jack Bakunin

      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.

    30. The Global Economy and its Theoretical Justification by John B. Cobb, Jr.

      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.

    31. The Gospel of Equality and the Gospel of Efficiency by Robert Bachelder

      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.

    32. The Roots of Economics -- And Why it has Gone So Wrong by Kamran Mofid

      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!

    33. The Skewing of America: Disparities in Wealth and Income by Ronald D. Pasquariello

      The cause of poverty is an inevitable consequence of the maldistribution of wealth and the lack of a true sense of the common good.

    34. The Zambian Debt Dilemma: A Just Repayment Plan by Jack B. Strauss, Jr.

      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.

    35. Trade in Process Perspective by John B. Cobb, Jr.

      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.

    36. What is Free About Free Trade? by John B. Cobb, Jr.

      Since even the critics of GATT and of the agreement with Mexico have accepted free trade as an ideal, the real issue has not yet been discussed. Few have asked the fundamental questions: Is free trade desirable in general? When trade is "free," who is "free" from whom? What are the results of free trade, and do we favor them?

    37. What Kind of Growth? by John B. Cobb, Jr.

      The author shows that the GNP is inadequate as an index of real growth. Instead, he proposes an Index of Sustainable Economic Welfare, and dvocates a new kind of economy, one based on the needs of the community, and suggests several steps to bring it about.

    38. Who Benefits from Outsourcing? by Albino Barrera

      Economic history makes clear that openness to the global marketplace is a significant determiner of a nation’s economic well-being.

    39. Will Economism End in Time? by John B. Cobb, Jr.

      Cobb describes the shift from nationalism to economism and his criticisms: people do not have an adequate role in determining the system and policies that shape their lives; the aims of corporations to grow and make more profits are inimical to the wellbeing of the natural world, and they have not reduced poverty. The solution lies in the development of what the author calls Earthism, which began to take form at the International NGO Forum near Rio in 1992. Since then at every United Nations meeting, the NGOs have built on that platform and enriched it. He believes this is God's work, and Christians have a responsibility to take part in it.


    1. American Ecumenism: Separatism, Separation and Schism by Martin E. Marty

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

    2. An Ecumenical Vision For the Year 2000 by Lewis S. Mudge

      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.

    3. Building a New Ecumenism Through Contextual Theology by Mark Ellingsen

      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.

    4. Civil Society: Unity and Oikos (the House of God) by Yong-Bok Kim

      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.

    5. Covenanting: New Directions for Ecumenism by Elizabeth Achtemeier

      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.

    6. Ecumenical Hermeneutics for a Plural Christianity: Reflections on Contextuality and Catholicity by Rudolf von Sinner

      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.

    7. Ecumenicity: Rx for Urban Health by David F. Cox

      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.

    8. Fourteen Years After ‘Unity in Mid-Career’ by A. J. van der Bent

      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.

    9. Hope and Fear in Ecumenical Union by John Shelby Spong

      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.

    10. In Need of a Pope? by D. Stephen Long

      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.

    11. Interfaith ‘Prayer:’ What Is It and Should We Do It? by Gilbert Meilaender

      When the peoples of the world cry out to god, are there Christian grounds for supposing they are addressing the true God?

    12. Protestants and Marian Devotion -- What about Mary? by Jason Byassee

      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.

    13. Reimagining Ecumenism for the 21st Century by Bill Perkins

      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.

    14. The Unity We Seek by George Lindbeck

      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.

    Education in the Local Church

    1. A Curriculum on Dating and Marriage by Amy Johnson Frkyholm

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

    2. Adolescents' Moral Compass, Adults' Moral Presence by Daniel R. Heischman

      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.

    3. Bible Stories, Literalists and the Sunday School by Gaylord Noyce

      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.

    4. Church Education for Tomorrow by John H. Westerhoff III

      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.

    5. Da Vinci Code as a Teaching Moment by Robin Griffith-Jones

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

    6. Educating the Congregation by Susan E. Schreiner

      The consequences of much of theological education are found in the dispersion and fragmentation of the curriculum and an individualistic understanding of the ministry.

    7. Everyday Theology by Delwin Brown and Meridith Underwood

      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.

    8. Everything I Know About Writing I Learned in Sunday School by Doris Betts

      The author hears in current serious fiction a whisper of that still, small voice for which our faith has taught us to listen.

    9. Jesus Isn’t Cool by Chanon Ross

      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.

    10. Let’s Liberate the Sunday School by Dorothy Jean Furnish

      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.

    11. Making Belief Intellibgible by Jeremiah Gibbs and Jason Byassee

      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.

    12. Making Christians in a Secular World by William Willimon

      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.

    13. Report of the Spies by Jayne Anne Phillips

      The author shares vivid recollections of experiences in Vacation Bible School and Sunday School from her girlhood in a Methodist church.

    14. Speaking the Truth to Our Children by Olin Robison

      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.

    15. Taking Confirmation Out of the Classroom by William Willimon

      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.

    16. Teaching Theology in the Church by Anthony B. Robinson

      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.

    17. The Appeal of the Da Vinci Code by Rodney Clapp

      Truthiness – the notion that what "feels true" must be treatd as true – helps account for the extraordinary success of The Da Vinci Code.

    18. The Future Came Yesterday by Michael Leach

      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.

    19. The Goal of Youth Ministry by Michael Warren

      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.

    20. The Language Gap and God: Religious Language and Christian Education by Randolph Crump Miller

      ENTIRE BOOK The problem of communicating Christian teaching -- especially the use of language in bible study. How can we say what we mean about God so that our assertions will be understood, accepted, and responded to?

    21. The Sunday School of Tomorrow by John H. Westerhoff III

      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.

    22. The Sunday School: Battered Survivor by Martin E. Marty

      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.

    23. Three Resources for Christian Formation by Jason Byassee

      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.

    24. Two or Three and God by Richard W. Sales

      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.

    25. What Makes Faith Mature by Eugene C. Roehlkepartain

      That churches are not doing what it takes to make faith mature is the sobering finding of an important new study of mainline denominations. ‘Nothing matters more than Christian education. Done well, it has the potential -- more than any other area of congregational life -- to promote faith and loyalty.

    Evangelical - Conservative Theology

    1. A Reformed Perspective on the Ecumenical Movement by Jane Dempsey Douglass

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

    2. A Tour Among the Evangelicals by John G. Stackhouse, Jr.

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

    3. American Evangelicals in a Turning Time by Carl C. F. Henry

      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.

    4. An Evangelical Theology of Liberation by Ronald J. Sider

      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.

    5. An Unapologetic Middle Ground by Paul Nelson

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

    6. Discerning the Spirit by Amos Yong

      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.

    7. Humility, Hope and the Divine Slowness by Richard J. Mouw

      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.

    8. Jesus’ Resurrection and the Search for Peace and Justice by Ronald J. Sider

      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.

    9. Our Faith by Emil Brunner

      (ENTIRE BOOK) A straightforward exposition of the basic concepts of traditional Christian faith, divided into thirty-five brief chapters.

    10. Postconservative Evangelicals Greet the Postmodern Age by Roger E. Olson

      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."

    11. Should Wildlife Trapping Have a Place in a Christian Environmental Ethic? by Stephen Vantassel

      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.

    12. Then and Now: The Recovery of Patristic Wisdom by Thomas C. Oden

      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.

    13. What a Friend They Have in Jesus by Michael Barton

      The connection between modern fundamentalism and popular culture becomes evident in the language of those who boast that they have met the Lord, that they have a personal relationship with Jesus. The “700 Club” and its members are very much in and of the world. But they should be warned that if religion becomes a hit and God becomes a pal, then the world will cancel the one when it becomes boring and snub the other when he becomes demanding.


    1. A Fundamentalist Social Gospel by Robert M. Price

      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.

    2. Brother, Are You Saved? or How to Handle the Religious Census Taker by Troy Organ

      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?

    3. Can Evangelicalism Survive in the Context of Free Inquiry? by Lloyd J. Averill.

      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.

    4. Completing an Awakening by Richard F. Lovelace

      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.

    5. Evangelicalism Without Fundamentalism by Donald W. Dayton

      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.

    6. Evangelicals and Israel: Theological Roots of a Political Alliance by Donald Wagner

      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.

    7. Love, Power and Justice by Paul B. Henry

      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.

    8. Religion Sells by Marcia Z. Nelson

      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.

    9. Resurgent Fundamentalism: Marching Backward into the ‘80s? by John Scanzoni

      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.

    10. Standing the Founding Fathers on Their Heads by Richard V. Pierard

      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.

    11. The Contemporary Resource of Liberal Theology by William R. Barnett

      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.

    12. The Holiness Churches: A Significant Ethical Tradition by Donald W. Dayton

      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.

    13. The Years of the Evangelicals by Martin E. Marty

      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.

    14. Totalitarian Evangelicalism by Virginia M. Doland

      The desire to impose a preconceived pattern on other’s thoughts and actions, though not biblical, is a dangerous temptation for many evangelicals.

    15. Understanding Evangelicals by Martin E. Marty

      A review of a book about the rise of Evangelicalism as a separate movement within Protestantism.

    16. Will Success Spoil Evangelicalism? by Martin E. Marty

      We would like to know how evangelicalism’s drastic shift in what its self-critics call "cultural accommodation" has affected the lives and souls of evangelicals and the soul of evangelicalism(s).

    17. Will the Real Evangelical Please Stand Up? by Lerond Curry

      A segment of the religious population has claimed the term ‘evangelical’ for itself and has read the rest of us out of its circle of definition. However, the author is both a liberal and an evangelist.


    1. ABCs of Faith by Debra Bendis

      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.

    2. Brainwashed or Converted? by Lowell D. Streiker

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

    3. Evangelism as Entertainment by Robert M. Price

      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."

    4. Evangelism When Certainty Is an Illusion by John Shelby Spong

      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.

    5. I Found the Lord in Jerusalem by William R. Watters, Jr.

      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.

    6. Parallel Conversions: Charismatics and Recovered Alcoholics by Joseph H. Fichter

      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.

    7. Religious Cause, Religious Cure by Martin E. Marty

      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.

    8. The Needle’s Eye: Christians and Their Money by Doris Donnelly

      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.

    9. What the Mainline Denominations Are Doing in Evangelism by Alfred C. Krass

      The churches have moved toward a new paradigm for expressing what we do in sharing the gospel with others: storytelling. Churches do not seem to be responding in two areas: 1. In the relationship of the family to evangelism. 2. No questions are being raised in the area of communications.

    10. Youth on the Edge by D. Michael Lindsay

      The spiritual hunger of present day teens is remarkable, but the challenge is to channel this free-floating, often nebulous, ethereal religiosity into genuine religious commitment.

    Family Life

    1. A Theology of Divorce by Robert G. Sinks

      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.

    2. After Divorce by Lauren Winner

      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.

    3. Can the Church Bless Divorce? by John Shelby Spong

      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.

    4. Children of Divorce by Elizabeth Marquardt

      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.

    5. Churches’ Witness on the Family by W. Bradford Wilcox

      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.

    6. Crisis and Growth: Helping Your Troubled Child by Howard J. Clinebell, Jr.

      (ENTIRE BOOK) The Clinebells bring reassurance and professional guidance to parents trying to help their children grow--especially as they deal with personal and family crisis.

    7. Day Care: A Need Crying to Be Heard by Donald E. and Bonnie J. Messer

      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.

    8. Deconstructing the Culture of Divorce by Mary Stewart Van Leeuwen

      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."

    9. Families in Crisis by Garrett E. Paul

      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.

    10. Family: Crisis or Change? by John Scanzoni

      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.

    11. Forming a Family by Adrian Thatcher

      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.

    12. Heart of a Child by Linda Lee Nelson

      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.

    13. How Faith Shapes Fathers by Don Browning

      How American Protestantism shapes the behavior of modern husbands and fathers.

    14. Idolatry and the Family by Leo Sandon, Jr.

      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.

    15. Kids These Days: The Changing State of Childhood by Catherine M. Wallace

      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.

    16. Marriage Today by John Wall

      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.

    17. Marriage: The Impossible Commitment by Donna Schaper

      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.

    18. Marrying Well by Don Browning

      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.

    19. Meditation of a Middle-Aged, (Upper) Middle-Class, White, Liberal, Protestant Parent by Joanna Bowen Gillespie

      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.

    20. Moms’ Malaise by Valerie Weaver-Zercher

      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.

    21. No Good Divorce by Elizabeth Marquardt

      There may be the necessity of a divorce, but there’s no such thing as a good divorce.

    22. Parenting and Politics: Giving new Shape to "Family Values" by Mary Stewart Van Leeuwen

      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.

    23. Pro-Family Public Policy: Creating a Just Society by Robert V. Thompson

      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.

    24. Raising Children in a Consumer Culture by Lillian Daniel

      The author reviews how three different authors, each with a different perspective on the hold that the consumer society has over kids.

    25. Rethinking Divorce Laws Fault or No Fault? by Muller Davis

      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.)

    26. The Church and the Family Crisis: by Don & Carol Browning

      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.

    27. The Churches and Day Care by Eileen W. Lindner

      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.

    28. The Collapse of Marriage by Don Browning

      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.

    29. The Family Debate: A Middle Way by Browning Don and Ian Evison

      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.

    30. The Practice and Theology of Adoption by Jeanne Stevenson-Moessner

      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.

    31. The Risk of Divorce by William Willimon

      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.

    32. Towards Reclaiming the Symbol of the Family of God: Identity and Sexuality by Christopher Wemple and Suzan Stafford

      The authors identify the characteristics of an optimal family in terms of control, power and intimacy.

    33. What Teens Believe by Carol E. Lytch

      A survey on teens challenges us to stop defining adolescence as a social problem involving strange and menacing beings, and instead understand adolescence as responses that reflect our own adult problems.


    1. Breaking Away by Amy Johnson Frkyholm

      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.

    2. Dinosaurs in the Garden by Jason Byassee

      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.

    3. Falwell and Followers by R. Jonathan Moore

      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..

    4. Fundamentalism Around the World by Max L. Stackhouse

      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.

    5. Fundamentalism in the World by Robert Wuthnow

      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.

    6. Fundamentalism: the Challenge to the Secular World by Lloyd Geering

      (ENTIRE BOOK) An excellent brief analysis of fundamentalism in three major faiths -- Christianity, Islam and Judiasm.

    7. Global and Local by Cecil M. Robeck Jr.

      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.

    8. How the Fundamentalists Learned to Thrive by William Martin

      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.

    9. Insiders Look at Fundamentalism by Martin E. Marty

      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.

    10. Pentecostalism‘s Dark Side by Roger R. Olson

      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.

    11. The Fundamentalist Surge in Latin America by Penny Lernoux

      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.

    12. The Revival of Religion and the Decay of Ethics by Robert Gordis

      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.

    13. The Unknown History of Televangelism by William F. Fore

      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.

    14. The World of Fundamentalism by Robert Wuthnow

      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.

    15. What’s Behind "Left Behind?" by Jason Byassee

      How unorthodox is dispensationalism? Two books give a vigorous engagement with the heresy of the "rapture."


    1. Cloning -- Has Dominion Gone Too Far? by John B. Cobb, Jr.

      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.

    2. Design-A-Kid by Bill McKibben

      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.

    3. Designer Children: The Market World of Reproductive Choice by Ted Peters

      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.

    4. Genethics: Implications of the Human Genome Project by Ann Lammers and Ted Peters

      The authors discuss the awesome philosophical, theological and ethical questions regarding genetic manipulation that are being raised by research on the human genome.

    5. Genetics and Theology: A Complementarity? by J. Robert Nelson

      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.

    6. Mastering Our Gen(i)es: When Do We Say No? by Gilbert Meilaender

      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.

    7. Physics and Faith: The Luminous Web by Barbara Brown Taylor

      The author describes the changes that took place in her experience of God when she became aware of the insights of quantum physics.

    8. Reflections on Human Cloning by Nancy J. Duff

      The author proposes ethical guidelines for research into human cloning.

    9. Slippery Slope: Medical Technology and the Human Future by Daniel Callahan

      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.

    10. The Religious Response to Reproductive Technology by Arthur L. Greil

      As medical knowledge about infertility has increased, the ethics of reproduction is no longer the sole concern of the church.


    1. Globalization and Human Solidarity by Tissa Balasuriya

      (ENTIRE BOOK) Globalization has created a crisis.  The root of the problem is "world apartheid" promulgated by the Western superpowers (white European).  Meanwhile, globalization has become a religion of "money-theism."  To counter this, this the author calls for all the world religions to work together to realize a spirituality based on the core values of love and sharing.

    2. Globalization and Its Impact on Human Rights by George Mathews Chunakara (ed.)

      (ENTIRE BOOK) A highlighting of globalization’s impact on human rights, assessing it in the light of ethical theological considerations and helping the churches to identify concerns that address the adverse impact of globalization and the search for alternatives.

    3. Globalization With A Human Face by John B. Cobb, Jr.

      A critical review of Thomas Friedman's The Lexus and the Olive Tree: Understanding Globalization.

    4. Moral Dilemmas in Economics and Ecology by John B. Cobb, Jr.

      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.

    5. The Other Davos: Globalization of Resistances and Struggles by Francois Houtart and Francois Polet

      (ENTIRE BOOK) "Davos" is the town in Switzerland where the International Economic Forum met annually for almost twenty years to rethink and re-orient the world economy according to the interests of capital. This book is a radical rejoinder to that effort.  The authors believe that it is imperative to discover viable alternatives to the unilateral globalization which pretends to link and unite, but actually separates and imprisons. They urge us to construct a new form of globalization, joining forces to build alternatives based on human diversity and creativity.

    6. The Quest for Justice and Peace in the Age of Globalisation by Kamran Mofid

      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.

    7. The Symbiosis Between Poverty and Globalization: A Need for a Critique from Political Ethics by I. John Mohan Razu

      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.

    H. Richard Niebuhr

    1. A Contested Classic: Critics Ask: Whose Christ? Which Culture? by Peter R. Gathje

      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.

    2. Christianity and Cultures: Transforming Niebuhr's Categories by George Marsden

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

    3. God and Ourselves: The Witness of H. Richard Niebuhr by Douglas F. Ottati

      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.

    4. The Reconstruction of Faith by H. Richard Niebuhr

      What appears to happen in fellowship with Jesus is that our distrust of God is turned somewhat in the direction of trust.

    5. The Responsibility of the Church for Society by H. Richard Niebuhr

      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.

    Higher Education

    1. A College Recovers Its Christian Identity by Robert Benne

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

    2. A Crisis in Practical Theology by Thomas G. Long

      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.

    3. A Ministry to Students by A Symposium

      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.

    4. A Pedestrian-Idealist’s Approach to Education by William Barnwell

      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.

    5. A Seminary's Artist in Residence: Cathy Kapikian's Fabric of Faith by Linda-Marie Delloff

      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.

    6. A Southern Baptist Context by E. Glenn Hinson

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

    7. Academic Values and Prophetic Discernment by Myron B. Bloy, Jr.

      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.

    8. Are Church-Related Colleges Also Christian Colleges? by Richard G. Hutcheson, Jr.

      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.

    9. Back to Baccalaureate by Donald G. Shockley

      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.

    10. Between Athens And Berlin: The Theological Education Debate by David Kelsey

      (ENTIRE BOOK) For Kelsey, "Athens" (based on the Greek paideia , "culturing," "character formation,") and "Berlin" (based on the German Wissenschaft, "orderly," "disciplined critical research," "professional") represent two very different -- and ultimately irreconcilable -- models of excellent education. It is the case de facto, says Kelsey, that modern North American theological education, for historical reasons, is committed to both models, resulting in ongoing tensions and struggles. Kelsey shows how a variety of significant thinkers -- Newman, Niebuhr, Farley, Stackhouse, and several others -- fit in the Athens-Berlin framework.

    11. Campus Ministry in the Last Decade of the Century by F. Thomas Trotter

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

    12. Can Christianity Shape Higher Education in a Pluralistic Age? by John B. Cobb, Jr.

      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.

    13. Can the Nonconservative Seminaries Help the Churches? by Edward Farley

      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.

    14. Choosing the Impossible: Seminary Students Speak Out by A Roundtable

      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.

    15. Christian Colleges: A Dying Light or a New Refraction? by Mark U. Edwards, Jr.

      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.

    16. Christianity and Academic Soul-searching by Mark R. Schwehn and Dorothy Bass

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

    17. Class Issues by Lillian Daniel

      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?

    18. Creating a Respect for Theology by James Daane

      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.

    19. Education and Economism by John B. Cobb, Jr.

      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.

    20. Education and the Common Good: A Moral Philosophy of the Curriculum by Philip H. Phenix

      (ENTIRE BOOK) Professor Phenix purposes a new curriculum centered around the concepts of intelligence, creativity, conscience, and reverence. There is a distinction between the life of desire, self-satisfaction narrowly conceived, and the life of worth, goodness and excellence, conceived in terms of a moral commitment. Around these concepts come the human characteristics and values essential for a sound education.

    21. Education as Furniture and Propellant by Joseph Sittler

      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.

    22. Educational Process, Feminist Practice by Rebecca S. Chopp

      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.

    23. Embarrassed by the Church: Congregations and the Seminary by Stanley Hauerwas and W. Willimon

      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.

    24. Emphasizing the Congregation: New Directions for Seminaries by Christopher Walters-Bugbee

      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.

    25. Envisioning a Fifth Model by John B. Cobb, Jr.

      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.

    26. Ethical Collapse in Higher Education by Ronald Goetz

      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.

    27. Exercising a Christian Intellect by Glenn Tinder

      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.

    28. Faith in Learning: Integrative Education and Incarnational Theology by Jerry H. Gill

      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.

    29. Feminism and Ministerial Education by Iris V. Cully

      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.

    30. Fit For Ministry? by Barbara G. Wheeler

      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?

    31. Formative Years: The Seminary Experience by Ellen T. Charry

      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?

    32. Formed for Ministry: A Program in Spiritual Formation by L. Gregory Jones and Willie J. Jennings

      Theological education ought to be about forming people for ministry, not simply conveying information.

    33. Four Types of Universities by John B. Cobb, Jr.

      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.

    34. From Seminary to Parish by William Willimon

      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.

    35. Higher Education and the Periodization of History by John B. Cobb, Jr.

      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.

    36. Imagination and History by F. Thomas Trotter

      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.

    37. Inescapable Frameworks of Meaning by Robin Lovin

      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.

    38. Information Technology in Seminaries by Raymond B. Williams

      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.

    39. Liberal Learning and the Practice of Freedom by Philip H. Phenix

      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.

    40. Living Out the Gospel in Seminary Life by Grant S. Shockley

      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.

    41. Making Theology Central in Theological Education by Ronald F. Thiemann

      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.

    42. Practical Theology: What Will It Become by John H. Perkins

      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.

    43. Recreational Sex: Lost Souls at the University by William Willimon

      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.

    44. Religion and Education by John B. Cobb, Jr.

      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.

    45. Reorientation and Retrieval in Systematic Theology by Gabriel Fackre

      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.

    46. Revisioning Seminary as Ministry-Centered by Glenda Hope

      No one should be allowed to teach full time in a theological seminary longer than six years at a stretch.

    47. Revitalizing College Ministry: the 'Church-on-Campus' Model by John N. Brittain

      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.

    48. Saving the Soul of Higher Education by Myron A. Marty

      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.

    49. Scholars for the Church by Bonnie and Ted A. Smith McLemore

      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.

    50. Seizing the Moment for Teaching Pastoral Care by Ian Dixon

      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.

    51. Seminary Education Tested by Praxis by Janet F. Fishburn and Neill Q. Hamilton

      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.

    52. Sola Gratia in Lake Wobegon by William Lee Miller

      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.

    53. Spread Too Thin by William C. Placher

      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.

    54. Teaching Theology in a New Cultural Environment by Peter Horsfield

      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.

    55. Teaching Theology in Context by Luke T. and Charlotte McDaniel Johnson

      Report on Candler School of Theology's attempt to provide the means of integrating theological learning and practice – i.e. teaching theology in context.

    56. The Challenge of John 3:16 for Theological Education by Carnegie Samuel Calian

      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.

    57. The Church-Based University by Ronald A. Wells

      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.

    58. The Faculty Members of the Future: How Are They Being Shaped? by Barbara G. Wheeler

      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.

    59. The Faith of the Scholars by Daniel L. Pals

      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.

    60. The Future We Shan’t See: Evelyn Underhill"s Pacificism by Robert Gail Woods

      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.

    61. The Greening of Theology by John B. Cobb, Jr.

      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.

    62. The Identity Crisis in the Seminaries by James T. Laney

      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.

    63. The Listening Point by Lloyd Steffen

      Steffen describes a college course in which students learned to listen -- and in which they themselves were the texts.

    64. The Revival of Practical Theology by Don Browning

      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.

    65. The Teaching Life: Defining a Calling by Gabriel Fackre

      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.

    66. The Uses of an Ecumenical Seminary by Donald W. Shriver, Jr.

      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.

    67. The Value of a Theological Education: Is It Worth It? by John Dart

      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.

    68. Theological Education: Healing the Blind Beggar by Walter Brueggemann

      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.

    69. Theological Publishing: In Need of a Mandate by Barbara G. Wheeler

      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.

    70. To Understand God Truly by David Kelsey

      (ENTIRE BOOK) This is a book addressed to those who have felt the pinch of a misfit between their expectations of theological education and the realities of a theological school. Theologically speaking, what ought to be the purposes and nature of theological education? What theological commitments ought to be decisive criteria for assessing and reshaping the ethos and polity of a theological school? The readers he has in mind include: perhaps a student starting her second year of study, or an academic who has just joined a theological school faculty and has never herself been previously involved in theological education, or a person newly appointed to the board of trustees of a theological school.

    71. Toward a Public Sense of Pastoral Care by Donald W. Shriver, Jr.

      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?

    72. Virtual Seminary by Jason Byassee

      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.

    73. What is the Role of the Theological School in Today's World? by William F. Fore

      Schools of theology today must not try to be all things to all people. They must take sides. They must reject the traditionalist, supernatural God in all its trappings, and simply not graduate students into the Christian ministry who hold such a view.

    74. What Students Crave by Jennifer E. Copeland

      The college campus introduces different cultures, allows exploration of new limits and offers tools for defining life. This article provides a snapshot of four different campuses in four different regions, where religion is alive and well.

    75. What's Theological About a Theological School? by David Kelsey

      Since God cannot be understood directly, in schools of theology we study other topics which we believe will lead to an understanding of God.

    76. Why Is the D.Min. So Popular? by Jackson W. Carroll

      The D. Min. is a kind of rite of passage for clergy as they move into their midcareers. Over and over again we heard from ministers that the D. Min. gave them a new sense of their efficacy and enhanced their confidence and sense of self-worth.

    77. Why Seminaries Don’t Change: A Reflection on Faculty Specialization by Edward Farley

      Professors’ primary loyalty is likely to be to their fields of study rather than to the school’s general aims. Faculties need to develop new social identities and ways of being together that transcend their specializations.

    History of Religion After 1900

    1. 1984: Orwell and Barmen by Robert McAfee Brown

      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.

    2. A Wider Vision: A History of the World Congress of Faiths, 1936 - 1996 by Marcus Braybrooke

      (ENTIRE BOOK) The story of The World Congress of Faiths as one attempt to realize the vision and dream that all religions of the world might become one in spirit or at least forgo prejudice and hostility and work together for a happier world. NOTE: The Notes for all chapters will be found in the Notes at the end of the book.

    3. Adopting Realism: The Century 1962-1971 by James M. Wall

      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.

    4. After Twenty Years by George W. Norris

      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.

    5. All Agnostics Here by Martin E. Marty

      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.

    6. Azusa Street Revival by Edith Blumhofer

      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.

    7. Beginning at Jerusalem by Samuel McCrea Cavert

      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.

    8. Breadlines and Storm Clouds: The Century 1930-1937 by Dean Peerman

      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.

    9. Charles Atlas with a Halo: America's Billy Graham by Grant Wacker

      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.

    10. Charles Clayton Morrison: Shaping a Journal’s Identity by Linda-Marie Delloff

      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.

    11. Christian Faith and the World Crisis by Reinhold Niebuhr

      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.

    12. Christianity and the Status Quo by Herbert Butterfield

      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.


    13. Days of Protest by Mark G. Toulouse

      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..

    14. Dietrich Bonhoeffer's Ecumenical Vision by Victoria J. Barnett

      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.

    15. Dietrick Bonhoeffer by Craig L. Nessan

      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.

    16. Hans Küng and Tübingen: Compromise and Aftermath by John J. Carey

      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.

    17. How Baptists Assessed Hitler by William Loyd Allen

      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.

    18. Impasse in India by Pankaj Mishra

      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.

    19. Integration and Imperialism: The Century 1953-1961 by James M. Wall

      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.

    20. Irony of Ironies: Evaluating the Moderns by George Marsden

      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.

    21. John Bennett on Oxford '37 by David McCreary

      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.

    22. John XXIII: His Council and Achievement Remembered by J. Robert Nelson

      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.

    23. Keep It Religious!: The Morrison Era at the Century by Robert Wood Lynn

      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.

    24. Memories of Martin Niemöller by Ewart E. Turner

      The finding and freeing of Martin Niemöller at the end of the war.

    25. Nazism and Communism by Karl Barth

      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.

    26. No Communion Without Compassion: Visser ’ t Hooft , An Interview by Geiko Muller-Farenholtz

      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.

    27. On Anti-Semitism by Jacques Maritain

      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!).

    28. Peace and Pluralism: The Century 1946-1952 by Martin E. Marty

      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.

    29. Planning ahead: The Enduring Appeal of Prophecy Belief by Grant Wacker

      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.

    30. Progress and ‘Relapse’: The Century and World War I by Mark G. Toulouse

      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.

    31. Rauschenbusch Today: The Legacy of a Loving Prophet by Max L. Stackhouse

      The thought of Walter Rauschenbusch in the light of the new biography by Paul Minus.

    32. Rauschenbusch's Christianity and the Social Crisis by Gary Dorrien

      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.

    33. Remembering Rwanda by David P. Gushee

      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.

    34. Schism Memoirs by Bill J. Leonard

      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.

    35. Seventy Years of the Century by Harold E. Fey

      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.

    36. Socializing Capitalism: The Century During the Great Depression by Mark G. Toulouse

      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.

    37. Survivor of the First Degree by Werner Weinberg

      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.

    38. The Century and Civil Rights: Indirect Action by Mark G. Toulouse

      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.

    39. The Century and Women Feminist Gains by Mark G. Toulouse

      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.

    40. The Century in Transition: 1916-1922 by Linda-Marie Delloff

      From 1919 to 1922 the Century became nondenominational and assumed a role as a leading forum for the expression of social-gospel positions.

    41. The ‘Unnecessary Necessity’: The Century in World War II by Mark G. Toulouse

      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.

    42. The Barbaric 20th Century by William Schweiker

      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.

    43. The Church Faces Its World by Winfred Ernest Garrison

      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.

    44. The Conference at Stockholm by Lynn Harold Hough

      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.

    45. The Holocaust’s Lessons for the Church by Victoria J. Barnett

      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.

    46. The Making of Taizé by Lukas Vischer

      From a small group of Monks at Taizé the influence upon the Christian community has been immense, both on Catholics and Protestants.

    47. The Menace of the New Paganism by Arnold J. Toynbee

      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.

    48. The Origins of the Christian Century, 1884-1914 by Mark G. Toulouse

      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.

    49. The Quest for Unity by Charles Clayton Morrison

      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.

    50. The World Missionaiy Conference, 1910 by Charles Clayton Morrison

      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.

    51. The World Missionary Conference by Charles Clayton Morrison

      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.

    52. Tutu’s Story by Lawrence Wood

      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.

    53. War’s Dilemmas: The Century 1938-1945 by Martin E. Marty

      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!”

    54. When History Is All We Have by Will Campbell

      "What does this mean?" a journalist from Fort Worth asked me. "It means that the Baptist movement is over," I replied. "Over. Done. Gone. Dead."

    55. Who's Great by Mark A. Noll

      Even if simplistic assumptions about great men and history have been abandoned, Billy Graham and John Paul II must be considered significant actors in 20th-century history.

    56. Why I Did Not Leave Nazi Germany in Time by Werner Weinberg

      We did not leave because we thought Hitler would fail; we thought we would be able to endure the threats; it's difficult to tear one away from ones home, culture and friends.  Nobody could possibly see the "final solution;" it was considered immoral to leave, it was a feeling of duty to stay; where would you go and where would you stay.  Opportunities decreased rapidly; in many situations one could not leave; an international conference convened by President Roosevelt did not permit the immigration of any more Jews.  Finally, the borders were closed.

    57. Wide-angle Historian by David C. Steinmetz

      In this tribute to Jaroslav Pelikan upon his death David Steinmetz salutes a career that knew no boundaries in the details of the Christian past, for Pelikan’s career aspired to interpret that past, to explain its development from its earliest beginnings to the present.

    History of Religion Before 1900

    1. America’s Shift from Revolution to Counterrevolution by John C. Bennett

      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.

    2. Christianity Through the Ages by Kenneth Scott Latourette

      (ENTIRE BOOK) This book summarizes the history of the Christian religion, directing attention to the challenges it has met, the failures of many of its most loyal adherents to live up to "the high calling of God in Christ Jesus," and some of the achievements in seeking to make that calling a reality.

    3. Christology 'From Below' by Leo D. Lefebure

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

    4. Christology 'From Below' by Leo D. Lefebure

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

    5. Could the Civil War Have Been Prevented? by Samuel S. Hill, Jr.

      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.

    6. Crusader Zeal: Holy Wars, Then and Now by Timothy M. Renick

      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.

    7. East of the Euphrates: Early Christianity in Asia by T.V. Philip

      (ENTIRE BOOK) An introduction to the exciting and fascinating story of the movement of the Christian Gospel in Asian lands. The evidence is slight and fragmentary, but there is enough to indicate that while Paul and other missionaries were converting Greeks, Romans and the barbarian tribes in the west, there was a movement of Christianity to the East – Edessa, Persia, Arbia, Central Asia, China and India before the arrival of western missionaries.

    8. Great Debates by Andrew R. Murphy

      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.

    9. Henry Ward Beecher by Andrew` Stern

      Henry Ward Beecher, charismatic leader, a brilliant but troubled man who reached the pinnacle of fame only to land in a sexual embarrassment

    10. Ida B. Wells-Barnett: An Afro-American Prophet by Emilie M. Townes

      According to Wells-Barnett, whites resented Afro-Americans who could successfully compete with them economically and advance socially.

    11. Jesus People: Scholars Search for the Early Church by Bruce J. Malina

      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.

    12. Luther Against the Devil by Heiko A. Oberman

      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.

    13. Luther: A Life by John M. Todd

      (ENTIRE BOOK) The author intends to present the portrait of a man of extraordinary accomplishment in the fields of religion, politics, linguistics and ecclesiology, but also as an ordinary man whose letters and reported conversations reveal his struggle with the ordinary issues of a person of his time.

    14. Martyrs in the History of Christianity by Franklyn J. Balasundaram (ed.)

      (ENTIRE BOOK) A biographical account of many Christian martyrs through the centuries, some not well known in the West. Each article is written by a student of Dr. Balasundaram as a project from his class based on the subject at The United Theological College in Bangalore, India. Despite the shortcomings of the text, the bravery of the great Christian martyrs comes through prominently.

    15. Pagels’s Augustine: The Dark Prophet of Grace by Ronald Goetz

      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.

    16. Protestantism in America: A Narrative History by Jerald C. Brauer

      (ENTIRE BOOK) An interesting and readable history of Protestantism in America, starting with the Jamestown settlement in Virginia in 1607, and ending in 1965.

    17. Religion and the American Revolution by Jerald C. Brauer (ed.)

      (ENTIRE BOOK) An examination of the two primary traditions -- denominational biblical tradition and enlightenment utilitarianism -- that worked together to contribute to the American Revolution and to create the civil religion which marks American culture to this day. The three chapters are by Brauer, Sidney Mead and Robert Bellah.

    18. Religion and the Constitution: The Triumph of Practical Politics by Martin E. Marty

      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.

    19. Resurrected Love: The Death and Life of the Body by Kyle A. Pasewark

      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."

    20. Sophisticated Primitives Then, Primitive Sophisticates Now by Martin E. Marty

      Marty comments on several studies of "primitivism" and its place in the life of the church, especially in America.

    21. The Anachronism of Jonathan Edwards by H. Richard Niebuhr

      Niebuhr asks us--in light of what has happened in this century--to re-consider Edward's understanding of the holiness of God.

    22. The Man Who Belongs to the World by Jaroslav Pelikan

      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.

    23. The Unquenchable Light by Kenneth Scott Latourette

      (ENTIRE BOOK) A brief historical overview of the development and spread of Christianity, examining the several periods of advance and decline and detailing its various branches.

    24. The Vitality of the Franciscan Spirit: Reflections on the 750th Anniversary of the Death of St. Fran by Lawrence S. Cunningham

      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.

    25. Theologian in the Service of Piety: A New Portrait of Calvin by Randall C. Zachman

      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.

    26. Which Luther? by Martin E. Marty

      However you choose to explain Luther’s life, it makes sense chiefly as one rooted in and focused by an obsession with God. This God-centered Luther might be a hard sell these days, when people are more comfortable speaking of "spirituality" than of God.


    1. An Argument for Gay Marriage by Eugene F. Rogers, Jr

      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.

    2. Biblical Perspectives on Homosexuality by Walter Wink

      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.

    3. Coming Out: Journey without Maps by Carter Heyward

      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.

    4. Conservative Christians and Gay Civil Rights by Letha Scanzoni

      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.

    5. Gays and the Bible: A Response to Walter Wink by Robert A. J. Gagnon

      Using Wink's test, one could not categorically deny any form of consensual sexual relationship.

    6. Homosexuality and Christian Faith: A Theological Reflection by Theodore W. Jennings

      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?

    7. Homosexuality and the Bible by John B. Cobb, Jr.

      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.

    8. Homosexuality and the Church by James B. Nelson

      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."

    9. Homosexuality and the Evangelical: The Influence of Contemporary Culture by Robert K. Johnston

      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.

    10. Homosexuality and the Message of Isaiah by Frederick J. Gaiser

      Isaiah overturned a biblical directive. Perhaps there is a message here for today’s debate concerning homosexuality.

    11. Homosexuality and the Vatican by Robert Nugent, S.D.S.

      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.

    12. Homosexuality: Challenging the Church to Grow by John J. McNeill

      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.

    13. Interpreting What the Bible Says about Homosexuals by H. Edward Everding

      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.

    14. Joyful Worship in the Midst of Danger by Virginia Ramey Mollenkott

      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.

    15. Process Thought and the Liberation of Homosexuals by Arvid Adell

      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.

    16. Reservations About Gay Marriages by Dennis O'Brien

      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.

    17. Rethinking Homosexuality by Don Browning

      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.

    18. The Last Committee on Sexuality (Ever) by John Fortunato

      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.

    19. The Neglected Phenomenon of Female Homosexuality by Seward Hiltner

      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.

    20. To Hell with Gays: Sex and the Bible by Walter Wink

      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.

    Ilness and Handicapped

    1. A Pastoral and Theological Response to Losses in Pregnancy by Janet S. Peterman

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

    2. AIDS and the Church by Earl E. Shelp and Ronald H. Sunderland

      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.

    3. AIDS: An Evangelical Perspective by Ronald J. Sider

      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?

    4. Doing Wrong, Getting Sick, and Dying by Bonnie J. Miller-McLemore

      Problems formerly considered sins to be dealt with by church authorities are now medical concerns to be cured by the scientific community.

    5. Euthanasia: A Bedside View by Harriet Goetz

      Physicians are asking if there should be one last act of care – to bring on death.

    6. Giving Voice to the Silences by L. Gregory Jones

      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.

    7. Handicapped and Wholeness by Bill J. Leonard

      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.

    8. Healed, Not Cured by Margaret Kim Peterson

      How ought one to pray for healing, anyway?

    9. Holy Therapy: Can a Drug do the Work of the Spirit? by Ted Peters

      The author addresses the question of genetic influence in moderating environmental influence on antisocial or criminal behavior and how medication might help.

    10. Hospice: Caring at Life’s Edge by Robert Hirschfield

      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.

    11. How the Church Can Help the Chemically Sensitive by Mary Davis

      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.

    12. In the Belly of Illness by Martin E. Marty

      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.

    13. Intensive Care: The Crucifixion of the Dying? by Dan C. English

      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?"

    14. Job on Prozac: the Pharmaceutical Option by Gordon Marino

      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.

    15. Living with Alzheimer's: Body, Soul and the Remembering Community by Stephen Sapp

      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.

    16. Living with Chronic Illness: Why Should I Go On? by Stephen Schmidt

      Why go on when things are very bad? Because we need to, simply that.

    17. Making It Safe to Grieve by Ira Nerken

      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.

    18. Making Prenatal Choices by Amy Laura Hall

      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.

    19. My Life on Antidepressants: Taming the Beast by Betty Smartt Carter

      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.

    20. Our Misfit Children, Young and Old by Robert Joe Stout

      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.

    21. Pastoral Care for Persons with AIDS and for Their Families by Richard L. Schaper

      Sound, practical advice to pastors about how to care for persons with AIDS.

    22. Shedding Light on the Darkness of Depression by John H. Timmerman

      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.

    23. Spirit at the Solstice by Martin E. Marty

      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.

    24. The Goodness of Grief by John C. Raines

      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.

    25. The Last Passage: Re-visioning Dying, Death, and Funeral by Donald Heinz

      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.

    26. The Prize Is Life by Liston Pope, Jr.

      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.”

    27. The Wounded Body in Early Christian Thought: Implications for the Care of HIV/AIDS Survivors by J. Jayakiran Sebastian

      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.

    28. The Wounded Self: The Religious Meaning of Mental Suffering by Louis Dupre

      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.

    29. Twelve Steps for Women Alcoholics by Gail Unterberger

      A feminist recovery program would find God’s power evident in the relationships between caring people in a supportive community.

    30. We Are the Church Alive, the Church with AIDS by Kittredge Cherry and James Mitulski

      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.

    Inclusive Language

    1. Are ‘Mother’ and ‘Father’ Appropriate Titles for Protestant Clergy? by David L. Holmes

      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."

    2. Balancing Out the Trinity: The Genders of the Godhead by John Dart

      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.

    3. Called to Unity Through the Cross by Barbara Brown Zikmund

      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.

    4. Gender and Creed: Confessing a Common Faith by S. Mark Heim

      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.

    5. Inclusive Language, Women's Ordination, and Another Great Awakening by Browne Barr

      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.

    6. Praising the Triune God: Beyond Gender? by Ruth E. Duck

      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.

    7. Taking the Next Step in Inclusive Language by Pamela Payne Allen

      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.

    8. The Increasingly Visible Female and the Need for Generic Terms by Rosa Shand Turner

      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.

    9. The Words of Worship: Beyond Liturgical Sexism by James F. White

      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.

    10. TNIV Bible Braves Gender-Inclusive World by John Dart

      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).

    11. Why the Inclusive Language Lectionary? by Burton H. Throckmorton, Jr.

      When it is insisted that only masculine pronouns be used for God, and that it is good to address God as Father but pagan and baalistic to address God as Mother, one begins to suspect that God is not believed to transcend sexuality at all but that, on the contrary, God is being used to legitimize patriarchalism.

    12. Women and the Language of Religion by Casey Miller and Kate Swift

      When words like ‘father’ and ‘king’ are used to evoke the image of a personal God, at some level of consciousness a male image takes hold. As women free themselves to reflect on their own experiences and longings, they are creating new images and symbols that will bring into being not a "feminine" theology, but new, more inclusive ways of describing the indescribable.

    Indian and Asian Theology

    1. A Fresh Look at the Issues of Conversion and Baptism in Relation to Mission by J. Jayakiran Sebastian

      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.

    2. Among the Ruins - Dr. Kaj Baago’s Theological Challenge Revisited by Jonas Jorgensen

      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.

    3. Asian Theology Today: Searching for Definitions by James M. Cone

      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.

    4. Ethical Issues in the Struggles for Justice by Daniel Chetti and M.P. Joseph

      (ENTIRE BOOK) Essays in honor Rev. Dr. K. C. Abraham on his sixtieth birthday. An eminent theologian and ecumenical leader and teacher, Abraham made significant contributions to both theological and social thinking in India and abroad. The purpose of this volume is to explore theological thinking especially in these areas: 1) Re-definition of mission, 2) Theological and ethical articulation of ecological concerns, 3) Faith response to caste and, communalism, and 4) Ethics and economics with special attention to the question of poverty and development.

    5. Hindutva, Religious and Ethnocultural Minorities, and Indian-Christian Theology by Sathianathan Clarke

      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.

    6. Hindutva, Religious and Ethnocultural Minorities, and Indian-Christian Theology by Sathianathan Clarke

      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.

    7. Infant versus Believers' Baptism: Search for Ecumenical Understanding by J. Jayakiran Sebastian

      The author examines the practice, meaning and implications of baptism, within a multi-cultural context.

    8. Jesus Christ Among Asian Minjung: A Christological Reflection by Yong-Bok Kim

      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.

    9. Justice, Peace and Integrity of Creation: An Asian Perspective by Yong-Bok Kim

      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.

    10. Kingdom of God and Ecology: A Parabolic Perspective by V.J. John

      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.

    11. Listening to the Speaking Bible by J. Jayakiran Sebastian

      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.

    12. Martyrs and Heretics: Aspects of the Contribution of Women to Early Christian Tradition by J. Jayakiran Sebastian

      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.

    13. Messianic Politics: Toward a New Political Paradigm by Yong-Bok Kim

      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.

    14. Minjung and Power : A Biblical and Theological Perspective on Doularchy (Servanthood) by Yong-Bok Kim

      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.

    15. Permeating All Things with Divinity:Jesus in Selected Writings of the Teachers of the Early Church i by J. Jayakiran Sebastian

      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.

    16. Pietists and Contextualists: The Indian Situation by Max L. Stackhouse

      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.

    17. Pressure on the Hyphen: Aspects of the Search for Identity Today in Indian-Christian Theology by J. Jayakiran Sebastian

      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.

    18. Radha in the Erotic Play of the Universe by David C. Scott

      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.

    19. The Breath of God: A Primer in Pacific/Asian Theology by Belden C. Lane

      The spirit of God broods over the waters of East and West, breathing new life in both directions.

    20. The Church’s Mission and Post-Modern Humanism by M. M. Thomas

      (ENTIRE BOOK) This collection of 21 papers by the great ecumenical theologian deals with the search for a new ideology in the face of the break-up of Socialism, the crisis of Secularism, and the growth of religious fundamentalism.  Dr. Thomas proposes a new ideology of struggle for both social and ecological justice --  a spiritual framework for a post modern holistic humanism based on an understanding of Christ as the Suffering Servant.

    21. The Concept of Trinity and Its Implication for Christian Communication in Indian Context by Joseph Oomen

      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.

    22. The Jesus of Nineteenth Century Indian Christian Theology by Sathianathan Clarke

      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.

    23. Wisdom Tradition and the Indian Parallels with specific reference to Telugu Literature by G. Babu Rao

      The author compares Old Testament wisdom tradition with parallels in the Telugu tradition, including proverbs, sayings, maxims, epigrammes, and books of fables, and concludes with great appreciation of the Indian wisdom tradition.


    1. A Christian Appeal to Islam by Michael Saad

      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.

    2. A Christian Scholar’s Dialogue with Muslims by Hans Kung

      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!

    3. A Different Kind of Islamic State by S. Mark Heim

      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.

    4. Allah is my Lord and Yours by Paul J. Griffiths

      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.

    5. An Ecological Reading of the Qur’anic Understanding of Creation by Jose Abraham

      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.

    6. Arguing with Muslims by William Willimon

      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.

    7. Between East and West: Confrontation and Encounter by Lamin Sanneh

      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.

    8. Bin Laden’s Reasons: Interpreting Islamic Tradition by John Kelsay

      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.

    9. Cross Meets Crescent: An Interview with Kenneth Cragg by 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.

    10. Do Christians and Muslims Worship the Same God? Part Five by Wells. Samuel

      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.

    11. Do Christians and Muslims Worship the Same God? Part Four by S. Wesley Ariaraja

      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.

    12. Do Christians and Muslims Worship the Same God? Part One by Jon D. Levenson

      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.

    13. Do Christians and Muslims Worship the Same God? Part Three by J. Dudley Woodberry

      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.

    14. Do Christians and Muslims Worship the Same God? Part Two by Lamin Sanneh

      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.

    15. Examining Islamic Militancy by Charles A. Kimball

      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.

    16. Ground Rules for Muslim-Christian Conversation by Edward McGlynn Gaffney Jr.

      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.

    17. Is There an Islamic Fundamentalism? by William Shepard

      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.

    18. Islam -- The Straight Path: Islam Interpreted by Muslims by Kenneth W. Morgan

      (ENTIRE BOOK) A collection of essays written by Islamic leaders for Western readers. Chapters describe Islam's origin, ideas, movements and beliefs, and its different manifestations in Africa, Turkey, Pakistan, India, China and Indonesia.

    19. Muslim in America by Diana L. Eck

      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.

    20. Muslim Visitors Question the American Way: Puzzled by Pluralism by Patricia M.Y. Chang

      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.

    21. Muslim-Christian Encounters: Governments under God by Lamin Sanneh

      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.

    22. Pakistan’s Christian Minority by Gene R. Preston

      The author examines evidence of widespread Muslim prejudice against Christians in Pakistan.

    23. Radical Islamic Anthropology: Key to Christian Theologizing in the Context of Islam by David Emmanuel Singh

      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.

    24. Reading Islam by Charles A. Kimball

      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.

    25. Rushdie’s Moral Hegira by Lamin Sanneh

      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.

    26. Speaking of Islam: Muslims and Militants – Three Views by John Kelsay

      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.

    27. The Satanic Verses and Beyond by David A. Kerr

      A study of the strong reaction, particularly in the Islamic world, against Salman Rushdie’s novel.

    28. The Voices of Muslim Reformers by Charles Strohmer

      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.

    29. Turning to Islam -- African-American Conversion Stories by Rose-Marie Armstrong

      African-Americans have found in Islam a new sense of personal empowerment and a rigorous call to discipline.

    30. Waiting for the Mahdi by Thomas Finger

      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.

    31. What can We Learn from Islam: The Struggle for True Religion by Marcus Braybrooke

      (ENTIRE BOOK) A short, concise and helpful explanation of Islam -- its founder, scripture and theology, as well as its presence in the modern world.

    Judaic and Judaism

    1. A Christian Observes Yom Kippur by Harvey Cox

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

    2. A Judeo-Christian Looks at the Judeo-Christian Tradition by Martin E. Marty

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

    3. Anti-Semitism: Boundary of Jewish-Christian Understanding by Dale Stover

      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.

    4. Can a Jew Be a Christian? by Jason Byassee

      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.

    5. Fierce Landscapes and the Indifference of God by Belden C. Lane

      Both Judaism and Christianity tend to view the divine indifference as a way of teasing us out of ourselves and into relationship with God.

    6. Israel’s No: Jews and Jesus in an Unredeemed World by Jurgen Moltmann

      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.

    7. Jewish Engagements with Christianity by Scott Bader-Saye

      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.

    8. Mordecai Kaplan: Prophet of Pragmatic Theology by Richard E. Wentz

      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.

    9. Protestants, Jews and the Law by Denis E. Owen and Barry Mesch

      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.

    10. Should There Be a Christian Witness to the Jews by Isaac C. Rottenberg

      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.

    11. The Church’s False Witness Against Jews by Carl D. Evans

      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.

    12. The Jewish Uncertainty Principle by Stanley N. Rosenbaum

      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.

    13. The Messianic Jewish Congregational Movement by David A. Rausch

      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.

    14. What to Do Until the Messiah Comes: On Jewish Worldliness by Stanley N. Rosenbaum

      Some of us by doing good have done right well, and this has led to the charge that Jews are materialistic, or in any case “worldly.” The charge is meant as a reproach, but not only is the reality explainable with reference to our history, it is also defensible theologically.


    1. Fear and Trembling by Sören Kierkegaard

      (ENTIRE BOOK) The great mid-nineteenth century Danish poet-philosopher, in this classic philosophical text, explores, through the story of Abraham and his willing sacrifice of his son Issac, the nature of belief. It is in this text that Kierkegaard most clearly reveals his philosophical "leap of faith."

    2. Philosophical Fragments by Sören Kierkegaard

      (ENTIRE BOOK) One of Kierkegaard’s most important works (published in English in 1936) in which he is principally concerned with the problem of how the Christian revelation, appearing in history, may be appropriated. He uses the pseudonym "Johannes Climacus."

    3. Purity of Heart Is to Will One Thing by Sören Kierkegaard

      (ENTIRE BOOK) In this devotional classic, Kierkegaard seeks to rescue the individual from "massification" by compelling him to stand alone before God.. This calls for a costly abandonment of the old securities and the building of new foundations for faith -- to will one thing.

    4. The Crowd is Untruth: a Comparison of Kierkegaard and Girard by Charles K. Bellinger

      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.

    5. The Sickness Unto Death by Sören Kierkegaard

      (ENTIRE BOOK) A classic written by one of the nineteenth century's greatest theologians. Christian must think dauntlessly about everything both earthly and worldly, including death and its relation to living an authentic life.

    Law and Order

    1. Capital Punishment: Deserved and Wrong by George N. Boyd

      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.

    2. Capital Punishment: The Question of Justification by David A. Hoekema

      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.

    3. Dismantling the Cross: A Case Against Capital Punishment by L. Michael Jendrzejczyk

      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.

    4. I Was in Prison by Jason Byassee

      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."

    5. Lincoln and Watergate: The American Past Speaks to the American Future by William E. Johnston, Jr.

      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.

    6. Myths and Realities About Prisons and Jails by Robert A. Fangmeier

      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.

    7. Order in the Court by Thomas C. Berg

      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.

    8. Some Things Just Aren't Right by Will Campbell

      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.

    9. The Corruption of Capital Punishment by William Vance Trollinger, Jr.

      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.

    10. The Intelligence ‘Flap’: Lies My Uncle Told Me by Janet Karsten Larson

      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.

    11. The Law: Sacred Writ or Institutionalized Injustice? by Malcolm Boyd

      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.

    12. The Police, the Social Order, and the Christian: Apologia and Apologies by Richard L. Means

      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.

    13. Verdict by Hunter Beckelhymer

      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.

    14. Why We Need the International Court by Cassel Douglas

      The author argues that the United States ought to accept the provision for an International Criminal Court, as worked out in Rome in the summer of 1998 and agreed to by most of the nations participating in the discussions.

    15. Wrestling with the Death Penalty by Elizabeth Morgan

      A review of four books on the death penalty. Christians do not have the last word in the moral and ethical right of the state to engage in premeditated murder. For Jesus, the solution to the problem of the broken human relationship is not retribution -- not even the limitation of the lex talionis, equal damage -- but forgiveness.

    16. You Were in Prison... by William C. Placher

      Christians ought to be able to persuade non-Christians that the present prison system is not working and that, even on purely pragmatic grounds, its brutality and lack of counseling and support programs do more harm than good.

    Liberal Theology

    1. A Liberal Bandaged but Unbowed by Robert L. Calhoun

      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.

    2. A Trinitarian View of Religious Pluralism by S. Mark Heim

      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.

    3. An Interview with Robert W. Jenson by Robert W. Jensen

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

    4. At the Divine Banquet by Rodney Clapp

      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.

    5. Beliefs That Count by Georgia Harkness

      (ENTIRE BOOK) Twelve basic affirmations of our Christian faith as each relates to modern man are discussed: What we believe about God, Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit, the Bible, Man, Sin, Experience, Perfection, the Church, the Kingdom of God, Divine Judgment and Eternal Life.

    6. Christ’s Death To End Sacrifice by S. Mark Heim

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

    7. Christian Affirmations by Norman Pittenger

      (ENTIRE BOOK) A primer of traditional Christian doctrine, including creeds, salvation, prayer, death, worship, practice and faith.

    8. Common Sense Christianity by C. Randolph Ross

      (ENTIRE BOOK) A fascinating presentation of sensible answers to many of the questions in the minds of ordinary church people. It is written by a committed Christian who is convinced that much of what the Church has taught as doctrine for most of its twenty centuries is just plain wrong.

    9. Debating the Incarnation by Trevor Beeson

      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.

    10. Doubting Theology by Forum ralls

      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.

    11. Doubting Thomas: Christology in Story Form by John B. Cobb, Jr.

      (ENTIRE BOOK) Examines, in interesting story form, the question "Was Jesus a religious genius, or was he God in human form, apart from whose saving work we are all condemned to hell?" An excellent tool for undergraduate and adult discussion groups.

    12. Exposing Zacchaeus by Vitor Westhelle

      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?

    13. Faith and Modern Humanity: Two Approaches by Robert C. Roberts

      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.

    14. God Beats Up on People Who Ask Useless Questions by Wayne C. Lusvardi

      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).

    15. God’s Grace and Man’s Hope by Daniel Day Williams

      (ENTIRE BOOK) The author critiques both liberal and neo-orthodox presuppositions and then suggests an alternative theological foundation.

    16. How Jesus Put an End to Sacrifice by S. Mark Heim

      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.

    17. Jesus and Liberation Theology by Robert T. Osborn

      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.

    18. Jesus Loves Everybody by Ronald Goetz

      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.

    19. Jesus Up Close by Robin M. Jensen

      How appropriate or relevant is it to try to determine what Jesus really looked like?

    20. Know Your Faith by Nels F. S. Ferré

      (ENTIRE BOOK) There is a need to make solid theology generally available. The attempt is made here to fill the gap between popular and professional theology.

    21. Liberal Christianity at the Crossroads by John B. Cobb, Jr.

      (ENTIRE BOOK) Says the author: "I have tried in these chapters to share as a liberal Christian with other liberal Christians an understanding of where we are and where we are called to go. I am convinced that liberal Christianity has little future unless it can articulate its stance to itself in such a way as to differentiate itself from the activist, mystical, and psychological movements toward which it gravitates from time to time."

    22. Living Options in Protestant Theology by John B. Cobb, Jr.

      (ENTIRE BOOK) Dr. Cobb provides an overview of contemporary Protestant theology. This theology is confronted by a wide variety of ideas that sometimes agree and sometimes do not. If we are to judge ideas intelligently, we must learn why each theologian affirms them and how he justifies them. Then we can consider both the soundness of the method and the care and consistency with which it is employed.

    23. Man and His Becoming by Philip H. Phenix

      (ENTIRE BOOK) No single field of study can provide a full picture of human nature and growth. An integral philosophy of man must be founded upon knowledge gained from all areas of inquiry, including the natural sciences, the social sciences, and the humanities.

    24. North American Theology in the Twentieth Century by John B. Cobb, Jr.

      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.

    25. Not All Cats Are Gray: Beyond Liberalism’s Uncertain Faith by Leonard I. Sweet

      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.

    26. Ordeal of a Happy Dilettante by Albert C. Outler

      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.

    27. Oxymorons as Theological Symbols by Troy Organ

      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).

    28. Protestant Liberalism Reaffirmed by Deane William Ferm

      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.

    29. Radical Theology and the Death of God by Thomas Altizer and William Hamilton

      (ENTIRE BOOK) The aim of the new theology is not simply to seek relevance or contemporaneity for its own sake but to strive for a whole new way of theological understanding. Thus it is a theological venture in the strict sense, but it is no less a pastoral response hoping to give support to those who have chosen to live as Christian atheists.

    30. Resurrection: A Symbol of Hope by Lloyd Geering

      (ENTIRE BOOK) A helpful examination of the Christian meaning of resurrection -- including the difference between belief in Jesus' resurrection as an historical event, versus resurrection as an expression of faith in the risen Christ. .Resurrection does not mean the endless prolongation of a conscious self but a life of such quality that, having no further concern for self-interest, can transcend death and rise to a fresh mode of manifestation in the lives of men and women who follow.

    31. Searchlights on Contemporary Theology by Nels F. S. Ferré

      (ENTIRE BOOK) Dr. Ferré discusses the barriers to dialogue and the following questions: Are Theologicans Undermining the Faith? What does freedom mean in an enslaved world? What kind of basic revision is needed in American education? What is the authority of the bible today? What is a definition of God and Christian experience for the twentieth century man?

    32. Seeking a Theology of the Finite by Donald L. Berry

      We are not who we are without our bodies. But our bodies do not define or exhaust who we are.

    33. Speaking in Parables: A Study in Metaphor and Theology by Sallie McFague

      (ENTIRE BOOK) This book studies the relationship of metaphor and theology. Parables, poems, novels and autobiography are examined as literary forms which address the ways in which metaphor operates in language, belief and life. Thus they are prime resources for a theologian who is attempting to serve the hearing of God's word for our time, by keeping language, belief and life together in a meaningful and relevant way.

    34. Talking About God: Doing Theology in the Context of Modern Pluralism by David Tracy and John B. Cobb, Jr.

      (ENTIRE BOOK) Based on Lectures by the two authors at John Carroll University. The meaning of God, and how one approaches God are examined. The scientific view, Buddhism, feminism, and the Christian view all differ in their approach to and in talking about God, but all seek God.

    35. The Ambiguities of Transcendence by Clyde A. Holbrook

      Christianity does not call us to flee to another world, but to hallow this world where we are placed.

    36. The Authority of Hope by F. Thomas Trotter

      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.

    37. The Claim to Uniqueness by Gabriel Moran

      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.

    38. The Continuing Christian Need for Judaism by John Shelby Spong

      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.

    39. The Difference Jesus Makes by David Kelsey

      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.

    40. The Dimensions of God’s Life by Ted Peters

      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

    41. The Divine Burden by Ronald Goetz

      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?

    42. The Future of Liberal Christianity by Donald E. Miller

      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.

    43. The Gift of Faith by B. A. Gerrish

      Faith, the author asserts, comes through hearing the testimony of the church--and is not dependent on accurate knowledge of the historical Jesus.

    44. The Gospel of Christian Atheism by Thomas J.J. Altizer

      (ENTIRE BOOK) The honest Christian must admit that the God he worships exists only in the past -- or he must bet upon the gospel, or "good news," of the God who willed his own death to enter more completely into the world of his creation. And the honest atheist, who lives forlornly bereft of faith, will want to understand this revolutionary and definitive statement about a Christ who is totally present and alive in our midst today, embodied now in every human face.

    45. The Liberation of White Theology by Frederick Herzog

      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.

    46. The Ordinary as Mask of the Holy by Belden C. Lane

      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.

    47. The Pluralism of Religious Ends Dreams Fulfilled by S. Mark Heim

      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.

    48. The Real Task of Practical Theology by Robin Lovin

      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.

    49. The Resurrection: A Truth Beyond Understanding by Ronald Goetz

      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.

    50. The Road Ahead in Theology -- Revisited by Deane William Ferm

      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.

    51. The Spirituality and Politics of Holy Folly by Belden C. Lane

      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.

    52. The Structure of Christian Existence by John B. Cobb, Jr.

      (ENTIRE BOOK) An inquiry into what is distinctive in Christianity and into its claim to finality.

    53. The Truth of the Christian Fiction: Belief in the Modern Age by Donald E. Miller

      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.

    54. Theology: What Is It? Who Does It? How Is It Done? by Harvey Cox

      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.

    55. Toward Theological Understanding: An Interview with Edward Farley by Edward Farley

      Certain deep cultural values have eroded. Unless this problem is addressed, religious talk will turn into banalities.

    56. What Do We Mean By Faith in Jesus Christ? by B. A. Gerrish

      The author identifies a crisis in christology, stemming from religious pluralism and the quest for the historical Jesus. He suggests that christology properly begins with the experience of the believer, not with dogmatic formulae.

    57. Why Creeds Matter by William C. Placher

      Creeds require us to think about what we believe and what is believed. This collection covers 20 centuries worldwide showing the church’s enduring ability to continue confessing faithfully through crises much greater than our own.

    58. Why Does Jesus’ Death Matter? by S. Mark Heim

      Christians err when they give the impression that the only truly important thing about Jesus’ life is its end. At the same time, modern attempts to construct a view of Jesus that omits any emphasis on the death, focusing instead on a message or practice Jesus taught without reference to his own fate -- which are implausible as history and often lack distinctive Christian character.


    1. A Plea for Conservative Radicals and Radical Conservatives by Ronald J. Sider

      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.

    2. A Voice for Grunchy Conservatives by David Dark

      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).

    3. After Babel: The Virtues of Liberalism by William C. Placher

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

    4. Assessing the Concerns of the Religious Right by John C. Bennett

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

    5. Bush’s Religious Passions by Kevin Phillips

      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.

    6. Charismatic and Mainline by John Dart

      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.

    7. Confessions of a Conservative by James R. Adams

      "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.

    8. Liberalism After 9/11 by E.J. Dionne

      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.

    9. Past Imperfect: History and the Prospect for Liberalism – I by William R. Hutchison

      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.

    10. Past Imperfect: History and the Prospect for Liberalism -- II by William R. Hutchison

      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."

    11. Slime-master: Inside the ‘vast right-wing conspiracy’ by Gary Dorrien

      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.

    12. The Challenge of Conservative Theology by Peter M. Schmeichen

      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.

    13. The Liberal Choice: Adam Smith or FDR? by Patrick Neal

      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.

    14. Ups and Downs of the Religious Right by Leon Howell

      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.

    Liberation Theology

    1. Birth Pangs: Liberation Theology in North America by Frederick Herzog

      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.

    2. Contextual Theology: Liberation and Indigenization by J. Deotis Roberts, Sr.

      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.

    3. For Life and Against Death: A Theology That Takes Sides by Jose Miguez-Bonino

      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!

    4. Jose Maria Arguedas: Godfather of Liberationism by Stephen B. Wall-Smith

      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.

    5. Latin America and the Need for a Life-Liberating Theology by Ingemar Hedström

      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."

    6. Mujeristas: A Name of Our Own!! by Ada Maria Asisi-Diaz

      An exploration of the emergence of mujerista theology -- which brings together elements of feminist theology, Latin American liberation theology and cultural theology.

    7. Outlining Rice-Roots Theology by Deane William Ferm

      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.

    8. Resistance and Reconstruction by J. Matthew Ashley

      A review of a collection of essays by liberation theologians.

    9. The Effects on Korea of Un-Ecological Theology by Jong-Sun Noh

      Liberation theology from a Korean Minjung perspective -- particularly an analysis of theologies that reflect and endorse first world and imperialistic or colonialistic interests.

    10. The Gospel and the Liberation of the Poor by James M. Cone

      How can theology be black if the sources used for its explication are derived primarily from the white Western theological tradition?

    11. Whatever Happened to Liberation Theology? by Nancy E. Bedford

      The author tells what has happened to the Liberation Theology that several decades ago was such a powerful influence in the churches of Latin America.

    12. Whither Liberation Theology? by Mark Kline Taylor

      Trusting in God’s grace-full activity in our world, we need to try to halt the juggernaut of U.S. policy and redirect it toward liberation -- whether it’s called a "restructuring" or a "revolution" -- for all the Americas.

    Literature, Writers

    1. A Chesterton for the Religious Right by Gary Wills

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

    2. A Way of Seeing: Chaim Potok and Tradition by John H. Timmerman

      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?

    3. America’s Moral Landscape in the Fiction of Richard Ford by Raymond A. Schroth, S.J.

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

    4. Among the Lilies by James M. Wall

      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.

    5. An Interview with Marilynne Robinson by Debra Bendis

      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.

    6. An Interview With Ron Hansen by Amy Johnson Frkyholm

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

    7. Annie Dillard and the Fire of God by Bruce A. Ronda

      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.

    8. Annie Dillard’s Fictions to Live By by Bruce A. Ronda

      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.

    9. Annie Dillard: Pilgrim at Midstream by Peter S. Hawkins

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

    10. Apocalypse and Beyond: The Novels of J. M. Coetzee by Michael Scrogin

      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.

    11. Are There Things a Novelist Shouldn’t Joke About?: An Interview with Kurt Vonnegut by Harry James Cargas

      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.

    12. Auden’ s Moral Comedy: A Late-Winter Reading by William F. French

      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.

    13. Bellow’s Gift by Paul Elmen

      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.

    14. Beware of the Scribes by Peter B. Rodgers

      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.

    15. Brideshead Revisited: A Twitch Upon the Thread by Paul Elmen

      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."

    16. C. S. Lewis: Natural Law, the Law in Our Hearts by Kathryn Lindskoog and G. F. Ellwood

      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.

    17. C. S. Lewis’s Visionary World by Gilbert Meilaender

      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.

    18. Christian Themes in Harry Potter by Leonie Caldecott

      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.

    19. Confrontation and Escape: Mysteries of Graham Greene by Peter S. Hawkins

      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.

    20. Control as Original Sin by James M. Wall

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

    21. Damned in the Paradise of Sex by Ralph C. Wood

      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.

    22. Dismantling The Da Vinci Code by Mark Burrows

      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.

    23. Dorothy L. Sayers: A Christian Humanist for Today by Mary Brian Durkin

      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.

    24. Equus: Human Conflicts and the Trinity by Mitchell Hay

      ‘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.

    25. Fantasy Literature’s Evocative Power by John H. Timmerman

      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.

    26. Flannery O'Connor: Her Vision by F. Thomas Trotter

      A Roman Catholic, Flannery’s vision was of a world deeply infused with grace.

    27. Flesh Becomes Word: The Incarnational Poetry of Scott Cairns by Jeff Gundy

      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.

    28. God as Best Seller by Lois Malcolm

      Christians must challenge the idolatry of any attempt to reduce God’s power and presence to our will for self-determination.

    29. Graham Greene: The Ambiguity of Death by Janet McCann

      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.

    30. Hemingway and Faulkner: Tracing Their Resemblances by Robert Drake

      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.

    31. Hints of Redemption by Jill P. Baumgaertner

      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.

    32. Isaac Singer at Jabbok’s Ford by Paul Elmen

      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.

    33. J. B.: The Artistry of Ambiguity by J. E. Dearlove

      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."

    34. James Reston: Prophet of American Civil Religioin by Leo Sandon, Jr.

      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.

    35. John Updike’s ‘Rabbit’ Saga by Ralph C. Wood

      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.

    36. John Updike’s Theological World by Robert K. Johnston

      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.

    37. Liberation from Illusion by Diogenes Allen

      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.

    38. Margaret Atwood’s Testaments: Resisting the Gilead Within by Janet Karsten Lawson

      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.

    39. Moral Ambiguities and the Crime Novels of P.D. James by Patricia A Ward

      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.

    40. Murdoch’ s Magic: The Consolations of Fiction by Roger Lundin

      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.

    41. Mystery Women by Betty Smartt Carter

      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..

    42. Notions of Purity: An Interview with Mary Gordon by Trudy Bush

      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.

    43. Passing Through Hard Facts: The Poetry of R.S. Thomas by Ephraim Radner

      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.

    44. Playing at Life: Robert Coover and His Fiction by R. Grant Nutter and Robert Johnston

      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.

    45. Psychoanalyzing C.S.Lewis by Gilbert Meilaender

      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.

    46. Pym’s Cup by Jean Caffey Lyles

      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.

    47. Rabbit Runs Down by Ralph C. Wood

      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.

    48. Robert Lowell: Death of an Elfking by Paul Elmen

      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.

    49. Robert Penn Warren’s Enormous Spider Web by Robert Drake

      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.

    50. Robertson Davies: Shaking Hands with the Devil by Peter S. Hawkins

      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.

    51. Seeing with a Thousand Eyes by Lawrence Wood

      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.

    52. Solzhenitsyn: Postmodern Moralist by Robert Inchausti

      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.

    53. T. S. Eliot’s Christian Society: Still Relevant Today? by Philip Yancey

      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.

    54. The Endless Quest for the Perfect Novel by James M. Wall

      Summary: Dr. Wall analyzes Kazuo Ishiguro's 1989 novel The Remains of the Day.

    55. The God of Narnia by Ralph C. Wood

      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.

    56. The Grapes of Wrath Fifty Years Later by John H. Timmerman

      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.

    57. The Marrying, Burying World of J. F. Powers by Matthew Giunti

      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.

    58. The Meaning Is in You: Flannery O’Connor in Her Letters by Jill P. Baumgaertner

      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.

    59. The Modest and Charitable Humanism of John Cheever by Ralph C. Wood

      Cheever’s restrained and compassionate kind of humanism can provide at least a distant echo of the gospel.

    60. The Other Borges: A Precursor from the Future by Enrique Sacerio-Gari

      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.

    61. The Play that Carries a Plague by Tom F. Driver

      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.

    62. The Possibility of Repentance (Mark 1:4) by Ronald Goetz

      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.

    63. The Thanatos Syndrome: Exciting, Horrifying, Disappointing by Ralph C. Wood

      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.

    64. The Theater of Revelation: Art and the Grace-Fullness of Form by Judith Rock

      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.

    65. To Be Accurate and Blunt: The Activist as Writer by Harry James Cargas

      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.”

    66. Tolkien’s Crucible of Faith: The Sub-Creation by John H. Timmerman

      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.

    67. Toni Morrison and the Color of Life by Ann-Janine Morey

      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.

    68. Transforming Vision: Alice Walker and Zora Neale Hurston by Trudy Bush

      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.

    69. Updike’s Song of Himself by Ralph C. Wood

      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.

    70. V. S. Naipaul and the Plight of the Dispossessed by William L. Sachs

      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.

    71. Walker Percy as Satirist: Christian and Humanist Still in Conflict by Ralph C. Wood

      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.

    72. Women, Men and the Engendering Word by Jill P. Baumgaertner

      Jill Baumgaertner reviews an assortment of biography, poetry and fiction, including works by Octvio Paz, Alan Trueblood, Louise DeSalvo, Jeanne Murray Walker, Malcolm Glass and Hugh Cook.


    1. Close-knit Megachurches by John Dart

      A compilation of megastatistics about the megachurch.

    2. Dangers of the Church Growth Movement by Ralph H. Elliott

      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.

    3. Diagnose This! by Daniel L. Bohlman

      We’ll be all right. Goliath has size, but David has a good heart.

    4. Is Willow Creek the Way of the Future? by David S. Leucke

      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.

    5. Megalessons by Anthony B. Robinson

      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.

    6. The Lure of Upward Mobility by Ralph S. Parvin

      Three failings of mainline denominations are targeted: overemphasis on large-membership churches, inflexible liturgy, and an unfair method of paying clergy.

    7. The Ultimate Church by Tom Raabe

      A prediction of what the future holds for the megachurch movement. Where will this apotheosization of numbers for numbers’ sake end?

    Media Education

    1. How Communication Studies Can Help Us to Bridge the Gap in Our Theology Megaphors by Frances Ford Plude

      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.

    2. The Church and Communication in the Technological Era by William F. Fore

      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.

    3. The Churches' Role in Media Education and Communication Advocacy by National Council of Churches

      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.

    4. TV Faith: Rituals of Secular Life by Gregor Goethals

      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.

    Miscellaneous Theology

    1. Conversations with Camus by Howard Mumma

      Camus on baptism, the Bible, and church membership.

    2. Doing Justice to Justification by Douglas Harink

      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.

    3. Fulfillment Theology and the Future of Christian-Jewish Relations by Isaac C. Rottenberg

      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.

    4. God Among the Philosophers by Michael D. Beaty

      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.

    5. God Happens: The Timeliness of the Triune God by Ted Peters

      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."

    6. Is It Just Nostalgia? The Renewal of Wesleyan Studies by Ted A. Campbell

      The author examines the magnitude and meaning of the current passion for Wesleyan studies.

    7. Israel's Covenant by Darrell Jodock

      A review of a book that calls for including the Palestinians in the Jewish Covenant in Israel.

    8. Luther and Liberation by Frederick Herzog

      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.

    9. Renewed Appreciation for an Unchanging Story by Elizabeth Achtemeier

      True freedom comes from being saturated by the word of God and having it burn in one's bones.

    10. Rethinking the Death of Jesus: Cross Purposes by David Heim

      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?

    11. Saving Faith, Evangelical Witness by William C. Placher

      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.

    12. Small Is Beautiful, and So Is Rome: Surprising Faith of E.F. Schumacher by Charles Fager

      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.

    13. Sweat, Stones and Visions: Native American Spirituality by Jon Magnuson

      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.

    14. The Intellectual and Moral Dilemma of History by Hans J. Morgenthau

      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.

    15. The Meaning of Life by John M. Phelan

      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.

    16. The New Orthodoxy? by David S. Cunningham

      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."

    17. The Revelation of God in History by John F. Haught

      (ENTIRE BOOK) How does God reveal himself to us? This question is basic to theology and is here addressed in a new light.

    18. Theologians Re-Imaging Redemption by June Christine Goudey

      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.

    19. Theology in 1977 and Beyond by Kenan B. Osborne, O.F.M.

      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.

    20. Transformed by Ian Curran

      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.

    21. UFOs: The Next Theological Challenge? by Jack A. Jennings

      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.

    22. What Can We Learn from the Mystics? by Sara Miller

      The author talks with Christian mystic Bernard McGinn. We do not deify ourselves by becoming one with God (as Eckhart says), but rather, God deifies himself in us when we become perfectly detached. This is the nature of God’s creation of humanity as the likeness of God – imago Dei.

    23. When I Get to Heaven: Picturing Paradise by Carol Zaleski

      The author paints what for her is a believable picture of heaven, as tradition teaches us to envisage it.

    24. Who’s Catering the Theological Smorgasbord by M. Colin Grant

      As we become aware of the artificial appetites created by our consumption-compulsive society, it will be well to ask who is catering the theological smorgasbord now laid before us, and what appetites we who partake are attempting to satisfy. There’s a world of difference between one who is “hungering and thirsting after righteousness” and one who is merely seeking an intellectual snack.

    Nature of the Church

    1. A Pluralistic Church: Collapsing Tower or Growing Vine by Donald G. Dawe

      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.

    2. A Visit to Jacob’s Well by Jason Byassee

      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.

    3. An Awkward Church by Douglas John Hall

      (ENTIRE BOOK) Professor Hall 'thinks the faith' from within the North American cultural and ecclesial context. His theological work is not a timeless abstraction, but a rigorous attempt to engage Christian faith with social and historical actuality so that the gospel may be more faithfully proclaimed and lived.

    4. Biker Wedding by Brian Jones

      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.

    5. Cash and Character: Talking About Money in the Church by Donald A. Luidens

      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.

    6. Church Market: Investing in Congregations by Donald A. Luidens

      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.

    7. Confession and Community: An Israel-like View of the Church by George Lindbeck

      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.

    8. Confronting the Idolatry of Family: A New Vision for the Household of God by Janet Fishburn

      (ENTIRE BOOK) By analyzing attitudes about church and family and by illustrating how our "biblical values" are often too closely related to the "American Dream," Fishburn offers sharp insights into the changes currently underway in our culture, churches, and families. Fishburn proposes a new agenda for the church -- an agenda that can create a healthy context for traditional and non-traditional families.

    9. Corporate and Community Life by James Steen

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

    10. Corporate and Community Life by James Steen

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

    11. Covenant as a Subversive Paradigm by Walter Brueggemann

      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.

    12. Creating Open and Welcoming Communities by James R. Adams

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

    13. Divine Principle and the Second Advent by S. Mark Helm

      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.

    14. Do Oldline Churches Have a Future? by John B. Cobb, Jr.

      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.

    15. Finding the Good at Garden Grove by Browne Barr

      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.

    16. From Catacomb to Basilica: The Dilemma of Oldline Protestantism by Leonard I. Sweet

      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.

    17. From Guilt to Affirmation in the Mainline Churches by Norman D. Pott

      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.

    18. Ghostly and Monstrous Churches by James F. Hopewell

      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.

    19. Learning from New Forms of Church: Gospel Ventures by Stephanie Paulsell

      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.

    20. Mainstreaming the Alienated: The Church Responds to a ‘New’ Minority by Harold H. Wilke

      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.

    21. Mandate for the Mainline by Gaylord Noyce

      An enumeration of the crucial contributions mainline churches have to make to Christian life and an outlining of a strategy for maintaining vitality.

    22. Manifesto for the New Liberal Church by Royal F. Shepard, Jr.

      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.

    23. New Kind of Christian by Jason Byassee

      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.

    24. No Steps to Heaven by Harold H. Wilke

      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.

    25. On On the Vine (John 15:1-8) by Stan Wilson

      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.

    26. Ordination and the Unity of the Church by F. Thomas Trotter

      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.

    27. Practical Theology for Creative Ministry by John B. Cobb, Jr.

      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.

    28. Progeny of Programmers: Evangelical Religion and the Television Age by James A. Taylor

      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.

    29. Progress Toward an Open Church by Stephen Amsden

      The author describes some practical aspects of helping a local church become truly "open."

    30. Prophetic Inquiry and the Danforth Study by Leo Sandon, Jr.

      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.

    31. Reclaiming the City: A Church Stays Put by David K. Jaeger

      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.

    32. Reflections of an Ecclesiastical Expatriate by Peter Berger

      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.

    33. Reinventing the Church by Donald E. Messer

      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.

    34. Revisioning the Future of Oldline Protestantism by William McKinney

      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.

    35. Seven Ways to Change Congregational Culture: Renewed Life by Anthony B. Robinson

      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.

    36. Splitting Up by Jason Byassee

      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.

    37. The Christian Church: Engaging the Future by David Prescott

      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.

    38. The Church of the Living God by Wallace M. Alston, Jr.

      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.

    39. The Church: Beyond the Christian Religion by Douglas John Hall

      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."

    40. The Emerging Church: A New Form for a New Era by John Shelby Spong

      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.

    41. The Explorer’s Guide To Christianity by Marcus Braybrooke

      (ENTIRE BOOK) Marcus Braybrooke guides us through the various forms of Christian beliefs and practices. He asks for understanding of the vast differences between various Christian approaches. His hope is that this writing will be a doorway to the Christian world for the non-believer and the believer.

    42. The Health and Wealth Gospel by Jason Byassee

      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.

    43. The Liberated Legalist by Howard Wall

      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.

    44. The Power of the Bible in the Global South by Philip Jenkins

      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.

    45. The Purpose of the Church and its Ministry by H. Richard Niebuhr, Daniel Day Williams, & James M. Gustafson

      (ENTIRE BOOK) Supported by intensive research, Dr. Niebuhr reevaluates the role of the church in American life and its relationship to the seminary. He arrives at a fresh concept of the ministry, and restates the idea of the theological school.

    46. The Rapprochement of the Churches by Peter Ainslie

      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!

    47. The Secular Relevance of the Church by Gayraud Wilmore

      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.

    48. The Shape of the Church: Congregational and Trinitarian by John W. Steward

      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.

    49. The Testament of Friends by Stanley Hauerwas

      Hauerwas began seeking to recover the importance of virtue and the virtues and ended up with the church.

    50. True Confession: A Presbyterian Dissenter Thinks About the Church by Barbara G. Wheeler

      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."

    51. Unrecognized Internal Threats to Liberal Churches by Harvey Seifert

      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.

    52. Weddings, Inc. by Valerie Weaver-Zercher

      The wedding industry is an $80 billion business. These books offer many insights including historical background, the contemporary wedding scene and stories about weddings.

    53. Welcoming the Stranger by L. Gregory Jones

      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.

    54. What is the Church For? by Jason Byassee

      An evaluation of Rick Warren's two books, The Purpose Driven Church and the Purpose Driven Life. The author evaluates the concepts behind Warren and his fastest growing church in American history.

    55. Why Are We Lukewarm? I by John B. Cobb, Jr.

      Our churches are lukewarm because they do not have convincing teachings that are evidently of great importance. The teachings that once carried this weight have been exposed as morally ambiguous and sometimes positively destructive: repression of sexuality, support of racism, repression of women, destruction of the earth. We have responded by regretting those teachings and making modest changes in behavior and doctrine. The result has been the sense of believing less with less confidence. The alternative is to think through the meaning of the challenges to past practices and doctrines to the point where a new vision arises. To stop halfway, clinging to the old while making concessions to the demands for change, is to insure lukewarmness and continuing decline.

    56. Why Are We Lukewarm? II by John B. Cobb, Jr.

      The challenge of pluralism is to think through our understanding of Christ so that we see Christ's ultimate importance in ways that do not block our deepest appreciation of other traditions. We can do that as we understand that that appreciation is itself Christ's work, and that Christ leads us beyond appreciation to learning and being transformed by what we learn.

    57. Why Are We Lukewarm? III by John B. Cobb, Jr.

      The goal of increasing production and consumption profoundly misdirects energies. It is far more important to provide every individual a recognized and dignified role in the community and to find ways to work out the inevitable conflicts of community life without violence and alienation. Christ does not command us to avoid controversy. Nor does Christ insist that we be successful by the standards of the market. Christ does call us to recognize that we cannot serve both God and Mammon and to choose God.

    58. Why Bother to Take God Seriously? by Tony Windross

      One congregation's attempt at reaching people for whom belief is problematic includes publishing a series of leaflets aimed for them. The following is a sample.

    59. Why Should Anyone Believe? Apologetics and Theological Education by Dennis M. Campbell

      It may be that the theologically bankrupt Western, liberal, secularized church is incapable of dealing with the matters of mission, gloalization and context from a Christian perspective.

    New Testament

    1. A Historical Introduction to the New Testament by Robert M. Grant

      (ENTIRE BOOK) Grant deals historically with the New Testament writings. He discusses both the methods used in analyzing and interpreting the New Testament and the conclusions to which they lead. Topics include textual criticism, translation, and literary and historical criticism.

    2. An Introduction to the New Testament by Richard Heard

      (ENTIRE BOOK) A clear, concise analysis of the New Testament and each of its books: Mark, Matthew, Luke, John, Acts, the Epistles (Galatians, Thessalonians, 1 and 2 Corinthians, Romans, Colossians, Philemon, Philippians, Ephesians, Jude, 2nd Peter, Revelations. The context, authors, circumstance of writing, the oral tradition, how the books were selected, their teachings, and suggested references.

    3. Back to Fundamentals by Jimmy Carter

      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.

    4. Beam Me Up Theology by John Dart

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

    5. Cosmic Groanings by Ronald Goetz

      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.

    6. Disciples on Trial by Susan R. Garrett

      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.

    7. Exegesis for the Christian Year by Henry Gustafson

      (ENTIRE BOOK) A New Testament scholar analyzes selected scripture used with the Christian calendar.

    8. Fragments from an Earthen Jar--James Robinson and the Nag Hammadi Library by John Dart

      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.

    9. God as Santa by Rodney Clapp

      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.

    10. God with a Human Face by John C. Purdy

      (ENTIRE BOOK) Presents the life and work of Jesus, from birth to resurrection. Employing passages chosen from all four of the Gospels, it explores the idea that the human face of God is turned to us in the person of Jesus Christ.

    11. Immortality of the Soul or Resurrection of the Dead? by Oscar Cullmann

      ENTIRE BOOK) Professor Cullmann compares the Greek conception of the immortality of the soul with the early Christian conception of the resurrection, and shows that they are so different in orgin and in translation into experience as to be mutually exclusive. To the Greek, death was a friend. To the Christian death was the last enemy, but the enemy conquered by Christ in His resurrection, and conquered by all who are His.

    12. Intimations of the Year of Jubilee in the Parables of the Wicked Tenants and Workers in the Vineyard by Herman C. Waetjen

      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.

    13. Jesus by Martin Dibelius

      (ENTIRE BOOK) Dr. Dibelius describes the New Testament  as the humanly conditioned deposit of an historical event, and considers that the crucial question in the struggle over Christianity is whether God made his will manifest in this event.  Doing this, he reconstructs the life and teachings of Jesus, showing the real content and significance of what Jesus said and what he did.

    14. Jesus in the First Three Gospels by Millar Burrows

      (ENTIRE BOOK) A clear, detailed, and accurate account of the real life of Jesus, presenting facts from Jesus’ birth through his resurrection in such a manner as to make studying his life and the Gospels easier, more rewarding, and very enlightening.

    15. Jesus Lord and Christ by John Knox (current)

      (ENTIRE BOOK) This is a combination of three books: The first probes beyond modern historical criticism to establish the facts and importance of Jesus’ human career; the second explores Jesus’ significance as "Christ" and "Lord" within the first Christian community and among the New Testament writers, and the third gives an original interpretation of the saving event centered in Jesus Christ, and what it means to every believer to follow.

    16. Jesus on Marriage and the Afterlife by William E. Phipps

      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.

    17. Kerygma and Myth by Rudolf Bultmann and Five Critics

      (ENTIRE BOOK) Bultmann’s famous essay, "New Testament and Mythology," is contained here in which the whole controversy over Demythologizing is brought out in miniature. Five critics give there rejoinders along with Bultmann’s response.

    18. Left Behind by John Dart

      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.

    19. Letting Parables Live by Walter Wink

      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.

    20. Many Witnesses, One Lord by William Barclay

      (ENTIRE BOOK) This book is primarily about the writers of the New testament, and emphasizes their differences in personality and actions, yet their single attention to Christ.

    21. Mark’s Enigmatic Ending by John Dart

      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.

    22. On the Third Day: God’s Promise Fulfilled by N.T. Wright

      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.

    23. Paul and the Law by Mark A. Chancey

      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."

    24. Preaching and Teaching in the Early Church by C. H. Dodd

      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.

    25. Rediscovering the Teaching of Jesus by Norman Perrin

      (ENTIRE BOOK) An attempt to establish what may be known with reasonable certainty of the teaching of Jesus, "an irreducible minimum of historical knowledge available to us at the present time" (1967). Fully appreciative of Bultmann, yet advancing beyond his work, the author opens up a new approach to understanding the significance of the teaching of Jesus.

    26. Reshuffling the Gospels: Jesus According to Spong and Wilson by Luke Timothy Johnson

      For Spong and Wilson, the void of skepticism is filled with inventive speculation that disregards historical method.

    27. Rhetorical Identification In Paul's Autobiographical Narrative by Paul E. Koptak

      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.

    28. Scroll Origins: An Exchange on the Qumran Hypothesis by J.A. Fitzmyer

      What kind of community lived at Qumran? What is the link between that community and the scrolls discovered in the caves at Qumran?

    29. Shakespeare in the Bush, and Encountering the Other by Herman C. Waetjen

      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.

    30. Social Teaching and Social History: Learning from the Early Church by Margaret M. Mitchell

      The New Testament offers and explosively political vision without a political strategy.

    31. Taking the Emperor’s Clothes Seriously: New Testament and the Roman Emperor by Justin Meggitt

      The author examines the importance of the concept of the Roman emperor in the New Testament period.

    32. Textual Appeal by Michael Joseph Brown

      Teaching Christianity’s sacred texts to Christians can be dangerous, for biblical scholars and their students have very different presuppositions regarding the Bible.

    33. The Actualization of Christ’s Achievement in Our Historical Existence by Herman C. Waetjen

      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.

    34. The Apostolic Preaching and Its Developments by C. H. Dodd

      (ENTIRE BOOK) Three lectures given at King's College, London, in 1935, describing preaching in the early church as found particularly in the Gospels, John and in the writings of Paul.

    35. The Book Of Acts by William R. Cannon

      (ENTIRE BOOK) A straightforward, comprehensive study and commentary of the Acts of the Apostles. Includes an overview of the beginnings of the Christian church, and covers subjects including the ascension of Christ, the apostles at Pentecost, the church organization at Jerusalem, and the conversion and travels of Paul.

    36. The Burden of the Gospels by Wendell Berry

      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."

    37. The Common Faith by John Knox

      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.

    38. The Earliest Gospel by Frederick C. Grant

      (ENTIRE BOOK) In this important work, Dr. Grant provides a dozen vivid chapters on Mark, the earliest gospel -- how it came to be, and what its main teaching are.

    39. The Founder of Christianity by C. H. Dodd

      (ENTIRE BOOK) Details about Jesus' life, by one of the nineteenth century's greatest New Testament scholars. First Century writings about Jesus, his personal traits, his teachings, the people around him, his concept of "Messiah," his travels and final trip to Jerusalem, the crucifixion and responses thereafter.

    40. The Gospel of John by William R. Cannon

      (ENTIRE BOOK) John saw Jesus, not so much as he appeared to be from the outward aspects of his ministry, as he did from the basic purpose that ministry was designed to achieve. And what John relates about Jesus actually took place, and is consistent with the accounts of Matthew, Mark, and Luke.

    41. The Gospel Of Matthew by William R. Cannon

      (ENTIRE BOOK) Matthew is studied in sections, revealing stages in the life and work of Jesus. These stages also show the interactions of Jesus with people, and characteristics about him self. The study will certify that Jesus is the Son of God.

    42. The Historical Jesus and Christian Preaching by Marcus Borg

      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.

    43. The Historical Jesus and the Life of Faith by David L. Bartlett

      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.

    44. The Light of God in Action by George A.F. Knight

      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.

    45. The Modern Reader's Guide to the Gospels by William Hamilton

      (ENTIRE BOOK) An ideal introduction to the historical background, varying accounts, textual problems and correct interpretations of the life of Jesus as recorded in the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John.

    46. The New Testament and the Comic Genre by Dan O. Via, Jr.

      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.

    47. The New Testament and the Examined Life: Thoughts on Teaching by Luke Timothy Johnson

      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.

    48. The Oldest Extant Editions of the Letters of Paul by David Trobisch

      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.

    49. The Origin of Jesus Christ: Matthew 1:1-25 by Herman C. Waetjen

      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.

    50. The Pharisaic Jesus and His Gospel Parables by Philip Culbertson

      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.

    51. The Public Meaning of the Gospels by N.T. Wright

      The Western world and church seem determined to make sure that the Gospels can’t say what they want to say.

    52. The Real Jesus of the Sayings "Q" Gospel by James M. Robinson

      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.

    53. The Red-Haired Saint: Is Mary Magdaline Key to the Easter Narratives? by James T. Baker

      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.

    54. The Search for Mary Magdalene by Pheme Perkins

      The author reviews several books giving detailed information about Mary Magdalene with early historical information concerning her relationship with Jesus and the disciples.

    55. The Search for Mary Magdalene by Pheme Perkins

      The author reviews several books giving detailed information about Mary Magdalene with early historical information concerning her relationship with Jesus and the disciples.

    56. The Second Coming of the Liberal Jesus? by Leander E. Keck

      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.

    57. The Sermon on the Mount by Roger Shinn

      (ENTIRE BOOK) The author shows why the Sermon on the Mount has proved to be one of the most influential parts of the entire New Testament. Excellent book for those without a strong biblical and theological background.

    58. The Significance of Mircea Eliade for Christian Theology by Joseph G. Muthuraj

      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."

    59. The Wright Quest for the Historical Jesus by Ben Witherington, III

      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.

    60. Using Literary Criticism on the Gospels by Robert M. Fowler

      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.

    61. What Shall We Believe? by Aurelia T. Fule

      (ENTIRE BOOK) A detailed analysis and critique, by a Reformed theologian, of what preachers like Jerry Falwell are saying about 'the last things.'

    Old Testament

    1. Adhering to Israel's God by Leo G. Perdue

      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.

    2. Biblical Foundations of the Power and Politics by Kim Yong Bock

      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.

    3. Conversations Among Exiles by Walter Brueggemann

      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.

    4. From Faith to Faith -- Essays on Old Testament Literature by B. Davie Napier

      (ENTIRE BOOK) This book discusses outstanding examples of Old Testament myth, legend, history, prophecy and law in an effort to show that common theological presuppositions underlie all of these varying literary types, and that they must be read and understood as speaking from faith to faith.

    5. Hunger, Poverty and Biblical Religion by Bruce C. Birch

      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.

    6. Listening to the Text by Walter Brueggemann

      A review of a new translation and commentary on I and II Samuel.

    7. Old Testament Ethics by Douglas A. Knight

      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.

    8. Old Testament Foundations for Peacemaking in the Nuclear Era by Bruce C. Birch

      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.

    9. Our Own Silly Faces: C.S. Lewis on Psalms by Stanley N. Rosenbaum

      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.

    10. Prophets in Perspective by B. Davie Napier

      (ENTIRE BOOK) A careful examination of the prophetic movement from its beginning to its culmination in what is termed "classical prophetism" (800-600 B.C.).

    11. Reading Scripture with Kenneth Burke: Genesis by Paul E. Koptak

      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.

    12. Recovering the Covenant by William Johnson Everett

      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.

    13. Rhetorical Criticism of the Bible: A Resource for Preaching by Paul E. Koptak

      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.

    14. Sociological Criticism of the Old Testament by Norman K. Gottwald

      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.

    15. Song of the Vineyard by B. Davie Napier

      (ENTIRE BOOK) Professor Napier provides a beautifully presented chronological survey of the central events, themes, theology and figures of the Old Testament. Very helpful to all students.

    16. The Bible and Communication by Peter Horsfield

      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?

    17. The Book of Exodus by B. Davie Napier

      (ENTIRE BOOK) A scholarly but non-technical analysis of the Book of Exodus, offering an appreciation of the beginnings of Judaism as well as some commonalities shared by Judaism and Christianity.

    18. The Changing Face of Old Testament Studies by Christopher Seitz

      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.

    19. The Greatest Songs by Peter Paulsen

      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?

    20. The Living Commandments by John Shelby Spong

      (ENTIRE BOOK) The author examines the history and context of the Ten Commandments, and suggests their relevance in today's world.

    21. The Old Testament, Keystone of Human Culture by William F. Irwin

      (ENTIRE BOOK) Schools of interpretation agree and affirm the unique historic significance of the Bible. Coupled with God’s people down through the centuries is revealed the influence of the Hebrew people, and the Bible, on those who interacted with the Hebrews, and remoter cultures surrounding them. From these Old Testament studies come a better understanding of the Hebrews, and therefore the Old Testament.

    22. The Politics of God and the Politics of Man by Jacques Ellul

      (ENTIRE BOOK) Second Kings does not come to mind as a source for reflection and insight for a Christian understanding of how a person of faith deals with politics. Nor would most commentators chose to make Elisha the focal figure for such a study. However, Ellul’s treatment furnishes one with a feast of careful analysis and insight for any person of faith seeking guidance in how to live as a Christian in a political world.

    23. The Sacred and the Mundane: The Message of Leviticus by Peter J. Haas

      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?

    24. Truth-Telling and Peacemaking: A Reflection on Ezekiel by Walter Brueggemann

      God promises peacemaking. That peacemaking by God only happens, however, when there is truth-telling - costly, urgent and subversive.

    25. Wellhausen Goes to Yale by Christopher Seitz

      Seitz, in his review of The Book of J by Harold Bloom and David Rosenberg, takes both authors to task for essentially dismissing over 100 years of scholarship in order to present their thesis that the author of the J portions of the Pentateuch was both a woman and a secularist.

    26. What's New in Interpreting Genesis by Paul E. Koptak

      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.

    27. Word Of God - Word of Earth by B. Davie Napier

      (ENTIRE BOOK) A series of essays, with Elijah as the model, which examine the ministry and the minister.

    Other Social Issues

    1. AIDS in South Africa: Why the Churches Matter by Sarah Ruden

      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.

    2. Albert Borgmann on Taming Technology: An Interview by David Wood

      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.

    3. Are Humans Wired to Dream? by Jon Magnuson

      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.

    4. Beyond Liberation: An Agenda for Educational Justice by Charles L. Glenn

      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.

    5. Beyond Tolerance to Equal Rights by James M. Wall

      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.

    6. Compassionate Conspiracy: AIDS Action in Namibia by Lucy Y. Steinitz

      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.

    7. Compulsive Gamblers: Reno's Lost Souls by J. Robin Witt

      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.

    8. Confessions of a Glutton by Mary Louise Bringle

      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.

    9. Conversation with an Atheist -- Michael Harrington on Religion and Socialism by James R. Gorman

      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.

    10. Crisis on the Mexican Border by Rick Ufford-Chase

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

    11. Faith and Aging by Trudy Bush

      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.

    12. Food to Die For by Stephen H. Webb

      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.

    13. Hannah Arendt: Prophet for our Time by James M. Campbell

      (ENTIRE BOOK) The author summarizes the thoughts of Hannah Arendt, then uses them as a framework to ask whether America is slipping into a new kind of totalitarianism.

    14. Hemophiliacs and AIDS: Contracting a Killer by Kenneth Orr

      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.

    15. Immigrants and the Faith They Bring by R. Stephen Warner

      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.

    16. Landslide Lyndon by Robert Westbrook

      Mr. Westbrook hoped that LBJ would fulfill the promise of southern liberalism.

    17. Listening to B F. Skinner by James W. Woefel

      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.

    18. Men Without Women: An African-American Crisis by Matthew Johnson

      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.

    19. Race Still Matters: An Interview with Timothy Tyson by 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.

    20. Religious Communities in the Struggle for Human Rights by Robert Traer

      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.

    21. Save Your Roof! Build a Ramp! by Nina Herrmann

      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.<

    22. Separate and Unequal by Sarah Sentilles

      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.

    23. Social Insecurity by Robin J. and Todd P. Steen Klay

      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.

    24. The Antimuseum by Philip Jenkins

      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.

    25. The Etiquette of Democracy by Stephen L. Carter

      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.

    26. The Giving and Taking of Life: New Power at Life’s Thresholds by Kenneth Vaux

      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.

    27. The Misuse of Embryos by Amy Laura Hall

      The author says the moral cost involved is the reason why she believes embryonic stem cell research is not consonant with Christian faith.

    28. The Problem with Government Subsidies by Amy Johnson Frkyholm

      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.

    29. The Reshaping of Word by Richard W. Gillett

      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.

    30. The Strange World of Conspiracy Theories by Paul S. Boyer

      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.

    31. Video Shootout by Noreen Herzfeld

      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.

    32. What Every Progressive Christian Should Know About the Tobacco Industry by Graham Kelder

      The tobacco industry likes to portray itself as just another American business, but the facts point to precisely the opposite conclusion. The author suggests what individuals can do to curb the tobacco industry.

    33. What We Mean by Human Rights, and Why by Richard John Neuhaus

      We must resist the claim of any government that it represents some mystical "general will of the people," thus relegating its opponents to the categories of subversive, subhuman or counterrevolutionary. In the age of electronic torture, computers and sophisticated behavioral controls, the Leviathan of the modern state, here and elsewhere, must be resisted.

    34. Why Men Get Anxious by Mary Stewart Van Leeuwen

      A review of a book that details the decline of useful work for men and the resulting loss of masculine identity.

    Other Theologians

    1. America's Theologian by Allen C. Guelzo

      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.

    2. An ‘Intermediary Theology’: In Service of the Hearing of God’s Word by Sallie McFague

      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.

    3. Charles Hartshorne by Alan Gragg

      (ENTIRE BOOK) A clear statement of Hartshorne’s "Process Theology" in lay terms. Hartshorne enthusiastically adopts Whitehead’s view of the universe as essentially one of perpetual change and becoming, and relates this concept to traditional Christian theology.

    4. Communities of Faith and Radical discipleship – An Inerview with Jürgen Moltman by Carlos A. Valle

      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.

    5. Did Schweitzer Believe in God? by Jackson Lee Ice

      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.

    6. Disciplined by Theology: A Profile of Paul Holmer by Mark Horst

      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

    7. Edwards for Us by Max L. Stackhouse

      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.

    8. Emil Brunner: A Centennial Perspective by I. John Hesselink

      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.

    9. Eruption of Truth: An Interview with Raimon Panikkar by 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.

    10. Existence and Actuality: Conversations with Charles Hartshorne by John B. Cobb, Jr. and Franklin I. Gamwell (eds.)

      (ENTIRE BOOK) These chapters present a criticsl discussion among eminent philosophers, theologians, and Hartshorne himself on Hartshorne’s method, his logic, his theism and his metaphysics. Both proponents and critics of this honored philosopher contribute essays to this volume, and Hartshorne writes extensive response to each writer.

    11. Faith and Freedom by Schubert M. Ogden

      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.

    12. Feuerbach’s Religious Illusion by B. A. Gerrish

      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.

    13. From Earth to Heaven: Teilhard’s Politics and Eschatology by Richard Lischer

      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.

    14. God Our Contemporary by J.B. Phillips

      (ENTIRE BOOK) The relationship of man with the contemporary God. Man’s conditions of life, his perceptions and outlook, his attitude of mind, both toward himself and toward any possible Creator, have all changed so enormously in the last sixty or seventy years that we face an almost a new situation.

    15. God’s Last Laugh by Harvey Cox

      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.

    16. Godless Theology by Jurgen Moltmann

      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.

    17. Heidegger Is No Hero by Ivan Strenski

      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.

    18. Heidegger: Master of Questions by Bruce Ellis Benson

      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.

    19. Horizons of Hope by Jurgen Moltmann

      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.

    20. Hymn of the Universe by Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

      (ENTIRE BOOK) Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, scientist and Christian mystic, draws on his background in both science and theology to present a unique harmonizing of their often divergent attempts to define and understand reality.

    21. Intelligible Religion by Philip H. Phenix

      (ENTIRE BOOK) This book is addressed to both believers and unbelievers and examines a number of areas of religious thought and practice including an approach to intelligible religion, the fundamentals of religious experience, the existence and nature of God, the problem of good and evil, the meaning of the supernatural and of future life, the significance of Christ, the Church, the Bible, miracles and prayer.

    22. Jesus and the Word by Rudolf Bultmann

      (ENTIRE BOOK) An historical presentation of the teachings of Jesus in the setting of the thought of his own time. There is here a summary of Bultmann's controversial method of Biblical interpretation, which tries to recover the deeper meaning behind the mythological concepts of the New Testament.

    23. Joseph Sittler and the Theater of Human Existence by Linda-Marie Delloff

      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.

    24. Leonardo Boff: Theologian for All Christians by Robert McAfee Brown

      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.

    25. Liberalism and Lost Days: A Re-evaluation of Fosdick by Leonard I. Sweet

      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.

    26. Luther as Skeptic by Mark U. Edwards, Jr.

      A review of a recent biography of Martin Luther.

    27. Martin Buber: The Life of Dialogue by Maurice S. Friedman

      (ENTIRE BOOK) A comprehensive, richly documented research into Martin Buber’s philosophical and theological teachings and his influence upon philophers and theologians of his times.

    28. Martin Luther’s Reckless Grasp of Grace by Martin E. Marty

      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.

    29. Miroslav Volf Spans Conflicting Worlds by Mark Oppenheimer

      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.

    30. On Reading Augustine and on Augustine’s Reading by Margaret R. Miles

      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.

    31. Ordering the Soul: Augustine's Manifold Legacy by Langdon Gilkey

      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.

    32. Probing the Jewish-Christian Reality by Paul van Buren

      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.

    33. Raimundo Panikkar: Pluralism Without Relativism by Peter Gorday

      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.

    34. Reconsidering Albert Schweitzer by David L. Dungan

      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.

    35. Rudolf Bultmann: Scholar of Faith by David L. Edwards

      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."

    36. Second Chance for Thomas by Timothy M. Renick

      Most Protestants have rejected Thomas Aquinas as being too Catholic. Dr. Renick reviews two books presenting Thomist views in a better light for Protestants.

    37. The American Spirituality of Loren Eiseley by Richard E. Wentz

      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?

    38. The Future of Mankind by Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

      (ENTIRE BOOK) Pierre Teilhard de Chardin was a Jesuit priest, paleontologist and Christian mystic. This collection of his essays reveals his concepts of "social heredity" and progress, "the planetization of mankind," and the Noosphere -- a biological interpretation of human history. Teilhard was prevented by the church from publishing his work while he remained alive.

    39. The Living of These Days: A Tribute to Harry Emerson Fosdick by Deane William Ferm

      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.

    40. The Practical Theology of David Ford by David S. Cunningham

      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.

    41. The Secular City -- Ten Years Later by Harvey Cox

      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.

    42. The Sense of God’s Reality by Harry Emerson Fosdick

      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.

    43. The Thoroughly Modern Mysticism of Matthew Fox by Wayne G. Boulton

      Creation and redemption are so close together in Fox’s work that his social programs are almost inevitably simplistic.

    44. The Ultimate and the Ordinary: A Profile of Langdon Gilkey by Joseph L. Price

      Langdon Gilkey recognized that if theological discourse is to be meaningful today, it must be grounded in ordinary experience.

    45. Theology for a Time of Troubles by Langdon Gilkey

      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!

    46. Theology Now? by Paul van Buren

      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.

    47. Thinking Our Way to the Ultimate by William C. Placher

      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.

    48. Thomas Merton: The Global Future and Parish Priorities by Donald Grayston

      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.

    49. Thomas Merton: The Pursuit of Marginality by Lawrence S. Cunningham

      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.

    50. Thorn in the Side by Richard Wightmann Fox

      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.

    51. Ulrich Zwingli: Prophet of the Modern World by Charles E. Hambrick-Stowe

      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?

    52. Was Schweitzer a Mystic After All? by Jackson Lee Ice

      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.

    53. What Luther Got Wrong by David C. Steinmetz

      Luther seemed unaware of the best Catholic antidote to the Pelagianizing tendencies of Biel -- the thought of Thomas Aquinas. Although Aquinas has never been considered a top theologian by Protestants, more Protestant theologians are opening their ranks to his thoughts.

    Painting, Painters

    1. Anselm Kiefer: Art as Atonement by Ronald Goetz

      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.

    2. Broken Continuities: "Night" and "White Crucifixion" by Karl A. Plank

      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.

    3. Finding the Face of Jesus by Ronald Goetz

      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.

    4. From Preaching to Painting: Van Gogh’s Religious Zeal by Kathleen Powers Erickson

      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.

    5. On Being Alive to the Arts and Religion: Painting by F. Thomas Trotter

      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.

    6. On Being Sideswiped by Edvard Munch by F. Thomas Trotter

      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.

    7. Spirituality in Abstract Art by Pamela Schaeffer

      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.

    8. Stalking the Spiritual in the Visual Arts by David Morgan

      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.

    9. The Prints of Sadao Watanabe by Helen H. Merritt

      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.

    10. The Protestant Struggle with the Image by David Morgan

      It is no wonder that the church and modern art have largely gone separate ways; the two do not see with the same eyes.

    11. What is Religious Art? by F. Thomas Trotter

      This essay offers an indication of how seriously Trotter takes the issue of art and religion. This treatment appeared in 1974, to be followed in his 1978 article, "The Church’s Stake in the Arts." This article contends that art has the effect of raising questions by expanding one’s experience of the world. Trotter challenges the reader to test out his approach by visiting a gallery or museum and asking the questions posed in coming to one’s own "answer" to the question posed.


    1. Berrigan, Buber, and the ‘Settler State’ by Seymore Cain

      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."

    2. Blessing Both Jew and Palestinian: A Religious Zionist View by Yehezkel Landau

      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.

    3. From Time Immemorial? Dwellers in the Holy Land by Robert L. Wilken

      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.

    4. Going Home to Israel by Inge Lederer-Gibel

      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.

    5. Holy Land Narratives of Lament and Hope by Marc H. Ellis

      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.

    6. In the West Bank by Marthame and Elizabeth Sanders

      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?

    7. Invisible Palestinians: Ideology and Reality in Israel by Rosemary Ruether

      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."

    8. Israel and the Evangelicals by James M. Wall

      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.

    9. Israel’s Fences by Manachem Klein

      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.

    10. Jews vs. Jews by Marc H. Ellis

      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.

    11. Michael Wyschogrod and God’s First Love by Kendall Soulen

      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.

    12. On Criticizing Israel by Howard Singer

      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.

    13. Placing Blame in a Religious State by James M. Wall

      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.

    14. Property Rights by Ronald Goetz

      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.

    15. Speaking About Israel: Some Ground Rules by Robert McAfee Brown

      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?

    16. The Evangelical-Jewish Alliance by Donald Wagner

      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.

    17. The Fight Over Water in the Middle East by James L. Hecht

      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.

    18. The Palestinian Christian : Betrayed, Persecuted, Sacrificed by Abe W. Ata

      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.

    19. The Road to Emmaus by James M. Wall

      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.

    20. The Slow Death of the Two-State Solution by Alain Epp Weaver

      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.

    21. To End the Bloodshed by Rashid I. Khalidi

      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.

    22. To Israel and Back Again: Journey of an American Jew by Aliza Becker

      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.

    23. Who Owns the Holy Land? by Shaul Magid

      The author describes how modern Zionism has attempted to expropriated the land of Israel. He suggests an alternative theological model, one from an earlier chapter of Zionism.

    24. Whose Land is it? Apartheid in Israel/Palestine by Jonathan Frerichs

      Much of the Israeli occupation is hidden -- a web of zones, restrictions and intrusions to maintain control. Injustice is gaining ground. Only deeds of love and truth will bring peace..

    25. Why is the Dead Sea Dying? by Bruce Borthwick

      A "sacred river" has become a drainage ditch and the sea into which it empties is drying up. Restoring them to health will require a cooperation that can only come about when the area’s debilitating conflicts are resolved.


    1. An Old/New Theology of History by Richard Lischer

      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.

    2. God’s Presence in History by Wolfhart Pannenberg

      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.

    3. Pannenberg Jousts with the World Council of Churches by Richard John Neuhaus

      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.

    4. Pannenberg on Marxism: Insights and Generalizations by Stanley J. Grenz

      According to Pannenberg, Christians cannot use Marxism as a scientific, sociological tool in the task of understanding the dynamic of oppression in contemporary societies.

    5. Wolfhart Pannenberg's Quest for Ultimate Truth by Stanley J. Grenz

      Pannenberg has never wandered from his commitment to the fundamental orientation of the theological task as he sees it, one that enjoys a long, prestigious heritage.

    Poor and Oppressed

    1. A Biblical Perspective on the Problem of Hunger by Walter Brueggemann

      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.

    2. And Then There Were None by Kamet Larson

      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.

    3. Bare-Bones Imbroglio: Repatriating Indian Remains and Sacred Artifacts by Dean Peerman

      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.

    4. Bondage in Old Hispaniola: The Haitian Canecutters by George Cotter

      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.

    5. Caste Off by Palagummi Sainath

      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.

    6. Colombian Coal Mines: The Pits of Exploitation by C. Towers

      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.

    7. Combating Racism: Touch and Tell by Richard A. Hoehn

      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.

    8. Famine and Global Policy: An Interview with Joseph Fletcher by George R. Lucas, Jr.

      An interview with social ethicist Joseph Flecher which delves into the ethical issues of the "triage/lifeboat" approach to world hunger relief.

    9. Homes for the Unwanted by Robert Joe Stout

      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.

    10. How International Aid Fails the Poor by David Beckmann

      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.

    11. How the Early Church Practiced Charity by Walter Brueggemann

      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.

    12. Malnutrition in Third World Countries by Sally Urvina

      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.

    13. No One is Disposable: The Fight Against Slavery in the New Global Economy by Graham Kelder

      Slavery still occurs and is on the rise in the new global economy. The author suggests what we can do about it.

    14. Rethinking Hunger in America: Adapting the Sullivan Principles by Nancy Amidei

      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.

    15. Selling Native American Soul by Jon Magnuson

      An analysis of: the popularizing and exploitation of Native American culture. The author is a longtime advocate of the rights of Native Americans.

    16. Sold into Slavery by Jonathan Tran

      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.

    17. South Africa’s Blacks: Aliens in Their Own Land by Bishop Desmond Tutu

      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.

    18. Strategies of Global Development by Bill McKibben

      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.

    19. The Cost of Reconciliation by Donald W. Shriver, Jr.

      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.

    20. The Ethics of Immigration Reform by Ralston Deffenbaugh

      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.

    21. The Ethics of Triage: A Perspective on the World Food Conference by Laurence Simon

      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.

    22. The Homeless: On the Street, on the Road by Majorie Hope and James Young

      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.

    23. The Mentally Retarded: Recognizing Their Rights by Emil G. Brisson

      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.

    24. The Unsung Work of Padre Manuel Freire by Ken Wishnia

      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.

    25. The Water of Life by Jean-Bertrand Aristide

      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.

    26. The Women-Church Movement by Miriam Therese Winter

      The women-church movement is an initiative of the Holy Spirit among those who are religiously marginalized and oppressed.

    27. War Against the Poor: Low-Intensity Conflict and Christian Faith by Jack Nelson-Pallmeyer

      (ENTIRE BOOK) An analysis of "low-intensity conflict" -- the United States global strategy of warfare waged against the poor -- as seen in Nicaragua during the 1980s.

    28. When Hard Work Doesn’t Pay by Marcia Z. Nelson

      For millions of Americans employment does not offer an escape from poverty. The Census Bureau information shows us that it is more likely today than it was seven years ago that poor households have a working family member.

    29. Why Maria Crossed Over by John Fanestil

      The author details the cross boarder problems of a family of several generations whose members lived in both Mexico and the United States, and who through birth, were mixed in citizenship. "Family Values" are not considered in U.S. immigration policies.


    1. Censorship or Education? Feminist Views on Pornography by Mary Ellen Ross

      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.

    2. Pornography: An Agenda for the Churches by Mary Pellauer

      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.

    Post Liberal Theology

    1. A Purpose For Everything by L. Charles Birch

      (ENTIRE BOOK) Birch holds that post-modern scientific materialism is insufficient to explain the world. He proposes an ecological model in which all entities, from protons to humans, are ultimately related. Only this, he says, can deal adequately with the post modern world.

    2. Amateur Atheists by John F. Haught

      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?

    3. Answering Pilate: Truth and the Postliberal Church by William Willimon

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

    4. Apocalypticism and Modern Thinking by Thomas J.J. Altizer

      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.

    5. Being Postliberal: A Response to James Gustafson by William C. Placher

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

    6. British Theology After a Trauma: Divisions and Conversations by David F. Ford

      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.

    7. British Theology: Movements and Churches by David F. Ford

      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.

    8. Christology in the United States by John B. Cobb, Jr.

      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.

    9. God in the New World by Lloyd Geering

      (ENTIRE BOOK) Has Christianity anything to say in this secular age? Dr. Geering examines two of the most misunderstood areas -- the nature of the Bible, and the relation of Christian faith to science -- and affirms that Christ is completely relevant to the modern world.

    10. Has Europe Become Theologically Barren? by John B. Cobb, Jr.

      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.

    11. In Piam Memoriam -- The Death of God After Ten Years by William Hamilton

      "The death of God" movement has proved a liberating and stimulating religious event. It is still the decisive theological event of our time.

    12. Jean-Luc Marion Tests the Limits of Logic by Bruce Ellis Benson

      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.

    13. Just What Is 'Postliberal Theology? by James M. Gustafson

      The author asks editors and writers to clarify what they mean by "postliberal."

    14. Liberal Questions: A Response to William Placher by James M. Gustafson

      Gustafson assesses the adequacy and inadequacy of Placher's answers to questions that he--Gustafson--put in his original article about postliberalism.

    15. Modern and Postmodern Forms of Unbelief by Philip Hefner

      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.

    16. Overt Language About the Death of God -- In Retrospect by Thomas J.J. Altizer

      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.

    17. Performing Scripture by Nicholas Lash

      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.

    18. Radical, Orthodox by Lois Malcolm

      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.

    19. Secularism's Impact on Contemporary Theology by Langdon Gilkey

      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.

    20. Some Themes in Protestant Theology Today by Gabriel Fackre

      Can Protestant theology be catholic?

    21. The Dangerous God: A Profile of William Hamilton by Lloyd Steffen

      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.

    22. The Death of God: A Belated Personal Postscript by James W. Woefel

      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.

    23. The Debate on ‘Open Theism’ by James K.A. Smith

      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.

    24. The Fantasies of the New Theologians by Carl Raschke

      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.

    25. The Future of Postliberal Theology by Gary Dorrien

      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.

    26. The Gospel of Christian Atheism by Thomas J.J. Altizer

      Dr. Altizer considers this essay, written in 1997, to be the best summary of his theological position.

    27. The Origins of Postliberalism by Gary Dorrien

      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.

    28. The Suffering God: The Rise of a New Orthodoxy by Ronald Goetz

      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.

    29. The Theology of Altizer: Critique and Response by John B. Cobb, Jr. (editor)

      (ENTIRE BOOK) Essays from a wide range of scholars in a thoughtful attempt to understand and clarify Thomas Altizer’s "Death of God" theology, including serious critical statements, followed by Altizer’s responses.

    30. The World to Come: From Christian Past to Global Future by Lloyd Geering

      (ENTIRE BOOK) The certainties of Christianity’s past have gone, and we are caught up in a process of cultural change more rapid and widespread than ever before in human history. We have entered a post-Christian era. The transition from the Christian era of the past to that of the future is the subject of this book.

    31. Theism and Religious Humanism: The Chasm Narrows by William R. Jones

      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.

    32. Theological Wisdom, British Style by David F. Ford

      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).

    33. Theology in the Twenty-First Century by John B. Cobb, Jr.

      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.

    34. Toward the Heart of the Matter by Eberhard Jungel

      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.

    35. Where Was God? An Interview with David Bentley Hart by David Bentley Hart

      In this interview David Hart speaks about evil and its place in the world that God created. He concludes that at the heart of the problem, suffering is a resolute insistence upon and adoration of the imperishable goodness of creation.

    36. Why Troeltsch? Why today? Theology for the 21st Century by Garrett E. Paul

      Troeltsch was very attracted to mysticism, but he knew that religion would die without symbol, cult and myth, and that it would grow impotent without institutions.


    1. A Pattern for Prayer by John D. Witvliet

      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.

    2. A Pattern for Prayer by John D. Witvliet

      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.

    3. Exploring a Life of Prayer by Jane E. Vennard

      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.

    4. Learning to Pray by Madelyn Chandler McIntyre

      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.

    5. Learning to Pray by Anita Mathias

      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.

    6. Learning to Pray: An Interview with Roberta C. Bondi by Roberta C. Bondi

      Bondi shares what she has learned about the practice of prayer from her study of Christian monks of ancient Egypt.

    7. Let Us Pray by Ricky Hoyt

      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.

    8. Lord, Teach Us to Pray (Luke 11:1-4) by Ronald Goetz

      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.

    9. Not About Me: Prayer is the Work of a Lifetime by Merold Westphal

      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.").

    10. On Providence and Prayer by Jack A. Keller

      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.

    11. Prayer and the Common Life by Georgia Harkness

      (ENTIRE BOOK) Dr. Harkness discusses first the relation of prayer to the basic structures of Christian faith. The second section book deals with ways of praying and the third with the psychological and social aspects of prayer.

    12. Prayer, Metaphysics and an Eskimo Named Nuckkerweener by Ron Durham

      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.

    13. Praying Today: Practical Thoughts on Prayer by Norman Pittenger

      (ENTIRE BOOK) For moderns who find difficulty with prayer, prayer is defined as the intentional and attentive presence of God, the purpose being the of alignment of self, in desires and actions, with divine love who is our heavenly Father. It is to open ourselves to God, to link our little selves with God's divine will.

    14. Recovering Healing Prayer by Gordon Dalbey

      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.

    15. Sacraments for the Christian Life by Ellen T. Charry

      Christians need to be re-Christianized, to have their true identity in Christ made palapable. The sacraments embody this.

    16. Sage, Sweetgrass, and the First Amendment by DaShane Stokes

      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.

    17. Table Blessings by Kelton Cobb

      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.

    18. The Call For God by Theodore W. Jennings

      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.

    19. The Office Of Prayer by Arthur Paul Boers

      The author reviews six books on prayer.

    Process Studies Journal

    1. A Buddhist Response to Paul Ingram by Stephanie Kaza

      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.

    2. A Critique of Process Theodicy from an African Perspective by Thomas H. Graves

      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.

    3. A Dialogue on Bergson by Randall E. Auxier

      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.

    4. A Mathematical Root of Whitehead’s Cosmological Thought by Robert Andrew Ariel

      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.

    5. A Monistic Interpretation of Whitehead’s Creativity by John R. Wilcox

      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.

    6. A Month Before Christmas and a Day After Darwin by Ronald Settle

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

    7. A Political Vision for the Organic Model by Robert W. Hoffert

      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.

    8. A Process View of the Flesh: Whitehead and Merleau-Ponty by William S. Hamrick

      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.

    9. A Psychologist’s Philosophy Evaluated After Fifty Years: Troland’s Psychical Monism by Charles Hartshorne

      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.

    10. A Query Concerning the Plenum by Paul F. Schmidt

      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’.

    11. A Rejoinder to Justus Buchler by Ivor Leclerc

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

    12. A Resonance Model for Revelation by Jerry D. Korsmeyer

      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.

    13. A Response to Joseph Bracken’s "Prehending God in and through the World" by Paul Lewis Cecil

      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

    14. A Thesis Concerning Truth by Robert Neville

      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.

    15. A Whiteheadian Account of Value and Identity by Lynne Belaief

      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.

    16. A Whiteheadian Chaosmos: Process Philosophy from a Deleuzean Perspective by Tim Clark

      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.

    17. A Whiteheadian Reflection on Subjective Immortality by Lewis S. Ford and Marjorie Suchocki

      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.

    18. A. N. W.: A Biographical Perspective by Victor Lowe

      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.

    19. Actuality, Possibility, and Theodicy: A Response to Nelson Pike by David Ray Griffin

      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.

    20. Added on Like Dome and Spire -- Wieman’s Later Critique of Whitehead by C. Robert Mesle

      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.

    21. Aesthetic Value and Relational Power: An Essay on Personhood by C. Robert Mesle

      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.

    22. Alfred North Whitehead’s Basic Philosophical Problem: The Development of a Relativistic Cosmology by Michael Welker

      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.

    23. Alien Gods in Black Experience by Archie Smith, Jr.

      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.

    24. An Early Whiteheadian View of Perception by John H. Kultgen

      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.

    25. An Enduring Self: The Achilles’ Heel of Process Philosophy by J.P. Moreland

      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.

    26. Anti-Judaism in Process Christologies? by Clark M. Williamson

      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."

    27. Aristotelian and Whiteheadian Conceptions of Actuality: I by Reto Luzius Fetz

      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.

    28. Aristotelian and Whiteheadian Conceptions of Actuality: II by Reto Luzius Fetz

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

    29. Art and the Expression of Meaning by John C. Gilmour

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

    30. Atom, Duration, Form: Difficulties with Process Philosophy by Wolfhart Pannenberg

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

    31. Becoming: A Problem for Determinists? by J. Brenton Stearns

      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.

    32. Being and Freedom: The Metaphysics of Freedom by Frederick Sontag

      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?

    33. Bell’s Theorem and Stapp’s Revised View of Space-Time by Charles Hartshorne

      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.

    34. Bell’s Theorem, H. P. Stapp, and Process Theism by William B. Jones

      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.

    35. Bergson and the Calculus of Intuition: Special Focus Introduction by Randall E. Auxier

      .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

    36. Bergson on Science and Philosophy by C. F. Delaney

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

    37. Bergson, Mathematics, and Creativity by Pete A. Y. Gunter

      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.

    38. Bergson, Peirce, and Reflective Intuition by Carl R. Hausman

      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.

    39. Bergson, Prigogine and the Rediscovery of Time by Eric V. Szendrei

      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.

    40. Bergson’s Dualism in ‘Time and Free Will’ by Andrew C. Bjelland

      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.

    41. Bitten to Death by Ducks: A Reply to Griffin by William Hasker

      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

    42. Broadening Care, Discerning Worth: The Environmental Contributions of Minimalist Religious Naturalis by Jerome A. Stone

      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.

    43. Buchier’s Ordinal Metaphysics and Process Theology by Peter H. Hare and John Ryder

      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.

    44. Camus, God, and Process Thought by James Goss

      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.

    45. Can Leclerc’s Composite Actualities Be Substances? by John D. Kronen

      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.

    46. Can Whitehead Be Made a Christian Philosopher? by Paul G. Kuntz

      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.

    47. Cartesian Roots of the Ontological Principle by Juliana Geran Pilon

      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.

    48. Causality, Chaos, and Consciousness: Steps Toward a Normative Cosmological Principle in an Evolving by A. Karim Ahmed

      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 .

    49. Charles Hartshorne And Subjective Immortality by Marjorie Suchocki

      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.

    50. Charles Hartshorne and the Ontological Argument by Eugene H. Peters

      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.

    51. Charles Hartshorne on Metaphilosophy, Person and Immortality, and Other Issues by John Kennedy and Piotr Gutowski

      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.

    52. Charles Hartshorne: A Secondary Bibliography by Dorothy C. Hartshorne

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

    53. Charles Hartshorne’s Rationalism by Piotr Gutawski

      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.

    54. Christology Reconsidered: John Cobb’s 'Christ in a Pluralistic Age’ by Schubert M. Ogden

      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.

    55. Complementarity, Bell’s Theorem, and the Framework of Process Metaphysics by Henry J. Folse, Jr.

      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.

    56. Concerning Creativity and God: A Response by Robert Neville

      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.

    57. Confessional Postmodernism and the Process-Relational Vision by Leslie A. Muray

      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.

    58. Consciousness in Satisfaction as the Prereflective Cogito by Stefan Schindler

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

    59. Continuity, Possibility, and Omniscience by Richard F. Creel

      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.

    60. Continuity, Possibility, and Omniscience: A Contrasting View by James A. Keller

      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.

    61. Cosmic Epochs and the Scope of Scientific Laws by Tom L. Beauchamp

      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.

    62. Could There Have Been Nothing? A Reply by Charles Hartshorne

      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.

    63. Critiquing Codependence Theory and Reimaging Psychotherapy: A Process -- Relational Exploration by Mary Elizabeth Moore

      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.

    64. Croce and Whitehead On Concrescence by George Allan

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

    65. Culture, History, and the Retrieval of the Past by David L. Hall

      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.

    66. Darwin and Some Philosophers by Charles Hartshorne

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

    67. David Pailin’s Theology of Divine Action by Darren J.N. Middleton

      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.

    68. Decentering Whitehead by Donald W. Sherburne

      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.

    69. Deconstruction and the Philosophy of Culture by Joseph Grange

      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.

    70. Deep Ecology and Process Thought by John B. Cobb, Jr.

      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.

    71. Deficiencies in Whitehead’s Philosophy by Archie J. Bahm

      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."

    72. Denis Hurtubise on Ford and the "Traditional" Interpretation by John B. Cobb, Jr.

      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

    73. Dialectical vs. Di-Polar Theology by Thomas J.J. Altizer

      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.

    74. Dipolar Theism: Psychological Considerations by John F. Haught

      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.

    75. Disassembling the Mantra: Part/Whole Equivocation in the Category of the Ultimate by Duane Voskuil

      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.

    76. Disconfirmation of Whitehead’s Relativity Theory -- A Critical Reply by Dean R. Fowler

      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.

    77. Discussion of Palmyre M.F. Oomen’s Recent Essays in Process Studies by Duane Voskuil

      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.

    78. Discussion Upon Fundamental Principles of Education (1919) by Alfred North Whitehead

      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.

    79. Diverse Currents in Whitehead’s View of Time by Jerome Ashmore

      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."

    80. Divine Omnipotence: Plantinga vs. Griffin by David and Randall Basinger

      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.

    81. Does Omniscience Imply Foreknowledge? Craig on Hartshorne by Donald Wayne Viney

      William Lane Craig’s views of Hartshorne, regarding God’s foreknowledge because of God’s omniscience, are misunderstood and unjust.

    82. Does Whitehead’s God Possess a Moral Will? by David Platt

      In the profoundest sense it would be strange to consider God amoral if the moral dimension in human experience is itself derived from God.

    83. Efficient Causation Within Concrescence by Lewis S. Ford

      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.

    84. Empirical Theology: A Revisable Tradition by Willliam Dean

      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.

    85. Energy-Events and Fields by Joseph A. Bracken, S.J.

      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.

    86. Eros and Agape in Creative Evolution: A Peircean Insight by Carl R. Hausman

      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.

    87. Error in Causal Efficacy by Robert H. Kimball

      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.

    88. Evil and Persuasive Power by Peter H. Hare and Edward H. Madden

      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.

    89. Evil and Persuasive Power: A Response to Hare and Madden by Dalton D. Baldwin

      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).

    90. Evolutionary Futurism in Stapledon’s ‘Star Maker’ by Susan A. Anderson

      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.

    91. Evolutionist Theories and Whitehead’s Philosophy by George R. Lucas, Jr.

      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."

    92. Evolving Sensibilities of our Conception of Nature by Jay Schulkin

      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.

    93. Experience and Philosophy: A Review of Hartshorne’s Creative Synthesis and Philosophic Method by Robert Neville

      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.

    94. Experience, Dialectic, and God by Herbert J. Nelson

      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.

    95. Explaining the Historical Process by Dale H. Porter

      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.

    96. Explanation and Natural Philosophy: Or, The Rationalization of Mysticism by Murray Code

      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."

    97. Faith and Justice: A New Synthesis? The Interface of Process and Liberation Theologies by Joseph A. Bracken, S.J.

      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.

    98. Feeling as a Metaphysical Category: Hartshorne from an Analytical View by L. Bryant Keeling

      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.

    99. Feminist Concerns and Whitehead’s Theory of Perception by Marilyn Thie

      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.

    100. Feminist Separatism -- The Dynamics of Self-Creation by L. J. "Tess" Tessier

      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.

    101. Foreword To the Newly Reprinted British Edition of Science and the Modern World by Robert M. Young

      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.

    102. Foundations of Cognitive Metaphysics by Jason W. Brown

      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.

    103. Freedom and Faithfulness In Whitehead’s God by Delwin Brown

      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.

    104. From Criticism to Mutual Transformation? The Dialogue Between Process and Evangelical Theologies by John Culp

      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.

    105. From Lorenzen Through Husserl to Whitehead by Hiroshi Endo

      The author is haunted by the question: What is the mechanism involved in our encounter with eternal objects?

    106. From Mimesis to Kinesis: The Aristotelian Dramatic Matrix, Psychoanalysis, and Some Recent Alternati by Ekbert Faas

      Ekbert Faas discusses the possible connections which might exist between Aristotelan poetics and the contemporary psychological theater as well as psychoanalysis itself.

    107. Genetic and Coordinate Division Correlated by Lewis S. Ford

      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.

    108. Genetic Succession, Time, and Becoming by Robert Neville

      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.

    109. God and Creativity: A Revisionist Proposal within a Whiteheadian Context by Stephen T. Franklin

      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.

    110. God as Composer-Director, Enjoyer, and, in a Sense, Player of the Cosmic Drama by Charles Hartshorne

      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.

    111. God as the Future: On Not Taking Time Seriously by George Allan

      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.

    112. God as Thelarrhenic by Carl S. Keener

      The author illuminates problems generated by the appropriation of the terms "androgynous" and "gynandrous" in process theology.

    113. God, Process, and Persons: Charles Hartshorne and Personalism by Randall E. Auxier

      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.

    114. God’s Nescience of Future Contingents: A Nineteenth-Century Theory by William McGuire King

      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.

    115. Happiness and the Public World: Beyond Political Liberalism by Franklin I. Gamwell

      Whitehead’s metaphysical system offers a political vision beyond liberalism and its assumptions of economic success.

    116. Hartshorne and Creel on Impassibility by George W. Shields

      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.

    117. Hartshorne and the Problem of Personal Identity by Albert Shalom and John Robertson

      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."

    118. Hartshorne and Utilitarianism: A Response to Moskop by Thomas A. Nairn

      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.

    119. Hartshorne on Actuality by Eugene H. Peters

      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.

    120. Hartshorne on Personal Identity: A Personalistic Critique by Peter A. Bertocci

      Any resort to bodily unity-continuity to explain the awareness of self-identifying unity despite intermittent consciousness does not resolve the problem.

    121. Hartshorne on the Ultimate Issue in Metaphysics by John D. Gilroy

      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.

    122. Hartshorne, God and Metaphysics: How the Cosmically Inclusive Personal Nexus and the World Interact by Duane Voskuil

      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.

    123. Hartshorne, God, and Relativity Physics by David Ray Griffin

      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.

    124. Hartshorne, Metaphysics and The Law of Moderation by Daniel Dombrowski

      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.

    125. Hartshorne’s Neoclassical Theism and Black Theology by Theodore Walker, Jr.

      Both black and process theologies are defined in large part by their opposition to or protest against certain features of classical Western theism.

    126. Hauerwas Represented: A Response to Muray by Charles Pinches

      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.

    127. Historical Process Theology: A Field in a Map of Thought by Willliam Dean

      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.

    128. How Is Process Theology Theological? by Joseph M. Hallman

      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.

    129. How Process Theology Can Affirm Creation Ex Nihilo by Rem B. Edwards

      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.

    130. Human Agents as Actual Beings by Edward Pols

      The concrete and reflexive circle invoked here by the author is the circle of Being, as the term "ontic power" concedes.

    131. Human Coercion: A Fly in the Process Ointment? by David Basinger

      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.

    132. I’ve Known Rivers: Black Theology’s Response to Process Theology by Thandeka

      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.

    133. Imaginative Generalization as Epogoge by Gregory Reichberg

      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.

    134. Immediate and Mediate Memory by Milic Capek

      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.

    135. In Critique of Whitehead 1 by Reto Luzius Fetz

      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.

    136. Indian Theism and Process Philosophy by Delmar Langbauer

      Process thought from an Indian perspective: The parallel between the Indian view of Isvara and Whitehead’s vision of the divine becomes apparent.

    137. Influence as Confluence: Bergson and Whitehead by Randall E. Auxier

      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).

    138. Intentionality and Prehension by Nicholas F. Gier

      Intentionality is found in process philosophy, particularly in Whitehead’s doctrine of prehension. There are substantial parallels between Whitehead and existential phenomenology.

    139. Interpoints: A Model for Divine Spacetime by Margaret O'Rourke Boyle

      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.

    140. Is Divine Relativity Possible? Charles Hartshorne on God’s Sympathy with the World by Henry Simoni-Wastila

      Hartshorne’s theory of Divine relativity means that God not only knows but feels.

    141. Is the Past Finite? On Craig’s Kalam Argument by George W. Shields

      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.

    142. Is Whitehead’s Actual Entity A Contradiction in Terms? by Robison B. James

      Whitehead has a more fluid understand of existence than many interpreters realize caused by some terminological ambiguity in Whitehead’s terms.

    143. Justice and Class Struggle: A Challenge for Process Theology by George V. Pixley

      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.

    144. Justus Buchler: Nature, Power, and Prospect by Sidney Gelber

      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.

    145. Kaufman on Kaplan and Process Theology: A Post-Positivist Perspective by H. A. Alexander

      The author concludes that Mordecai Kaplan was a positivist and a modernist while Whitehead was one of the earliest post-positivists and post-modernists.

    146. Kimball on Whitehead and Perception by David L. Hildebrand

      The author believes that Robert H. Kimball is mistaken in believing that Whitehead is trying to reconcile realism with mediatism.

    147. Kirkpatrick on Subjective Becoming by Lewis S. Ford

      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.

    148. Kraus’s Boethian Interpretation of Whitehead’s God by Rem B. Edwards

      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.

    149. Land Ethics, Animal Rights, and Process Theology by Jay B. McDaniel

      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.

    150. Lewis S. Ford and Traditional Interpretations of Whitehead’s Metaphysics by Denis Hurtubise

      Dr. Hurtubise shows that Lewis Ford’s genetic approach to Whitehead’s metaphysics rests on some key points differing from the traditional interpretations.

    151. Lewis S. Ford: A Life In Process by George R. Lucas, Jr.

      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.

    152. Lewis S. Ford’s Theology: A Critical Appreciation by Robert Neville

      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.

    153. Liberation Theology and Social Justice by Matthew L. Lamb

      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.

    154. Liberty and the Enfranchisement of Women by Alfred North Whitehead

      Whitehead: "In the name of Liberty, we demand the Suffrage for Women."

    155. Literary Criticism and Process Thought: Blackmur, Brooks, Sartre, and Whitehead by C. Carter Colwell

      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.

    156. Lockeian Roots of the Ontological Principle by Juliana Geran Pilon

      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.

    157. Logic and the Metaphysics of Hegel and Whitehead by Charles Nussbaum

      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."

    158. Materialist and Panexperientialist Physician: A Critique of Jaegwon Kim’s Supervenience and Mind by David Ray Griffin

      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.

    159. Matthew’s ‘Undercurrent’ and Ogden’s Christology by Russell Pregeant

      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."

    160. Meland’s Alternative in Ethics by John B. Spencer

      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.

    161. Mental Phenomena as Causal Determinants in Brain Functions by H. W. Sperry

      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.

    162. Metaphors as Imaginative Propositions by D. Lynn Holt

      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.

    163. Metaphysical Principles and the Category of the Ultimate by Archie Graham

      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).

    164. Metaphysics and ‘Valid Inductions’ by Ann Plamondon

      The author attempts to elucidate what seems to be a necessary condition for the metaphysical understanding of "valid inductive inference" patterns.

    165. Metaphysics and Induction by Gary Gutting

      The author rejects causality and "atomism" as sufficient or necessary conditions for solving the problem of induction in metapphysics.

    166. Metaphysics and Induction’: Reply and Rejoinder by James W. Felt

      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.

    167. Methodological Alternatives in Process Theology by Delwin Brown and Sheila Davaney

      The authors give a broad overview of process theology and its methodological alternatives. Whitehead and process theology, rationalist process thought, and empirical process theology.

    168. Mill and Hartshorne by John C. Moskop

      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.

    169. Minjung and Process Hermeneutics by A. Sung Park

      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.

    170. Mordecai M. Kaplan and Process Theology: Metaphysical and Pragmatic Perspectives by William E. Kaufman

      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.

    171. Mosa-Dharma and Prehension: Nagarjuna and Whitehead Compared by Ryusei Takeda and John B. Cobb, Jr.

      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.

    172. Mudddleheadedness and Simplemindedness - Whitehead and Russell by George R. Lucas, Jr.

      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.

    173. Musings Of A Psychologist- Theologian: Reflections On The Method Of Charles Hartshorne by Mary Elizabeth Moore

      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.

    174. Must God Be Really Related to Creatures? by Schubert M. Ogden

      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.

    175. Mystical Consciousness in a Process Perspective by Ernest L. Simmons, Jr.

      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.

    176. Narrative Teaching: An Organic Methodology by Mary Elizabeth Moore

      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.

    177. Naturalism, Theism, and the Origin of Life by Joseph E. Earley

      Dr. Earley comments on various theories of evolution and creationism, with some Whiteheadian insights.

    178. Neville’s Critique of Hartshorne by David A. Pailin

      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".

    179. Non-Being and Hartshorne’s Concept of God by Houston Craighead

      Hartshorne’s argument, if valid, is valid only if Hartshorne’s God exists, but Hartshorne fails to prove the existence of his God.

    180. Nonhuman Experience: A Whiteheadian Analysis by Susan Armstrong-Buck

      The author suggests that animal consciousness is closer to human consciousness than Whitehead believed.

    181. Nonstandard Mathematics and a Doctrine of God by Granville C. Henry, Jr.

      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.

    182. Note on Whitehead and the Order of Nature by Francis Seaman

      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.

    183. Of Time, the Self, and Rem Edwards by Robert Fancher

      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.

    184. Omniscience and Divine Synchronization by John Robert Baker

      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.

    185. On an Alleged Inconsistency in Whitehead by Milic Capek

      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.

    186. On Applying Whitehead’s First Category of Existence by Joseph E. Earley

      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."

    187. On Behalf of the Unhappy Reader: A Response to Lee F. Werth by Elizabeth M. Kraus

      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."

    188. On Hasker’s Defense of his Parity Claim by David Ray Griffin

      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.

    189. On Popper’s Understanding of Whitehead by Juliana Geran Pilon

      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.

    190. On Prehending the Past by Charles Michael Johnson

      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.

    191. On Situating Process Philosophy by Nicholas Rescher

      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.

    192. On the Formation of Ontological Concepts: the Theories of Whitehead and Piaget by Reto Luzius Fetz

      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."

    193. On the Unique Origin of Revelation, Religious Intuition, and Theology by Roland Faber

      Dr. Faber reflects on the non-metaphysical nature of revelation and also on the possibility of a process-theological notion of genuine revelation.

    194. One, Two, or Three Concepts of God in Alfred North Whitehead’s Process and Reality? by Denis Hurtubise

      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.

    195. Ontological Hermeneutics: An Overlooked Bergsonian Perspective by Richard L. Brougham

      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.

    196. Openness to the New in Apocalyptic and in Process Theology by William A. Beardslee

      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.

    197. Organization and Process: Systems Philosophy and Whiteheadian Metaphysics by James E. Huchingson

      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.

    198. Original Sin Revisited by Marjorie Suchocki

      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.

    199. Panpsychism and Parsimony by John J. Shepherd

      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.

    200. Perception and Causality: Whitehead and Aristotle by Shielah O'Flynn Brennan

      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.

    201. Perception and Externality in Whitehead’s "Enquiry" by Fernando R. Molina

      The author critiques various points of Whitehead’s Enquiry, yet adjudges Whitehead as contributing some of the most exciting contributions to epistemology.

    202. Personal Identity from A to Z by Charles Hartshorne

      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.

    203. Persuasive and Coercive Power in Process Metaphysics by J. E. Barnhart

      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.

    204. Philosophical Growth, Future Subjectivity, and David Pailin by Lewis S. Ford

      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?

    205. Philosophy After Hartshorne by Donald Wayne Viney

      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.

    206. Philosophy and Classical Determinism by Milic Capec and Brenton Stearns

      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?

    207. Physicalism and Panexperientialism: Response to David Ray Griffin by Jaegwon Kim

      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.

    208. Plato as Dipolar Theist by Leonard I. Eslick

      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.

    209. Points of Contact Between Process Theology and Liberation Theology in Matters of Faith and Justice by John B. Cobb, Jr.

      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.

    210. Postliterate Humanity by William S. Hamrick

      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.

    211. Prehending God in and through the World by Joseph A. Bracken, S.J.

      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.

    212. Probing the Idea of Nature by Justus Buchler

      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.

    213. Process and Generality by David M. Brahinsky

      The author does not believe that Whitehead’s "creativity" best serves as the concept of ultimate or final generality.

    214. Process and Religion: The History of a Tradition at Chicago by Larry F. Axel

      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.

    215. Process and Revolution: Hegel, Whitehead, and Liberation Theology by Paul Lakeland

      Dr. Lakeland compares the respective potentials of the thought of Hegel and Whitehead as philosophical support for the theology of liberation.

    216. Process Philosophy and the Educational Canon by George Allan

      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.

    217. Process Philosophy and Trinitarian Theology by Joseph A. Bracken, S.J.

      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.

    218. Process Psychotherapy by John B. Cobb, Jr.

      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

    219. Process Relational Psychotherapy: Creatively Transforming Relationships by Robert Brizee

      The author presents the disciplines of philosophy, theology, and psychology as he experiences counseling through the perspective of process thought.

    220. Process Social Philosophy: The Continuing Conversation by George Allan

      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.

    221. Process Theism Versus Free-Will Theism: A Response To Griffin by David Basinger

      Dr. Basinger discusses the problem of evil from three perspectives: 1. Theological determinism; 2. Free-will theism; 3. Process theology.

    222. Process Theodicy and the Concept of Power by Nelson Pike

      Whitehead probably believed that no being is omnipotent. Thus the question: is there logical conflict between the statements "God exists" and "evil exists"?

    223. Process Theology and Black Liberation: Testing the Whiteheadian Metaphysical Foundations by Henry James Young

      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.

    224. Process Theology as Empirical, Rational, and Speculative: Some Reflections on Method by David Ray Griffin

      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.

    225. Process Theology: Guardian of the Oppressor or Goad to the Oppressed by William R. Jones

      The author assesses process thought from a liberation theology perspective, challenging the claim by process theologians that process and liberation thought are compatible.

    226. Process Thought and the Spaciness of Mind by Rem B. Edwards

      Dr. Edwards rejects the doctrine of the external imperceptibility of mind. There is no enduring essences of mindless spatiality or spaceless mentality.

    227. Process Thought as Conceptual Framework by Santiago Sia

      The author explains the epistemological standpoint underlying his interest in process thought.

    228. Process Thought From a European Perspective 1 by Jan Van Der Veken

      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.

    229. Process Thought On the Borders Between Hermeneutics and Theology by William A. Beardslee

      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.

    230. Process Thought: Its Value and Meaning to Me by L. Charles Birch

      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.

    231. Process, Creativity, and Technology: Reflections on The Uncertain Phoenix by Peter Limper

      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.

    232. Process, Time, and God by Bowman L. Clarke

      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.

    233. Process-Relational Christian Soteriology: A Response to Wheeler by David Basinger

      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.

    234. Processing Towards Life by L. Charles Birch

      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.

    235. Psychological Physiology From the Standpoint of a Physiological Psychologist by George Wolf

      The author’s concern is how mind and body are related and how research in neurobehavior is influenced by process cosmology.

    236. Purposive Organization: Whitehead and Kant by Gordon Treash

      Kant’s mature thought tests Whitehead’s insistence that experience and rationality represent a high degree of specialization and abstraction.

    237. Quantum Mechanics, Local Causality, and Process Philosophy by Henry Pierce Stapp

      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.

    238. R.G.Collingwood and A.N. Whitehead on Metaphysics, History, and Cosmology by Guido Vanheesvijck

      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.

    239. Radical Relatedness and Feminist Separatism by Nancy B. Howell

      The author examine how Whiteheadian philosophy might complement radical feminism.

    240. Rationality, Contributionism, and the Value of Love: Hartshorne on Abortion by Anita Miller Chancy

      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.

    241. Re-Reading Science and the Modern World by John B. Cobb, Jr.

      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.

    242. Recent Classical/Process Dialogue on God and Change by Philip Clayton

      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.

    243. Recent Empirical Disconfirmation of Whitehead’s Relativity Theory by Robert Andrew Ariel

      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.

    244. Recollections of Alfred North Whitehead by Paul Weiss

      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.

    245. Regional Inclusion and Psychological Physiology by John B. Cobb Jr. and Donald W. Sherburne

      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.

    246. Regional Inclusion and the Extensive Continuum by John B. Cobb Jr. and Donald W. Sherburne

      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.

    247. Rejection, Influence, and Development: Hartshorne in the History of Philosophy by Colin Gunton

      Gunton examines Hartshorne’s idealism -- his concept that God is dipolar, and that God is the soul of the world.

    248. Relativity Physics and the God of Process Philosophy by Paul Fitzgerald

      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.

    249. Reply to the Basingers on Divine Omnipotence by Alvin Plantinga

      The author discusses some of the criticism put forth by David & Randall Basinger. He discusses I-omnipotence, free will and evil.

    250. Response to Ogden and Carpenter by John B. Cobb, Jr.

      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.

    251. Robert Brumbaugh: Towards a Process Philosophy of Education by Brian Hendley

      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.

    252. Russell, Poincaré, and Whitehead’s ‘Relational Theory of Space’ by Patrick J. Hurley

      The author discusses: extensive abstraction, the problem of contiguous physical objects, causal transmission and temporal dimension.

    253. Salvational Zionism and Religious Naturalism in the Thought of Mordecai M. Kaplan by Emanuel S. Goldsmith

      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.

    254. Self-Organization and Agency: In Chemistry and In Process Philosophy by Joseph E. Earley

      Dr. Earley compares process philosophy with the science of chemistry -- both open-system structures which exist in an antecedent world.

    255. Sensa and Patterns by Villard Alan White

      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.

    256. Sharing a Vague Vision: Wieman’s Early Critique of Whitehead by C. Robert Mesle

      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.

    257. Social Differentiation and Class Structure: Some Implications of Whitehead’s Metaphysics by Randall C. Morris

      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.

    258. Some Comments on Randall Morris' Process Philosophy and Political Ideology by Charles Hartshorne

      Hartshorne comments on some misunderstandings Samuel Morris has of some of Hartshorne's political views, especially his changing views on pacifism.

    259. Some Not Ungrateful But Perhaps Inadequate Comments About Comments on My Writings and Ideas by Charles Hartshorne

      Dr. Hartshorne responds to each of several authors, writing in Process Studies, who critique his writings.

    260. Some Proposals Concerning The Composition of Process and Reality by Lewis S. Ford

      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.

    261. Some Under-and Some Over-rated Great Philosophers by Charles Hartshorne

      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.

    262. Space as Neither Vacuum nor Plenum by Robert S. Brumbaugh

      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.

    263. Spirit and Society: A Study of Two Concepts by Joseph A. Bracken, S.J.

      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.

    264. Subjective Becoming: Unwarranted Abstraction? by Frank G. Kirkpatrick

      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.

    265. Subjective Immortality Revisited by Lori E. Krafte

      Lori Krafte challenges Ford and Suchocki in "A Whiteheadian Reflection on Subjective Immortality" concerning the subjectifying and objectifying an experience.

    266. Subjectivity in the Making by Lewis S. Ford

      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.

    267. Substance Within Substance by Shielah O'Flynn Brennan

      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.

    268. Temporal Concepts: A Schematic Analysis by Peter Miller

      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.

    269. The Natures’ of Whitehead’s God by John W. Lansing

      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.

    270. The Approach to Whitehead: Traditional? Genetic? or Systematic? by Jorge Luis Nobo

      Dr. Nobo believes Dr. Ford’s genetic approach must be given up for a more systematic approach.

    271. The Axiomatic Matrix of Whitehead’s Process and Reality by Leemon B. McHenry

      Dr. McHenry investigates the structural similarity between Whitehead’s celebrated work with Bertrand Russell's Principia Mathematica.

    272. The Basingers on Divine Omnipotence: A Further Point by James A. Keller

      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.

    273. The Brightman-Hartshorne Correspondence, 1934-1944 by Robert A. Gillies

      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.

    274. The Buddhist Ground of the Whiteheadian God by Thomas J.J. Altizer

      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.

    275. The Choice and the Responsibility by Ervin László

      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.

    276. The Christology of John Cobb by James C. Carpenter

      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.

    277. The Clinical Use of Whitehead’s Anthropology by David E. Roy

      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.

    278. The Concept of Mass in Process Theory by Granville C. Henry and Robert J. Valenza

      The authors examine the connection between mass and substance, from both the traditional and process perspectives.

    279. The Consequences of Prehending the Consequent Nature by Lewis S. Ford

      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.

    280. The Conversation Continues: Rorty and Dewey by Brian Hendley

      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.

    281. The Criterion of Metaphysical Truth and the Senses of ‘Metaphysics’ by Schubert M. Ogden

      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..

    282. The Critique of Pure Feeling: Bradley, Whitehead, and the Anglo-Saxon Metaphysical Tradition by James Bradley

      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.

    283. The Disembodied Soul by John C. Bennett

      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.

    284. The Divine Activity of the Future by Lewis S. Ford

      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.

    285. The Emergent Paradigm and Divine Causation by Nancy Frankenberry

      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.

    286. The Empirical Dimension of Religious Experience by Nancy Frankenberry

      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.

    287. The Enigmatic "Passage of the Consequent Nature to the Temporal World" in Process and Reality: An Al by Denis Hurtubise

      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.

    288. The Ethereal Body as a Means of Survival by Frank W. Quillen

      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.

    289. The Experience of Value and Theological Argumentation by Philip E. Devenish

      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.

    290. The Feeling for the Future: A Comment on Ann Plamondon’s Essay by James W. Felt

      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")

    291. The Horizons of the Organic Vision of the Universe and Humanity: Vladimir Solovyev by Boris L. Gubman

      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.

    292. The Human Self: An Actual Entity or a Society? by Rem B. Edwards

      Dr. Edwards considers himself an unorthodox Whiteheadian as he objects to the epochal theory of time.

    293. The Image of a Machine in The Liberation of Life by Granville C. Henry, Jr.

      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.

    294. The Implicate Order: A New Order for Physics< by David Bohm

      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.

    295. The Incoherence of Whitehead’s Theory of Perception by Charles A. Kimball

      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.

    296. The Jeweled Net of Nature by Paul O. Ingram

      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.

    297. The LSD Experience: A Whiteheadian Interpretation by Leonard Gibson

      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?

    298. The Matrix of Personality: A Whiteheadian Corroboration of Harry Stack Sullivan’s Interpersonal Theo by Thomas J. Regan

      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.

    299. The Metaphysical Ground of the Whiteheadian God by Marjorie Suchocki

      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.

    300. The Metaphysical Significance of Whitehead’s Creativity by André Cloots

      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.

    301. The Metaphysical Status of Civilized Society by Austin Lewis

      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.

    302. The Metaphysics of Cumulative Penetration Revisited by Kenneth K. Inada

      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.

    303. The Metaphysics of Faith and Justice by Schubert M. Ogden

      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.

    304. The Method of Abstraction: A Musical Analysis by Stephen Schloesser

      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.

    305. The Misapprehension of Presentational Immediacy by James E. Lindsey, Jr.

      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.

    306. The Moral Stance of Theism Without the Transcendent God by Marvin C. Shaw

      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.

    307. The Necessity Today of the Philosophy of Nature by Ivor Leclerc

      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.

    308. The Nonspeculative Basis of Metaphysics by Edward Pols

      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.

    309. The Original Version Of Process And Reality, Part V. A Tentative Reconstruction by Denis Hurtubise

      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.

    310. The Pacifism Debate in the Hartshorne -- Brightman Correspondence by Mark Youmans Davies

      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.

    311. The Pardshaw Dialogues: Sense Awareness and the Passage of Nature by Dorothy Emmet (ed.)

      (COMPLETE SYMPOSIUM) This special issue of Process Studies reproduces discussions conducted by the Ephiphany Philosophers group in Pardshaw, West Cumbria, England, and continued in Cambridge, during 1984. The concern of the participants was to see how philosophy might contribute to new developments in science.

      The scholars listed in the section on "The Participants" discuss various aspects of Whiteheadian concepts, particularly those from his Process and Reality.

    312. The Peirceian Influence on Hartshorne’s Subjectivism by Theodore R. Vitali, C.P

      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.

    313. The Philosopher’s Poet: Boris Pasternak, Dr. Zhivago, and Whitehead’s Cosmological Vision by Strachan Donnelley

      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.

    314. The Philosophy of Charles Hartshorne by John B. Cobb, Jr.

      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.

    315. The Plight of Cosmology by Fatima Pinar Goktan Canevi

      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.

    316. The Power of the Past by Nancy Frankenberry

      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.

    317. The Prehensibility of God’s Consequent Nature by Palmyre M. F. Oomen

      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.

    318. The Presence of the Past and the Eucharist by John B. Cobb, Jr.

      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.

    319. The Problem of Evil in Process Theism and Classical Free Will Theism by William Hasker

      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.

    320. The Problem of God in Whitehead’s System by Ivor Leclerc

      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.

    321. The Problem of Persons by Sharon Janusz and Glenn Webster

      The authors project the idea that persons are organic entities and that their actual entities are unexplained by single occasions alone.

    322. The Process Paradigm, Rites of Passage, and Spiritual Quests by Nancy Frankenberry

      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.

    323. The Process Perspective as Context for Educational Evaluation by Donald W. Sherburne

      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.

    324. The Promise of a Process Feminist Theory of Relations by Nancy B. Howell

      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.

    325. The Purpose of Human Rights by Franklin I. Gamwell

      This writing details various theories of human rights: Do all human individuals have human rights? Should these rights be stipulated in a political constitution?

    326. The Reformed Subjectivist Principle Revisited by Lewis S. Ford

      Although rarely mentioned by Whitehead in Process and Reality, the reformed subjectivist principle epitomizes much with far reaching implications.

    327. The Relevance of An Introduction to Mathematics to Whitehead’s Philosophy by Christoph Wassermann

      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.

    328. The Resurrection of the Human Jesus by Joseph M. Hallman

      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.

    329. The Revelation of God in Christ by Henry Nelson Weiman

      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.

    330. The Riddle of Religion in the Making by Lewis S. Ford

      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.

    331. The Sacrament of Creative Transformation by Bernard J. Lee, S.M.

      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.

    332. The Screwtape Letters and Process Theism by Duff Watkins

      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.

    333. The Square Dance of Eternal Objects by Patricia Mazzarella

      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.’

    334. The Status of Artistic Illusion in Concrescence by Wayne A. Dalton

      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.

    335. The Structure of the Free Act in Bergson by Thomas H. Lutzow

      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.

    336. The Subjectivist Principle and Its Reformed and Unreformed Versions by David Ray Griffin

      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).

    337. The Subjectivist Principle and the Linguistic Turn Revisited by James E. Lindsey, Jr.

      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.

    338. The Temporality of Divine Freedom by James W. Felt

      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.

    339. The Theological Use of Scripture in Process Hermeneutics by David Kelsey

      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?

    340. The Time of Whitehead’s Concrescence by John W. Lango

      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.

    341. The Untenability of Werth’s Untenability Essay by Bowman L. Clarke

      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."

    342. The Untenability of Whitehead’s Theory of Extensive Connection by Lee F. Werth

      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.

    343. The Value of the Dialogue Between Process Thought and Psychotherapy by David E. Roy

      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.

    344. The Violets: "A Cosmological Reading of a Cosmology" by Robin Blaser

      The writer attempts to convert metaphysics into poetry, thus connecting it to the "real."

    345. Thomas Aquinas and Three Poets Who Do Not Agree with Him by Charles Hartshorne

      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.

    346. Three Responses to Neville’s Creativity and God by Charles Hartshorne, John Cobb and Lewis Ford

      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.

    347. Three Types of Divine Power by Nicholas F. Gier

      Dr. Gier writes of God’s Omnipotence versus our freedom, contending that our freedom, not God’s authority is the our first principle.

    348. Time and Timelessness in the Philosophy of A. N. Whitehead by Reiner Viehl

      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.

    349. Time in Whitehead and Heidegger: A Response by Peter B. Manchester

      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.

    350. Time in Whitehead and Heidegger: Some Comparisons by David H. Mason

      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.

    351. To and Fro: Education for the Art of Life by Kathleen Gershman

      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.

    352. Toward a Definition of Religion as Philosophy by Eric von der Luft

      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.

    353. Toward a Process-Relational Christian Eschatology by David L. Wheeler

      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.

    354. Toward a Process-Relational Christian Soteriology by David L. Wheeler

      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.

    355. Traditional Free Will Theodicy and Process Theodicy: Hasker’s Claim for Parity by David Ray Griffin

      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,

    356. Trapped Within History?: A Process Philosophical Refutation Of Historicist Relativism by Nicholas Rescher

      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.

    357. Two Conceptions of Power by Bernard Loomer

      There are two kinds of power -- linear and relational. The former is the traditional, the later is the needed.

    358. Unmediated Prehensions: Some Observations by John C. Bennett

      The attenuations, enhancements, and supplementations of emotion and value in which prehensions of the past effect us are all important in experience.

    359. Varieties of Temporal Experience by Jonathan P. Strandjord

      There is real promise in Whitehead’s philosophy of organism which makes sense of our experience of time and its apparently variable rate.

    360. Wang Yang-Ming’s ‘Inquiry on the Great Learning’ by Robert Neville

      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.

    361. Weaving the World by Marjorie Suchocki

      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.

    362. What Is "Process Hermeneutics"? by David J. Lull

      The determination of what is appropriate for Christian theology involves more than an interpretation of "scripture and tradition." It also involves consideration of how and in what direction the Spirit that animated Christian existence in the past will move in the new situational context, in which consideration insights are also drawn from other sources, religious and secular.

    363. What is Wrong with the Mirror Image? A Brief Reply to Simoni-Wastila on the Problem of Radical Parti by Donald Wayne Viney

      Henry Simoni-Wastila’s preferred way of expressing the problem of radical particularity is by thinking of God’s experience as a mirror image of the universe. Dr. Viney sees this as misrepresenting the relation of prehension, of "feeling of feeling." See Is Divine Relativity Possible? Charles Hartshorne on God’s Sympathy with the World by Henry Simoni-Wastila at

    364. Whitehead and a Committee by Robert S. Brumbaugh

      Dr. Brumbaugh sees Whitehead as not divorcing his role as educator from that of philosopher.

    365. Whitehead and Alexander by Dorothy Emmet

      The author believes that although he is unknown because of the emphasis on Whitehead, Samuel Alexander has a better part in some areas of thought.

    366. Whitehead and Aristotle On Propositions by Peter J. Cataldo

      For Aristotle a proposition contains reference to what is believed to be an actual state of affairs -- either positive or negative -- as a predicable within the proposition. Whitehead’s theory does not have such an element.

    367. Whitehead and Contemporary Analytic Philosophy by D.S. Clarke, Jr.

      The author outlines the two principle reasons why Whitehead is neglected in secular philosophical discussions.

    368. Whitehead and Genuine Evil by R. Maurice Barineau

      Whitehead’s solution for the problem of evil, Dr. Barineau argues, acknowledges the reality of genuine evils despite the fact that the critics charge all evils in Whitehead’s world are merely apparent.

    369. Whitehead and German Idealism: A Poetic Heritage by Antoon Braeckman

      The author examines the historical relationship between German idealism, Wordsworth and Whitehead.

    370. Whitehead and Locke’s Concept of "Power" by Ernest Wolf-Gazo

      The author suggests that Lock’s basic thesis, as he presents his main epistemological theory in his celebrated An Essay on Human Understanding, is transformed into a metaphysics by Whitehead in his Process and Reality.

    371. Whitehead and Merleau-Ponty: Commitment as a Context for Comparison by Robert E. Doud

      Whitehead’s notion of immanence needs to be more fully explicated if it is to be applied to social and moral questions. This can be accomplished if it is brought into dialogue with Merleau-Ponty’s notion of sedimentation.

    372. Whitehead and Merleau-Ponty: Some Moral Implications by William S. Hamrick

      How would Whitehead explain, within the context of his Psychological Physiology, certain of Merleau-Ponty’s phenomenological evidences which are central for understanding personal identity? His evidences show that, as against Weiss, Whitehead’s work can yield a fruitful concept of personal identity based on behavioral habits, a sense of moral responsibility, and a legitimate notion of guilt.

    373. Whitehead and Newton on Space and Time Structure by Robert R. Llewellyn

      Whiteheadian cosmology embraces the notion of a uniform metric structure for the space-time continuum that is independent of the material objects commonly said to be "in" space-time and also that is independent of the material objects appropriated as standards of spatio-temporal measurement. His theory is "relational" with regard to the fundamental nature of space-time and is "absolutist" with regard to a structure exhibited within and sustained by the extensional relations of events.

    374. Whitehead and Nietzsche: Overcoming the Evil of Time by Strachan Donnelley

      Nietzsche embraces the permanence of evil while Whitehead’s temporal process destroys worldy achievements.

    375. Whitehead and Russell: Origins of Middleheadedness, Simplemindedness by Paul G. Kuntz

      The deepest tragedy of our age is the division between ideologies represented by Whitehead’s national loyalty in World War I versus Russell’s pacifism.

    376. Whitehead and Santayana by Timothy T.L.S. Sprigge

      The contrast and affinity between Whitehead and George Santayana. These contemporaries represent the most important contributions to traditional metaphysics of their time in English, and probably in any language.

    377. Whitehead and the Dualism of Mind and Nature by Philip Michael Rose

      The problems of modern philosophy’s experiment in dualism is discussed with insights from Hegel, Nietzsche and Whitehead.

    378. Whitehead and the Survival of "Subordinate Societies" by Paul A. Bogaard

      Dr. Bogaard compares Whiteheads philosophic appraisal of complex physical objects with the philosophic reflections of three theoretical chemists.

    379. Whitehead as Counterrevolutionary? Toward Christian-Marxist Dialogue by Clark M. Williamson

      Both the Marxist analysis of history and Whitehead’s metaphysics require modification in light of each other. The author indicates both the adequacy and applicability of Whitehead’s philosophy to Marx’s social analysis.

    380. Whitehead on the Concept of ‘Importance’ by Ross Stanway

      Dr. Stanway writes of Whiteheads notion of "Importance." Central to understanding it are the principle of "relativity;" the concepts of "propositions" and "judgment;" and the "principle of intensive relevance."

    381. Whitehead on the Metaphysical Employment of Language by Donald A. Crosby

      The author appraises the metaphysical language of Whitehead and its effectiveness. He affirms that distinct criteria guided Whitehead in the derivation of his terminology, and he examines these criteria.

    382. Whitehead, Deconstruction, and Postmodernism by Luis G. Pedraja

      There is a rich diversity in Whitehead’s work which postmodern writers have ignored. The author resurrects several of these areas demonstrating that they are very much postmodern.

    383. Whitehead, Heidegger, and the Paradoxes of the New by James Bradley

      The author discusses the two features of time as visualized by both Heidegger and Whitehead: 1. The virtue of the ultimate irreducibility of time. 2. Time’s discrete, indivisible and finite elements making it unique and unrepeatable and thus, radically new.

    384. Whitehead, Special Relativity and Simultaneity by Villard Alan White

      The author challenges the assumption that Whitehead never changed his earlier criticism of relativity. Actually Whitehead later repudiated his earlier concept in favor of one more compatible with Einstein’s.

    385. Whitehead’s "Theory" of Propositions by Anthony J. Steinbeck

      We grasp propositions as lures for feeling, dependent upon the prehending subject for completion and determination. It is in this way that propositions account for the process view of the world and the self-realization of the subject.

    386. Whitehead’s Category of Harmony: Analogous Meanings in Every Realm of Being and Culture by Paul G. Kuntz

      The author writes that Whitehead put forth a kind of correlation of simple harmony as faith in an order of things and in an order of nature.

    387. Whitehead’s Category of Nexus of Actual Entities by John W. Lango

      Dr. Lango draws upon the logic of relations in an attempt to understand what nexus are.

    388. Whitehead’s Early Philosophy of Mathematics by Granville C. Henry and Robert J. Valenza

      These authors, both mathematicians, are amazed that Whitehead saw a complete system of relationships in process thought but could not see this fuctionality in mathematics.

    389. Whitehead’s Harvard Lectures, 1926-27, Compiled by George Bosworth Burch by Dwight C. Stewart (ed.)

      These notes were written by Professor Burch, for many years Professor of Philosoophy at Tufts University, in several courses he took under Whitehead at Harvard University. The excerpts deal in particular with what, according to Berkeley and Whitehead, are the consequences of denying the "bifurcation of nature"?

    390. Whitehead’s Inability to Affirm a Universe of Value by David L. Schindler

      Whitehead’s inability to found a universe of value is because he failed to affirm a universal community of subjects and hence values which require an understanding of actuality as a plurality of actual wholes within an Actual Whole, all of which are characterized at once by effective and immanent activity.

    391. Whitehead’s Metaphysics by Leslie Armour

      According to the author, a conceptual scheme is necessary and appropriate in Whitehead’s interpretation of experience and this is his most important claim.

    392. Whitehead’s Misconception of ‘Substance’ in Aristotle by James W. Felt

      Whitehead’s misunderstanding of Aristotle’s memorable sentence concerning "what being is…what is substance?" proved a powerful factor in Whitehead’s ultimate adoption of an atomic or epochal theory of becoming.

    393. Whitehead’s Moral Philosophy by Richard S. Davis

      Whitehead sees moral theory as inseparable from social philosophy and the self-transcendence involved in the external life of the individual. To the contrary, it is religion that is ultimately concerned with the internal relevance of past and future to present self-realization.

    394. Whitehead’s Other Aesthetic by Willliam Dean

      Dr. Dean discusses Whitehead’s empiricist aesthetics. His rejoinder is that the beautiful speaks in ways not entirely susceptible to rational analysis.

    395. Whitehead’s Principle of Process by Jorge Luis Nobo

      Apart from its establishment of the interdependence of the two partial descriptions of an actual entity, the true significance of the Principle of Process is this: the final definiteness of an actual entity is determined, or created, by how the subject conducts its process.

    396. Whitehead’s Principle of Relativity by Jorge Luis Nobo

      The author argues that the doctrine of relativity implies the repeatability of all entities, including actual entities. Whitehead’s philosophy of organism is built on the tenet that even particulars are repeatable.

    397. Whitehead’s Psychological Physiology: A Third View by William Gallagher

      The Sherburne model, with certain modifications, is closer to Whitehead’s intentions than Cobb’s model, and fits the spirit of Whitehead’s philosophy better. It also is closer to the facts of empirical psychology. Thus it is not necessary to reconceive the relation of "soul" to body in terms of regional inclusion.

    398. Whitehead’s References to the Bible by Frederic R. Crownfield

      A comprehensive list of references and their sources made by Professor Whitehead about the Bible, along with some comments and observations by Dr. Crownfield.

    399. Whitehead’s Theory of Causal Objectification by William J. Garland

      The one thing that Whitehead expresses over and over again in Process and Reality is his conviction that we experience particular individuals and not just ‘universals’ or ‘previously-enacted forms’. Interpretations of Whitehead’s metaphysics which neglect this point cannot hope to do justice to his persistent endeavor to explain just how one actual entity can be present in another.

    400. Whitehead’s Theory of Perception by D.L.C. Maclachlan

      The Mode of Presentational Immediacy and of Causual Efficacy are discussed in terms of Whiteheadian thought.

    401. Whitehead’s Theory of Relativity by Dean R. Fowler

      Einstein’s philosophy of nature is not compatible with Whitehead’s unless Whitehead’s system is reworked at very critical points -- his use of experience, his theory of perception, and his doctrine of causality.

    402. Whiteheadian Philosophy and Prolog Computer Programming by Granville C. Henry and Michael Geersten

      The authors believe structures allowing descriptions of prehensions as well as providing symbolic understanding of Whitheadian eternal objects and propositions have been found. Surprisingly, these structures are to be found in the form of a modern computer programming language -- Prolog.

    403. Whiteheadian Poems by Conrad Hilberry

      Eight poems by Whitehead

    404. Why Avoid Statements About What God Cannot Do? by Theodore Walker, Jr.

      Absurd-nonsense statements about God should be exposed as such. It is misleading to contradict them with formulations (such as "God cannot x" or "Not even God can y") implying they make sense and are merely untrue.

    405. Why Only Two? Why Not Three? by Lewis S. Ford

      Dr. Ford argues with Denis Hurtubise concerning the subjectivity and temporality of God. (See One, Two, or Three Concepts of God….by Denis Hurtubise:

    406. Why Psychicalism? Comments on Keeling’s and Shepherd’s Criticisms by Charles Hartshorne

      Hartshorne responds to comments by L. Bryant Keeling essay entitled "Feeling as a Metaphysical Category." Quantum physics in its present form cannot be the whole and literal truth of organic behavior.

    407. Why Whitehead? by Robert S. Brumbaugh

      Whitehead and process thought offer new theoretical foundations and common sense warnings and applications, and they also directs new attention to feeling as an essential part of intellectual experience thus bridging the gap between philosophic principles and the everyday world of teaching and learning.

    408. William James and the Epochal Theory of Time by Richard W. Field

      The author explores the nature of time in the thought of William James and compares his solutions with those of Whitehead.

    409. Wolfe Mays on Whitehead: Seeing Through a Glass Darkly by John Robert Baker

      John Baker criticizes Wolfe Mays’ interpretation of Whitehead in Mays’ claims about the aesthetic-religious and the logico-mathematical. Baker holds that Mays’ interpretation is difficult to argue against, not because it is obviously incorrect, but because it is so heavily dependent upon a kind of argument from similitude whose value is difficult to assess..

    410. Women, Power, and Politics: Feminist Theology in Process Perspective by Lois Gehr Livezey

      The author concludes that a concept of God as Holy Advocate, calling us and empowering us to advocacy for justice and peace, can only strengthen the bond between process theology and feminism.

    411. Zen and the Self by Jay B. McDaniel

      In Zen Buddhism the deepest level in one’s life is the true self, the here and now, yet this true self is always changing. Dr. McDaniel interprets the insights of Zen Buddhism from a process perspective.

    Process Theology

    1. A Christian Critique of Pure Land Buddhism by John B. Cobb, Jr.

      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.

    2. A Christian Natural Theology Based on the Thought of Alfred North Whitehead by John B. Cobb, Jr.

      (ENTIRE BOOK) There is a need for a Christian natural theology. To John Cobb, the philosophy of Albert North Whitehead provides the best basis for one, and Dr. Cobb provides a such a systematic theology in this important book.

    3. A Friend's Love: Why Process Theology Matters by C. Robert Mesle

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

    4. An Introduction to the Process Understanding of Science, Society and the Self by Leslie A. Muray

      (ENTIRE BOOK) A survey of process thought for the layperson: The author writes for those not necessarily versed in complex theological language. The process view of society, politics, psychology, science and education. Further reading references are included at the end of each chapter..

    5. Becoming and Belonging by Norman Pittenger

      (ENTIRE BOOK) The meaning of human existence in the context of Process Theology. God creates each of us as a living process, not a static being, interacting constantly with God's universe. Our highest human possibility is to move toward "the image of God."

    6. Being and Person by John B. Cobb, Jr.

      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.

    7. Capek, Bergson, and Process Proto-Mentalism by Andrew C. Bjelland

      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.

    8. Christian Biopolitics: A Credo & Strategy for the Future by Kenneth Cauthen

      (ENTIRE BOOK) A planetary society is emerging which makes requirements for human fulfillment that cannot be met unless there are profound changes in the ideas, values, and power coalitions that now determine our priorities and shape our future. The author details these necessary changes.

    9. Emerging God by Philip Clayton

      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?

    10. Empiricism and Process Theology: God Is What God Does by David Miller

      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.

    11. God Within Process by Eulalio R. Baltazar

      (ENTIRE BOOK) Process theology applied to the problem of God and unbelief. Modern man can no longer go along with the idea that to have faith, one has to abandon the historical, secular and earthly -- that, in effect, he has to surrender his very humanity.

    12. Process Philosophy and Christian Thought by Delwin Brown, Ralph James, Gene Reeves (eds.)

      (ENTIRE BOOK) Nineteen imminent scholars discuss the broad application of Whiteheadian process philosophy to Christian theology.

    13. Process Theology by John B. Cobb, Jr.

      An outline of Process Theology, written by one of its creators.

    14. Process Theology and God as Parent by Susan Ford Wiltshire

      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.

    15. Process-Thought and Christian Faith by Norman Pittenger

      (ENTIRE BOOK) In series of four lectures the author clarifies the Process thought perspective. He interprets the person and work of Jesus in process-terms, and provides insights into existentialism and depth psychology.

    16. The 'Last Things’ in a Process Perspective by Norman Pittenger

      (ENTIRE BOOK) Christians have always been concerned about last things – death, judgement, heaven, and hell. The author gives the outworn dogmas about these issues a sense of reality and significance for Christians today.

    17. The Lure of Divine Love: Human Experience and Christian Faith in a Process Perspective by Norman Pittenger

      (ENTIRE BOOK) Dr. Pittenger emphasizes process thought as a way of looking at ourselves, our world, and God. He stresses areas of education, the arts, humanities, science, morality and religious issues. Attention is also focused on the way in which Christian faith may be illuminated and its basic affirmations made intelligible.

    18. The Lure of God: A Biblical Background for Process Theism by Lewis S. Ford

      (ENTIRE BOOK) The author examines several aspects of process theism: christology, resurrection, the cross, trinitarianism, and immortality.

    19. The Spirit and the Forms of Love by Daniel Day Williams

      (ENTIRE BOOK) A systematic study of the doctrine of love in the form of a dialectic. The author, a process theologian, makes a significant contribution to classical Christian understanding.

    20. What Is Process Theology? by Robert B. Mellert

      (ENTIRE BOOK) Dr. Meller writes about Whiteheadian thought, without the jargon and technical intricacies, so that the lay person might have better understanding of the thinking of the founder of process philosophy.

    21. Whiteheadian Thought as a Basis for a Philosophy of Religion by Forrest Wood, Jr.

      (ENTIRE BOOK) A helpful and understandable presentation of Whitehead's thought, for people interested in learning how careful, reflective thinking can provide a basis for religious beliefs.


    1. Finding a Place for Emotions by Gregory S. Clapper

      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.

    2. Human Immortality by William James

      (ENTIRE BOOK) Immortality is not incompatible with the brain-function theory of our present mundane consciousness. It is compatible in fully individualized form. Every memory and affection of one’s present life is to be preserved.

    3. Psychiatry and Pastoral Counseling by Don Browning

      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.

    4. The Varieties of Religious Experience: A Study in Human Nature by William James

      (ENTIRE BOOK) It is to our culture’s advantage that there exists so many religious types and sects and creeds. This classic book has become famous as the standard scientific work on the psychology of religious impulses and of the varieties of religious experiences.

    Public Education

    1. A Bible Curriculum for Public Schools by Luke Timothy Johnson

      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.

    2. Curriculum in the Public Schools: Can Compromise Be Reached? by Charles L. Glenn

      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.

    3. Falling Behind: An Interview with Jonathan Kozol by 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.

    4. Making Schools Work For The Rich And The Poor by Ronald J. Sider

      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.

    5. Religion-free Texts: Getting An Illiberal Education by Warren A. Nord

      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.

    6. The Bible in the Classroom by Mark A. Chancey

      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.

    7. The Bible’s Place in the Public School by Rose Sallberg Kam

      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.

    8. The Hopeful Years: Children of the South Bronx by Jonathan Kozol

      The more time the author spends with inner-city children, the less credible and less legitimate large distinctions between them and other children seem.

    9. Transmitting a Vision: Religion in Independent Schools by Daniel R. Heischman

      Few other intellectual disciplines in our modern technological world go as unattended as moral and spiritual awareness among young people.

    Public Policy

    1. A Chance to Reaffirm the Law of Nations by Robert Jewett

      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.

    2. Against the Death Penalty: Christian Stance in a Secular World by Margaret M. Falls

      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.

    3. Birth Defects: Are We Doing Enough? by Clifford J. Sherry

      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.

    4. Blinded by Metaphor: Churches and Welfare Reform by Robert Bachelder

      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.

    5. Bush’s God Talk by Bruce Lincoln

      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..

    6. Cityscape by James W. Lewis

      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.

    7. Designing the City by Norman B. Bendroth

      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.

    8. Ending Hunger by Leon Howell

      The authors argue that if we pay sufficient attention to the politics of hunger, all the people of the world can be fed.

    9. Global Market or Community by John B. Cobb, Jr.

      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.

    10. Growth Without Progress? by John B. Cobb, Jr.

      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.

    11. Historic Church Preservation: Clues from the Almost Incommunicable Past by Martin E. Marty

      Happy are the preservers who can keep a building in a neighborhood where it is integrated with the surrounding profane structures.

    12. Lonely Crusade: Fighting the Gambling Industry by Gerald Forshey

      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.

    13. Lottery Losers by William Willimon

      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.

    14. Medical Research: Establishing International Guidelines by Michael P. Hamilton

      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?

    15. Morality and Foreign Policy by John C. Bennett

      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.

    16. Not in My Backyard! by Ted Peters

      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.

    17. Politics and the Elderly: Toward a Sharing of Resources by Harold E. Fey

      It is not right for the elderly to take resources for themselves in a way that discriminates against their grandchildren.

    18. Reasons and Arguments in the Constitution by Mark A. Noll

      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.

    19. Solving the Housing Crisis Pragmatically by Robert Bachelder

      Since 1981, the federal government has reduced its dollar commitment to housing by 75 per cent.

    20. The Bible and Public Policy by Jeffrey S. Siker

      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.

    21. The City and the Good Life by Philip Bess

      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.

    22. The Ethical Foundations of Health Care Reform by William F. May

      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.

    23. The Politics of Loss by Ira Nerken

      A review of Falling from Grace: The Experience of Downward Mobility in the American Middle Class, by Katherine Newman.

    24. The Politics of U.S. Refugee Policy by Nancy Myer Hopkins

      The nature of U.S. policy toward refugees is all too capricious.

    25. The Rise and Fall of Public Housing by Robert Westbrook

      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..

    26. The Theological Stake in Globalization by John B. Cobb, Jr.

      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.

    27. The Universal Declaration at 50: Changing the World? by Douglass Cassel

      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.

    28. The World Trade Organization: A Theological Critique by John B. Cobb, Jr.

      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.

    Radio, TV and Movies

    1. A Breath of Fresh Fantasy by William Siska

      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.

    2. A Soulful Afternoon in the Library by James M. Wall

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

    3. An Interview with Ken Burns by Timothy Larsen

      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?

    4. Crowd Control by John Dominic Crossan

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

    5. Faithful to the Script by William Willimon

      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.

    6. Farewell to the Clown: A Tribute to Charlie by Conrad Hyers

      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.

    7. Frodo’s Faith by Ralph C. Wood

      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.

    8. Garrison Keillor and Culture Protestantism by David Heim

      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.

    9. Garrison Keillor’s ‘Prairie Home Companion’: Gospel of the Airwaves by Doug Thorpe

      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.

    10. Harry Potter and the Bullies by Catherine M. Wallace

      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.

    11. Jesus on Film by Gerald Forshey

      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.

    12. Kids' Stuff: Media Fail the Test by James M. Wall

      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.

    13. Larger Than Life: Religious Functions of Television by Peter Horsfield

      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

    14. Mister Rogers by Carol Zaleski

      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.

    15. Movies and Censorship: Who Will Protect Freedom? by James M. Wall

      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?

    16. Not Global Villagers, but Global Voyeurs by Randall K. Bush

      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.

    17. On Being Alive to the Arts and Religion: Film by F. Thomas Trotter

      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.

    18. Romero: Evolution of a Martyr by Dean Peerman

      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.

    19. Schemes from a Marriage by Janet Karsten Lawson

      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.

    20. Simpsons Have Soul by John Dart

      The Simpsons comedy takes many clever jabs at religion, but it also acknowledges the importance of religion in American culture.

    21. Superheroes, Antiheroes, and the Heroism Void in Children’s TV by Edward M. Berckman

      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.

    22. The Birth of Evil: Genesis According to Bergman by Janet Karsten Larson

      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.

    23. The Church Moves Toward Film Discrimination by F. Thomas Trotter

      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.

    24. The Enemy Church by Edward and Tom Johnson Higgins

      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.

    25. The Last Temptation: A Lifeless Jesus by James M. Wall

      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.

    26. The Making of Jesus by John Dart

      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.

    27. The Problem with "The Passion" by Matthew Myer Boulton

      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.

    28. Tolkien the Movie by Ralph C. Wood

      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.

    29. Wobegon Poets: A Prairie Poem Companion by David Heim

      Garrison Keillor speaks of poetry at Lake Wobegon: the challenge of Shakespeare to high schoolers, poetry’s use by pastors, books pastors read, writers of poetry and Christian poetry of gratitude.

    30. Woody Allen, Theologian by John Dart

      Under the cover of comedy, Allen repeatedly makes the point that people do not pay enough attention to the fact of their mortality. This troubled agnostic religiophilosopher frequently uses priests and ministers, rabbis and nuns as comic ploys. His Love and Death was practically a complete theological statement on the screen -- despite distracting gags and funny lines.

    31. Your Kid or Mine? by Lynn Schofield Clark

      The movie Thirteen reminds us that we are called upon to love those who are hurting even when they threaten to hurt themselves or others, and we are asked to offer support to the beleaguered parents who often become isolated from others through the actions of their children.

    Reinhold Niebuhr

    1. A View of Life from the Sidelines by Reinhold Niebuhr

      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.

    2. Let Liberal Churches Stop Fooling Themselves by Reinhold Niebuhr

      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.

    3. Our Secularized Civilization by Reinhold Niebuhr

      America is living in a completely secularized civilization which has lost the art of bringing its dominant motives under any kind of moral control.

    4. Reflections on ‘Leaves from the Notebook of a Tamed Cynic’ by Lawton Posey

      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.

    5. Reinhold Niebuhr by Howard G. Patton

      (ENTIRE BOOK) Dr. Patterson presents an overview and summary of Niebuhr’s thought and its relevance to the theological and secular issues of his day, and offers a running dialectical critique that also reveals areas Niebuhr neglected or even misunderstood.

    6. Reinhold Niebuhr: A Reverberating Voice by Roger Shinn

      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."

    7. Reinhold Niebuhr: His Theology in the 1980s by Robert McAfee Brown

      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."

    8. Reinhold's Era by Gary Dorrien

      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?"

    9. The Christian Witness in a Secular Age by Reinhold Niebuhr

      Dr. Niebuhr analyses the nature of the Christian witness to justice and peace, in the context of post-WW II colonialism.

    Religion and Politics

    1. Albert Camus: Political Moralist by William F. May

      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.