According to Albert Schweitzer, the quest for the historical Jesus ends with the questers looking down a well and seeing their own reflections. Could the same be said of a search for the historical Satan? With few exceptions, we have tended to see Satan in the face of the other.
Pat Robertson had a ready explanation for the Haiti earthquake—he said that it was an expression of divine wrath at a centuries-old pact with the devil. Robertson's explanation may offend many of us, but attempts at offering a theodicy have a long pedigree.
As a church pastor I've been known to change things, but in contrast to
some of my colleagues I'm pretty cautious. Yesterday at our Missional
Learning Track (Disciples General Assembly), my friend Christian Piatt
described his congregational setting as "divinely inspired anarchy."
I'm not sure I can say that for me or my church.
A majority of congregations in the United States average fewer than 100 in attendance. While some congregations manage to employ a full-time minister with the requisite M.Div. and standing in their denomination, many others can't afford this desirable arrangement.
When we say, with the author of 1 John, that "God is Love," what do we mean by this? According to this text, if taken quite literally, it is not simply that God loves whom God chooses to love, but God's essence is love.
If your commentary budget has not yet run dry, check out
William Placher's new book on the Gospel of Mark, the first in a new series of
theological commentaries from Westminster John Knox. Placher, who died in 2008,
was to be the co-editor of this series with Amy Plantinga Pauw. This volume,
the last thing he wrote, is a fitting legacy.
Dietrich Bonhoeffer has become
an almost mythical being, whose legacy everyone seems intent on claiming. From death-of-God
theologians to evangelicals to radical antiabortionists, partisans of all
stripes have remade Bonhoeffer in their own image.
Being the Jesus scholar that he is, Marcus Borg certainly understands the power of a story. In Putting Away Childish Things he offers up a didactic novel that explores some of the thorniest theological issues facing the Christian community.
Here’s something creationists and evolutionary naturalists agree about:
Darwin’s theory of evolution leads inevitably to atheism. John F.
Haught disagrees. In Making Sense of Evolution, he proposes that one need not choose between God and Darwin.
Before Martin Luther King Jr. there was W. E. B. Du Bois. Like King, Du Bois was a civil rights activist. We usually don’t think of his life or his activism in religious terms. He was a historian, sociologist, educator and journalist, and he was not a member of the clergy. But religion permeated his thought and spurred his actions.
Support the Christian Century
The Century's work relies primarily on subscriptions and donations. Thank you for supporting nonprofit journalism.