What's the gospel in seven words? We asked theologians, pastors and others both to answer this question and to
expand on this in a few sentences. To see all the responses together as they're posted, bookmark this page. Add your own version here. --Ed.
To dwell in possibility.
When my daughter was confirmed in the Christian faith
last spring, I gave her Emily Dickinson's poem, "I dwell in Possibility." I
wanted her to remember that, in God's house--"More numerous of
Windows--/Superior--for Doors"--there is room to turn and be changed, to choose
mercy over revenge, to give away everything we have and follow Jesus. Within
God's possibility, even death is not the last thing to be said about us.
A. M. Stroud III, a former prosecutor in Louisiana, expresses regret for the role he played in sending Glenn Ford to death row in 1984. “I was 33 years old. I was arrogant, judgmental, narcissistic and very full of myself. I was not as interested in justice as I was in winning.” Stroud says he presented dubious evidence from a forensic pathologist, precluded black jurors from the trial (Ford, since exonerated, is black), and ignored the fact that the appointed defense attorney had never before tried a criminal or capital case. “I . . . hope that providence will have more mercy for me than I showed Glenn Ford,” Stroud said in a letter to the editor of the Times of Shreveport. “But, I’m also sobered by the realization that I certainly am not deserving of it” (ABA Journal, March 25).