Referring to age or style just isn’t helpful, any more than referring to a woman as “the one with the great legs” would be in a professional setting. It diminishes people. We have different identifiers for Christian authors—reformed, social-gospel, neo-orthodox, liberal, evangelical, progressive, social justice, etc. But none of them reflect Rauschenbush’s clothing or Barth’s haircut.
Little did tennis star Andre Agassi know that he was speaking prophetically when he declared in 1990s Canon camera commercials that “image is everything.” The truth of his marketing statement seems everywhere today. Pope Francis was not only Time’s “person of the year.” He was also Esquire’s “best dressed man of 2013.” The new pope is what he says, does and wears.
My father once sat me down on the couch and placed a map of Central Europe in my lap. He pointed to two major cities and said, ”We have five months to get from London to Copenhagen. You plan our route.”
Our intellectual architecture is being dismantled. But it is also being reassembled. I use the architecture metaphor because I believe that what we are creating will be in place for many decades to come.
StoryCorps has for ten years been producing an oral history of America, recording the voices of everyday people telling about their families, jobs, trials and relationships. The project records the powerful stories that people have to tell, and it shows what can be evoked by asking a simple question like “How did you meet your wife?” or “What was your father like?”
While others have been making—and maybe even already breaking—new year’s resolutions or choosing their one word for 2014, I’m still holding onto Christmas. After all, it was only this Sunday at church that our magi finally arrived at the nativity scene in front of the sanctuary.
Paula Huston’s novel follows Eva, a tough young American photojournalist, as she searches for her brother Stefan, a priest who has gone missing into the Lacandon jungle, a hotspot of guerilla warfare in southern Mexico in 1993.
Jesus descends into the baptismal waters as an opening act of messianic obedience. Obedience may not be the most glamorous of the Christian virtues, but it’s the one that I’d like to highlight in this Sunday’s account of Jesus’ baptism by John in the Jordan.