When asked about Pope Francis’s call to America for a welcoming immigration policy, Senator Jeff Sessions (R-AL) perhaps unwittingly invoked a biblical trope used countless times in American Protestant churches. I call it the “American Nehemiad.”
This year in Great Britain we marked the 200th anniversary of the abolition of the slave trade. The media have been full of documentaries and reflections, books have been published, plays performed and the movie Amazing Grace released.
Just about every marketing card seems to be stacked against Amazing Grace. It’s not just that the film is a costume drama set in England at the turn of the 19th century, or that there are no big-name American actors in the cast. The real obstacle is the setting: it’s a movie about British politicians, in wigs, and the inner maneuverings of the British Parliament. Moreover, Amazing Grace speaks openly of Christian faith and the Bible’s demands for justice for all people—not a recipe for a blockbuster. Yet the film is genuinely inspiring.
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