The promise of Isaiah 65 is that
God is doing a new thing: a new heaven and a new earth. In this new
dispensation things are going to change big time. “The wolf and the lamb
shall feed together, the lion shall eat straw like the ox.” No longer
must one consume another to survive in this new world.
In time for Holy Week, this issue features David Cunningham’s essay on the destiny of the “other thief” who was on the cross beside Jesus. It also contains William H. Willimon’s witness to the radical news of Easter.
As I read about Jesus' instructions
to his disciples in Luke, I think of my church's instruction of
interns. We offer a program that's designed for intensive and personal
discipleship training and character formation.
By one estimate 7,000 churches close down each year in the United States. A 2012 study predicted that 20 percent of the churches in Philadelphia would close within ten years. Many of these churches are architectural gems. Razing these buildings can be very expensive. A more satisfactory solution is to repurpose them, turning them into art and culture centers or housing units. The Mount Airy Presbyterian Church in Philadelphia is having 20 condominiums built on its property. The sanctuary will be leased back to the congregation for its continued use (Philadelphia Inquirer, August 4).