Century Marks

Century Marks

Not just for clergy

The Academy of Parish Clergy 2013 Book of the Year Award goes to Why Did Jesus, Moses, the Buddha, and Mohammed Cross the Road? Christian Identity in a Multi-Faith World, by Brian D. McLaren (Jericho). The Reference Book of the Year Award goes to The New Testament: A Historical and Theological Intro­duction, by Donald A. Hagner (Baker Academic). The Top Ten Books for Parish Ministry published in 2012 are: Sara Gaston Barton, A Woman Called: Piecing Together the Ministry Puzzle (Leafwood Publishers); Diana Butler Bass, Chris­tianity after Religion: The End of Church and the Birth of a New Spiritual Awakening (HarperOne); John Swinton, Dementia: Living in the Mem­ories of God (Eerd­mans); Gregory L. Hunt, Leading Con­gre­gations through Crisis (Chalice); Fred Craddock, Dale Goldsmith and Joy V. Goldsmith, Speak­ing of Dying: Recovering the Church’s Voice in the Face of Death (Brazos); Lauren F. Winner, Still: Notes on a Mid-Faith Crisis (HarperOne); John Dominic Crossan, The Power of Parable: How Fiction by Jesus Became Fiction about Jesus (HarperOne); Edward J. Blum and Paul Harvey, The Color of Christ: The Son of God and the Saga of Race in America (University of North Carolina Press); Frederick Dale Bruner, The Gospel of John: A Com­mentary (Eerd­mans); Justin Lee, Torn: Rescuing the Gospel from the Gays-vs.-Christians Debate (Jericho).

Latinam legere?

The 85-year-old Pope Benedict XVI has put church leaders on notice that they can’t avoid social media like Facebook and Twitter. The pope tweets in nine languages, with 2.5 million followers, including 11,000 who follow his tweets in Latin. The pope understands that social media are a daily part of many people’s lives and have reshaped the dynamics of communications and relationships. A study commissioned by the U.S. Catholic bishops in 2012 indicated that 53 percent of Ameri­cans weren’t aware that the Cath­olic Church has an online presence (AP).

What a waste

About half the food produced in the world is wasted, according to a study by the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, based in the United Kingdom. This waste is the consequence of unnecessarily strict expiration dates, Western consumer demand for cosmetically perfect food, poor agricultural practices, inadequate infrastructure and poor storage facilities. Up to half the food purchased in Europe and the U.S. is thrown away. Wasted food also wastes resources used to produce it, including water (Guardian, January 10).

Strike two

New York University student Josh Begley has been tweeting about every U.S. drone strike since 2002. He has pointed out a tactic called “double tap,” which is considered by some a war crime. It involves a strike on the first responders who try to rescue the people hit in the initial strike (Business Insider, December 12).

Making peace

When Lu Lobello returned from duty in Iraq, he was haunted by the memory of one particular incident. Early in the takeover of Baghdad, his marine unit had shot up a suspicious car that turned out to contain civilians, the Kachadoorian family. Only the mother and a daughter survived; all the men were killed. Lobello was discharged from the marines due to actions related to his suffering from posttraumatic stress disorder. He eventually researched what happened to the survivors in the Kachadoorian family. They had moved to California and lived not far from Lobello. Through a reporter who had written about the Kachadoorians, a meeting was arranged. The conversation was awkward, but the mother and daughter, both Arminian Christians, told Lobello that they forgave him and welcomed him as a son and brother (New Yorker, October 29).