The purported last year of the old millennium started with a vivid reminder that eschatological hopes and fears will be flourishing in the months of 1999. In Jerusalem on January 3, Israeli police arrested a group of U.S. Christians who were planning either to kill themselves or to have themselves killed in an effort to hasten the Second Coming of Christ.
Democratic decision-making is second nature for most American Protestants. Is there a dispute in the church? Let's debate the issue, and then put it to a vote. One problem with this approach, as the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) and other denominations have discovered, is that it can lead to almost yearly votes on a controverted issue such as homosexuality.
Some Christian theologians these days are involved in an important discussion about the limits of our knowledge and speech about God. Those who listen in will hear a lot of talk about emptiness, otherness, negation, difference and nonbeing.
While millions of dollars in aid pour into Nicaragua and Honduras in response to the devastation caused by Hurricane Mitch, millions of dollars are also pouring out--to service debts to foreign creditors. Nicaragua, for example, pays $300 million a year on a debt of $6 billion.