On a journey through North America, my wife and I
attended many churches. At one the pastor insisted repeatedly that "the meaning and purpose of life is to have a
personal relationship with Jesus." The claim irked me.
When documentaries explore Christianity, they have little
difficulty finding diverse manifestations of faith and practice. A global survey also reveals a surprising diversity when it comes to the content of the Bible.
In the midst of today's rancorous politics and the
trivialization of religion in the public square, the death of Mark O. Hatfield calls to mind a different kind of political style and a different
kind of Christian witness.
Former Anglican archbishop Desmond Tutu of South Africa, in an opinion piece in the Israeli newspaper Haaretz (August 14), says the liberation of Israel from violence and insecurity lies in the liberation of the Palestinian people from armed occupation. Tutu condemns Hamas for its missile launches against Israelis, but defends Palestinians’ right to struggle for freedom from occupation. “Peace requires the people of Israel and Palestine to recognize the human being in themselves and each other; to understand their interdependence.”