After giving the keynote address at a recent conference on “ecological civilization” attended by more than 60 scholars and government officials from China, theologian John Cobb joined conferees in a group photo. Then, in a spontaneous break in the schedule, Chinese participants took turns standing or sitting near Cobb while associates and friends snapped their pictures.
The Lutheran Church–Missouri Synod has elected the denomination’s director of disaster response as president, a candidate backed by its more conservative members. Matthew Harrison received 54 percent of the vote for the three-year term, defeating three-term incumbent Gerald Kieschnick, who received 45 percent.
How is God involved in our lives? We often have difficulty answering this question. And when we do answer it, our ideas tend to be simplistic. We either think of God as an alien, almost magical force that immediately and directly intervenes in our lives, or we think of God as an enhancement—a better and larger version—of our natural capacities.
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.”