This past Saturday, I attended John Stackhouse’s
lectures on faith, reason, and the new atheism down at the Vancouver
Island Conference Centre. Evidently, there is still some interest in
this topic as the event sold out—even in hyper-secular Nanaimo!
Some of the most difficult challenges confronting Christian commitments to an inclusive vision of human well-being involve the effective disclosure of well-established, taken-for-granted practices that unjustly subordinate, marginalize or exclude selected groups of people while reinforcing the interests of those in positions of power and privilege.
If you share my concern about the theological thinness of much of the
current craze of construing Christianity as a practice, get Roger
Owens's book. Even more, if you care about the theological identity of
the church, you will find The Shape of Participation to be this decade's finest work of ecclesiology.
Dietrich Bonhoeffer has become
an almost mythical being, whose legacy everyone seems intent on claiming. From death-of-God
theologians to evangelicals to radical antiabortionists, partisans of all
stripes have remade Bonhoeffer in their own image.
Creation has long been a neglected child in biblical-theological studies; it is ground often left to creationists and naysayers. Only in recent years has the Bible's creation theology been addressed in a major way, not least because of the impact of the environmental movement.
During his only visit to America, theologian Karl Barth in 1962 visited three prisons: Bridewell House of Correction in Chicago, San Quentin in California, and Rikers Island in New York. He called Bridewell “Dante’s inferno on earth” and said it was a contradiction of the wonderful message on the Statue of Liberty. Barth wondered aloud why theologians weren’t denouncing the deplorable conditions in American prisons, calling out Reinhold Niebuhr in particular (Jessica DeCou, “The First Community: Barth’s American Prison Tours,” in Karl Barth and the Making of Evangelical Theology, Eerdmans).