In the decade since 9/11, it seems as though every trade publisher and university press has brought forth a guide to the Qur’an for the perplexed. Carl Ernst eschews the usual method for books of this sort.
“For you know the generous act of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, so that by his poverty you might become rich.” When Paul appeals to the self-emptying nature of Christ as one of the central Christian impulses for generosity, he is ringing a familiar chord. Generosity for the Corinthians is grounded in self-emptying in much the same way that joy and worship are grounded in self-emptying for the Philippians.
Sweden has the highest rate of domestic abuse in Europe, its suicide rate is among the highest in the world, and it has an alcohol problem. Yet it is people in the arts and theater who are tackling Sweden’s dark side, not the church, says commentator Giles Fraser. Most Swedes think the church is quite irrelevant. Despite state funding, only about 2 percent of the population goes to church. “Devoted atheists are never going to be persuaded by a theology of the cross,” says Fraser. “But no one whatsoever is going to be persuaded by a theology of nice” (Guardian, May 30).