Jul 12, 2003
The news from Colombia is mostly bad. The number of people forced to flee from their homes and find makeshift shelter has increased from about 2 million in 2001 to nearly 3 million today. They flee both from the armed conflict and from having their farms sprayed with poison from airplanes—a futile attempt to eradicate the production of coca, from which cocaine is derived. Many of the settlements of displaced persons, including two that I have visited, have themselves become battlegrounds fought over by the very guerrilla groups and paramilitary forces from whom the refugees have fled.
Dear Derek: In my last letter I commented on how casually I said yes when Mom asked whether we should agree to have you come into our home as a foster child. A simple decision on a busy day, and it has shaped the rest of my life—and yours. This is worth our thinking about together.
What is a great church? For many Americans, great is synonymous with large, volume equals vitality, quantity means quality. But a countertradition is quietly emerging. As more churches grow to stadium proportions, small congregations are coming to see their diminutive size as an asset for mission.
The attacks on the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001, constituted an attack not simply on America but on the modern world order. One of the proud towers of the modern world is confidence in reason—not in the human power for reason (the ancient world celebrated that power) but rather the powers acquired through reason. Modern science yields technologies that benefit humankind. So we proclaimed on the surface of the moon: one small step for man, a giant step for mankind.
"I was searching for several years before I became a Muslim,” says Abdus Salaam, a marketing specialist from Birmingham, Alabama. “I was baptized during this time in the Church of Christ. But I had questions. What bothered me were the white pictures of Jesus and Mary. In Islam we have no pictures, not even of the Prophet Muhammad. As a child I wondered if black and white people had a separate God!”
Good documentaries reveal the truth. Better documentaries ask, What is truth? Capturing the Friedmans is a great documentary because of the way it suggests there is no absolute truth about this family in turmoil. The film, which won the Grand Jury Prize at this year's Sundance Film Festival, is the debut feature of Andrew Jarecki, the man who founded Moviefone and made a bundle selling it to AOL.