Aug 23, 2005

vol 122 No. 17

Contents are posted gradually over two weeks. Logged-in subscribers can also download the issue PDF via the link above.

“America is simultaneously the most professedly Christian of the developed nations and the least Christian in its behavior,” argues Bill McKibben (Harper’s Magazine, August). Americans have hijacked the teachings of Jesus that call for "a radical, voluntary, and effective reordering of power relationships, based on the principle of love.” The dominant American theologies of end-times obsession and consumer-oriented religiosity “undercut Jesus, . . . deaden his call, and . . . silence him.”
August 23, 2005

Peter often reminds us of our humanity: that’s his gift to us. Perhaps it was also a gift to Jesus. Jesus must have been tempted by what Peter said to him. Jesus certainly would have preferred not to have to talk about suffering and death. We honor the humanity of Jesus to say that he was tempted by Peter’s words. Perhaps Peter is naming something like fear within Jesus and bringing it to light. It scares Jesus, and he responds forcefully. “Get behind me, Satan!”
August 23, 2005

I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. The woman in front of me was a woman of integrity, deep faith and sincere commitment to the church. She had been hired to be a pastoral assistant, and in that role she had contributed substantial time and amazing gifts to the congregation. She had asked for a meeting with me only after trying to speak with her supervisor, the administrative pastor.
August 23, 2005

Lesson plans

Creators of a Bible curriculum used in 1,000 U.S. public schools claim that "The Bible in History and Literature" is a nonsectarian course, when the truth is that it presents a distinct theological perspective. Discussions of science are based on nonscientific literature; archaeological findings "prove" the Bible’s complete historical accuracy. One chapter describes the U.S. as a historically Christian nation and suggests that it needs to reclaim that heritage.
August 22, 2005