Dec 26, 2006
Sealed off: Life in Gaza
When I left the developed world of Israel at the Erez border crossing, I instantly entered the Third World—a crowded, tense and anxious Gaza Strip. What was surprising, however, was discovering that in this “hot house” crisis environment, one of the ways Gaza residents are coping is by spending their afternoons watching Dr. Phil and Oprah Winfrey.
I was also surprised to learn that the much-feared kidnappings, although usually motivated by the desire to inflict terror, to achieve calculated revenge, or to win profit, are sometimes acts of dare and challenge by bored young people.
Books without borders: Supplying third world seminaries
Pity the poor book. Its obituary has been written many times as prognosticators glance over the horizon and predict that the Internet and downloadable literature and e-books will soon replace pages-between-covers.
Grand illusion: Costs of war and empire
Manger politics: The Nativity Story
So where does Jesus ever say, “I’m the Son of God”? My cabdriver was pressing me as we careened through the streets of Birmingham on the way to the airport. “The Gospel of John?” I replied limply.
“Come on! Late gospel, you know that. Stick with the synoptics! Where does Jesus himself ever say that he was born of a virgin, that he was God incarnate?” My driver continued his Muslim exam of my evidence for the incarnation. I had been crazy to admit to this Pakistani cabdriver that I was a minister.
Misusing Jesus: How the church divorces Jesus from Judaism
The fact that Jesus was a Jew has not gone unrecognized. Libraries and bookstores are replete with volumes bearing such titles as Jesus the Jew, The Galilean Jewishness of Jesus, Jesus and the World of Judaism, The Religion of Jesus the Jew, Jesus in His Jewish Context, The Jewish Reclamation of Jesus, and three volumes (and counting) of A Marginal Jew. The point is more than simply a historical observation.
Fall of the empire
The Mayan Empire existed for 4,000 years, from 2500 BC to 1500 AD, and it spanned five modern-day countries—Mexico, El Salvador, Honduras, Guatemala and Belize. Mayan civilization made significant strides in astronomy, agriculture and architecture, and it prided itself on its colorful art and skilled artisans. By the end of their reign, however, the Mayans turned to self-destructive money-hoarding, power-grabbing and environment abuse.
The rise and fall of Protestant magazines: The Christian Century and Sojourners remain strong
Family ties: "Christianity had to start within Judaism"
Sorry condition: Genuine repentance and real apology
Regifting: Redeemed and put to work
Inquisitive president: The quest for peace
Century Marks: Voices of 2006
“As Christians, we believe that war is not inevitable; people choose war and people can choose peace. . . . ‘Blessed are peacemakers,’ Jesus said.”
—Lebanese Catholic cardinal Nasrallah P. Sfeir on conflict in the Middle East