I am moved again by something dredged up from an old sermon: the tomb-marker of Sir Robert Shirley, a baronet "whose singular praise it is to have done the best things in the worst times, and to have hoped them in the most calamitous."
Politics & Society
These days, Elmer Gantry is a familiar spiritual type around the world. The good news is that the prosperity gospel’s excesses are nothing like the whole story.
I'd like to see this award-winning journalist's book read by all Christians--from evangelicals who believe that their life's calling is to save souls to those Christians who, while denouncing proselytizing, feel called to offer compassionate, practical aid to those who need help. For either of the above missionary types, Griswold dispels illusions. She is fearless in following a story into the most remote village, and wise in her understanding of how religions collide and inflame and exacerbate volatile situations.
In recent conversations with my seminary classmates, we've been lamenting the state of Christian education. In many churches it is evident that the average member hasn't grown in religious or biblical knowledge since he or she heard moralistic tales of Noah, Esther or Daniel as a child. Some even resist pastoral attempts to expand their Christian knowledge, and they simply refuse to learn about other religions. As seminarians, we are struggling with how to respond to this.
What happens when an anthropologist who happens to be a Pakistani, a former diplomat and a member of the Incident Management Team of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security shows up at 100 American mosques armed with questionnaires and a few white student research assistants? For the most part, nothing very controversial.