Archives for Jun 2012

Towards an Evangelical Peace Movement

Throughout our nation's history, it's been an axiom that Presidents lead us into wars, while Christians provide the flags and the crosses. Barring a few notable exceptions-Anabaptists, Quakers, and early Pentecostals-evangelical fervor has often promoted an uncritical nationalism that baptizes American military adventures with religious legitimacy. It's no coincidence that the setting of Mark Twain's famous War Prayer -in which Twain delivers a devastating critique of the use of religion to justify imperialism-is a Protestant Christian church. Given the historical record, it may seem the deck is stacked against American evangelicals organizing into a comprehensive peace movement-yet that's exactly what's happening.

Evangelicals for Peace? War, Terrorism, & National Security

An Open Letter to American Evangelicals: I am profoundly disturbed by the American evangelical resp...

Popcorn Guide: Sheena Iyengar

Sheena Iyengar, a leading expert in choice theory, speaks about the ways people from different cultures make decisions. She shares several interesting insights from case studies from around the world, revealing that not all cultures thrive on the belief that the individual is the locus of decision making, as most of Westerners have been brought up to enjoy. She points out several assumptions we often make when it comes to the subject of decision making.

Oh the Simplexity of Social Peacemaking!

The famous Yale theologian and peacemaker Miroslav Volf spoke recently to pastors at the Vineyard Great Lakes Regional Conference in Columbus, Ohio. He told a story about the Common Word Dialogue between Christians and Muslims at Yale: "Prior to the dialogue, we inserted a brief apology, asking for forgiveness in the Yale response to the Common Word. People got so upset! They said you should not ask for forgiveness until Muslims ask for forgiveness first!" Miroslav paused, and with a big smile on his face asked, "Since when is my moral behavior predicated on the moral behavior of another?"

King Abdullah Speaking Out Against Terrorism

Many people believe that Muslims around the world are not speaking out against terrorism and Islamic extremism, but it's simply not true. This is a video we like of King Abdullah II of Jordan, speaking at the National Prayer Breakfast in Washington D.C. in 2005. Watch it to hear what his country and others are doing to promote a peaceful Islam, and share it with your friends!

Peacefakers, Peacebreakers, and Peacemakers

If you're reading this blog, there's a good chance you're a follower of the Prince of Peace. You want to follow Jesus into a world of conflict, and you want to embody the peaceable ways of Jesus. Yet good intentions and loving aspirations frequently fail in the face of conflict (I can testify to that!). In reality, we are often peacebreakers. Some of us are even by nature peacefakers, and yet we long to be peacemakers.

Jesus' Sunna of Peace

Dialog between various religious partners is not about melting differences into one tepid spiritual brew. Yet as we retain the distinctives at the core of our faith, we should enter the conversation with open hearts, attentive ears, and minds eager to learn. I've gained so much and have become a better follower of Jesus through my interaction with Muslim friends over the years. It works in the other direction as well.

Popcorn Guide: Sam Richards

Sam Richards, a sociology professor at Penn State, expounds upon the process of empathy. By leading the audience through a re-narration of history and their own identity, he invites the audience to step into the shoes of someone else's life. After exploring new hopes, fears, and perceptions as "the other," connections and relationships are more easily visible. We encourage you to watch the entire video even if you do not agree with everything Richards says. This is a very challenging and interesting video.