war and peace


Chaos should not surprise us


Our world seems to be drifting toward chaos. There is violence in our American streets and in our broader world. The killers of innocent people are moving us toward terror.

In confusing times it can help to look back in time. One hundred and one years ago, a young man graduated from Yale Divinity School and moved to Detroit to become a pastor. His 13 years at Bethel Evangelical Church began years of change for the young minister, and his ideas would impact his nation.

His name: Reinhold Niebuhr.

In Detroit, Niebuhr began to recognise problems in the liberal theology he had imbibed at Yale. Niebuhr, however, could not be fit...

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Words of peace for our killing days


“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God” (Matthew 5:9).

In the aftermath of our recent killing days, many followers of Christ have arisen to take on the mantle of peacemakers. We need all Christians to be peacemakers.

The late Baptist pastor, Herschel Hobbs, said Christ is a peacemaker between God and humanity (Colossians 1:20-22) and between people (Ephesians 2:12-18).

Our peace with God is what causes us to seek peace in all of our interactions. We want to help bring God’s peace to others. And in being such peacemakers, we are revealed as children of God.

That’s the way we are supposed to be....

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Dealing with complexity in the aftermath of tragedy


The massacre of 49 persons at a gay nightclub in Orlando has produced in many of us a wave of sadness — a deep sadness. Every person is a child of God, and we have now lost 50 of those children -- the victims and their assailant.

To that sad truth is added another sadness. The killer acted out of some kind of allegiance to a terrorist group that claims a religious faith. Most of us, including most Muslims, do not have such a faith. Christian faith, thankfully, moves us to love all persons, especially those with whom we disagree. Jesus said:

“But I say to you that listen, Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless
...

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War through the eyes of faith


War powerfully shapes a person's understanding of the world, including one's faith. World War II created in many people a veneration of the United States that caused love of country to sometimes override love of God or to conflate the two into one love. The Vietnam War then brought about a mindset of distrust, and since love of God and country had often been melded the two could be dismissed together by some.

It is not surprising that war shapes understandings of faith, but it is surprising that faith does not more often shape understandings of war.

The other day I ran across an article written by Charles Colson in July 2001...

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