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Rock, Paper, Scissors … GOD! – Children and a Nonviolent Reading of the Bible

Last April, my family moved to Eugene, Oregon. Eugene is located in Linn County. This is all you need to know that important fact: Linn County is the “Grass Seed Capital of the [FREAKIN] World.” Guess who is allergic grass seed? Yeah, that’s right. Me. My face has been a hideous mess of goopy sludge emanating from my nose and eyes. I’ve tried everything soothe my pain. Claritin. Allegra. Zyrtec. Nothing wor ...

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Deep Justice In Ferguson

Black ’hood, white cops. “Get the fuck on the sidewalk.” And so it begins, and begins, and begins. An African-American boy dies for walking in the street — for yet one more insanely small transgression. Protesters cry for justice. The legal bureaucracy hunkers down, defends itself, does what it can to paint the deceased 18-year-old, Michael Brown, as a bad guy. Sides harden in the media. Once more it’s us v ...

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Book Feature Friday: Making Friends among the Taliban: A Peacemaker’s Journey in Afghanistan

The Taliban. Just the name evokes intense emotions of anger and hatred because, for many in the West, the Taliban is known for one thing: terrorism. How should Christians react to the Taliban? Sometimes the words of Jesus seem like too much to ask. But sometimes I think they are the only hope for our violent world: You have heard that it was said, “You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.” But I sa ...

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The Hundred Foot Journey – A Trip Worth Taking

In this era of celebrity chefs and televised chef competitions like Iron Chef, we know that some people have a gastronomic sense akin to perfect pitch. In The Hundred Foot Journey, the gifted one is Hassan Kadam (Manish Dayal), member of an Indian restaurant family forced to flee their homeland after political rioters set fire to their restaurant, killing their matriarch. The Kadams wander through Europe se ...

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Bible Matters: The Prophet Jeremiah, Michael Brown’s Murder in Ferguson, and Racism in America

Jeremiah claims that God is on the side of the oppressed and that any nation that practices oppression will fall. Judah oppressed the poor. Jeremiah warned the rulers of his nation to turn from their oppressive ways, or the nation would fall. Jeremiah's message was political. It was for his nation and for every nation, including the United States. From the beginning, the United States has oppressed black pe ...

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Iraq and Endless War

Our kills are clean and secular; theirs are messy and religious. “In their effort to create a caliphate across parts of Iraq and Syria,” CNN tells us, “ISIS fighters have slaughtered civilians as they take over cities in both countries. “In Syria, the group put some of its victims’ severed heads on poles.” Stomach-churning as this is, the context in which it is reported – as simplistic maneuvering of public ...

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Robin Williams on the Ultimate Christian Gift

I hesitated to write about the tragic death of Robin Williams. I know very little about clinical depression, so I fear saying something stupid or ignorant about it – and please forgive me if I do. The better part of wisdom is to stop blogging and learn from the experts about depression. And I’d like to begin with a disclaimer: I’m interpreting what Robin Williams said about God. But please, don’t misunderst ...

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Sharing Space with God: A Possible Return to Eden

Was the Garden of Eden a shared space? The answer seems obvious – yes, God created the garden and then shared it with Adam and then Eve. But there’s that little problem of the tree that God didn’t want to share. “You may freely eat of every tree of the garden,” God told his newly created companions. “But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you s ...

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Hatred In The Nuclear Era

Before nuclear weapons, after nuclear weapons . . . “The latter era, of course,” writes Noam Chomsky, “opened on August 6, 1945, the first day of the countdown to what may be the inglorious end of this strange species, which attained the intelligence to discover the effective means to destroy itself, but — so the evidence suggests — not the moral and intellectual capacity to control its worst instincts.” We ...

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Book Feature Friday: Pascale’s Wager by Anthony Bartlett

"I cannot know what darkness is, because it’s just darkness, but love can know it, and love always goes on regardless. Love is searching for endless love and it searches all the way around the empty universe until it meets itself coming back."  -- Pascale's Wager Some days I am tempted to despair. As I write, massacres are taking place in various corners of the world, global warming is rapidly encroaching u ...

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