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What ISIL Beheadings Can Teach Us about God and The Cross

What’s the difference between a beheading and a crucifixion? I ask the question as a Christian because we profess that a method of execution every bit as shocking, and perhaps even more cruel, than the beheader’s axe is the vehicle of our salvation. If we do not reflect upon the difference (and the disturbing similarities) between our veneration of the cross and the state support of the beheader’s axe by th ...

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Book Feature Friday: Why Did Jesus, Moses, the Buddha, and Muhammad Cross the Road?

Editor's Note: In the spirit of building interfaith bridges of peace so desperately needed in the ongoing aftermath of September 11th, we are reposting this book review from two years ago for Book Feature Friday. As it did for Adam, this beautiful book helped me also to identify questions central to interfaith peacemaking and served as a map for me on the road toward answers. It is as relevant today as it w ...

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Thirteen Years of Interfaith Reconciliation: 9/11 Then and Now

In the days following September 11th, in the midst of a cacophony of voices shouting for revenge in the wake of terrorist attacks, I discerned a call to interfaith reconciliation between two faiths competing within myself.  Thirteen years later, I feel compelled by the same Spirit to continue to work for interfaith healing, this time in a nation and world that bears scars of more than a decade of distrust s ...

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From 9/11 to ISIS: Resolving the Paradox of the US War on Terror

It’s been fourteen years since our government declared war on terrorism. How are we doing? It feels like a disastrous game of Whack-A-Terrorist, doesn’t it? We kill one terrorist hiding in one hole, and out pops another one from another hole. Now we are facing the newest threat, a terrorist organization seeking to set up a nation-state, ISIS or IS, as it is called. The Islamic State, at least, would be a co ...

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A Theology of Labor

A theology of labor involves Genesis 2:15 – “The Lord God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to till it and keep it.” Labor is fundamentally a good thing and a theology of labor includes responsible stewardship of the earth’s resources. The first chapter of Genesis is obsessed with telling us that the world is good. As such, God calls us to labor for it, to responsibly keep and care for it. Of c ...

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Book Feature Friday: The Hope to “Reconcile” in a World of Conflict

From Ferguson to Ukraine to Syria to Iraq to local neighborhoods to family systems, many of us are feeling overwhelmed by the many conflicts that afflict our world. The news continues to feed us an unhealthy diet of continual conflict, hostility, and violence. It’s easy to think that this is just how the world works. It’s easy to lose hope that we can find reconciliation. If you are beginning to feel a sens ...

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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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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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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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A Defense of the Passive Voice

Would you rather be a noun or an adjective? That was the question a friend asked herself when she decided to be known as Nance instead of Nancy. “Why be an adjective,” she quipped, “when you can be a noun?” I laughed out loud! But hey, I am a writer and literature nerd, so thinking of myself as a part of speech tickled my funny bone. My immediate reaction was to agree with her – a noun is surely much grande ...

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