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How Christians Reject Jesus: On Trying to Outsmart God

Here at the Raven Foundation we have written a lot about nonviolence. We take seriously the words of Jesus that we should love our enemies and pray for those who persecute us. We believe that violence begets violence, or as Jesus put it, “Those who live by the sword die by the sword.” We also take seriously the words of Rene Girard, the founder of mimetic theory, that we are now “confronted with a perfectly ...

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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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How Should Christians Respond to President Obama: On Fear, Violence, and Safety

Do you feel safe? President Obama made his case for war against ISIS during his address to the nation last night. He juxtaposed two statements that sum up the contradictory message that American presidents have been telling us with a straight face since at least the Vietnam War: America is safer. Still, we continue to face a terrorist threat. I don’t feel safe. We’ve been fighting the “War on Terror” for 13 ...

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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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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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Jesus is at the Border: Immigration, Barriers, and God’s Economy

I am not a politician, so I’m not an expert on immigration policies. I am not an economist, so I’m not an expert on the economic benefits or burdens of immigration. But I am a public theologian. I try to understand how we can participate with God in setting things right, healing the world, and reconciling human beings with one another, with the world, and with God. How is God setting things right? Jesus, in ...

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Live Chat with Brian McLaren

We invite you to join our upcoming live chat with Brian McLaren at 3:00 EDT on July 31st! Brian is a highly influential activist and author of many books, including his latest, We Make the Road by Walking: A Year Long Quest for Spiritual Formation, Reorientation, and Activation. This is a unique opportunity to engage with Brian – he has been an inspiration to many of us seeking to reimagine Christianity for ...

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The Hellish Dream of a Parent: Why CS Lewis Was Wrong about Hell and Free Will

At five years old, my middle child has developed a defiant pattern. A typical day runs like this: It’s time to get dressed. No. It’s time to put on your shoes. No. It’s time to go to school. No. It’s time to eat dinner. No. It’s time to go to bed. No. His defiance has apparently nestled its way into my subconscious because I dreamt about it last night. We were visiting my childhood house. My son was in our ...

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The Resurrection Effect: Guns, God’s Sovereignty, and the Last Word

It seems like violence will never end. Portland. Seattle. Las Vegas. Isla Vista. Almost every day in Chicago. Not to mention Boko Haram, the conflict in Ukraine, and the continued war in Afghanistan. The Huffington Post just reported that “If it’s a school week in America, odds are there will be a shooting.” Since the Sandy Hook tragedy in 2012, the United States has averaged 1.37 school shootings per week. ...

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Joe the Plumber, God, and Guns

Samuel Wurzelbacher, also known as Joe the Plumber, re-emerged in the news last week. He made headlines in the wake of the shooting tragedy in Isla Vista, California. Joe wrote an “Open-Letter” to the families of the victims. One section of the letter has been highlighted more than any other: ...

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