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Why? – Unlocking the Answer to School Shootings

                            Last week’s school shooting in Marysville, Washington has us all asking the question again – Why did this happen? Snohomish County Sheriff Ty Trenary gave voice to the despair many are feeling as we search for answers. “The question everybody wants is ‘Why?’ I don’t know that the ‘why’ is something we can provi ...

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James Warren on Magic and Mimetic Theory: A Discussion about “Compassion or Apocalypse?”

One of my favorite teachers of mimetic theory is James Warren. Jim is a magician who masterfully unveils the workings of mimetic theory in his book Compassion or Apocalypse: A Comprehensible Guide to the Thought of René Girard. Jim’s book is so good that it’s one of the few that I have in both book and ebook format. I highly recommend it! In this engaging interview, Jim talks about the fundamental elements ...

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Parenting Confessions: God, Rivalry, and College Football

My family recently moved to Eugene, Oregon. Eugene is probably best known for the University of Oregon Ducks football team. Having moved from Chicago, I know that the Ducks are loved throughout the country for their high powered offense and flamboyant football jerseys. Here in Eugene people are obsessed with the Quack Attack. Nearly every car has a University of Oregon bumper sticker, almost everyone wears ...

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Islam, Muhammad, and Jesus – A Discussion with Lindsey Paris-Lopez and Adam Ericksen

Lindsey and Adam discuss their personal stories about Islam. Lindsey tells her story of growing up a Christian, converting to Islam, and converting back to Christianity. Adam tells his story of becoming "brothers" with a Muslim from Bangladesh. Then Lindsey and Adam explore these questions previously submitted: 1. What do you view as the most important commonality and the most important difference between C ...

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Book Feature Friday: “In Borrowed Houses” by Frances Fuller

Involuntarily hosting a goat in her living room, while tremendously inconvenient, turned out to be one of the more benign adventures. Living as a missionary for Baptist Publications, part of the Near East Baptist Mission, during the Lebanese Civil War, Frances Fuller narrowly avoided sniper fire and suicide bombers, shared tears and embraces, worked hard, prayed harder, and above all manifested the wondrous ...

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Undiluted: Rediscovering the Radical Message of Jesus

This Thursday at 12:00 Eastern, we have the good pleasure of talking with Benjamin Corey about his book Undiluted: Rediscovering the Radical Message of Jesus. Now, by “we,” I mean exactly that. You and I will be able to ask Benjamin questions and make comments about his book on a live chat! All you have to do is register (for free!) by clicking here. Why do we at Teaching Nonviolent Atonement want to talk w ...

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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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