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The Oracle of Certainty: From Ancient Athens to ISIS

Thank the gods we don’t believe in the utterances of oracles anymore. We don’t search for omens in the entrails of sacrificed animals or believe that women in drug induced trances can foretell our destiny. Because the ancient Greeks fell for this superstitious mumbo jumbo, they were led into two disastrous wars that had devastating consequences. The great anti-war playwright Euripides offers his critique of ...

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Violence Nevermore!

Happy Halloween, Dear Friends! Tonight, for a spooky edition of Book Feature Friday, I decided to do things a little differently. As it is Halloween, my article tonight is going out in costume -- disguised as a parody of the original Raven by model-obstacle  famous master of poetic horror, Edgar Allen Poe. Just have fun with it friends; it's my "treat" for you this Halloween! Once upon a midnight dreary I w ...

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Kevin Miller on Hell, Universal Salvation, and Mimetic Theory

Hell. The concept has come under fire. Fortunately, Kevin Miller is here to put out the flames. Kevin is the star and director of the critically important documentary Hellbound?, where Kevin interviews a diverse group of pastors, theologians, social commentators, and musicians. Kevin also blogs at his excellent website, Hellbound?: Exploring Faith and Film, Good and Evil. In the interview, Kevin brilliantly ...

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The Rise of ISIS and the Immoral Equivalency of War

The Rise of ISIS: A Threat We Can’t Ignore by Jay Sekulow is an extended essay attempting to draw a stark distinction between good guys (the U.S. and Israel) and bad guys (ISIS and Hamas). The author’s sole purpose is to justify the destruction of the bad guys by the good guys in good conscience and without remorse. That Jay Sekulow fails in his task is in no way due to the fact that real goodness and evil ...

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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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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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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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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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