I recently joined many prominent Christian leaders in signing a joint declaration on Israel's 60th anniversary. The signers are too many to list here but they include church leaders, theologians, and the heads of international missions agencies who have an intimate knowledge of the region's history, theological significance, and present reality. (To name just a sampling: Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Dr. Geoff Tunnicliffe, international director/CEO, [...]
The church has a serious image problem. A recent book, unChristian, by Barna pollster David Kinnaman and Gabe Lyons reveals much about how Millennials, the emerging generation - both those inside and around the church - view Christianity. The results weren't good. An overwhelming majority of young people view Christians as hypocritical, too judgmental, too focused on the afterlife, and too political in the worst sense of the word. And that image is often particularly true of [...]
When Pope Benedict XVI recently spoke to the U.N. General Assembly, many hoped he would denounce specific wars and injustices. But he rather took a step back and addressed the fundamental principles that the world community should follow. His speech was a primer on Catholic social teaching
Sadly, many white Americans are still in denial about black frustration and anger.
In The Great Awakening, I wrote,
Imagine something called Justice Revivals, in the powerful tradition of revivals past but focusing on the great moral issues of our time.
Imagine linking the tradition of Billy Graham with the tradition of Martin Luther King Jr.
Imagine a new generation of young people catching fire and offering [...]
Last evening, more than 3,500 people filled the Vineyard Church of Columbus for the opening of a three-day Justice Revival.
The Columbus Dispatch front-page headline this morning read " Faithful aim to aid poor, as Jesus did." The [...]
Last evening, I was privileged to be one of the religious leaders asked to participate in the Compassion Forum, sponsored by Faith in Public Life and broadcast by CNN from Messiah College. Senators Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama participated; Sen. John McCain declined.
The religious leaders asked questions of real substance, focusing on difficult and important policy choices. We are not so much interested in the personal testimonies [...]
When Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated, he was trying to move the country to take on the moral issue of economic injustice. And, for the first time in many years, the remembrances of King's death (this one the 40th anniversary) urged the nation to do the same. Usually the nation's anniversary celebrations freeze-frame King as the nation's greatest civil rights leader whose famous "I Have a Dream" speech at the Lincoln Memorial in 1963 was the extent of his message. Later calls for [...]
Read Taylor Branch's op-ed in yesterday's NYT Week in Review if you haven't already:
Civil rights, Vietnam, Dr. King, Memphis - these are historic landmarks. Even so, this [...]
I want to personally invite you to Washington, D.C., on June 13 through 16 to participate in Pentecost 2008: Training for Change. For more than a decade, we have held an annual mobilization around the time of Pentecost to lift up a vision of overcoming poverty to the nation. I believe that with your help we can make this a pivotal year of elevating poverty to the top of the national agenda, [...]
After 40 years, we might finally be ready to come out of the wilderness.
We were never likely to get away with "transcending" race in this election as the early Obama campaign suggested to some. The demons of race in America simply run too deep and were bound to eventually rear their ugly heads. And so they did with the now infamous taped sound bites by Rev. Jeremiah Wright and the furious media response to them. I've said before that the constant replaying of the tapes has become a metaphor for the continual replaying of our old racial tapes in this country. [...]
Five weeks ago, we began a series of posts on the cost of the war in Iraq. We have focused primarily on the human costs
I'm on vacation with my family this week, but in reflecting on the significance of Easter, I thought I'd share this passage from one of my books, The Call to Conversion. In a world wracked by war and violence, we are a people whose life and faith are rooted in the resurrection.
What is the good news? When all that sin had done, or could ever do, was laid on Jesus, it did not overcome him. Death could not swallow him. The grave was denied its victory. The witness of history and of his followers is that "he is risen." He is alive. He has triumphed over all. He is the victor over every sin, hate, fear, violence, and death. Nothing is stronger than his victory-nothing past, nothing present, and nothing future.
It has simmered throughout this campaign, and now race has exploded into the center of the media debate about the presidential race. Just when a black political leader is calling us all to a new level of responsibility, hope, and unity, the old and divisive rhetoric of race from both blacks and whites is rearing its ugly head to bring down the best chance we have had for years of finally moving forward.
And that is indeed the real issue here. A black man is closer to possibly becoming [...]
On Tuesday, President Bush spoke to the annual convention of the National Religious Broadcasters. In a speech that The New York Times described as "Citing Faith, Bush Defends War [...]
Tuesday evening, John McCain clinched the Republican nomination for president, and Mike Huckabee, the last remaining contender, conceded defeat. Huckabee's campaign, and the failure of the Religious Right to support him, has been one of the most interesting and puzzling stories of this primary season
While Huckabee is certainly a social conservative, he refused to toe the line on a number [...]
Last Friday I was in Santa Barbara, California, to speak at Westmont College - where even on a Friday evening, the gymnasium was packed with students. Before that event I did an interview with The Santa Barbara Independent, a local weekly newspaper, which they titled The Next [...]