The Common Good
January-February 2002

Missing in Action?

by Dale Painter | January-February 2002

WHAT HAPPENED TO the "Prince of Peace" in Sojourners’
response to the events and aftermath of Sept.

WHAT HAPPENED TO the "Prince of Peace" in Sojourners’ response to the events and aftermath of Sept. 11 ("A Light Shines in the Darkness," November-December 2001)? I found it strangely disconcerting that none of your contributing editors made even a passing reference to Jesus and his revolutionary gospel of reconciliation, nonviolence, and social justice as the basis for the appropriate Christian response to the evils of our changed world. I have only the highest respect for the witness and perspectives of Jim Wallis, David Batstone, Rose Marie Berger, Wesley Granberg-Michaelson (of my own beloved Reformed Church), and the four or five others who offered commentary in your last issue. But, somehow the person of Jesus must have been obscured by the smoke and rubble as each of you penned your insights and advice. Though I tend to agree with the themes that ran through all of your articles, didn’t you miss the opportunity to appeal to deeper levels of truth and authority from the only One who brings eternal answers to life’s toughest situations?

Thankfully, tucked amidst the last issue’s pages was the short—and Christ-centered—commentary by Walter Wink, who delivered the cup of cold water I was seeking and expected from Sojourners. He wrote: "Christians must behave as Christians (the way of Jesus) no matter how much our society and churches ridicule nonviolence as idealistic and ineffective. If we cannot be faithful in such a crisis, when will we?" Amen to tell us more!

Dale Painter
Newaygo, Michigan

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