January 2011

Cover Story

What does the violence in the Bible tell us about the nature of God?


A 9-year-old's murder tells us much about his neighborhood -- and about America.
The diary of an undocumented student.
A Bible study on the book of Daniel and empire.


Financial regulatory reform will work -- or fail -- depending on the rules written this year.
The world, and the world church, must stand with Sudan at this crucial time.
The Gifts of the Small Church by Jason Byassee. Abingdon Press.
In the Middle East, people step in where governments fail.


Jan. 20, 2011, marks the 50th anniversary of the inauguration of President John F. Kennedy, our nation's first (and still only) Roman Catholic head of state.
Nonviolent civil disobedience has been a less effective tactic in this country in the past few decades for a variety of reasons, the most important of which is probably that our woes are more complicated than in an earlier age.
It's often good to have a donkey with you when you pray. They provide a natural antidote to excessive piety. Take my recent retreat day at the Jonah House Catholic Worker community in Baltimore.
Not to brag, but my new toilet was rated Best Flush for 2010.
In politics there is always a spiritual choice to be made -- a choice between hope and fear.

Culture Watch

Blessed Are the Organized, by Jeffrey Stout. Princeton University Press.
The makers of the film Earth Made of Glass on finding truth after genocide.
It's a golden age for documentaries.
Poet and journalist Eliza Griswold tells stories from the 10th parallel, where Isam and Christianity meet.
Here's some 2010 midterm election commentary ripped straight from the headlines -- of 1886.


My husband and I, too, have been long concerned with Sabbath-keeping ("All Who Labor," by Lauren Winner, September-October 2010).
I was dismayed to see Edward Gilbreath ("A More Excellent Way," November 2010) call Andrew Breitbart a "media activist." Breitbart's use of new media tools to distribute distorted portrayals of soc
As Adam Taylor writes in your November issue, we truly are "One in the Body." I am compelled to offer a factual correction, however.
"The Theology of the Tea Party" (by Jim Wallis, November 2010) reminded me that when I was at Union Seminary, Reinhold Niebuhr said that the greatest flaw of the communist system was ignoring what
Epiphany is the exhibit of Jesus in the world. The early church was utterly enthralled by Jesus, but did not find it so easy to characterize him.
My strokes are halting, not like the imagined fluidity of the monastic scribes, hunched, by candlelight, over some ancient text, perhaps the Our Father,
It was good to learn in Lynne Hybel's "The Worst Place on Earth to Be a Woman" (September-October, 2010) how local churches and groups such as World Relief are aiding the victims of the sickening e

Web Extra

1. Dive! The United States throws out 263 million pounds of food per day, much of which is perfectly good to eat.
I met Eliza Griswold in a Starbucks round the corner from her apartment on Manhattan’s Upper West Side.
Felipe Matos, 24, was sent to the United States from the slums of Brazil by his mother who longed for him to find a better life and achieve his dreams.