This Month's Cover

Sojourners Magazine: November 2011

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Forty years is a long time for any endeavor, but in the precarious world of small nonprofits, reaching that milestone is almost a miracle. And when you’re a magazine with a strong commitment to biblically based justice—that is, when you insist on talking about “religion and politics” in polite company—it’s no wonder that we’re convinced that grace, more than anything of our own doing, is why we’re still going strong four decades into the journey. From the beginning, as Jim Wallis explains in his cover feature, the magazine grew out of a community—both the physical community of people who came together at a Midwest seminary and the broader body of friends, supporters, and collaborators across the country and around the world. That continues to be true, and the strength of that wider community—which often looks a lot like a movement—is one of the greatest signs of hope in our troubled times.One of the key things we’ve offered in these pages over the past 40 years has simply been stories from that movement, highlighting people of faith and conscience living out their beliefs and seeking to be agents of change. These stories serve as models for all of us, but they’re also vivid reminders of the powerful force for good that is brought to bear every day, all over the world, by that broader circle of friends, aka the universal body of Christ. We look forward to continuing the sojourn with such good company over the years ahead.

Cover Story

For 40 years, Sojourners has been fighting the good fight. Where do we go from here?


The 10-year pop culture love affair with Harry Potter leaves questions at the crux.
Ten books on the shelf of one of our most respected biblical scholars.
Largest U.S. climate action says no to pipeline.
An evangelical scholar looks at Sojourners' role in evangelical social justice.
How to deepen our spirituality, one step at a time.
Seminaries train pastors on how to read the Bible. But those tools often don't reach people in the pews.
When spurred on by God and conscience, there's no telling what trouble you might get into.


Doomsday threats and Wall Street influence erode U.S. government for the people.
Glenn Beck's exploitative event in Israel ignored justice and U.S. public opinion.
The Housing First approach to homelessness is more humane -- and cheaper -- than older models.


The Oslo shooter took inspiration from America's own anti-Muslim rightists.
People of faith, at our best, are the ultimate independents.
Fortunately, 40 is the new 34, or in my case, 38.

Culture Watch

Why are we still sinking in health-care induced debt?


Re: “Men Behaving Badly” (by Jim Wallis, August 2011): I recall the story of King David and Bathsheba.
Reflections on the Common Lectionary.
As a teacher for the Chicago Public Schools, I found your decision to run an advertisement from (September-October 2011) troubling.
Thank you for the interview with Rep. Walter Jones, “A Convert to Peace” (September-October 2011). Our government is truly disappointing in these past years and cynicism is rampant.
Gene Luen Yang’s otherwise enjoyable “Telling the Old, Old Story” (September-October 2011) inaccurately states that Moses was set on a river in a reed basket “to escape a besieged city.” Exodus clearly indicates that Moses’ family was trying to save him from Pharaoh’s decree that all male Hebrew
1. What led you to start an intentional community ministering to gang members? Gangs have a really strong sense of community: They fight and die for their homies and they support each other. Other programs offer job skills or anger management, but don’t offer community.
We all knew it would come. Someday. Always later.Mañana. It comes for us all. Sure. Of course. We know that. Someday.Mañana.
Claire Lorentzen’s article against the ROTC (“Studying War More?” September-October 2011) is intolerant. Not needing a military at all is a pipe dream. Nobody is forced to join ROTC. I have been in combat under various types of officers.