Christian Living, Discipleship, and/or Spirituality

Review of The Passion of the Christ

[1] After seeing Mel Gibson’s The Passion of the Christ I will never sing “Were You There When They Crucified My Lord” or “O Sacred Head Now Wounded” the same way again. Normally my mind flicks quickly over the gory language and bloody images in those hymns. I tend to imagine a cross without a […]

Review of Gibson’s The Passion of the Christ

[1] Everything about this movie was unexpected. [2] I expected the scourging and crucifixion, and was prepared for their horror. I did not expect the constant shoving, pushing, slapping, striking, punching, hitting, whipping, stoning, and spitting, and was unprepared for their torment. [3] I expected the fountains of blood. I did not expect the constant […]

Review of “The Passion of the Christ”

1] I was asked to review this movie because I am a Pastor of the ELCA whose father was Jewish in heritage and because I have an active relationship with members and organizations of the Jewish community in Chicago. [2] If I may be permitted a personal comment, I would mention that as a child […]

Some Reflections on the Theology of Reconciliation

[1] Last January, I attended an academic conference in Pittsburgh. During a break, we were given the option of visiting the Andy Warhol Museum or meeting representatives from South Africa’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC). The TRC was established to provide an opportunity for the perpetrators and victims of atrocities that had occurred under apartheid […]

The Church as Reconciling Community and Institution in South Africa

[1] This essay tries to demonstrate that the church, as an institution and a community of persons, carries within itself valuable resources for enabling and fostering social reconciliation in South Africa.1 I shall explore in brief some of the ways in which Christian community has been and can be efficacious in the promotion of reconciliation […]

A Review of Ordinary Saints: An Introduction to the Christian Life by Dr. Robert Benne

[1] Robert Benne, Professor of Religion and Director of the Center for Religion and Society at Roanoke College, is our leading interpreter of the practical theology of the Lutheran tradition as he has shown over the years in such works as The Ethic of Democratic Capitalism: A Moral Reassessment (1981) and what remains essential reading […]

God “Flowing and Pouring into…All Things”

[1] I have been asked to discuss resources in the Lutheran tradition that might undergird resistance to neo-liberal globalization.1 This paper explores four interrelated theological streams running through the work of Martin Luther.2 They are his eucharistic economic ethics, his theology of Christ indwelling creation, his refusal to minimize the pervasiveness of sin in human […]

Journeying Together and Faithfully?

[1] An evaluation of “Journey Together Faithfully: The Church and Homosexuality” (ELCA Studies on Sexuality, Part II) must answer these questions: 1) Does the document fairly and accurately represent the relevant positions? 2) Does it help people clarify their own views? 3) Is the document substantial enough to guide the process of ELCA deliberation on […]

Partnership with Nature According to the Scriptures: Beyond the Theology of Stewardship

[1] No one can legitimately fault the National Religious Partnership for the Environment, the Advertising Council, and the Environmental Defense Fund for working together to encourage religious communities and their members to respect the earth, to “reduce, reuse, recycle” and to use energy efficiently, all for the sake of environmental justice. The rationale for this […]

Towards an Organic Womanism: New Contours of Ecofeminism in India

[1] The Focus Kerala, a southern state in India, recently witnessed an unprecedented political uprising in the form of an Adivasi-Dalit movement for land rights and self-determination. This struggle1 has a long-drawn-out history, with political ideologies and parties of various persuasions taking up and sponsoring the struggles of Dalits and Adivasis in Kerala. However, what […]