Ecumenical and/or Inter-religious

Christian Zionism from a Perspective of Jewish-Christian Relations

Thesis [1] The essential lines of classical Christian anti-Judaism are by now familiar to many, documented in such seminal works as James Parkes’ The Conflict of the Church and the Synagogue and Rosemary Radford Reuther’s Faith and Fratricide and more recently chronicled for readers of the New York Times bestseller list in James Carroll’s Constantine’s […]

Jewish-Christian Difficulties in Challenging Christian Zionism

[1] In our post-Holocaust era, many Jews have identified with the State of Israel as their last line of defense should the community again come under the threat of eradication. Most Christians, especially in North America, are unable to begin fathoming this possibility. Their communities simply have not been under such a threat. The typical […]

Palestinians, Christian Zionists and the Good News Gospel

Palestinians, Christian Zionists and the Good News Gospel [1] What is striking in the large body of writing and activity related to the development of Christian Zionism, particularly in its more extreme manifestation rooted in American pop culture dispensationalism, is how little is said about those who were most affected by the establishment of the […]

When Parallel Lines Converge: Roman Catholic Integrism and Evangelical Fundamentalism–some reflections from Latin America

[1] Roman Catholicism (RC) is still the major religious force in most of Latin America. It is more than a denomination: it is a powerful social organization with an extraordinary cultural-formative power. Even though Protestants, Evangelicals and Pentecostals have experienced a steady growth during the last century, Catholicism has managed to continue to dominate the […]

Better than Cherry Pie!

[1] When I was in Seminary my wife and I lived in an apartment in downtown Gettysburg. Our landlady lived upstairs. Each month I would walk up a flight of stairs and deliver the rent check. One month, as I began that trek, I began to smell the aroma of fresh baking. As I entered […]

Diving Down: Vigilance and Discernment of Deus Caritas Est

[1] Benedict XVI’s first encyclical, Deus Caritas Est, having generated less commentary than hoped, is nonetheless a remarkable introduction to the moderate-conservative professor of Tuebingen and then Regensburg, who is the current pontiff.1 Benedict’s expected criticisms of Euro-American consumerism and socio-political ideologies are represented, but also refined, in the two parts of the text. The […]

Eros in Benedict and Luther

[1] Lutherans, insofar as they derive their theology from Luther, should welcome Pope Benedict’s Encyclical, Deus Caritas Est. Luther, I think, would find this latest word from the Vatican surprisingly congenial. [2] Benedict argues from Scripture and presents his ideas pastorally, making the encyclical accessible to those with no formal theological training-both points that should […]

Love Grows through Love: Exploring a Shared Catholic-Lutheran History

[1] Actual quotes from different persons: I can’t serve others without some kind of regular communal prayer. My primary call in ministry is to lead a community in worship. I left the (Baptist) seminary because I couldn’t see myself religiously legitimating suburban life cyle rituals. [2] What audacity measures love’s growth? In Deus Caritas Est, […]

Pastoral Implications of Deus Caritas Est

[1] The first encyclical letter of Pope Benedict XVI is a reflection on I John 4:16b, the first words of which comprise its title: God is love, and those who abide in love abide in God, and God abides in them. It is dated December 25, 2005 (although it was released a month later, apparently […]

Introduction to Lutherans on Deus Caritas Est

[1] Love, we know, stands at the heart of both Christian doctrine and ethics: The gospel tells of God’s love for the world in Jesus Christ, and faith in the gospel gives arise to a life active in love for neighbor. The message is clear and simple, yet it leads us into the most basic […]