The Common Good

peacemakers

Randall Balmer answers, "What is an Evangelical?"

The puzzle here is not that readers of the Bible would tilt toward the political left. That, for me, as well as for thousands of other American evangelicals, is self-evident. Jesus, after all, summoned his followers to be peacemakers, to turn the other cheek, to welcome the stranger and to care for “the least of these.” He also expressed concern for the tiniest sparrow, a sentiment that should find some resonance in our environmental policies.

No, the real conundrum lies in the subtitle the editors of Christianity Today assigned to Franzen’s article, which was titled, “A Left-Leaning Text.” Adjacent to a picture of a Bible tilted about 45 degrees to the left, the editors added the subtitle: “Survey Surprise: Frequent Bible reading can turn you liberal (in some ways).”

The fact that anyone should register surprise that the Bible points toward the left should be the biggest surprise of all.

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Stassen and Gushee: An Open Letter to Christian Zionists

American Christian Zionism is pushing the U.S. government to support Israeli policies that our international friends find immoral and illegal.

We have come to believe that Christian Zionism underwrites theft of Palestinian land and oppresses Palestinian people, helps create the conditions for an explosion of violence, and pushes US policy in a destructive direction that violates our nation's commitment to universal human rights.

We write as evangelical Christians committed to Israel's security. We worry about your support for policies that violate biblical warnings about injustice and may lead to the destruction of Israel.

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A Killing Machine

Two long pieces this weekend described "one hell of a killing machine," and "the dark matter

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Blessed Are Those Who Mourn

I have gotten so used to stories of violence in the news every morning that I confess they don't move me as much as they should, or used to. Today: Three straight days of killing in Karachi with 42 dead; Syrian tanks shelling the city of Hama, where more than 100 people have died since Sunday; U.N. peacekeepers killed by a landmine in Sudan; daily deaths in Libya; bombings in Baghdad and assassinations in Kandahar. It goes on and on.

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No Just War

My Search for the Truth About the Middle East

In 2008, as I heard the increasing public rhetoric of hostility emanating from the Middle East, I found myself wondering what Jesus would say and do if he were here in the flesh today.
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Ordinary People and Just Peace in the Middle East

When we think about world events, we often think about them in relation to larger-than-life people -- the leaders of nations or of revolutions.
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Osama, Obama, and Twitter

Seconds after news of Osama bin Laden's death, I logged on to Twitter and watched the 140-character updates roll in.
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The First Nonviolent Revolution? The Resurrection.

As Lent ends and the Holy Triduum begins, my mind turns to resurrection. Perhaps a bit too soon as the Good Friday death of Jesus and his descent into darkness is still impending.
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Remembering the Real, Radical Martin Luther King

"I had no idea Martin Luther King was a radical!" These shocked words were spoken to me this weekend after an activist training I'd been running in Sydney. I had the privilege to be part of the Make Poverty History "action lab" -- a "teach-in" for 15 young anti-poverty activists chosen from each state of Australia.

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