The prayer often attributed to St. Francis of Assisi referred to as the “Peace Prayer” includes the words, “Where there is hatred, let me sow love.” Even though it is often claimed that St. Francis did not pen the prayer, it still resonates and penetrates our hearts as if he or someone like him did. And yet, we need to ask what is meant by love. We all have notions of love, but what kind of love does the prayer envision?… Read more

In view of the heated engagement nationally and globally concerning environmental protections and the economy, I reached out to an environmental studies professor at a Christian university to seek his perspective on comprehensive health. My hope is that the cool-headed exchange in the interview that follows will help clear up some of the smog surrounding pressing issues. These issues concern human health, the well-being of our planet, and economic vitality. Steven A. Kolmes is Director of the Environmental Studies Program, Professor of… Read more

Creative Commons The American Psychological Association specifies several ways to build resilience in the face of trauma. One of them is “make connections.” Here is what the APA says about the need to make relational connections: Good relationships with close family members, friends or others are important. Accepting help and support from those who care about you and will listen to you strengthens resilience. Some people find that being active in civic groups, faith-based organizations, or other local groups provides social… Read more

The prayer often attributed to St. Francis of Assisi referred to as the “Peace Prayer” begins, “Lord, make me an instrument of your peace.” Even though it is often claimed that St. Francis did not pen the prayer, it still resonates and penetrates our hearts as if he or someone like him did. But how often do we pray for peace when we are engaged in intense conflicts? I wonder what St. Francis would say if he were here today, when countries like… Read more

Have you ever participated in a “White Elephant” gift exchange at Christmas? Here’s how Secret Santa defines the game: The game derives its name from the term white elephant as defined by something of dubious or limited value or an object no longer of value to its owner but of value to others. Thus, in its basic form the game calls for people to bring “gag” gifts or gifts they received that they have no use for. Whenever I participate… Read more

How just and how advanced is a society that does not provide affordable, quality health care for all its members? Our answer may depend on whether you and I consider human health a fundamental human need and right. Is the solution to allow market forces to dictate what is right and just? If so, Wall Street and Washington, D. C. have become one. In that event, there would be no recourse to regulating market forces when such forces can’t keep… Read more

What would it take for the most loyal Trump supporter to give up faith in the President? As shown in this news video, supporters waiting in line for yesterday’s rally in Kentucky appeared undaunted by reports that the President’s team may have had wrongful connections to Russia during the election season and that there was no evidence to support his wire-tapping charges. I wonder if the faith of those interviewed while the FBI Director was testifying on Capitol Hill, and those… Read more

Dietrich Bonhoeffer wrote from his prison cell, Here is the decisive difference between Christianity and all religions. Man’s religiosity makes him look in his distress to the power of God in the world: God is the deus ex machina. The Bible directs man to God’s powerlessness and suffering; only the suffering God can help.[1] While it might appear counterintuitive to some, this conviction about God’s suffering was a sustaining power for Bonhoeffer in his imprisonment at the end of his… Read more

We all experience trauma in one way or another in life, even Jesus. But he did not ever play the victim card. He was victorious over the trauma of his passion and crucifixion in his resurrection and ascension from the dead. As victorious, he is able to heal us of our own trauma. I don’t believe in a moralistic therapeutic deistic God, but I do believe in the triune God—Father, Son and Spirit—who is morally good and who enters into… Read more

It is very easy for us in the United States to become insular, as we focus on coping with trauma here at home. The church in America is no exception. As a result, we may not be attentive and sensitive to the trauma Christians face across the globe, including missionaries. I reached out to a veteran missionary with Wycliffe who will be presenting at an interdisciplinary and multidimensional conference for New Wine, New Wineskins at Multnomah University and Biblical Seminary… Read more

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