Reconciliation Is More Than a Hugathon

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Reconciliation apart from justice is not reconciliation. So, too, biblical justice entails reconciliation. To adapt Immanuel Kant’s famous claim from his critical epistemology and apply it to a critical and constructive model of race reconciliation, it would read: reconciliation without justice is empty; justice without reconciliation is blind. What does each side of this claim look like? We’ll take up each one of these items in successive posts. First, reconciliation without justice is empty. We … [Read more...]

Jesus’ Hands Halt Oppression and Offer Forgiveness

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The image of the stained glass window of 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama hangs behind the worship platform in my church in Portland, Oregon. The picture displays Jesus with outstretched arms and hands—the right hand halting oppression and the left hand opened and offering forgiveness. The stained glass window was given to the church in Birmingham by the people of Wales after the bombing of the church orchestrated by the KKK on Sunday morning, September 15, 1963. The h … [Read more...]

Is the Cross the Crux of the Divide between Christianity and Islam?

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The other day my world religions class visited a mosque. The Muslim lecturer and friend of mine asked: “Is one [who is a Christian] losing Jesus when one converts to Islam?” He responded by saying that one does not lose Jesus, but gains Muhammad. It was interesting that this Muslim leader claimed that Muhammad is not greater than Jesus on his Muslim view, even though he is the final prophet. According to the lecturer, the reason why Muhammad is seen as the greatest of the prophets is because the … [Read more...]

The Multi-Ethnic Church Movement – Not Some Fad, More Than a Conference

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The multi-ethnic church movement is not some passing fad. It is more than a two-day conference. It is here to stay.I am looking forward to participating in the Mosaix 2013 Multi-ethnic Church Conference November 5 - 6.  A thousand people will be coming together in Long Beach, California to interact with one another on the subject of the multi-ethnic church from various perspectives in service to Christ.My plenary talk will be "We Shall Overcome" and I will be presenting a workshop called … [Read more...]

Cancer Can’t Keep You Down: Presiding Thoughts about My President

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Note: Today I had the opportunity to give this address on behalf of the Faculty during a special chapel in honor of Dr. Daniel Lockwood on his last day as President of Multnomah University, where I teach.Just the other day, someone asked me concerning US Presidents: Can one respect the office without respecting the person? President Harry Truman told General Douglas Macarthur when Macarthur walked in 45 minutes late for their meeting on Wake Island in the Pacific that he did not care what he … [Read more...]

Am I My Brother’s Keeper? Social Solidarity and Gang Violence

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Author's note: An African American friend of mine raised respectful concern over my use of a Lynyrd Skynyrd song "None of Us Are Free" while discussing gang violence. Regardless of what others might think of the use of this song and Lynyrd Skynyrd's music generally, my friend’s concern over what he (and he believes many other African Americans) takes to be the group’s racist associations (he referred to the song "Sweet Home Alabama" as an example of the concern) has led me to remove the allusion … [Read more...]

’12 Years a Slave’ — Could It Happen Again?

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This piece originally appeared at Sojourners on October 14, 2013.I watched 12 Years a Slave today. The film is based on Solomon Northup’s autobiography by that name. Northrup was a free black man living in Saratoga, N.Y. He was lured away from his home to Washington, D. C., on the promise of lucrative work and was kidnapped, transported to Louisiana, and sold into slavery. He was rescued 12 years later.Some of the questions and issues that the movie raises are: What right do people have t … [Read more...]


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