March 8, 2012
This week I made my second-ever visit to a synagogue and for the first time participated in a brit milah, the Jewish circumcision ritual. Rabbi Eric Solomon and Rabbi Jenny Solomon, of Beth Meyer Synagogue in Raleigh, recently welcomed their son into the world, and they honored me immensely by inviting me to join other friends and family at the ceremony.
March 6, 2012
No tomorrow? This morning on the radio I heard a song with the words, "Let your little light shine like there's no tomorrow." It got me wondering: are believers called to live as though there's no tomorrow, or are we called to live towards a better tomorrow? Let me put it like this: are we to live in apocalyptic fear or in resurrection hope? Pessimism, realism, optimism? Is there another option?
February 28, 2012
Last week I happened to see Newsweek's cover article, "The Global War on Christians in the Muslim World," and read it immediately. My reaction was that, like Ayaan Hirsi's other writings, it is less than truthful. In short...
February 23, 2012
Iran has been prominent in the news once more over the past few weeks as the Iranian government continues to press its nuclear program. It seems like Iran offers another antagonistic tidbit of information into its progress every week. Given its past stated hostility toward the nation of Israel through the mouthpiece of its firebrand president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Israel and the United States have justifiable concerns about the true nature of Iran's nuclear ambitions.
February 21, 2012
I have shared an elevator with the Managing Director of the IMF. It's in interesting feeling to exchange a smile with the woman recently gracing the cover of Newsweek magazine with the title, "The Trillion Dollar Woman." In a very real sense, she and her team of economists are given the task of fixing a frighteningly broken world. An economist and a pastor... are we not partners in the same task? A trillion dollar woman and a spirit-filled man?
February 16, 2012
Martin Luther King Jr. (MLK) ignited a non-violent civil rights movement based on Jesus's command to love your enemy. At least that's what most people think. Jesus's command, however, provided only half of the ethical basis for this world-changing peacemaking effort. King's belief in the "image of God" (common grace) provided the other building block.
February 13, 2012
How do we make sense of the many good deeds done by those who do not follow Jesus? The way we answer this radically impacts how we relate to people and how we engage culture. That's why I consider it an indispensable issue for peacemakers.
February 9, 2012
Like most Americans, I am frustrated by the government. Polarization and gridlock of congress; attack ads and uncivil discourse; inability to stop the economic meltdown. What a mess! I feel like Nathanael did when he heard about Jesus for the first time: “Can anything good come out of Nazareth?” I have to ask, “Can anything good come out of Washington, DC?” Well, there is at least one good thing coming out of Washington, DC that we should rejoice over, and that is the National Prayer Breakfast.
February 7, 2012
If you live in the UK, you will certainly have heard of physicist Ziauddin Sardar (b. 1951, Pakistan), one of Britain’s top 100 public intellectuals, according to Prospect magazine. With over 45 books in print and hundreds of articles, he edits the journals Futures and Critical Muslim. Sardar is a university professor, a journalist of great repute, and a broadcaster. His most recent work is a three-part documentary, The Life of Muhammad, for BBC2.
Sardar’s latest book, Reading the Qur’an: The Contemporary Relevance of the Sacred Text of Islam was published this year by Oxford University Press. I highly recommend it to you. It’s a fascinating introduction to the Qur’an and a captivating window into how one influential thinker reads it.
February 2, 2012
Let me give a gift to all of those burnt-out, disturbed, and anxious peacemakers out there! Here it is: Rest!