May 10, 2012
"There are too many angry peacemakers!" bemoaned a friend of mine during an Evangelical Peacemaking Summit. Everyone laughed, because we all realized the irony of it. Sometimes those who wrestle with injustice and seek peace don't embody the very message they bring. They have the right beliefs and the right actions, but not the right affections. Something is wrong in their hearts.
May 8, 2012
Jeremy Courtney, executive director and cofounder of Preemptive Love Coalition, speaks about living as an American in Iraq and pursuing a lifestyle of preemptive love. He says, "violence unmakes the world," but "preemptive love unmakes violence. Preemptive Love remakes the world through healing." This philosophy of preemptive love has led Jeremy, and the staff of Preemptive Love, to work in partnership with Iraqis to eradicate the backlog of children who need heart surgery in Iraq. This video is filled with inspiring stories of peace, healing, and hope coming out of Iraq.
May 2, 2012
One important part of what we do with Peace Catalyst is introducing Christians to Muslims, so that they can build friendships and learn from each other. With this goal in mind, a couple of weeks ago, Martin and I met a group of Christian friends at a local mosque. We observed the prayer time and toured the facility. We enjoyed our visit; and as we were leaving, the leaders there invited us to a special event that would include a dinner, special speakers, and a Muslim comedian. We had no idea what that even meant-a Muslim comedian-at the mosque?? We were intrigued, so last Friday night we went to check it out.
May 1, 2012
Dr. Salim Munayer is the Director of Musalaha, an organization working on the process of reconciliation in Israel and Palestine. He speaks on the importance of having a robust theology of reconciliation instead of the incomplete theologies that lead to exclusive support of either Israel or Palestine. He identifies the tendency of fundamentalist Christians to support Israel, mainline Christians to support Palestine, and shows how a deep theology of reconciliation will lead to a desire for the flourishing of both communities.
April 26, 2012
Eboo Patel, an American Muslim and founder of the Interfaith Youth Core, addresses a group of Christians at the Global Faith Forum at Northwood Church. He talks about the increasing challenges of living in the U.S. as a Muslim and the need for people to protect and respect people from other faiths. Patel encourages people to promote peace, not in spite of their faith, but as a response to the robust peacemaking teaching found in their religious texts.
April 24, 2012
Today on the blog, we have something a bit different. This post was written by Christen Hansel, a friend of Peace Catalyst's, for her personal blog and we're reposting it here with her permission. It's very personal and a bit different than what we usually post, but it is a powerful story and one we hope will move you as much as it did us.
April 19, 2012
We've recently added a collection of resources to our website called the Peacemaker's Popcorn Guide. In short, it's a collection of short online videos that we think are excellent for provoking thinking and promoting peace. We'll be posting one video a week on the blog, along with some reflection questions to go with each. Watch them on your own, or get a group and talk through the questions together. Let us know what you think too - we'd love to hear your thoughts and what kinds of discussions you have after watching these.
April 17, 2012
In Peace Catalyst International, we aspire to launch a global movement of Jesus-centered peacemaking communities. To that end, our PCI team in Raleigh has helped to catalyze a significant movement of Muslims and Christians who are moving beyond unhelpful stereotypes and are building bridges of friendship and trust. Back in the fall, however, things took a major twist for us. A well-respected local rabbi reached out, basically saying that he had heard about our work in bringing Muslims and Christians together and that he wanted his Jewish congregation in on the fun.
April 12, 2012
I was privileged to view an extraordinary documentary recently that presents a very different picture of Christian-Muslim relations than that which is promoted by the media and religious extremists. The name of the documentary is Different Books, Common Word, produced by the Baptist Center of Ethics in 2009.
April 10, 2012
Are today's evangelical Christians going to miss the opportunity to be peacemakers in this generation? Generational blind spots have caused many Christians to miss the blessing of following Jesus as a peacemaker in the issues of their day-slavery, human rights of Native Americans, Japanese who were interned in camps during WWII, minorities during the civil rights era, etc. Is the issue of how we treat our Muslim neighbors nearby or around the world going to be another one of those missed opportunities?