June 12, 2012
If you're reading this blog, there's a good chance you're a follower of the Prince of Peace. You want to follow Jesus into a world of conflict, and you want to embody the peaceable ways of Jesus. Yet good intentions and loving aspirations frequently fail in the face of conflict (I can testify to that!). In reality, we are often peacebreakers. Some of us are even by nature peacefakers, and yet we long to be peacemakers.
June 7, 2012
Dialog between various religious partners is not about melting differences into one tepid spiritual brew. Yet as we retain the distinctives at the core of our faith, we should enter the conversation with open hearts, attentive ears, and minds eager to learn. I've gained so much and have become a better follower of Jesus through my interaction with Muslim friends over the years. It works in the other direction as well.
June 5, 2012
Sam Richards, a sociology professor at Penn State, expounds upon the process of empathy. By leading the audience through a re-narration of history and their own identity, he invites the audience to step into the shoes of someone else's life. After exploring new hopes, fears, and perceptions as "the other," connections and relationships are more easily visible. We encourage you to watch the entire video even if you do not agree with everything Richards says. This is a very challenging and interesting video.
May 31, 2012
Working with Muslim refugees in Phoenix is a powerful opportunity for peacemaking and for promoting the peace of our city. We're continuing to work with the Somali Bantu community in Phoenix to put on multiple-times-weekly English and citizenship classes, and we're so thankful for all the volunteers who make it possible. We couldn't do this work without our incredible and faithful volunteers, so today we'd like to share the video story of Sally Harr, who has been invaluable to our work with the Somali Bantu.
May 29, 2012
What should we make of the Arab Spring? How should we view these revolutions as Americans, as followers of Jesus, or as people who want peace? Todd Deatherage, co-founder of the Telos Group and former staff member for the Bush Administration, provides some insight and understanding to these events. As someone who has worked extensively in the Middle East, he shares his thoughts about the role of Americans and American evangelicals in this movement.
May 24, 2012
Peace Catalyst's Jim Mullins has just finished putting together this ebook study on what the Bible has to say about culture. We're thrilled to have this fantastic resource to point people to, and we highly recommend it for all of our Jesus-following friends who want to know more about how to respond to diversity, how to obey Jesus's command to love our neighbor in a globalized world, and how to respectfully communicate what we believe.
May 22, 2012
Can you be peacemaker without being a politician, religious leader, or wealthy philanthropist? Can average people have any real impact for peace? Jim Mullins, a co-founder of Peace Catalyst International and the International Guild of Visual Peacemakers, promotes the idea of "carrot cake peacemaking" and encourages people to be creative with the resources around them and their own strengths in order to build peace.
May 18, 2012
Mustafa Akyol, a well-known Turkish journalist, discusses the difference between the Islamic faith and local traditional practices. In this compelling TED talk, Akyol asserts that traditions change and vary between regions, countries, communities, and are often shaped by globalization and other global activity. Although some practices aren't necessarily found in Islamic text, they can become the predominant way society understands the Islamic faith. Sadly, this can lead to stereotypes and suspicions.
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.