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As We See ItScience

Science and Faith: My Personal Journey

For most of my life, I have been a carefree young-earth creationist. Because I had no reason to believe otherwise, I assumed the creation of the world played out precisely as described in Genesis 1 and 2. That’s what my teachers seemed to believe, that’s what my parents seemed to believe, and that was, apparently, the only real Christian way to approach the matter. The theory of evolution was reserved for poor heathen atheists who because they refused to acknowledge…
April 30, 2016
EssaysScience

For I Am Convinced

I was one of those kids who always responded to altar calls. Being raised in a conservative Christian household during the turbulent ‘60s, I had plenty opportunities to answer them. The moving words of pastors, evangelists, youth leaders and summer camp counselors appealed to me. Some speakers made me feel unsure of my salvation and fearful of eternal torment. Others walked me down the aisle with descriptions of Christ’s love and his sacrifice for me. Members of both communities asked,…
April 30, 2016
Essays

Live As Saints (Not Heroes): Justice and Jesus

When one of the authors met little Kunthy and Chanda in Cambodia, they were 11-and 12-year-old girls living as children should live – going to school, playing, laughing. They were free. But only months earlier, these young girls were living as chattel, kept prisoner by the adults in their lives who profited from their daily rape. The girls were beaten if they tried to go outside of the brothel in which they were held. They were beaten if they cried…
Essays

The Heart of the Matter: Augustine of Hippo on the Will

In 1974, two scholars were scheduled to deliver prestigious lectures on opposite sides of the Atlantic. The political theorist Hannah Arendt, an American citizen, traveled to Scotland to give the Gifford Lectures at the University of Aberdeen. Meanwhile, the classical philologist Albrecht Dihle journeyed from Germany to the U.S. to give the Sather Lectures at California State University, Berkley. More striking even than the crossing of their paths across the ocean was a convergence in the content of their talks.…
February 29, 2016
As We See It

A Theological Community Speaks

We hear a lot these days about the impending demise of print media. Isn’t it remarkable that in such a difficult market, Perspectives keeps chugging along? There are two secrets to our success: On the expense side, the writing and production of the magazine are labors of love. Our writers don’t get paid, and our co-editors, review editors, poetry editors, board of editors and contributing editors all are volunteers. We pay a proofreader, and we do pay our managing editor…
February 29, 2016
Essays

Christianity and Whiteness

“And I am no longer in the world, but they are in the world, and I am coming to you. Holy Father, keep them in your name, which you have given me, that they may be one, even as we are one.” – John 17:11, ESV The relationship between Christianity and people of color in the United States has been characterized by injustice. In his classic Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, Frederick Douglass described the Christianity of his…
February 29, 2016
Essays

A Friendship with Emil Brunner

Because I did my doctoral dissertation with Karl Barth at the University of Basel in Switzerland, it might seem strange that I had an even closer relationship with his Swiss Reformed contemporary in Zurich, Emil Brunner. (Once friendly, the two had a major falling out in the mid-1930s after Barth famously said “nein” to Brunner’s essay “Nature and Grace.”) I had a very good relationship with Barth, who was an exceptionally kind and helpful doctoral adviser, but my relationship with…
February 29, 2016
Essays

Memory Recall and Life with Dignity

Almost two decades ago, Bill Clinton, whose skill at fitting gesture to national mood at times rivaled Ronald Reagan’s, famously proposed a series of town-hall meetings to explore ways of preserving Social Security. About the same time “civility projects” – groups mobilized to discuss and solve community problems while modeling respect – were beginning to multiply in universities and municipalities across the country, much as learning circles had already replaced traditional classes in our more progressive schools. Even today any…
December 31, 2015
Essays

Faithful Pastoral Care: A Response to Domestic Violence

“Come! Live in the light! Shine with the joy and the love of the Lord! We are called to be light for the kingdom, to live in the freedom of the city of God. We are called to act with justice, we are called to love tenderly; we are called to serve another, to walk humbly with God.” – David Haas Domestic violence has been a social problem for generations. Research studies show that families in the church struggle with…
As We See It

Barefoot Teaching

Today is not just the first day of teaching in a new semester for me; it also marks the beginning of my 25th year in the classroom. My silver anniversary, if you will. I’m not sure it’s an occasion for a party or anything. And I realize it’s clichéd to say, but it really doesn’t seem that long ago that my 22-year-old self was walking in to teach English 131AK: Expository Writing to incoming first-year students at the University of…
December 31, 2015