1799 Slices
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Medium 9781609940041

Instill Commitment, Not Greed

Manz, Charles C. Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

For the kingdom of heaven is like a landowner who went out early in the morning to hire laborers for his vineyard. After agreeing with the laborers for the usual daily wage, he sent them into his vineyard. When he went out about nine o’clock he saw others standing idle in the marketplace; and he said to them, “You also go into the vineyard, and I will pay you whatever is right.” So they went. When he went out again about noon and about three o’clock, he did the same. And about five o’clock he went out and found others standing around; and he said to them, “Why are you standing here idle all day?” They said to him, “Because no one has hired us.” He said to them, “You also go into the vineyard.” When evening came, the owner of the vineyard said to his manager, “Call the laborers and give them their pay, beginning with the last and then going to the first.” When those hired about five o’clock came, each of them received the usual daily wage. Now when the first came, they thought they would receive more; but each of them also received the usual daily wage. And when they received it, they grumbled against the landowner, saying, “These last worked only one hour, and you have made them equal to us who have borne the burden of the day and the scorching heat.” But he replied to one of them, “Friend, I am doing you no wrong; did you not agree with me for the usual daily wage? Take what belongs to you and go; I choose to give to this last the same as I give to you. Am I not allowed to do what I choose with what belongs to me? Or are you envious because I am generous?” (Matt. 20: 1–15)

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Medium 9781608682652

13. Warriors for a Deeper Education: Meister Eckhart Meets YELLAWE, Theodore Richards, M.C. Richards, and Lily Yeh

Matthew Fox New World Library ePub

Meister Eckhart Meets YELLAWE, Theodore Richards, M.C. Richards, and Lily Yeh

The schooling that we seek is full within. It rises to the surface as we move.…Our planet is our school, and far beyond.


People called inner-city North Philadelphia “the badlands” because of its prevailing decrepitude, poverty, drug dealing, and violence. But this area contained invaluable hidden treasures.…It was there that I realized that art is a powerful tool for social change and that the artist can be at the center of that transformation.


Living offers the most noble kind of knowledge.


When Eckhart scholar Reiner Schurmann declares that Eckhart’s work is “not a theoretical doctrine but a practical guide,” he is inviting us to make it real in the world by taking it as a point of direction or a guide. I believe this is especially so when we speak of education. Our species is in a new and dangerous place. We are facing our own demise. Education is obviously a big part of the problem as well as a big part of the solution. Can Eckhart help us to transform education?

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Medium 9781523093984

32. Charlie “Tremendous” Jones: A Sermon Seen

Blanchard, Ken; Broadwell, Renee Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

A Sermon Seen


It warmed my heart when Mark Sanborn, whom I’ve shared a speaking platform with a number of times, decided to write an essay about Charlie “Tremendous” Jones. Charlie’s positive attitude had a major impact on my faith and my life. I’ll never forget the last time I talked to Tremendous, just before his death from cancer. I said, “When you get to heaven, will you tell us what it’s like?” Tremendous was weak but his answer illustrated what kind of guy he was. “I wouldn’t have the words to describe it! If I did, you’d probably commit suicide!” Thanks, Mark, for sharing about such a great servant leader—my friend and mentor, Charlie “Tremendous” Jones. —KB

EDGAR GUEST WAS born in England but moved to the United States where he became known as “The People’s Poet.” He penned more than 11,000 poems, which were syndicated in 300 newspapers and collected in more than 20 books. One of his best-loved poems is a classic familiar to many called “Sermons We See.” In it he says, “I’d rather see a sermon than hear one any day / I’d rather one should walk with me than merely tell the way.”

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Medium 9781442229228

New Athiesm: Are We Amused?

Rowman & Littlefield Publishers ePub

New Athiesm: Are We Amused?

David Bentley Hart

Atheist Delusions: The Christian Revolution and Its Fashionable Enemies (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2009)

Terry Eagleton

Faith, Reason, and Revolution: Reflections on the God Debate (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2009)

Reviewed by Francesca Aran Murphy, University of Notre Dame, South Bend, IN

There can be few genres more given to the exhibition of subjective taste, disguised as unbiased judgment, than the compare-and-contrast book review. Having had the misfortune to publish a book on the Bible as comedy the same time as one appeared on the Bible as tragedy, I count myself a victim of the genre. Not only a victim, but a guilty perpetrator, for, having been loaded with one book on the old feminism and another on the new, encouraged by the editor to “compare and contrast,” I let fly. Posing as a Solomonic arbiter between two texts tempts a reviewer to set up external criteria and to conceal them behind the invidious contrast. Nothing gives authors more cause to feel their work has been judged by preconceived ideas. These reviews are not very fair to readers either. Given two books of a shared class, whether it’s anti-anti-God polemics or fantasy fiction, ordinary readers who like that sort of thing will lap them both up, where the book reviewer will praise one and anathematise the other. The common Christian reader will not be hampered in their enjoyment of Hart and Eagleton’s books by wanting to choose between them. The least I can do is to put my cards on the table. My criteria for a sound anti-anti-God book are (1) it must be funny; (2) it must seem (to me) capable of engaging a questioner who borders between belief and unbelief; and (3) it must resonate with believers.

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Medium 9780253347640

7. The Structure of Society

Malcolm Bull Indiana University Press ePub

QUITE APART FROM its distinctive theology, Adventism is a remarkable social phenomenon. In 2001 the church in America operated 886 primary schools, 110 secondary schools offering a complete secondary education, eight colleges, five universities, and one home study-institute. This amounts to the largest Protestant school system in the United States and is second only to the educational program of the Roman Catholic Church. The denomination’s nationwide network of health care institutions consists of 62 hospitals, a total of 12,311 beds, and admits more than half a million patients each year. In addition, the church runs a chain of 37 nursing homes and retirement centers that provide a further 4,251 beds and has an average total residency of about 3,900 people at any one time.1

Two church publishing houses, the Review and Herald Publishing Association in Maryland, and the Pacific Press Publishing Association in Idaho, both publish and print Adventist books that include all Ellen White’s volumes; works on Adventist doctrine, history, culture, and worship; general titles on personal spirituality, self-help, and relationships; fiction for adults and children; and tracts and booklets for the public. The two houses also put out more than a hundred periodicals covering a wide variety of official, professional, and minority interests.2 The most important are the Review, the weekly organ of Seventh-day Adventism; Signs of the Times, Message, and El Centinela, the denomination’s principal evangelistic magazines, the latter two aimed at African Americans and Hispanics; Ministry magazine, the journal of Adventism’s clergy; Vibrant Life, a health periodical; and Insight (formerly the Youth’s Instructor), the paper for the church’s young people. The church’s large literary output is supported by a record label, Chapel Music, which distributes the work of more than a hundred Adventist musicians; the thirty-two stations that comprise the Adventist Radio Broadcaster’s Association; and the transmissions of the Adventist Media Center in California. Several television programs, primarily of an evangelistic nature, are produced there: Faith for Today, It Is Written, the African American Breath of Life, and Lifestyle Magazine. From the center, the church also broadcasts the long-established radio program, the Voice of Prophecy, and a recently created show, LifeTalk Radio.3

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Medium 9780871781796


Various Brethren Press PDF

A DUNKERG U I D E TOPrologueWhen Mary Ellen and I first came to Lancaster Church of the Brethren, I was fond of saying, “I’m the newest Brethren in the room!” We had been longtime members of The United Methodist Church before coming to Lancaster, but it became obvious to us very quickly that the Church of the Brethren was a good fit for us, and we joined soon after I became director of music in July 2004.Almost seven years later, I am no longer always the newest Brethren in the room, but I still often feel like a newbie compared to friends who grew up with Brethren traditions. Nevertheless, I was asked to contribute an essay to our congregational booklet on Brethren beliefs and traditions. I found the process of researching and just thinking about it very rewarding. My tiny part helped me realize the deep worth of our denomination and our fellowship.I have an odd story to illustrate what I mean. Once, when flying to visit relatives in Mississippi, we had a layover in Cincinnati. After we had boarded the plane a boisterous group of hunters boarded, laughing loudly about their missing companion. Believe it or not, his name was Bubba—perfectly completing the redneck stereotype! Bubba had gotten separated from the group and was in danger of missing the flight. But as his friends were joking about

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Medium 9781442229150


Rowman & Littlefield Publishers ePub

Jeffrey A. Vogel

In his book Time Exposure, the sociologist Richard Fenn argues that the haste characteristic of life in contemporary Western societies stems from a loss of belief in divine providence. This loss, which he notes is compatible with continuing belief in God, exposes human beings to pure time, with no guarantee of meaning other than that which they fashion for themselves. As he puts it, “To live in the secular world, then, is to take the world on its own terms. It is this world, not some other, that holds the secrets behind our own existence. Bereft of the shelter of institutions that transcend the passage of time, individuals have to seize their own times; time is indeed all they have.”1 Though the traditional doctrine of providence has never been a guarantee of access to the meaning of events, it has made the time things take acceptable, as the believer can imagine a time more decisive than his own, that is, God’s time. With the “secularization of time,” however, waiting has become “exceedingly problematical.” The full weight of importance falls on the accomplishment of an action; the time it takes to do anything is merely something to pass through, and the more time it takes, the more one feels that one is lagging behind others who are faster. The only way to guarantee survival into a future that has been evacuated of God is to take it by force, to arrive there earlier, to never miss an opportunity to begin to stake one’s claim. When the future is envisioned in terms of scarcity, it “is the fool who is willing to be kept waiting.”2 Though the unencumbered freedom of possibility that follows the loss of belief in providence may be “heady,” it also “brings with it the burden of time. The awareness of the passage of time makes every one, in the end, marginal.”3 If the believer in providence trusts that everything is encompassed within the divine initiative, that there is no far side, no edges, which, if crossed, would put one beyond God’s regard, the secular person has a distinct feeling of being exposed to time, left to his own devices not to fall behind.

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Medium 9780253014474

1. Battle Creek Beginnings

Brian C. Wilson Indiana University Press ePub


Battle Creek Beginnings

In the summer of 1940 at the age of eighty-eight, Dr. John Harvey Kellogg, seeking to record on paper some of the essential facts of his long life, cast his thoughts back to 1863, a time when Battle Creek, Michigan, was “a very small village of a few hundred inhabitants” and the great Battle Creek Sanitarium was still many years in the future. His mother, Kellogg remembered, had just asked the young boy what he wanted to be when he grew up, to which he had promptly replied, “Anything but a doctor!” Apparently, shortly before his mother’s question, John Harvey and some other boys had pressed their faces against a neighbor’s window to witness the bloody spectacle of a local sawbones practicing his art on one of their playmates lying on the kitchen table. In the wake of this episode, Kellogg remembered, “I abhorred the medical profession, did not like bad medicine and the bloody surgery.” That just a few years later that young boy would find himself a famous doctor—and a surgeon at that—must have given the elderly Kellogg a chuckle, for in addition to his childhood disgust at the sight of blood, he had been at the age of eleven nothing more than an undersize boy working in his father’s Battle Creek broom factory, distinguished only by his exceptional manual dexterity sorting broom corn and the fact that his family belonged to a struggling apocalyptic sect.1

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Medium 9781442229334

Margaret O’Gara† 1947–2012

Rowman & Littlefield Publishers ePub

Margaret O’Gara† 1947–2012

David M. Thompson

It is an honor to be invited to write this tribute to Dr. Margaret O’Gara. I first saw (but did not meet) her in the Basilica of San Marco, Venice, Italy, at Mass, before the opening of the second round of the Catholic-Disciples International Dialogue in 1983, without realizing the extent to which our lives would be related for almost thirty years, regardless of the North Atlantic Ocean. Our last meeting was in June last year in Toronto, a little more than six weeks before her untimely death. When we parted, we each knew, without saying so, that we would not see each other again in this life. We worked as principal co-drafters for the Catholic-Disciples International Theological Dialogue, initially under the careful tutelage of Fr. J.-M. Tillard, OP, and after his death with ourselves in the lead role. During that time I came to know and appreciate her lifelong commitment to dialogue and the search for Christian unity. Jean-Marie Tillard taught us both to emphasize points of agreement, while not disguising those where difference remained. Margaret’s thorough knowledge of the conciliar documents, principally but not exclusively those of Vatican II, could always be relied upon. As a modern church historian, I came early on to appreciate her own work on the minority French bishops at Vatican I in her book Triumph in Defeat (1988), which I was invited to review. They left Rome early, rather than stay for the final vote on Pastor Aeternus in 1870, and I had always wondered what happened to them. Similarly I delighted in her later book, The Ecumenical Gift Exchange (1998), which demonstrated the conviction of every true ecumenist that he or she has something to receive as well as to give. This was well described by another ecumenical colleague of mine, in writing about the process that drew the Churches of Christ in Great Britain (my own tradition, as Disciples in Britain were called) and the United Reformed Church into a single united church in 1981. He said that each group was able to stand back from its own position sufficiently to envisage the possibility of any of the outcomes as a theological option. Neither group was required to conceal or minimize its conviction; rather, each group was liberated “to express itself fully and freely, without pre-supposing that one of them must ‘win’”.1 Margaret was a genuine listener and possessed a remarkable capacity for seeing elements in the traditions of other churches that they had scarcely been aware of themselves. She and I were responsible for the final drafts of the reports of the second, third, and fourth rounds of our dialogue (The Church as Communion in Christ, 1992; Receiving and Handing on the Faith: The Mission and Responsibility of the Church, 2002; and The Presence of Christ in the Church, with Special Reference to the Eucharist, 2010). She was also responsible for the idea that will shape the fifth round of that dialogue, indicated by her original suggested title, “Formed and Transformed at the Table of the Lord,” and she participated in the two planning meetings of 2011 and 2012. Thanks to her I can look back upon those meetings as some of the most enjoyable of my ecumenical life.

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Medium 9780253356376

23 Narratives of Agency: Sex Work in Indonesia’s Borderlands

KATHLEEN M ADAMS Indiana University Press ePub

Michele Ford and Lenore Lyons

“Some people do this kind of work because they are forced to, but others do it because they want to live the high life,” said Lia earnestly, responding to a question about the prevalence of trafficking in the sex industry on Karimun, an island on the western edge of the Riau Archipelago in Indonesia.1 An extremely attractive young woman in her mid-twenties, Lia is the image of middle-class Indonesian respectability in her modern, loose-fitting clothes and bright colored jilbab (headscarf) modestly fastened over her head and shoulders. Her comment neatly sums up the dichotomous thinking that dominates both public and scholarly discussions about sex work in Indonesia.2 According to this logic, sex workers are either forced into prostitution by circumstance (including instances of force or deception), or they freely choose to sell their bodies for financial gain.

Lia has lived in Karimun for more than a decade and is familiar with the circumstances that have given rise to a large sex industry on the island and elsewhere in the archipelago. The Riau Islands form the borderland between Singapore and Indonesia, at the periphery of the Indonesian state. The islands have been part of a growth triangle with Singapore and Malaysia since the early 1990s, resulting in large-scale foreign and joint-venture investment in manufacturing, tourism, transport, and service industries. An influx of migrant workers to the region, combined with the ease of travel from economically powerful Singapore, has created the conditions for the proliferation of vice industries such as sex work and gambling on many of the islands. The sex industry caters predominantly to men from nearby Singapore (and to a lesser extent Malaysia), and is fueled by geographical proximity, comparative cost, and the relative anonymity afforded by travel to a foreign country (Ford and Lyons 2008). Local islanders always say that sex workers come to the Riau Islands from other parts of Indonesia—from Sumatra, Kalimantan, and Sulawesi, but mainly from Java—and this is supported by our research. While some scholars claim that women are trafficked to the Riau Islands following false promises of good jobs in factories or restaurants (Agustinanto 2003:179), activists from some local NGOs argue that many of the women who end up in the industry have previous experience as sex workers in Jakarta or elsewhere.

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Medium 9781442229099


Rowman & Littlefield Publishers ePub

H. Ashley Hall

The "development of doctrine" is a thorny issue in Christian theology. Despite a few historical precursors (such as the Fifth Theological Oration of Gregory Nazianzen and the sixteenth-century polemics of Albert Pigghe), it is a relatively modern construct. The idea received its first conscientious investigation from John Henry Cardinal Newman in the nineteenth century and was only generally accepted by the Roman Catholic Church in the twentieth century. Protestants remain divided over the subject. Most Protestants are leery of the idea because it is used by Roman Catholics to justify certain doctrines and traditions that do not have an explicit biblical warrant. More liberal Protestants have embraced the idea of the development of doctrine, though the idea is applied in a radically different way than first proposed by Cardinal Newman or as understood in the Roman Catholic Church. For these Protestants no doctrine or creed is eternally binding, so each age is free (or burdened with) formulating its faith in an exclusively contemporary context. Still, there are a large number of non-Roman Catholic Christians who accept the normative role of the Scripture and the creeds but who have not articulated the structural principles that undergird such an affirmation.

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Medium 9780253013835

9 “Between Justice and My Mother”: Reflections on and between Levinas and Žižek

CLAYTON SCOTT CROCKETT Indiana University Press ePub

Gavin Hyman

IN 1957, ALBERT Camus received the Nobel Prize for Literature. As Camus travelled to Stockholm to receive the award, the editor of Le Monde, Hubert Beuve-Méry, said that he was convinced that Camus would say something stupid, and, in his own mind, he was proved right.1 Having received the Nobel Prize, Camus said, “I believe in justice, but I will defend my mother before I will defend justice,” subsequently converted by the press into “between justice and my mother, I choose my mother.”2 The statement became notorious and gave rise to much puzzlement, debate, and hostility. Part of the reason for this lies in the statement’s inherent ambiguity and its susceptibility to widely heterogeneous interpretation. Michael Wood, for instance, has pointed out that “if Camus means—or if what he said turns out to mean—that as far as he is concerned genuine justice must always give way to private life, we can understand his personal dilemma, but we can hardly applaud his formulation, since no colonist or privateer or free-market liberal ever said anything different.”3 On the other hand, Camus’s recent biographer Alain Vircondelet sees in the statement an articulation of an “ultimate truth,”4 and Wood himself also says that “it suggests both a loyalty to what’s human and a flight from politics.”5 Furthermore, it may perhaps be viewed as a radically anti-Kantian gesture. Kant famously warned against the dangerous lure presented by “sympathy and warmhearted fellow-feeling”;6 in this context, sympathy for one’s mother threatens to obscure one’s duty to the universal moral law and is thus also an enemy to the realization of universal justice. Perhaps Camus’s statement is to be understood as an unequivocal rejection of this uncompromising Kantian stance.

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Medium 9781442241169

Apophatic Unity: On the Elusiveness of Radner’s Church

Rowman & Littlefield Publishers ePub

Apophatic Unity: On the Elusiveness of Radner’s Church

Oliver O’Donovan

Any account of Ephraim Radner’s long, learned, diverse, passionate, strident, bewildering, but above all engaging book needs to begin with a clear statement of what the thrust of its main argument is taken to be. A glance at the dust jacket shows that a sample of distinguished first readers cannot agree on the question, which, given the density of its texture and rhetoric, is not wholly strange. The kind of difficulty the author poses for his readers can be illustrated from the title itself: is it really a brutal unity that Radner wants to point us to, or an elusive and demanding unity, the brutality resulting from attempts to sidestep a demand that is total and all-consuming? One may produce quotations in support of either interpretation: unity is blasphemy, according to one high-wrought passage, according to another it is unattainable, while it consists in sacrificial self-giving according to a third. In his own summary the author claims to have defended a “realistic” unity against an “ideal” one, and if we take that self-declaration seriously, we will understand Radner’s book as a moral ecclesiology with the project of depicting what it means to speak of the unity and holiness of the church in the context of stubborn division—in the wake, that is, of the failure of the hopes of that “seemingly spent force,” the ecumenical movement. A great deal of his reflection has this kind of deconstructive tone and may therefore present the appearance that its intent is skeptical. But an author is entitled to write in multiple registers, and it is up to the reader to rise to the challenge of negotiating them.

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Medium 9781442235618

The Apocalyptic Body of Christ?

Rowman & Littlefield Publishers ePub

The Apocalyptic Body of Christ?

Reflections on Yoder and Apocalyptic Theology by Way of David Foster Wallace

Chris K. Huebner

I have been asked to speak about John Howard Yoder and apocalyptic theology. I will do so by reflecting on Yoder’s understanding of the body and its capacity for speech or articulacy—in particular as these themes are reflected in his understanding of the body of Christ. These questions play out somewhat differently in Yoder’s work than they do in what we might call apocalyptic theology more generally (whatever that means—and I will admit here, as an aside, that one of my struggles in undertaking this assignment is to figure out just what counts as being representative of the so-called apocalyptic turn in recent theology). This difference would mean that any attempt to enlist Yoder as an ally in support of a program or movement called apocalyptic theology will be awkward at best. If it is appropriate to draw on Yoder in support of apocalyptic theology, it must equally be acknowledged that his work also pushes back against it in some significant ways. To draw attention to Yoder’s posture of ambivalence toward academic movements should hardly be necessary, for it has received plenty of attention in recent engagement with his work. I don’t want to rehash that ground here. So let us get one thing out of the way at the beginning. Yes, we can find texts in which Yoder emphasizes the category of apocalyptic. But it is also worth noting that he typically qualifies these references by insisting that the category of apocalyptic is only one among many and should not be elevated to become a sort of governing principle. As Yoder himself puts it, “Apocalypse is only one of many modes of discourse in the believing community. We should not prefer it; we should use them all.”1 Call it methodological non-Constantinianism or perhaps something more elegant. But that is not what I want to dwell on today. I am more interested in exploring how the question of apocalyptic theology relates to some of Yoder’s more substantive commitments about the body of Christ and its capacity for speech.

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Medium 9781442229198


Rowman & Littlefield Publishers PDF






Maura Hearden

The French ecumenical Dombes Group observed, “the Virgin Mary . . . is perhaps the point at which all the underlying confessional differences, especially in soteriology, anthropology, ecclesiology, and hermeneutics, become most clear.”2 Hers is the story of the way in which God has chosen to save mankind. It concretizes the aforementioned doctrines resulting in a uniquely powerful immediacy of understanding. For this reason, post-Reformation Christianity has often regarded the mother of our Lord as a symbol of that which divides us and a potentially inflammatory topic for those engaged in ecumenical dialogue. Such a state of affairs can be nothing less than tragic for all who desire a common Christian household, a household that must surely include the woman from whom the Son drew his humanity.

Fortunately, nearly a century of intra-Christian dialogue has chipped away at the walls that divide us and laid the groundwork for some significant progress in the area of Mariology. The most obvious signs of progress can be found in laudable dialogue efforts focusing specifically on “Marian” topics, each resulting in varying degrees of agreement.3

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