The Rise of Ecumenism and Why It Matters

A little over 100 years ago the World Missionary Conference in Edinburgh (1910) was a prophetic foretaste of a century-plus renewal of Christian ecumenism, a renewal that has proved to be quite substantial on many different levels. If the truth is told I believe we have made more progress than the participants at the famous Edinburgh Conference imagined at the … Read More

Max Boot's "Twelve Articles" on Guerrilla Warfare and Terrorism

Colonel Roger Trinquier (1961) said, “We . . . attack an enemy who is invisible, fluid, uncatchable.” Perhaps no statement included in Max Boot’s masterful history of guerrilla and terrorist warfare better sums up what we have faced since 9/11. Historian Max Boot concludes his massive tome on guerrilla and terrorist warfare with a postscript called: “The Lessons of Five … Read More

Evangelism, Evangelization and Missional-Ecumenism (4)

Over the last three days I have written about evangelism and evangelization, from both a Protestant and Catholic perspective. I have attempted to show the meaning and importance of these respective terms and the theology that lies behind both of them. But what has all of this to do with ecumenism, or with what I call missional-ecumenism? John Paul II … Read More

FDR's Holocaust Legacy – A Lesson in the Failure of Moral Courage

President Franklin D. Roosevelt was, and still is, one of most admired and esteemed presidents in American history. I grew up hearing a lot of good things about FDR. I also heard some bad things from those who felt the “New Deal” created the modern welfare system with all its contested problems. One thing is certain, FDR’s name was esteemed … Read More

Understanding our Exilic Missional Context: Evangelicalism and Liberalism in Twentieth Century America

Most historians and religion scholars now agree that by the twentieth century liberal Protestantism had led to a mainstream Protestantism that was vague, theistic and excessively nationalistic. In a profound sense, concludes British Christian Studies scholar Linda Woodhead, “liberal Protestantism’s triumph can be said to lie to some extent in its disappearance; it dissolved into the blood stream of American … Read More

Lincoln on the Big Screen (5)

Since the new film “Lincoln” deals directly with the passage of the 13th Amendment, and the abolition of slavery in the United States, scholars and pundits of all sorts are asking new questions about both Lincoln and slavery. I welcome this dialogue and actually pray that we might see a little more light and a lot less heat. Rhetorical bombs, … Read More

Lincoln on the Big Screen (4)

When producer Steven Spielberg began to talk with script writer Tony Kushner about his project to do the first serious film on Abraham Lincoln in seventy years their ideas began to coalesce when Spielberg asked, “Why don’t we make a movie about passing the 13th Amendment?” So it is that the new “Lincoln” film came to be about only one … Read More

Lincoln on the Big Screen (3)

The screenplay for the new “Lincoln” film was written by Tony Kushner (photo at left). Kushner began writing for the screen in 2000. He previously co-wrote the screenplay for “Munich” in 2005, a film also directed by Steven Spielberg. Kushner, who is a secular Jew, is widely known for his criticism of religious extremism in Israeli politics, which has created … Read More

Lincoln on the Big Screen (1)

In Steven Spielberg’s new movie “Lincoln” we get a powerful glimpse of one small period in the life of President Abraham Lincoln, a period of only a month just before his death and right after his re-election to a second term (November 1864). The film opens in January of 1865 with an appropriate scene of the carnage of the Civil … Read More