Prophets See World for What It Could Be

The defining characteristic of the biblical prophets was not the ability to predict the future, especially not in the Nostradamus-type way that we tend to think of it in modern times. Neither was their role primarily that of acting as the social conscience for ancient...

Singing About Peace in a Violent, Fearful World

One Saturday afternoon while walking downtown among crowds of tourists and Christmas shoppers, I saw and heard two conversations that caught my attention. An older couple was fussing with each other about what to do next as they came out of a store. He had a huge bag...

Why Christians Should Care for the Weak

Donald Kraybill’s book, “The Upside-Down Kingdom,” is a modern Christian classic of social ethics. Its basic thesis, well supported from Christian Scripture, is that the kingdom of God is a social order of reverse values – from popular, “common...

Connecting God’s Kingdom to Your Daily Labors

Emphasis on the kingdom, reign or rule of God ebbs and flows in Christian history. For example, Walter Rauschenbusch lamented in 1917 that the “individualistic theology” of his day “carefully wrapped in several napkins and forgot” the kingdom...

The Politics of Jesus: Compassion and Justice

Over the years that I have spent reading the Gospels, I have come to the conclusion that Jesus was not simply a teacher of spirituality as some like to make him out to be. Nor was he some divine figure who went about Galilee healing people. He was certainly both of...