Important News and Comment for Christians Interested in Putting Their Faith Into Action
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Terri Schiavo prompted a national debate, but there's still much unresolved.
, Christianity Today
See my blog for my comments on this
The Politics of Stem Cells
Why do some scientists and politicians insist on exploiting embryos?
director of ethics education for the Mayo Graduate School of Medicine.
When Does Personhood Begin?
difference does it make?
By Bob Smietana (Christianity Today)
"...The medical community's concept of personhood varies sharply from the most prevalent Christian views. Bob Scheidt, chair of the Christian Medical Association ethics commission, says the medical profession uses four characteristics to define personhood. All four are related to the function of the neocortex of the brain: rationality, self-awareness, communication/relationship with others, and happiness. Scheidt believes that these functions fall short of a true definition of personhood. Like many ethicists, Scheidt is concerned that personhood is used more often than not to exclude, rather than include people. "When we didn't want to treat blacks as equal," he says, "we defined them as not persons or as three-fifths of a person in the early American Constitution. We define a fetus as a non-person, and then we can do whatever we wish with it..."
No Place to Stand When you're Christian, progressive, and "pro-life," voting your conscience is often easier said than done.
by Heidi Schlumpf (Sojourners Magazine)
"...Having to compromise by voting for a less-than-fully-pro-life candidate may not be ideal for socially conscious Christians, but it is unfortunately the reality in American politics. "In a perfect world, all public officials would be pro-life in the full meaning of that term..."
What to do with those extra embryos.
John F. Kilner
The best resource on this subject: The Center for Bioethics and Human Dignity
With each passing year, we lose the ability to slow and minimize the effects of global warming. This is our Father's world, and it is filled with our brothers and sisters. Christians should make it clear to governments and businesses that we are willing to adapt our lifestyles and support steps toward changes that protect our environment..."
Read Michael Kruse's synopsis of World's article "Greener Than Thou."
From the Evangelical Environmental Network (ENN). EEN is a network of organizations and individuals including World Vision, World Relief, InterVarsity, the International Bible Society, and several leading evangelical leaders.
"...Overnight we have become a part of a one-world economic order. This global boom economy raises issues regarding its impact on workers, sweatshops, and escalating environmental damage, but also a host of new issues that will require imaginative responses..."
Debates for and against global outsourcing have become increasingly strident in recent months, with seemingly no consensus on the impact of this phenomenon on the US economy. Duke University provides several links to illustrate the various positions.
To promote broader dialogue on this issue, they put together a panel that consists of academics, industry representatives and policy makers to unravel the complex dynamics behind global outsourcing. Some of the key questions they address are:
-Is global outsourcing inevitable and irreversible?
-How much scope do policy makers have in supporting US jobs while at the same time promoting innovation?
-Is global outsourcing the only way for corporations to remain competitive?
-Is outsourcing a direct outcome of America's addiction to low prices?
HIV/AIDS A Church-Sized Problem by Tom Correll, Wooddale Church, Eden Prairie, MN
Bono's American Prayer
The world's biggest rock star tours the heartland, talking more openly about his faith as he recruits Christians in the fight against AIDS in Africa. by Cathleen Falsani (Christianity Today)
An Issue that Christians have long sought to address:
from The Values-Driven Voter
Christianity Today’s “Where We Stand” September 2004
A helpful history lesson on why American evangelicals have been uncritical of Israeli politics
by Gary M. Burge, Ph.D.
Professor of New Testament, Wheaton College & Graduate School
Dr. Burge’s publications include The Anointed Community: The Holy Spirit in the Johannine Tradition (Eerdmans, 1987); the translation of John’s Gospel in the New Living Translation; commentaries on the Gospel of John (Zondervan 2000) and John’s letters (Zondervan 1996), and a critically acclaimed study of Biblical theology, modern Israel, the Palestinian Christian church, called Whose Land? Whose Promise? (Pilgrim Press, 2003). He is also the president of Evangelicals for Middle East Understanding, a coalition of pastors and theologians which works to bridge the Arab and American church.
A Middle Way in the Middle East
A third theological path through the Israeli-Palestinian thicket
"...After four years of seminary study, I became even more convinced that God was not finished with Israel and would fulfill all biblical promises and prophecies concerning his chosen people. The Bible all the more firmly buttressed the political sympathies for Israel I had before entering seminary. But seeing current events and recent history through Arab-colored glasses revealed to me that the Palestinians (including many Christians) had suffered serious injustices..."
the Bible says about "Israel" and the things that make for peace.
by Leslie C. Allen and Glen Stassen
Banning Gay Marriage Is Not The Answer
Legal actions aren't loving if they're all we do, says the author of Loving Homosexuals as Jesus Would.
Politics According to Abraham Kuyper
By Irving Hexham (CRUX)
"...Kuyper thus provides Christians with a uniquely Christian vision of the state and society. Unlike other Christian thinkers he does not adopt a conservative or radical stance, but creates his own view, based on scripture, which allows for both continuity arid change in society but which maintains, above all, the Biblical emphasis on justice..."
Mobilizing Christians against poverty
This is a moment in history of unique potential,
when the stated intentions of world leaders
echo something of the mind of the Biblical prophets
and the teachings of Jesus concerning the poor, and
when we have the means to dramatically reduce poverty.
We commit ourselves, as followers of Jesus,
to work together for the holistic transformation of our communities,
to pursue justice, be passionate about kindness and
to walk humbly with God.
We call on international and national decision-makers
of both rich and poor nations, to fulfil their public promise
to achieve the Millennium Development Goals
and so halve absolute global poverty by 2015.
We call on Christians everywhere to be agents of hope
for and with the poor, and to work with others
to hold our national and global leaders accountable
in securing a more just and merciful world.
by Jim Wallis
"...The Republicans look after their wealthy constituents, and the Democrats want to be the champions of the middle class. Neither makes a priority of the needs of the poor..."
Why 11 o'clock Sunday morning is still a mostly segregated hour.
An excerpt from
Divided by Faith.
By Michael O. Emerson and Christian Smith
White Evangelicalism and Racial Issues in America a review of Divided by Faith by Bob Robinson
The Church, Embracing Grace, and Racism A seven-part blog series by Scot McKnight
"Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion; this right includes freedom to change his religion or belief, and freedom, either alone or in community with others and in public or private, to manifest his religion or belief in teaching, practice, worship and observance."
--Article 18, Universal Declaration of Human Rights, The General Assembly of the United Nations
"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof..."
Religious Liberty in Public Life by Charles C. Haynes
An excellent overview of what this amendment means and how it has been interpreted
Developed for Peace Action by the Working Group on Just Peacemaking:
Glen Stassen, Peter Davies and Steven Brion-Meisels (Peace Action National Board)
and Tracy Moavero with contributions by Victoria Cheng and Wally Suphap (Peace Action International Office)
The True History of Why the Bush White House Pursued War in Iraq
By Bob Robinson
"...Only days after 9/11, the PNAC released a letter arguing that "even if evidence does not link Iraq directly to the attack, any strategy aiming at the eradication of terrorism and its sponsors must include a determined effort to remove Saddam Hussein from power in Iraq." The Bush Whitehouse believed it was in the nation’s best interest to invade Iraq and take Saddam Hussein out of power. When 9/11 occurred, they used the new fear of terrorism by blatantly connecting 9/11 with Iraq, giving the American people a reason to fulfill PNAC’s policy in the Middle East..."
by David Cortright (Sojourners, 8-28-2006 )
"...A nonviolent approach should not be confused with appeasement or a defeatist justification of terrorist crimes. The point is not to excuse criminal acts but to learn why they occur and use this knowledge to prevent future attacks. A nonviolent strategy seeks to reduce the appeal of militants’ extremist methods by addressing legitimate grievances and providing channels of political engagement for those who sympathize with the declared political aims..."
Written after the Abu Ghraib Prison Photos Were Released
by Brian McLaren
"...When our leaders speak of liberating others through conquest and occupation, they sound a lot like many powerful leaders of the past who dominated people but called themselves benefactors and liberators..."
Jesus and Retaliatory Violence
How do Christians tread a path that honors Jesus' message?
By David P. Gushee
At this website, you will find a running total of the amount of money spent by the US Government to finance the war in Iraq. This total is based on estimates from Congressional appropriations. You will also find a number of different ways that we could have chosen to use the money.
LEADERS ADOPT LANDMARK DOCUMENT URGING GREATER CIVIC ENGAGEMENT
The Board of Directors of the National Association of Evangelicals unanimously voted at its annual Fall Board Meeting to adopt an historic document on public engagement called For the Health of the Nation: An Evangelical Call to Civic Responsibility. The vote, 42-0, is viewed as a milestone in the movement of evangelicals from the insularity of a revival tent mind-set in the early 20th century to the political activism of the 21st century.