Category: World

Advent and lament

The stories don’t stop coming. I woke up Saturday morning and tried to digest the news that a gunman had entered a Planned Parenthood clinic and killed three people, including a police officer who also served as an elder in his church. This was after I followed the news Friday of protests in Chicago in response to the delayed release of police department video showing the shooting and killing of Laquan…  [more]

Mockingjay’s Syrian refugees

Although The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2 brings an otherwise excellent sci-fi franchise to an underwhelming conclusion, one provocative scene particularly resonates this week in the aftermath of recent terrorist attacks in Paris and the subsequent, polarizing conversation surrounding refugees. At this point in the Hunger Games narrative, ambivalent heroine Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence) has snuck…  [more]

Jesus was a refugee

Jesus was a refugee, along with his mother Mary and father Joseph. They fled their native Israel out of fear for their lives. They were able to return some years later, only after the politics of their homeland changed. Sound familiar? It should. It is happening today, and in the same neighborhood that the Holy Family was from. People there again fear for their lives. The vicious and brutal militants of ISIS are…  [more]

Paris, terror and what to say when it all comes down

With 50,000 others I ran the New York City Marathon two weeks ago. We ran through five boroughs and crossed over four bridges. It was challenging, colorful and crowded. From a variety of angles during the race I could see 1 World Trade Center - the Freedom Tower. I saw it from bridges that had a view of the skyline; I saw it glimmering in the sun and poking above other buildings as we ran down Fifth Avenue; I saw it…  [more]

Mourning Jihadi John

In the last year, the world has been assaulted by disturbing ISIS videos depicting the beheading of journalists, beginning with American James Foley. The masked executioner — identified by intelligence agencies as Mohammed Emwazi and often referred to as Jihadi John — struck terror into many hearts and inflamed desire for vengeance, a flame that may very well have been satisfied yesterday. According to…  [more]

The New York Times’ redemptive use of virtual reality

The thick bundle that is the Sunday edition of the New York Times arrived in our driveway as usual last weekend, but this time it had an extra pouch attached. Inside was a Google Cardboard — a small, rectangular, virtual reality viewer. After downloading a video from the Times onto your smartphone and then sliding your phone into a notch on the viewer, you could look through the lenses and watch a 360-degree,…  [more]

Hummus for peace and the beauty of communion

After a series of stabbings and shootings in the Holy Land, I would have guessed that lines along ethnic and religious differences would be drawn sharper than ever. The owner of a restaurant in Tel Aviv, though, has taken a different approach. He advertised 50 percent off for Jewish and Arab patrons who eat together. The Facebook page of the Hummus Bar makes the peacemaking motivation even more clear: “Are you…  [more]

How Christians can lead the way on maternity leave

What does the United States have in common with Papua New Guinea and Suriname, as well as the small island states of Micronesia, Palau, Tonga, Nauru and the Marshall Islands? Out of 185 countries, these are the only ones that do not provide some sort of paid maternity leave. This reality prompted Regan Long’s recent Huffington Post article lamenting the fact that many mothers in the U.S. are forced to return…  [more]

Why Protestants should applaud Pope Francis’ U.S. visit

If the attention he's received over the summer is any indication, then Pope Francis' upcoming visit to the United States is likely to receive a great deal of media scrutiny. Just picture the scene as the supreme pontiff of the Roman Catholic Church heads to the highest halls of political power: the U.S. Congress and the United Nations. The pope's visit provides a good opportunity to reflect on the…  [more]

Why the Syrian refugee crisis must be met with Gospel-sized grace

“In His free grace, God is for man in every respect; He surrounds man from all sides. He is man's Lord who is before him, above him, after him, and thence also with him in history, the locus of man's existence.” Karl Barth What does it mean to be displaced geographically, spiritually and emotionally? This is the question millions of Syrians are facing amidst that country’s devastating…  [more]

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