The Consistent Life organization reports demonstrations on April 13 at the White House and Planned Parenthood. Bill Samuel reported: “While we were at PP, one woman who had paid for an abortion changed her mind after talking with folks witnessing. PP refused to give her money back. Pat is helping her with that. Then we joined the anti-drone action called by ANSWER at the White House. The crowd there was diverse, with people from countries which have suffered drone strikes. There were no negative reactions directed to us with our message connecting the abortion and drone issues, and several positive ones, both from others witnessing and from tourists.”
For more photos, see Consistent Life’s Facebook page.
With spring semester nearly at an end–and my wife’s comprehensive exams done (and passed!)–it’s time to start blogging again.
For evangelicals, tragedies like the Boston Marathon bombing prompt fervent prayer. For many progressive evangelicals, such tragedies also spark the counterintuitive sensibility of “loving the enemy,” even those who commit senseless violence. Here’s an example of such a call from Red Letter Christians:
Lord have mercy, Christ have mercy on me, a sinner. Lord have mercy, Christ have mercy, on all of us, sinners.
Father, we don’t know who was behind the tragedies in Boston, but we do know that they were human. And we know we are to pray for our enemies.
In Jesus we see humanity’s true identity as ones who are to be agents of life, not death. Jesus, as first of New Creation, invites all humanity to reflect and participate in New Creation.
Despite humanity’s sacred identity, evil often reveals itself through humanity. We must return to what we were created to be. May those behind this event return to who they were created to be.
We pray specifically that those involved in this violence return to their shared humanity as they confront the violence brought on fellow humans as a result of their actions. We pray that we don’t lose ours in the midst of it all.
May we embrace our vocation as peacemakers who are to be agents of restoration and reconciliation rather than divisiveness, enmity and violence.
We pray for a collective grieving that fuels our ability to live with compassion, generosity and wholeness.
We plead for your justice to reign as we announce and promote your Kingdom reign through our words and deeds.
In the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, amen.
Jim Wallis, founder of Sojourners, just released another book (his tenth, I think). I’ll comment more fully on On God’s Side: What Religion Forgets and Politics Hasn’t Learned About Serving the Common Good in due course. In the meantime, here are some videos from the media push over the weekend:
Some recent praise for Moral Minority:
- According to the Library Journal, Moral Minority is a best-selling book this year in the religion category.
- At First Things, John Turner asks Penn Press to “bring it out in paperback so that I can assign it to my students.”
- At Exploring the Study of Religious History, Jonathan Yeager includes Moral Minority in his 64-book “Religious History” bracket.
I’m enjoying doing a little speaking on my research. Last month I gave a faculty colloquium lecture at Bethel College in Indiana. I had a delightful trip and saw many old friends and colleagues. My wife Lisa graduated from Bethel, and of course, we both did graduate school at Notre Dame, which is only a ten minute drive from Bethel. It was great fun to see Tim Erdel, Dave Schmidt, John Haas, Joel Boehner, and many others from ND, Bethel, and our old church. A special thanks to Cris Mihut (of Hotel Possibilia fame) for his wonderful hospitality!
Next month I head to Union College in Barbourville, Ky. I’ll be giving the Willson-Gross Lectures on “The Evangelical Left: Oxymoron or Opportunity” over April 10 and 11. If you’re in the area, come say hello!
Here are a couple of tributes:
And here is an excerpt from Moral Minority describing Church of the Savior:
Church of the Saviour in Washington, D.C., one of the most prominent urban evangelical churches in the United States, also nurtured a strong sense of social justice. Inner piety and prayer, member Elizabeth O’Connor contended, ought to spark an “outer journey” that addresses a multitude of social issues such as “alcoholism, dope addiction, the aged, the blind, the sick, the broken in mind and spirit; there are slums, with all the problems of housing and education; there are nuclear warfare and the problems of automation and leisure.” Church of the Saviour worked with the Welfare Department to restore crumbling homes in the District, befriended youth in the Lily Ponds Housing Development, established a coffee shop and arts center called The Potter’s House, and aided alcoholics and mentally handicapped persons in the Renewal Center. Many members practiced intentional poverty. In the 1960s and 1970s Church of the Saviour became a haven for evangelical government bureaucrats, social service workers, and those otherwise disillusioned with the apolitical tendencies of their tradition. The church mentored several important evangelical moderates and left-wingers—Bob McCan, a former Baptist minister who sought to establish “a polycultural college, which would be a miniature world community”; Jim Wallis, founder of the Post-Americans; Wes Michaelson, an aide to Mark Hatfield and future general secretary of the Reformed Church in America; and Richard Barnet, a leftist historian and State Department bureaucrat in the Kennedy administration. The evangelical left in turn often cited Church of the Saviour as a model of spiritual and social engagement.