1. Japan in photos a year later
The Big Picture photo blog has a collection of the iconic photos from the earthquake and tsunami of a year ago, and what those same spots look like today. The water has receded and most of the debris has been cleared, but it’s clear rebuilding will still take time.
2. Best ways to fight poverty
Two or three weeks ago I blogged about Christianity Today’s cover stories on tackling poverty. Not surprisingly, CT’s coverage garnered some debate over what actually works and what doesn’t when it comes to development. Yesterday, CT posted eight follow-up columns, including one by Mark Galli, one of the original writers. Those weighing in include Christian NGO big wigs like Rich Stearns (World Vision US), Peter Greer (HOPE International), Stephan Bauman (World Relief), and Franklin Graham (Samaritan’s Purse). See all the responses here.
3. Coffee culture in Guatemala
A lot of good coffee comes from Guatemala; most people know that. But what is the country’s coffee drinking culture like? James Fredrick writes for Tico Times about how things may be changing — the introduction of Starbucks and other specialty coffee shops mark a significant rise in domestic coffee consumption which could boost standards of living for growers, but the gap between those who can afford a $3.50 cappuccino and those who pick the beans remains vast.
4. Seven reasons to be hopeful about the church
It’s no secret that many these days “love Jesus but not the church.” The church comes with baggage; why not just cultivate a private walk with Jesus and not bother with the seemingly endless messes in the church? Because the church is still the bride of Christ, and Jesus has no plans to part ways with her. Adam Jeske writes for InterVarsity’s blog with seven reasons to be hopeful for the church.
5. Love needs no justification
Skye Jethani points us to John Stott to help us navigate the ongoing evangelism/social justice divide:
Atonement-only advocates demand that advocates of social justice justify their efforts. And justice advocates demand atonement-only advocates justify their emphasis on gospel proclamation. But, using Stott’s logic, if evangelism or social activism is flowing from a heart of love and compassion, than neither must be justified. Love is its own justification. As you engage this issue in your own community, do not get snared by the false dichotomy that declares either evangelism or social justice must be superior. Instead, let’s affirm whatever work God has called us to, whether that be proclaiming reconciliation or demonstrating it, as long as his love is found to be fueling it.
Repaso is intended as a thought-provoking compilation of news and commentary from the past week related to the intersections of faith, development, justice and peace. As always, I welcome your thoughts on any of the links and ideas in this roundup!
[Photo credit: The Big Picture]