All posts tagged “Evangelical Environmental Network

comment 0

Repaso: Cuban travel ban; John Stott on worship & witness; religious pluralism & “holy ground”; church as “polis”; public art in a favela

1. Two views on the Cuban travel ban
The Miami Herald recently had dueling op-eds on the topic of the Cuban embargo and travel ban. Miami, as many know, has a large Cuban-American population and this issue, always a contentious one, is only heightened there. Humberto Fontova writes “Why we remain resolute against traveling to Cuba,” while Elissa Vanaver represents the other view in “Cuba: Why we made the trip, and what we saw.” Neither of the writers seem particularly fond of the Castro regime, but have different ideas of how to best respond.

2. John Stott on worship and witness
Q Ideas, in partnership with the Evangelical Environmental Network, published an old sermon by John Stott on worship and witness:

The works of the Lord are to be the subject of our witness. Worship and witness belong together. We cannot possibly worship God—that is, acknowledge his infinite worth— without longing to go out into the world to persuade other people to come and worship him. Worship leads inevitably to witness, but witness leads to worship, too. It is a continuous cycle of worship leading to witness leading to worship and so on. The two cannot be separated. In both worship and witness, the works of the Lord are paramount.

3. Religious pluralism and “holy ground”
Philip Jenkins, who introduced many of us to the shifting center of global Christianity toward the South and East and away from the West, writes for Christian Century on religious pluralism and “holy ground.” It’s not a new issue, of course, but growing religious extremism, coupled with changing religious demographics due to migration, has made it all the more timely. It’s something Miroslav Volf addressed in his book A Public Faith, which I reviewed here.

4. Ken Myers on the church as “polis”
Ken Myers, host of the Mars Hill Audio Journal (which I’m thoroughly enjoying this year thanks to a Christmas gift from my in-laws), wrote a book on faith and culture that’s now being re-released more than 20 years after its original publication. Here’s an excerpt from the introduction:

The Church is not simply in the business of getting individuals saved. The Church’s task is to nurture and shape its members into disciples, who observe everything their Lord—the Lord of heaven and earth—has commanded. Of course, the Church must be eagerly active to bring in new members. But it must deliberately be a body the membership in which makes a difference. It must offer a way of life—a culture—which is distinct from the world’s ways. And it must seek to baptize its new members into Christ and into his body, which means that they must be exhorted to abandon their old memberships and allegiances.

5. Participatory public art in a favela
The polis blog, which I continue to love, has an interview with  Boa Mistura, a group of five Spanish artists who call themselves “graffiti rockers.” They spent some time living with a family in a favela in Sao Paolo, Brazil, saying they “wanted settle in the slum, dissect it, smell it, live it and love it.” They ended up working on a public art installation with neighborhood residents, painting words like “love,” “beauty” and “firmness” in Portuguese in bright colors on walls. It’s fascinating stuff.

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: Boa Mistura via]

comment 0

Repaso: Portland, OR; meaning of Lent; rocking the boat; immigration & biblical justice; creation care & mission; judging faith commitments

Today and tomorrow, Katie and I are at The Justice Conference in Portland. Look for blog updates of some sort, if not over the weekend, then early(ish) next week.

1. The meaning of Lent
I’m grateful that Katie and I are able to observe Lent this year as part of Christchurch Mesa:

The Christian calendar season of Lent originated in the very earliest days of the Church. The ancient church that wrote, collected and canonized the New Testament also observed Lent, actually believing it to be a commandment from the apostles. The season has traditionally served as a preparatory time for Easter, when the faithful rededicated themselves and when converts were instructed in the faith and prepared for baptism. Therefore, Lent has always been a season of soul-searching and repentance – for reflection and taking stock.

2. Rocking the boat
Tom Becker, who lives in Lancaster and heads up The Row House (“nothing is not sacred”), writes for Catapult Magazine on the dangers of being, of all things… nice:

[W]hy should debate be considered taboo? Why are we so uncomfortable with those who rock the boat, even if they are motivated by love?  I’m going out on a limb here, but maybe we Pennsylvania Dutch tend be just plain cowards. Cowardice is a sin of omission I find myself confessing regularly. I create so many missed opportunities to speak truth lovingly. Guilty as charged.

3. Immigration and biblical justice
Tyler Johnson, one of the pastors at Redemption Church here in Phoenix, had a great essay on the issue of immigration “through the eyes of biblical justice” in last week’s Capital Commentary:

[As] Christians we must acknowledge that our current approach to immigration does not honor God or advance justice. We must confess that God’s command to love our neighbors includes loving people who don’t look like we do, who don’t speak English, and who weren’t born in the United States. And we must work together as leaders and citizens to develop a plan that brings together and commits to uphold the biblical mandates to love our neighbor.

4. Chris Wright on creation care
Chris Wright, whose talk on faith in the marketplace I summarized here, was interviewed by Jim Ball at the Evangelical Environmental Network about creation care and how it relates to Wright’s work with the Lausanne Movement:

5. Franklin Graham’s comments on politics and faith
This week Franklin Graham, head of Samaritan’s Purse and son of the world’s most famous evangelist, made some unfortunate comments speculating on the authenticity of various political figures’ identities as Christians. Peter Wehner, who was part of the Bush administration and is co-author of the excellent City of Man: Religion and Politics in a New Era (which I blogged about here), writes wisely:

The problem here is Graham is judging President Obama’s faith commitment based on a political, not a theological, basis. What Graham seems to be arguing is that Obama is a liberal, he’s wrong on “moral issues,” and so a question mark has to be put over the faith of the president, who has spoken in moving terms about his own journey to Christianity.This is dangerous territory for Graham to reside in. For one thing, it sounds as if the Reverend Graham is questioning whether one can be a political liberal and a Christian at the same time. Of course one can be and to suggest otherwise is offensive. (I’m tempted to say some of my closest friends are Christians who are politically liberal.)

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:]