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.
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 thepolisblog.org]