Bible column: Blessing for the bold

Oct 22, 2018 by

Many Christians I know cannot stand Jacob. In technical terms, he’s what’s known as a “grade-A slime ball.” He steals from his brother, lies to his father, tricks his uncle and sleeps with his true...

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Kraybill: Respect for Jews, Palestinians

Sep 24, 2018 by

“At that time the Canaanites were in the land.” With that casual aside, the biblical account of Abraham and Sarah arriving in Canaan states that the territory already was populated. “To your offspring I...

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Bible: Under water, the death that saves

Sep 24, 2018 by

A classmate once told me the biblical story she found most irredeemable was that of Noah and his ark. When Joshua slaughters cities in God’s name, you can always blame Joshua. But who do you blame when God...

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Bible: The ‘party of one’ problem

Sep 17, 2018 by

The first thing “not good” in creation (presumably excepting the snakes) was a human being alone. This should probably not be surprising, from a Christian perspective. After all, humans were made in the...

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Bible: Go ahead, mess with perfection

Aug 27, 2018 by

In the beginning the world was a blank canvas. Then God flipped on the studio lights, stepped up to the easel and threw God’s self headlong into creation. For days, even ages, God worked without rest, lost...

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A moral debate with God

Jul 31, 2018 by

In July 1943, American bombers attacked Hamburg, Germany. The Allies wanted to cripple the Nazi war machine by targeting the city’s factories. Unfortunately, precision bombing was impossible. The only way to...

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The Babel Pentagon

Apr 9, 2018 by

We peacemakers have not been vigilant over the military-industrial complex. The Department of Defense has grown into an unmanageable monster, gulping down enormous amounts of our taxes, often losing account of...

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Bible: Child sacrifice, then and now

Feb 26, 2018 by

Lessons for our spring quarter are titled “Acknowledging God,” a broad theme that includes both familiar and lesser-known texts. The subtitle for our March lessons is “Follow in My Ways,” and includes...

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Bible: Abraham’s stardust children

Sep 25, 2017 by

It would have been a strange thing to do, cutting all those animals in half, if God hadn’t told Abram to do it. But that’s how it goes. Covenants aren’t made in Hebrew, they’re cut (Gen. 15:18; Jer....

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Kehrberg: Eden’s flaws a perfect model

Sep 25, 2017 by

This earth is the garden of our Lord, and he walks in his garden in the cool of the day. — Jean Ritchie, “Now Is the Cool of the Day” In a late-night chat with my daughters, we hit on the topic of sin,...

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Bible: A covenant of moral fruitfulness

Aug 28, 2017 by

Once I interviewed a Pentecostal pastor for a seminary project. He was famous locally for his prison ministry and outreach — as well as for his six-shooter-wearing swagger. In the course of the interview, he...

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Kraybill: Letting the other guy win

Jul 31, 2017 by

With wars festering in many countries, and continuing conflict over land in the West Bank, I pray for political leaders who have the reconciling spirit of Abraham. Shortly after returning to Canaan from Egypt,...

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Truth beyond facts

Apr 24, 2017 by

Recent letters have addressed the Genesis creation stories and the theory of evolution. We need to look at the differences between these two perspectives. One is based on science; the other is a profound and...

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‘Carry my bones’

Mar 13, 2017 by

Anti-Semitic acts in the U.S. have surged in the form of bomb threats against Jewish community centers and the desecration of Jewish cemeteries. Threatening phone calls to Jewish organizations and schools in...

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Science and Genesis

Feb 27, 2017 by

Discussion of the conflict between Genesis 1 and science centers on evolution (“Museum Enshrines One Creationist View,” Book Review, Jan. 16), but the far greater conflict between a literal reading of...

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A truer truth?

Feb 27, 2017 by

John Longhurst’s discussion (“Genesis 1 or 3?,” North of the 49th, Feb. 13) regarding the different perspectives of Genesis 1 and 3 raises the interesting question of why the compilers of the Hebrew...

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Longhurst: Genesis 1 or 3?

Feb 13, 2017 by

Are we on the verge of a spiritual renewal in North America — a renewal that might save our planet? That’s the question that comes to me after reading about the pipeline protest at the Standing Rock Sioux...

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Book review: ‘Righting America at the Creation Museum’

Jan 16, 2017 by

Susan L. Trollinger and Wil­liam Vance Trollinger Jr. describe the Creation Museum as an arsenal for the Christian Right’s culture wars. It’s an apt analogy, but perhaps a better comparison would be a...

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Genesis: real history

Mar 21, 2014 by

Origins is a topic of tremendous importance. Where did the human race come from? How did we get here? Are we the product of an all-powerful God who designed our amazing bodies and souls and created us for a...

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