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Scandalizing John Howard Yoder

In the years following, some say preceding, the 1972 publication of his monumental The Politics of Jesus, the celebrated Christian ethicist John Howard Yoder emotionally manipulated and sexually violated numerous women.[1] Yoder’s conduct troubles us on multiple levels. Because these behaviors strike us as profoundly dissonant with the ways in which his thought has deeply influenced us, we spent the last year attempting to find out all we could about his actions and to reflect... Read More

A Religion of Losers: Dissenting Voices in Church History

The 1930s debate between Emil Brunner and Karl Barth has come to have iconic status in the history of Christian theology. It has been said that if you understand what’s at stake in that debate over natural theology, then you understand the situation of Christian theology in the first half of the twentieth century. Stanley Hauerwas recounts that when he was being interviewed for his first seminary field placement, he was only asked two questions: Do you have a car? And what side... Read More

Overcoming Lamech: Lament as Antidote to Violence

“I wanted then, as I do now, revenge for what happened. Bring me the head of Osama bin Laden” wrote Washington Post columnist Richard Cohen two years ago. Cohen was in lower Manhattan on 9/11 and isn’t shy about acknowledging his desire for revenge. At the root of his foreign policy, he declares (with complete seriousness), is his desire to grab bin Laden “by the throat and tear out his Adam’s apple.”1 Cohen’s sentiment finds a counterpart in the early pages... Read More

Call to Revival: A Review of Tim Suttle’s An Evangelical Social Gospel?

Tim Suttle. An Evangelical Social Gospel? Finding God’s Story in the Midst of Extremes. Eugene, OR: Cascade Books, 2011. Theological work is like children gathered around a table, playing with blocks—collaboratively erecting certain structures, contemplating them, and then tearing them down to their foundations and starting all over. It is like children working joyfully, modestly, and imaginatively. This playful metaphor is how Tim Suttle opens his book An Evangelical Social... Read More

The Emperor’s New Clothes: A Review of Defending Constantine

The tale of “The Emperor’s New Clothes” turns on the question of how to see the emperor: is he clothed in garments befitting someone of his noble station, or is he parading in nothing more than his birthday suit, exposed as vain and conceited? Likewise, Peter Leithart’s Defending Constantine turns on the question of how to see Emperor Constantine: is he the best thing to happen to Christianity since Christ, or is he a problematic figure who begins a pattern of collusion... Read More

The Singularity of Jesus and the Mission of the Church: An Interview with Nathan R. Kerr

In this interview, Nathan R. Kerr reflects on some of the conversations that have emerged in the last two years since the release of his book Christ, History, and Apocalyptic: The Politics of Christian Mission. In particular, he explores the connections between Christology, the nature and task of theology, and the mission of the church in our contemporary world. These reflections clearly illustrate the challenge that his work poses to contemporary theological discussions... Read More

How (Not) to Change the World

James Davison Hunter. To Change the World: The Irony, Tragedy, and Possibility of Christianity in the Late Modern World. New York, NY: Oxford University Press, 2010. 368 pages. $20.12 hardcover (Amazon). It’s hard to resist the spectacle of the Wachowski brothers’ film Speed Racer. Their visual evocation of a kind of live-action anime hovers and wavers between surrealism and camp. For those of us raised on G-Force, the allure of this aesthetic is palpable yet unexplainable. But... Read More

Just War Is Not Christian Discipleship: A Review of Daniel Bell Jr.’s Just War

Daniel M. Bell Jr., Just War as Christian Discipleship: Recentering the Tradition in the Church rather than the State. Grand Rapids, MI: Brazos Press, 2009. 272 pages. $16.49 paperback (Amazon). Click here or on the image to purchase Just War as Christian Discipleship from Amazon.com and help support The Other Journal. Since the tragic events of September 11, 2001, we have been told by both sides of the partisan fence that we now live in an “age of terrorism.” What... Read More

Between Sojourners and the Simple Way? Rethinking Radical, Evangelical Politics in ’08 with John Howard Yoder

So here we are: The children of the moral majority have finally grown up and moved out of the house. Many of us are now questioning our evangelical subculture’s take on morality and whether being in the majority is something to be desired. We saw that many of our fellow church members got what they wanted when George W. Bush became President in 2000, but are dismayed at the fruit of this victory: a greater disparity between rich and poor, a unilateral war that has cost hundreds... Read More