Issue 4: Politics

James W. Skillen

Same-Sex "Marriage" is Not a Civil Right

A gay-marriage advocate in Boston explained to a radio reporter that marriage is a civil matter, not a church affair. Those who want church weddings can have them, but marriage is a matter of civil law. And since it is unconstitutional to deny equal civil rights to citizens, it is unconstitutional to deny to homosexual […]

Andrew Forest

The World We Are Creating

“The root of all war is fear.”—Thomas Merton Our third grade classroom is filled with the colors of the rainbow. In it, Latoya’s map of her city of Asbury Park contains deep greens for parks and three shades of blue for the Atlantic, greeting her by way of the wind. She included some brown hues […]

Pam D. H. Cochran

The Family, Evangelicalism, and Civil Society

Shortly after the city of San Francisco began issuing marriage licenses to homosexual couples and within days of President Bush’s announcement proposing a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage, Aaron Brown interviewed Dr. James Dobson, founder and chairman of Focus on the Family, on CNN’s Newsnight. In the interview, Dobson stated his view that allowing gay […]

Peter Sprigg

Why Limiting Marriage to One Man and One Woman Does not Impose a Single Religious Perspective

Many observers of the current debates over homosexual “marriage” assume that the only real reason anyone would oppose it is because of religious convictions—specifically, those informed by the teachings of the Christian Bible on the subjects of marriage and homosexuality. However, enacting such a religious definition of marriage into law is taken by some as […]

Dan Allender

Raping Eve: Reflections on war rape, the political process, and grace

We are entering a season in our country that is full of vengeance, acrimony and truth distortion. It is the political equivalent of rape. It is an ugly and dark side not only of our political process, but far more importantly, our selves. If one needs a clear picture of this, then look no farther […]

Brian Munz

An Interview With Dr. Tony Campolo

The Other Journal (TOJ): I once heard a person say that they didn’t understand how someone could be a Christian and a Democrat at the same time. Do you think the current political divide in the country has hindered the unity in the Church? Tony Campolo (TC): I think the Church has contributed to dividing […]

C Ben Mitchell

Election Year Politics and Stem (Cell) Winding Rhetoric

Not much is new in election year politics. Two candidates emerge from their various party conventions. Stem-winding speeches are given. Rhetorical advantages wax and wane. Issues are discussed, sometimes accurately, sometimes less than accurately, and sometimes bald-faced lies are told. The voting public, bright as they are, can generally cut through the rhetoric to ferret […]

Walter Wink

Homosexuality and the Bible

Sexual issues are tearing our churches apart today as never before. The issue of homosexuality threatens to fracture whole denominations, as the issue of slavery did a hundred and fifty years ago. We naturally turn to the Bible for guidance, and find ourselves mired in interpretative quicksand. Is the Bible able to speak to our […]

Stanley J. Grenz

Homosexuality and the Christian Sex Ethic

In October 1996, Christian leaders from across Canada gathered in Toronto for the gala “World Shapers ’96″ conference sponsored by the Evangelical Fellowship of Canada. While the thousand conferees were putting the final touches on the opening night festivities–singing heartily “Bind Us Together”–members of the Word of Life church in nearby St. Catherines broke the […]

Jeff Keuss

Bring on the Love: U2’s How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb

Over the years that began with War and The Unforgettable Fire and became clarified to laser precision in The Joshua Tree and Achtung Baby – U2 has wrestled with the twinned ‘angels of their better nature’ – (1) lyrically writing and rewriting the ways in which desire will only be fully consummated with our embrace […]

Nate Anderson

The Shins

Are The Shins happy? It’s hard to know, of course, but with two critically acclaimed albums under their belts, they have the right to be. In three years they have shot from anonymity to indie rock stardom with a collection of songs in which happiness is not one of the dominant themes. One gets the […]

Carrie Gordon Earll

Who is my Neighbor? Navigating the Stem Cell War

The 2004 Presidential election may well be remembered as the election determined by voter’s views on two wars: Iraq and stem cell research. While U.S. involvement in Iraq is a deciding factor for some voters in their choice between Democratic candidate John Kerry and Republican incumbent President George W. Bush, the issue of federal funding […]

Kirk Webb

Is Christian Music Christian?

Christian music. What is it? And why is it? Before Keith Green, Amy Grant, and Michael W. Smith, I suppose “Christian music” in the United States would have been black and white Gospel expressions, campfire songs, hymns, and classical music with distinct Christian purpose such as Handel’s Messiah. Beyond those roots, the Christian music industry […]

Dan Buck

Graduating from the Cinematic Kids’ Table

A Menu Did you ever try “grown-up” food when you were a kid? Whether it was caviar, brussel sprouts or even a sip of merlot, your young taste buds were so unprepared for it, you probably hesitated to try that food again, even as an adult. The same can happen with films. If you’re like […]

Dan Buck

Strategies for Watching the Great Films

You enter the theater anxious to get lost in the film you’re about to see. The lights dim, the seats around you fill, and the smell of popcorn on other people’s breath is almost bearable because of the experience you’re going to have. But, of late, the experience has hardly been worth the time or […]

A. M. Nelson

Noah, The Usefulness of Daughters

Noah Genesis 7:11- 9:20 (1) Imagine watching the sun Arise, After weeks and weeks Of rain— Watch it rise Over the fields Of faceless, shifting Water. Your landscape then: The sun’s hot eye Marking trails of fire Across a liquid plain. In dreams you hear The drumming rain Nailing a lid of silence Over the […]

Nicole Chase

Lonely / Sorrow / Therapist / November, 1973

Lonely I’d rather never see a majestic eagle’s flight, Or a spider’s web, kissed with morning dew. Better always blind, than see and lose your sight. Better to imagine, better if you never knew. I’d rather never hear a hyena’s lonely call, Or my friend’s infectious laughter. Better if you never heard a sound at […]

Jennifer Opean

Eve / Creations Sonnet / Logos

Eve Tangled vines Enshrouding breezes Cool with dew drenched berries, The morning’s glory Slipping through The lingering summer stars, To touch the face That every child Forgets upon awakening But longs for In our lonely days The mother who was ours. Golden, scarlet Midnight sun Wellspring of all beauties, She who was And then was […]

Daniel P. Rhodes

An Interview with Stanley Hauerwas

TOJ: In his book, Democracy and Tradition, Jeffrey Stout says that “no theologian has done more to inflame Christian resentment of secular political culture” than you have. What is at stake for you in arguing for the church to come out of its immersion in secular culture? Stanley Hauerwas: Well, the Gospel is what I […]

Philip Hussong

Condition, Part 1

1 Adam Lowe was waking. In truth, he was wrestling to wake. Patches of Gunnison County had seen the risen sun, but for others, anyone west of the Bells, night stayed on a little longer, keeping them in an undecided blue. Adam’s interior body was mimicking the shadow of the valley, with his soul somehow […]

Jason Killingsworth

Top Ten: Fall 2004 CDs

The office I work in resembles a used CD store. A used CD store with several desks scattered about, whole walls obscured by Bob Dylan and Coldplay posters, and decorative ornaments salvaged from the dumpster next door. It’s like a music-lovers bachelor pad, only we still get work done around here. If we didn’t, our […]

Chris Keller

An Interview with Amy Laura Hall

TOJ: North American Evangelicals have heartily embraced reproductive technology in order to have our own biological families. What thoughts do you have on how to educate the evangelical community about the difference between being pro-family and supporting reproductive technology? ALH: One way to educate evangelical Christians about reproductive technology is to consider, historically, how the […]

Leah Seppen Anderson

An Interview with Jean Bethke Elshtain

Just War Against Terror: The Burden of American Power in a Violent World (Basic Books, 2003) is Jean Bethke Elshtain’s response to critics of American military action in Afghanistan and the Bush administration’s War on Terror more generally. Elshtain is the Laura Spelman Rockefeller Professor of Social and Political Ethics at The University of Chicago and has […]

“Citizens for Public Justice” (Toronto ON)

Legal Equality: A Public Justice Response to Discrimination Against Gays and Lesbians

Legal Equality: A public justice response to discrimination against gays and lesbians is an exploration of how Christians, as a people called to justice, mercy, and faithfulness, can respond to the difficult issue of discrimination against gays and lesbians. Drawing extensively on the principles and founding documents of Citizens for Public Justice, “Legal Equality” maps […]

Jim Spiegel

To Fight or Not to Fight: Approaching Gay Marriage in the Public Square

The last year has seen some dramatic cultural shifts in our country. In November of 2003, the Massachusetts state Supreme Judicial Court struck down bans on gay marriage. In February, gay marriage licenses began to be issued in San Francisco, and shortly afterward city officials in several other states followed suit. And in May, the […]