Issue 8: Earth to Christians

Matt Jenson

An Apology for Staying

Try as we might to obscure the fact in increasingly subtle and beautiful theologies and liturgies, Evangelicalism is a movement of pietists who, like Wesley, take their bearings from a day when, metaphorically or literally, our hearts were “strangely warmed.” We can map that day spatio-temporally. We can remember a day in church and an […]

Dwight J. Friesen

Asking Evangelical Questions

I wonder whether anyone who asks a question such as this, or anyone who responds to a question like this, isn’t already an evangelical? Historically, to be evangelical was to be characterized not by a specific church tradition or denomination, but by a passion for sharing the story of the good news of the saving […]

Mark Russell

A Robust, Bold Maybe

Do I want to be an Evangelical? My answer is a Resounding Maybe! (Of course, That’s with Nine Qualifying Statements and Depends Somewhat on The Color of Your Terministic Screen) Most people would consider me an evangelical. After growing up in mainline Protestant churches, I made my personal decision to become a Christian while attending […]

Genevieve L. James

Schizophrenic Evangelicalism

Please excuse the schizophrenic nature of this article. The truth is, after the Lausanne Young Leader’s Gathering I could consider myself evangelical …or could I really…? Lausanne’s Younger Leaders Gathering was certainly a charming event, a sensory feast. There were good looking, healthy, zealous young leaders from across the globe in beautiful cultural costumes to look at, […]

Jonathan Chan

Beyond Evangelical Milk

The question of ‘Do I want to be an evangelical?’ is interesting. All of a sudden I seem to have a ‘choice’. I have never thought I have. But do I really have a choice since I was raised up with evangelical milk? I If being evangelical means supporting the war against Iraq, pushing conversion […]

Corey Widmer

Resisting The False Divide

After graduating from college, I moved to London to work as “study assistant” to the Rev. Dr. John Stott, one of the revered founders of the 1974 Lausanne Gathering and an architect of its development into a global movement. At that point in my life, I was not fond of the term “evangelical.” Having grown […]

Allen Yeh

Toward a Fuller Definition of Evangelical

In order to properly address the topic at hand, I believe a fuller definition of some of these key words (especially “evangelical” and “ecumenical”) is needed. Although “evangelical” has already been predefined as the so-called “Bebbington quadrilateral,” the word’s definition is as manifold as the word “liberal.” One way of defining evangelical is the basic […]

Christopher L. Heuertz

Subverting Evangelicalism

What do we mean by “evangelical”? Bishop Mortimer Arias’ work, Announcing the Reign of God: Evangelization and the Subversive Memory of Jesus has heavily influenced how I answer that question. I understand that the term evangelical (which is not an actual biblical term) is loosely derived from the Greek words, euaggelion which is translated as the “Gospel,” and the […]

Chris Keller

Intro: Do I Want To Be An Evangelical?

Last month almost 500 participants from over 110 countries gathered in Malaysia for Lausanne’s Younger Leaders Gathering (YLG). While the primary mission of the conference was somewhat effuse, conference attendees enjoyed networking with Christian believers from all over the world, were challenged with reflections on global missions from plenary speakers, learned about various facets of Christian […]

Emily Leonard


Click here to view an interactive art exhibit of Emily Leonard’s Together.

Scott C. Sammons

Who Killed Progress?

Review: Who Killed the Electric Car? Directed by Chris Paine. Sony Pictures, 2006. 92 minutes. “In the end, the fight for the electric car was a fight for the future.” This all-encompassing statement, given three-quarters of the way through Who Killed the Electric Car?, reveals the heart of the matter, the kernel of the film: the electric car […]

Seth Rash

Wasps and Hostile Takeovers

“If you want anything, you’d better get down there now. By tonight everything will be gone. Leroy’s bringing his boys and a dumpster and they’re going to clean the whole place out.” Three days before my father alerted me to the impending blitzkrieg that would soon descend upon my grandmother’s house, Sandy and Chris (my aunt and […]

Paul Jaussen

Following Žižek to the End, or The Pleasures (and Perils) of Metaphysical Suicide

Review: Žižek! Directed by Astra Taylor. Zeitgeist, 2005. 71 minutes. The Parallax View. By Slavoj Žižek. Cambridge: MIT Press, 2006. 434 pp. Slavoj Žižek should make everyone very, very uncomfortable. The irony of the situation is, he doesn’t. Indeed, Žižek, a large, bearded beast of a man, who talks incessantly, particularly when he is under the eye of […]

Parishioners at Saint Mark's Cathedral

A Liturgy for Earth Day

This liturgy was written by parishioners in the Ecology-Spirituality Group at Saint Mark’s Cathedral in Seattle for Earth Day.

Doug Thorpe

‘All Things Counter, Original, Spare, Strange…’

In a well-known Taoist story, retold from Chuang Tzu by N. Kathleen Hayles in her book Chaos and Order, “Shu (Brief) and Hu (Sudden) go to visit Hun-dun (Chaos), who graciously offers them his hospitality. Observing that Hun-dun lacks the seven openings through which men see, hear, eat, and breathe, Shu and Hu determine to create […]

Becky Crook


The Storyteller sat at the stern, usurped the silent figurehead, addressed expectant oarsmen, spoke words that dropped like cascades through a canyon, like light across a ledge, like the silent sinking of skipping stones; told honest tales of half-deceptions— the easy-forwards, the frictive backstrokes of the drifting way; told of the flowing ebb of changing […]

Paul Willis

Silliman Creek

The way the water glides down open paths of granite into deeps of afternoon, the way it gutters a throaty roar, clearing its mouth of a thousand stones. That is the way we all might go, cutting loose from the tarns of our magnificent placidity and speaking ourselves over the smoothness of the lip where […]

Paul Willis

Extra Innings

From a shaky scaffold rising out of the poison oak, a pair of men are tearing off the back of our redwood baseball stands. Who would have guessed it? Between the boards, row on row of honeycombs, packed in like a visiting team in brown and saffron uniforms. All these years a sweetness building at […]

Paul Willis


It’s true. White mushrooms muscle up through the edges of our new paved road. Blackness crumbles like the crust of tender lava doming in the blasted crater of Mt. St. Helens. So long, asphalt! You are not much, after all.

Janel Curry

Ocean Fisheries, Boundaries and God’s Perichoretic Love

Beginning in the 1980s, policy across the world moved toward systems of developing property rights in ocean fisheries. These changes were made in the context of a global emphasis on market based approaches to resource management and conservation. New Zealand’s rights-based system is an example of this approach. Its Quota Management System (QMS) has two […]

John Totten

Reality Bytes–A Review Of The Lambchop Album Damaged

I have a friend who is vehemently against iPods. The reason for his hatred is not because he is a dedicated fan of vinyl or compact discs. He hates iPods because people walk around listening to them, with the volume turned up, ignoring the world around. He sees iPods as a bridge in the gap […]

Brian J. Walsh, Marianne B. Karsh, Nik Ansell

Trees, Foresty, and the Responsiveness of Creation

Rationalism supposes that nature is an It. The authors — using the tree as an ikon — see all creation as a Thou awaiting subject-to-subject relatedness with humankind. In Crossing the Postmodern Divide, Albert Borgmann contrasts his own version of postmodern realism with the epistemological despair of postmodernity. He claims that the “postmodern theorists have discredited […]

Becky Crook, The Good Foot Performing Arts Company

Hip Hop Artists The Blue Scholars and Good Foot: Voices in the Urban Wilderness

After 12+ years of Sunday school lessons, wondering what this “good news” stuff is all about, in June, I walked into a concert at the Showbox and witnessed what the kingdom of God really looks like. It’s colorful. Surprising. And musically delightful. The soul-piercing message was delivered from the pulpit by unlikely prophets: a Persian-American […]

Becky Crook, Paul J. Willis

Creatures of Place: An Interview with Poet Paul Willis

TOJ: Could you describe what the process of writing a poem is for you? PW: The process feels like a necessary release. Wordsworth’s way of describing a poem as a “spontaneous overflow” gets it right. Of course, revision must follow—and often, lots of it. Then comes the determination of whether the poem is any good, […]

Jim Churchill-Dicks


This lapsed Catholic, lapsed Oregon native, is sometimes hungry for the ground. I pad my hand into the ashes of an old growth pine to paint a cross upon my forehead. Soft in my hand, a silken powder, there is dignity in the aroma of what these trees have become. Beside my hand print, I […]

Kate O Sullivan, Yasuko Shimisu

Liturgy for a Wounded Earth: Presenting A Japanese Oral Tradition

Opening narration: (This story is read to a background of a drum beating at heartbeat rate and to Tibetan cymbals clashing at moments of crisis) Once upon a time, there lived a man alone in a snowy cottage in the forests. He was an honest and kind man. One snowy day he saw a crane […]

Andrea Buffa

A Fair Cup of Coffee

Christmas Eve morning millions in the United States started their days thinking about last minute shopping or travel plans over cups of coffee. Segundo Membreño, a fair trade-certified farmer in Los Piños, Nicaragua, also had coffee on his mind. He was to begin harvesting his coffee that day. His extended family would be arriving at […]

Daniel M. Bell Jr.

Jesus, Justice, and Us

The following lecture was given at the The Other Journal fundraising dinner on April 6th, 2006 in Seattle, WA. Introduction: The Problem of Justice I have been asked to speak tonight to what I take to be a significant part of The Other Journal’s (TOJ) mission: the Christian commitment to seeking justice for our neighbors. More specifically, […]

John Hart

Creation Consciousness, Commons Commitments

Creation is sacred space. It is born continually from divine vision, and fashioned by the creative power of the Spirit exercised directly or indirectly, through divine action in the present or as a result of divine action in the past. Creation is sacred because the transcendent-immanent Spirit dwells in it, and experiences material reality and […]

Aaron Ducat

Jonathan Safran Foer Gets Loud and Close

Review. Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close. By Jonathan Safran Foer. Mariner Books, 2005. 368 pp. Extremely loud was the sound of the reception given to Jonathan Safran Foer when he illuminated everything in 2002. And it wasn’t just arcane literati crying out from the pages of obscure journals: 250,000 plus copies of Foer’s first novel were […]

Paul Willis

Bearpaw Meadow

Incense cedar, elderberry, scattered chapels of white fir. Cones stand up like paper squirrels on the branches, waxing resinous in sun light of the year yet lingering with warmth in plenty, here, now, an afternoon in folded grass and browning nests of bracken under broken granite, lucid sky. Stillness after ache and heave of summer, […]

Logan Gee

The Inconvenient Truth About Al Gore

The former Vice President’s movie may inspire viewers, but fails to empower its fallen star, or to offer any new ideas Review: An Inconvenient Truth. Directed by Davis Guggenheim. Paramount, 2006. 100 minutes.   This summer’s release of An Inconvenient Truth—a surprisingly entertaining documentary about the looming specter of global warming—shows not only the perils of global […]

Sallie McFague

Imaging God and “Another World”

“We wake, if we wake at all, to mystery, rumors of death, beauty, violence….’Seem like we’re just set down here,’ a woman said to me recently, ‘and don’t nobody know why’…. Some unwonted, taught pride diverts us from our original intent, which is to explore the neighborhood, view the landscape, to discover where it is that we […]

Stephen H. Webb

Theology from the Pet Side Up: A Christian Agenda for NOT Saving the World

I have a confession to make: I’m not all that interested in environmentalism, and though I’ve written two books on why Christians should be more compassionate toward animals, I’m not all that enthusiastic about saving animals, either. I am interested in Augustine’s insights into the unfathomable depths of original sin; so let me also confess that the […]

Aaron Ducat

Factotum as the Mourning After

Review: Factotum. Directed by Brett Hamer. IFC Films, 2005. 94 minutes. As far as synopsizing a movie’s plot, Factotum, the new film based upon the Charles Bukowski novel of the same name, makes for an easy task. The film opens in a situation that seems all too familiar for Henry Chinaski, the protagonist and the real Bukowski’s […]

Chris Keller

The Ecology of Avoidance: An Interview with Bill McKibben

Bill McKibben’s credentials are incontrovertible. He is the author of numerous books, including the best-seller, The End of Nature (1989), the first book on global warming written for a popular audience. His articles have appeared in such diverse publications as Christian Century, The New Yorker, National Geographic, Sojourners, Atlantic Monthly, and National Review. A graduate from Harvard University, he has been awarded a number […]

Chris Keller, Josh Golden

Half-handed Cloud, Exploring What it Means to be Truly Human: An Interview with John Ringhofer

Half-handed Cloud is an interesting phenomenon. John Ringhofer, the man behind the namesake, is as joyful and frugal as his music. An economical thinker, Ringhofer prefers the subway over a taxicab, is a recycler of plastic, a compulsive note-taker, and a habitual optimist. He doodles in the margins of National Geographic magazines, carries several different […]

Josh Golden

Reaching Beyond the Garden State: An Interview with Daniel Smith and Chris Palladino of Danielson

Danielson has been a busy band this year. Their most recent album, Ships, is considered by many to be their best to date and, now between North American and European tours, they just finished shooting their first video for the Ships titled, “Did I Step On Your Trumpet?” The critical acclaim Ships has received is particularly notable against the backdrop of positive […]

D. Brent Laytham

“So As Not to Be Estranged”: Creation Spirituality and Wendell Berry

“How must we live and work so as not to be estranged from God’s presence in His work and in all His creatures?”[1] This question, posed by Wendell Berry in his recent essay The Burden of the Gospels, provides an appropriate beginning for this brief foray into Berry’s thought. It assumes what I will assume here, that creation […]

John Totten

An Interview With Bill Callahan Of Smog

Usually, I have no problem writing about music. With the majority of artists or albums, the bigger picture, or lack of bigger picture, is well within the grasp of my vocabulary. I can articulate why most musicians are less or more important than they appear to be. Typically, this means understanding such things as where […]

Larry Rasmussen

Economy, Equity, Ecology: ‘Green’ Discipleship

“True compassion is more than flinging a coin to a beggar. [True compassion] comes to see that an edifice which produces beggars needs restructuring.” That statement is from Martin Luther King’s “A Time to Break Silence,” a renowned address given at the Riverside Church, New York City, on April 4, 1967. I will use it […]

Michael Del Ponte

How Green is Your Sanctuary?

The first time I visited Yale Divinity School was in 2005, on Earth Day. Chapel was filled with the language of creation. As we proceeded into the quad to enjoy the beautiful spring day, the songs, sermon and even silence seemed to be filled with environmental images. This theme of eco-awareness was palpable, like the […]

Bill Fishbein

Coffee Kids: Grounds for Hope

Introduction to Coffee Coffee was discovered some five hundred years ago, right about the time of the Age of Enlightenment. I have never doubted the relationship between the two. Once discovered, coffee was shrouded in mystery. Despite heavy guard and heavier penalties, precious seeds were smuggled from nation to nation. When English Tea was dumped […]

Andy Meyer

Thomas Princen’s The Logic of Sufficiency: A Sapling in a Landfill

Review: The Logic of Sufficiency. By Thomas Princen. Cambridge: MIT Press, 2005. 401 pp. As the air and water of modernity become murkier and murkier by the rush-hour of globalization, it is becoming clearer and clearer that contemporary society in the West has lost (or violently destroyed) its own sense of what is enough. Narratives of […]

Aimee Moiso

Put Your Money Where Your Faith Is: under the

Sandwiched somewhere between the Lord’s Prayer and the closing hymn comes the Sunday morning offering—a staple of Presbyterian worship. The organ plays or the choir sings while faithful churchgoers pass plates, baskets or bowls row by row, offering back a portion of God’s gracious gifts. The money received keeps the bulletins printed, the heat on, […]