Humanitarian Jesus

There are few issues of theology that confuse me more than issues related to social justice. Those who advocate Christian humanitarianism, those who tell Christians that they are responsible before God to fight injustice, to feed the hungry, to free the oppressed, are able to provide a compelling case and they are able to tap into a deep vein of guilt. It is difficult to hear of poor and hungry children and not feel that the primary mission of Christians …

The New Shape of World Christianity

Those of us who are Western Christians continue to hear reports that the church is migrating to the south and to the east–that as our nations increasingly turn their collective backs on God, God begins fresh work in other parts of the world. Says Mark Noll in his new book The New Shape of World Christianity, “It is as if the globe had been turned upside down and sideways. A few short decades ago, Christian believers were concentrated in the …

Three Cups of Tea

I eventually gave in to the pressure. I had seen Three Cups of Tea on the shelves of airport bookstores, in the hands of friends and on countless bestseller lists. I thought it was only right that, if so many people were reading it, I should read it too. And so, while browsing through one of those airport bookstores and searching for some early-morning easy reading, I finally picked it up. Three Cups of Tea tells stories from the life …

Book Review – Moment of Truth in Iraq

Michael Yon has logged more time in combat situations in Iraq than any other reporter, and this despite twice being removed from Iraq for his critical statements about the U.S. military leadership. Remarkably, he has spent his time in Iraq largely as an independent reporter and blogger rather than an associate of a massive media network. As such, he offers a unique voice—one that is vastly different from what we are accustomed to hearing on CNN or reading in the …

Book Review – The Bishop of Rwanda

The country of Rwanda has seen some of the worst violence and bloodshed the world has witnessed this side of the Holocaust. If ever a nation has been in need of God’s grace and favor, this is it. In 1994 the nation was devastated by a genocidal civil war that pitted the Hutus against the Tutsis. In just 100 days during April to July of that year, over one million people were killed, the vast majority of them Tutsis. There …

Book Review – A Long Way Gone

 A Long Way Gone begins this way: My high school friends have begun to suspect I haven’t told them the full story of my life. “Why did you leave Sierra Leone?” “Because there is a war.” “Did you witness some of the fighting?” “Everyone in the country did.” “You mean, you saw people running around with guns and shooting each other?” “Yes, all the time.” “Cool.” I smile a little. “You should tell us about it sometime.” “Yes, sometime.” In …

Book Review – America Alone

Mark Steyn is a brave guy. It takes a certain kind of bravado to write a book criticizing Islam. Just a few days ago I heard an author mention a book he has written dealing with Islam, but suggested that it will only be released posthumously. Other books on the subject have been released anonymously. This is a topic many people are concerned about but which they are afraid to address. Not so, it seems, for Mark Steyn. Bemoaning the …

P.I.G. to Global Warming

“There are ominous signs that the Earth’s weather patterns have begun to change dramatically and that these changes may portend a drastic decline in food production–with serious political implications for just about every nation on earth. The drop in food production could begin quite soon. … The evidence in support of these predictions has now begun to accumulate so massively that meteorologists are hard-pressed to keep up with it.” The story is from Newsweek. The year was 1975 and the …

Book Review – The World is Flat

Thomas Friedman’s The World is Flat: A Brief History of the Twenty-First Century is a book I feel quite unequipped to review. And, indeed, it has been very widely reviewed by people far more qualified than I. The reviews, which I turned to only after I had finished reading the book, are mixed. Some people feel this book is groundbreaking while others feel it rehashes old arguments simply set in a new context. It seems that the more knowledgeable the …

The Politics of Disaster

Hurricane Katrina was a national disaster that was played out on an international stage. In this age of instant and graphic communication where there is an increasingly thin line between news and entertainment, the whole world watched while the hurricane bore down on New Orleans and the Gulf Coast. The world watched with sick fascination as pictures of death and devastation flashed across their television screens. Untold millions watched as the New Orleans levies let go, inundating the city with …