Friday, March 4, 2016

'When Brothers and Sisters Dwell in Unity ...'


The Main Message of Jesus, According to a Stanford Neurosurgeon
I missed this story last year, when 36-year-old Stanford neurosurgeon Paul Kalanithi, dying of cancer, wrote an article for Stanford Medicine that apparently went viral. That article was part of a book, in which, among other things, Dr. Kalanithi describes his return to Christian faith. One key passage is summarized by David Zahl: "The New Testament says you can never be good enough: goodness is the thing, and you can never live up to it. The main message of Jesus, I believed, is that mercy trumps justice every time."
 
'These Old People Today'
By the time you read this, I will have spoken at John Brown University in Siloam Springs, Arkansas. My theme was the dark side of social technology. I assured the students that I wasn't an old man chastising "these young people today." I didn't for a minute think this was their generation's problem. It turns out, the answer to the question, "Which Generation Is Most Distracted by Their Phones?" is, uh, us boomers.
 
Two Cheers for the Local Church!
We've heard plenty of bad news on the racial justice front, and the sad role of the church regarding racial issues. An article in The Atlantic reminds us that something else is going on that's making a real difference, summarized in the title: "How the Church Helps Black Men Flourish in America."
The conversation about black men often glosses over the fact that most African American men are not poor, out of work, or destined to spend time in prison. Why do some black men flourish while others struggle? One answer is faith.
 
'When Brothers and Sisters Dwell in Unity ...'
On another bad news front—the Israeli-Palestinian conflict—there is also a glimmer of good news. Messianic Jews and Palestinian Christians have been mortal enemies for decades. Messianic Jews see the state of Israel as a sign of God's faithfulness; Palestinian Christians see it as a catastrophe. While Jews believe that Israel needs to maintain control over neighboring territories to secure itself, Palestinians see the occupation as illegal and unjust.

But these two groups of Christians got together recently to say, "At such times it is even more essential that we who affirm our unity in the Messiah must uphold ethical standards of life that are worthy of our calling, in all our attitudes, words, and deeds."

One small step in the Middle East; one giant step for Christian unity.
 
Grace and peace,
 
Mark Galli
Mark Galli
Mark Galli
Editor, Christianity Today

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