What Churches Need
It’s time denominations stopped pressuring local churches to perform, to succeed, to earn and to deliver, as if they were franchises of some fast food chain, or the spiritual equivalent of health and racquet clubs.
What local churches, their pastors and people need—desperately need—is to be empowered to be faithful, to know who they are, and to live that identity faithfully.
Peter Storey, from his inaugural lecture as the Ruth W. & A. Morris Williams professor of the practice of Christian ministry, Feb. 10, 2004
A Painful Controversy
Liberals who affirm gay ordination as well as traditionalists who oppose it believe they are defending fundamental principles that define the true nature of the church. They are driving deeply into bedrock the boundary markers of what they regard as Christian orthodoxy.
Which is precisely why this controversy is so difficult to resolve … and why its resolution will be so painful.
David C. Steinmetz, Amos Ragan Kearns professor of church history, in his op-ed “Same Issue, Different Church” in the April 4, 2004, News & Observer, Raleigh, N.C.
The practice of inciting a human embryo merely in order to destroy it for our own purposes threatens further to erode our sense that a human person is not simply a tool. …We have the chance to ask anew whether we will accept the deplorable act of treating people as mere things. To draw a hard line here might allow us to affirm fundamentally that all human life is precious and worthy of protection.
Amy Laura Hall, assistant professor of theological ethics, in a Feb. 13, 2004, Duke news tip after South Korean scientists announced they had cloned human embryos for stem-cell research
Which Ten Commandments?
When the commandments are posted in schools, courts or city halls, which translation will appear? …Whoever decides such things will be acting as a quasi-official interpreter of Scripture, determining which Ten Commandments children will learn and whose Ten Commandments society at large will perceive as the standard.
Stephen B. Chapman, assistant professor of Old Testament, in a Feb. 6, 2004, Duke news tip