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
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