Sunday mornings are still very segregated. The United
Methodist Church is short on strong black congregations.
If we're to find a place for ourselves and survive
as a church that's making a strong witness in the world,
we need to make some changes.
— Tim Tyson, visiting professor of American
Christianity and southern culture, quoted
during a dialogue on race and civil rights on
Dec. 5, 2005, by United Methodist News Service
Bearing Witness as Christians
In an increasingly post-Christendom culture, Christians
in the United States have an opportunity and a responsibility
to recover a robust catechetical approach to baptism
and discipleship. It is an opportunity because many
people are curious about what would be involved in
becoming Christian. And it is a responsibility for us to
bear witness to and with them about the life-transforming,
life-giving character of Christian discipleship.
— Dean L. Gregory Jones commenting on
the need for Christians to put their identity
in Christ before other allegiances in the
Dec. 13, 2005, issue of Christian Century
Church: Academy Tensions
There is always going to be tension if you try to be faithful
both to the church parent that founded you, and the
pursuits of these academic disciplines. Does the church
finally say to the science faculty, 'You can't teach anything
that conflicts with the Book of Genesis?' Or does
the science faculty say, 'We're not going to listen to the
church at all?
— Curtis Freeman, research professor of
theology and director of the Baptist House of
Studies, quoted in a story about the growing
divide between Southern Baptists and historically
Baptist universities, in the Nov. 20, 2005,
issue of The Telegraph of Macon, Ga.
Guilt by Association?
The association of sin and punishment is longstanding.
It goes back more than 6,000 years, all the way back to
Mesopotamia and the earliest recorded history. It's silly
to think that New Orleans is the wickedest city in the
world. So these assumptions are very troublesome.
— James Crenshaw, Robert L. Flowers
professor of Old Testament, commenting on
whether Hurricane Katrina was a divine punishment
of New Orleans in the Oct. 9, 2005,
issue of The News & Observer of Raleigh, N.C.
Christmas on the Sabbath
By staying home, people are buying into a very
individualistic consumer version of what it means to
be a Christian in today's society. And that's too bad.
Something in these Christian communities is missing
if they don't want to be in church on Sunday.
— Stephen Chapman, assistant professor of
the Old Testament, quoted about the decision
of some megachurches to close on Christmas
so families may stay home, in a Dec. 17, 2005
article in the Philadelphia Inquirer
In Praise of Sleep
The unarguable demands that our bodies make for sleep
are a good reminder that we are mere creatures, not the
Creator. For it is God and God alone who 'neither slumbers
nor sleeps.' Of course, the Creator has slept, another
startling reminder of the radical humility he
embraced in becoming incarnate. He took on a body
that, like ours, was finite and contingent and needed
sleep. To push ourselves to go without sleep is, in some
sense, to deny our embodiment, to deny our fragile
incarnations-and perhaps to deny the magnanimous
poverty and self-emptying that went into his Incarnation.
— Lauren Winner, visiting lecturer, commenting
on sleep as a part of faithfulness in the
January/February issue of Christianity Today's Books & Culture magazine