Duke Divinity School

Divinity Online Edition - Fall 2006

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Holy Friends

Holy friends are those people who challenge the sins we have come to love-they know us well enough to see the sins that mark our lives. It isn't difficult to find people who will talk with us about sins we already hate. But the sins that we love we tend to hide from others and even from ourselves. This is why we need other people to hold us accountable.

L. Gregory Jones, dean and professor of theology,
in his "Faith Matters" column "Friends"
in the June 27, 2006, issue of The Christian Century


Recognizing Torture

In our current political climate, there is an attempt to make torture so ambiguous that we are not sure we know it when we see it. Therefore it is very important for Christians to say, "We know it when we see it."

Stanley Hauerwas, Gilbert T. Rowe professor of theological ethics,
quoted in "Religious leaders call for end to torture,"
a June 12, 2006, article by United Methodist News Service


Anglican Schism Unlikely?

What is unlikely is that Anglicanism will immediately split in two, though that may ultimately happen. Schism, like divorce, is a lot easier to threaten than to see through to the bitter end. No divorce (and no schism) is pure gain without irreparable loss for both parties.

David Steinmetz, Amos Ragan Kearns professor of the history of Christianity,
in "Staying Anglican-more or less,"
published in the June 25, 2006, edition of The Orlando Sentinel


Crossing Boundaries

If we're altering their mental experience and their sense of . . . the dying process, then we're crossing some boundaries that need to be very highly considered.

Keith Meador, professor of the practice of pastoral theology and medicine,
and director of theology and medicine,
quoted in May 15, 2006, edition of The Boston Globe


Don't be Fooled

The idea has become axiomatic: Jesus sells. This is especially true in books and movies. Don't be fooled, though. The Jesus of the marketplace rarely resembles the Jesus whose teaching and example believers have tried to follow through the ages.

D. Moody Smith, G.W. Ivey professor emeritus of New Testament,
quoted in the June 24, 2006, edition of The Charlotte Observer


Idolatry, not Theology

Randomized, controlled trials of prayer have no theologically sound rationale. The idea that healing would be guaranteed if enough people prayed for it is more idolatry than theology, and such an arrangement would invert the proper relationship of man to God.

Dr. Richard Payne, director of the Duke Institute of Care at the End of Life,
in his op-ed "Doctors, prayer each have role in healing,"
in the May 30, 2006, edition of The Orlando Sentinel


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