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More Than Genes

Humans may not be reduced to their genes. Indeed, not even the body may be reduced to genes. Persons and bodies have histories, not just genetic fates. And Christian spirituality is formed and informed by a particular history and community, not simply “hardwired” by cytosine in the VMAT2 gene.

Allen Verhey , professor of Christian ethics, in an opinion piece in the December 2004 issue of Science & Theology News after the supposed discovery of a genetic predisposition in humans for belief in God

In Praise of Ambiguities

Martin Luther King Jr. did not preach by committee and spoke eloquently and moved the hearts of millions of people. What is lost [when sermons are crafted by committee] is the complexity and the richness of the biblical message. The Bible portrays people who are struggling with the ambiguities of the faith.

Richard Lischer , James T. and Alice Mead Cleland professor of preaching, quoted in a story about the trend of crafting sermons by committee in the Dec. 5, 2004, edition of The Washington Post

Retro America?

Democrats like to regard themselves as more cosmopolitan than Republicans. But they have been woefully unsophisticated in their analysis of evangelicals, whom they tend to paint in monochromatic hues. Evangelicals seem to them to belong to an alien “retro” America, whose values they do not share.

David Steinmetz , Amos Ragan Kearns professor of the history of Christianity, in a Nov. 23, 2004, op-ed in The Orlando Sentinel following the U.S. presidential election

Coming Clean

Before making important choices, Christians admit their own fallibility and impure motives. Coming clean about our proclivity to vote narrow self-interest and dogmatic prejudices will clear our vision and purify our motivation. Then we will be more prepared to cast our vote in pursuit of God’s interest in compassion, justice and peace.

Kenneth Carder , professor of the practice of pastoral formation and director of the Center for Excellence in Ministry, in his Oct. 19 commentary “What’s a Christian to do in the election?” for United Methodist News Service

Giving Pause

[I]t is . . . very clear that the politics of the church are simply a mirror image of the politics in secular society. The politics of the church and the world fit hand in glove. That is something that should give all Christians pause.

Curtis Freeman , research professor of theology and Baptist studies, responding in a Duke News Tip to a United Church of Christ TV ad that two broadcast networks refused to air.


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