Recent Magazine Articles

19 Aug 2014

What would Jesus do?

by David W. Miller | Issue 110

In 1995 David W. Miller shocked his friends in the corporate world when he left a successful career in international finance to study theology. He eventually became an expert on how Christians have tried to relate their Sunday faith to their Monday workplace over the past 150 years. Here are excerpts from Miller’s book and a glimpse into his story. (Our editor’s linking text is in italics.)  

About a hundred years ago, a businessman and a pastor each blew the clarion call for integrating Sunday and Monday. The businessman was interested in...

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19 Aug 2014

About God’s business

by Chris Armstrong | Issue 110

IN 2012 during the live opening ceremony of the London Olympics, before millions of worldwide viewers England’s pastoral island paradise emerged to the wafting strains of British composer Edward Elgar. But suddenly the paradise
was shattered. 

A group of belching smokestacks arose accompanied by violent drumming and harsh music. The Industrial Revolution had arrived. Legions of lock-step laborers under the command of black-coated factory owners overran the green land. TV commentators gleefully quoted poet William Blake, describing how the...

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18 Aug 2014

Doing much good in the world

by Jordan J. Ballor | Issue 110

WE'VE ALL DONE IT: we meet someone new, and we immediately ask, “What do you do?” In return we expect a job title—teacher, accountant, salesperson. In today’s social shorthand, job = vocation = identity. But on the eve of the Reformation, the idea of vocation had a far different significance. 

At the time that the young Martin Luther entered the Augustinian monastery at Erfurt in Germany in 1505, the idea of a specific calling or vocation was largely restricted to religious and churchly endeavors: monks, nuns, priests, bishops. Other jobs...

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18 Aug 2014

Liberating those who work

by David C. Fink | Issue 110

THE NOTION OF CALLING has always been at the very heart of Christian identity. For Jesus’ earliest followers, entering into Christian community meant sharing in a calling that stood in strong tension with other identities (see “Called first to Christ,” pp. 8–12). As Christianity spread throughout the Mediterranean world and became the faith of the empire, however, that tension began to ease. 

When Christianity transformed from an underground, persecuted sect into the Roman Empire’s established religion, monasticism soon emerged as a...

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18 Aug 2014

Duty and delight

by Edwin Woodruff Tait | Issue 110

ENGLISH WRITER William Langland’s thirteenth-century poem Piers Plowman took place in a dream. In that dream, in an episode called the “plowing of the half-acre,” the people of an unnamed kingdom—disillusioned with their society—sought out a mysterious figure named “Piers the Plowman,” who represented true Christianity and the possibility of redeemed humanity. They asked him to lead them in a pilgrimage to Truth.

But Piers responded that they needed to help him plow his half-acre of ground first. He organized them in a way that reflected...

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22 May 2014

Hard pressed but not crushed

by Yabibal Teklu | Issue 109

SINCE AFRICAN CHURCH FATHER Tertullian wrote (c. 200) that “the blood of the saints is the seed of the church,” African Christians have never lived without persecution. Yet in the midst of the suffering, the African church has expanded.  

“i will struggle till the end”

Persecution dogged Christians in Ethiopia since Christianity was first introduced there in the fourth century (see CH 105, Christianity in Early Africa ). In the centuries since, many Christians have been killed, wounded, dislocated, discriminated against, and terrorized...

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