Recent Magazine Articles

26 Aug 2016

The heavens declare the glory of God

by Glenn E. Myers | Issue 119

Greek monasteryPSALM 19 PROCLAIMS, “The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands. Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they display knowledge” (Psalm 19:1–2). Since the beginning of the church, Christians have affirmed this insight and joined together with the creation pictured in Psalm 19 to worship God. 

Many of those vibrant believers were monks and nuns who set their lives apart for prayer and memorizing Scripture; but these monastic Christians also tended the garden of creation where the Lord had...

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26 Aug 2016

Cosmic worship, sanctified matter, transfigured vision

by Kathleen A. Mulhern | Issue 119

John of Damascus“GRACE IS EVERYWHERE.”

So testified the dying priest in Georges Bernanos’s The Diary of a Country Priest (1936), a gritty, tragic tale of an ordinary man’s journey to God. Though deprived of the church’s final sacrament, the priest had no concerns, for he found it all around him in the “light and dazzling beauty” of common roads and kicked-up dust. 

Freed slave Sojourner Truth (c. 1797–1883) also saw something extraordinary in the ordinary, writing, “’Twas God all around me. … An’ then the whole world grew bright, an’ the trees they waved...

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26 Aug 2016

Reading the “book of nature”

by Edward B. Davis | Issue 119

boyleWHEN CHARLES DARWIN left England to circumnavigate the world in 1831, he didn’t come across a single scientist. The word “scientist” was not coined until two years later; so many people were doing scientific work in so many different fields that the need arose for a single word by which to refer to all of them collectively. 

when scientists talk God

Prior to that time, the closest equivalent to “scientist” was “philosopher,” and the general enterprise of studying nature was often called “natural philosophy.” It’s no accident that the first...

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26 Aug 2016

“Our garden must be God’s garden”

by Charles E. Moore | Issue 119

arnoldsIN JUNE OF 1920, Eberhard Arnold (1883–1935); his wife, Emmy (1884–1980) [the pair shown at the left]; and their five children moved from Berlin to the German village of Sannerz. Their new temporary home: a shed behind the village inn. Their goal: to put into practice the teachings of Jesus in the spirit of the first Christians in the book of Acts. Their vision: a community of goods and work, with an open door, as an embassy of God’s coming kingdom.  

the way of peace

What compelled the Arnolds to leave their comfortable home, and...

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19 May 2016

A motley, fiery crew

by David C. Steinmetz and Edwin Woodruff Tait | Issue 118

Martin BucerMARTIN BUCER (1491–1551)

Next to Luther and Melancthon, Bucer was the most important leader of Protestantism in Germany, and in his own time one of the most influential religious figures on the continent. He was instrumental in bringing Luther and Zwingli together for their fateful confrontation at Marburg, a leader in colloquies between Protestants and Roman Catholics, and generally spoke for moderate Protestants in Europe, who sought ecumenical solutions in a time of confessional conflict.

Though his father was only a poor cobbler, Bucer...

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19 May 2016

The accidental revolution

by Melinda S. Zook | Issue 118

Elizabeth of EnglandBY 1530 in England, King Henry VIII (1491–1547) began to put aside the people and beliefs he had formerly trusted. His queen, Catherine of Aragon (1485–1536), was his first target, now in her forties and unable to produce the son he so desperately wanted to secure his dynasty; Henry banished her from court. 

Cardinal Thomas Wolsey (1473–1530), his chancellor, a powerful prince of the church on whose shoulders the king had once placed all political and diplomatic affairs, was dismissed from public office and charged with treason. Wolsey...

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