core Gospel

Billy Graham – Echoes in the Shadows

This was written by Bill C. Davis. Billy Graham has been the most known representative Evangelical for the last half of the twentieth century. No one has emerged in the twenty-first to take his place. This is why in my novel he appeared as THE representative Evangelical. As such, he most represents the tragedy of Evangelicalism and of most conservative Christianity, Catholic or Protestant. The louder Billy proclaimed his trademark "The Bible says!..." the deeper…

Spirituality of Penal Abolition

WN: Ruth Morris, Canadian Quaker who won numerous humanitarian awards, invited me to present this paper at ICOPA IX in 2000. ICOPA stands for: International Conference on Penal Abolition. It was the ninth conference, held in Toronto, where the first such conference, then on "Prison Abolition", was held, also organized by Ruth. The paper was prepared for a book of readings from the conference, one that never happened. Ruth was a dear friend who died…

Paul and Christian Social Responsibility

Paul and Christian Social Responsibility WN: New Testament scholar Chris Marshall first published this piece in 2000. This, read conjointly with Pamela Eisenbaum's previous piece on this site, points to my belief that other than Jesus, Paul was the most radical social reformer the world has ever seen! He was decidedly not: - misogynist - anti-semitic - perverse founder of a new faith called "Christianity" over against Judaism - socially status quo He was quite…

Transformative Justice Vision and Spirituality: M2/W2 Association and The Criminal Justice System

This paper was done in May 2002 for a presentation at a Correctional Service of Canada institution. I do not recall the particular arrangements. An excerpt: Violence is the Ethos of our Times “Violence is the ethos of our times”, begins one writer’s robust assessment of contemporary Western culture (Wink, Engaging the Powers: Discernment and Resistance in a World of Domination, 1992, p. 13). By “violence” is meant the deliberate infliction of harm upon another…

‘In the Middle:’ Biblical Reflections on Restorative Justice

Tom Yoder Neufeld presented this to the Mennonite Central Committee Canada Restorative Justice Network in Winnipeg in 2003. It well deserves a current readership. The second footnote below was a reader compiled by me for MCCC. An excerpt: I have been asked to reflect on Restorative Justice in relation both to ways the Bible supports, undergirds, and nourishes the roots and practices of Restorative Justice, and also ways in which the Bible might subject what…

Cruciform anthropology: an introduction to the thought of René Girard

This was written by Simon J. Taylor, and is so helpful in understanding René Girard. An excerpt: What difference does it make to human society that Jesus was crucified? This is, I think, the fundamental question that René Girard addresses in what he has called ‘the anthropology of the cross’. Girard’s work on anthropology, literature and psychology ends up at the foot of the cross. The cross is, for Girard, the defining moment of human…

A Great Irony of History: The Anthropological Significance of the Cross, and Peace

I wrote this and presented it at the Colloquium on Violence and Religion (COV&R) June 19, 2008. Paul Nuechterlein whom I cited often, as it turns out, was present at the workshop... He has done a wonderful Lectionary of Readings from a Girardian perspective here. An excerpt: In this presentation, I propose a very simple thesis: Violence is The Ultimate Lie, and the Ultimate Contradiction of Truth. The Cross is The Ultimate Truth, and The…

Christianity and the Subversion of Just About Everything!

April 16, 2017 WN: This essay was initially written in the 1980's while I was preparing a sermon on Romans 13. My "aha" moment is that described in the excerpt below. I've never seen this elsewhere in biblical scholarship. Someday a New Testament scholar may tell me it really is not good exegesis. But until then... Though the late Mennonite NT scholar Dr. David Schroeder, who later wrote a Foreword when I published it locally, was…

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