Abuse: No More Silence: An Interview with Boz Tchividjian of G.R.A.C.E.
“Q. What are some of the most common mistakes churches and Christian organizations make when it comes to preventing child abuse? A. Silence is one of the most common failures of the Christian community in preventing child abuse.”
Arms suppliers: China Edges Out U.K. As World’s Fifth-Largest Arms Supplier
“Made-in-China weapons have moved into the No. 5 slot, displacing U.K.-manufactured arms, but the Asian giant still trails far behind the U.S. and Russia, whose weapons account for 30 percent and 26 percent of the market, respectively, according to a new report released by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute … China’s biggest customer? Pakistan. It made up 55 percent of Beijing’s arms exports between 2008 and 2012, the Institute says.”
Capital punishment, death penalty & justice: The Death Penalty Has a Face: A DA’s Personal Story [required reading]
“… my father was … a Church of Christ preacher so I sat through a lot of funerals as I grew up. … It may seem strange to say but I never really thought much about my feelings regarding the death penalty before I became district attorney. I was raised in a Southern conservative place with small town values by parents who believed in and practiced their Christian faith in every way. I guess support for the death penalty was simply a given.
“During my years as DA I have prosecuted more than thirty murder cases. In seventeen of those cases I was faced with the decision—seek death or offer life. Three times I chose death. It was always difficult, but as I got older and more experienced, I felt the weight of the decision grow. I held the life of another human being in my hands. Of course a twelve-person jury plays a large part in giving the death penalty, but I could stop it. All I had to do was say life, and the prisoner lived. …
“I have heard all the arguments in favor of the death penalty. In fact, I’ve made them all—it saves lives of future potential victims; it gives the loved ones of the victim closure; it’s society’s ultimate response to the most heinous of criminal acts. But, in the end, it simply remains that the state has responded to the taking of a life by taking another. …
“Over the years I have come to believe that the time for the death penalty has passed.”
Iraq War: * Was the Iraq War Worth It? A Christian Reflection for the Tenth Anniversary of the Invasion; * What America Learned in Iraq
* “… the war has devastated the church in that country. While there had been considerable religious freedom under Saddam Hussein, after the invasion suspicion and hostility toward Christians dramatically increased.”
* “The costs of the second Iraq war, which began 10 years ago this week, are staggering: nearly 4,500 Americans killed and more than 30,000 wounded, many grievously; tens of thousands of innocent Iraqis wounded or killed; more than $2 trillion in direct government expenditures; and the significant weakening of the major regional counterweight to Iran and consequent strengthening of that country’s position and ambitions. Great powers rarely make national decisions that explode so quickly and completely in their face. It may seem folly to seek a silver lining among these thunderclouds. But there are three flickers of light that offer some hope that the enormous price was not paid entirely in vain. These coins offer a meager return on our enormous investment, but not collecting them would be an insult to the memory of all that we have lost.”
Non-violence, outreach & preaching: Is Preaching Nonviolence Bad for Evangelism? by Kurt Willems
“Jesus and the Apostles did little in their preaching to soften the cost of discipleship. The price only goes on sale when we promote our own agendas rather than the priorities of the reign of God.”