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Other Religion-related Posts

If you'd like to read other blogs I've written for The Christian Century's online magazine (theolog.org), feel free to read them at http://theolog.org/2006/01/tom-johnson.html

Blessed Are the Peacemakers

I was teaching an adult class at an area evangelical church recently, when we fell into a discussion (diversion, rabbit trail) about how counter culturally Paul was asking the Thessalonians to live (see especially I Thes. 4:1-12). I was making the point that we Christians in America today may not feel this contradiction on a daily basis the way someone living in Thessalonika would.

Immediately one of the participants spoke up (it’s a very informal class) with “Yes, we do! Why, this very Sunday just up the road from us one of the churches is having a peace thing with Buddhists, and Muslims, and Jews, and God knows who else. What kind of a witness is that? Talk about cultural compromise! [I am paraphrasing.]

“Yes,” I replied, in the interest of full disclosure, “My wife and I are the greeters for it.” After the laughing died down, I tried to outline and illustrate three approaches to interaction with one’s cultural setting [we were getting further from the study of the text all the tim…