Tag Archives: reconciliation

Down in the Dirt

By Bethany Benz-Whittington, MDiv ‘15

Luke 10:25-37 25 Just then a lawyer stood up to test Jesus. “Teacher,” he said, “what must I do to inherit eternal life?” 26 He said to him, “What is written in the law? What do you read there?”27 He answered, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength, and with all your mind; and your neighbor as yourself.”28 And he said to him, “You have given the right answer; do this, and you will live.”

29 But wanting to justify himself, he asked Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?” 30 Jesus replied, “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell into the hands of robbers, who stripped him, beat him, and went away, leaving him half dead. 31 Now by chance a priest was going down that road; and when he saw him, he passed by on the other side. 32 So likewise a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. 33 But a Samaritan while traveling came near him; and when he saw him, he was moved with pity. 34 He went to him and bandaged his wounds, having poured oil and wine on them. Then he put him on his own animal, brought him to an inn, and took care of him. 35 The next day he took out two denarii, gave them to the innkeeper, and said, ‘Take care of him; and when I come back, I will repay you whatever more you spend.’ 36 Which of these three, do you think, was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of the robbers?” 37 He said, “The one who showed him mercy.” Jesus said to him, “Go and do likewise.”

This week was another bad week. Another week of violence in our country, and around the world. Black, white, and brown bodies strewn, lifeless, on the streets of Baton Rouge, of the Twin Cities, of Dallas, of Bangladesh and Baghdad and Istanbul.

A range of motives, one outcome.
Continue reading Down in the Dirt

A Model for Loving our Political Enemy

By Jan Edmiston, DMin ‘01

Picture a Bernie Sanders Democrat happily vacationing with a Donald Trump Republican. Can you see it?

There were four kids in my family of origin and we have turned out pretty well, if you ask me. But we have very different ideas about how the world should be run. Although raised by the same parents, two of us – and our spouses – self-identify as “liberals” and two of us – and our spouses – self-identity as “conservatives.”

Among the topics of conversation last week:

  • “Illegal aliens”
  • The heritage of Confederate flag-waving
  • The notion that “pro-life” must include taking care of babies after they’re born
  • The incidence of violence against women on college campuses
  • “Black Lives Matter” versus “All Lives Matter”

Oh, and we watched the Republican debate together last Thursday night. Sounds like fun, doesn’t it? Continue reading A Model for Loving our Political Enemy

PC(USA) Presidents: Affirming the Call for Racial Justice

Recently, The Huffington Post published “An Open Letter to Presidents and Deans of Theological Schools in the United States.” More than thirty African American deans and presidents of Theological Schools signed the letter regarding racial justice issues including Dr. Deborah Flemister Mullen, our Dean of Faculty and Executive Vice President. You may read the letter here.

The Presidents of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) seminaries, including our Interim President Bill Scheu, wrote a response affirming this call “to arise from the embers of silence and speak up and speak out as the prophet of old, ‘let justice run down as waters, and righteousness as a mighty stream’ (Amos 5:24).” Their response is below: Continue reading PC(USA) Presidents: Affirming the Call for Racial Justice

Distinguished Visiting Professor Dr. Syngman Rhee

By Sungyuhn Ham

Click here to read this article in Korean.

Taking hold of the vision and vocation of global leadership development to which Columbia Theological Seminary remains committed, Rev. Dr. Syngman Rhee, the Former Moderator of the PC(USA), has graciously accepted an invitation to join our staff as administrative faculty. His appointment, a first for Columbia Seminary, is as the Distinguished Visiting Professor in the Practice of Global Leadership Development. Dr. Rhee is also serving as Acting Director of Korean American Ministries while Dr. Paul Huh is on sabbatical this fall. This is not only a great honor for Columbia Seminary to have a former moderator, renowned for his ministry of global leadership development on our staff, but especially for our increasingly diverse student body, whom Dr. Rhee seeks to serve as “pastor-teacher-mentor.”

Continue reading Distinguished Visiting Professor Dr. Syngman Rhee

Montreat Conference on Belhar Confession

The Confession of Belhar is a “cry from the heart” that unity, reconciliation, and justice be practiced in Christ’s church. This confession grew out of Apartheid in South Africa. Given recent events in Ferguson, we are mindful of work that needs to be done in our own time in this country as well.

“A Cry from the Heart for Unity, Reconciliation, and Justice: From Belhar to Ferguson” is a one day conference at Montreat Conference Center on Friday, October 17. We will examine the Belhar Confession in depth through four prominent church leaders, historians, and theologians. Allan Boesak, an influential anti-Apartheid activist and a principal author of the Belhar Confession, will start by clarifying Belhar in its original historical context rooted in the opposition to Apartheid in South Africa in the 1980’s. Boesak currently serves as the Desmond Tutu chair of Peace, Global Justice, and Reconciliation Studies at Butler University and Christian Theological Seminary in Indianapolis. Continue reading Montreat Conference on Belhar Confession