An Elephant in the World Religions Classroom: Parsing a Parable

The Blind Men and the Elephant is a well-known story that reminds us we are all a little bit right and a little bit wrong. But are we equally right and equally wrong? And who is the king who sees that there are blind men and an elephant? There is something suspicious in this parable worth parsing… … More An Elephant in the World Religions Classroom: Parsing a Parable

Chinese-Christian Cross-Cultural Learning in Higher Education

This guest blog by comparative education specialist Ruth Hayhoe shows how the model of Christian liberal arts universities finds affinities and historical integration with Confucian ideals in China, suggesting that some of these integrated Chinese universities–with their commitment to moral formation, community service and global citizenship education, may be an exemplar for other cultures to follow. … More Chinese-Christian Cross-Cultural Learning in Higher Education

Grace in the Play of Role Reversals: Muslim Hospitality to Christians in the West

I was guest at a Muslim Society event in my home town of Guelph, which prompted me to re-consider the notion of hospitality. We usually view the practise from the superior position of the host. But if it is true that worship is a participation in God’s Trinitarian hospitality, we might do well to consider the notion from the role of guest and the spiritual practise of guesting (yes, it’s a word). This is especially relevant in the post-Christian West, and in the context of a polycentric World Christianity. … More Grace in the Play of Role Reversals: Muslim Hospitality to Christians in the West

Jesus Laughed and So Should You

The fact is, most Christian kids are familiar with the verse “Jesus wept.” Why? In some English translations, it’s the shortest verse in the whole Bible. It stands out. What is so beautiful and comforting about this prominence is that it emphasizes the humanity of Jesus. Believers can know God cries for his friends, as his grief comes at the death of his friend Lazarus. But what is so unfortunate and misleading about the prominence of this verse is that there is no equivalent that pops to mind which reveals that Jesus’ humanity also included his laughter. … More Jesus Laughed and So Should You

Post-Christendom Ethics: Evangelism as Immoral, Confessional, Embodied and Beautiful

If sharing Good News can never be a bad thing, how come its such a turn off in North America? Can a professor “evangelize” in his university class if evangelism is understood as a form of persuasion? How does evangelism relate to sex and beauty? Here I review two books on the ethics of evangelism in a post-Christendom world. … More Post-Christendom Ethics: Evangelism as Immoral, Confessional, Embodied and Beautiful

A Quiet Celebration? Global Scholars Canada at 25 (+1) Years

In the West there is a growing assessment of the wider legacy of Christian mission that may subdue any celebration of global missions because it indites missionaries for their part in colonization, enslavement, and the cultural and racial genocide of countless peoples—a terrible legacy that is said to be the direct cause of global geo-political injustice and strife to this day. This narrative is no doubt the dominant narrative about Christianity on our public university campuses across Canada. But there is more to be said here… … More A Quiet Celebration? Global Scholars Canada at 25 (+1) Years

Confessions and a “No Hate” Religion: Lessons on Racism from Jack

This Pentecost, I tell the story of my Jewish neighbour Jack, and how he reminded me that God created this wonderful diversity, but we have this tendency to want to raise ourselves up and put our neighbour down. Racism, prejudice, anti-Semitism, bullying–its personal, its tribal, its systemic, and it can be transnational–but it is exhibit A in terms of evidence for sin as the chronic human problem. … More Confessions and a “No Hate” Religion: Lessons on Racism from Jack

Making Space not Safe, but Good: Learning to Listen Hard so we Don’t Shoot

Over the last few decades the term “safe space” has been used to name a physical space, event or conversation that intends to protect people from attitudes, words, and perspectives that may be perceived as hurtful to someone or offensive to their own convictions. I hear it frequently in my church, but this new “safe” initiative has been most prevalent on public university campuses, and usually pertains to discussions of controversial social issues. This practise needs to stop, for our own safety. … More Making Space not Safe, but Good: Learning to Listen Hard so we Don’t Shoot