Archive for September 2011

A Christian Nation?

While an increasing number of USAmerican Christians would be comfortable with the notion of calling the US a “Christian nation” – primarily because of the separation of church and state, and the relative lack of Christian morality at work in the culture – we are known around the world as just that.  In conservative evangelical Christian circles, there is a lot made of patriotism blended with religious practice. And “we” (not unlike other “Christian” nations around the world) blend our nationalism in such a way that assumes that we hold a special status with God. People think that because our forefathers were mostly Christian, and prepared our founding documents with God in mind, we should hold a “most favored nation” position before God.* With that in mind, it’s been extremely interesting to spend time in Ethiopia, home of the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahido Church (EOTC). (The photo for this post is […]

The Challenge of Africa

For the past several days, I have had the privilege of joining a group of students studying leadership in global perspectives.  They come from a variety of backgrounds – both nationally and vocationally. It’s been a wonderful experience thus far, and one that has challenged our comfort levels, our categories of understanding, and how we interact with our home contexts. So far, our time has been in Nairobi, Kenya, but we’ll be heading to Ethiopia soon. One of the things we’ve done is spend time in a slum called Mathare. It’s not the biggest slum in Nairobi, but it is home to about 800,000 people. I’ve had previous experiences in slums here in Nairobi, in Dominican Republic, and in India (including the one on display in Slumdog Millionaire), so I was somewhat prepared for what I’d see. It’s pretty jarring, though – seeing children with little or no clothing, running […]