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News from the Field

Learn from people on the forefront of justice work. Find out more about global and local injustices, the work being done to combat them, and the restored relationships that result.

Religious Persecution...in Israel?

Israel is widely touted as the “only democracy in the Middle East.” Other Middle Eastern countries have governmental structures ranging from absolute dictatorship to one party systems where, although the population has the right to vote, only one view is permissible. Israel, however, has a multi-party system with electoral representation, a judiciary and an executive body. At a glance, it appears that the system is similar to that of the United States. Consequently, many people assume that religious freedom, a democratic value, is a given in Israel.

History in the Making: The Tearing Apart of Jerusalem

From the very first mention in the Scriptures Salem, the city of peace, was known for its hospitality under the leadership of the high priest and king, Melchizedek (Gen. 14:18-20). Salem is believed to be the historical precursor to the modern day Holy City of Jerusalem. Known in Hebrew as Yerushalayim and in Arabic as al-Quds, Jerusalem’s multi-religious landscape includes the sacred sites of the three major Abrahamic religions–Judaism, Christianity, and Islam.

Were You There?

Were you there when a Starbucks manager called the police on Rashon Nelson and Donte Robinson less than two minutes after they arrived for a routine meeting with a business partner?

Finding My Place in Reconciliation

Ever since starting to study at Redeemer, I’ve become more familiar with the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Calls to Action, and Canada’s history in the treatment of Indigenous people. Thanks to classes with William Postma and Naaman Wood, I’ve wanted to join the effort of reconciliation with Indigenous communities, but I didn’t really know what the process of reconciliation looked like practically. Maybe you’ve felt the same way.

Muslim Headscarves: A Reformed Reflection

Houston has a large and growing Muslim population. My little suburban corner of the city is no exception. Recently I was shopping in my local grocery store and no less than five Muslim women walked past me wearing headscarves.

As we stood together studying the stunning variety of breakfast cereals I had to admit, I felt a little jealous. As a Reformed pastor and theologian I don’t get a uniform. No hat. No collar. Nothing.

Beyond Budget Gimmicks—A Check-up on Canada’s Heart

There’s a strange little Canadian tradition on budget day: the finance minister’s new shoes. No one seems to know where it comes from, but it’s become a gimmicky little tradition—a minister might wear green shoes when emphasizing care for the environment, or even, like Stockwell Day as Alberta Treasurer, a pair of inline skates.

Beyond the gimmicks and social media posturing, what’s the substance of this budget? Budgets are moral documents about the priorities of our country—what does this budget really say?

Indigenous Land Rights are Under Threat (Again)

Though born and raised in West Michigan, my career over the past six years has taken me to remote areas throughout Southeast Asia. In Cambodia and Myanmar I have seen firsthand how government corruption, especially related to deals to extract valuable natural resources, falls hardest on the poorest and most vulnerable communities.

Rest and Resistance

Rest can be an act of defiance against our culture of consumption, disconnection, and manufactured dissatisfaction. The idols of individualism, consumption, and achievement tell us: buy more! Be more! Do it all! They are unrelenting masters.

But the God who calls us to seek justice, the God who walks with us through the valley of the shadow of death, also makes us lie down in green pastures. The God who calls us is good.

How Can We Recognize Good Biblical Interpretation?

Interpreting Scripture can be messy. But I’ve become almost certain of at least two things: Scripture can be twisted and abused to justify hateful and unholy ends; and a good interpretation of Scripture builds up the twin loves of God and neighbor.

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Sustainability: A Modern Term, An Ancient Concept

“Sustainability” might be a modern term, but it’s an ancient value. Parents were reminding children to turn out the lights generations before Al Gore’s Inconvenient Truth. Elders have long taught youth not to take more than is needed, to live in harmony with one’s surroundings, to protect the soil from wind and water erosion, and to protect creatures so they can continue to reproduce.

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