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Columns

  • CHARLTON: Jesus’ message of love in face of war

    For several years I taught a class on St. Augustine’s classic book, the City of God. It is a weighty and sometimes impenetrable tome, and one I continue to struggle to understand. Though not widely read today, it remains one of the most enduring classics in the history of Western society and has, often unbeknownst to us, shaped our thinking in powerful ways.

  • SOUDER: God’s ‘Dream Team’ is an Unlikely Bunch

    Mention the words, “Dream Team,” and different people may think of different things. My first thought takes me back to my college days when three of my best friends and I referred to ourselves by that description. Though we shared many exploits and experiences together that in our minds merited the “Dream Team” designation, our fame was on a pretty localized level, and we didn’t gain much national exposure.

  • Difficult Syria decision will always be about religion

    Should we or should we not intervene? While it looks inevitable that the United States will take some kind of military action against Syria, and may have done so by the time this column is published, the question remains – is military intervention the correct course of action?

  • SOUDER: In sports or life, it’s always good to know the score

    Anyone that knows me very well knows two things about me: I love to play games, and I love to win. I grew up playing all kinds of sports – baseball, football, tennis – but my favorite was always basketball.

    My family also played lots of board games like Monopoly and Life, word games like Scrabble and Boggle and card games like Euchre and Rook. But it didn’t matter what sport or game I was playing, because of my extremely competitive nature, I always did my very best to win.

  • CHARLTON: Biblical interpretations can be similar, different

    I have read with interest the competing points of view offered by Chuck Souder, through his column of June 28 titled “The Founders’ Declaration of ‘In-Dependence,’” and the letter of response by Rich Lane (and upon finishing this column found there were a couple of letters in response to Mr. Lane, which I have yet to read).

  • SOUDER: What will our kids learn in school?

    Early one August morning, a mother went in to wake up her son. “Wake up, son,” she said. “It's the first day of school, and you don’t want to be late.”
    “But, Mom, I don't want to go,” he said.

    “Give me two reasons why you don't want to go,” his mother asked.

     “Well, the kids make fun of me for one, and the teachers don’t like me either!”

    The mother was unconvinced. “That's no reason not to go to school – now get ready!”

  • CHARLTON: Religion can perpetuate labels that can destroy

    If ever there was a social Rorschach test, it is the verdict in the George Zimmerman trial. What do you see in the verdict? Was it a triumph of our legal system, with justice served, or the result of a system so badly broken that it only perpetuates further injustice?

  • SOUDER: Finding ourselves in God’s great story

    I heard that several years ago, when President George H.W. Bush was on the campaign trail, he stopped in to visit some residents in a nursing home. Walking up to an elderly woman in a wheelchair, he tried to begin a conversation.

    “Hello there, Ma’am, what’s your name?”

    “Mary,” she answered.

    “Well, Mary, it’s nice to meet you,” the president said. “Do you know who I am?”

  • CHARLTON: Some questions aren’t seeking answers

    During the course of my ministry, I’ve experienced a lot of church interviews. Some of those interviews have taken place with search committees looking to fill a church staff position, but most of them were instigated by people who wanted to see if I held the “correct” theological opinions.

  • What I did on my summer vacation

    This was supposed to be about my July 4th and a unique opportunity to watch celebratory bombs bursting in air over the harbor area of an American city far older than the Declaration of Independence, which would be Beaufort, S.C., founded circa 1711.

    But given the deluge I left with those of you at home, given all the efforts to produce and ignite fireworks that had to be shelved day after day and finally for more than a week or two, understanding the holiday cabin fever that beset you, that would have seemed a bit self-serving.