Magazine article The Christian Century

Alternative Ways

Magazine article The Christian Century

Alternative Ways

Article excerpt

IN 1997 I TRAVELED to Croatia on behalf of my denomination to visit the Reformed churches and the Evangelical Theological Seminary in Osijek. The shooting war had stopped, but bullet holes marked the facade of the hotel I stayed in. Racial and religious hatred was palpable. We talked with Roman Catholics who blamed the Serbian Orthodox for the violence and with Orthodox who blamed the Catholics and Bosnian Muslims. During my stay Presbyterian mission worker Steven Kurtz drove me across a bridge. As soon as we passed the Croatian checkpoint he removed his clerical collar and shoved it under the front seat. "What are you doing?" I asked. "That collar gets me through the Croatian checkpoint, no questions asked," he said, "but it could get me shot, or detained for a long time, on the other side."

In his book Exclusion and Embrace, Miroslav Volf writes out of his experience of life in Croatia. In the preface, he reports how theologian Jurgen Moltmann once asked him if he could embrace a Chetnik, one of the Serbian fighters who had been burning churches and raping and killing in Volf's native land. Volf answered: "No, I cannot--but as a follower of Christ I think I should be able to."

Volf is one of the few major theologians read by both mainliners and evangelicals. He taught at Fuller Seminary and is now at Yale Divinity School. In this issue (p. 10), he reflects on a verse in 1 Peter, which he says speaks to Christians' relations with non-Christians. Volf insists that the text means what it says: honor everyone, even the one you do not agree with, even the one you believe is utterly wrong. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.