REMEMBER THE MILITARY CHAPLAINS
It's easy to forget the important role chaplains play in the military. I've known several and have always admired their commitment and their willingness to be in the midst of the action where the soldiers are. The Christian Science Monitor this week published this description of the role of a chaplain, and I think it's a good reminder of the wonderful work many of these people do.
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THE TREAT OF REINHOLD NIEBUHR
Yes, it's Halloween, but I wrote about that, sort of, in my column this past Saturday, so I'm going to ignore it today in favor of something much more important -- Reinhold Niebuhr (shown here), one of the Christian theological giants of the 20th Century. (And a Missouri-born lad.)
I especially want to point you to an excellent peace considering Niebuhr and his thoughts in the current 150th anniversary issue of the Atlantic monthly. You won't be able to read the whole piece at the link I've given you unless you're an Atlantic subscriber (as is any literate American). But go buy the magazine. It's worth the few bucks it will cost you.
Niebuhr was an odd combination of characteristics and traits. He was an evangelical, to be sure, but one who was questioning, thoughtful, realistic, careful -- descriptions that can't always be applied to all people who would describe themselves as evangelical.
He was a profound patriot, but one who could see with remarkable clarity the issues that would face the nation as it emerged as a superpower.
And his thinking can -- or at least should -- help guide the United States and its citizens, whether Christian or not, as the country looks toward what the world will look like once, if ever, the Iraq war and the struggle against international terrorism end.
Niebuhr, as you may be aware, is not the only member of his family to have made important theological contributions. But we all would do well to sample his thinking again and let it help us find our way in the 21st Century.
To read my latest Kansas City Star work, click here.
Today's religious holiday: All Hallows Eve (Christianity); Reformation Day (Protestant Christianity)