No Religion is an Island: Thoughts on our Present Situation

Abraham Joshua Heschel

A prophet is one whose vision transcends time. Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel is one of those. I read Heschel this morning. In his essay, “No Religion is an Island,” Rabbi Heschel wrote about the cobeligerance of Biblical religion in the face of “paganism.” Though writing about the Enlightenment’s attack against Biblical fideism it is equally applicable to our present struggles against the inhumanity of radical Islamicism. Here are excerpts from “No Religion is an Island:”

“None of us can do it alone. Both of us must realize that in our age anti-Semitism is anti-Christianity and that anti-Christianity is anti-Semitism.

Indeed, there is a light in the midst of the darkness of this hour. But, alas, most of us have no eyes.

Is Judaism, is Christianity, ready to face the challenge?

Jews must realize that the spokesmen of the Enlightenment who attacked Christianity were no less negative in their attitude toward Judaism.

Our era marks the end of complacency, the end of evasion, the end of self-reliance. Jews and Christians share the perils and the fears; we stand on the brink of the abyss together. Interdependence of political and economic conditions all over the world is a basic fact of our situation. Disorder in a small obsure country in any part of the world evokes anxiety in people all over the world.

Horizons are wider, dangers are greater . . . No religion is an island.”

—Abraham Joshua Heschel, and Susannah Heschel. Moral Grandeur and Spiritual Audacity: Essays. New York: Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 1996.

Present Joy in Future Hope: A Letter on Pastoral Ministry

The Hay Cart, Franz Roubaud (1856-1928).

Dr. D. James Kennedy used to tell me that the pastor must love three things more than all others: God, God’s Word, and God’s People. I believe his admonition of these simple and profound intuitive desires came from a singular passion stirred in the heart of the pastor by God Himself. I believe that these […]

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Jesus the Christ

Dore+Jesus teaching

Our site was hacked by an Algerian-based group claiming to be ISIS. They said that they took over our site in retaliation for the recent, well-publicized publication in Paris. We are thankful that we are back and running. In honor of the resilience of the FBI (who has taken control of the server where this happened) […]

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Cranmer’s Prayer on Epiphany


O GOD, which by the leading of a starre diddest manifest thy onelye begotten sonne to the Gentiles; Mercifully graunt, that we, which know thee now by faith, may after this life have the fruicion of thy glorious Godhead; through Christe our Lorde. — Thomas Cranmer (2 July 1489 – 21 March 1556; Collect for Epiphany, […]

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Who is Jesus? He is “the Son of Man”


Through others’ support of Faith for Living we have been asked to join with Presbyterian Evangelistic Fellowship to produce tracts for the 2015 Super Bowl. This is the first of two tracts made available for that purpose. Perhaps this link could also help you in witnessing to others about our Lord Jesus Christ. Thank you and […]

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A Favorite Poem from Gerard Manley Hopkins in 1918


THE WORLD is charged with the grandeur of God. It will flame out, like shining from shook foil; It gathers to a greatness, like the ooze of oil Crushed. Why do men then now not reck his rod? Generations have trod, have trod, have trod; And all is seared with trade; bleared, smeared with toil; […]

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A Christmas Eve to Remember

President Roosevelt and Prime Minister Churchill, Christmas Eve 1941

Before the “war on Christmas,” or the “war on religious liberty” in America, or the hasty dismantling of nativity scenes at military bases and city halls (while scenes of city workers carrying off plastic Mary, Joseph, Jesus, wise-men, and the sheep, cattle, and donkeys reflect in the moist eyes of tiny tots) and before the […]

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The Gospel of the Cross in the Middle East

A boy sitting at the doorstep and thinking

The Western response to the Islamic State (ISIS) has been criticized as too little, too late. But the power of the Gospel of Jesus Christ is again demonstrated, even in—nay, especially in—such tribulations. And the Lord God Almighty is always right on time. New life and precious hope stir, ever so quietly, beneath the rotting ruin […]

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Writing Theology Papers: Resources for Graduate Students

Wyclif's sermon

I have provided a resource page for our students at the U.S. Army Chaplain Center and School. I share this (a mere collection of the good work of many others) for our civilian students in theological education. My continuing concern is that we help our graduate students (future clergy and scholars) prepare papers with guides […]

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Foyle’s War Returns! Yeah!

Foyle's War photograph

New episodes of Foyle’s War coming and will air in February on PBS! Ah, yes: English Detective Chief Superintendant Christopher Foyle (Michael Kitchen) and his faithful sidekick, “Sam” (Honeysuckle Weeks), a vicar’s daughter, are now fighting crime at the beginning of the Cold War. What a great series! Is there a better dramatic actor than […]

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