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Author Richard Wilson

Richard Wilson is the Columbus Roberts professor of theology and chair of the Columbus Roberts Department of Religion in the college of liberal arts at Mercer University in Macon, Georgia.

I watched and listened as a visiting missionary stood in front of more than 100 Liberian pastors during a question-and-answer session at the end of a three-day conference for rural pastors at Ricks Institute in Liberia. After a series of questions about the sessions’ content, a pastor asked about an issue that had not been […] Read More

I had the luxury of passing through Duala, Liberia, on a recent trip, but as a passenger instead of as the driver. Usually I am at the wheel with 12 to 15 passengers on the way to an appointment in Monrovia, Liberia’s capital city, or by myself making a grocery run. As a driver, I […] Read More

When the author of the Gospel of Matthew gathered up the implications of the resurrection of Jesus, he created a multimedia mosaic of sight and sound (see Matthew 28:16-20). The implied panoramic view from an unnamed mountain in Galilee challenges the depth-of-field capacity of careful readers. Horizons from mountaintops recede to a vanishing point, but […] Read More

Can Jews, Christians and Muslims coexist? Yes. Imagine a man who, as a child, lived next to a synagogue in the West Indies and attended a Dutch Reformed church. Imagine, further, the same man as a young adult who arrived in Liberia under the auspices of the New York Colonization Society and, with funding from […] Read More

Soon after I arrived in Liberia at Ricks Institute for the first time in February 2007, I learned “small, small.” The lesson still evokes my emotion. When I arrived, the wars were fresh memories and evidence of the conflict was ubiquitous. The road from the airport through Monrovia over Bushrod Island and on to Ricks […] Read More

Last week Barack Obama did two remarkable things. First he risked speaking directly to the reality of racism in America and American history. Obama framed his remarks with his signature phrase of “the audacity of hope.” He claimed that his populist candidacy for the presidency is proof that audacious hope has a place in today’s […] Read More

Easter Shadows

Our Lenten journey is over. Our pilgrimage of faith merely has reached a resting place. Season by season–Advent, Epiphany, Lent, Easter–we move through many journeys. Taken together they define our pilgrimage of faith. Each Sunday we celebrate the hope of Easter, gathering in the morning of the first day of the week to recall how […] Read More

Discipleship is about more than following a leader, even if that leader is Jesus as he enters the wilderness or sets his face toward Jerusalem. Walking through Lent is about more than a ritual stroll in springtime, even if that stroll has Easter celebration as its destination. Discipleship and walking through Lent should set our […] Read More

Lent rarely evokes images of extravagance. Lent conjures up images of austerity. The challenge of Lent is to make an arduous journey of the spirit in hopes that the journey will change the mundane parts of our lives, too. Lent is not–or should not be–a time for spiritual self-indulgence where observers congratulate themselves for sacrifices. […] Read More

A Glimpse of the End

Long journeys repeated time and again develop a certain character. We get accustomed to terrain and landmarks. We develop a sense of the passing of time. We even come to expect fatigue and refreshment. Fatigue sets in when we begin to wonder if we can finish the journey. Refreshment lifts our spirits when we glimpse […] Read More