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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.

Among all of the songs of the season, “O Little Town of Bethlehem” surely will be among the most frequently sung this weekend. The hymn may also be the one with the greatest honesty of all the tunes associated with Christmas. Phillips Brooks got it just right in the first stanza: O little town of […] Read More

Forgiveness Is Hard Work

“Forgive and forget,” the old saying goes. It is not possible. Things that urgently plead for forgiveness are the same things that cannot be forgotten. The need for forgiveness announces that something happened that will be hard to forget. Old wounds remain tender and always are vulnerable to bursting open again as new wounds. Both […] Read More

Mention of Harry Emerson Fosdick usually brings to mind his very public role in the fundamentalist-modernist controversy that rattled Protestant America early in the 1920s. In 1918 Fosdick accepted the position as preaching minister at the First Presbyterian Church of New York City, a new church formed through the merger of three congregations.   He […] Read More

On July 26, 1865, Horace Bushnell delivered a speech that secured his position in American history as the prophet of the Civil War. The war recently had come to an end, but the blood of soldiers on both sides of the conflict was still bright in the memories of all in the country. On that […] Read More

Just over 30 years ago John Howard Yoder published his stinging critique of the image of Jesus that had become widely accepted in the academy and the church. The Politics of Jesus is as relevant today as it was in 1972. Scholarship in the last century regularly attempted to frame the Jesus story either in […] Read More

The idea of a Christian America is deeply entrenched in a broad segment of citizens of the United States. Where the does the notion arise and can it be supported? As a matter of history the idea of a Christian America is the product of the merging of three very different periods spanning 150 years […] Read More

Biographer Dores Sharp reports that 3-year-old Walter Rauschenbusch responded to the common question, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” with the uncommon response, “I want to be John the Baptist!” Biographer Dores Sharp reports that 3-year-old Walter Rauschen­busch respond­ed to the common question, “What do you want to be when you […] Read More

The opening lines of President Bush’s address set a somber tone for the speech. The reality and the rhetoric of war were the constant themes of the speech as Bush moved from the foreign to domestic fronts of the continuing struggle against terrorism. For good reasons Bush’s approval ratings are high. Since Sept. 11, he […] Read More

The first generation of Christians had a difficult time negotiating their world. They embraced the good news Jesus proclaimed, “The Kingdom of God is at hand!” Embracing that good news put Jesus’ followers at odds with a world comfortable with the kingdoms of humanity that had staked claims on all people. On the one hand, […] Read More