Miroslav Volf was in Manhattan a few blocks from the World Trade Center on 9/11. He was about to give a lecture on Christian theology as he stood and looked up and watched the flames and smoke representing evil and hate and perpetrated by those who claimed to be religious.This was not new to him. He had grown up in war torn Yugoslavia (Croatia and Serbia) as the son of a Christian Pentecostal minister. His family was closely watched by the authorities because they were the suspicious minority in a political climate that was Marxist. He knew the deep destruction in a society that unfolds in the name of religion.

On the 10th anniversary of 9/11, Miroslav gave a powerful lecture at our church. And he returned a few years ago to preach for us on a Sunday. I’ve worn out several of his books, marking them up with highlighters as I’ve shared them in small groups and Bible studies. He is one of those rare theologians who is willing to share his own journey amongst the pages of theology because he knows that above all else, theology is a way of life, not just some ideas to ponder.

He taught a course at Yale with former Prime Minister Tony Blair and founded the Yale Center For Faith and Culture. Phil Love,  an elder of our church and a former board chair, moved to New Haven, Connecticut  at Mirosloav’s request, to assume the role of Director for the Center for several years.

You and I live in a global economy, a country still starkly divided by political polarization, in a multicultural and interfaith society and in the midst of an ongoing conversation about racial justice. How would Christ call us to live in these days? Where is God’s hope and new life? Volf writes:

Forgiveness flounders because I exclude the enemy from the community of humans and myself from the community of sinners.

Grace and Peace,