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Cutting Edges 2013

Cutting Edges is an ongoing series published in Aware, Garrett-Evangelical's quarterly magazine. In Cutting Edges, Garrett-Evangelical faculty share their latest research and expertise in their field of study. From issues of the undocumented worker in the United States to current trends and models in worship, each of these articles touch on current issues facing the Church and our world. To read the articles in their entirety, click the "Read More" links below.

Dr. Anna Johnson
Assistant Professor of Reformation History

Crisis, Change, and Renewal in Historical Perspective
Published October 2013

Everything is changing for churches. They are losing their members, their vigor, and their respected place in the fabric of society. The laity’s formation in the faith is often superficial. Societal and economic conditions make effective ministry challenging. Old models do not seem sustainable, and the future seems unstable at best.

You might assume I am describing the situation of mainline Protestant churches in the United States, and the description certainly fits. But I wrote that description with a very different context in mind: sixteenth-century Germany. In that place and at that time, the church was facing its own challenges.

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Dr. Timothy Eberhart
Visiting Professor of Moral and Public Theology and Director of Course of Study

Remember You are Dust, and to Dust You Shall Return
Published February 2013

With sobering words and ashen smudges on our foreheads, Christians worldwide were ushered this month into the Lenten season.  In an age marked by increasingly dire signs that the earth itself is suffering from multiple afflictions, even unto death, we are challenged this Lent to consider the meaning of Jesus’ passion and resurrection for a stricken planet.   

Remember that to dust you shall return.  The wages of human sin is death (Rom. 6:23), as Paul declares, and not only our own degeneration, but the unnatural decay of the whole groaning creation (8:21-22).  Today, this unwelcome message comes to us from the scientific community, as we hear reports almost daily that the earth and every form of life it sustains is in grave peril and that the great ecological crises of our time are “anthropogenic” (i.e. caused by human activity)...

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