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Past Imperfect

David Neff

David Neff was editor in chief of Christianity Today, where he worked from 1985 until his retirement in 2013. He is also the former editor in chief of Christian History magazine, and continues to explore the intersection of history and current events in his bimonthly column, "Past Imperfect." His earlier column, "Editor's Bookshelf," ran from 2002 to 2004 and paired Neff's reviews of thought-provoking books and interviews with the authors.

Rethinking Capital PunishmentSubscriber Access OnlyRethinking Capital Punishment
The U.S. standards are far below biblical guidelines.
Biblical Adoption Is Not What You Think It IsSubscriber Access OnlyBiblical Adoption Is Not What You Think It Is
For one, it wasn't about the child, but mostly the family.
Why Don't We Find Bloodshed Repugnant Anymore?Subscriber Access OnlyWhy Don't We Find Bloodshed Repugnant Anymore?
Yes, the early church was pro-life. But it wasn't just the death of the unborn that it opposed.
Real Martyrs Don't MurderSubscriber Access OnlyReal Martyrs Don't Murder
A new book suggests otherwise, but it is dead wrong.
Jesus' Elevator SpeechSubscriber Access OnlyJesus' Elevator Speech
Or was it his inaugural address? There's a difference.
Who Defines Doctrine?Subscriber Access OnlyWho Defines Doctrine?
Often it's not the theologians but the people. Here's why.
Misreading the MagnificatSubscriber Access OnlyMisreading the Magnificat
It's hard to find hymns that embody Scripture's sharp critique of the rich.
Downton Abbey's Real LegacySubscriber Access OnlyDownton Abbey's Real Legacy
Why we strive to preserve places rich with memory.
The Hymns That Haunt UsSubscriber Access OnlyThe Hymns That Haunt Us
A newborn atheist just can't get the church's music out of her head.
Private Faith and Public Policy: Where Obama and Santorum AgreeSubscriber Access OnlyPrivate Faith and Public Policy: Where Obama and Santorum Agree
Let's not vomit on JFK's famous church-state speech.
Subscriber Access OnlyWhy Last Saturday's Political Conclave of Evangelical Leaders Was Dangerous
Brothers and sisters, we are neither kingmakers nor powerbrokers.
Subscriber Access OnlyHow the Physical Form of a Bible Shapes Us
Will the digital Scriptures speed the decline of family spirituality once fostered by family Bibles?
Subscriber Access OnlyOur Secret African Heritage
How we can remember our big family history.
Subscriber Access OnlyCriminalizing Circumcision
We have secularized the ancient Jewish rite—but it is still inescapably religious.
Subscriber Access OnlyA Second-Coming Christian
The 'blessed hope' was the linchpin of my father's faith.
Subscriber Access OnlyRemember the Red Sea
Why not capitalize on the richness and mystery of our ancient symbols?
Subscriber Access OnlyJohn Stott: The Man Who Wouldn't Be Bishop
Discernment and discipline have enabled him to touch lives worldwide.
Subscriber Access OnlySudan's Politics of Prayer
If there were ever a time for intercession in international affairs, this is it.
Subscriber Access OnlyDwelling in Heaven's Suburbs
Creating a culture of resurrection is key to full-orbed ministry.
Subscriber Access OnlyStride Toward Peace: The Mideast's Nonviolent Moment
Risking love in a land of violence.
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Top Story April 20, 2014
Watch and Wait
Watch and Wait
Tarrying with Christ and the fearful dying.
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