Today's Top Five

1. Tom Fox's body discovered
Tom Fox, who had worked as a Quaker youth leader and as a musician in the United States Marine Band before joining the pacifist Christian Peacemaker Teams' efforts in Iraq, was found dead in Baghdad Thursday evening. A group calling itself the Swords of Righteousness Brigades had held him and three other Christian Peacemaker Teams (CPT) activists hostage since November 26. The three others remain captive.

Not everyone has been sympathetic. Columnist Cal Thomas called the death "doubly tragic … because the likelihood that the presence of Mr. Fox and his colleagues would change the attitude or behavior of their captors was zero to none." He also criticized CPT's theology, noting the group's statement about Fox having "firm opposition to all oppression and the recognition of God in everyone."

"Perhaps if Christian Peacemaker Teams had gone to Iraq during Saddam Hussein's murderous regime, or to China while Mao Tse-tung was slaughtering millions, or to Moscow while Josef Stalin practiced genocide on his people, or to any number of other capitals of carnage, they might be taken more seriously, though under those regimes they might have disappeared much quicker," Thomas wrote. "Was God 'in' these mass murderers, or was it Lucifer?"

In a sense, Fox addressed this question in an item he wrote the day before his abduction. Even our enemies—and there are indeed enemies in this world—bear the image of God, he wrote. And we're called to show them radical love:

Why are we here? If I understand the message of God, his response to that question is that we are to take part in the creation of the Peaceable Realm of God. Again, if I understand the message of God, how we take part in ...
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Launched in 1999, Christianity Today’s Weblog was not just one of the first religion-oriented weblogs, but one of the first published by a media organization. (Hence its rather bland title.) Mostly compiled by then-online editor Ted Olsen, Weblog rounded up religion news and opinion pieces from publications around the world. As Christianity Today’s website grew, it launched other blogs. Olsen took on management responsibilities, and the Weblog feature as such was mothballed. But CT’s efforts to round up important news and opinion from around the web continues, especially on our Gleanings feature.
Ted Olsen
Ted Olsen is Christianity Today's editorial director. He wrote the magazine's Weblog—a collection of news and opinion articles from mainstream news sources around the world—from 1999 to 2006. In 2004, the magazine launched Weblog in Print, which looks for unexpected connections and trends in articles appearing in the mainstream press. The column was later renamed "Tidings" and ran until 2007.
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