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David Anderson and Brent Zuercher, Letters Across the Divide: Two Friends Explore Racism, Friendship, and Faith (2001). This book is what its title indicates. It’s a series of letters between a White and a Black man, both Christians, wrestling with differing perspectives on race and racism in America. Their different views come from their different upbringings and subcultures, not theology. In fact, their biblical understanding and the values that develops from it are remarkably similar. What they are trying to do is apply their faith to everyday life. It’s a good exercise and they do it well. Whatever your race or ethnic background, you can learn something from this text. It promotes understanding and, therefore, their greater goal, genuine respect and friendship.

Tony Campolo, 20 Hot Potatoes Christians Are Afraid to Touch (1988). Tony Campolo’s book, and therefore the issue he considers “hot,” are dated, but this is still an interesting book. Campolo is well known for his edgy speaking, ministry, and teaching. He is a Christian sociology professor turned moderate-to-liberal Christian activist, one who challenges conservatives to think carefully about their assumptions and sometimes too glib responses to intractable social problems. Some of his “hot” issues, like the challenge of AIDS, Christianity and homosexuals, and are evangelicals too pro-Israel, are still very much in the mix of contemporary concerns. You may not always agree with Campolo; I didn’t. But you will find him thought-provoking. Some of his issues have faded, which is a lesson in itself, but his desire to apply his faith to his politics is admirable. The book’s question and answer format is a good technique.

Ted C. Fishman, China, Inc.: How the Rise of the Next Superpower Challenges America and the Word (2005). This book is sort of a “The World is Flat” focused just on China. It is a fascinating book describing China’s mind-boggling numbers, like the projected 300M people moving to cities in the next fifteen years, meaning China must build an urban infrastructure equivalent to Houston every month; the 320M Chinese under the age of 14 years; the fact that there are an estimated 320M or more people in China who are not counted by demographers, more than the population of the USA, so the Chinese population is close to 1.5B; that there are more speakers of English as a second language in China than speakers of English in the US and that there are more people in China using the Internet than use it in the US, and much more. China’s emergence as an economic giant—growing at almost 10% per year—is already affecting America, so Americans are past due in becoming more knowledgeable about China and the opportunities and possibly threats, economically and politically, it represents.

Thomas L. Friedman, The World Is Flat (2006). Friedman is a New York Times “Foreign Affairs” journalist, so this long and wordy book keeps your interest describing one interesting technological, economic, or demographic development in the world after the other. The premise of the book is that computer, communications, and transportations technology are knocking down old barriers around the world and are simultaneously creating a level playing field for all people. This level playing field is the “flat world” in Friedman’s terms and it portends an incredible surge in innovation, not just from the American Yankee, but now even more likely from East Indians, Chinese, and others. It means that Americans must become better educated, learn to compete in world economies, develop more innovative ideas, and in essence create products and services heretofore not known. And the flat world is affecting more than economics. It’s influencing education, religion, politics, and culture. I highly recommend this book to anyone who wants to understand a paradigm that helps make sense of the changes taking place around us.

Lou Holtz, Wins, Losses, and Lessons: An Autobiography (2006). I like biographies and autobiographies—not about celebrities but about people who matter. Coach Lou Holtz is certainly a celebrity, but I also think he matters. I followed his college football coaching career for years, but the more I read about him in this book, the more I liked him. He is a devout Catholic, lives his life based upon an overt commitment to God, prayer, and family, and is as far as I could tell a man of integrity. This is also a good leadership book, for it is packed with examples of how he taught and led teams of people to accomplish goals greater than they at first thought they could reach. While this book is about college football and, as the title suggests, the story of wins and losses is told, there are a lot of lessons here too.

Doro Bush Koch, My Father, My President, (2006). President George H. W. Bush’s daughter, Doro, writes engagingly and, as you would expect, warmly, about her father, the 41st President of the United States. This book, the author’s first, is interesting, includes a lot of anecdotes that until now have not found their way to the printed page, and is, in a word, enjoyable. “41,” as they call him now, used to be called “Mr. Resume.” President Bush’s record of accomplishment, beginning with heroic WWII flying experience through his years as Vice President and President are amazing. He’s lived a rather incredible life and whatever one thinks of his politics, this book shines a light on a caring, loyal man who possessed ambition both to serve his family and his country. I highly recommend this book.


© Rex M. Rogers - All Rights Reserved, 2006

*This blog may be reproduced in whole or in part with a full attribution statement. Contact Dr. Rogers or read more commentary on current issues and events at or follow him at

To say O.J. Simpson is a disappointment is too much an understatement. His recent attempt to publish and profit from a book called, If I Did It, about the murders of his wife Nicole Brown Simpson and Ron Goldman is, in a word, unbelievable.

It’s unbelievable that he would risk the feelings and well-being of his and Nicole Brown Simpson’s children. It’s unbelievable that he would stomp on the memories of the victims. It’s unbelievable that Editor Judith Regan and Regan Books would arrange for the publication of this kind of book and for associated Fox television interviews. Equally unbelievable is Judith Regan’s later claim that she was doing all this to exorcise the demons of abuse in her own and other women’s lives. It’s unbelievable that News Corp., the parent company of Regan Books, apparently attempted to buy off the Brown and Goldman families by offering them (after public reaction began to increase) the profits from this book. It’s unbelievable that anyone associated with this entire idea from inception to demise actually thought this was a good idea.

The only encouraging thing about this reminder about how base human beings can be is that other human beings—a lot of them—reacted with disdain. It’s also encouraging that we witnessed the positive power of public opinion. When people reacted with revulsion to the book and the planned interviews Ruppert Murdoch, News Corp. Chairman, and his minions paid attention. They cancelled the interviews during “sweeps” week and pulled the book from circulation, a case of better late than never.

So we learned a valuable lesson after all: Public opinion can still, even in a culture immersed in moral relativism, establish a consensus public morality. That is heartening, and it should encourage us not to give up in an effort to do right regarding other cultural moral issues.

For O.J, I don’t know. I imagine he’s embittered to the point of no return. But then again, as long as he is breathing, he is a human being who can still learn, feel remorse, make confession, make things right, even be forgiven—certainly by God and possibly by some of us. I pray that result for his soul.


© Rex M. Rogers - All Rights Reserved, 2006

*This blog may be reproduced in whole or in part with a full attribution statement. Contact Dr. Rogers or read more commentary on current issues and events at or follow him at

Comedian Michael Richards is no longer funny. After his unbelievable tirade at the Laugh Factory in Los Angeles November 17, in which he screamed the “N-word” and profanities at patrons for several minutes, his career is toast.

Most of us know Michael Richards as “Kramer” in the "Sienfeld” television series. In that role he was frequently funny and at times accomplished. But in that role he was scripted. He was in-character and not himself. Too bad we’ve finally gotten to know the real man.

Trying to do damage control for his rant last week, Richards apologized on “Late Night with David Letterman” and again on the Reverend Jessie Jackson’s radio program. His apologies have seemed lame, half-hearted, and vague. He keeps saying he’s not a racist, but what is a racist if it’s not a person capable of publicly shouting the racial epithets he let rip on audience members at the Laugh Factory?

One thing has been heartening about this episode. Some Black leaders have finally stood up and said they find the “N-word” unacceptable not only when it is used derisively by non-Black individuals but also when it is used by Black comedians, rap singers, and others. It’s about time. I agree with them.

In days gone by, people like Don Rickles and Buddy Hackett made a cottage industry out of racial, ethnic, and every other kind of slur one could imagine. Today it’s people like Chris Rock and Whoopi Goldberg. Add to this comedians’, particularly comediennes, insistence upon using the “F-Word” and you almost cannot find a “clean comedian” left. Interestingly, Bill Cosby has weighed in on the bad-language-comedians, saying they are using the “F-Word” as a crutch for not being funny. I agree with him.

I salute Black comedian Paul Mooney for announcing this week that he will no longer use the “N-Word” in his acts. Good for him. It’s a step in the right direction.

I do not support Rev. Jessie Jackson’s call to Congress to make laws prohibiting the use of “hate language” in mass media. While I find the “N-Word,” and for that matter a host of other commonly heard words on television, offensive, passing laws to make them illegal smacks of political correctness and over-reaction. The best judge is a public moral consciousness and accountability. Michael Richards is being judged by that court as I write, and he may find its sentence a very long and difficult one to bear.


© Rex M. Rogers - All Rights Reserved, 2006

*This blog may be reproduced in whole or in part with a full attribution statement. Contact Dr. Rogers or read more commentary on current issues and events at or follow him at

Cornerstone University Radio completed its annual four-day Sharathon this week surpassing our funding goal for the first time since 9-11 with more than 5500 people making pledges:
Year Goal Pledges
2005       $1.1M           $909K
2006   $1.250M        $1.254M per final total announced on air

WaYfm and WCSG were nominated by Radio and Records magazine (the #1 trade publication for mainstream and Christian radio) for "Christian Radio Station of the Year" for small and medium markets respectively.  These are our first such nominations, though WCSG has been recognized as the "Focus on the Family Radio Station of the Year."

WaYfm was awarded "Christian Music Station of the Year" by Radio and Records for markets 101+. This award is determined by label executives and other stations. Congratulations to Station Manager Rich Anderson, Program Director Michael Couchman, and the entire WaYfm staff.

Mission Network News produced a broadcast called the "MNN International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church" which was aired on nearly 500 radio stations in the USA, Australia, South Africa and Belize. Organizations like Back to the Bible, Asia Access, Open Doors and Sat 7 were brought together by MNN, along with Discovery House Music, with featured speaker, Johan Candalin, Executive Director the World Evangelical Alliance, to focus on a time of prayer from all over the world.  This is the fifth such broadcast carrying the Cornerstone University name with it.  The broadcast is widely respected by mission agencies and broadcasters alike.

Please join me in thanking the Cornerstone University Radio staff and our radio listener-supporters, and please also join me in praising God for these blessings.


© Rex M. Rogers - All Rights Reserved, 2006

*This blog may be reproduced in whole or in part with a full attribution statement. Contact Dr. Rogers or read more commentary on current issues and events at or follow him at

As Christmas approaches we find ourselves in another round of the Christmas culture wars—this time with Christmas winning. Wal-Mart recently announced it would not only allow but encourage its Associates to jettison last year’s “Happy Holiday” greetings in favor of the traditional “Merry Christmas.” While Best Buy is sticking with generic holiday salutations, in their view, “respecting” all their customers, Macy’s, Kohl’s, and Walgreen are joining Wal-Mart in a return to Christmas.

While these moves are more about profit than philosophy it’s still good to see common sense reassert itself. Christmas is more than the Christian holy day honoring the birth of Christ. It is an internationally recognized time of cheer, expressions of peace, and goodwill. It is a time of gift-giving and gift-receiving, of family and food, and of rest and reflection.

Rev. Barry Lynn, executive director of Americans United for the Separation of Church and State, curiously criticized Wal-Mart, saying that when Wal-Mart officials “cave into these demands, they are really making a statement that non-Christians should probably go elsewhere this holiday season.” If there was ever an example of a secularist mindset, this is it. What does Wal-Mart, a retail corporation, have to do with separation of church and state? And for that matter, if non-Christians are offended by Christmas, why are they shopping during the holiday season? Lynn’s comment reveals an anti-religion bias that runs much deeper than any concerns he may have about how church and state function best.

It’s true. “Merry Christmas” means something very special to Christian people, so as a believer I’m glad to welcome it back. But it does the phrase no damage to note that it has grown beyond its uniquely religious and specifically Christian heritage. It’s now a cultural expression intended to wish someone well in the season at hand. It’s no more threatening to non-Christians than Santa Claus is to Christians. So “Three Cheers” to the American retail giants restoring a bit of sanity to the season, and “Merry Christmas” to all.


© Rex M. Rogers - All Rights Reserved, 2006

*This blog may be reproduced in whole or in part with a full attribution statement. Contact Dr. Rogers or read more commentary on current issues and events at or follow him at

Rev. Ted Haggard, recently pastor of the 14,000 member New Life Church of Colorado Springs, Colorado and President of the National Association of Evangelicals is another casualty in Christian leadership. He resigned his pastorate November 5th because, in his words, he was guilty of “sexual immorality.” Haggard took this action after publicly denying at least three times the accusations of an alleged lover who said Haggard had regular gay sex with him and had purchased illegal drugs. He has now owned his behaviors and is suffering very public consequences.

We should learn several things from this public fall from grace. One, “Don’t rush to judgment.” Haggard’s multiple denials and later confession should remind us that it takes time to sort out what really happened in any human drama. Two, “Check your facts.” Those who staunchly defended him without examining evidence were later embarrassed. Three, “We’re all human.” What Haggard did was immoral, deceitful, and, if he purchased narcotics, illegal. But no one is above temptation and no one is without sin, and “There but for the grace of God go I.”

Four, “Pray for leaders.” God commands us to pray for those in authority over us no matter what role they play, political, commercial, or religious. Five, “A fall from grace disqualifies one from leadership, not from life.” Haggard resigned his leadership positions, and he says he asked God and his family for forgiveness. He also asked us for forgiveness. If he is sincere he should be forgiven. What he did was sin but not the impardonable sin.

Haggards failure is monumental. It likely means he will never minister in a similar capacity ever again. Yet God is a God of second chances. Just ask the biblical Samson—and some day, ask Ted Haggard. And for that matter, ask any follower of Christ.


© Rex M. Rogers - All Rights Reserved, 2006

*This blog may be reproduced in whole or in part with a full attribution statement. Contact Dr. Rogers or read more commentary on current issues and events at or follow him at