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    a stylized image of Martin Luther King Jr. against a backdrop of his words

    Plough Quarterly No. 16: America’s Prophet

    Spring 2018


    Featured Articles

    All Articles

    From the Editor

    The Prophet We Need Now Martin Luther King Jr. matters too much to be abandoned to dutiful documentaries and corporate wokeness campaigns.


    A Child Named Problem A firsthand account of the Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh: a child born in the jungle, and a man who wants to stay and help his people.


    Dangerous Unselfishness “I often return to this vision of empathy, sympathy, and compassion for one’s neighbors.” Redeeming the Soul of America Martin Luther King exemplified a way of working toward racial justice in the spirit of Jesus. Powers and Principalities White supremacy, economic oppression, and militarism are spiritual realities in their own right, demonic powers that must be combatted with spiritual weapons. The Casualties of War Today, seventeen years into the “War on Terror,” King’s moral clarity about war can help us face our own set of militaristic confusions. For the Love of Neighbor The more I hang out in refugee communities, the more I see “the Other America” that King spoke about. Two Friends, Two Prophets “Racism is Satanism.” It was this conviction that launched Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel into the American civil rights movement.


    Liberation at the Cross What we seek in Christ is true freedom, the freedom that transforms the heart, the freedom the risen Christ announces to us today, “Seek what is above.” Definition of a Good Farmer The ten things that define a good farmer, by Philip Britts, a farmer, poet, and mystic.


    Poem: Gaza Is Not Far Away It’s in your cuffs. The cup you just drank from. Empty bucket outside your back door with an inch of rain in it...


    Defending Purity Reading Dietrich von Hildebrand in a #MeToo age: a review of In Defense of Purity.

    Editors’ Picks

    Editors’ Picks Issue 16 Discover four good reads, recommended by Plough’s editors.

    Family and Friends

    Family and Friends News from Plough’s family and friends around the world. Everyone Should Serve “Service doesn’t have to be in uniform.” An interview with former Army Colonel and congressman Chris Gibson.


    Robert Frost’s “Birches” An illustrated excerpt from Robert Frost’s poem “Birches.”

    Community Snapshot

    Were You There? How do you teach children about suffering – the suffering they will go through, and that Christ went through on Good Friday?


    Readers Respond: Issue 16 Amish technology; work and love; Mormons, transhumanists, and immortality; simulating Lent with Silicon Valley’s rationalists.


    Words that Got Martin Luther King Jr. Shot The pronouncements that got Martin Luther King Jr. killed are probably not those that appear on inspirational posters today.


    Staying Rooted and Unbalanced The life and art of Benny Andrews, from sharecropper to art activist. Justice and the Old Testament Prophets “I will betroth you to me in righteousness and in justice, in steadfast love, and in mercy.”

    The Naturalist

    The Naturalist’s Journal: Sightings Notes from a naturalist’s journal: an eastern cotton tail, a fawn, and a chattering baby raccoon.


    Gerrard Winstanley “Work together; eat bread together. Declare this all abroad.” The life and vision of Gerrard Winstanley.

    Featured Authors

    front cover to Plough Quarterly No 16: Americas Prophet

    About This Issue

    Ten days before Martin Luther King Jr.’s assassination, Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel said, “Where in America today do we hear a voice like the voice of the prophets of Israel? Martin Luther King is a sign that God has not forsaken the United States of America. God has sent him to us.” What if Heschel’s words about King are true? What if this name-branded, oft-sanitized, Super-Bowl-ad-commercialized, National-Mall-memorialized preacher from Atlanta … is a prophet whose message America has yet to fully reckon with? This issue of Plough looks at King’s unfinished struggle against the three evils of racism, materialism, and militarism, and how his lived witness to nonviolence, justice, and love of neighbor still matters today: to refugees and immigrants, soldiers and veterans, preachers and prisoners, black lives matter activists and the white working class.