niedner

Frederick Niedner

Frederick A. Niedner is a professor of Theology and former Chair of the Theology Department at Valparaiso University. His ongoing work in biblical theology focuses …Read More

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  • Niedner: A mom’s heart not her own

    This weekend, we wish happiness on all our mothers, those who birthed us into the world as well as the ones who made us dads or grandparents. The accompanying blizzard of advertising for Mother’s Day tells us how to guarantee Mom’s happiness. At the very …Read More

  • Niedner: Missing plane only unusual in high-tech age

    Fifty days have passed since Malaysian Airlines Flight 370, with 239 people on board, veered off course and disappeared while en route to Beijing. Nations around the world have spent more than $1 million a day in a relentless search for some sign of the …

    Niedner: Film fans certain to flood theaters to see ‘Noah’

    At long last, we see signs that winter’s grip may soon release us. Major league baseball opened its season last weekend, albeit on another continent, as the Diamondbacks and Dodgers played games that counted in Sydney, Australia. Back home, March Madness has cast its annual …

    Niedner: Want to invoke God in gay marriage debate? Try ‘love your neighbor’

    History suggests we step into dangerous territory when we let ourselves believe some people are so different from us that they don’t have the same dreams, loves and loyalties we do. “The Vietnamese aren’t like us,” I often heard as a young man. “They don’t …

    All you need is love ... even 50 years later

    Sunday evening will mark 50 years since Ed Sullivan introduced the Beatles to an American audience. Those of us in college then watched little television, but on that evening nearly everyone crowded around the few black-and-white sets scattered around campus. Our professors in their nearby …

    Niedner: Society needs a pill for uncontrolled anger

    Our society needs blood pressure meds. We’re near to exploding. Consider this week’s news as the cuff on our collective arm. The nation has witnessed six school shootings this January, compared with 14 in all of 2013. Most recently, a Purdue student shot and killed …

    Niedner: More to education than creating workers

    We found ways to joke about the deep-freeze that descended on so much of the nation this week. One friend suggested the term “polar vortex” sounded like a winter sportswear line or a villain in a Star Wars film. Windy City residents took to calling …

    Niedner: Take celebrity opinions with a grain of salt

    Having never developed a taste for reality television, I had no clue why the earth tottered on its foundations last week when the A&E network dismissed Phil Robertson for publicly comparing the attractiveness of various bodily orifices and describing how happy black folks seemed back …

    Mandela, Pope Francis give us hope

    They almost seem like characters drawn from story books, these two old souls who have captured much of our imagination in recent days. One of them, Nelson Mandela, surprised us by dying. Having survived war, decades in prison, and arguably the most difficult political challenges …

    Fortunes: Way the cookie crumbles

    The fortune cookies that accompany my weekly lunch with a friend usually assure me that things will soon change for the better, I can look forward to a comfortable old age, or an unexpected payment will come my way. Perhaps one should never admit to …

    Niedner: 50 years later, what’s to be learned from JFK assassination?

    By this time, those of us with more than a few miles on our personal odometers can recall exactly where we were and what we were doing on several historic occasions of the kind that sear an indelible print upon one’s memory. For many among …

    Future generations certain to judge us

    Just as we have written the history of the Gilded Age and Great Depression, and lately presumed to have understood the Cold War, our great-grandchildren will one day look back on us and tell the story of our times. How will they name our era, …

    No good options in Syria

    As every police officer knows, few situations prove more dangerous to would-be peacemakers than a scene of domestic violence. Many times, those who mean only to serve and protect become the entire household’s enemy, and whatever additional mayhem ensues inevitably becomes their responsibility. Still, they …

    You shouldn’t be surprised that Big Brother’s watching

    This week’s Supreme Court rulings momentarily absorbed much of the nation’s righteous anger quotient, but so long as Edward Snowden remains a fugitive, the furor over his revelations concerning National Security Agency surveillance programs won’t subside appreciably. Some deem Snowden as a whistleblowing hero, others …

    Niedner: Trouble even in Paradise

    I live and work in a town named for Paradise. The word comes from the ancient Persian religion known as Zoroastrianism. It means “enclosed garden” and identified the place where certifiably good people dwell for eternity as a reward for their upright lives. I don’t …

    Niedner: Dramas of daily life ultimately define us

    At last, a truce has halted the latest mud wrestling episode in Washington, which means that national parks and cemeteries will reopen and furloughed federal employees will get paychecks again. Until it starts all over in a couple months, we can enjoy a break from …

    We build and destroy, but some things last nonetheless

    Strolling ancient streets amid the ruins of Corinth and Athens, or standing in the remains of Ephesus’ grand theater, leaves one contemplating the fact that Plato, Aristotle and biblical figures like Paul once passed this way and looked on the same hills in the distance …