Advancing religious literacy

The Fourth R

The Four Rs of Literacy

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Along with “Reading, ‘Riting and ‘Rithmetic,” Religion is the fourth “R” of basic literacy. First published in 1987, The Fourth R shares the latest thinking from religion scholars and writers—in non-technical language aimed at a general audience. This popular magazine also includes early reports on Westar seminar deliberations and the latest news about Westar events and programs. Annual subscription to six issues of The Fourth R is included in Westar membership.

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What’s in the Current Issue?

Editorial: Testing the Atmosphere of God
Art Dewey

Mother of Us All: Promethean Eve
Richard Trudeau

Theology before and after Bishop Robinson’s Honest to God
Lloyd Geering

Be Born Again? (aka: “Get a Life!”) …and Jesus said, The hidden will be revealed
Gordon W. G. Raynal

Born Again? Think Again.
Robert J. Miller

The Gift of Different Vantage Points: A Response to Robert Miller
Gordon Raynal

The Basic Problem of Historical Jesus Studies: Criticism is to make judgments in light of evidence
Charles W. Hedrick

A Letter to Jesus: A Confession
Gerd Lüdemann

Book Review: Questioning Assumptions: Rethinking the Philosophy of Religion by Tom Christenson
Robert J. Miller

Questions about The Fourth R?
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The Fourth R – “One of the Best Benefits of Membership”

In a recent membership survey, respondents rated The Fourth R as the top benefit of Westar membership.

I really enjoy [The Fourth R] and usually read it cover to cover—it is one of the best benefits of membership.

I find The Fourth R stimulating and often eye-opening. I admire the courage of theologians who deal with the findings of biblical studies and also try to reshape Christianity in light of the global community and of natural science, especially of cosmology that has rendered the planet as to its size and its inhabitants as to time of existence and numbers nearly meaningless.

Being able to read the articles challenges me to grow on my path and reminds me that I'm not alone in my perspective.  That is, given the power that the Bible still holds in the world today, it is important to keep learning and sharing the fruits of the effort.

It is a wonderful resource for preaching and teaching.

As retired clergy this is a very good way of keeping up with current scholarship in the field of the Christian Scriptures and know about new books in the field.

The highlight of my daily trip to the mailbox is to find The Fourth R there.

My wife and I usually read an article aloud to one another with our morning coffee.