Archive for category News/Current Events
Brennan Manning has died and gone home to his Abba at last. Thank you Brennan for your life of painting pictures of God’s relentless love and scandalous grace toward all of us ragamuffins. I had the opportunity to hear Brennan speak several times in person. It was always refreshing to see someone older than me preaching in hole-y jeans. :)
Bloomberg Businessweek thinks so… Hey, I didn’t turn out half bad. ;-)
Jen Floyd Engel’s article at FoxSports.com on Tebow is worthy of consideration:
What if Tim Tebow were a Muslim?
Imagine for a second, the Denver Broncosquarterback is a devout follower of Islam, sincere and principled in his beliefs and thus bowed toward Mecca to celebrate touchdowns. Now imagine if Detroit Lionsplayers Stephen Tulloch and Tony Schefflermockingly bowed toward Mecca, too, after tackling him for a loss or scoring a touchdown, just like what happened Sunday.
I know what would happen. All hell would break loose…..
What this whole repeating cycle of Tebow — rip his game, mock his faith, rise to his defense, repeat — has revealed about religious discourse in America is ugly. We have become so enamored of politically correct dogma that we protect every minority from even the slightest blush of insensitivity while letting the very institutions that the majority holds dear to be ridiculed. And this defense that Tebow invites such scrutiny with his willingness to publicly live as he privately believes calls into question what exactly it is we value…. Read the rest of this entry »
If you haven’t heard the news yet…well…you probably have a life outside the Christian blogosphere. But Rob Bell is leaving his church to pursue a new venture in Hollywood. Meanie Christians are already drawing their own conclusions, questioning his motives and condemning this fellow brother….
Well, Eugene Cho, fellow Covenant pastor has the right take on this. So, enjoy his perspective HERE.
PS: Mean people. Be nice.
On 9/11 I thought, For the most powerful, militarized nation in the world also to think of itself as an innocent victim is deadly. It was a rare prophetic moment for me, considering Presidents Bush and Obama have spent billions asking the military to rectify the crime of a small band of lawless individuals, destroying a couple of nations who had little to do with it, in the costliest, longest series of wars in the history of the United States.
The silence of most Christians and the giddy enthusiasm of a few, as well as the ubiquity of flags and patriotic extravaganzas in allegedly evangelical churches, says to me that American Christians may look back upon our response to 9/11 as our greatest Christological defeat. It was shattering to admit that we had lost the theological means to distinguish between the United States and the kingdom of God. The criminals who perpetrated 9/11 and the flag-waving boosters of our almost exclusively martial response were of one mind: that the nonviolent way of Jesus is stupid. All of us preachers share the shame; when our people felt very vulnerable, they reached for the flag, not the Cross.
September 11 has changed me. I’m going to preach as never before about Christ crucified as the answer to the question of what’s wrong with the world. I have also resolved to relentlessly reiterate from the pulpit that the worst day in history was not a Tuesday in New York, but a Friday in Jerusalem when a consortium of clergy and politicians colluded to run the world on our own terms by crucifying God’s own Son.
Here are Ben Witherington’s top ten reasons why you should pay exactly no attention to Mr. Harold Camping and his false predictions about the May 21 Rapture:
No. 10— Every such prediction since the time of Christ has had an 100% failure rate! That should have put a stop to theological weather forecasting, but alas, pious curiosity knows no bounds
No. 9— There is no basis for such a prediction. Even if you believe in the modern notion of a pre-trib or mid-trib rapture (and I definitely don’t), the New Testament tells us nothing at all about when exactly it might happen. Camping’s computations are based on his own flawed assumptions not only about the Bible but about the 21rst century.
No. 8– You shouldn’t trust any such predictions that come from someone who can’t even read the Bible in its original Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek, but instead bases his predictions on some English translation. As I like to say, there are no infallible English translations, and every translation is already an interpretation of the original.
No. 7 There have been earthquakes, wars, famines, screwy weather, and distressing political and economic events in every age of Christian history. There is nothing special or unique about 2011 when it comes to those things. Read the rest of this entry »
Scot McKnight at Jesus Creed is my first stop for a thoroughly Jesus-shaped perspective on all things. Here’s his thoughts on the death of a bin Laden.
There are a number of places to begin and ideas to consider.
But I have to begin with this. Jesus said, “Put your sword back in its place,” Jesus said to him, “for all who draw the sword will die by the sword.” Osama bin Laden was a violent man, and he breathed and threatened violence, he funded violence, and he trained some to use violence. That he met a violent end is in accord with the life he chose. Violence was the game he played, and the game eventually caught up to him. The sword cuts in both directions.
Having said that, I can’t rejoice that he was shot to death or that he or anyone else is dead; I can’t rejoice because violence does not bring peace. It unleashes cycles of more violence. We may never know, but it sure looks to me that he could have been captured alive. Of course, bin Laden alive and captured could be one of the biggest nightmares our government could imagine, but that won’t change my view that if he could have been captured alive that would have been more Christian.
Which brings me back to the original point: militaries believe the path to peace is secured by the path of defense and power. Our military is not seeking to be biblical or Christian. It has a mission to protect our interests. Osama bin Laden was a violent man who maliciously murdered innocents and diabolically developed plans of violence against the USA and Western countries. It within the rights of such countries to defend themselves and pursue their senses of justice through power and the use of violence. The words of Jesus, though, come back around: those who use the sword will die by the sword. Swords bring “peace” only to the degree that the one with power can suppress revenge. The sword can bring retributive justice, but time will only permit more violence to simmer and eventually break forth.
The question for us is how should we as Christians respond? We can grieve over deaths, we can be relieved by the removal of a violent man who was making the world violent, we can stand with those who lost loved ones in bin Laden’s wake, from 9/11 onwards into the wars in the Middle East and elsewhere, we can pray for the world and for our leaders and for ourselves and for our enemies and for other countries …
… and we can live a different way. The way of the cross. The way of reconciliation. The way of forgiveness. The way of peace.