William_Blake,_The_Casting_of_the_Rebel_Angels_into_HellI can’t believe Jesus. He said some things that just can’t be true. In fact, almost everything he said can’t be true. Now, that doesn’t mean that I don’t like some it: He said that he came to fulfill the law. I like that. He said to love others and to love God. That’s tough (and maybe impossible) but it at least sounds good. It sounds right. But some of the patently untrue things he said also just sound wrong to my Christian ears. He told stories that seemed to say if you didn’t have your act together, you’d get left out of the party. He said that people who tried to get in, who did good things in his name, wouldn’t be able to. He said that if we don’t turn around and “pay forward” the generosity we’ve been given to others, we’ll be thrown into prison forever (the jury is out on whether or not he was humming “Calling All Angels” while he did this). He talked about weeping and gnashing of teeth about a worm that never dies as just punishments for falling short of his example.Terrible.At this break-out session, we’ll talk about these terrible parables of Christ and how we might interpret them with an eye on the Gospel. Hopefully, we’ll come out knowing a little bit more about ourselves, about grace and the Gospel, and about Jesus’ parabolic intent.  I’m looking forward to being in New York with you in a few weeks…

I should say, for the record, that I’m absolutely sure that you can’t use “parabolic” like I did above. I just think it sounds unassailably cool, and mathematic. I’m neither of these things, though I aspire to be both. See you at the conference!

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