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Posts tagged "Jesus Christ"

Am I My Brother's Keeper?

Am I My Brother’s Keeper?

When I was a kid attending Sunday School in a very traditional Baptist church in the Midwest, we learned Bible stories… I became familiar with the regular cast of characters like Adam and Eve, Noah, David, Moses, etc. I could tell you that Moses parted the Red Sea; Adam and Eve ate an apple; David slew a giant (thanks to a relative who gifted me one Christmas with 12-inch David and Goliath action figures!). As a teen, I would learn that the book of Leviticus was all about how family members in the same house should not undress in the…

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Bumper Stickers and Background Screens: Reflections on Losing a Child

Bumper Stickers and Background Screens: Reflections on Losing a Child

Our bumper stickers and computer backgrounds reveal so much about us. Through the college team logo, the institution we attended, a political cause, or images of loved ones, we tell the world so much about what we love, desire, and stand for.

I have often considered what the picture displayed on my own screen represents about me:

As you see above, there is a beautiful woman with a glowing smile. (That’s my wife.) Holding her hand is a little boy with white, curly locks flowing out from beneath a fireman’s hat. (That’s my oldest child.) His firefighter’s jacket can hardly contain the…

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Don't Let Me, Don't Let Me, Don't Let Me Down

Don’t Let Me, Don’t Let Me, Don’t Let Me Down

Last weekend, I went on a mini-staycation with some of my dear girlfriends from young adulthood. Between the group of us, we’ve suffered (either directly or indirectly) illness, addiction, money issues, mental health woes, parenting struggles, job uncertainties, and marital difficulties – in a nutshell: life. We spent the day at the pool catching up, and then stayed up late into the night (okay, 9:30 or 10 tops) discussing politics and grooming habits and all manner of subject-matter generally considered taboo at the dinner table. We did what all women do when two or more are gathered and rosé is…

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Francis Spufford Needs Something Far Less Cautious Than Justice

Francis Spufford Needs Something Far Less Cautious Than Justice

We’ve said it a few times already but it bears repeating: Francis Spufford’s “Yeshua” chapter in his book Unapologetic contains some of the most vivid and exciting writing about Jesus of Nazareth one is likely to find, this side of Robert Capon. Maybe it’s the tone (he’s clearly not writing with Christians in mind), maybe all the unexpected turns of phrase, or maybe something else, but this guy has an extremely rare knack for cutting through the dense cultural and religious fog surrounding Christ. It’s re-energizing, to say the least. Again, like the rest of the book, the “Yeshua” chapter…

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The invisible made visible

Lunatic Faith, Computer Digits, & the Myth of Money

This American Life and Planet Money recently produced an episode titled “The Invention of Money.” You can listen to it here.

The story places the concept of money into the framework of faith, mainly due to the fact that money is no longer a physical object with tangible value like gold. Instead, it is fiction, myth, a number generated on a computer, passing through the internet. With just the push of a button, we’ve got the genesis of currency; something they call in the story “Opening the Fed Window.” The only way this money-myth has value is if people have faith…

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Hopelessly Devoted: John Chapter Seventeen Verses One through Thirteen

Hopelessly Devoted: John Chapter Seventeen Verses One through Thirteen

…I have manifested your name to the people whom you gave me out of the world. Yours they were, and you gave them to me, and they have kept your word. Now they know that everything that you have given me is from you. For I have given them the words that you gave me, and they have received them and have come to know in truth that I came from you; and they have believed that you sent me. I am praying for them. I am not praying for the world but for those whom you have given me,…

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In Bad Company with Christian (Criminal) Heroes

In Bad Company with Christian (Criminal) Heroes

I started wrestling with the idea of dual identity a few months back, having discovered ing Gerhard Forde’s A More Radical Gospel a section where Martin Luther describes simul et justus et peccator, which means simultaneously saint and sinner. Around that same time, the new NBC series Awake was coming out, and I began to see some parallels when I saw the show’s illustration of living in 2 realities at the same time. In the series, detective Britten is in a car crash along with his wife and son. After the crash Britten discovers that every time he goes to sleep…

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Now Available! The Merciful Impasse: The Sermon on the Mount for People Who've Crashed (and Burned)

Now Available! The Merciful Impasse: The Sermon on the Mount for People Who’ve Crashed (and Burned)

“I’m telling you, that the demand actually is higher than you know, and that allows you to go on your knees more quickly.”

Life demands many things from us – a successful career, a stable marriage, perfect children, a certain quality of life. More often than not, we respond with determination and a fierce will.

Jesus Christ brought a fresh and radical insight to the endless human struggle with demand, associating it with weakness rather than with strength, with failure rather than success. He believed that we only begin to meet the requirements of life when we despair of our ability to…

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Why I Am Coming to NYC

Why I Am Coming to NYC

Each year it seems like such an undertaking: spending money on travel for myself that could have been used for a family vacation; enduring crowded flights and dreary layovers; trudging to and fro on subway lines and unfamiliar avenues, a stranger in a strange land – all to spend a few fleeting days at a religious conference. Is it worth it, you may ask? Well, I wrote what follows after last year’s conference, and it sums up the reason why I intend to make this annual pilgrimage to New York City as long as there is a Mockingbird…

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Ideas or the Human Heart?

Ideas or the Human Heart?

From a BBC news flash yesterday:

Pope Benedict has rejected the idea of collective Jewish guilt for Jesus Christ’s death, in a new book to be published next week.

Tackling an issue that has led to centuries of persecution, the Pope argues there is no basis in scripture for the Jewish people to be blamed.

It’s a good thing for the Pope to say this, of course. But the BBC article (read it here) is misleading in that it repeatedly gives the casual reader the impression that this idea is the result of groundbreaking exegetical research. That’s of course always going to be…

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Against This, I Cannot Fight

Against This, I Cannot Fight

I love classical music. It calms me, it always has. So, when my little Q man was born and all he did was SCREAM (okay, unfair…maybe 2% of the time he ‘tried’ to sleep), I quickly developed a habit of turning on the classical music…for me, really. So, more often then not, if you stop by our house in the middle of the day you will typically hear classical music (and, maybe, me yelling over the top of it…).

However, when I work out, it’s a whole different story in music genre. Out goes Bach and in goes Rage Against the…

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Jesus and the Myth of the Super-Christian

Jesus and the Myth of the Super-Christian

From Craig Barnes’ must-read The Pastor As Minor Poet:

We do not peddle images of the super-Christian and tell our parishioners to try harder to attain this goal. That’s just another false image. And it will also leave us only with more judgment by tossing the not-good-enough Christian onto our heap of failures….So, with poetic irony, pastors help people to change not by talking about them, but by talking about the God revealed in Christ. As an irritated woman once said to me at the door following worship, ‘Jesus, Jesus, Jesus. Is that all you know?’ Had I been thinking…

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