Showing posts from January, 2013

God's prodigal grace and mass murderers

"I wouldn't forgive someone who killed my kid." That statement changed the direction of our conversation at church. My response is to consider what Jesus taught on his sermon on the mount.

Jesus teachers his followers how to pray. The second half of the prayer is focused on evil and our culpability and responsibility in Matthew 6 and Luke 11 "...and forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. 13 And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. 14 For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you, 15 but if you do not forgive others their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses."

We are indebted because of our wicked deeds.
Others are indebted to us because of their wicked deeds towards us.
We need to be forgiven by God. God's forgiveness of us is conditional on our forgiveness of others. We need to forgive those close to us who hurt us. We need to forgive those whose names w…

book response: Red Letter Revolution by Campolo and Claiborne (2012)

Now that the holiday break is over, I don't have the time to read a book every couple days. This one was a gift, something I was happy to receive. These guys are politically progressive and see the words of Jesus, printed in red letters in some Bible editions, supportive of those left of center positions. I'm a regular reader of their blog, Red Letter Christians, and enjoy most of the posts there as well. I don't think there is anything heretical or upsetting to Christians who aren't fundamentalists. After a while, about midway through the book, I got bored. I enjoyed the conversational style between Campolo and Claiborne, in fact, according to the afterword, the book is mostly transcribed conversations. The tone in the book retains its conversational tone throughout. This book is a political platform, which makes it a reference book, not a narrative, no matter how hard it tries to do that. In that light, this book is a good reference for understanding how conservativ…

book response: A Year of Biblical Womanhood by Evans (2012)

I cannot think of a better way for someone to argue a different way of viewing things than through narrative prose. I wish I had the skill and the stories that Rachel Held Evans does to explain my thoughts. Not that Evans thoughts on the full humanity of women, even in the church, is that revolutionary in modern culture, but it is in conservative and fundamentalist culture. A Year of Biblical Womanhood is an excellent introduction to the unnecessarily hot topic of egalitarianism in the church. But even if you are a guy who is egalitarian, or thinks he is, or is recovering from growing up a complementarian, Evans still manages to reveal blind spots.

I really don't understand why some complementarian sisters are so bothered by this book. This is Evans' story. She put herself in crazy situations, which some women whom she met and interviewed, practiced faithfully, and learned a great deal about Jesus, the church, and the Bible. Her husband, Dan, is included in the story, includin…