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Showing posts from April, 2015

The Parable of the shrewd Manager

This morning I read in Luke's gospel this curious story.

Luke 16 Jesus told his disciples: “There was a rich man whose manager was accused of wasting his possessions. 2 So he called him in and asked him, ‘What is this I hear about you? Give an account of your management, because you cannot be manager any longer.’
3 “The manager said to himself, ‘What shall I do now? My master is taking away my job. I’m not strong enough to dig, and I’m ashamed to beg— 4 I know what I’ll do so that, when I lose my job here, people will welcome me into their houses.’
 5 “So he called in each one of his master’s debtors. He asked the first, ‘How much do you owe my master?’ 6 “‘Nine hundred gallons[a] of olive oil,’ he replied. “The manager told him, ‘Take your bill, sit down quickly, and make it four hundred and fifty.’
 7 “Then he asked the second, ‘And how much do you owe?’ “‘A thousand bushels[b] of wheat,’ he replied. “He told him, ‘Take your bill and make it eight hundred.’
8 “The master com…

blaming the victims at the #Baltimoreuprising

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When poor minorities riot over unjust treatment, privileged majority observers speculate about the family breakdown that must be the cause of so much property damage.

But the privileged majority observers never seem to worry about what psychological conditions lead to the police officer mindset that justifies capital punishment for non-capital offenses. Running away from a police officer is not a capital offense. Wrestling with a police officer is not a capital offense. Carrying an air soft pistol is not a capitol offense. Stealing cigarillos is not a capital offense. Selling single cigarettes is not a capital offense. Resisting arrest is not a capital offense. Walking down a dark stairway is not a capital offense. Property damage is not a capital offense.

But the law disproportionately forgives or justifies the citizen wearing blue, allowing capital punishment... summary execution... murder.

When trials do happen, poor minorities are disproportionately incarcerated, breaking down fam…

the sinner caught sinning

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Twice in Matthew's gospel Jesus references Hosea.

The first time is after he calls Matthew the tax collector to join him. Matt ends up hosting a party for Jesus and invites all his sinful friends to come meet Jesus, his new boss. The religious dudes can't believe Jesus is associating with the losers. Jesus says to them, 12 On hearing this, Jesus said, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. 13 But go and learn what this means: ‘I desire mercy, not sacrifice.’ For I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.” Matt. 9

The second time Jesus and the crew are walking through a field and helping themselves to ripe heads of grain. The religious dudes have a problem with this, not because it's theft, this was an accepted practice, but because they were doing it on the Sabbath. Jesus responds, 7 "If you had known what these words mean, ‘I desire mercy, not sacrifice,’ you would not have condemned the innocent." Matt. 12

Without referencing Hosea, th…

Podcasts on my ipod update Spring 2015

I keep finding more and more podcasts to listen to and I have less and less time to listen to them all. I do not have time for some of ones I noted last December anymore.

Science and Faith - Ask Science Mike , Twitter @ mikemchargue
"People call me Science Mike. Christian turned atheist turned Jesus follower. Spiritual and skeptical."
Faith and Doubt and Worship - The Liturgists, Twitter @ TheLiturgists, with Michael Gungor
"A collective of artists seeking to make thoughtful, progressive, beautiful, and evocative liturgical work."
Faith and sexual minorities - At the end of the day by Kevin O'Brien, filmmaker and his co-host, a Baptist pastor
"I'm not trying to reach the #LGBT community. I'm trying to reach hetero-Xians w/ doubts & questions but no safe place to ask them."
Humor and a little faith - You made it weird with Pete Holmes
"Everybody has secret weirdness, Pete Holmes gets comedians to share theirs."

Update...I forgot one. …

When I was arrested, forgiven, and freed

I was arrested when I was 12 years old, a week after 6th grade had ended. It did not bode well for the summer before moving up to the junior high school. I was not alone though. My best friend Mike and I were leaving the school bus yard, which was across the street from my small apartment complex, when a policeman turned on his siren right behind us and momentarily terrorized us. Not thinking we were in trouble he called us over to his car and asked us if we had been around any of the older buses parked in the far back end of the lot. Again, not thinking we were in trouble we told him we had. He told us to get in the back of his car.

I really had no idea that I was in trouble. In fact, I thought there must be someone dangerous back there that the cop wanted us to be protected from. But, no, we were the ones that he thought needed to be stopped. Not only were we trespassing, but windows had been broken out of those old buses, and we were the primary suspects. Mike and I had not broken …

Greg Boyd's perspective on Flood's Disarming Scripture

Greg Boyd has started his own book response to Flood's book with the title, Must We Deny Biblical Infallibility to “Disarm” Scripture? A Review of Derek Flood’s Disarming Scripture: Part 1. Boyd is not comfortable with the loss of infallibility in Flood's book. However, Boyd's understanding of infallibility may be more limited than others.' In a footnote he writes,
To be clear, I will defend the view that the Bible is infallible in accomplishing all that God intends it to accomplish, which, as shall become clear later on, is ultimately to point us toward, and bring us into a relationship with, the God revealed in the crucified Christ. This concept of biblical infallibility has nothing to do with whether or not there are scientific or historical errors or internal contradictions in the Bible, which is why I prefer “infallibility” over “inerrancy.” Nevertheless, I am looking forward to the other parts of Boyd's response. My own long form book responses, chapter by ch…

ch. 7 a long form book response to The Bible Tells Me So by Peter Enns

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Until last autumn, I had not read any of Dr. Peter Enns' books although I am a regular reader of his blog at Patheos, "rethinking biblical christianity..." I did write a brief review in November and after writing the long form book response to Flood's book Disarming Scripture, I thought it would benefit me to reflect more on this book as well. It is an excellent book and written in a more accessible style than Flood's. There are only seven chapters with numerous sub-headings in each chapter.

The 7th chapter is titled, The Bible, just as it is, which is also the final chapter. Enns keeps the summary brief, although there is much to summarize. There are about a dozen points, but a couple jump out to me, such as, "The Bible is not, never has been, and never will be the center of the Christian faith." (p. 237) The Christian faith is centered on Christ. It is so obvious, yet easily forgotten in my experience. What is the relationship of the Bible to the Ch…

ch. 6 a long form book response to The Bible Tells Me So by Peter Enns

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Until last autumn, I had not read any of Dr. Peter Enns' books although I am a regular reader of his blog at Patheos, "rethinking biblical christianity..." I did write a brief review in November and after writing the long form book response to Flood's book Disarming Scripture, I thought it would benefit me to reflect more on this book as well. It is an excellent book and written in a more accessible style than Flood's. There are only seven chapters with numerous sub-headings in each chapter.

The 6th chapter is titled, "No one saw this coming." There are so many good quotes here. It will be tough to select a few. The situation is the Old Testament provides the setting for Jesus, but Jesus changes everything, which means everything before him needs to be read in light of the Jesus Event. His followers had a text to work from, but it had to be reworked and understood afresh.
To talk about Jesus they had to adapt and transform the old language for a new t…

ch. 5 a long form book response to The Bible Tells Me So by Peter Enns

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Until last autumn, I had not read any of Dr. Peter Enns' books although I am a regular reader of his blog at Patheos, "rethinking biblical christianity..." I did write a brief review in November and after writing the long form book response to Flood's book Disarming Scripture, I thought it would benefit me to reflect more on this book as well. It is an excellent book and written in a more accessible style than Flood's. There are only seven chapters with numerous sub-headings in each chapter.

The 5th chapter is provocatively titled "Jesus is bigger than the Bible." Enns asserts that Jesus was a regular rabbi of his time, who debated the meanings of the Old Testament for their current time, the same struggle we have today. Enns shares an example from our culture of Constitutional debates. Our American society has very divided ideas of how to apply the 2nd amendment right to bear arms. For one thing, "arms" meant something differnt, flint lock …

ch. 4 a long form book response to The Bible Tells Me So by Peter Enns

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Until last autumn, I had not read any of Dr. Peter Enns' books although I am a regular reader of his blog at Patheos, "rethinking biblical christianity..." I did write a brief review in November and after writing the long form book response to Flood's book Disarming Scripture, I thought it would benefit me to reflect more on this book as well. It is an excellent book and written in a more accessible style than Flood's. There are only seven chapters with numerous sub-headings in each chapter.

The 4th chapter ends with this thought, which makes the issues covered here seem less heretical, "getting the Bible right and getting Jesus right are not the same thing." p. 164 This chapter is titled, "Why doesn't God make up his mind?"

If we see the Bible's writers as people on different stages of their journeys in their relationship with God, we will be much less frustrated with it's contradictory rules and views of God, "different pa…

ch. 3 a long form book response to The Bible Tells Me So by Peter Enns

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Until last autumn, I had not read any of Dr. Peter Enns' books although I am a regular reader of his blog at Patheos, "rethinking biblical christianity..." I did write a brief review in November and after writing the long form book response to Flood's book Disarming Scripture, I thought it would benefit me to reflect more on this book as well. It is an excellent book and written in a more accessible style than Flood's. There are only seven chapters with numerous sub-headings in each chapter.

In the 3rd chapter, "God likes stories," Enns develops his thesis, the writers of the Bible are not news reporters but writers with agendas who use history and also supplement with ahistorical details to make their points. Nowadays, such writers would accused of lying, but these writers are not hiding their agendas, nor do they seem concerned about contradictions between their stories.

As an aside, even though I am breaking this down by chapter, it will be hard to…

This Friday is good because of love

I wish I could post all of this Eastern Orthodox perspective on love as the driver for all theology. However, it's not mine and I don't have permission, so I will share the introduction to entice my dear readers to click over and read the rest.

It may surprise you to hear that the original Gospel—the Good News preached by Jesus Christ and His disciples—is quite different from what is prominently presented today by the vast majority of Christians in America. For many Christians, hearing this original Gospel will involve a major paradigm shift—a radical change in assumptions about God and about salvation, which is at the core of the Gospel. The original Christian Gospel begins with—love. John 3:16, 17 says: “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.” Furthermore, the Apostle…

ch. 2 a long form book response to The Bible Tells Me So by Peter Enns

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Until last autumn, I had not read any of Dr. Peter Enns' books although I am a regular reader of his blog at Patheos, "rethinking biblical christianity..." I did write a brief review in November and after writing the long form book response to Flood's book Disarming Scripture, I thought it would benefit me to reflect more on this book as well. It is an excellent book and written in a more accessible style than Flood's. There are only seven chapters with numerous sub-headings in each chapter.

In the 2nd chapter, Enns gets right to the most sensitive spot in the Bible, the topic atheists love to talk about, Old Testament genocide, as ordered or enacted by God. After surveying plenty examples of God killing people he observes, "[killing is] the go-to punishment for disobedience. To put a fine point on it, this God is flat-out terrifying..." p. 31 In particular, the Canaanites are singled out since Noah's condemnation of his own grandson, Canaan, son …