Tag Archives: Jesus

God bless the talents

Ever have one of those eureka moments when you realize that one piece of information you have is related to another piece? Then it’s OBVIOUS, when it had not been.

My wife’s reading this book about education, and there is a reference to the Matthew effect, basically this: “Early success in acquiring reading skills usually leads to later successes in reading as the learner grows, while failing to learn to read before the third or fourth year of schooling may be indicative of lifelong problems in learning new skills.” (This suggests that services such as Head Start are vitally important.)

It was the naming, though, that brought me up short. Continue reading God bless the talents

J is for Jesus

As I have noted, I’ve been reading – very slowly – a book by Shane Claiborne and Chris Haw, Jesus for President. The subtitle is Politics for Ordinary Radicals. The title had concerned me what it might be promulgating, but that turned out not to be a worry. The book is coming from a Christian POV, but not a traditional one.

Jesus for President shows the political backdrop in the early first century and how subversive Jesus was. “Jesus spoke about a throne, and Herod wasn’t on it… His campaign slogan was ‘Jubilee,'” a topic I’ve addressed recently. Here is a brief video of Claiborne [LISTEN].

The book has a lot to say about war and the environment and patriotism, and I hope you read it. Certainly, in the case of the latter, it spurned my post about the American flag. But let me give you just a taste.

I had the profoundly great opportunity to see Continue reading J is for Jesus

What a Christian can learn from a Muslim about Jesus, by way of Dostoevsky

I’ve got to read this book!

You may not know the name Reza Aslan, but you might have heard about the controversy about an interview that FOX News religion report Lauren Green did with him about his book Zealot, about the life of Jesus. She questioned how a Muslim could write about Jesus, and he kept repeating his extensive credentials as a religious scholar. The storm over her amateurish piece helped the sales of his book reach #1 on the New York Times best seller list.

More interesting to me was this interview with John Oliver of The Daily Show. Aslan is addressing the Christian POV, though not focused on the Christ aspect of Jesus. Aslan disputes the notion of Jesus Continue reading What a Christian can learn from a Muslim about Jesus, by way of Dostoevsky

For the Bible tells me so

No, these are NOT my positions. Or His.
So this is what happens on a regular basis in the past decade or so. The particulars are almost unimportant, though I’ll give you an example anyway.

1. Someone will say something I think is outrageous, and justify their position by citing Jesus, God and/or the Bible. Current example: Rep. Stephen Fincher’s defense of Congress slashing $4.1 billion + from food stamps over the next 10 years was from the New Testament, specifically 2 Thessalonians 3:10: “For even when we were with you, we gave you this command: Anyone unwilling to work should not eat.” As the article notes Continue reading For the Bible tells me so

A book I ought to read: Jesus for President

There was a study of a book in Albany called Jesus for President: Politics for Ordinary Radicals by Shane Claiborne and Chris Haw. Claiborne was even in town, leading some workshop. But I was busy. Then I read this excerpt of the book in my church newsletter:
“Christianity is at its best when it is peculiar, marginalized, suffering, and it is at its worst when it is popular, credible, triumphal and powerful.”

Sounds like my kind of book.

From the preface:
Continue reading A book I ought to read: Jesus for President

You can't get to heaven on a pair of skates

“…’cause you’ll roll, right past those Pearly Gates.” Old song that popped into my head.

So Chris Honeycutt found my villainous thoughts totally inadequate; I’m unsurprisingly all right with that, and she came up with her own here and here and here. My, she’s thought about this a LOT, it would seem.

But in between, she poses this question: Can you be a good Christian and fantasize about being a villain? In the main, I totally agree with her that “we should want to be Christlike, but in reality we’re, well… not.
“Story is good, imho, for exploring those un-Christlike qualities that we possess. If we don’t face them as a reality, we can become repressed. And while suppression (holding back emotion and thought until an appropriate time and expressing them in appropriate ways) is good, repression (trying to hold back emotion forever until we blow like a tea kettle) is very bad.” Continue reading You can't get to heaven on a pair of skates

M is for Martha

I always liked the name Martha. Partly, it’s because my first girlfriend was named Martha. I used to serenade her with the song Martha My Dear by the Beatles [LISTEN], from the white album. It was only later I discovered that Martha was Paul McCartney’s English sheepdog.

Martha Dandridge Custis Washington (pictured), of course, was the first First Lady of the United States, though Continue reading M is for Martha