Monday, June 6, 2022

"Embodied Alternatives" In A Broken World

“Simon Price has pointed out how hit or miss the apologists’ range of subjects was [in the first few centuries of the early church]. He gives a long list of topics that apologists failed to treat properly:  

“There is little on the Bible, little on Christology, nothing about the Holy Spirit or the emerging doctrine of the Trinity; little on the Redemption (only Judgment); nothing about the Church, its ministry, sacraments, and other practices.”

Michael Green, assessing the apologetic writings for their evangelistic success, has concluded that there is “no example of an outsider being converted to Christianity by reading an Apologetic writing.” Apologists wrote to convince their readers of the innocence of the Christian communities’ behavior. In fact, behavior figured largely in the apologists’ writings… because of their Christian conviction that the way people live expresses what they really believe. 

Wednesday, April 13, 2022

The Historical Reality Of Jesus

I love the Facebook page “Did Abe Lincoln Really Exist?”  It’s a spoof page that takes the argument against the historicity of Jesus and applies them to Abraham Lincoln. One entry compared Abraham Lincoln, Mithras, Horus, and Dionysius under the heading “More in Common Than You Think”:  

“Like countless others, all four were born on February 12, all were lawyers, all lived in a white house, all freed people from slavery, all were visited by wise men, all lacked a middle name, all were frequently called President, and all created a secret service. None of them existed.”

It’s funny, but it highlights a serious topic: Did Jesus exist? Is he who the biblical record claims he was? And can an accurate picture of the real Jesus truly emerge from history? With Easter just around the corner, this seems like a good time to address these questions.

Sunday, February 20, 2022

The History I Did Not Learn (Black History Month Edition)


“Much of our identity is derived from our past, our cultural heritage – where we’ve come from…The white American ‘creation story,’ as it was framed in the melting pot analogy of the 1940s and ‘50s, is positive and exciting: a country forged in the ‘untamed wilderness’ out of nothing more than a healthy dose of curiosity and courage and a thirst for liberty, freedom, and – ironically – equality. The black American creation story, Asian American creation story, Latin American creation story, and Native American creation story are rooted in tragedy, kidnapping, enslavement, theft, coercion, rape, murder, genocide, inequality, exclusion, terrorism, and oppression in this country, all because of the color of their ancestors’ skin. There is no denying the powerful psychological influence of such a heritage, nor the difficulty involved with forging an identity out of such a painful past.”[10]

* * * * *

No, this isn't CRT.  It's just history. If we don't learn from it, we will repeat it. 

This is excerpted from a broader document to which I have added and will continue to add for years, so it's about the history of how POC in general have been treated in general, and the footnotes don't start at #1. Maybe I'll fix the footnotes next year.

I'm thinking I will post every year during Black History Month with any updates I have added throughout the year as I further my own education. Feel free to use this as a resource. You don't need my permission, and I don't need credit.

This is how the word is passed.

Saturday, January 15, 2022

Fatalism vs. Faith and COVID-19

A fellow was stuck on his rooftop in a flood. He was praying to God for help. Soon a man in a rowboat came by and the fellow shouted to the man on the roof, “Jump in, I can save you.” The stranded fellow shouted back, “No, it’s OK, I’m praying to God and he is going to save me.” So the rowboat went on.

Then a motorboat came by. “The fellow in the motorboat shouted, “Jump in, I can save you.” To this the stranded man said, “No thanks, I’m praying to God and he is going to save me. I have faith.” So the motorboat went on.

Then a helicopter came by and the pilot shouted down, “Grab this rope and I will lift you to safety.” To this the stranded man again replied, “No thanks, I’m praying to God and he is going to save me. I have faith.” So the helicopter reluctantly flew away.

Soon the water rose above the rooftop and the man drowned. He went to Heaven. He finally got his chance to discuss this whole situation with God, at which point he exclaimed, “I had faith in you but you didn’t save me, you let me drown. I don’t understand why!”

To this God replied, “I sent you a rowboat and a motorboat and a helicopter, what more did you expect?”

* * * * *

I continue to see lots of memes posted that say something like, “I don't fear Covid, because God decides when it's my time to die.”

At its best reading, this kind of meme could be trying to say that in the midst of all kinds of things in life that have the potential to kill us, we Christians still go about our life without constantly worrying about it because a) we believe that God oversees history and at minimum permits life to unfold as it does, and b) the Christian hope of life everlasting doesn’t put all our life eggs in this present basket. As far as Christian theology goes, fair enough. I’m tracking. Death is really hard on those who remain, but not on those who move on into a heavenly eternity.

However, it often seems to means that someone is not willing to take any steps to avoid getting COVID (or to help other people not get it) because in some sense it just doesn't matter. If God controls the start and stop point of our lives, we have 0% control over either incident. Therefore, no action we take or choice we make will change anything. Que sera, sera.