Wednesday, September 26, 2007

A Great Awakening?

Justice in the BurbsHere's some good news that dares my heart to hope. Listen to Will and Lisa Samson, authors of Justice in the Burbs: Being the hands of Jesus wherever you live
We both grew up in good Christian homes. ... We figure, between the two of us, that we've heard about 4,000 sermons. ... We went to Christian schools, Christian college, Christian camps. We were involved in Scripture memory programs. And when did we memorize a verse about God's concern for the poor? [...]

And so one day we began to read Scripture with an open lens. One day we began to read Scripture for what was [really] there...

Oooh-hooo, that causes trouble. Watch them tell it:

Justice in the Burbs

Ah, the mercy of God! Day after day, I see American Christians awakening from a long sleep, suddenly aware that their Bibles tell of a Jesus whose incredible passion for justice shouts from every page, and they have not known it.

Many of us—I speak of myself—have not well followed this Jesus. We've followed instead the less troublesome, personal-salvation-obsessed, who's-our-enemy-now religion deduced from evangelical dogma and 20th-century eschatological novelties—and so startlingly absent from the Gospels. And now we scarcely know what to do when we look afresh at the breathtaking things Jesus says and does.

But something's up. There's a change in the air, I think. And I don't know that I've sensed anything quite like it before. These things are subjective; I certainly could be wrong.

But dare we wonder if it might be so, or what it means?

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , Monte Asbury

Monday, September 17, 2007

Meeting Postponed

Sorry for the late notice, but it looks like enough people have conflicts tonight that we'll need to postpone our cohort meeting, which was scheduled for 7 p.m. at the House of Aromas coffee place in Coralville. My humblest apologies to anyone who happened to show up for the meeting only to find no one there! Lon, Phil and the gang, please let me know when we might get together next.

And thanks, Monte, for the new entries! It's great to have a fresh voice here. Hope to comment soon!



Saturday, September 15, 2007

Inerrant discomfort

I came upon a discussion about inerrancy, and decided to wonder "out loud" about it. Here's the comment I left:
I guess the thing that kills me about the way I have, in the past, defended this issue is crystallized in the phrase: "All Scripture is God-breathed."
In the last few years, I've realized I have very little idea what that means. God is, somehow, and to some degree, the originator (at least of those Scriptures to which the verse refers). But did those who wrote it hear correctly? Did they hear words or concepts? Did they write through their own cultural and theological zeitgeist (how could they not?). And isn't it a tad arrogant to assume I know the answer to any of these?
The implications are huge - for unless we hold to a word-for-word dictation theory (as the early Mormons did regarding their books), a literal translation is often not the best rendering. Indeed, literal translation, even among modern languages (say, Spanish to English), is horrible translation, and what's being said is more often obscured than clarified.
What we're after is the heart of God. How we get to it, ironically, may not be in ways that fundamentalism finds "safe," and is inescapably subjective. But making it "safe" with baseless assumptions is worse, for we know such assumptions must be partly wrong.
I guess I find "safe" unsafe. To quote C.S. Lewis: "He's not a tame lion!"
Thanks for the opportunity to reflect!
Watcha think? Should the D.S. take me out for "stakes"?

Friday, September 14, 2007

Iraqi Christians greet Muslims before Ramadan

Ramadan began yesterday. Here's a story that seems consistent with an Emergent outlook, to me (not to mention, heroic).

Think so? And if so, is there an Eastern Iowa corollary?
clipped from
“We need signs of dialogue in Iraq, otherwise, all is lost”. This is what the Chaldean Archbishop of Kirkuk, Msgr. Louis Sako maintains ...
[He] invites the Christian faithful of his diocese to unite themselves in prayer to their “Muslim brothers” in Iraq, during Ramadan, Islam’s holy month. ...
The prelate – who yesterday issued a copy of his greetings in Arabic ...
has published a calendar of Ramadan rites and has distributed it to over 3 thousand families in the city ...
During this period – Msgr. Sako has invited [Christians] “to respect the feelings of Muslim citizens, not to eat and to drink publicly during this month, and not to ware [sic] indecent dress, and to join them in praying for ... unity, stability, and the safe[ty of] the lives and dignity of Iraqis”...
“Ramadan – continues his message - is a special time of prayer and progress in virtue, reconciliation and forgiveness, compassion and peace ...
"to realize a society of love, harmony, truth and justice" ...

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Made it!

Thanks, friends, for your welcome - finally made here, after getting a little befuddled by old and new gmail accounts and Blogger accounts and WordPress accounts. I'll be looking for a chance to write a "real" post soon! Best wishes!