Category Archives: Friday Funday

Friday Funday // 03.29.2013

Today is Good Friday. Before continuing, I would just like to point out that I wish my evangelical counterparts would do more in reverence for today. So often, those in my tradition prefer to skim over the passion narratives to get to the Resurrection that we forget to spend a significant time in focus on the death of Jesus. In doing so, we do a great disservice to Christianity and miss out on the importance of Jesus’ death as a cosmic critique of scapegoating. Below is a video from sparkhouse depicting a kid-friendly version of Good Friday (H/T Tony Jones):

This week has been great, both for content and for dialogue in general. I think the biggest (and most important) story this week was the hearing at the Supreme Court on California’s Proposition 8 and DOMA. Either way the rulings go, this will be a significant time for the nation, and perhaps the world.

Personally, I’ve been enthralled by S. Mark Heim’s Saved from Sacrifice. I’m taking it slow so as to be able to digest and understand it well, and will continue to review it on the blog for quite some time. All that being said, the atonement theory given in this book as it relates to Girardian thought is giving me some real hope in Christianity as a whole again – particularly in my post-deconstructed-faith stage.

Anyway, here is some of my favorite content this week!

By the time today’s K-12 students grow up, the challenges posed by climate change are expected to be severe and sweeping. Now, for the first time, new nationwide science standards due out soon will recommend that U.S. public school students learn about the climatic shift taking place.

But you won’t know how to explain that there is nothing nominal or lukewarm or indifferent about standing in this hurricane of questions every day and staring each one down until you’ve mustered all the bravery and fortitude and trust it takes to whisper just one of them out loud on the car ride home:

“What if we made this up because we’re afraid of death?”

In my opinion, what I sense here is Piper’s public expression of cognitive dissonance. He is smart enough to know that evolution cannot simply be brushed aside, but he is struggling with how to align that with a literalistic reading of the Bible, which is a non-negotiable requirement of his theology.

  • Kester Brewin‘s new book, After Magic, was released recently. He has some thoughts on how his writing relates to the human tendency to label outcasts as condemned when the focal point of our religion is the ‘super-nature.’ What I find particularly interesting is the relationship of Brewin’s thought to Girard’s notion of scapegoating and victimization.

After Magic… [argues] that the demonisation of ‘the other’ is an inevitable result of a theology that insists on super-nature. It has been the same through history: fundamentalist religions have required some group to be the focus of their hatred, be it Jews, blacks, gays, women, liberals, communists…

  • I’d be stupid to not post anything about the Supreme Court hearings this week. Here is Justice Sotomayor refuting (in less than a minute!) one of the common arguments against gay marriage (H/T Krista Dalton):

  • Finally, a funny (yet awesome) one. The real-life (Petaluma) Batman:

Friday Funday // 03.08.2013

As always, here’s my favorite stuff from the internets this week!

We do not have many vessels for truth-carrying in our age. While of course not being an organised body of thought, atheism might one day speak to all those things religion once answered. But at present its voice is faint. It is faint on human suffering and tragedy. And although it does not have nothing to say, it barely speaks about death. It has little if not nothing to say about human forgiveness, remorse, regret or reconciliation. These are not small ellipses.

  • Micah Murray at the Redemption Pictures blog wrote a post about the dangers of ‘thinking biblically.’

In the early days of the church, its enemies were not liberals, pagans, secularists, or atheists. The antagonists in the New Testament storyline are those who knew the Scriptures inside and out, who had studied and memorized and dedicated themselves to the applications of its teachings.

  • Rob Bell’s new book, What We Talk About When We Talk About God, is coming out on March 12, and I’M SO EXCITED. I might enjoy the more academic side of theology, but Rob Bell is the man:

  • This video, “Wealth Inequality in America,” went viral this week. Pretty crazy.

Friday Funday // 02.08.2013

Back into Friday Funday! Let’s see what we have this week…

So here is my invitation to you: the next time you get into a discussion about healthcare put my face on the pain of millions of people just like me. Maybe if you can see my wife as the one who needs help it will be easier to speak a little more softly and be a little kinder even when we differ. Let us be the ones you see when you think about the sick and needy. Let our story speak for them.

By singing songs that claim we are happy, fulfilled and utterly devoted we protect the Big Other from seeing the truth of our inner antagonisms  The more frenetically we sing the more we attempt to conceal the truth from this Big Other.

  • Dr. Eric Seibert wrote a series of posts at Peter Enns’s blog entitled “When the ‘Good Book’ is Bad: Challenging the Bible’s Violent Portrayals of God.” (Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3)

It is hard—some would say impossible—to justify the killing of infants and toddlers in stories like these. Reading this way sensitizes us to the problem of violence in these texts and keeps us from simplistically classifying such moral atrocities as good.

There are a smattering of sea monsters and dragons throughout the OT. Their roots as ANE chaos monsters is to me quite clear, but exactly how much of that mythology survived into Israelite thought is a question which requires a great deal of thought and individual examination.

  • David Henson wrote a fantastic article about Beyoncé’s performance at the Super Bowl as a display of feminism and power, NOT sexuality. (Unless, of course, that’s what you wanted to see.)

Because Beyoncé’s performance Sunday night in New Orleans wasn’t about sex. It was about power, and Beyoncé had it in spades. In fact, her show was one of the most compelling, embodied and prophetic statements of female power I have seen on mainstream television.

Friday Funday // 01.09.2013

First Friday Funday of the New Year!

Piper’s theology here still centers the abuser. A woman must merely transfer her obedience to a separate authority – on a temporary basis – in the hopes that her abuser will see the light. But that simply opens the door for abusers to revictimize, as abusers are quite savvy at making it look like they’ve changed while still engaging in abusive behavior.

So, I would like to offer these three responses to my evangelical brothers and sisters: 1) Everyone and everything has problems; 2) We need to properly differentiate between fundamentalism and evangelicalism; and 3) We need to love the Church despite itself.

  • This was a couple of weeks ago, but Brandan Robertson posted an introduction to (what I hope will be) a long-running series on “The Spectrum of Protestantism.” He also posted a follow-up post here.

At the end of the creation of this spectrum, after recieving a lot of input from my friends, I did come to one conclusion: creating a spectrum is a really hard thing to do. But that doesn’t mean it’s not an important thing to do.

  • Darkwood Brew is doing a series on homosexuality and the Church called “For the Love of God.” So far, it’s been beautiful. Part one is below, and here is part two.

Did you find anything interesting on the webs this week? I’m interested, so post a link in the comment section!

Friday Funday // 12.21.2012

Coincidentally, isn’t today the end of the world? Interesting.

God can be wherever God wants to be. God needs no formal invitation. We couldn’t “systematically remove” God if we tried. 

I am sharing this story because I am Adam Lanza’s mother. I am Dylan Klebold’s and Eric Harris’s mother. I am Jason Holmes’s mother. I am Jared Loughner’s mother. I am Seung-Hui Cho’s mother. And these boys—and their mothers—need help. In the wake of another horrific national tragedy, it’s easy to talk about guns. But it’s time to talk about mental illness.

Every single last corporately accepted religious idiosyncrasy is the institutional product of avoiding the suffocating over-proximity of absolute freedom. The security blanket of objectified beliefs ensures each one ‘believes’ without having to directly face the ‘horror’ of such beliefs.

Does this make God an inscrutable monster? That’s for each one of us to decide. But you don’t get to mythologize the Bible to let God off the hook when God is implicated in the deaths of children every day.

  • Maroon 5 + Willy Wonka! (not new, just awesome)

Friday Funday // 12.14.2012

I had basically zero time to post this week. Well, that’s not true. I technically had time to write. Alas, we had family in town from my graduation on Friday, and my daughter (lovely as she is) decided to not sleep well this week, which led me to not do much if I did have free time. Anyway, I’m planning on returning to normal blogging next week. Here’s some awesome stuff I found on the internet this week!

I ask this question, not in an attempt to extinguish someone’s faith in the Bible or be the cruel child on the playground who insists “Santa isn’t real,” but because I think we miss something vitally important about the biblical text if we so adamantly insist each and every story must be historically and literally true.

How sad, especially when the Bible they claimed to love and follow teaches that perfect love casts out fear. When we love, we reject shame. We do not use fear to control. Shame is impotent to love or help us grow – it is a prison. We must not succumb to the temptation to hide behind a veil, to pretend to be who we are not.

The excess-supplement is always at work in belief.  There is never simply what is consciously known/experienced; there is always an underside that opposes conscious recognition.

  • I somehow had not discovered Macklemore & Ryan Lewis until this week. Legit Seattle-based hip hop. [warning: some explicit language]

Did you find anything awesome this week? Post a link!

Friday Funday // 12.07.2012

Friday Funday, but a day late. Anyway, I found some awesome stuff this week on the nets.

The top 3 biggest obstacles evangelicalism faces today are:

1) Self-appointed spokesmen who manage to gain public credibility (as speaking for all evangelicals) and use that influence to exclude evangelicals they consider too “progressive” in their beliefs and interpretations of the Bible.

2) Belief that “evangelicalism” is a closed movement with definite boundaries that have to be patrolled (e.g., “inerrancy”).

3) Perceived dominance of Reformed theology as normative for evangelical faith.

I really have no interest in defending or redefining the words catholic, orthodox or evangelical. I will leave that to many others. But, one word that I do want to keep taking a closer look at is the word Christian. I don’t want to solely take a genealogical look at it, but rather seek to rediscover the original impetus of what the word is “getting at,” and consider its potential use(s) in our current cultural situation.

But we keep it quiet, the mess of the Incarnation, because it’s just not church-y enough and men don’t quite understand and it’s personal, private, there aren’t words for this and it’s a bit too much.

What is needed is a far more root and branch deconstruction of the theological, political, cultural and social narratives that men have fed us for so long; narratives that spring from repressed feelings about women, and explicit oppression of them.

  • N.T. Wright does a video (back in April, but it’s still good) entitled “Look at Jesus.”