Saturday, June 04, 2011

Prophetic Voice

The common biblical notion of a prophet is to speak truth to power, prophets are not above the ebb and flow of life, they are not any better or worse than others, yet they are often scrutinized, challenged, and many times beaten down, whilst their words are ignored. It is not a vocation they choose, for who would choose it, but none the less is it is a vocation that is so desperately needed. The ability to vision a new life, a better life, amid the mess that is our present life, sustains many, gives hope, imagination. When hope is on a tightrope, we need to hear the prophetic voice anew, may it inspire the imagination. Surely, at times, poetry is more important than food, soon the revolution will be televised, usque quo domine.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Piper and the Rhetorics of Pimpin

I saw this on a twitter feed of one of my friends and found it very disturbing:

"The horrendous, gut-wrenching reality of Haiti's earthquake happens DAILY in abortions."

It purports to be a quote from John Piper, you know the guy who thinks girls shouldn't be on the wrestling team, and the one who thinks god chases gay sympathizers with tornadoes. So I shouldn't be surprised. But what really made me mad is that in an effort to (re)frame the debate about abortion into the graphic horror Piper believes it to be, he pimps out Haiti's earthquake, and the countless victims. Really? Isn't there a better way to make your point Mr. Piper?

Friday, January 22, 2010

God bless America...

I believe God made the St. Lawrence River, and the Rio Grande River, and the China Sea and the English Channel, but I don’t believe God made America, or Canada, or Mexico, or England, or China. Man did that. . . . It is doubtful that there has ever been a nation established for bad reasons. Nations are always established to escape tyranny, to combat evil, to find freedom, to reach heaven. Man has always been able to desire to build a heaven. But it seems he has never been able to admit that he didn’t pull it off. So he keeps insisting that he did pull it off. And that is really what patriotism is all about. It is the insistence that what we have done is sacred. It is that transference of allegiance from what God did in creating the whole wide world to what we have done with (or to) a little sliver of it. Patriotism is immoral. Flying a national flag—any national flag—in a church house is a symbol of idolatry. Singing ‘God Bless America’ in a Christian service is blasphemy. Patriotism is immoral because it is a violation of the First Commandment.

Will D. Campbell, “I Love My Country: Christ Have Mercy,” Motive (December, 1969)

HT: Halden

Friday, January 08, 2010

Michael Goulder: A Biblical Scholar

On the news of Michael Goulder's passing, I can't help but think of the time he came to Sheffield to speak to our Graduate Seminar, and being profoundly moved. Here was the epitome of a biblical scholar, someone who spent his life playing with the text, not in disservice to the text, but in order to understand it better, to think anew with the text, to never be satisfied with what some might call the "plain meaning" of a text. I remember his lecture starting with the acknowledgment that he could no longer read his own notes, thus signifying in my mind to expect a series of loosely connected meanderings, instead we got a lucid lecture that was easy to follow, yet rivaled the depth of any published monograph on the subject, I was amazed that he did this all from memory. There are few scholars that can stay relevant in a field like biblical studies throughout their lifetime. Michael Goulder was one, and the field was and is better for him.

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

Brit Hume really pissed me off!

I'm not sure why I read Denny Burk's blog, it always irritates me and gets my blood pressure through the roof. Mind you this is due to Denny's perspective on the Christian faith, not Denny himself, I should note that Denny himself is a pretty cool chap. Anyhow his blog brought my attention to the comments of Brit Hume about how Christianity can help Tiger Woods. Now I am getting this info second hand, because Fox News isn't often played on our televisions...but according to the clip Brit states, "Tiger, turn to the Christian faith and you can make a total recovery and be a great example to the world."

Ok so, if Tiger finds forgiveness and redemption in the Christian God, that's great and more power to him, but how in the hell will that cause a "total recovery" and how exactly will Tiger now be a "great example to the world."

I wonder about the brokenness he caused his family, how he betrayed his wife, and made a complete mockery of her. Forgiveness and redemption may help Tiger with his sense of guilt and his own issues, but it does nothing to undo what was done, and this misogynistic perspective ticks me off. Now don't get me wrong I am a strong believer in truth and reconciliation as a means of moving forward, it names the past for what it is, and finds ways to make the present and future bearable and sometimes better, but to insinuate that with the Christian faith Tiger can make a "total recovery" (whatever that means) is ridiculous.

And please inform me how and why Tiger, if he follows Brit's advice, will be a great example to the world. What exactly is the message here, why would he be a great example, I am racking my brains and can't figure it out. Only in Pat Robertsons F***ed up world would Tiger be a great example.

Brit goes on to suggest that the controversy sorrounding his statement is due to the power of naming the name of Jesus, and this may be true in our politically correct culture where it is verboten to speak such things, but Brit's lack of depth and triteness are what got my blood boiling!