The past few weeks I have been hurt to see the news of church shooting incidents. Times like these may rock our faith. Sometimes this means feeling intimidated, insecure. Sometimes this means questioning our commitment to peace. Sometimes this means fearing that some sort of change is coming we can’t handle. Continue reading
This past weekend The Warblr chose to publish my Op-Ed. I am thankful for the opportunity.
“I wish I could say that the Charlottesville horror—those coddled little Nazi’s with tiki torches shouting “white lives matter” at a statue until someone was killed by a terrorist—was completely isolated from our culture, that this is not America. But it is America, because you’ve tolerated it for far too long. You’ve allowed the lunatic fringe, the alt-right, the conspiracy peddlers, and the petty rumor mill to influence you, hijack your religion, seduce your otherwise outstanding zeal.
You helped create this. Will you repent of it?”
To peek into the world of Neil Gaiman’s American Gods is to peel back the curtain of America’s culture and see, through one artist’s creative lens, the temple of what the culture truly worships. It is a perverse world that feels too ancient, and yet uncomfortably familiar. In one way it feels like a post-colonial protest. In another it feels like an anthropological experiment. This is an untold story not just of the religious practices America does not admit are religious, but also of the religious practices that have carried over from immigrants across the world. Continue reading
“The revolution will be drowned in the ballot boxes—which is not surprising, since they were made for that purpose.” —Jean-Paul Sartre
I wish I had a free cup of coffee for every time I saw a picture of someone with a Bible and a cup of coffee.
It has now become a staple of Bible study in America, reaching beyond just millennials, white girls, hipsters, preachers, or even the middle and upper class. Sometimes it seems that everybody except the Mormons is taking their daily coffee with their daily (or at least periodical) Bible reading. If you notice the images in blogs, websites, and posts. Can you drink of the same cup I drink of? Apparently, we all are.
I think to myself, when will we American Christians see the irony?
When we label Islam a violent religion with no teachings of peace, when we use violent rhetoric to attack doctors who perform abortions, when we treat refugees like potential threats to a country defined by mass immigration—what are we missing?
Conclusion and Reflection
Many current critics will argue that the Gospels are obstacles to understanding the historical Jesus, but I believe they are the means. I think what plagues many modern scholars is a distrust of the past itself, an almost disdain for people of the past. We live in an “enlightened” age in which we seem to almost study all the horrible things in the past—colonialism, slavery, sexism, war, ignorance, oppression—as if looking for little happy things that stand out because they are like the values we have today. In this way I think most current historians and textual scholars dismiss the Scriptures. As Bauckham quotes Coady,
“The independent thinker is not someone who works everything out for herself, even in principle, but one who exercises a controlling intelligence over the input she receives from the normal sources of information whether their basis be individual or communal.”