Monday, February 28, 2011

A Night At the Oscars

A few years ago, I went to the mall with someone who had never seen a mall--they were from a land quite primitive; when the first saw the huge parking long, they wanted to know if we were shopping for a car. They couldn’t imagine so many people being in one place, so a used car lot was the only thing that made sense.

When I watched the Oscars last night, I could help but wonder what they would say about it; what would someone who doesn’t even own a TV--or know English for that matter--what would they have to say?

Perhaps they would comment on the clothes that sparkled and wonder why they would wear things with lights? They might laugh at the animated behavior of some presenters? They’d probably wonder why anyone was watching it?

It would seem odd to me that they would think these things, but I would have to admire their innocence.

A part of me is a bit ashamed that the Oscars (or anything on TV) is not foreign to me; shamefully, I’m too worldly for it all to seem normal...

That’s all I have to say so enjoy two mildly amusing Christian inspired movie moments below...

Friday, February 25, 2011

Why I Make a Lousy Evangelical and a Lousy Progressive

Originally posted on my own personal blog.

My friend Rachel Held Evans recently wrote how she is both a lousy evangelical and a lousy progressive. I'm pretty sure Rachel is my long lost sister, because I don't fit in fully with either the evangelical label or the progressive label either! Here's why . . .

I'm a Lousy Evangelical Because:

1. I believe the world is billion years old.

2. While I haven't read The Origin of Species yet, I think there's some truth to Darwin.

3. Even though I believe the Bible is true and inspired by God, I have questions about the inerrancy part.

4. I do NOT watch Fox News!

5. I don't believe in Just War theory.

6. I've never "kissed dating goodbye."

7. I'm actually happy that Maryland is considering legalizing gay marriage.

I'm a Lousy Progressive Because:

1. I'm not a universalist.

2. I talk a lot about creation care and radical inclusivity, but I"m not very good at either one.

3. I think Paul was an alright guy.

4. I believe Jesus really did physically rise from the grave.

5. And I believe His mom was a virgin.

6. Sometimes I get tired of deconstructing theology and questioning orthodoxy.

7. Even though I won't be joining the GOP any time soon, I don't have much faith in the Democrats either.

But you know what? I actually like being somewhere in between an evangelical and a progressive. Makes me feel . . . unique.

Friday, February 18, 2011

When a Juggalo Finds Faith

Back in high school, me and my boys used to crank up Insane Clown Posse on our little portable CD players during lunch. Things have changed since "Chicken Huntin'" and "The Great Milenko," though. ICP isn't rapping about killing rednecks anymore; they're not rapping about . . . faith?

Witness "Miracles." (Video contains profanity)

As crazy as it sounds, I kinda miss the old misogynistic, violent, drugged out ICP!

Friday, February 11, 2011

Another Rapping White Evangelical

Remember a few months ago when I said white evangelicals should not rap? Well, here's another reason why . . .

Now don't get me wrong, I have nothing against rap. I just think this girl should the rapping up to Lecrae.

Friday, February 4, 2011

The Greatest Prayer

(Disclaimer: HarperOne gave me a copy of this book for free to review. No one is paying me for this review . . . unfortunately.)

I assume that most of the people reading this blog are familiar with the Lord’s Prayer. Some of us recite it every Sunday at church, some during weddings, and some have it framed on our wall. There is even a special cross you can order that, when you look through it, you can read the Lord’s Prayer in it’s entirety. However, could it be that the prayer is more than just a comforting prayer of devotion? Have we overlooked the prayer's more radical aspects?

According to biblical scholar/historian John Dominic Crossan, the answer is yes.

In his latest book, The Greatest Prayer: Rediscovering the Revolutionary Message of the Lord's Prayer, Crossan uses history and scripture to uncover the more social/political aspects of the Lord's Prayer. According to Crossan, since God is referred to as "Father," this signifies that God is the Divine Householder who makes sure that everyone in the household have enough. And as heirs to God and joint heirs with Jesus (Romans 8:17), it's our job, as Christians, to be "stewards of a world that we must maintain in justice and equality." (p. 182) As children of God, we get to participate in His Great Divine Cleanup of the World, which is God's way of setting the wrong things right.

While some passages are a bit slow-moving, overall Crossan does a great job getting his (or perhaps its really God's) message across. Even though he can be a bit unorthodox (like his colleague Marcus Borg, Crossan also doubts that the tomb really ways empty), I think he doesn't stray far from biblical teaching (or at least how I understand what the Bible teaches). As I've been exploring my faith during the past year, I've discovered that personal salvation and stewardship for God's creation (meaning both nature and mankind) are both facets of the Gospel. You can't have one without the other.

Final score: 4 out 5 stars.