The Hunger Games, the Zombie Apocalypse, and the Meaning of Myths, Old and New

Greeks

The Greek’s accepted their myths as true in the sense that they were not doubted, but they were not accepted in the way that everyday reality is….  A Greek conventionally put the gods “in heaven,” but he would have been astounded to actually see them in the sky.  He would have been no less astounded if someone using time in its literal sense, told him that Hephaestus had just remarried or that Athena had aged a great deal lately.  Then he would have realized that in his own eyes mythic time had o … [Read more...]

Conscience, Civil Disobedience, and Holy Obedience

poster final art flattened and small (2)

In 1973, Gene Sharp, who is now in his 80s, published a trilogy of books on The Politics of Nonviolent Action. Volume 2 includes a list of “198 Methods of Nonviolent Action,” outlines each method, and gives information about its historical use. The intent is to inspire the imaginations of future activists seeking to use nonviolence to transform our word for the better.The New York Times, writing about Sharp’s influence, has said: Few Americans have heard of Mr. Sharp. But for decades, his pr … [Read more...]

Simplify! Living More Abundantly with Less Stuff in Less Space

Enough-cover-194x300

(Will Davis, Jr., Enough: Finding More by Living with Less, 2012, 232 pages.) This book review is a sponsored post that is part of the Patheos Book Club. When I was first asked to review this book, my first thought was, "Great. I've already read it!" However, I was mistakenly thinking of another good book titled "Enough" by an author whose first name is also "Will": Enough: Contentment in an Age of Excess by Will Samson (from back in 2009). Reflecting on this duplicate title reminded me of anot … [Read more...]

#OccupyChurch: Jesus Threw out the Moneylenders for a Reason

Andy Lester was one of the most important professors I had in seminary. I took two classes from him: Introduction to Pastoral Care and Pastoral Care Confronts Anger and Conflict. As part of the latter class, we helped edit his book A Pastoral Theology of Anger, which cuts against the grain of the tradition that anger is always a sin. Perhaps the most important reading assignment in that class was an essay by Beverly Wildung Harrison titled, “The Power of Anger in the Work of Love.” She invites us … [Read more...]

Jesus’ Parable of the Job Creator, the Day Laborers, and #OccupyWallSt

Jesus’ “Parable of the Generous Landowner and the Laborers in the Vineyard” could be profitably retold today as “The Parable of the Job Creator and the Day Laborers.” This story is one of those frequent passages of scripture that many would likely decry as “Socialism!” if these passage were not from the Bible. … [Read more...]

Brian McLaren, "Two Kinds of Religion," and #OccupyWallSt

I was reminded today of a quote from author and public theologian Brian McLaren that has fresh resonance in the wake of the Occupy Wall Street protests: There are two kinds of Christianity, along with two kinds of Islam, Judaism, and every other religion and non-religion too: one of social control and one of social transformation; one to hold people down, one to lift them up; one an opiate to pacify people into compliance, the other a stimulant to empower people to imagine a better world, a … [Read more...]


CLOSE | X

HIDE | X