Tweets from Walter Brueggemann on May 1, 2011

The famous and prolific Hebrew Bible professor Walter Brueggemann -- author of 58 books and hundreds of articles -- taught a Bible study and preached this morning at the Alliance of Baptists Gathering in Louisville, Kentucky:If this is God’s world and if the rule of love is at work, then our mandate is not to draw into a cocoon of safety; rather, it is to be out and alive in the world in concrete acts and policies whereby the fearful anxiety among us is dispatched and adversaries can be tu … [Read more...]

Top 10 Free iPhone Apps

I've listed my favorite iPhone Apps in alphabetical order to save me from splitting hairs over the precise order. If you have other apps I should consider for the future, please list them in the comments section.Bible - Includes a number of great translations, but unfortunately not the New Revised Standard Version -- and it's much lighter than carrying a Bible around. Constitution - In these days of frequent Constitutional debate, I've found it handy to have a quick reference to what the a … [Read more...]

BOOK REVIEW: “Sinners: Jesus and His Earliest Followers” by Greg Carey

(Greg Carey, Sinners: Jesus and His Earliest Followers. Waco, Texas: Baylor University Press, 2009. 211 pages.)Greg Carey opens with a confession: his book's title is intentionally provocative (vii). With a title like “Sinners,” one’s first associations might be with those who lie, cheat, steal, or otherwise infringe on some “thou shalt not” of religious tradition. But after the colon, we read the perhaps counterintuitive subtitle “Jesus and His Earliest Followers.” Accordingly, two of the m … [Read more...]

France Caves to Islamophobia; Discourage Veiling, Don’t Discriminate

A headline in today's New York Times reads, "France Enforces Ban on Full-Face Veils in Public." To clarify definitions -- because the various forms of Islamic garb are often conflated and confused in public debate -- a niqab is, as the headline indicates, a "full-face veil" and the name comes from the Arabic word for "mask."  The niqab is a middle-ground between the less-concealing hijab (which only covers the head and derives from the Arabic word for "curtain" or "cover") and the much-more c … [Read more...]

Lectionary Commentary: “Jesus, a Donkey, and Jon Stewart’s Rally for Sanity” (for Palm Sunday, April 17, 2011)

Matthew curiously gives us a lot of details about the procurement of Jesus’ donkey. Anyone familiar with the book of Zechariah would immediately recognize why. Zechariah 9:9 says, Rejoice greatly, O daughter Zion! Shout aloud, O daughter Jerusalem! Lo, your king comes to you; triumphant and victorious is he, humble and riding on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey. He will cut off the chariot from Ephraim and the war horse from Jerusalem; and the battle bow shall be cut off, and he shall c … [Read more...]

Is Your Body Ready for Spring?

Here at Patheos -- as with most places with a spirituality focus -- you hear a lot about the sprint and the mind, but less about the body. Winter can be a sedentary season, ripe for hibernation and settling in by a fire. But with the warming days of spring upon us, I can feel my body wanting to be more active and to be outside more.To that end, I ran 4 miles this morning, and I'm counting it as "Day 1" of a two-month Sprint Triathlon training: Swim 750m/.47 mi, Bike 20 km/12.4 mi, Run 5 … [Read more...]

Lectionary Commentary: “Ray Charles and John 9 — Seeing for the First Time” (for Sunday, April 3, 2011)

Jamie Foxx, after winning the Academy Award for Best Actor for playing Ray Charles in the film  biopic Ray, gave an emotional and moving acceptance speech. He began, I've got so many people to thank here tonight and first I'm going to start it out with Taylor Hackford [the Director of Ray]. You took a chance, man. That love for Ray Charles was deep down in the earth somewhere and you opened it up. It's cracked open. And it's spilling. And everybody's drowning in this love. I thank you for taking … [Read more...]

God Was NOT in the Earthquake

A friend shared with me earlier today that he had seen the following sermon title announced at a nearby church for this Sunday, March 20: "Earthquake Theology." While addressing the ongoing aftermath of Japan's recent earthquake would be fully appropriate in a sermon, my friend was rightly disturbed when he looked up the scripture reading listed underneath the sermon title. Nahum 1:2-8 says: 2 A jealous and avenging God is the Lord, the Lord is avenging and wrathful; the Lord takes vengeance on h … [Read more...]

I Hope Rob Bell Is a Universalist

I've been following some of the controversy over Rob Bell's not-yet-even-published book Love Wins: A Book About Heaven, Hell, and the Fate of Every Person Who Ever Lived, which is poised to drop on March 15. As you may be able to guess from the title, a large part of the controversy is about whether Bell is espousing some form of the theological doctrine known as "Universalism": that every person (universally!) is, in the long run, saved. In short, God's "love wins" over everything: any … [Read more...]

Lenten Reflection: "The Questioning Servant Girl"

My contribution to Patheos' Lenten Series is now live -- written from the perspective of the Servant Girl who questioned Peter. In particular, see the reflection questions at the end of the piece.Click here to read my reflection.Also be sure to check out the whole "Shouting Stones" series, which will run throughout Lent. … [Read more...]