Weekend links: Bin Laden de-brief and book news

Bin Laden and discernment: 

I don’t know if you heard anything about this, but Bin Laden was killed this past week.  Yep… some Navy SEALs snuck into the Pakistan and shot him dead.  The rest of the week offered a flood of news stories, though the word “new” isn’t accurate, because the flood that rushed in wasn’t “news;” it was opinion.

One blogger writes:  Joyfully celebrating the killing of a killer who joyfully celebrated killing carries an irony that I hope will not be lost on us. Are we learning anything, or simply spinning harder in the cycle of violence?  You might not like all he says, but that’s OK; it’s still worth listening for the voice of truth.

This blogger quotes the Pope, who says:  “In the face of a man’s death, a Christian never rejoices, but reflects on the serious responsibilities of each person before God and before men, and hopes and works so that every event may be the occasion for the further growth of peace and not of hatred.”

Finally, I like what this guy says about Bonhoeffer and Bin Laden: “Bonhoeffer took the interesting stand of proclaiming actions such as those he agreed to participate in against Hitler as unrighteous but responsible, sinful and yet without better option.  Bonhoeffer did not rejoice at the prospect of killing, rather he mourned, admitted the sinfulness of the undertaking, and reserved all judgment of such actions for God.”

The Colors of Hope blog tour:  

It’s been a privilege to share some of the principles from the new Colors of Hope book on the following blogs this week:

1. I wrote a piece for Becoming Minimalist on simplicity, and would encourage you to check out Josh Becker’s wonderful, practical blog on a regular basis.

2. Larry Shallenberger offers the first online review of the book, along with a chance to win a free copy.  Right now the odds of winning are 1 in 2, though the more people who enter, the lower the odds.  Still… worth considering 🙂

3. The Colors of Hope Facebook page is up and running, with a book trailer about the book posted there.

4. There’s also a team of generous volunteers working on building a contest into the Facebook page so that people can share stories of non-profits that are painting the colors of hope on the canvas of our world and vote for the best stories.  The winning non-profit receives a cash donation and proceeds from book sales off the website.  I’ll have more later on this, but I wanted to share it because I’m excited about hearing and sharing stories of the good things God is doing in the world.  Think about nominating stories from things like One Day’s Wages, and Youthwise, or International Justice Mission, or New Horizons, or World Relief, or…. I’m looking forward to the story sharing!

Sermon the Mount:

I’m beginning to study for our summer series from Matthew 5-7 and will leave you with this, from my friend I’ve only met in books, E. Stanley Jones (who was a friend of Gandhi, by the way), in his Unshakeable Kingdom (download free here) speaking of the problem of a weak Christianity:

“(The gospel) wasn’t (seen as) God’s total plan  and program for life, all life, now, but simply a reward thrown in at the end.”

Dr. Jones and I have good news:  It’s much…much…more.  Let the adventure continue!

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  • Regarding Bin Ladden: I think the Pope’s words are close to the mark, but I think it is a little incorrect. First, we can rejoice when certain people die — when they are Christians and have been suffering and they go to a better place. Of course, such was certainly not the case with Bin Laden. Second, as the Pope says, hopefully every event will promote peace. In the long run, it certainly seems that Bin Laden’s death will further peace. Third, in the Psalms, David certainly rejoiced in victory of his enemies. I am not quite sure what to do with that given Jesus’ message of loving our enemies. It seems to me, as Christians, there is a dissonance between loving our enemies, but rejoicing when there is victory over those who are trying to kill us.

    Regarding Your Book: I have read the part that is posted on Facebook and I look forward to reading the whole thing. Your last book was great, and I doubt this one will be anything less than amazing. Would love it if you wanted to write something on my blog.