Love and justice are what give us ears to hear

"If I understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith ... but do not have love, I am nothing."

Let me revisit what I'm trying to say in the previous post -- "Without justice, we're not reading the same book." Tony Jones points toward something similar in his recent discussion of Matthew Vines' book God and the Gay Christian: Vines’s book is oddly lacking in autobiography. He briefly recounts the day that he came out to his parents — “my dad’s worst day” — but then gets right to his argument that long-term, monogamous, same-sex relationships are not contrary to the Bible because they’re ne … [Read more...]

Without justice, we’re not reading the same book


Chris Tilling points us to Adam Neder's 2009 book, Participation in Christ.I appreciate Neder's subtitle: "An Entry into Karl Barth's Church Dogmatics." Many readers have found Barth's huge, dense, multi-volume work to be impenetrable, so if Neder has really found some way in, then we should be grateful to him.Much of what Tilling shares from Neder is still pretty heavy stuff -- immensely Barthy and not easy going. But let me share just one tiny bit from the very first page of Neder's … [Read more...]

Learning to walk without gravity


Some late-Friday stuff, including: How "love for Israel" can be a kind of anti-Semitism; worshipping the bronze serpent; bearing false witness against our neighbors; updating that infamous Lee Atwater quote; and the dangers of holistic medicine.• Apparently, in Glendora, California, you can be fined $500 if your lawn grass turns brown. This is in a water-scarce region, during a drought.Stupidity like this is often defended as a way of protecting "property values." Nonsense. You know what … [Read more...]

Whatever happened to the clobber texts for slavery? (Unlearning the lies, cont’d.)


For centuries, Christians have been arguing over the clobber texts used to deny women's equality in the church and in society. Those Bible passages -- a dozen or so verses selected from the origin stories of Genesis, the laws of Moses, and the epistles of Paul -- are hotly contested in an ongoing argument over their meaning and interpretation. Every year we see a new crop of books devoted to the exegesis of those verses, granular studies of first-century Greek terms and their cultural … [Read more...]

‘Ambiguity proposes, preference disposes’: We have to choose


"It's simple," my friend says. "I believe the whole Bible, just as it is."But if he thinks that's simple, then I suspect he's never read the whole Bible, just as it is.To read the Bible is to interpret the Bible, which is to say it requires us to choose between possible meanings. This choosing is constant and unavoidable. There is no such thing as reading the Bible without making such choices. Those, like my friend, who imagine that they are reading the Bible without choosing are simply … [Read more...]

Smart people saying smart things (6.17)


Dr. Jen Gunter, "An OB/GYN writes to George Will about college rape" There is no woman who I have ever met personally or as an OB/GYN who thinks that surviving a rape confers some sort of privilege. I am genuinely curious if you interviewed a few young women hoping to earn their college rape badge or is that just a conclusion you reached looking at the issue of sexual assault through the myopic lens of misogyny?Come spend a day in my clinic Mr. Will. Come see how the scars of rape linger … [Read more...]

‘Biblically correct in every way’


The Christian Post has an "exclusive" report on another upcoming Bible-themed movie: Tim Chey, the director behind the upcoming big-budget David and Goliath film, told The Christian Post in an exclusive interview that the project is set to be "biblically correct in every way," and that he hopes audiences will be moved to tears when they see it. That's a tall order, as it were, since presenting the story of Goliath while being "biblically correct in every way" will require Chey's movie to also … [Read more...]

Looking for the answer in Orion: More Mondegreenage


Mondegreens -- misheard song lyrics -- are great fun, in part, because confession is good for the soul. They're one of the few forms of confusion and misapprehension we can admit to without great risk or fear of rejection.We humans need to be fully loved, and we're all aware that one cannot be fully loved unless one is fully known. But we're all at least a little bit scared that if we were to be fully revealed, and thus fully known, it would prevent others from loving us. That's why we're … [Read more...]