Part Two of the Curious Case of the “Kick Ass” Messiah

advent expectations

Last week, I gave Christian Piatt a hard time. Why? Because I thought he oversimplified the world of Jesus. As Christian put it, in his typically vivid way, Jesus offered salvation, but “not in the way they [the Jews] had expected. They longed for a conqueror to ride in, kick ass, and take names, but instead he arrived as the Suffering Servant” (page 47).The Jews wanted a “kick ass” messiah, but Jesus came as a suffering servant.This isn’t true.If this isn’t true, then what is? Well, … [Read more...]

The Curious Case of the “Kick Ass” Messiah


Don't be surprised if, during Advent, you hear a sermon that goes something like this: The Jews wanted a political messiah, but Jesus brought a peaceable kingdom.The Jews wanted someone to destroy Rome, but Jesus came to make peace.The Jews wanted a military ruler, but Jesus inaugurated a spiritual reign. I’ve heard this formula so many times that I’ve developed a gag reflex to it. Yet it keeps coming up. I was reading Christian Piatt’s Postchristian, for example, and came across this s … [Read more...]

Prodigal Blood: a response to Sheridan Voysey’s Resurrection Year

Voysey book

A post by Priscilla Pope-LevisonThe day before I started to bleed I turned 30. Jack and I celebrated my birthday and a baby on the way underneath a crystal chandelier in the dining room of our 1920s home. So many corners of the house needed work, like most of the homes on the once posh street in Kansas City, but we had fallen in love with its delft-tiled fireplace, crisscross wooden beams, and real crystal chandelier. We planned to restore the house to its original glory, starting with the … [Read more...]

Welcome, Black and Blue Saints

The moaning woke me up. A deep moaning, somewhere between anguish and pain. I lay still on my back for a few moments of unknowing, staring at the ceiling above our bed, at the shoddy patch that ran from one wall to the other above our heads, a sloppily mended crack. Our first house: lavish with wood beams and chandeliers but with a dank basement, a leaky roof, ascetic electric wiring, and a thoroughly questionable neighborhood.Why hadn’t I fixed that ceiling with a baby on the way, I w … [Read more...]