For Whom Did Jesus Die?


Well, on the very face of it, you have to say that Jesus died for Barabbas.

I had the good fortune of preaching at University Baptist Church in Waco last weekend. I cheated a bit on the lectionary and preached about Barabbas, the insurrectionist and murderer who was released by Pilate.

There are numerous problems with this passage. One is that there’s no extra-biblical evidence of what Mark writes: “Back in those days, there was a tradition…” That tradition was to release one prisoner during the Festival of Passover. The problems are: [Read more...]

Stop Praying In Church

Aloud, that is. That’s my contribution to the Pomomusings series, “(Re)Imaging Chrisitianity:

This post is part of an ongoing blog series on Pomomusings entitled “(Re)Imagining Christianity.”

What is one belief, practice or element of Christianity that must die so that Christianity can move forward and truly impact the world in the next 100 years?

What is one belief, practice or element of Christianity that we must hold onto and live out more fully so that Christianity can move forward and truly impact the world in the next 100 years?

I’m going to keep this brief: I think that we should stop having spoken prayers in worship services.

Read the rest of my post here: Tony Jones on (Re)Imagining Christianity – Pomomusings.

This Blog: Now Available on the Kindle

If you’re a Kindle user, I’m happy to announce that this blog is now available to be read on the Kindle.

That’s just me, always making your life better! :-)

If ‘The Wire’ Had a Sixth Season

If this image doesn't haunt you, you didn't watch The Wire.

At Slacktivist, Fred imagines what institution David Simon would have turned his unflinchingly honest eye on if the greatest television series in history would have continued to a sixth season. That institution: The Church.

I’m both relieved and disappointed that the show did not continue for a sixth season. That left another key institution spared from this same harsh examination. I’m thinking of the church — a powerful, visible, historically important institution in Baltimore and other great American cities.

I’m relieved that the church was never the central focus of a season of The Wire because it’s an institution that’s dear to me and one in which I have a personal stake. Season 5 was painful for me to watch as I was, at the time, working in the newsroom of a daily newspaper. The show’s portrayal of the press as impotent, incompetent and self-destructive was withering. It was cruelly precise and uncomfortably true-to-life. It was painful to see on the screen a distillation of the same wretched reality I was watching unfold slowly in real life — to see this once-great institution to which I was committed being exposed and examined in such an unforgivingly truthful light.

So part of me is grateful that another once-great institution to which I am committed — the church — escaped such a treatment.

[Read more...]


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