Looking Forward to Tonight’s Seder Dinner

Roasting the Passover eggs as I post this. From today’s StarTribune:

Edina pastor and author Tony Jones, a theologian-in-residence at Solomon’s Porch church in Minneapolis, plans to attend a Seder with his family at the home of Rabbi Joseph Edelheit on Saturday. Jones met Edelheit in the Nashville airport, struck up a conversation and became “fast friends,” he said.

“I think the ecumenical and interfaith movements of the late 20th century were great,” Jones said. “But they were almost always at a very high level, a bishop talking to a rabbi talking to a seminary professor. I think for Gen Xers and younger, we’re probably more likely to just reach out and make those connections on our own with our neighbors or our co-workers rather than because our bishop or pastor or priest tells us, ‘Hey, we’re having an official interfaith dialogue between the rabbi and the seminary professor.’

“The fact is, we live in a more pluralistic society,” he said. “Jews and Muslims and Hindus and atheists live on the same street with me, the Christian. Multiple religions has become the very fabric of society we live in.”

Christians have long held an interest in Passover because the events of Easter — Jesus’ death and resurrection — happened during the Passover festival when Jesus arrived in Jerusalem.

Read the rest of the article: A shared Seder that nourishes connections | StarTribune.com.

A Better Atonement: Jesus Died for This

This week, as we prepare for Good Friday and Easter, we’ve have a post every morning about the atonement. And I’ve curated streams on Storify and Tumbler, both tracking atonement. You can read all of the posts, and my past posts on this topic, here.

Before I conclude, let me express my thanks. This blog has picked up many new readers over the past month, as I’ve written my way through my thoughts on the atonement. I welcome you here, and I appreciate your comments (and tweets, FB posts, and blog posts). I also appreciate the favorable reviews of my ebook, A Better Atonement. Some of that book appeared originally on this blog, and some of it is exclusive to the book. This, my concluding post on the topic (for now), is not in the book.

Some have wondered why I am consumed with this topic. My brothers and sisters more liberal than I state that they figured this out long ago, and that I just making too much of Jesus’ death. One, John Vest, writes,

I titled this post “Ockham’s Atonement” not because William of Ockham had a theory of the atonement (that I’m aware of). Rather, I’m suggesting an approach to Jesus’ death that applies Ockham’s Razora simpler explanation is better than a more complex oneJesus died because he was executed by the powers he threatened. To suggest anything else is to overlay this fact of history with unnecessary theological speculation.

Am I just too evangelical, looking as I am for cosmic import and redemption in the death of at Galilean peasant two millennia ago?
I think not.

A Better Atonement: Lean Left, Tony, Lean Left!

Try as he might, Peter Laarman can’t help but sneer at my latest book. Just…Not…Progressive enough for him. Also, not smart enough, too hipster, and too evangelical. He doesn’t seem to like my eyeglasses, either. Or the book’s subtitle. Or Rob Bell. (Wait, what in God’s name does Rob Bell have to do with my book on the atonement? You’ll have to read the article to find out.)

Penitentially present to RD readers for just a minute during Holy Week, I want to welcome a new Kindle-only book from Tony Jones: A Better Atonement: Beyond the Depraved Doctrine of Original Sin.

I have never met Tony Jones, and I was initially inclined to offer a sneer instead of a review. I am still inclined toward sniping, as you will see, but the easy snipe just won’t do this time. I’ve thought about it, and (God forbid) I’ve even prayed about it. I conclude that the old Common Front principle of “no enemies on the Left” really ought to apply right now, at a moment when anyone who is honestly seeking to recast troublesome old Christian doctrines should be seen as an ally and not an enemy.

Read the Rest: Rejecting Blood Sacrifice Theology, Again | (A)theologies | Religion Dispatches.

But here’s the point of the review: Oh, look at the little post-evangelical emergent discovering what we smart liberals have known for decades. How cute!

A Better Atonement: You’re a Pig in a Poke

Singer-songwriter Roger Flyer has submitted this take on the atonement (lyrics below the video):

[Read more...]


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