It’s for Google Chrome, which I also love:
It’s for Google Chrome, which I also love:
The good people of Denver put their spiritual lives at risk by asking Nadia Bolz-Weber to preach before the myriad (look it up)-large throng at Red Rocks on Easter Sunday. I thought that maybe Nadia would borrow an idea from Watermark Church in Dallas and build a massive version of the Bridge Illustration so that she could walk across the Cross:
(I shit you not. You can watch the video here. You may wonder, as I did, if the illustration breaks down a bit when three stagehands show up to lower the Cross over the chasm.)
I personally would have loved to see Nadia walk over the chasm. But, alas, she decided instead to preach the gospel. Here’s her nutshell description of what Jesus was all about:
This hopeful news comes from a church that will not sign marriage licenses anymore — at least not until gay and lesbian couple are afforded the same right to marry:
Louisville, Kentucky- On Sunday, April 17, the congregation of Douglass Boulevard Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) unanimously voted to end the practice of signing marriage licenses because they give legal benefits to heterosexual couples that are not available to homosexual couples. Until the church’s ministers may confer identical legal benefits on homosexual and heterosexual couples, they will perform only religious wedding ceremonies.
“As an Open and Affirming Community of Faith (a designation signifying DBCC’s commitment to full acceptance of all people, regardless of race, gender, age, or sexual orientation), our membership is committed to treating homosexuals and heterosexuals equally. Our congregation believes it is unfair to provide different services and benefits to heterosexual couples than we can provide to gay and lesbian couples,” said associate minister Rev. Ryan Kemp-Pappan.
If you don’t know Richard Flory, you should. He’s the author of several books that explain GenX religion better than just about anything out there. Before heading to USC, where he is the associate research professor of sociology and Director of Research in the Center for Religion and Civic Culture, he taught at Biola (that’s the Bible Institute of Los Angeles). He’s written a post with his view on the recent NYT piece on GLBT students at Christian colleges:
At Biola University, where I taught for several years, homosexuality among students, faculty and staff members was an open secret, as it is within most evangelical organizations. But according to the university’s bylaws and public relations officials, there are no gay or lesbian students, and certainly not any staff or faculty who identify as homosexual.
The recent stories in the New York Times and other news outlets, coupled with the outward expressions of belief at Biola and other evangelical schools, suggest that evangelicals have always opposed homosexuality. That notion hinges on the fact that the guiding documents of their organizations, particularly at evangelical colleges and universities, include prohibitions against sexual behavior outside of marriage, whether hetero- or homosexual. Yet this depiction of evangelical culture doesn’t quite square with the history of the schools that serve as its intellectual anchors.
This year gives us a strange confluence of Good Friday and Earth Day, both occurring today. One might think that you’d have to do some intellectual gymnastics to find a connection between the two. But Craig Goodwin does it, without the gymnastics.
Craig, author of Year of Plenty: One Suburban Family, Four Rules, and 365 Days of Homegrown Living in Pursuit of Christian Adventure, has a post at CNN’s Belief Blog in which he explores how the two observances do have some synergy. He begins by noting that it’s an uneasy connection:
Given the sensitive nature of Good Friday, I think there is good reason to be cautious in making connections. In a popular culture that has a knack for seamlessly combining cultural narratives, it’s important to not carelessly turn Good Friday and Earth Day into some kind of earthy, spiritual, “Inception”-meets-”Toy Story 3″ mashup. Instead of mixing metaphors and liturgies, I think the most helpful approach is to simply answer the question this coincidence brings to the surface: Does the death of the Jesus on the cross have anything to do with caring for the Earth?
But he goes on to explain how the two work in tandem:
Eminent sociologist of religion Peter Berger has penned a very interesting post at The American Interest asking, parabolically, how gynecologists can enjoy intercourse. More to his point: how can a biblical scholar who examines the Bible according to historical-critical method also be a person of faith. Bart Ehrman has failed at holding these tensions together, as have several of my closest friends.
I have not. In fact, I would find it disconcerting if the Bible were less parabolic, obtuse, and paradoxical than real life is. And life is, if nothing else, parabolic, obtuse, and paradoxical (at least in my experience).
Berger goes on to muse about the Society for Biblical Literature, now under the leadership of my friend, John Kutsko. John is sailing the SBL through some choppy waters these days. There was the divorce and then impending remarriage with the American Academy of Religion. And now a high profile Jewish scholar has publicly resigned because he feels that the encroachment of evangelicals threatens the “critical” nature of the SBL’s scholarship.
Landon Whitsitt has a new book out, Open Source Church: Making Room for the Wisdom of All, in which he proposes Wikicclesia. (You may recall that I proposed Wikichurch in The New Christians.) The book looks promising, and I’ll be interested to see how he navigates his notion of open source church with his commitment to the Presbyterian Church (USA) — those two commitments seem mutually exclusive to me. I’ll read the book and get back to you. In the meantime, here’s a post of his at the Alban Institute:
At some level, the notion of a “Wikipedia church” —or “Wikicclesia”— makes a lot of sense, even if we have never thought of it before.
Wikipedia: The encyclopedia that anyone can edit
Wikicclesia: The church that anyone can edit
It kind of brings a smile to your face doesn’t it? More important, it touches on a reality facing the church today: Wikipedia is a part of our everyday lives.
Here’s my interview yesterday with Rob Bell on Doug Pagitt Radio. I’ll post the rest of the show throughout this week, with my thoughts. But for now, here’s this. And, if you’re in the Twin Cities, maybe I’ll see you at Rob’s appearance tonight at Wayzata Community Church.
Today, from 12noon – 2pm CDT, I’m guest hosting Doug Pagitt Radio Doug Pagitt Radio, talking with Keith DeRose, Michael Horton, and a special surprise guest! The entire two hours will be devoted to a discussion of the book, in advance of Rob’s appearance Monday night at Wayzata Community Church.
You can tune in right here to watch the show live. You can look below the video for the interactive chat and the social media stream.