Which Side of the Cross Are You On?

Scot McKnight made an interesting observation this week:

But the Abelardian and Girardian have an oft-missed sinister side, even if you may object to my saying so. In these theories we side with Christ and God and not those who put him to death. We end up being the good guys, the victims, while the bad guys — Roman and Jewish leaders, the gutless disciples, the whole damned human race — are the ones who put him there. We, on the other hand, know better. We’re innocent, they’re guilty.

Being that I’m writing a book on the atonement, this caught my eye. I’ve got chapters in the book on both the moral exemplar theory (Abelard) and the last scapegoat theory (Girard).

Scot is right, and wrong.

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Phyllis Tickle and Nadia Bolz-Weber Switch Bodies!!!

This photo went viral last week:

Here’s a photo essay by Courtney Perry about how it happened: [Read more...]

What Is It about Christianity21?

Paul Soupiset sketches at Christianity21. (Courtney Perry)

Before last week, Doug and I hadn’t run a Christianity21 conference since 2009. We’d run some others — both our own and in partnership with others — and some had gone quite well. We’d also run dozens of Social Phonics Boot Camps during that time. But people kept asking us to run another C21. Those requests came both from people who were at the first C21, and from those who’d heard about it over the years.

We knew that we didn’t have the bandwidth to resurrect C21 alone, so Sarah Cunningham came on board as the event’s producer. Christianity21 is more high-maintenance than other conferences because there are 21 speakers in just over 48 hours, and there are another 40+ 7-21 Talks (those talks are 7 minutes long). We could not — nay, would not — have run C21 without Sarah.

Sarah Cunningham giving some announcements. (Courtney Perry)

As Doug noted in the closing talk of the event, between Thursday afternoon and Saturday afternoon, attendees heard nearly 9 hours of content. Add to that the myriad conversations, new books purchased, and Heatherlyn songs sung, and the treasure of input was unparalleled.

Enjoying the “underground” 7-21 Talks at Christianity21. (Courtney Perry)

Never have Doug and I produced an event that was so unequivocally appreciated by all in attendance. Something magic happened over the weekend in Denver — something that we couldn’t plan for or make happen. Surely something that we could not manufacture. But something about the way that the various talks — both long (21 minutes) and short (7 minutes) — wove together a tapestry of beauty.

Charles Lee talked about innovation at Christianity21. (Courtney Perry)

Amy Jacober and child listen to a talk at Christianity21. (Courtney Perry)

So, the question remains as to whether we’ll run C21 again next year. If you’d like us to, I’d appreciate a comment in that regard. Also, let us know who you’d like to hear present. Doug, Sarah, and I all have full lives, and we run events on the side. So it’s never easy to decide how to go forward. Let me know what you think.

One of the Most Sacred Encounters I’ve Ever Had

The Reverend Joy Bennett serving me communion on August 30, 2012.

It happened on August 30, 2012, and it has been recorded beautifully by Joy Bennett at A Deeper Story:

She felt the weight of this settle on her shoulders, responding quietly to each. Then he read, “Will you accept the discipline of this Church and give due respect to those in authority?

She paused. All her previous experiences with authority figures in churches rushed to her mind. The church is fallible because it’s made up of fallible people, including herself. “I’m not sure about that one.”

He smiled, said “Me either,” and moved on to the next one.

At the conclusion of the vows, Tony asked everyone to reach out to Meg as they prayed over her. Then, he handed her the bread, Carla opened the wine, and he asked “Would you share a passage of Scripture with us tonight, before you serve communion?”

She paused a few moments, thinking. She was unprepared for this moment. But then, she thought of one. “We shared this with our children each night at bedtime, and engraved it on my eldest daughter’s headstone. It’s simple and it’s all I can think of right now…”

Read the rest a A Deeper Story.


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