What Is Emergence Science?

Phillip Clayton explains:

What Is the Credit Crisis?

Here it is, in about 11 minutes:

The Crisis of Credit Visualized from Jonathan Jarvis on Vimeo.

(HT: Presentation Zen)

Phillip Clayton Wants Me…and You

Scientist/Theorist/Philosopher of Emergence Biology, Phillip Clayton, speaks directly to me and you.  Honestly, the importance of what he’s saying cannot be overstated.  Watch it…twice.  Then go to YouTube to see my response.

Is There an Evangelical Center?

In the Washington Times, Julia Duin ponders that question in her article, “Evangelicals ponder Dobson’s successor: New generation looks for leader.

It has been interesting watching the shift in power: Franklin Graham is no Billy Graham; the Coral Ridge Hour simply shows reruns of the late D. James Kennedy’s sermons; and Robert Schuller Sr. fired Robert Schuller Jr. from the Crystal Cathedral.

“It’s a changing of the guard,” said Brian McLaren, 52, cited in 2005
by Time magazine as one of the 25 most influential evangelicals in

“There is a possibility the religious right will collapse on itself.
Or someone will articulate a new religious center. The evangelical
community has been slowly diversifying, and there may not be a center

No surprise, Richard Land doesn’t agree:

“Anyone who thinks evangelicals are going away as a social force is smoking something illegal.”

When I Turned the Other Cheek

There’s been a tasty little discussion here at The New Christians about turning the other cheek, and I was reminded of a moment in 10th grade — the only time I know when I actually did it. 

I was in the lowest level of band — the band where the kids who couldn’t make the Concert Band or the Varsity Band were placed.  There were only about fifteen of us, not enough to actually play anything as a band.  So we basically just had individual lessons with the instructor, who clearly hated being there.

I played the trombone…badly. 

So, those of us who weren’t receiving instruction on our instruments basically spent the entire hour screwing off.  One day, I somehow found myself in a small corridor off the band room with a couple other guys, guys with whom I did not get along.

Tensions were rising.  They were bullying me physically, and I was countering them verbally.  Then, one of them slapped me hard across the face.

Tears burned in my eyes.  My cheeks flushed red, and my I felt my throat immediately go dry. My heart pounded in my chest.

And, something possessed me to put into practice the verse that I’d heard so many times.

I looked at him, turned my face, and said with a quivering voice, “Here, hit my other cheek, too.”

He and his friend looked at me, dumbfounded, and walked away.

That’s it.  That’s the end of the story.

Have you ever tried turning the other cheek?

Comment of the Day 2

More on the Sermon on the Mount, now from Mark Van Steewyk:

Hrmpfh. I could write volumes in response to the different
assumptions and assertions already popping up here. But I’ll try to
keep it brief. :)

First of all, the silly “knife to my child and wife” thing is such a tired counter-response. I recommend John Howard Yoder’s “What Would You Do
as an excellent, thoughtful, short response (that even includes an
article from Janis Joplin). If you are seriously interested in how the
nonviolent person responds to the issue of the lone knifeman, please
check it out. If you are interested, but don’t want to shell out the 10
bucks, please email me at mark [at] missio-dei.com and I’ll actually
pay for it myself and ship it to you. Seriously. I want to do my small
part to get people to stop using that argument. :)

Regarding the passage where Jesus tells his disciples to carry
swords: Jesus tells his disciples to each have a sword…they feebly
respond that they have two already…Jesus gets frustrated. And later,
when he’s arrested, Jesus rebukes Peter for using one of the two swords
that they already had.

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Comment of the Day

Angela, on the Sermon on the Mount and martial arts:

People are always telling me that when Jesus said “turn the other
cheek” he meant “within reason,” that when he said to carry the pack an
extra mile, he meant “if it won’t make you late for an appointment.”
I’ve come to believe that instead, turn the other cheek meant to
surrender, to lay down your life, to present yourself to be crucified,
if that’s the way of love.

I am cautious about being too quick to tell myself that the path of
love involves kicking the crap out of someone. On the other hand, I am
also a student of the martial arts. It strengthens my body and mind so
that I am better able to stand and look someone in the eye with love
(instead of fear) and say “Let’s not do this.”

Proof of Systemic Sin

I’ve been walking with my friend, Adam Walker-Cleaveland, through his tumultuous process of ordination over the past few months.  And I’ve often urged him to abandon what I consider to be a broken and probably sinful system.

Well, now he has gone public with the fact that his ordination to the PC(USA) denomination was scuttled by his home church and his presbytery because he had the temerity to invite his lifelong best friend, a gay man (gasp!), to preach at the ordination service. 

Today, Adam stands before some committee or other, defending his call to ministry.


The Sermon on the Mount Is an Ideology?

The right-wing Christian Post picked up on the Dallas youth pastor fight club silliness, and did a follow-up interview with the Keysi Fighting Method instructor, Jeff McKissack.  CP picks up on my blog post,* then gets this odd defense from McKissack:

“Over the years I have encountered truly sincere people who believe we
should always ‘turn the other cheek’ … at all costs. The problem with
that ideology lies in the fact that it does not only foster martyrs,
but victims as well,” he argues.

Let’s think about that for a minute.  The Sermon on the Mount is an ideology?  I suppose that, as defined, “turn the other cheek” and the other exhortations in the Sermon on the Mount could be considered a “doctrine, philosophy, body of beliefs or principles belonging to an individual or group.” 

But let’s be honest.  McKissack is using “ideology” in a pejorative sense, implying that an overarching commitment to non-violence trumps common sense.  He appeals (surprise, surprise!) to Jesus’ post-Last Supper statement in Luke 22 to the disciples, “and if you don’t have a sword, sell your cloak and buy one.”

So here’s where, as usual, hermeneutics comes in. I realize that some readers will argue that every jot of scripture is equal to every other tittle.  Leviticus = John = Ephesians = Amos.

Well, if common sense is at issue, is it really commonsensical to argue that Jesus’ remark about swords is equivalent to the Sermon on the Mount?

Of course not.

*Christian Post didn’t give me the benefit of an inbound link, so I’m not linking to them either.  Yes, that’s how I roll.  :-)

Comment of the Day

Drew Tatusko drops a very thoughtful comment Re: Mark Driscoll.

Postmodern and post-structuralism aside (since this will sound to some
like that but is not), gender is different than sex due to its
psycho-social construction. Since it is this, anyone can assert a
different gender construction from within a existing frame that is at
odds with another frame (see David Martin’s definition of this picked
up by Charles Taylor). Thus, Driscoll asserts his own construction of
gender in a way that is offensive to many. I frankly have no
over-arching issue with that. People are free to be misogynistic and
loaded with machismo as they wish. I can stay away from those
constructions and find comfort in other social frames more like “me.”

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