Various Goodnesses

At Her•Menuetics, Laura Turner encourages her fellow evangelicals to embrace the F-Wordfeminism:

The church needs feminism because at its core, feminism affirms to us what our faith teaches us about male and female in God’s Kingdom and what Jesus himself preached throughout the New Testament.

The Seattle School of Theology and Psychology announces that John Franke will be giving the inaugural Stanley Grenz Lectures a month from now:

The Stanley Grenz Lecture Series is offered by The Seattle School of Theology and Psychology in honor of former Professor Stanley Grenz, a prolific Christian scholar with a pastoral heart and deep intellectual presence. Stan engaged the challenging theological questions of his generation with a profound sensitivity to the complexities of a Christian community embedded within a cultural context. In honor of him, this series is designed to invite scholarly theological discourse into the public forum, as an expression of Christian faith and service.

Third Way Magazine has a great interview with my theological muse, Jürgen Moltmann (HT: Scott Paeth):

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He Died for You

Many Christians struggle to understand this day, Good Friday. We’re told, “Jesus died for you,” and “Jesus died for your sins.” And that makes perfect sense for many years.

And then, at some point, most of us ask, But how does that work? By what cosmic calculus does the death of one man mean that I am not accountable for my sins any longer?

I’ve written extensively about this question, including an ebook: A Better Atonement: Beyond the Depraved Doctrine of Original Sin. And now it seems that my next major, hardcover book with a publisher will also be on this topic (more on this soon).

We also collected some wonderful posts at this season’s #progGOD Challenge, “Why A Crucifixion?” For example,

Kimberly Knight: Washed in His Blood, My Ass:

We are not saved by the crucifixion, we are damned by it – or we could have been. Let us face that shameful dark day and accept our culpability – knowing that if Jesus returned today to preach the gospel to the poor, to proclaim release to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to set free those who are oppressed His blood would likely run in rivulets once again.  And let us move through that desolate Saturday knowing what we have done.

Scott Paeth: The Cross and the Crucified:

Jesus dies, abandoned and alone, forsaken by all, even God, to die the death of a social outcast and a political pariah. But in his death, Jesus reveals that the Good News of the Gospel is precisely that God stands on the side of all of those who are abandoned, alone, and forsaken, that God is with them in their forsakenness, has shared their suffering in the person of Jesus Christ, and in the resurrection of Christ, has overcome and redeemed it.

Denika Anderson: Beautiful Terrible Reckless Love:

Tony asked why a crucifixion is necessary. Ontologically speaking, it isn’t. Even considering the pervasiveness of sin, it still isn’t necessary. But, presented with the choice between being crucified and saving himself, Jesus shows us why choosing the crucifixion is the only choice, and why the resurrection is the only possible outcome.

Greg Garrett: Why Did Jesus Have to Die?

Jesus staked his life on the belief that God’s power is supreme — and his resurrection proves it. The power of the Empire to torture and kill, to impose its will, is nothing compared to the power of God, which will not let sin and death have the last word.

There are many more, and you should add your own. I recommend you spend part of your Good Friday perusing these wonderful meditations on the crucifixion.

Progressive Christians Don’t Need Any Foundations [Questions That Haunt]

Last week, Stephen asked a great question. Here’s the punchline:

Progressives then have a problem with the God of most traditional and especially Christian formulations – especially with retribution, punishments, curses, condemnations, as well as problems with the unfairness of the treatment of women, slaves, and other outsiders. This gives us a huge problem with the bible and the god it describes, which forces us to re-think everything. Thus our problem speaking much, or coherently about God. Where do we go for information?

So, where do Christian progressives go for moral authority?

First, a note on Questions That Haunt. Obviously, I’ve struggled to keep up with the Tuesday-Friday rhythm. I’m going to keep trying to live up to this, but I may have to adjust the schedule it I can’t. QTH has become among the most popular features on Theoblogy, and I am grateful to all of you who have made it so.

On a related note, I’m going to take a different tack this week. I’m going to excerpt and comment on a couple of my favorite comments from last week’s post. They’re so good that they really get at what what I was going to say. Here goes:

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A Church for Freaks?

Scott Paeth has been thinking about what kind of church he might fit. It is, he thinks, a Church for Freaks. He asks, “If I no longer feel at home among “normal” mainline Christians, and I can’t take self-identified evangelicals, where’s the church for the freaks?

He’s come up with three posts about what that church might look like, and I think that many readers of this blog will resonate:

Part I: A Church for Freaks

I am thinking more in terms of both the institutional and ritual structures that have become central to the mainline Christian denominations over the past decades and even centuries. Part of this is an objection to a particular kind of church bureaucracy, which is increasingly moribund and useless for the purpose of actually sustain the church as a community of believers. This is the case across mainline denominations. It’s not a specifically United Church of Christ problem, but exists among Presbyterians, Methodists, Lutherans and others. Despite the differences in their organizational structures and ecclesiologies, these denominations have all managed to create and sustain a set of institutional prejudgices and prerogatives that seem to me to be increasingly damaging to the church.

Part II: Theology

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