Baltimore and Beyond: Cities that Wait for the Storm Cloud to Blow Over May Blow Up

© 2007 Bart Everson, Creative Commons

The Onion recently wrote an article titled "Baltimore Residents Urged To Stay Indoors Until Social Progress Naturally Takes Its Course Over Next Century."Whether we approach the recent events satirically or not, our nation's cities cannot wait for the ominous storm cloud filled with racial strife in places like Baltimore, New York, Ferguson and beyond to blow over. Cities that wait and are not alert to take proactive action to bring their divided communities together may blow up. As one ci … [Read more...]

Live Life to the Full—Work and Rest to Build Community

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Jesus claimed that the Sabbath was made for people, not people for the Sabbath (Mark 2:27). Certain religious leaders were all worked up because Jesus' disciples were collecting food to eat on the Sabbath (See Mark 2:23-28). Jesus explained to them that the whole point of Sabbath rest is to rejuvenate people, not enslave them. In this situation, his disciples needed to pluck heads of grain and eat to satisfy their hunger if they were to experience renewal.Like the Sabbath, which signifies r … [Read more...]

Police the Fear of Color for the Sake of Building Beloved Community

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All too often, difference causes us to retreat from one another and react in ways that further divide us. An African American man runs from a white police officer in a blue uniform because he fears what might happen to him when in custody. A white police officer pulls his gun to shoot and kill an unarmed man of color because he fears for his life, as a recent TIME magazine article notes (“Will America Now Challenge the Standard Police Narrative?”). Whether or not we think the fears a … [Read more...]

Jesus Loves a Good Food Fight

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In the last post, I alluded to Frodo and his companions leading a rebellion against Sarumon and his henchmen upon their return from the great battle with Sauron. How might we rebel against the forces of greed and power in our day, which destroy nature, the land’s bounty, and community? Among other things, we have to engage in a food fight—a fight over food. After all, one of the reasons why the hobbits were so successful in getting past Sauron’s defenses was their ability to travel beneath the ra … [Read more...]

If We Were Hobbits, What Kind of Hobbits Might We Be?

In my last post, I wrote of how Jesus might have been a halfling given how central a place food had in his life and work (See Was Jesus a Hobbit?). As one would expect, Jesus would have been a good hobbit. But not every hobbit is virtuous. If you and I were hobbits, what kind of hobbits might we be? Would we be good hobbits, like Bilbo and Frodo Baggins, or less than noble halflings like Lotho Sackville-Baggins? Many of us are familiar with Bilbo and Frodo, but not Lotho. Lotho was … [Read more...]

Was Jesus a Hobbit? Food and Drink Feature Prominently in His Story and Kingdom Vision

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There is a lot of debate as to whether or not Jesus was fully divine and fully human. Add this to the debate: perhaps he was a hobbit. After all, food and drink were such vital features of his life and work, as with Frodo, Sam, Merry, Pippin, and the other halflings. As one spans Jesus’ life, it almost reads as if he enjoyed hobbit-like first and second breakfasts, afternoon tea, dinner, and related forms of culinary merriment (See this video clip). Jesus turned water into wine ( … [Read more...]

Multi-Faith Matters: Evangelicals in a Multi-Faith World

Members of Multi-Faith Matters with Imam

I am a member of a group titled “Multi-Faith Matters.” We are a team of Evangelical pastors and academics telling the stories and discovering the best practices for living in a multi-faith world with love, and without compromise. Our group believes that Evangelical Christians in North America need to come to terms with the fact that our Christian privileges are shrinking, that other traditions are increasing in presence, and that we cannot operate as if we are living in a mono-faith world. This p … [Read more...]


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