June 1, 2016

The practice of sacrifice has been around as long as human civilization. In fact, according to René Girard, civilization is necessitated by it. Archaeologically, we see evidence of this in humanity’s most ancient sites (see Göbekli Tepe and Çatalhöyük). And even the Bible, which is much more recent, understands that sacrifice is presupposed (Genesis 4:3). But this practice is not confined to the Bronze Age and prior. Nor is it confined to those bloodthirsty gods from the Hebrew Bible (i.e.,… Read more

May 30, 2016

I need serious help! You see, I’ve done it again folks. I’ve forced myself to sit through another one of my former pastor’s sermons. But I had to, as I caught wind that for this entire month, the topic du jour is going to be “hell”—as eternal conscious torment of course! God wouldn’t have it any other way (and the Bible clearly states!). So I had to give at least one of the sermons a listen. And I think I… Read more

May 13, 2016

In this marvelous follow-up to All Set Free, Matthew Distefano synthesizes Girard’s ‘mimetic theory’ and Becker’s ‘death anxiety’ to diagnose the causes of human violence right to the roots. He then faithfully applies the Christ-solution as our effectual, life-giving remedy. It is especially striking that the author moves easily from theology and theory into real-life scenarios and testimonies. He recounts the excruciating reality of violence and exclusion–but does so to spotlight the power of the beautiful gospel. Brad Jersak, Editor at… Read more

May 4, 2016

I am sitting in the guest room where I am staying with Matt Distefano and his wife Lyndsay, writing a review of Matt’s book, All Set Free. It seems like a miracle that Matt immediately said “Yes” when I asked him if I could come visit when I felt a strong need to start traveling. His open, friendly welcome both from a distance and now in person helped me to realize that he is walking his talk. Thus I am… Read more

April 27, 2016

I must begin this post with an admission that, if I’m being honest, I am not too proud of. You see, I sometimes troll. (But don’t lie, you do too!) This time, I happened to stumble upon the website of my former conservative evangelical church, and I even listened to the senior pastor’s most recent sermon about the Holy Spirit. I’m not really sure what compelled me to do this, but perhaps it was because of the one sentence review… Read more

April 22, 2016

*Note: This is Letter #9 from A Journey with Two Mystics: Conversations between a Girardian and a Wasttian. In the following, I attempt to answer what it means for Jesus to be Lord.   Well, first off, this was a very politically charged statement during the first few centuries. Caesar, at least in the eyes of the Romans, was lord over everyone and everything. He established this through war and conquest, the world being his perpetual battlefield. After the resurrection… Read more

April 14, 2016

I have taken it upon myself to be a sort of bridge between the academic world and the lay world, specifically when it comes to the mimetic theory of René Girard. That is because, as many of you are probably aware, Girard’s theory primarily resides within the halls of academia. And with the profundity of the theory—given its ability to be applied across a broad range of disciplines, as well as its ability to get to the root of the… Read more

March 26, 2016

*Note: This is a guest post by Jeff Turner “God himself lies dead.” -Hegel (quoting from a Lutheran hymn by Johann Von Rist) The Saturday in between Good Friday and Sunday morning is, perhaps, where the honest believer spends a good part of their life. I’m not talking Christologically, but experientially. Yes, we acknowledge the resurrection as key and central to our faith, but the “Saturday” experience of the first disciples is still what most of our lives look like. There… Read more

March 25, 2016

The death of Jesus is not unlike the sacrificial deaths of the prophets before him, as well as those who come after. In fact, Jesus recognizes this, when, in Luke 11:51, he ties his imminent death directly to those of Abel and Zechariah, giving evidence to how violence, as 6th century BCE Greek philosopher Heraclitus argued, is indeed humanity’s logos, or “structuring principle of reality.” But the death of Jesus is unique as well, for it undoubtedly exposes where innocence… Read more

March 22, 2016

Author’s note: Because I hold to the doctrine of universal reconciliation—and brazenly so—I take a lot of heat from a lot of fellow Christians. Not only do I get to hear how I am a “wolf in sheep’s clothing,” “a false prophet,” and even, “a satanist”—how spooky!—but I then get to deal with what I call “machine-gun questioning.” What I mean by that is, for example, if I am talking about Pauline theology, arguing that it is much more inclusive… Read more

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