June 12, 2014

Does the 2014 World Cup have anything to do with what we do here at Teaching Nonviolent Atonement? Implicit in the name of our site, Teaching Nonviolent Atonement, is a contrast with another type of atonement, the violent kind. Oddly enough, the “simmering resentment” in Brazil about the games provides an excellent vehicle to examine how violent atonement is supposed to work and what happens when it fails. Once we’re done with our analysis, we’ll be able to answer the… Read more

June 11, 2014

It seems like violence will never end. Portland. Seattle. Las Vegas. Isla Vista. Almost every day in Chicago. Not to mention Boko Haram, the conflict in Ukraine, and the continued war in Afghanistan. The Huffington Post just reported that “If it’s a school week in America, odds are there will be a shooting.” Since the Sandy Hook tragedy in 2012, the United States has averaged 1.37 school shootings per week. And our culture is divided on how best to respond…. Read more

June 10, 2014

There is no society without religion because without religion society cannot exist. René Girard, Violence and the Sacred   The science vs. religion debate seems here to stay. Since Darwin published The Origin of Species in 1859, the debate has revolved around which side holds the key to the truth about human origins. Equally contentious is the debate about the cause and cure of violence: is it religion or secularism that holds the key? Are we destined for a battle… Read more

June 7, 2014

Anthony Bartlett claims in his book Virtually Christian that, In movies, on the web, on TV and radio, there is always the possibility of an image of compassion arising from the seminal presence of the Crucified, on that will produce a response of compassion in an individual. Tony calls this “subversive compassion.” Subversive is a good name for it, because while movies, the web, television and radio are often filled with violent imagery, there is compassionate presence that subverts that… Read more

June 6, 2014

Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl is free from the Taliban, but his freedom comes at high cost. That cost reveals America at our worst. The United States is in a sacrificial crisis and we can do better. Indeed, we need to do better because our greatest threat is not an outside enemy, be it the Taliban or Russia; our greatest threat is ourselves. Hours after President Obama declared the release of Sgt. Bergdahl, rumors and accusations began to swirl. Bergdahl left his… Read more

June 5, 2014

If you were given 6 minutes and 40 seconds to speak about anything you wanted to a gathering of Christian educators, what would you say? 20 slides of your choosing will play along with your talk. That was my charge for the 2014 Faith Forward Conference in Nashville in May. You won’t be surprised to hear that I spoke about the importance of interpreting biblical violence with our children and youth. Below you’ll find a video of the slides with… Read more

June 4, 2014

If the new Disney Studios movie Maleficent is, as some are saying, a feminist attempt to redeem images of weak and powerless women in fairy tales, then it is a cautionary tale. Feminism has always been its own worst enemy when it strives to create women in the image of men rather than encourage women to abandon rivalry with men and seek their flourishing elsewhere. This is a story about the redemptive power of a mother’s love. I wonder how… Read more

June 3, 2014

Samuel Wurzelbacher, also known as Joe the Plumber, re-emerged in the news last week. He made headlines in the wake of the shooting tragedy in Isla Vista, California. Joe wrote an “Open-Letter” to the families of the victims. One section of the letter has been highlighted more than any other: I am sorry you lost your child. I myself have a son and daughter and the one think I never want to go through, is what you are going through… Read more

June 2, 2014

What does the Atonement have to do with sports? In the wake of Adam’s beloved Chicago Blackhawks losing to the hated Los Angeles Kings, Suzanne and Adam discuss how sports patterns our lives, and how Jesus seeks to pattern our lives in a different way. So, what does the Atonement have to do with sports? A lot, it turns out. Watch what Suzanne and Adam have to say and let us know what you think! Read more

May 29, 2014

Adam and Suzanne discuss Ascension Day. Why do we ignore the ascension of Jesus? Adam and Suzanne don’t know, but they do know Christians shouldn’t ignore it. The ascension means that Jesus is still lord of our lives, and is lord in the spirit of service. Jesus came not to be served, but to serve. Second, the story of the ascension in Acts tells us to stop looking at the heavens and get to work! Go forward in the name… Read more

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