I’m not a pacifist or a pansy (other than the fact that I’m not very good at sports, I don’t own a gun, and I don’t see much value in gratuitous displays of macho-ness). So I don’t feel attacked by Mark Driscoll’s recent assertion that Jesus is not a pacifist pansy. I really have tried to avoid writing anything about Pastor Mark for a long time since I didn’t like the fact that his name was getting almost as big as Jesus in my tag cloud. But one of the paragraphs in his latest infamous blog post offers a revealing illustration of what Mark Driscoll wants Jesus to look like and why. Continue reading
Renovatus Church has just started an awesome sermon series on how to read the Bible that will be either tremendously liberating or offensive for you to hear, depending on what kind of Christian you are. This week, Jonathan Martin shared the pulpit with Dr. Chris Green, a theology professor at the Pentecostal Theological Seminary, to talk about what ought to happen to us when we read Bible stories that make God look ugly and arbitrary, like when He chooses one brother over another in the Old Testament or orders genocide. Jonathan and Chris argue that we’re reading it wrong if we don’t feel any sympathy for the people who get hurt, because the point is not merely to learn information about God but to gain the heart of Christ.
I’m working through the fourth chapter of Greg Boyd’s God At War, in which he talks about the existence of other “gods,” or supernatural powers, beside the one God we worship. He makes a distinction between philosophical monotheism, which affirms that there are no autonomous supernatural beings besides God, and what N.T. Wright terms creational monotheism, that there is only one eternal creator but this does not preclude the existence of other supernatural beings. Continue reading
This summer I started listening to the podcast of Greg Boyd, a Minnesota pastor who ruffles a lot of feathers in the reformed tradition from which he comes. Boyd has spent most of the last two months in the second chapter of Colossians. He just started a new sermon series called “the shadow of the cross” based on Colossians 2:17-18: “Therefore do not let anyone judge you by what you eat or drink, or with regard to a religious festival, a New Moon celebration or a Sabbath day. These are a shadow of the things that were to come; the reality, however, is found in Christ.” In a sermon a couple of weeks ago, Boyd uses this basic paradigm of contrasting the shadow with the reality of Christ to tackle one of the most difficult problems in Christian theology: reconciling the nationalist warrior God of the Old Testament with the revelation of God through Christ in the New Testament. Boyd offers a way of reading the Old Testament through the lens of the cross in which God’s depiction as a warrior god is a shadow of the reality that is to come in Christ. Continue reading