The Bible as Many, the Bible as One

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In a recent conversation about the Bible, I referred to it as “a collection of texts known as the Bible.” Someone responded:

“In the collection known as the Bible?? I’m sorry, my friend, but you have gone off the deep end…”

This response was a bit of a surprise. The fact that the Bible is comprised of various books by various authors is common knowledge to anyone who has taken a single religion class in high school or college, or to anyone who has actually opened a Bible. As a young child, I was required to memorize “the books of the Bible.” Continue reading

Reclaiming Holy Week through Revolutionary Resurrection

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Holy Week reflections by Jorge Juan Rodriguez V
(this post was originally published at HolyWeekofResistance.net)

For many Christian communities in this Empire called the United States, Holy Week has been largely commercialized, commodified and sanitized. Profound themes present in Holy Week of state violence, murder without recourse of marginalized individuals and communities, and the subverting of oppression through revolutionary acts have been diluted for the comfort of the masses and the maintenance of power. Continue reading

The Last Week Tonight: What Will It Take?

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Holy Week reflections by Chris Lubbers

Have you ever repeatedly uttered a word until it just became a meaningless sound? Try it for one minute. Love, love, love, love, love, love, … At most, you’re left with a familiar, comforting noise. We often fail to notice what is familiar. The fish don’t see the water or understand its significance–if that expression isn’t itself too familiar to make the point.

I think we also experience meaninglessness arising from repetition when we hear the same text over and over. It becomes a familiar, comforting noise. Its meaning is lost, and we may cease to look for it. When’s the last time you put any thought into the Pledge of Allegiance while reciting it? Or the Lord’s Prayer? For many, the celebration of Holy Week is a similarly familiar, comforting, and empty ritual. Perhaps a little unease can revitalize it and give it new meaning.
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We Must Listen AND Respond

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“Homosexuality is a condition of disordered sexuality that reflects the brokenness of our sinful world.”

Ouch. That is the opening line in the position statement on homosexuality of the Christian Reformed Church of North America. I wonder how many gay individuals had a chance to review that before it went to press. I’m guessing not too many. That is a hurtful and embarrassing statement. I am ordained in the CRCNA. This statement does not represent me.
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Social Media: Living a Virtually Real Life

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“Technology has doomed the spontaneity of adventure and we’re helping destroy it every time we Google, check-in, and hashtag.” ― Jeremy Glass

Is social media “real life”? When we post photos of our kids playing the snow—is that real life? When we follow the Oscars via Twitter—is that real life? When we engage in heated discussions about politics on Facebook—is that real life? This was the topic at a couple of Pub Theology gatherings I attended this past week.
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Pub Theology on PBS!

UPDATE: The episode will air the weekend of Feb 20-22.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CKFeC6Vz0gc]

20150127_204054This weekend, the PBS show Religion and Ethics Newsweekly will feature a segment on groups gathering in pubs to talk about God and faith. One group highlighted will be Kyrie Pub Church, a community in Fort Worth Texas that has worship services in a pub. The other featured group will be a Pub Theology gathering I facilitated in Washington, DC. The story, as I understand it, is about people seeking non-traditional forms of community and faith outside the church walls—at the bar. Continue reading

Advice to a Child

child_learnWhat one piece of advice would you offer to a newborn infant? That was the question that kicked off our conversation at Pub Theology Holland last night. After a few quips like: “Go back!” and “A newborn infant wouldn’t be capable of understanding advice,” we decided to stretch it out to a child somewhere between 5 and 8 years old.

Then some real wisdom began to come out around the table. Here are a few of the gems that were shared: Continue reading

Happy Thanksgiving!

Guest post by Mark Sandlin.

Thanksgiving—it’s a day where we celebrate how a bunch of illegal immigrants invaded the native lands of an indigenous people and how those indigenous people ultimately met them with a kindness that they may not have deserved (sometimes known as grace). This Thanksgiving let’s be inspired to share that same kindness and grace with others. Continue reading

Ferguson: We Just Don’t Get It

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Reflections on Ferguson, by Bryan Berghoef.
First published at Huffington Post Religion.

My social media feeds are filled with voices of friends mourning, shocked, and deeply saddened. African-American friends are feeling deep pain at the perpetual injustices their community experiences. Injustices that are not incidental. Injustices that are systemic.

Many of my white and other non-black friends are also expressing their outrage and mourning. Rightly so.

But other voices of white friends also come across the screen: Continue reading