Prayer for the Day: “Father in heaven, who at the baptism of Jesus in the River Jordan proclaimed him your beloved Son and anointed him with the Holy Spirit: Grant that all who are baptized into his Name may keep the covenant they have made, and boldly confess him as Lord and Savior; who with you and the Holy Spirit lives and reigns, one God, in glory everlasting. Amen”
Around the Blogosphere…
Invisible Driver Prank
White House Rejects Death Star Petition
“Why would we spend countless taxpayer dollars on a Death Star with a fundamental flaw that can be exploited by a one-man starship?”
Stefanie Thomas at She Loves with “How to Find Purpose? Sink into the Questions.”
“I know from experience that being in the questions can be uncomfortable. The not knowing can be painful. It’s common for that old gremlin fear to set up shop in our minds, tossing “what ifs” our way at a fast and furious pace: What if we pick the wrong thing? What if we try and fail? What if we never amount to anything? But as uncomfortable as the not knowing may be, there is value in the searching.”
Doug Muder with “The Distress of the Privileged”
“Ultimately, the privileged need to be won over. Their sense of justice needs to be engaged rather than beaten down. The ones who still want to be good people need to be offered hope that such an outcome is possible in this new world.”
Best Contribution to Said Conversation:
Kristen Rosser with “Abraham, Revisionism, and Privilege”
“I used to be part of the Christian Right. Many of my friends and fellow-church members still are. And they are good people who believe in love-your-neighbor, and who do have valid things to say to and about the American political process. I don't think the answer is to shame them or treat them as the enemy, which they certainly are not. These are people who help me when I'm in distress, who hug me when we meet, who laugh and cry and pray with me. The answer is to do unto them as I would want done unto me-- to listen, to hear their real distress, and then to appeal to their sense of justice and their principles of Christian love."
[You subscribe to Kristen’s blog, right? If you don’t, you should.]
Dianna Anderson with “John Piper, Spousal Abuse and Empowerment”
“Piper’s theology here still centers the abuser. A woman must merely transfer her obedience to a separate authority – on a temporary basis – in the hopes that her abuser will see the light. But that simply opens the door for abusers to revictimize, as abusers are quite savvy at making it look like they’ve changed while still engaging in abusive behavior.”
Sohaila Abdulali at The New York Times with "I Was Wounded; My Honor Wasn’t"
“Rape is horrible. But it is not horrible for all the reasons that have been drilled into the heads of Indian women. It is horrible because you are violated, you are scared, someone else takes control of your body and hurts you in the most intimate way. It is not horrible because you lose your “virtue.” It is not horrible because your father and your brother are dishonored. I reject the notion that my virtue is located in my vagina, just as I reject the notion that men’s brains are in their genitals.”
Scot McKnight (summarizing Edward Fudge) with "What did Jesus teach about hell?"
“The issue is if ‘destroy’ means ‘destroy’ or ‘preserve forever in a destroying state.’ Fudge thinks traditionalists ruin the meanings of words on this one: destroy means destroy, not preserve forever. Had he meant preserve forever he could have said it that way. He then lists eleven uses of “destroy” in the NT and shows that each means “destroy”: why not in Matt 10:28? [Matt 8:25; 12:14; 16:25; 21:41; 22:7; 26:52; 27:20; John 11:50; Acts 5:37; 1 Cor 10:9-10; Jude 5, 11.]”
Barbara Brown Taylor at Alter Video with “Speaking to the Body”
“God cares about your nostrils”
Elizabeth Esther with “What Not To Say to Someone Who Has Suffered Spiritual Abuse”
"This line of questioning seeks to cast doubt upon the victim’s credibility and motives. It also casts the perpetrator as the noble character who was 'seduced' against their will or understandably 'provoked' to violence.
Most Fun You’ll Ever Have on Amazon:
Customer Reviews of the Hutzler 571 Banana Slicer
“Once I figured out I had to peel the banana before using - it works much better. Ordering one for my nephew who's in the air force in California. He's been using an old slinky to slice his banana's. He should really enjoy this product!”
Most Likely to Induce an Involuntary “That’s What She Said!”
National Geographic with “Biggest Thing in Universe Found—Defies Scientific Theory”
Jamie Wright with “Jesus or Zoloft?”
“And then I remembered the one thing some Christians will never admit out loud, which is that sometimes Jesus isn't all you need. Sometimes you need Zoloft.”
Kristen Howerton with “Dear Pastor Mark: Pontificate This”
“ I know a lot of bloggers, and there is no way I could even begin to quantify the kind of “get stuff done” things they are behind. Make no mistake about it, BLOGGERS ARE GETTING THINGS DONE.”
Kelley Nikondeha with “Ordinary Time”
“Now is the time to weave the truth of incarnation more tightly into the weft and warp of my ordinary life. The revolutionary message of Christ, the new king bringing a new Kingdom, must find fresh expression in my everyday. I move into the new year longing to embody His crusade into my calendar. No, I wake today and want the revolution to break into my routine. Ordinary time needs to begin in order for Christ to recalibrate my rhythm to match His cadence.”
Fuller Seminary's Burner Blog: “’What Did Jesus Do’ Symposium Videos”
On my nightstand…
“The West Wing”
[The entire series is available on Netflix instant-play. You’re welcome.]
On the blog…
Most Popular Post:
Sexuality & The Church: Some Opening Remarks and a Prayer
Most Popular Comment:
In response to “Four Myths About Louie Giglio’s Inauguration Prayer (or lack thereof)," Gideon wrote:
“Thanks for the words on persecution. I grew up in Northern Nigeria in a Muslim dominant city and I understand persecution. I remember when I was little, there were these religious riots that happened from time to time, and church members actually died in some of these riots. Being a Christian meant you might not progress at your workplace. It meant that you might not even get admission into the university. But most Christians I knew were fervent, the persecution made them stronger. We knew all the Scripture about suffering with Jesus by heart.
I went down to the South East (predominant Christian) region for university education and I returned a few years ago and worked in the North again for one year. I went to a church one evening for Bible Study and the discussion was on love and the response to one's persecutors. These brothers were convinced that the response was still to love those who would kill you.
I feel sad that Evangelical Christians think they are being persecuted, because they are not. I even feel sadder because their response is not love. I pray that God will continue to expand the work that Rachel, Tony Campolo and others are doing to insist on love in the Evangelical Community.”