According to some Christian outlooks we were made for another world. Perhaps, rather, we were made for this world to recreate, reclaim, redeem, and renew unto God's future aspiration by the power of His Spirit. - R.E. Slater
Our eschatological ethos is to love. To stand with those who are oppressed. To stand against those who are oppressing. It is that simple. Love is our only calling and Christian Hope. - R.E. Slater
Secularization theory has been massively falsified. We don't live in an age of secularity. We live in an age of explosive, pervasive religiosity... an age of religious pluralism. - Peter L. Berger
Exploring the edge of life and faith in a post-everything world. - Todd Littleton
I don't need another reason to believe, your love is all around for me to see. – anon
Thou art our need; and in giving us more of thyself thou givest us all. - Khalil Gibran, Prayer XXIII
Be careful what you pretend to be. You become what you pretend to be. - Kurt Vonnegut
Religious beliefs, far from being primary, are often shaped and adjusted by our social goals. - Jim Forest
People, even more than things, need to be restored, renewed, revived, reclaimed, and redeemed; never throw out anyone. – anon
Certainly God's love has made fools of us all. - R.E. Slater
An apocalyptic Christian faith doesn't wait for Jesus to come, but for Jesus to become in our midst. - R.E. Slater
Christian belief in God begins with the cross and resurrection of Jesus, not with rational apologetics. - Eberhard Jüngel, Jürgen Moltmann
Our knowledge of God is through the 'I-Thou' encounter, not in finding God at the end of a syllogism or argument. There is a grave danger in any Christian treatment of God as an object. The God of Jesus Christ and Scripture is irreducibly subject and never made as an object, a force, a power, or a principle that can be manipulated. - Emil Brunner
Ehyeh Asher Ehyeh means "I will be that who I have yet to become." - God (Ex 3.14)
Our job is to love others without stopping to inquire whether or not they are worthy. - Thomas Merton
The church is God's world-changing social experiment of bringing unlikes and differents to the Eucharist/Communion table to share life with one another as a new kind of family. When this happens we show to the world what love, justice, peace, reconciliation, and life together is designed by God to be. The church is God's show-and-tell for the world to see how God wants us to live as a blended, global, polypluralistic family united with one will, by one Lord, and baptized by one Spirit. – anon
The cross that is planted at the heart of the history of the world cannot be uprooted. - Jacques Ellul
The Unity in whose loving presence the universe unfolds is inside each person as a call to welcome the stranger, protect animals and the earth, respect the dignity of each person, think new thoughts, and help bring about ecological civilizations. - John Cobb & Farhan A. Shah
If you board the wrong train it is of no use running along the corridors of the train in the other direction. - Dietrich Bonhoeffer
God's justice is restorative rather than punitive; His discipline is merciful rather than punishing; His power is made perfect in weakness; and His grace is sufficient for all. – anon
Our little [biblical] systems have their day; they have their day and cease to be. They are but broken lights of Thee, and Thou, O God art more than they. - Alfred Lord Tennyson
We can’t control God; God is uncontrollable. God can’t control us; God’s love is uncontrolling! - Thomas Jay Oord
Life in perspective but always in process... as we are relational beings in process to one another so life events are in process in relation to each event... as God is to Self, is to world, is to us... like Father, like sons and daughters, like events... life in process yet always in perspective. - R.E. Slater

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Christians should learn from Jews on Passover

Brian McLaren
April 20, 2011

I can understand why some Jewish leaders are concerned about Christians adopting (usurping?) the Passover seder and replacing its original Jewish meanings with Christian meanings. With nearly 2000 years of Christian anti-semitism in our shared history, this can easily be interpreted as yet another encroachment and attempt at conquest and assimilation.

But I wonder if something more helpful - for both Christians and Jews - could come from Christian engagement with Passover. Perhaps instead of importing Christian meanings into a Jewish holiday, Christians can important Jewish meanings into Christian faith, thus reframing our understanding of Jesus and the gospel. (This is one theme of my book “A New Kind of Christianity.”) Many of us are increasingly convinced that it’s a mistake for Christians to see Jesus as a Christian - especially in the modern sense of the word: he was a Jew, as were all the first disciples.

When we Christians reframe and rediscover our faith in light of its Jewish roots (rather than interpreting it in the alien categories of Greek philosophy and Roman politics of the second through fifth centuries), I think our faith is enriched - and we are confronted more deeply by the ugly and violent aspects of “Christian history.”

For example, the word “salvation” in the context of the Passover does not mean “atoning for original sin so the soul can go to heaven instead of hell after death.” No, the word “salvation” means “liberation from slavery and oppression.” So to speak of Jesus as Savior suddenly has less to do with one’s destination after death (as Rob Bell affirms in “Love Wins,” and as I also explored in my “A New Kind of Christian” trilogy) and more to do with one’s participation in and pursuit of God’s justice, reconciliation, and peace in this world, with Jesus - justice for all, reconciliation with all, and peace among all.

That’s quite an improvement over usurpation, encroachment, conquest, and assimilation. So instead of Christians telling Jews what the Passover really means, I propose that we Christians reverse roles and take the role of listeners for a while, learning with our Jewish neighbors forgotten or suppressed meanings that will challenge us all towards repentance and faith, love and good work.


Brian D. McLaren
McLaren is an activist, speaker, and author (most recently of Naked Spirituality and A New Kind of Christianity). He was a pastor for 24 years and is a leader in the global conversation about emerging Christianity.

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