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
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

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Greg Boyd - The Crucifixion of the Warrior God (to Biblical Violence)

My one comment when reading of the violence in the bible is that we see God through our own images. It is no less different now than it was then - even the biblical writers, prophets, priests, and kings saw God through their own thoughts and beliefs. When God speaks to us it is always disruptive to ourselves, our way of looking at others, and even how we move through life. But disruption does not mean that its "100% correcting" or can homogenize all the peccadilloes we carry within us. As any penitent Christian will tell you, God will spend a "lifetime" bringing us into Christ's image on the Cross but it must first begin with our submission to His Spirit.

No, to encounter the disruption of God is to begin a series of disruptions throughout one's life. Some ginormous and some hardly worth noticing. But to be a person inhabiting change is to be a person open to change, relearning, and retelling the Jesus story to ourselves, our family and friends, and throughout our missional lives.

And so, we hear God through our own images. We write, pray, and sing of God through our own images. The Bible's revelations and messages transform over the ages - even now! - but God's people might not unless they are committed to His Spirit to be transformed. Ironically, even during our more "enlightened" church periods since the 1600's the church still preaches "the Cross in one hand while lifting up the sword in the other." How curious when Jesus Himself used no sword except the sword of the Spirit. No angelic military to bend the world to His way of thinking but the cruciformed lives of His church. No thunder and lightening except that which flashed about His head on the eve of His crucifixion.

Nay, the problem is us. It lies with us and in us. Not God. Us. Not the Bible. Us. It's writers and preachers and listeners. It's interpreters. Even as we come to the book of Revelation the church would rather see God in dynamic militarism against mankind rather than as the One Coming to cease our wars and quiet our murderous hearts. But perhaps it all started with unrepentent believers refusing to bow heart and knee to the peace of Christ in mission, livelihood, and communion with one another. And so we pray dear God this simple prayer, "Save us from ourselves. Save us to do the work of the Spirit by your Cross of love and grace. Amen."

R.E. Slater
January 25, 2017

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The Crucifixion of the Warrior God: Volumes 1 & 2

Renowned pastor-theologian Gregory A. Boyd proposes a revolutionary way to read the Bible in this epic but accessible study. His "cruciform hermeneutic" stands as a challenge to the field of biblical studies and to all thoughtful Christians.

A dramatic tension confronts every Christian believer and interpreter of Scripture: on the one hand, we encounter Old Testament stories of God commanding horrendous violence. On the other hand, we read the unequivocally nonviolent teachings of Jesus in the New Testament. Reconciling these two has challenged Christians and theologians for two millennia.

Throughout Christian history, various answers have been proposed, ranging from the long-rejected explanation that these contrasting depictions are of two entirely different "gods" to recent social, cultural, and literary theories that attempt to dispel the conflict.

The Crucifixion of the Warrior God takes up this dramatic tension and the range of proposed answers in an ambitious constructive investigation. Over two volumes, Gregory A. Boyd argues that we must take seriously the full range of Scripture as inspired, including its violent depictions of God. At the same time, he affirms the absolute centrality of the crucified and risen Christ as the supreme revelation of God.

Developing a theological interpretation of Scripture that he labels a "cruciform hermeneutic," Boyd demonstrates how the Bible's violent images of God are reframed and their violence subverted when interpreted through the lens of the cross and resurrection. Indeed, when read in this way, Boyd argues that these violent depictions bear witness to the same self-sacrificial nature of God that was ultimately revealed on the cross.

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