I often wonder what Jesus was getting at when he asked his disciple, “Who do you say that I am?” Was Jesus testing the waters, trying to figure out if the people and his friends understood the nature of his divinity? Was he trying to figure out if his rabble rousing was about to get him killed? Was he concerned with how his identity was formed by the community? Or was he simply wondering what people thought about him?
One week after the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary school, there seem to be so many failures in the ways that our theology is playing out in the public sphere. And while quick responses, blog posts, sound bytes and tweets are important in this moment, as they emerge from varying political and evangelistic agendas they also expose some of Christianity's devastating aspects.
There is a particular authority that comes from privilege. When a white man steps into the place where he belongs, he has an internal power with which he was born. He is entitled. Like royalty, he sits on the throne naturally, because that place is caught in his blood. But an entirely different power emerges from women who have been told that they are not allowed to speak in church—and suddenly rise behind the pulpit. Something flares up from deep inside of them, and when they have a safe space, the words can come out of them with force and fury.
Remember that authors are responsible for marketing. Whether you’re on a small press or a big press, if you want people to read your book, then you’ll have to sell it. Unfortunately, even as deeply spiritual people, we are not above marketing. So how do you do it? Here are a few suggestions.
You are probably way more fascinating than Elizabeth Gilbert, but before you write that best seller that has Julia Roberts itching to play your role, know that the way to get published is to… well… get published.
Lately I've been getting a lot of questions about how to get published, how to build a platform, how to become a speaker. So, I'm dedicating this week to some of the questions that people ask me. Yesterday, I looked at why a platform is important. Today, I want to talk about the the big ideas. All of this, of course, is just how I do it. There are many others who will give you different advice.
So you have this book bursting within you. You really, really want to get published. You start lingering at the bookstore tables at major conferences in order to talk to people in publishing about how to do it and they say, “It’s all about the platform.”
As common sense dictates, an insurance company needs a good percentage of healthy people in order to do well. Why would our insurance plan give incentives to retirement-age clergy to work longer while making it cost more for clergy with dependents?
In my tradition, we pride ourselves on the intellect and roll our eyes at emotional sermons. We think of them as (1) dumbing down content or (2) manipulating people. But ignoring the importance of emotion in our spiritual lives can make us... well... boring.
The fear is palpable. The Obama supporters feel that a Romney presidency will completely erode our safety net, so that only the rich will survive. Women feel like any gains that they have eked out in society for the last few decades will be taken away completely. The Romney supporters think that we need to get someone in there who knows about business, or else our economy will collapse. They worry about the looming deficit and an oversized government, so they want Romney to make the tough decisions.
I get jealous. I try not to, but I hope that I’ve also begun to recognize and constructively use the emotion. Here are some dos and don’ts that I practice to make sure that the little green monster doesn’t take over my life.
Someone who tries to control through words has been trying to contact me for years. While he acts as though he is interested in saving women from violence, the way he does this is through distorting the truth, triangulation, manipulation and, lastly, by exerting the power of place: showing up to my congregation.
Social media can reduce activism to a fad—something that we take part in because a particular Twitter hashtag is trending, a video has become viral or a Facebook cause has become popular. It can ignore the hard work that has been taking place over decades and discount a long-term strategy that a community might have.
I always feel like using the mom card highlights some sort of gender defect. My husband was a work-at-home dad for three years, and he has been just as involved in the diaper changing, sick days and parent/teacher meetings as I have. But I always have a feeling that when a guy uses the parent card, people think, What a great dad. But when women use it, people think, What an inept worker.