It's great to see David Beckmann convince Mark Bittman to join the fast against attempts to cut federal programs
that help the poor and the hungry. Bittman's dismissal of the religious element
of the effort by Bread for the World and others--"I doubt God will intervene
here"--betrays his unfamiliarity with Christian thought. (I'm tempted to send him
one of my ELCA "God's work, our hands" fridge magnets.) But thanks to Bittman's
involvement, now even the Nation is
giving the progressive evangelical effort positive coverage.
Tuesday on the CBC interview show Q, Jian
Ghomeshi talked to actor Ed Begley Jr., Hollywood's leading environmental
activist and green-lifestyle enthusiast. Discussing Living With Ed, the reality TV show in which Begley
and wife Rachelle Carson clash over his carbon-footprint obsession, Begley
observed that Carson is the sort of person who cares about the earth but
doesn't go to extremes.
When Maria Stephan and Erica Chenoweth studied revolutions that
had occurred over a period of more than 100 years and across the globe, they found
that nonviolent revolutions are twice as likely as violent ones to succeed.
that nonviolent revolutions attract a greater range of the population and
create a higher likelihood of defection among supporters of a particular
Today, for the last time, I turned the lock of the small suite my
parents moved into nearly nine years ago. It’s empty – everything of
theirs given away, sold, or piled into a spare bedroom at our house!
I cringed when I read Jeffrey MacDonald's accusation, quoted
here by Steve Thorngate, that Americans have turned Lent into a spiritual
self-help event "whose effectiveness is measured by how well it entertains us
and affirms what we already believe."
It's a truism that Christianity lives and breathes as much
(or more) through music as through preaching or teaching, to say nothing of
dense theological texts--so Christian preachers and teachers should be on the
lookout for ways to incorporate the great hymns of the tradition into our
sermons, lessons and other theological work.
I was really struck by a phrase in Chet Raymo's blog post "A Saturday Reprise." He begins by quoting Bilhah in The Red Tent
who responds to Zilpah's expression of fear at leaving a place where
customs and gods are known and moving to the unknown by saying "Every
place has its holy names, its trees and high places. There will be gods
where we go."
Many years ago on a mission trip in
Haiti, our group was ministering in the isolated mountains in the west
near the Dominican Republic. The village where we stayed was where the
road ended. To say it was a “road” was an exaggeration.
Since starting seminary I've had the opportunity to read
through the Old Testament with a thoroughness I haven't used since my
evangelical youth group days. While building biblical literacy is something
evangelicals do very well, reading the Old Testament now reminds me how my context
shaped how I read the Bible. And it all had to do with sex.