Maybe Its Not Jesus You are Following?

If you want a religion that enables you to gain and exercise power over other people, then maybe Christianity is not the religion for you?That thought came to mind when I read this article in the New York Times this past weekend: Christianity Will Have Power. Now, I’m not historically ignorant. I know that Christianity…

Thoughts on Christian Living During an Epidemic

1. What a Week!2. The Early Church and Plagues3. Julian the Apostate's Implicit Christianity4. On Belief and Action5. A Brief Tangent on Money6. What Does it Even Look Like to Live Like Jesus7. Conclusions8. Questions 1. What a Week!This has been quite an exciting few weeks.  Two weeks ago I fired off a newsletter, sharing…

#13 – The Crucified God by Jurgen Moltmann (My 100 Favorite Books)

Growing up, I was taught that Jesus had died for my sins so I could go to heaven when I died.  As for what to do once you believed and were assured your spot on the other side of the pearly gates?  Well, that was a bit more hazy beyond reading the Bible and praying…

#32 – Jesus and the Victory of God by NT Wright (My 100 Favorite Books)

This is the second day in a row an NT Wright book makes the list.  Yesterday I listed one of his more recent works, his magnum opus on Paul.  Today is probably the work that truly impacted my reading of the Gospels more than any other.  I read this book right after finishing seminary in…

#62 – I See Satan Fall Like Lightning by Rene Girard (My Favorite 100 Books)

The beauty of the crucifixion of Jesus is that it can be analyzed, meditated on and thought about from many angles and levels.  Rene Girard is someone who has promoted one way of seeing the crucifixion that has is a bit different then what those of us who grew up in conservative Christianity in America…

#71 – Sinners in the Hands of a Loving God by Brian Zahnd (My 100 Favorite Books)

What is God truly like?  This is a question I have wrestled with.  My whole life I have heard people say, and have said myself, that God is a God of love and of justice.  Your sin deserves God’s eternal and unending punishment, or wrath.  You can avoid this punishment by trusting in Jesus for…

#97 – The Jesus Storybook Bible (My 100 Favorite Books)

For the last few years, we have read through The Jesus Storybook Bible during Advent.  With 22 stories from the Old Testament, it is the perfect lead in to the birth of Jesus.  Further, it ties each individual story into the grand story of what God is doing in the world, culminating in the coming…

Why We Resist Nonviolence (Crucifixion of the Warrior God, ch. 6)

I've quipped that everyone is a Biblical literalist until it comes to Jesus' words on nonviolence.  Then every nuance and caveat is mined to make sure we are assured Jesus doesn't actually mean what he said.  So when it comes to traditional ideas of sexuality or hell, or much else, we're told the Bible just…

Crucifixion of the Warrior God (ch. 5)

I love history.  I've always enjoyed learning history.  One truth of history, something you'd learn in any introduction to religion class, can be boiled down as follows: *Jesus of Nazareth died a violent death on the cross at the hands of his enemies and never led armies into battle. *Muhammad of Mecca led armies into…