Christians: Our Words, Beliefs and Teaching Matter because People Listen

We who are Christian leaders and teachers need to reckon with how our teaching and words are received. A lot has been written and said about the horrific murders in Atlanta committed by a white male. We need to listen and lament and mourn. There are voices out there much better than mine who have…

The Lamb of the Nonviolent God (Book thoughts)

This week I finished Sergius Bulgakov’s The Lamb of God as well as J. Denny Weaver’s The Nonviolent God. As someone who appreciates both Orthodox theology (Bulgakov) and Anabaptist theology (Weaver) it was interesting to read these books at the same time. They are quite different. Bulgakov’s is heavy and challenging, its a weighty tome…

Is God Violent? Reading the Bible Through a Jesus-Shaped Lens (Story of Scripture 8.5)

Listen to the podcast. Its my longest one so far (29 minutes!) and probably more fun to listen to than to read. But if you’d rather read, here’s the script: Intro Hello and welcome to the Ancient Pathways Podcast. We are going through the story of scripture, from God’s creation through to the call of…

#29 – Crucifixion of the Warrior God by Greg Boyd (My 100 Favorite Books)

One of the biggest questions Christians face is how to square the message and life of Jesus with the portrayal of God in the Old Testament. Jesus taught nonviolence.  Jesus chose to lay down his life and die on a cross rather than fight back.  Christians believe Jesus was not just a great teacher, but…

#48 – The Politics of Jesus by John Howard Yoder (My 100 Favorite Books)

This was one of the first books I read that argued extensively for a Christian life of nonviolence.  In a culture that mostly accepts violent solutions to problems without much thought, it is vital for Christians to engage with the life and teachings of Jesus.  Yoder's book challenges Christian realism and calls Christians to live…

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…

Why Do We Resist Jesus’ Teaching?(Crucifixion of the Warrior God ch.3)

As I read Boyd's long book Crucifixion of the Warrior God, I am reminded of a common debate and inconsistency in Christian circles.  Some Christians will argue for a literal interpretation of every passage of scripture.  They argue for this when it comes to social issues like gay marriage and anyone who questions them is…

What God is Like (Crucifixion of the Warrior God chs. 1-2)

We all have notions of what God is like.  These ideas and images are built from all sorts of sources - stories, pop culture, holy scriptures, teachers, friends.  I imagine even atheists have some picture in their minds of what the God they do not believe in is like.  In many cases, it is just…