Jesus is giving us a way by which we can keep from being defined by those who act unjustly toward us. When we respond to violence with violence, whether it be physical, verbal or attitudinal, we legitimize the violence of out enemy and sink to his level. When we instead respond unexpectedly- offering our other cheek and going the second mile - we reveal, even as we expose the injustice of his actions, that our nemesis doesn't have the power to define us by those actions. In this sense we serve our enemy, for manifesting God's love and exposing evil (the two always go hand in hand) open up the possibility that he will repent and be transformed.
Peter addressed this point when he spoke to a congregation about to undergo unjust persecution. "When [Jesus] was abused" Peter said, "he did not return abuse; when he suffered, he did not threaten; but he entrusted himself to the one who judges justly" (1 Peter 2:23). So when we are persecuted we are not to resort to violence (as Peter himself had done in the Garden!), but we are to "sanctify Christ as Lord" in our "hearts." IN this way, he continues, we "put those who abuse [us] ... to shame" (1 Peter 3:16). Our refusal to sink to the level of our enemy opens up the possibility that the enemy will see the injustice of his treatment and perhaps be freed from his dehumanizing mindset.
- Gregory A. Boyd The Myth of A Christian Nation
Monday, February 28, 2011
- Jonathan Hill à la Karl Barthwrites in The History of Christian Thought,
Sunday, February 27, 2011
What I find most assuring and compelling are the quotes by two theologians, authors I trust and appreciate:
“In the current religious climate in America, it isn’t easy to develop an imagination, a thoroughly biblical imagination, that takes in the comprehensive and eternal work of Christ in all people and all circumstances in love and for salvation. Rob Bell goes a long way in helping us acquire just such an imagination. Love Wins accomplishes this without a trace of soft sentimentality and without compromising an inch of evangelical conviction in its proclamation of the good news that is most truly for all.” – Eugene H. Peterson, Professor Emeritus of Spiritual Theology, Regent College, and author of The Message and The Pastor
“Love Wins is a bold, prophetic and poetic masterpiece. I don’t know any writer who expresses the inexpressible love of God as powerfully and as beautifully as Rob Bell! Many will disagree with some of Rob’s perspectives, but no one who seriously engages this book will put it down unchanged. A ‘must read’ book!” – Greg Boyd, senior pastor at Woodland Hills Church and author of The Myth of a Christian Nation
Thursday, February 24, 2011
Although now long estranged
Man is not wholly lost nor wholly changed.
Dis-graced he may be, yet is not de-throned,
And keeps the rags of lordship once he owned’
Man. Sub-Creator, the refracted Light
through whom is splintered from a single White
to many hues and endlessly combined
in living shapes that move from mind to mind.
Though all the crannies of the world we filled
With elves and goblins, though we dared to build
Gods and their houses out of dark and light,
and sowed the seed of dragons--’twas our right
(Used or mis-used). That right has not decayed:
we make still by the law in which we’re made.
- J.R.R. Tolkien
Thursday, February 17, 2011
As tumbled over rim in roundy wells
Stones ring; like each tucked string tells, each hung bell’s
Bow swung finds tongue to fling out broad its name;
Each mortal thing does one thing and the same:
Deals out that being indoors each one dwells;
Selves—goes itself; myself it speaks and spells,
Crying Whát I do is me: for that I came.
Í say móre: the just man justices;
Kéeps gráce: thát keeps all his goings graces;
Acts in God’s eye what in God’s eye he is—
Chríst—for Christ plays in ten thousand places,
Lovely in limbs, and lovely in eyes not his
To the Father through the features of men’s faces.
“True art, true knowledge, true technique are a "vocation," a "calling forth" that imposes upon man his native "calling." Since Roman engineering and seventeenth century rationalism, Western technology has not been a vocation but a provocation and imperialism. Man challenges nature, he harnesses it, he compels his will on wind and water, on mountain and woodland, The results have been fantastic. Heidegger knows this: he is no Luddite innocent or pastoralist dropout. What he is emphasizing is the price paid. Things, with their intimate, collaborative affinity with creation, have been demeaned into objects. The German word is Gegenstande, which, literally and marvelously to Heidegger's purpose, signifies that which "stands against," which "affronts." We may, on the levels of utility and abstraction, have made ourselves lords of creation. But the elements of the natural world have become Gegenstande, They stand against us. Our relationship to and with them is, to use a sociological tag, "an adversary relationship," a confrontation. We are alienated from that which we decompose and exploit, as the Hegelian master is alienated from his indispensable servant. Of the two vital senses of Entbergung [Heidegger’s term for “revealing”] we have retained only the coercive, the literally extractive. We have compelled nature to yield knowledge and energy, but we have given to nature, to that which is live and hidden within it, no patient hearing, no in-dwelling. Thus our technologies mask Being instead of bringing it to light." (Martin Heidegger, 139)