This piece from Jamie Arpin-Ricci is about Civil Disobedience, Nelson Mandela, and Jesus Christ. It’s thought provoking and even stirring at times, particularly with lines like this: “A figure who had been introduced to me as the means to my private salvation from hell suddenly exploded into my life as a radical example of selfless sacrifice and costly obedience.” The most compelling thing here, to me anyway, is the short list that the author gives in an attempt to see the actual motivations of some of Jesus’ actions. Agreeing or disagreeing isn’t the issue with this one, this should bring up questions in the reader’s mind that force some contemplation on who we believe Jesus is and why He did what He did.
This blog post from Christianity Today is good for current events regarding missions and the price that is paid everyday around the world by our brothers and sisters in hostile territory, but there’s a subtle point that this piece makes that shouldn’t be overlooked. We have hundreds, maybe even thousands, of Christian bookstores in our nation – and this doesn’t take into account all of the religious books that are sold at neutral bookstores (Barnes & Noble, B Dalton, Book-a-Million, etc…). How much do we take for granted the wealth of information that is available to us here? These missionaries have put themselves in a harrowing position, perhaps even leading to their death, over books. The Libyan officials, anit-Christian in mindset and practice, even seem to understand just how powerful books are. How much have we taken for granted?
This is a write up on a Saturday Night Live sketch that, once again, uses religion as a tool for parody. But this isn’t just a church service being leveraged for laughs, it is the Founder of the movement, Jesus Christ, in the hands of the writers to exploit director Quentin Tarantino’s penchant for violence. The end of the article offers the opinion that this is blasphemy, a conclusion that I cannot disagree with, but it is also a powerful look into two aspects of our Western culture: the continued erosion of any kind of appreciation for sacredness and yet another example of the double-standard that exists in the world of comedy with regard to Christianity and almost every other world religion (with the exception of Mormonism, and the Jehovah’s Witnesses, among the few regularly bashed faiths). The article is worth reading, but there really isn’t much use in watching the embedded video clip – the article describes it in enough clarity and frankly, like most of SNL’s material for the last decade, it’s just a monumental waste of time.
For this piece I’ll let the title speak for itself and you can make the call. It’s a short article, and to be quite honest, I’m not even sure what to say.
I found this next piece in a link from an email that I generally ignore weekly from SermonCentral.com. But this was a curious take on a somewhat relevant issue. The practice of monologue preaching has been under a steady, though not broad-based, attack over the last decade (maybe more). The trend in American sociology at this point in history is one of dialogue, not monologue. Everyone’s voice is supposed to matter in our Western context, whether that voice has anything to say or not. So, into this fray comes a slightly different perspective here. The author raises the implicit question: is preaching an end in itself or is it a means to an end? Simply put, are we supposed to hear the preacher’s sermon every Sunday or just make sure that we walk out having learned something? I offer no answer here, it’s not the proper venue, but this article is interesting.
This is a current events article by FoxNews that is straight-forward and tell-tale of our times. No fluff here, just an interesting move. Of particular not to me is the stated reason the law was written in the first place and how that plays into the safety, or peril, of repealing the standing legislation. Old walls fall everyday, but as GK Chesterton said, before we tear down our fences we should be certain that we know why they were put up in the first place.