Monday, September 26, 2011

On Poverty, Prosperity, and Pastor Mark's Parable

Warning up front.  This is long-ish.  Sorry, but I'm passionate about this, and it's not a topic that lends itself to brevity.

So, how fitting.  My last post talks about having grace for Christians, and on Saturday, @JesusNeedsNewPR brought my attention to a piece by Mark Driscoll on Poverty Theology.  Pastor Mark and I have a history.  Some of his offhanded comments about gender were what inspired my first post ever on this blog.  Anyway, when I saw this tweet come across, the precise use of scare-quoting set the tone as I began to read it, but my reaction wasn't what you might expect.  I expected to find myself flying off of the handle.

But in the end, it just made me profoundly sad.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

On Radical Grace

Grace is a radical thing. 

It upends my perceptions, changes my priorities, and challenges my assumptions.  Love your enemies, pray for those who persecute you: these are not commands that mesh well with my sense of entitlement.

Then I read the stories of Troy Davis and Ross Byrd, two men whose lives serve as testimonies to this radical grace.  Troy Davis' last words were a prayer for mercy and blessing for the men taking his life.  Ross Bird fought until the end to save the life of Lawrence Russell Brewer, the man who killed his father by dragging him behind a truck for miles, and who was unrepentent to the end.

Still, this radical grace escapes me. 

Friday, September 16, 2011

On The Rich Young Ruler, and How He Is Me.

So @WritingJoy who writes at the appropriately named Joy in this Journey (which you should read, because it is an incredible and honest story of love, grace, and joy in the midst of the messiness of life and grief) asked the twitterverse to be honest about their weaknesses in her #lifeunmaksed series.  The posts that resulted were both devastatingly honest and incredibly inspiring, but I did notice, rather unsurprisingly in light of the request to actually be vulnerable and honest, a marked lack of dudes.  So, in the interest of diversity, here's my submission, my life, unmasked.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

On the Purpose For My Pacifism

I wrote this as a response to a question posed on a freind's blog, but I thought I would share it with all 3 of you as well.  It might come off as a little bit overly-analytical (especially compared to my usual writing style), and I'm going to get all philosophical on you, but stay with it, and I think you'll get where I'm coming from.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

On My Journey From Vengeance to Grace. (The 9/11 Retrospective I Swore I Wouldn't Write)

11 years ago I was sleeping off a late night when my good friend called me and told me the news
10 years ago I joined the Army
6 years ago I made my first trip to Afghanistan
4 years ago I was supporting some of the most highly-trained killers in the world, and quite good at it.

Today I am in need of Grace just as in those days, as I struggle to reconcile what I've done, what I've seen, and where I've been with what He wants me to be.

Part of me wants justice, but that same part of me has no way to define what that justice looks like, leaving me with one nagging question.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

On Giving Up on Politics, and Finding Freedom in the Process

If you haven't noticed, the theme of this blog is tension.  What could be more tense than a discussion about politics the day ofter a room full of apparently blood-thirsty Republicans cheered when Brian Williams announced how many executions Rick Perry had overseen? 

But don't fret, I'm an equal opportunity critic. I'll likely piss everyone off equally before this post is over. 

Friday, September 2, 2011

On the tension between culture and Christ.

It's introspection time.

How have I, a follower of a 1st century Jewish Rabbi (and His mouthpiece in my current cultural context), faired in being salt and light?  Have I distinguished myself from the culture in such a way that I am living out His two simple commands to love God and love others?  Honestly, I would say, for the first 29 years of my life, I did a pretty poor job, but I'm alive, and I'm growing, and I'm learning what it means to love God, to love others, and how the two are hopelessly and inextricably linked.
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