Showing posts from September, 2012

Talking helps

If a brother or sister in Christ has the courage to name racism as a continuing wound in our life together, that should be enough of an opening for more, not less, conversation.   

While it may hurt to have these accusations pointed in our direction, and some may get "sick and tired" hearing charges of bigotry, just think of those who have to live with it every day of their lives.

In the long run, it's so much more helpful to talk with each other than to throw names at each other. It would also allow us to see each other better, without the kind of hindrances Jesus mentioned in Matthew 7: 5. 

Time to Quit Tossing the Labels Around

You would think that among Christians, it would be enough to be called by the name of Christ. The name assumes a spirit of generosity that too many of us Christians reject in favor of other names like orthodox, progressive, contemplative, confessing, liberal, reform, conservative, Bible believing, fundamentalist, emergent, evangelical, etc., etc, etc.!

I know, the genius of our growth is how we can divide and multiply. Jesus is incarnated in any and all cultures. So we've also come up with lots of proper pronouns to delineate our historic differences, like Independents, Baptists, Lutherans, Methodists, Catholics, Protestants, Nondenominational, and so on.

There's no use pretending a unity that isn't there, but isn't it enough challenge just to be known as a follower of Jesus, enough blessing to be one of Christ's own, enough grace to be made in God's image and in God' love? Why isn't this better than any confining label?

The great preacher and United Me…

Reviewing We Were Least of These

Elaine Heath's We Were the Least of These: Reading the Bible with Survivors of Sexual Abuse is her recent book, published in 2011. The McCreeless Associate Professor of Evangelism and director of the Center for Missional Wisdom at Perkins, Heath explains how the church and its Story can be heard and explored in a healing way by survivors of sexual violence and abuse. Her telling of the Christian Story is authentic mainly because it is done by a survivor, in the presence of the estimated 1 in 3 woman and 1 in 6 men who are also survivors of sexual abuse.

Naming survivors as the least of these is key to the entire study, the hermeneutic Heath applies to the many Bible stories she re-presents and retells in the rest of the book. The words themselves are of course from Jesus' parable in Matthew 25: "We were the least of these, all of us who suffered abuse, neglect, violence of every kind. Jesus was with us; Jesus was in us; Jesus is for us." p.9

Heath's choice of text…