Showing posts from January, 2017

ResistingTrump with Revelation (1)

Introduction The Book
The book of Revelation was likely written in the 90’s a.d. to seven communities of faith in Asia Minor in the Roman Empire under Emperor Domitian. Written by a Seer named John (probably not the author of the fourth gospel), it presents itself as a pastoral letter, a prophetic announcement, and an apocalypse.
-As a pastoral letter Revelation offers practical wisdom for churches in the crucible of living faithfully amid the most powerful empire on earth. Here we discover the focus of the book. -As a prophetic announcement Revelation provides the content from which the Seer draws his pastoral counsel. -As an apocalypse (a revelation, the first Greek word of the document, from which it gets its name) Revelation gives us an x-ray (as it were) into the character of the empire, the kingdom of which God is the King, and what it means to participate in God’s Kingdom). From this aspect of the book we get the necessary perspective from which to hear it content and counsel.

The Bible will not save us

Posted on Monday, January 30, 2017 by Adam Kotsko The Hebrew Bible and New Testament both say very unequivocal things in favor of helping the poor and excluded, welcoming the stranger, and a host of other topics immediately relevant to our political environment. But unfortunately, all of the people who should be receptive to those teachings have been systematically inoculated against them. The Bible is not a challenging word for any mainstream Christian, but rather a license for conformism. The existence of a few oddball radicals who actually take the biblical demand for justice seriously only serves to highlight the inert mass of Christians counting on a fix of cheap grace. The situation is much worse on the conservative side. . . Read more at
Runaway World - It Is Here The following quote comes from Runaway World: How Globalization is Reshaping Our Lives. It was written in 1998, by British sociologist, Anthony Giddens.
What Globalisation is, and whether it is in any way new, are the focus of intense debate. I discuss this debate in Chapter I, since much else hangs upon it. Yet the facts of the matter are actually quite clear. Globalisation is restructuring the ways in which we live, and in a very profound manner. It is led from the west, bears the strong imprint of American political and economic power, and is highly uneven in its consequences. But globalisation is not just the dominance of the West over the rest; it affects the United States as it does other countries. Globalisation also influences everyday life as much as it does events happening on a world scale. That is why this book includes an extended discussion of sexuality, marriage and the family. In most parts of the world, women are staking claim to greater auto…

Three Cheers for Our Post-Factual Turn!

One thing our post-factual age has made clear is that we do not live by the “facts” at all. No, we live rather by the stories that have and continue to shape our lives. We may not be aware of them. They seem to us to be just the way things are. The “facts” as we see them fit the contours these stories have already etched into our hearts, minds, and bodies. And it remains so until enough challenges to the truth and reality of those stories accumulate. Thomas Kuhn taught us that science progresses by following the accepted findings of the science of the time until enough “anomalies,” that is, experimental results that don’t accord with the accepted scientific findings, accumulate that make it impossible to accept the science of the times with intellectual honesty. And the paradigm of science changes taking on a new shape that becomes the reigning description of science until the next paradigm shift.
Now that we no longer even pretend to live by “facts,” it will not be they that provoke …

Varieties of atheistic experience

Thursday, January 5, 2017 — Adam Kotsko There are three varieties of atheism. Only one of them is actually interesting.
“Matter of course” atheism — this is the position that belief in God is clearly superfluous, both for explaining the natural world and for developing a coherent moral code. It’s not a matter of deep conviction, hence not very interesting in itself. “Smarter than you” atheism — this is the worst kind, represented by the New Atheists. It goes beyond “matter of course” atheism by supposing that atheism can be a positive doctrine that must combat benighted religious doctrines. It always threatens to veer toward racism, because when they notice societies where atheism has failed to make major inroads, they start to wonder if there’s something… intrinsically wrong with them, you know, as a group. Protest atheism — this is the only kind worth discussing, because it calls the God of monotheism to account for the injustice and suffering in the world. Interestingly, from …

Review of David Fitch's "Faithful Presence"

David Fitch’s Faithful Presence sketches a vision of church oriented around the presence of God. God’s “real presence” to steal a trope from Eucharistic theology. Filled with both analysis and anecdote his work helpfully weaves a tapestry of church life that fills out a genuinely missional understanding of the church in practice, something which missional theologians have struggled to do. Among the many virtues of Faithful Presence are
-a biblical theology oriented around God’s presence,
-a vision of life in Christ rooted in radical trust in God’s actual presence in our midst leading us mediated by the Eucharist and the faithful practices of gifted koinonia, and
-a threefold differentiation of sites of ministry/mission into the close circle, the dotted circle, and the half circle.
Within this overall profile Fitch offers seven disciplines that train and position Christians in their churches to grow toward the vision he sketches. The seven disciplines – the Lord’s Table, reconciliation, p…