Best of the Rest (Dec 31st)

It was the holidays so here’s a shorter Best of the Rest, starting with some Christmas Communion humour:

Scroll-over text: The local police, growing increasingly concerned about this church, ask parishoners to take a sip of wine and then spit it back out for DNA testing. It’s blood, and it matches a 1970s murder victim.

Lawrence Garcia talks about how Christus Victor themes are seen in The Lord of the Rings:

You see, in Satan’s heart the thought that the One with all authority and power would seek to “refuse it” is purely unimaginable. Indeed, as wise as Satan and Sauron are the notion of relinquishing power seems foolish and hence leads to complete self-deception, and ultimately to their ruinous downfall. God, in the words of Gandalf, uses folly as a “cloak” before the Enemy who only knows “desire for power.” Thus, when Satan in self-dissimulation crucifies the righteous Messiah he undoes the single legitimate claim to power that he possessed: his legal claim against sinners. In the words of the Apostle Paul, “The word of the cross, you see, is madness to people who are being destroyed. But to us—those who are being saved—it is God’s power” (1Cor. 1:18, KNT).

In another movie piece, Peter Enns points out the Gospel theme of salvation for the oppressed through the sacrifices of God’s people throughout Les Miserables.

A guest for Kurt Willem’s Pangea Blog writes a letter to the NRA as an American with a mental disorder (you can also check out my own response to the NRA’s Myth of Redemptive Violence)

To Wayne LaPierre and the NRA:

I believe in a person’s right to “Bear Arms.” I come from a family of farmers, hunters, and soldiers who have used guns as tools, some of whom are in the NRA.  But, the speech that Wayne LaPierre gave was quite frankly insane and I hope that gun owners and non-gun owners everywhere are able to recognize it.  I should know, I can smell insanity from a long way off because I am, “One of those unknown number of genuine monsters… that walk among us every day,” as you so eloquently described people with mental illness. Simultaneously, you called for stripping my rights and chided the national government for not creating an  “active National Database of the mentally ill.”

Still with the theme of insensitive responses to the shooting in Connecticut, here’s a take on the Callous Theology of James Dobson and Word of a Woman wonders why God was mad in 1927 when there were still shootings and other tragedies without all of the “sinfulness” like freedom of religion in our schools.

Amy at Unchained Faith talks about this same myth of godliness in previous generations:

I’m not a fan of people believing that the United States was founded as a Christian nation.  I could probably spend several blog posts outlining why that isn’t true.  I could point to a number of scholars who have done some actual research into the history of the U.S. and the Founding Fathers in order to determine that fact—including many who are Christians themselves.  But that isn’t my real problem with the claim that we used to be a nation of God-fearing people.

No, my real problem with that belief is that it is so chock full of privileged bullshit that it’s hard to unpack it all.  There was never a time in United States history when the majority of people behaved in a way that resembles genuine Christian faith.

In probably my last Christmas post of the year, The Telegraph discusses why maybe we should be discouraging the practice of the Christmas list which encourages greedy consumerism from a young age.

And lastly, appropriate to my slowly ongoing Lessons in Genesis 1-3 series, this series of posts by a member of the Theogeeks discussion board on Google+ discusses some of the fears that people have toward evolutionary creationism. I highly recommend BioLogos in general if you’re interested in questions of origins.

Ryan Robinson

It is easiest to identify Ryan as both theologian and tech guy. By day, Ryan is a Technical Consultant work with PeaceWorks Technology Solutions. There, he works on websites, CRMs, and SharePoint implementations. Along with blogging here, Ryan is a founding member of the MennoNerds blogging network and a contributor to the book A Living Alternative.