Best of the Rest (January 21st)

I haven’t done one of these in a few weeks so I had to significantly trim down from the original huge list I have been steadily bookmarking since the last one. Here’s some of what I’ve been reading:

Mark Driscoll recently complained on Twitter about how bloggers don’t do anything meaningful but just sit around and pontificate. I can only assume it is response to a lot of his critics. Aside from the irony that he is a blogger and pontificated his judgement of bloggers through a micro-blogging site, he is flat-out wrong. Rage Against the Minivan gave the best response I saw, including this list of things she has personally been a part of doing through her blog:

We build schools in Haiti.

We fund-raise for birthing centers.

We lobby for children’s rights.

We match waiting kids with adoptive families.

We recruit sponsors for impoverished children.

We fund adoptions of special-needs kids.

. . . and these are just the projects that I’ve personally been involved in.  I know a lot of bloggers, and there is no way I could even begin to quantify the kind of “get stuff done” things they are behind. Make no mistake about it, BLOGGERS ARE GETTING THINGS DONE.

If you’re active on blogs or theological discussion in general like me, this post from Frank Viola on 4 reasons you think you disagree but maybe don’t can be useful in furthering healthy conversation.

Steve Bremner talks about 5 Things the House-Church Movement is getting right.

David Henson provides a hilarious alternative Gospel which is what the NRA thinks Jesus would do:

Jesus said to to him, ‘Put your sword back into its place; for all who take the sword will perish by the sword. But those who carry an assault rifle shall never perish but have eternal life.’And, lo, the Lord stood his ground and drew out his AR-15. He smote his enemies and betrayer in a miraculously short amount of time by the power of his high-capacity magazine.3

A Deeper Story talks about how Jesus Didn’t Die to Give You Gun Rights. And Marty Troyer talks about Comparative Violence and how we use that to kill our neighbour.

The International Journal of Socialist Review asks “Who’s Afraid of Liberation Theology?

In speaking of Liberation Theology I will follow the line of Michael Lowy in referring to Liberationist Christianity, that is: the broad social trend that incorporates the theologians.

The theologians like Leonardo Boff and Gustavo Gutierrez synthesised the movement’s experience into texts. But the theologians themselves are not ivory tower intellectuals, they are right there in the slums living the life and doing the work of the movement.

The movement is that of the masses of the poor in combination with nuns, priests and students working together. Catechists, or spiritual leaders, come from within the communities, not from the priests or other religious.

Liberationist Christianity identifies the main task of Christians as combating structural sin, that is: the unjust structures of society. Christian compassion expresses itself in solidarity with the struggling masses.

In many contexts Liberationist Christians have made far more significant contributions to revolutionary movements than Marxists.

An article in Prodigal Magazine provides a powerful story of how to approach LGBT persons.

It’s like God used the words of an ignorant troll to cut open my heart open then he filled it with love for the gay community.

I literally didn’t know what to do but cry and say sorry.

“I’m sorry”

And lastly, in another from Prodigal Magazine Emily Maynard talks about modesty, lust, and responsibility:

Let me explain: I propose that we’ve lost sight of what lust actually is. In fact, we have confused biological sexual attraction with lust and called it sin. This is one reason why shame is so rampant in Christian circles, why we hide rather than confess our reality, why we try to control rather than offer each other the open love and freedom of Christ: we have made into sin something that is not sin.

God created you to desire another person for affection, intimacy, and relationship! Being physically attracted to someone is not lust. Wanting to kiss someone is not lust. Enjoying kissing someone is not lust. Those desires can be a catalyst for lust, but in themselves, they are morally-neutral, God-created, biological and chemical reactions. Your body recognizing sexual compatibility with another person is not inherently evil.

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.