• books,  christianity,  voluntary simplicity

    Review: Sabbath as resistance by Brueggemann

    In Sabbath as Resistance: Saying No to the CULTURE OF NOW, Walter Brueggemann frames the fourth commandment as the most urgent commandment today. He uses the fourth commandment as a vantage point to look back at the first three and forward to the last six. In his analysis, the commandment to rest on the seventh day and to allow all others to rest (your son or your daughter, your male or female slave, your livestock, or the alien resident in your towns Exodus 20), reflects the need for neighborliness over the need to constantly acquire. Rest represents the overarching command to love others. Brueggemann works through chapters two through five…

    Comments Off on Review: Sabbath as resistance by Brueggemann
  • christianity,  discipline,  faith,  prayer

    Prayer cannot stop the sun or move mountains. Ever.

    A status update flowed through my Facebook news feed that said something like “prayer can literally stop the sun.” I probably would not have paid attention if the word “literally” had not been included. I hate to burst that person’s bubble, but no prayer, no matter how fervent, is going to cause the laws of nature to be violated or altered. Neither will prayer violate or alter the free will of another human. Why would we even want it to be so? An earth that is stopped in its tracks would result in catastrophic destruction for the earth and all its inhabitants. The ability to control others with prayer is…

    Comments Off on Prayer cannot stop the sun or move mountains. Ever.
  • christianity,  christmas,  consumerism,  simple living

    Why I Don’t Do Christmas | On Being

    This writer reflects my own thoughts. I bought no presents this year. I did make Christmas ornaments so I don’t show up empty-handed at gatherings where I will receive gifts from friends who feel obligated to give. I would love to permanently relieve them of that obligation. I will make my usual year-end donations to a variety of charities doing good work locally and abroad. And that is it. Like this writer, I refuse to participate in the consumerist distortion of Christmas. Instead, I’ll meditate on how I might live out the mystery and joy in the story of the incarnation in my everyday life. http://www.onbeing.org/blog/why-i-dont-do-christmas/4964

    Comments Off on Why I Don’t Do Christmas | On Being
  • bohemian,  christianity,  faith,  politics,  progressive,  religion

    Intimate knowledge

    I have read this piece by Frank Schaeffer twice. It’s funny, and it’s a super promotion for his newest book. But more than that, I get what he is talking about. And I think he is right. There are just too many of us who don’t simply have a book knowledge or observational knowledge of how far-right, literalist, fundamentalist, evangelicals think. We have an insider’s intimate knowledge that comes from having been one of them. We know how they think because we used to think that way, too. The ranks of post-evangelicals is growing. The so-called Nones may be checking none as a religious affiliation, but they are checking something…

  • business,  christianity,  family,  feminist,  women

    Will the real Proverbs 31 woman stand up?

    I discovered on Facebook that there is an organization called Proverbs 31 Ministries geared toward “today’s busy woman.” I’m a big fan of Proverbs 31. It inspires me to be do and accomplish all that I can with the abilities I have been given. So, I clicked the link to check them out. This is one of the group’s seven principles of a Proverbs 31 woman from their Facebook page and website: Loves, honors, and greatly enriches the life of her husband, encouraging and supporting his leadership within his family and his church. Perhaps this group’s version of Proverbs is not the same one I have been reading all these…

    Comments Off on Will the real Proverbs 31 woman stand up?
  • christianity,  peace,  social responsibility

    The Seeds of Hate

    I opened my newspaper this morning and immediately saw the headline that Osama Bin Laden had been killed. A picture below the headline showed United States citizens rejoicing in the streets in Washington, D.C. The news and the jubilant reaction gave me pause. I read coverage in several different papers and was thankful that most provided a brief history of Bin Laden‘s life, including his participation in the Afghan fight against the Soviet Union in the 1980s. U.S. hatred and fear of the Soviets played a major role in the decision to arm what were then termed “freedom fighters.” Bin Laden was our ally in hatred of a common enemy.…

  • christianity,  ethics,  faith

    Questions to Make Us Squirm

    As I read the news these days I’m struck by that thought that a whole bunch of us need to quit calling ourselves Christians. This is not an issue of political party or liberal or conservative. This is an issue of plainly and simply not living by the very basics of the ethics and values put forth in the Christian Bible. It seems to me that the mess reflected in our current economic problems and bloated government is a direct result of failing to adhere to those basic principals. Each citizen and government official is guilty of greed, envy, and disregard for the welfare of his or her neighbors. Anyone…

  • christianity,  faith,  religion

    To church or not to church

    I ran across a story this week that talked about the findings of a LifeWay Research study. It basically says that the “unchurched” (a particularly stupid word) see Christian churches as full of hypocrites and overly judgmental. One of the quotes is that 44% said that “Christians get on my nerves.” This study simply confirms what the Barna Group has found in surveys over the last couple of years.Their studies show that non-Christians and Christians who don’t attend a church (the “unchurched”) think that Christian churches are hypocritical, judgmental, overly political, and old-fashioned stick in the muds. Will Christian churches, their pastors and their members take heed of this type…