Today is Good Friday. Before continuing, I would just like to point out that I wish my evangelical counterparts would do more in reverence for today. So often, those in my tradition prefer to skim over the passion narratives to get to the Resurrection that we forget to spend a significant time in focus on the death of Jesus. In doing so, we do a great disservice to Christianity and miss out on the importance of Jesus’ death as a cosmic critique of scapegoating. Below is a video from sparkhouse depicting a kid-friendly version of Good Friday (H/T Tony Jones):
This week has been great, both for content and for dialogue in general. I think the biggest (and most important) story this week was the hearing at the Supreme Court on California’s Proposition 8 and DOMA. Either way the rulings go, this will be a significant time for the nation, and perhaps the world.
Personally, I’ve been enthralled by S. Mark Heim’s Saved from Sacrifice. I’m taking it slow so as to be able to digest and understand it well, and will continue to review it on the blog for quite some time. All that being said, the atonement theory given in this book as it relates to Girardian thought is giving me some real hope in Christianity as a whole again – particularly in my post-deconstructed-faith stage.
Anyway, here is some of my favorite content this week!
- As I’m becoming increasingly interested in climate change and what we can do about it, you’ll probably see more of this kind of content from me. NPR did a story this week on climate change moving into being taught in the education system.
By the time today’s K-12 students grow up, the challenges posed by climate change are expected to be severe and sweeping. Now, for the first time, new nationwide science standards due out soon will recommend that U.S. public school students learn about the climatic shift taking place.
- Rachel Held Evans wrote a beautiful piece about doubt, Holy Week, and Easter:
But you won’t know how to explain that there is nothing nominal or lukewarm or indifferent about standing in this hurricane of questions every day and staring each one down until you’ve mustered all the bravery and fortitude and trust it takes to whisper just one of them out loud on the car ride home:
“What if we made this up because we’re afraid of death?”
- Peter Enns wrote a response to John Piper’s inconsistent treatment of evolution and its ability to synthesize with (fundamentalist) Christianity:
In my opinion, what I sense here is Piper’s public expression of cognitive dissonance. He is smart enough to know that evolution cannot simply be brushed aside, but he is struggling with how to align that with a literalistic reading of the Bible, which is a non-negotiable requirement of his theology.
- Kester Brewin‘s new book, After Magic, was released recently. He has some thoughts on how his writing relates to the human tendency to label outcasts as condemned when the focal point of our religion is the ‘super-nature.’ What I find particularly interesting is the relationship of Brewin’s thought to Girard’s notion of scapegoating and victimization.
After Magic… [argues] that the demonisation of ‘the other’ is an inevitable result of a theology that insists on super-nature. It has been the same through history: fundamentalist religions have required some group to be the focus of their hatred, be it Jews, blacks, gays, women, liberals, communists…
- I’d be stupid to not post anything about the Supreme Court hearings this week. Here is Justice Sotomayor refuting (in less than a minute!) one of the common arguments against gay marriage (H/T Krista Dalton):
- Finally, a funny (yet awesome) one. The real-life (Petaluma) Batman: