Happy Birthday Jesus! This year, we are giving you a pile of coal. Yes, it’s your 2,015th Birthday (or 2,016th or 2009th or whatever some scholar is going to tell us), but this year the best we could scrape up for a gift is some low grade extra smoky coal. Not even a good hard chunk of Welsh or Russian anthracite.
We are being inundated with news about silliness and or abuse in Christian circles. Yes, Mark Driscoll is starting a church in Phoenix. I think I want to create a re-spelling of this city name for Mark’s Phony-x Church – sorry, stupid joke, I know. But, now we will be forced to follow his story of serial abuse once again, and you know people will lemming-like follow the striking shepherd. So, this is a simple notice that we can anticipate my occasional babbling about Mark Driscoll’s escapades for another short season.
Meanwhile, Wheaton College supposedly is getting their wheat-on, and separating the wheat from the chaff by putting their tenured professor Larycia Hawkins on administrative leave. She said that Christians and Muslims worship the same God. She wore a hajib to identify with the persecuted Muslim people (not the violent variation). Wheat-on took this action on the basis of her “same God” comments, not her wardrobe choice. This is not anything Pope Francis hasn’t said, and it is not anything which hasn’t been voiced and debated from the pulpits of Wheat-on’s hallowed Evangelical halls. I am reading what people have to say about this issue, and I am going to say it straight out right now: NOBODY’S GOT IT RIGHT. There I said it – personal opinion. There is talk about this being a racial/sexist issue, because Dr. Hawkins is Wheaton’s only tenured black woman professor. I believe that moves the goalposts on a far more important failure in Christianity’s historic tendency toward heretic identification, and turns it into a popular liberation theology rant. Others are cutting fine theological distinctions about God. Trinitarian, Old Testament vs. New Testament, and Christological issues are being tossed around. This merely plays into the God of minute theological parsings, which Christianity has been struggling with since Augustine. There is more to worshiping the true God than getting one’s definition specific and correct. The above issues are for my next post on this topic. Needless to say, I am with Larycia Hawkins on her stance, and yet, that is not to say that I believe her stance (as described by the media and the current set of soundbites) is nuanced enough.
Find out where this kind of outside the box thinking comes from: Burning Religion: navigating the impossible space between religion and secular society at Amazon.