Tuesday, January 26, 2010

How to be an Insurrectionist pt 2.

Stanley Hauerwas, a professor at Duke University, wrote one of my favorite books titled "Resident Aliens: A provocative Christian assessment of culture and ministry for people who know that something is wrong." Now I know what you're thinking, and yes, it is that amazing!

Resident Aliens promotes the belief that Christians ethics rise from living in Christian community. He sees the church as a colony of believers living in the world, yet separate from the world. Thus, the main problem for the church is, instead of focusing on being a good colony, the church looks to sway influence in the world around it.

In the book's fourth chapter [named: "Life in the Colony: The Church as Basis for Christian Ethics"] Hauerwas says this:
In fact, much of what passes for Christian social concern today, of the left or of the right, is the social concern of a church that seems to have despaired of being the church. Unable through our preaching, baptism, and witness to form a visible community of faith, we content ourselves with erstaz Christian ethical activity - lobbying Congress to support progressive strageties, asking the culture at large to be a little less racist, a little less promiscuous, a little less violent. ... Both groups imply that one can practice Christian ethics without being in the Christian community. Both begin with the Constantinian assumption that there is no way for the gospel to be present in our world without asking the world to support our convictions through its own social and political institutionalization. The result is the gospel transformed into civil religion.

This does not that mean that the church should ignore injustice in the world, just that the church needs to do it in the proper way. When we look to do it by asking the world to first support our position, we end up changing our message into something that it is not. A civil religion, regardless of how "Christian" it may appear is far from the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Perhaps our response should be to live as insurrectionists.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Daniel: how to be an insurrectionist.

[Editor's Note: The book of Daniel is a manual on how to be an insurrectionist. I think it'd be a great exersize to study the book a bit and attempt to understand a little more about what it means to be a Christian.]

If we read through this book, we'll find that Daniel is written to inspire, prepare, and teach its readers how to refuse to fit into the dominant culture of its day. This story was written to the Jewish people as they were in exile. [while we're not sure of exactly when the book was written, its safe to say that the possible range is sometime during the exile] It was during this time that many of their opponents began to directly challenge the Jewish faith, climaxing in the Macabbean revolt of the 2nd century.

If we read the first 6 chapters of the book, we find that the hereos of the story are heroes because they refused to cave in to the pressure to conform to theist host society. Their hereoic deeds revolve around rebellious stands against these imperial bullies. If we read the second 6 chapters of the book we read a very intense apocalyptic account of the authority of heaven over the rulers of this world. Thus, the book is giving examples of insurrection and a theological framework by which the readers should base their life on.

I'd like to spend a few posts discussing exactly how the book shows this for us and perhaps spend some time breaking this down in today's world.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Food Inc.

[Editors note: Many of you know that one of my New Year's Resolutions was to not eat meat for the month of January. I am doing this because I want to be more thoughtful about what I eat and do research about where the food I eat comes from. I've heard good things about the movie "Food Inc." Here's a preview I recently saw.]

Thursday, January 14, 2010

There is no I in church:

I love what Keith Drury writes in his book, "There is no I in church." Here's a great quote I found it in:

Individualism and heaven are incompatible...Heaven is not a place where your wildest dreams of personal fulfillment come true...These are pagan notions of heaven. Heaven is about becoming a people. Heaven will melt our stubborn individuality and merge us into a group - the Bride of Christ. It will be the Church that goes to heaven, not just a bunch of individual believers. That is why people who reject the church cannot e Christian. They won't melt. They won't join the bride. [There is no I in church, pg 16.]

Friday, January 08, 2010

Great Quote:

You cannot win a War on Terrorism. It’s like having a war on jealousy.
~David Cross
About the quote: Cross is a comedian, most well known for his roles on the television series "Arrested Development" and "Mr. Show." This quote is from his 2002 comedy album.

Friday, January 01, 2010

Happy New Year! [New Year's Resolution Edt]

This year I've got a few New Year's Resolutions. 

The big one is, I'm going to attempt to go the entire month of January without eating meat. This is my big one! When I was thinking about what to do, I thought perhaps attempting to not eat meat would be a possibility. Recently, I've heard multiple sources make comments about the nature of the meat industry. These comments made me feel a little uncomfortable;  comments involving how many chemicals/anti-biotic medicines the majority of beef cattle are exposed to, the unnatural conditions that these cows live in, and the entire mindset of the business

A couple of points. I realize that any resolution that involved giving up meat would most likely only last through the first month, therefore I only gave it up for the 1st 31 days. I wanted to, at first, try a vegan diet [no animal products at all], but realized that's a pretty hardcore step. So I'm just going to try to cut meat out of my diet for 30 days.

Good luck to you, and Happy New Year!