Sunday, March 01, 2015

'The politics of eternity works not by might but by spirit; a Spirit whose redemptive power is released among [people] through suffering endured on behalf of the evildoer, and in obedience to the divine command to love all [people]. Such love is worlds apart from the expedient of loving those who love us, of doing good to those who have done good to us. It is the essence of such love that it does not require an advance guarantee that it will succeed, will prove easy or cheap, or that it will be met with swift answering love. Whether practiced by [individuals] or nations, it well may encounter opposition, hate, humiliation, utter defeat. In the familiar words of the epistle, such love suffers long, is always kind, never fails. . . . This is the Spirit that overcomes the world.

To act on such a faith, the politics of eternity demand of us, first, repentance. As individuals and as a nation we must literally turn about. We must turn from our self-righteousness and arrogance and confess that we do that which is evil in the sight of the Lord. We must turn from the substitution of material for spiritual values; we must turn not only from our use of mass violence but from what is worse, our readiness to use this violence whenever it suits our purpose, regardless of the pain it inflicts on others. We must turn about.'"

American Friends [Quaker] Service Committee, Speak Truth to Power, 1955

Friday, February 27, 2015

During those years
when I was a Charismatic Christian,
I often felt out of place:
in the midst of people singing
and praying and emoting outwardly--
and talking, talking, talking--
I felt drawn inward;
to a deep,

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

"I had embraced a form of Christian faith devoted less to the experience of God than to abstractions about God, a fact that now baffles me; how did so many disembodied concepts emerge from a tradition whose central commitment was to the Word become flesh?" 

- Parker Palmer, All the Way Down

Sunday, February 22, 2015

“Jesus’ followers are called to peace. When Jesus called them, they found their peace. Jesus is their peace. Now they are not only to have peace, but they are to make peace. To do this they renounce violence and strife. Those things never help the cause of Christ. Christ’s kingdom is a realm of peace, and those in Christ’s community greet each other with a greeting of peace. Jesus’ disciples maintain peace by choosing to suffer instead of causing others to suffer. They preserve community when others destroy it. They renounce self-assertion and are silent in the face of hatred and injustice. That is how they overcome evil with good. That is how they are makers of divine peace in a world of hatred and war.”

-- Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Discipleship

"A theology that takes mystical experiences seriously leads to a very different understanding of the referent of the word 'God.'  The word no longer refers to a being separate from the universe, but to a reality, a 'more,' a radiant and luminous presence that permeates everything that is."

-- Marcus Borg, Convictions: How I Learned What Matters Most

Friday, February 20, 2015

"It does seem that there are lineages of war and that wars are the causes of wars. And it seems unlikely that wars cause peace. Wars cause victory and defeat, equivocal terms because in wars both sides lose much that they would rather keep, and they cause exhaustion. But victory, defeat, loss, and exhaustion don’t define peace. It is certain that peace does not cause war. Wars, moreover, tend not to end. Damage from our Civil War continues today. We are still under the influence of World War II. We still suffer the effects of the succession of wars that have followed." 

-- Wendell Berry
 (via AZSpot)

Thursday, February 19, 2015

"The emerging movement represents a third way, that cuts across denominational lines and abandons the emphasis on institutional loyalty, instead emphasizing an inclusive, optimistic vision of what it means to be a Christian today. This third way recognizes that the human condition is precarious, no one has a lock on truth, everything (yes, even the Bible and Church authority) must be questioned in the light of reason, criticism, and the full sweep of human knowledge, and that any honest effort to follow Jesus Christ can only be made in the light of the existential uncertainty of the human condition.

This is a path that is humble (because it admits it doesn’t have all the answers), compassionate (since it recognizes that everyone makes mistakes), and gentle (because it emphasizes Jesus’s teachings on mercy and forgiveness). This is the path that says 'I am a follower of Jesus Christ, I take the teachings of Christianity seriously, and I also am willing to engage with other sources of knowledge and wisdom, including secular sciences and ancient contemplative traditions, east and west.'

I believe this third way is the way of the future. And I bet if Karl Rahner were alive today, he’d agree with me. It’s the way of the mystic, for the mystics and contemplatives have always understood that the heart — compassion, forgiveness, relationship, mercy — takes us closer to God than the head — dogma, doctrine, theology, philosophy. The mystics have always understood that feeding a hungry child matters far more to God than all our arguments over the correct way to baptize or the real meaning of Communion or how to interpret the parable of the unjust steward. For the mystics and contemplatives, time spent in contemplative prayer is a way for the mind to abandon arrogant thoughts, so that the heart may embrace compassionate living."

--Carl McColman

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

"But here’s the irony of it all: while we find burning people alive morally repulsive when ISIS does it, most Christians seem to have no moral qualms about believing in a God they think will do precisely that."

-- Benjamin L. Corey, Why ISIS Should Make Christians Rethink The Doctrine Of Hell