Life Changers 1/23/15

I’m battling a pretty rough sinus infection at the moment, writing in between blowing my brains out. I suppose this would be a good week to lay low on blogging, but you know how Bible logic goes, when I am weak, then I am strong. So in the spirit of powering through, I present to you this week’s Life Changers, a collection of the best writing around the internet I discovered this week:

Yours Truly published a piece on SheLoves magazine this week on the Power of Gathering:

Each time the people of God gather, it is to consider how we can become greater in our love, wider in our mercy, stronger in our hope.

It is ingrained in the DNA of our faith history, this method of drawing together for the purposes of reaching out. Perhaps this is why I see our 30-minute dinners as sacred. This act of gathering is a holy work, an invisible labor of love.

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I am so excited to follow along a four-part series on the subject of Job and suffering that Jessica Kelley is writing on. She starts out with this question, does the Lord give and take away? Be sure to follow her and read the rest of the series!

But what if… what if the author of the book of Job wrote, “The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord” not to advocate this reaction, but to refute it?  What if this masterfully written work was penned to push back on this common response?  What if the book of Job is meant to teach us about a very different view of God’s role in suffering?

As a Christian blogger myself, I really appreciated thinking through this issue of over-sharing online. Such a delicate balance, to be vulnerable and true, but to draw healthy boundaries.

“There is power in sharing one’s life online, but there is even more power in sharing it with those you love.” she says. “It is possible to be authentic online and inauthentic in your real life. I didn’t want to enable that.”

Listen to Walter Brueggemann. Always a Life Changer. It’s Not a Matter of Obeying the Bible: 8 Questions for Walter Brueggemann

It’s not a matter of obeying the Bible — it’s about obeying the gospel. The gospel is about God’s saving love that wants to restore all of humanity to full communion. To reach back to an ancient text that has now been corrected by the revelation of God in Jesus Christ is simply a bad maneuver and poor methodology and theologically irresponsible. Those texts are not the determinative texts.

The texts that are determinative are those that talk about the love of God that has been shown to us in Jesus. We can’t compromise that.

All the reasons I identify as a progressive Christian is in this piece. Very life-giving. Making Room at Christ’s Table: The Gift of Progressive Christianity.

It reminded me that no one gets to pick a singular moment of doubt or outright unbelief to declare a person outside the bounds of the Christian journey, because God is in the midst of doubt and unbelief just as surely as God is in the midst of certainty and confident belief. 

It reminded me that sometimes doubt and unbelief are exactly what’s needed to open a person up to compassion, empathy, and love of neighbor. 

This week, the New Testament theologian, Marcus Borg, passed away. Diana Butler Bass posted the prayer he used at the end of each of the lectures he gave, and suggested perhaps it is his benediction to us all. I found it beautiful. Would love to frame it and put it up in my study.

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What have you found to be life changing this week?

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  • That Brueggemann quote: “It’s not a matter of obeying the Bible — it’s about obeying the gospel.” HELLO! Love this.

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