Getting Judaism, and Jesus, Wrong -
Once again, in the attempt to make Jesus relevant to the twenty-first century, another of his followers winds up mischaracterizing first-century Judaism. These seekers after relevance make Jesus’ Jewish context represent everything we don’t like — sexism, elitism, militarism, you name it — and then depict Jesus as the one Jew to stand against his oppressive culture. Jesus can stand very well on his own without having to make Judaism look bad; alas, some of his followers have not yet figured this out.
If we preach Christ, Anglicanism will flourish. If we preach Anglicanism, nothing will flourish. —
Justin Welby (via bethmaynard)
Welby said something I like. :)
Stuck visiting a church treating today as “Independence Day Sunday” with a sermon praising the Christian worldview of the Founders that led to limited government
…it struck me that Paul probably couldn’t get a job teaching at the seminary that taught me about Paul. — Peter Enns (via azspot)
In 2002, I came to the United States for graduate studies. I sought out the evangelical wing of the Episcopal Church but soon discovered that my beliefs conflicted with much of contemporary evangelicalism in the United States. I believed, for example, the debate over contraception had been settled long ago – since that decision should be guided by one’s conscience – and helping the poor is a Christian duty, since every human being is made in the sacred image of God. I was surprised, therefore, to learn that many Christians in the evangelical movement in the United States oppose healthcare for the poor as well as gun-control laws, demonize immigrants, and place the United States Constitution on par with the Bible. Even more surprising was my discovery that the arguments I had often heard African bishops use against LGBTI people were not African in origin. Rather, they were the talking points developed by conservative evangelicals in the United States. —
Rev. Dr. Kapya Kaoma, “American Culture Warriors in Africa: A Guide to the Exporters of Homophobia and Sexism.”
(This is also a nice reminder that labels like “evangelical” do not mean the same thing around the world.)
When Jesus expels demons and heals the sick, he is driving out of creation the powers of destruction, and is healing and restoring created beings who are hurt and sick. The lordship of God, to which the healings witness, restores creation to health. Jesus’ healings are not supernatural miracles in a natural world. They are the only truly ‘natural’ thing in a world that is unnatural, demonized and wounded… . Finally, with the resurrection of Christ, the new creation begins, pars pro toto, with the crucified one. —
(via Ray Ortland)
(Source: naminganimals, via rootedradical)
When the word says, ‘This is My Body,’ be convinced of it and believe it, and look at it with the eyes of the mind. For Christ did not give us something tangible, but even in His tangible things all is intellectual. So too with Baptism: the gift is bestowed through what is a tangible thing, water; but what is accomplished is intellectually perceived: the birth and the renewal. If you were incorporeal He would have given you those incorporeal gifts naked; but since the soul is intertwined with the body, He hands over to you in tangible things that which is perceived intellectually. How many now say, ‘I wish I could see His shape, His appearance, His garments, His sandals.’ Only look! You see Him! You touch Him! You eat Him! — St John Chrysostom ~ Homilies on the Gospel of Matthew (via sebastianmorris)
"Limitations of the Lectionary", Walter Sundberg -
The present preoccupation with the liturgical calendar provides further encouragement for unquestioning use of the lectionary. It is now a common experience in the church to be treated to a barrage of sermons which use the weekly pericopes largely for the purpose of illustrating liturgical concepts such as Advent or Epiphany. The poor congregation thus finds itself subjected to an endless series of abstract meditations on the emotions of “anticipation” or “realization,” or whatever else is thought to be relevant to the liturgical season.
Various aids and resources serve to reinforce passive obedience to the lectionary. For a distressing number of the clergy, weekly Scripture reading and sermon preparation have been reduced to the curious practice of studying the three assigned texts for the week. The ever-present temptation is to treat these texts as pieces of a puzzle to be fit together by analogy, typology, allegory, or a progressive scheme of salvation-history. Although this often leads the exegete to employ techniques that, in the words of Roy Harrisville, are better “left to Origen or to the author of the Fairie Queene,” such techniques are tried nonetheless, week after week, year after year.
There are people out there who will tell you that liturgy means “the work of the people”. That is not accurate and not true. As it came to be used in the Church, liturgy means “a work done for the people”. The primary liturgist is always Jesus. He’s the one who does the liturgy for the people. He’s the one who gives the public benefaction, the giving out of his gifts. He arranges for his people to be gathered together and for the salvation and life that’s in him to be distributed to them. Historic liturgy then is “wherein we live as the people of God”. It’s Jesus dishing out the gifts.
— Pastor Will Weedon, LCMS
On the day of Pentecost the Church was born and yet there were no Gospels as we know them today. It would not be a theological exaggeration to assert that the Church would be the Church in Her fullness even if She did not possess the New Testament. For many raised on the Reformational principle of sola scriptura this may seem a radical—even heretical—statement. …[T]here was a time when the Church did not possess this corpus of inspired writing and yet the Church existed in Her fullness, Christians experienced the truth of the faith in all its fullness. — Fr. Georges Florovsky, The Byzantine Fathers of the Fifth Century, Vol 8 of Collected works as recorded in “The Church, Tradition, Scripture, Truth, and Christian Life [p. 15] (via gospelofthekingdom)