Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Gotta Love Weezer

Monday, May 26, 2008

Jesus for President Blog Tour

I'm really interested in what Shane Claiborne does and writes. As I see it, he tries to live his life the way he interprets Jesus would want him to, which is a lot more than I can say for myself 95% of the time. So, I've read Shane Claiborne's previous book, and also got to see him last time he was in the area. Now I'm participating in the blog tour for his new book.

My main response to this book is WOW. Once again very thought provoking. In The Irresistible Revolution, Claiborne was focused on personal living in the light of Jesus words. It was very convicting, and presented a way to live more in tune with Christ's teachings. In this book, Claiborne and Chris Haw focus on life in American society and our current global economy.
The first two sections, are fairly innocent, providing an intro into into narrative theology. It's a great primer for those of us who get bogger down in the more scholarly writings on the subject (by the likes of Hauerwas, Yoder, Wright, and Barth). The third section is an indictment of America as compared to the empires portrayed in the Bible. I'll probably end up on some watch list for admitting I read it, but that's okay. The final section is comprised of examples of how the authors and their friends stand against the empires of capitalism, the global economy, and even the American government.
The stated purpose of the book is to re-ignite the political imagination of American Christians. I have to say it succeeds, particularly in educating people in the ways our government and society has fallen short of God's vision for the world. However, be warned that there is very little actually about voting and the election process (only the very last few pages). It is much more about living in a way that is counter to the systems in power today.
One place where I struggle with the book is in relation to the military. The authors are very anti-war, and offer to help soldiers who want to get out. I am also against war, especially the ridiculous one we are in now, but wonder if there is a third way where we can be Anti-War but more respectful to our military. I know there are lots of professed Christians in the military, and I am sure that we are better off for it. They are suffering in service of our country.
There is an actual physical tour that hits Raleigh on July 22 at First Baptist Church-Wilmington Street (Across the street from the Capitol). I can only imagine what's going to happen. For more info on the book and tour go here or here.

The Story of Stuff

Somehow, I ran across this little film on the internet. I disagree with a few points (ex. I don't think companies move manufacturing to Asia to skirt environmental laws, except sometimes environmental compliance is cheaper in third world countries), but over-all it's pretty thought provoking.

Anyway, check the whole thing out (it runs about 20 minutes) at http://www.storyofstuff.com/.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

The Power of Forgiveness

Last Sunday at Small Group, we took a break and had movie night, watching the documentary The Power of Forgiveness. It looks at many aspects of forgiveness, interviewing researchers who have done studies on forgiveness, religious leaders of many faiths, and people who have gone through terrible experiences (such as the holocaust or losing a loved one during the 9-11 attacks). The most moving part to me was the last story, where a Muslim father whose son was murdered by a 14-year old boy on drugs. The father completely forgave the murderer and started a foundation with the murderer's Christian grandfather (and guardian) to teach inner city kids about forgiveness.
It also explored the murder of the Amish schoolchildren a few years ago, and commented on how the faith and traditions of the Amish people made them hardwired to forgive. Even though we share the same faith, I don't feel like I'm hardwired at all to forgive. I think I generally hold grudges and try to get even, even though I want to be forgiving and know that's how I'm supposed to be. Wouldn't it be awesome if churches could be boot camps for forgiveness and our kids would grow up to be automatic forgivers?
Anyway, I thought it was a really good film. Check it out if you get a chance (I have a copy if you want to borrow it).