Happy Mother’s Day!

As the scene above aptly shows, for many people today is not a great day to celebrate. This causes me to reflect even more on how fortunate I am to not only have an incredible mother but to be married to an incredible mother.

IMG_7841One of my favorite memories of my mom was when I was dealing with girl issues in junior high. After attempting to go to bed around 8:30pm, she asked me if something was wrong. I spilled my guts and my mom dropped what she was doing (cleaning out her closet) and we sat together for a few hours while my mom poured value back into the depleted junior high school son in front of her. It’s such a simple, sweet memory that embodies how she lives her life daily. I always knew she’d be available to meet me in the moment and to love me no matter what. Now I get to watch her do this for my kids as their “Cici.”

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A Preacher of Peace

"A preacher of peace was executed for his revolutionary ideas. But have the ideas of Jesus somehow become less radical since a Roman governor sentenced him to crucifixion during Passover in the spring of AD 30? No. Two thousand years have not made the ideas taught by Jesus of Nazareth any less radical than those that so threatened Pontius Pilate and the imperial ideology he was aligned with. What has happened over the ensuing two millennia is that we who confess Christ have deftly (and mostly unconsciously) crafted a religion that neatly separates the Jesus who died on the cross for the radical ideas he preached—ideas that Jesus foresaw would lead to his crucifixion."

Brian Zahnd, A Farewell to Mars
The Crudest and the Rudest

The Crudest and the Rudest

Admittedly, I’m what some might call a progressive when it comes to theology. That’s partly from my experiences growing up in the Christian subculture and being overwhelmed from a young age with all of the niceties of Christians. In my view, this type of Christianity robs our faith of much of what it means to be human: the rawness, the brokenness, and the questions. But it is these things which also create the mystery and the beauty.

So to my fellow Christians reading this (and to those who aren’t but are looking to listen in and be entertained for a moment), allow me to encourage your faith today by unsettling it just a bit. You may be wondering what the title of this blog post refers to given my setup thus far. What could words like “crudest” and “rudest” possibly have to do with Christianity? They actually come from a commentary I read on Galatians 5:12. In case you don’t have that verse memorized (which I’m willing to bet you don’t), here’s what it says:

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Jesus According to Matthew

Jesus According to Matthew

This is part of a series of posts on the Biblical view of Jesus. Click here to see them all.

Like I previously did looking at the Gospel of Mark, here is another look at what we see about Jesus from different books of the Bible. It’s fascinating to see what conclusions and observations we can make when we isolate each author’s perspective and retelling of Jesus.

Below are the verses I listed and the observations about Jesus we see in them. A few caveats to consider: 1) these are all taken from the NRSV English translation and not from the original Greek, 2) this is my list after reading through it and there may be inaccuracies or other verses I missed, 3) some are actual titles while others are aspects or behaviors of Jesus.

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Top 20 Quotes from Catalyst West (2015)

Top 20 Quotes from Catalyst West (2015)

This is part of a series of posts on 20 quotes. Click here to see others.

I had the opportunity to attend the Catalyst West conference this week with some of the team from Central. I’ve had the chance to become friends with the Executive Producer of Catalyst the last few years and that has made these experiences even more special. Catalyst is a great shot in the arm of encouragement and connection with other church leaders.

Below I’ve selected twenty of my favorite quotes from the event. Each of these quotes is my best representation in writing of what they said verbally or a summary thereof. Any errors in wording are my own.

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Opposing Oppression

"Because God's rule challenges all other claims to authority, conflicts ensue between those who choose to accept it as good news and those who oppose it. And while Jesus and his followers have authority to denounce human oppression, they do not have authority to stop the oppressors by force. Otherwise, God's agents would themselves be guilty of lording over others. Thus, by confronting and denouncing oppressors, God's agents invite reprisals on themselves and become victims of the very oppression they oppose. In this conflict, Jesus and his followers appear to be the losers."

David M. Rhoads