Pushing Thirty

and shedding pretentions

Is Ghandi a model Christian?

From time to time, in the midst of a foray on issues of justice and oppression, I catch a little line of thought that always seems to get a voice.  Often, it ends up being the last word, a sort of seal-the-deal argument that puts all dissent to rest. The words are always a bit different, but the idea is consistent:

Ghandi was a better Christian than most Christians.

Its a powerful line.  When it gets used, it stands as the definitive proof that Christians by and large aren’t doing what they’re supposed to be doing. Continue reading

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July 20, 2008 Posted by | Christ, Religion | , , , , | Leave a comment

The Gospel According to Wiki

If you haven’t yet heard, the open source information site Wikipedia has begun a translation of the Bible. The translation is already underway, conducted in the same manner that all information is accrued on the site: lay “experts” post their information and it stands as the entry for their topic unless it is challenged by someone else. If it is challenged, minutia can be debated for page after page in the subtext (just look up your choice of hot-topic on Wikipedia for an example).

Now, I like Wikipedia. A lot. It’s the most convenient source of cursory information on the net, which is exactly what you’d expect from an Encyclopedia. Continue reading

July 16, 2008 Posted by | Christ, Religion, writing | 3 Comments

Gang Bangers and the New Perspective

A local entertainment club company is taking heat for implementing a new dress code in downtown Kansas city clubs. The rationale for the dress code is that it is an effective way to disarm the perception that downtown venues are not safe, but the complaints against it are that the dress code successfully discriminates against hip-hop culture. Right or wrong, this slice of real-life is an excellent example of the kinds of problems that the Gospel addresses, and exactly the kind of barriers between peoples that the Gospel is breaking down.

Or so might N.T. Wright say, present day Bishop of Durham and modern biblical scholar that is throwing a five hundred year old reading of Paul into a tizzy with a New Perspective. The entire reformed tradition of Bible interpretation is founded upon what Martin Luther thought Paul the Apostle was saying: mainly that the point of the Gospel was that men have to trust that God’s salvation is given freely, and is not based on their own merits of exemplary behavior. And given the oppressive religious climate in Luther’s day, it’s easy to see how he could have read Paul’s letter to the Romans, looked out his window, and thought, “I know exactly what this guy is talking about.” Continue reading

July 12, 2008 Posted by | Christ | 1 Comment