Posts Tagged 'murder'

Disaster & Interconnectivity, Action & Contemplation

What a week. First the mass-deadly Myanmar cyclone and their government’s bizarre response; now this: tens of thousands are feared dead in a China 7.8 magnitude earthquake.

I don’t know what to make of all this. Of course, nearly 150,000 people on this planet make the Great Transition daily; this in itself is nothing extraordinary. But suffering is different than ‘mere death;’ it is more, and it is right that it elicits a different – pained – response in us.

I don’t know what to make of all this. But I do know – no, sense is more accurate – a few things:

We are all interconnected – matter, energy, spirit & biosphere. Not one organism or object on this planet or in this galaxy can claim independence from everything else. Christians believe that in Christ–the risen, ascended, cosmic Christ-all things coinhere. God in Christ is the All in all. This idea – God’s integral permeation of all reality – is normally one of great beauty. But from one vantage point at least, it offers cold comfort when contemplating life’s shadow side – rape, murder, enslavement, torture, ecological degradation, ‘natural’ disaster.

Continue reading ‘Disaster & Interconnectivity, Action & Contemplation’

What to Do About Unrepentant Murderers in the Church?

For a few years, I was raised Calvinist. Even today I would consider myself “Reformed,” in certain idiosyncratic senses that pleases no Reformed people I know. But something that always bothered me about “Calvinist theology” was “Calvin the man,” and the fruit his life bore–namely, that he and his theocracy in Geneva killed people with whom they disagreed, over moral and theological matters. Hat-tip to my Presbymergent friend Adam Walker Cleaveland, “Jarrod McKenna has written a very interesting post entitled “Orthodoxy and heretics like Calvin?” which is worth your attention, especially if you claim the Reformed tradition as your tribe.” It is a great article. Whaddaya think?

I have a question for my many Presbyterian (and Reformed Baptist, et al) friends: Would Calvin be allowed to be an elder in one of your churches today? If not, how much (or, I should say “in what ways?”) can we learn from the notoriously, unrepentantly violent in our churches?

Of course Calvin and his followers weren’t the only killers-in-the-name-of-Jesus, and sure there were nuances. But bottom line, Servetus (among others, I’ve heard) was killed. What implications does this (and the contemporary verbally-violent character assassination that often characterizes contemporary Christendom) have for our witness as peace-makers?


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    My Writings: Varied and Sundry Pieces Online

    Illumination and Darkness: An Anne Rice Feature from Burnside Writer's Collective
    Shadows & Light: An Anne Rice Interview in MP3 format from Relevant Magazine
    God's Ultimate Passion: A Trinity of Frank Viola interview on Next Wave: Part I, Part II, Part III
    Review: Furious Pursuit by Tim King, from The Ooze
    Church Planting Chat from Next-Wave
    Review: Untold Story of the New Testament Church by Frank Viola, from Next-Wave

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