Pilgrim Pathways: Notes for a Diaspora People

Incarnational Discipleship

From Around the Blogosphere: Good Links

The “new universalism” is given sharp-edged critique by Calvin College philosopher, James K. A. Smith, self-identifying as both Pentecostal and Reformed(!).  Two good rebuttals to Smith are made by Halden Doerge and D. W. Congdon

Bob Cornwell seeks to redeem the “L” word, Liberalism.  Since I consider myself both “evangelical” and “liberal” when proper definituions of each are used, I like such attempts.

Did the Canadian elections, with an unforseen surge in seats picked up by the New Democratic Party just return Steven Harper’s Conservatives to a 3rd term in power as a minority government or will the NDP lead a new Anything-but-Tory coalition with the Liberals and BQ?  If the NDP do move from opposition to a governing coalition, I hope they make wiser choices than UK’s Liberal Democrats have in their minority coalition with the Tories.  I like the NDP and am convinced that if I were ever to become a Canadian, this would be my party–but given the unexpected nature of the results, are they truly PREPARED to govern?

BenMyers has commentary and links to Rowan Williams’ (Anglican Archbishop of Canterbury and a fine theologian, in my opinion) three (3) theological lectures on dimensions of C.S. Lewis’ Narnia books. 

The Women in Theology blog reflects on the Feast of St. Catherine of Siena.

April 30, 2011 Posted by | blog, blog series | 2 Comments

For the New Year: Check Out Ted Grimsrud’s New Blog

I have mentioned before the website, Peace Theology, by Ted Grimsrud, who teaches theology and peace studies at Eastern Mennonite University in Harrisonburg, VA. That website is a treasure trove of Grimsrud’s writings and reviews of other writings concerning issues related to war and peace from an explicitly Christian pacifist perspective–specifically from one who is an adult convert to the Anabaptist-Mennonite tradition. 

Well, now, Grimsrud has launched an accompanying blog, Thinking Pacifism.  Here Grimsrud is “thinking aloud” on peace related subjects and inviting feedback on writings in progress–such as the book he is writing on the moral legacy of World War II.  He has just begun a series of posts titled “Is Karl Barth good for Mennonites?” (Some Mennonite theologians such as John Howard Yoder have said “yes,” but others such Gordan Kaufman disagreed.)

All who are interested in these topics will profit from frequent visits and interactions–and what a good way to start the new year.

January 11, 2011 Posted by | blog, ethics, pacifism, theology | Leave a comment

Holy Week Blog Break

Tomorrow is Palm Sunday the beginning of Holy Week, the celebration of Christ’s Passion, Death & Resurrection. This year the liturgical calendars of East and West line up so that both the Eastern and Western churches will celebrate Easter (Resurrection Sunday) on the same day.

I am taking an internet fast this week, under the shadow of the cross.  I will see you good people on Easter afternoon/evening when I will have reflections on each part of the week that just happened.

March 27, 2010 Posted by | blog, Lent, liturgy | Leave a comment

Ted Grimsrud & Peace Theology

I read many peace related blogs, especially Christian and interfatih peace blogs.  I do not mean to denigrate any of them.  However, I am here to say to you that if you only read one internet site dedicated to Christian peacemaking, read Ted Grimsrud’s Peace Theology.net .

Here are Biblical studies, sermons, rough drafts of book chapters, book reviews and more.  They are written from Ted’s perspective as an adult convert to Mennonite Christian pacifism.  His is an Anabaptist vision for the 21st C.  quite similar to my own. (No one is exactly the same.)

Along with J. Denny Weaver, Ted is charting what I believe to be the most hopeful “post-John Howard Yoder” path in Anabaptist pacifist thought.  This is not to run down the excellent work of Gayle Gerber Koontz (though I wish she’d publish more), Duane Friesen, Willard Swartley, or Mark Theissen Nation. (It IS to disagree sharply with the direction mapped out by A. James Reimer.) I disagree with Swartley and Nation on GLBT matters, but they have much else that is worth reading–worth celebrating, even. 

But I think Ted is pushing and prodding Mennonites–and others of us who identify with some or all of Anabaptist perspectives in theology and Christian discipleship–along the path I think we need to go.  Because I am a non-Mennonite, what I write will have a different shape–but it will be informed by Ted’s work in many ways as it already is.

March 16, 2010 Posted by | blog, peace, theology | 2 Comments

Highlighting Some Peace Blogs

From time to time, I will highlight some of the blogs I read on my blogroll.  Here are three that focus on peacemaking–a passion of mine that I believe to be central to the very meaning of the Christian life.

FORpeace is the blog of the U.S. chapter of the Fellowship of Reconciliation.  Go here to see updates on nonviolent actions, plus news, analysis, and commentary.

Peace Blog is the Paul Kawika Martin’s blog for Peace Action, the largest grass-roots peace organization in America.  Paul Kawika Martin is the Executive Director of Peace Action.  Peace Action focuses on positive actions for peace, “just peacemaking” practices.

The Quakers’ Colonel is the blog of retired Col. Dan Smith, who, in 2002 joined the Friends’ Committee on National Legislation as military and intelligence analyst.  On his blog, he taks about military spending, peace processes, intelligence matters, wars, and related matters. Remarkably, after a lifetime in the military, he does this in service of Quaker peace values.

Baptist Voices for Peace and Justice is the group blog of the Baptist Peace Fellowship of North America.  Four (4) very active members of BPFNA (Mike Broadway, Prof. of Theology and Ethics at Shaw Divinity School, Frances Kelly (community organizer with Healthcare for America), Dan Schweissing, American Baptist missionary, & Ryan Price, Baptist pastor in Vermont) take turns updating this blog.

Peace Theology is the website and blog of Ted Grimsrud, who teaches theology and ethics at Eastern Mennonite Seminary in Harrisonburg, VA.  This is one of the most informative sites of its kind on the web.

Enjoy, folks.

February 27, 2010 Posted by | blog, peace, theology | 4 Comments

Environmental Theology–Byron Smith’s Contributions

I hope one day to write something significant concerning environmental theology and ethics.  In the meantime, Byron Smith, an Australian doing doctoral work in theology at the University of Edinburgh (Scotland), has written some excellent series that you should read on his blog, Nothing New Under the Sun.  Each of the links below is to the first post in a series.  They are worth your time and attention.

Jesus and Climate Change

.Would Jesus Vote Green?

Peak Oil and the End of Suburbia

And these are single postings that should not be missed:

Corporate Growth: What is Wrong with the World?

Copenhagen and Climate Change: Hope and Hopelessness

What do we do with what we know? A story

Comments should be directed to Byron at his blog, of course. He blogs on much else that is worthwhile and I think it a public  service to make his blog known to any of my readers who haven’t discovered him.

February 23, 2010 Posted by | blog, blog series, environmental ethics, environrnmental theology, ethics, theology | 4 Comments

Thom Stark Debates the Divinity of Jesus

If you’ve ever wanted to read a very good argument that Nicea and Chalcedon were wrong, that Jesus is not divine (at least, in the usual sense that the majority of Christians would understand that term) and that the Scriptures which seem to teach that he was/is divine have  been misinterpreted, don’t look to ME to provide it, because I actually think that Nicea and Chalcedon were basically on track–although if the Fathers not lived within the framework of Hellenistic metaphysics, they would probably have phrased things differently at points.  I don’t know whether the Council Fathers at Nicea or Chalcedon would judge me orthodox or not, but I basically affirm all the affirmations of the Nicene-Constantinopolitan Creed–with a few mental footnotes. 🙂 (Now, as a Baptist, I generally don’t like creeds AS creeds–that is, I don’t ascribe to human confessions of faith the same kind of authority that creedalist Christians do–but I do think that the Apostle’s Creed and the Nicene Creed are fairly good “rough summaries” of what all this Christian stuff is about–with those mental footnotes.)

But if you WERE looking for a very good argument for what appears to me to be a contemporary form of Arianism, then my friend Thom Stark has provided it in 10 parts over on his blog, ThomStark.net,  in a series he calls, “Oh My God-Man!” I think Thom can be answered, but my current writing efforts are elsewhere–and he cannot be answered casually.  It will take close reading of all 10 of his posts and careful answers, point by point.  Thom is smart, reads widely, and has put quite a bit of work into this and it deserves equally careful response–which I cannot give at this time. (Even if I could, I don’t really WANT that kind of argument on that subject just now.)  Also, just because I believe Thom’s overall conclusions are mistaken, doesn’t mean he’s wrong at all points.  He’s not. Some of his sections are spot-on, such as the fact that the title, “Son of God,” does not, by itself, mean that Jesus is the 2nd Person of the Trinity! It was used, both in Jewish and Greco-Roman culture for kings and others as a way of ascribing majesty, honor, and power to the monarch. So, don’t attempt any Sunday School level response.  Bring your best biblical scholarship and your best skills as a theologian to the debate–Thom’s hard work deserves no less.

Here are the links to Thom’s posts:  Intro.,  1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 89, 10


February 17, 2010 Posted by | blog, Christology, Divinity of Christ | 6 Comments

Link Love

My friend, Eric Gabourel, whom I met several years back at a conference of the Pentecostal & Charismatic Peace Fellowship (which has now become Pentecostals & Charismatics for Peace and Justice) has begun his own blog, The Political Evolution of a Pentecostal Minister.  I think it’s worth checking out.  Eric is the pastor of Providence Community Church (a Congregation of the Church of God [Cleveland,TN]) in San Francisco which, because of its feeding ministry to the homeless is known in the neighborhood as “The Hot Dog Church.”  Eric has just begun an autobiographical account of his conversion from nationalism to the Nonviolent Christ.

Give it a look, folks.

February 13, 2010 Posted by | blog, pacifism, Pentecostals | 3 Comments