I, like so many of the boomer generation, have fond memories of Christmas. The imagery of colors, lights, music, and presents, tug my emotions every year. Some of my fondest and most vivid memories of childhood center on that half-sleepless night when my three brothers and I would pack into one double-bed waiting for grandpa's 4 AM phone call that signaled the arrival of Christmas. As an adult and devout Christian, however, I have resisted the superficiality of our consumer culture that "the holidays" so aptly parades. I sometimes remind my kids not to expect too much from their father whose formative years were swept up into a historical vortex where disco music sucked all of reality into a black hole. Accordingly, I have struggled over just what to make of the Christian story being high-jacked as the vessel of choice to revisit that same black hole of glossy-eye pop culture every year.
Whether one believes in the God of the Bible or takes into consideration any of the injunctions therein, America has haphazardly fallen into or been dubiously tricked into trying out one of His commands with amazing success. For this, I give thanks. Read Full Article
Talk of "the end" is prevalent, and most people are aware of the apocalyptic perspectives found in the Bible. The problems in the world now seem so daunting, our communities so vulnerable to complete collapse. It is hard to imagine anything on the other side of it ohter than chaos, violence devastated landscapes, totalitarian regimes and death.
What I suggest, however, that the popular notion of a great and cataclysmic end of the world is more "populyptic" and works agains the insight of the biblical, apocalyptic perspective. Read Full Article
Hero: A Word to Avoid
In America, sacrifice is held up as nearly the most fundamental of virtues. Indeed, one pundit recently wrote that moral authority is only achieved through sacrifice.
Nothing betrays our double-mindedness about our violence toward one another as the use of the word hero. A hero, whether dead or alive, is our dressed up, socially acceptable version of a sacrificial victim, someone who’s death buffers us from our own violence and removes the cancer of violence from us.
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