Shameful Ignorance: Tony Jones & Christianity Today #CTshame

I’m not the cartoonist that David Hayward is, so I have to steal. David posted a ‘toon today with tips on how to silence a dog (or a person) in response to Christianity Today‘s Shame-a-Thon TwitterChat, about which I knew nothing until I read David’s post. But the record is there, so everyone can go back and read at least some of what was said.

The television show M*A*S*H was a sometimes biting commentary on the Vietnam war, but was set in Korea about 2 decades earlier. They never mentioned Vietnam and could defend against accusations of attacking US government policy with that. But nobody was fooled, and it was impossible not to make the connection. I can’t say for certain that CT’s Twitter chat was sparked by the growing swell of online chatter about the Tony Jones situation, but it’s impossible not to connect the dots if you know they’re there.

A Centurion’s-Eye View

centurion.jpg I was fortunate to draw the duty of attending to these three crucifixions. It’s an assignment that every centurion wants to receive. There’s no real difficulty to it, no heavy marching — just standing by and joining the jeering and cheering of the crowd. Friends and neighbours often come by, allowing for a bit of a visit while on duty. You’re there as a guard, but what’s going to happen? Is one of them about to fight his way off his cross? Ha! There’s a certain stature that comes with being seen in this role. People fear you, associating you with the power to put these criminals and insurgents to death. The sight of the crosses from past crucifixions further along the road, with the bones still hanging off them after the birds had taken away the flesh always inform the sight of the men currently being nailed to their crosses with an immediate horror. Not for us centurions of course, but for the condemned men and for the onlookers. Not the kind of horror that makes them turn away, but the kind that makes them call out their support of the death sentence, that makes them go to extra lengths to make it known that they fall in step behind our Roman rule. Everything as it should be. There’s no better deterrent than the specter of a public crucifixion.

Peter Rollins on The Last Supper

rollins_orthodoxheretic.cover.jpg Here it is, Holy Week already, and I’m still mentally behind the curve, having barely entered into Lent. We’ll see if I can manage to catch up a little, as this evening we’re taking the kids to do the stations of the cross at St. Ben’s, this evening being geared particularly toward children and families. Thursday evening we’re gathering together for a meal with our little band of ecclesiastical vagrants — we’ve done this every year on Maundy Thursday for the past number of years, and it generally promises to be a good time. Hopefully I’ll come up with some thematic things to say around here for the balance of the week too, as I’ve done in past years (see last year’s list of past Holy Week posts), including a detailed retelling of the events of Holy Week both for adults and for kids.

HoMY 85: Away in a Manger

nativity.jpg Now that we are past Advent and into the Christmastide season, I can legitimately publish Christmas carols to the list in my series, Then Sings My Soul: The Hymns of My Youth. In the church of that youth, the Christmas carols might carry on for a week or so after Christmas (depending how the calendar fell), but that would be it until December. I’m sure it was the same for many of us, who would begin the carols of Christmas again sometime early in the Advent season. This week I add a carol which it is unlikely that one can pass by a Christmas program without hearing: “Away in a Manger.”

Approaching Advent: A Season of Darkness?

candle-dark.jpg With Advent just over a week away now, Advent resources are beginning to appear online, including Christine Sine’s New Advent Meditation and planned synchroblogs. I organized a synchroblog last year for Advent, and have collected all the post links for reference as well. I’ve also begun to reread some of my past posts for the season, like Bethlehem and Mixing metaphors, and Kicking your way to the Light. There are also collections of Advent resources appearing online as well.

I’m starting to think on these themes just a little, as the SBT Book of Hours project is getting underway. Oddly enough, Lent was subscribed pretty quickly, with Christmas and Advent falling behind. I didn’t have any particular leaning and offered to fill in where necessary, so drew Vespers during the Christmas season as a result. There’s still an opening left under Advent, so I’m considering that too.

Jesus & Leadership: A Study in Failure?

the_king.jpg Last summer, I asked if Jesus was a failure as a visionary Leader. I think I mostly made my point, but there will remain some who are unconvinced, I’m sure. To suggest anything wrong with the way our Lord did things is a serious breach of Christian etiquette, perhaps enough to get one run out of town on a rail. But there it is. I left it alone for a while, thinking maybe I’d write further on it at some point, but never did. This spring, Ruth Tucker posted a “provocative” piece on Acknowledging Jesus as a Failed Leader, which received a fair bit of blogosphere linkage. I had hoped to resume this dialogue sooner, but Tucker’s post disappeared for some time, reappearing online just recently. She may be even more provocative than I was:

I Am Subversive

subversiveblogger2008.jpg Well, after almost 3½ years of blogging here at Subversive Influence and after watching a certain meme go around most of my blogfriends for a week or so, I’ve finally been officially tagged as a “Subversive Blogger.” *sniff!* I’d like to thank the Academy… it just goes to show that if you work hard and blog incessantly, anything is possible. Or something like that.

But just what does it mean? Jake (the meme-starter) Bouma says,

American author Henry Miller (1891-1980) once said, “The new always carries with it the sense of violation, of sacrilege. What is dead is sacred; what is new, that is different, is evil, dangerous, or subversive.”

Subversive bloggers are unsatisfied with the status quo, whether in church, politics, economics or any other power-laden institution, and they are searching for (and blogging about) what is new (or a “return to”) — even though it may be labeled as sacrilege, dangerous, or subversive.

Dispelling All Doubt

jesus-thomas_caravaggio.jpg Okay, so I guess it’s a miniseries now… the post-resurrection appearances of Jesus. We’ve looked so far at his appearance to Mary (and the other women) and his encounter with Cleopas & Co. on the Emmaus road and around the table at Emmaus. Next up would be Jesus’ appearances to the twelve as they gathered together behind closed doors. When the Emmaus disciples arrive back in Jerusalem and find the eleven disciples (Luke 24), it appears they are in hiding behind locked doors (John 20)… but they readily accept the account of Cleopas and his friend, in part because Peter has also seen Jesus. No mention is made of his appearance to Mary as further proof.