Saturday, September 21, 2013

Not Haunted Houses and the Best Things You'll Read All Week

by Ben Howard

Reads of the Week

1) A Big Heart Open to God by Antonio Spadoro, S.J.

"The setting is simple, austere. The workspace occupied by the desk is small. I am impressed not only by the simplicity of the furniture, but also by the objects in the room. There are only a few. These include an icon of St. Francis, a statue of Our Lady of Luj├ín, patron saint of Argentina, a crucifix and a statue of St. Joseph sleeping. The spirituality of Jorge Mario Bergoglio is not made of “harmonized energies,” as he would call them, but of human faces: Christ, St. Francis, St. Joseph and Mary."

2) My DTR (Define the Relationship) with World Vision by Jamie Wright

"I don't feel like you showed me the real you, World Vision. When I got on a plane, I thought I was going to see three different communities in three stages of development. I thought you would show me how your work saves lives and creates sustainable agriculture, and how you equip underprivileged Guatemalans, ultimately, to live apart from you. I thought I was going to fall in love."

3) Three Strikes Against White Evangelical Theology by Fred Clark

"And if segregation was wrong, then the defense of segregation was wrong and the defenders of segregation were wrong. And the theology that was enlisted to defend segregation was wrong just as that same theology was wrong when it was used in the same way to defend slavery a century before. 'Biblical literalism and an intense focus on individual salvation' was a theological mistake that has been conclusively repudiated by history. Twice."

4) Binge and Purge: Praying to the Porcelain God by Mihee Kim-Kort

"As time went on binging and purging was my coping mechanism for…life. For everything. It became a way to stifle my emotions and stuff them inside me. When I finally went to talk to someone about it she helped me see that I was praying to the wrong god."

5) The Facts Don't Matter. Only Love Does by David Henson

"So often, we want to lead with the facts when we should be instead leading with our love for the other person. Because, in individual contexts, what’s important isn’t our rightness but our relationships."

6) Beauty Pagaents & Bible Stories by Kathy Khang

"I’m still writing about the racist comments that may have disappeared in the constant flow of tweets, FB statuses and 24-7 news outlets because the Miss America pageant, as outdated, bizarre and sexist as it seems, the idea is as old as time. It’s as irrelevant and sexist as it relevant and sexist, which is to say I have no idea how God might redeem the Miss America pageant, but it’s not beyond God to do such a crazy thing."

7) "Lord, I Am Not Worthy That You Should Enter Under My Roof..." by Morgan Guyton

"It’s a completely different thing to say generically that God is everywhere and loves everybody and to have the personal experience of God entering under your roof despite your unworthiness. The first is a farcical platitude; the second is the most authentic solid ground that a person can possibly stand on."

8) Christ is Always Colored. Contextualizing Christ as the Other by Jacobus de Keijzer

"When Christ is contextualized as the other, when the center contextualizes Christ as the marginalized, something stirs within us. All of a sudden, the Lord of the universe is not necessarily on our side. He is no longer in the center; our center. All of a sudden this Lord invites us to get to know the margin; his margin."

9) A Secularist's Affirming Take on Evangelicals by Christian Piatt

"I want to encourage progressive non-evangelicals, especially those with a simplistic and negative view of evangelicals—which used to be my view—to complicate and update their understanding of these people. A new time is setting in, and the lines of conflict and division are shifting. There is great potential for us to work with these new evangelicals for the common good."

10) She Yelled and Called Me Names by Susan Basham

"She didn’t buy it. She continued with the name calling without taking a breath. I won’t write them down here, but the main mantra shared initials with the number one social networking site. Then something really strange happened."

Honorable Mention

In Praise of Folk Religion by Mason Slater

Six Words You Should Hear Today by Rachel Held Evans

I'm Giving Up The Fight by JR Forasteros

Tweets of the Week

"You better not shout/ better not cry/ better not pout, I'm telling you why/ people with depression are demonized in modern society" - Ashley Feinberg (@ashfein)

"Twitter's primary purpose is to show us how racist 15 year old girls are." - Kumail Nanjiani (@kumailn)

"If you're curious about who to talk to about birth control, it's definitely strangers at a bar. #headsup" - Caitlin Kellogg (@cait_kellogg)

On Pop Theology Week in Review

On Pop Theology Podcast: Episode 40 - On Interpretation and Preaching w/ David Henson by Ben Howard

"This week on the show Ben talks with David Henson about fresh and subversive readings of Scripture."

In Defense of Miley Cyrus: The Art of Wrecking Balls and Sledgehammers by Ben Howard

"I'm guessing you're a little bored of Miley Cyrus." Why I'm Not Watching Breaking Bad by Charity Erickson

"Sunday night was explosive. It was just nuts! Walter White, can you believe it, amiright?"The American-Christian Confusion: The Tale of Terry Jones and His Magnificent Handlebar Mustache by Ian McLoud

"Okay, you absolutely have got to read this: 'Pastor Terry Jones Arrested Before He Could Burn Qurans.'"

God and the 9-5 Culture by Jonathan Harrison

"Dead in the shower at 21 years old. That's how London authorities found Moritz Erhardt last month."

Song of the Week

"Fast Car" by Wyclef Jean (feat. Paul Simon)


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