Monday, September 9, 2013

Terrified Skywriters and the Best Things You'll Read All Week

by Ben Howard

Reads of the Week

1) Miscalculating Racism: Life on a Christian College Campus by Drew Hart

"However, subtle race issues that I initially ignored, because they seemed so minor, began to overwhelm me with their continual and ongoing assault. I began to notice that the people who didn’t know me personally on campus tended to respond to me with discomfort or suspicion."

2) On "Mr. Jones" and Intentional Listening by Registered Runaway

"Intentionally listening to one another’s stories requires that we meet when on the other’s terms. It means that if you have something to tell me- then tell me in the way you feel most comfortable. If that’s email. Email. If that’s phone call. Call. I cannot know you beyond your avatar, beyond your first impression, until you tell me. Until you draw me in to your reality and let it effect me."

3) In Defense of the Neo-Reformed by Charity Erickson

"This is my situation. I have seen lives changed in the crucible of neo-reformed theology. I have seen lives crushed and lives changed, and I don’t know what to do with that. It would be intellectually and spiritually dishonest, not to mention incredibly prideful and condescending, to write off the neo-reformed as being outside orthodoxy, declaring TULIP a heresy, and decrying “their Christ” as a false god—and it would be too easy, too."

4) White Supremacist Talking Points: Everyone is Racist by Rod the Rogue Demon Hunter

"In this vein, I would like to briefly address a white supremacist talking point I get tired of hearing: 'Everyone is racist'” There are several problems with the narrative being told here. First, for the 'IS' part of this false truism, racism is once again placed as an individual problem to be solved by dealing with the issues of 'the heart' rather than a social construct that is exerted in public practices. One of the best ways to silence anti-racists is to make sure they can’t discuss public policy and social practices."

5) On Syrian Conflict, Three Christian Perspectives by Jonathan Merritt

"Traditionally, Christians have viewed war through one of two lenses. Those who hold to just war theory believe that war is often right if the violent conflict meets certain criteria. This is the view held by most Catholics and conservative Protestants. On the other hand, Christian pacifists believe that violence is incompatible with a faith that is patterned after the one who blessed peacemakers and urged his followers to 'turn the other cheek.'"

6) Sermon About How Totally Uncool We Are by Nadia Bolz-Weber

"See, I wonder if maybe when Jesus talks about using either pride or false humility to be given a place of honor, I wonder if it’s not that he’s being prescriptive about how to do something right as he is being descriptive about all the ways we do something wrong.  Like he’s just calling everyone out on the way in which we tend to not always be so honest about what we are up to."

7) Thinking About God Makes Me Just Want to Keep My Mouth Shut by Peter Enns

"If there is a God….a higher power, a supreme being, who is behind all this, I feel we should just stop talking for a minute and…well…just stop talking for a minute."

8) The Film Elysium and the Conquest of Canaan by Morgan Guyton

"According to the individualist ethos of America, it’s completely nonsensical to consider other peoples’ poverty an 'injustice' unless they’re poor because I personally robbed or cheated them. At least in the present-day Reagan era, there is no concept that we are collectively responsible for each other. Building off of this individualist ethos, much of American Christianity has come to serve the purpose of making us comfortable with our selfishness by providing us with a moral system that exonerates us from loving our neighbor."

9) When It's Too Big (A Reflection on Syria) by Rachel Held Evans

"When you hate how the news has made graphics and theme music, when you realize that your opinion will do nothing to change the matter, when your utter helplessness follows you around like a dark presence and laughs at all the empty things you say, when it’s just too big…. All that’s left is prayer and fasting."

10) Perhaps Love Bakes a Cake by Micah J. Murray

"This is where the 'cake debates' reveal a larger problem. We’ve reduced Biblical ideas of sin and godliness to a small handful of sexual “issues” where we plant our flags and fight to the death – abortion, gay marriage, pornography, premarital sex. The great majority of our words are spent arguing about these things to the neglect of a holistic view of Christian living. In the process, we make people into props for our debates and eliminate the potential for any meaningful relationship." 

Honorable Mention

Dancing for My Freedom by Saskia Wishart

For My Sons: On Depression by Addie Zierman

Ten Things Christians Should Say More Often by Christian Piatt

Tweets of the Week

I'd rather be a grammar socialist than a grammar nazi." - Rick Bennett (@djword)

"Rembrandt was really good at selfies." - Richard Brody (@tnyfrontrow)

"I'm just gonna go ahead & police my own tone, so I don't have to blame it on anybody else." - Hannah Paasch (@thesettingsun07)

On Pop Theology Week in Review

Finding Holiness in the Pigskin by Adam Metz

"If I close my eyes I can still smell the roast in the oven."

On Pop Theology Podcast: Episode 38 - On Blogging and Growing Up Fundamentalist w/ Micah J. Murray

"This week on the show Ben talks with blogger and friend Micah J. Murray about writing, the importance of aesthetics, and the lessons he learned growing up in a fundamentalist tradition."

These Women Preach: On Jesus Feminist and Pastrix by Charity Erickson

"I first encountered Sarah Bessey during a pregnancy scare in 2011, when she was still Emerging Mummy and I was on a Google bender."

Song of the Week

"The Fox" by Ylvis


You can follow On Pop Theology on Twitter @OnPopTheology or like us on Facebook at

Contact us at onpoptheology [at] 

You might also like:  

No comments:

Post a Comment