What's your Christology?

Today, I’ve been pondering some tough Jesus questions. Knowing that you, intrepid reader, may have an interesting perspective of your own to share, I pose them to you now. Please feel free to respond to any one of the questions, all of them, or something else entirely.

  • Do you think Jesus is fully human, fully divine, half human and half divine, or fully human AND fully divine? Or something else?
  • If Jesus is part or fully divine, what did it mean for him to die?
  • If Jesus is part or fully human, what would it mean for him to rise from the dead?
  • If resurrection is primarily a function of the human body, what differentiates the miracle of Christ’s resurrection from those he caused to rise from the dead (i.e. Lazarus, Jairus’ daughter, the son of the widow at Nain)?

Iran = no gays.

Apparently, there are no homosexuals in Iran. Riiiight.

But if true, it’s too bad. Their musical theater would really suck…

To all detractors of vegetarianism:

Feast your envious eyes upon my dinner tonight:

Yes, I even made that, even the crust, from scratch. Yes, that molten white you see is mozzarella cheese. (You would understand why I’m so pleased with myself right now if you’d had previous dinners of mine…)

This is a feast of truly epic proportions, and it is sponsored by your friendly neighborhood vegetarian, Alicia Silverstone. (Warning: don’t let kids click that link…)

"the most amazing thing anyone has ever done, ever"

God bless our senators…please.

Apparently, the US Senate has a light workload these days.

In response to a liberal political group’s newspaper ad that criticizes General Patraeus (oh, the humanity!), the Senate was thankfully able to carve out some time from its busy agenda of war-mongering and political posturing in order to pass a resolution condemning it. Because dissent is a terrible thing in a democracy.

Actually, we’ve gotta hand it to the Senate Republicans, especially Senator John Cornyn, Republican of Texas, who sponsored the bill. After all, they were cleverly able to divert attention away from, you know, actual work, or maybe dealing with the damn war or maybe fixing public education or figuring out how to pay down the debt, or other dreary, depressing things like that that remind people that “Republican governance” is an oxymoron. By introducing this resolution, they put Democrats in the uncomfortable position of having to either condemn a liberal dissenting voice, or be seen as endorsing the terrible, newspaper ad attack on a U.S. General.

Of course, there is a third way: Barack Obama boycotted the vote, stating:

“By not casting a vote, I registered my protest against these empty politics.”

Exactly. Cheap, partisan maneuvers like this only serve to waste everyone’s time, lower the debate, and divide us a little bit more, while attempting to stifle legitimate dissent. Hopefully, Democrats will take Obama’s lead and not get sucked into this sort of false dichotomy in the future.

Why we need to end "No Child Left Behind"

The No Child Left Behind Act is up for reauthorization, and it is about time. When it was first passed in 2001, proponents of NCLB said it would introduce high standards for achievement and accountability to under-performing teachers and schools. George Bush even came out with one of the best one-liners of his career: “We are challenging the soft bigotry of low expectations.”

Well, that’s all well and good in theory, but after teaching at an at-risk, Title I school for the last two years, I’m here to tell you what virtually every public school teacher will tell you: NCLB simply does not work.

Read the rest of this entry »

Rev. Otis Moss III

Rev. Otis Moss

[UPDATE: If you haven’t seen Rev. Jeremiah Wright’s comments in their original context, follow this link.]

Rev. Dr. Otis Moss III is the senior pastor at Trinity United Church of Christ, having recently transitioned into senior leadership following thirty years with Rev. Dr. Jeremiah Wright. Trinity UCC is a vibrant, black church on the south side of Chicago, now famous for being Barack Obama’s home church. I heard about Rev. Moss through reputation, as he did some doctoral work at CTS before I arrived.

On YouTube, I stumbled upon a video of him speaking last year at the Day of Outrage, which called for an end to the use of racist and sexist terms in commodified hip-hop. Rev. Moss is quite the orator (the kind who makes me wonder why I’m even in this business in the first place). Go check him out.

Cool stuff to read

In lieu of anything amazing from me on the day before classes start up again, please check out some of my friends’ blogs:

Thanks, folks! I’m all too happy to let y’all do the thinking for me so that I don’t have to. (Hey, just trying to sound presidential!)

That's probably not what they had in mind…

I was driving through Ohio today, and I saw a church with one of those changeable church signs out front. It read, “Let me be worthy of the price He paid.”

Jesus is coming!

This little prayer refers to the price of our sins, that Jesus paid for through dying on the cross. Now most people might not find that funny, but I did. Because here’s the thing: it would take an awful lot of sin to be worth Christ having to die for it. Thus in effect, the sign is praying for enough sinning to match the value of Jesus’ death.

As my Grandpa would say, “I want you to know that if I have offended you, sir, I wish to thank you.”

Skip the circus.

Gen 1.26: Then God said, “Let us make humankind in our image, according to our likeness; and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the wild animals of the earch, and over every creeping thing that creeps upon the earth.”

Gen 2.15: The LORD God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to till it and keep it. (NRSV)

According to the Chicago Tribune, the Kelly Miller Circus is coming to Deerfield, and some of the local residents are pissed. A group called ‘Skip the Circus‘ has organized in opposition to Kelly Miller, citing a history of cruel treatment towards elephants and other animals in captivity.

Perhaps most disturbing is this video which clearly shows a trainer as he beats and screams at captive elephants during a training session, while cajoling other trainers into doing the same. ‘Skip the Circus’ has done their homework–their documentation names the abuser in the video, links to the fine he received from the US Department of Agriculture (a measley $400), and worst of all, shows that he’s still working as an elephant trainer–for a company that provides elephants to–you guessed it–Kelly Miller Circus.

Given the aforementioned quotes from Genesis, it isn’t difficult to see the theological implications here. We humans are the caretakers of the garden of Eden. We have “dominion” over the Earth, not for the purpose of being able to rape and pillage it, but to care for it as God’s appointed workers. Abusing animals for entertainment purposes is ungodly and completely unacceptable. Hopefully, this boycott will flourish and raise additional awareness for the need to repair our relationship with all of God’s creation.