PostChristian Piatt Fun!

Christian Piatt of the Homebrewed CultureCast was recently in SoCal to hang with Tripp Fuller and talk about his new book PostChristian: What’s left? Can we fix? Do we care?  CultureCast

They were joined by Bart Campolo, Peter Rollins and Benjamin Cory to talk about the implications of moving on. Imagine this as an a living room conversation in an auditorium. 

It was a ruckus affair but we wanted you to hear the first part of the evening where they all shared how they come to the conversation.

We have live events coming up in November at AAR in San Diego on Friday night – plan to join us with Catherine Keller, John Cobb, and Jack Caputo  there!

We will also be at Christianity21 this year in Phoenix (January 22-24) and at  this year’s PMYC !

This episode is going out as a cross-pollination experiment on both the CultureCast and TNT streams. TNT

 

Plug in ‘the Church’ as an experiment

An interesting way to expose the difference between two things is to take out the subject of great quote and replace it with something else to see if it still works.church-300x199

If your replacement X cannot work in place of the initial Y then you are forced to ask ‘why is this the case?’

Let me give you an example:

(The Church) was there to remind the (society) of what it had flouted: art, pleasure, gender, power, sexuality, language, madness, desire, spirituality, the family, the body, the ecosystem, the unconscious, ethnicity, life-style, hegemony. This, on any estimate, was a sizable slice of human existence.

When I find a great quote or list, I try to plug-in ‘the church’ and see if could be true historically.

I would love to be able to say that the church has been about these things:

  • art
  • pleasure
  • gender
  • power
  • sexuality
  • language
  • madness
  • desire
  • spirituality
  • the family
  • the body
  • the ecosystem
  • the unconscious
  • ethnicity
  • life-style
  • hegemony

If that has not been the case, then, I have to ask “why not?” and it is often that search which is telling.

If the church has not, or is not, about promoting those things then what has it represented? It is that search which is illuminating.

What is keeping that sentence from being true of the church?

 

Here is a second set of examples. All of these quotes are from the same chapter:

(The Church) refuses to identify freedom with any institutional arrangement or fixed system of thought. It questions the hidden assumptions and purposes of competing theories and existing forms of practice. It has little use for what is known as ‘perennial philosophy’. (The Church) insists that thought must respond to new problems and the new possibilities for liberation that arise from changing historical circumstances.

I want the above quote to be true! If it is not, then what is keeping it from being so?

 They investigated the ways in which thinking was being reduced to mechanical notions of what is operative and profitable, ethical reflection was tending to vanish and aesthetic enjoyment was becoming more standardized. (The Church) noted with alarm how interpreting modern society was becoming even more difficult. Alienation and reification [turning people into things] were thus analyzed in terms of how they … robbed the world of meaning and purpose, and turned the individual into a cog in the machine.

The above quote is challenging because it is almost possible.

The next one is just for fun.

(The Church) lost its ability to offer an integrated critique of society, conceptualize a meaningful politics, and project new ideas of liberation. Textual exegesis, cultural preoccupations, and metaphysical disputations increasingly turned (the church) into a victim of its own success. The result has been an enduring identity crisis.

Any guesses as to who this was actually referring ?

  • Textual exegesis
  • cultural preoccupations
  • and metaphysical disputations
  • victim of its own success
  • enduring identity crisis

These 3 quotes are from chapter 1 in Critical Theory a very short introduction. The first quote was from Terry Eagleton. After Theory (Kindle Locations 325-327) in reference to Cultural Theory and the traditional Left.

Why am I attracted to both Cultural and Critical Theory? Maybe it is because they are often about the things I desperately wish being a pastor was about …

I find this experiment helpful in attempting to crack assumptions about what the church is and has been.

I will never tire of reminding people that there is a gap between what many think the church is and what the church can be.

 

What do you think? Does the experiment work? Is it helpful? 
Any quotes that you love we could try it with? 

TNT: S T U for the ABC’s of Theology

Micky and Callid join Bo to discuss Salvation, Theopoetics and Universalism for the ABC’s of Theology. S-Salvation

You can read the original posts here:

S is for Salvation (Micky)

T is for Theopoetics (Callid)

U is for Universalism (Bo)

 

You can follow the rest of series here [link] 

Artwork for the series by Jesse Turri

Jonathan Merritt, Bagel Thins, and Social Media No-Nos

Jonathan MerrittWell, the crew is back together in sunny Oregon after various trips to the east coast. They pick up right where they left off. Christian complains about Bagel Thins (“They’re really just less convenient bread…) and the ridiculous economics of eggs. Andy shares the ethics of his becoming a vegetarian.  Amy brags about her and Zoe’s unmatched ability to come up with names for pets.

Our guest on this week’s show is Jonathan Merritt. Jonathan is an award-winning religion writer who serves as senior columnist for Religion News Service and is a contributor to The Week. He has published more than 1000 articles in respected outlets such as USA Today, The Atlantic, National Journal, Christianity Today, The Washington Post, and CNN.com, and has a new book out, titled Jesus is Better than You Imagined.

In the interview, Christian and Jonathan discuss laws that give businesses permission to discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation, whether or not evangelical publishers can allow authors to write about particular views that are in conflict with evangelical beliefs (like sexuality) and why Christians seem unwilling or unable to have those conversations. Then they move on to the Supreme Court’s Hobby Lobby ruling, corporate personhood, and the mess that results when one tries to apply the term “Christian” to a business. Finally, they discuss Jonathan’s book, which chronicles a period of profound spiritual emptiness that prompts him to go on a journey to find God in unexpected, unpredictable places, and the surprising ways God met him there.

In the Echo Chamber, Christian, Amy, and Andy talk about social media do’s and don’ts, prompted by a recent piece in Wired magazine. What should you do if you have a Google Glass? How many pictures of your kids in your social media stream is acceptable? What in the world is “vaguebooking?”

Finally, there are a couple movie recommendations, one that is currently in theaters, one that’s available on Netflix, and Amy’s creepy, crawly, but sometimes necessary, Fear of the Week.

TNT: Jesus & Bible Movies

In this throw-down Bo chats with Micky, Callid, Pete Rollins and Tripp about all of the Jesus and Bible themed movies and what they mean to our culture.TNT

Earlier, Bo had blogged some thoughts about this whole issue. Now the gang chimes in.

The Theology Nerd Throwdown is excited to welcome Chalice Press. They are the offical publishing sponsor with lots of great books and resources for theology nerds, preachers, and church planters. They just might become your #1 favorite progressive Christian publisher. So check them out.

*** If you enjoy all the Homebrewed Christianity Podcasts then consider sending us a donation via paypal. We got bandwidth to buy & audiological goodness to dispense. We will also get a percentage of your Amazon purchase through this link OR you can send us a few and get us a pint!***


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Jesus (movies) On My Mind

I have Jesus on my mind a lot these days.son-of-god-movie-poster-6

The ‘Son of God’ movie was released last weekend. I was semi-interested in the conversation surrounding its release but with a trip to the East coast for family stuff and being off the internet most of time, I watched it all from a distance.

The previous week I had been up in the desert to visit a secret location of a major motion picture set about a movie involving Jesus (that is all I can say at this point). We got to talk to the big-time actor who is playing Jesus and to the writer/director who’s ideas about Jesus were some of the most interesting I have heard in a while.

Reading the script ahead of the visit to the set really hit a nerve with me – I often talk, when I preach, about the importance of both how we imagine Jesus and how we image Jesus.  [note to progressive & liberal readers: if you don’t think that is a big deal, hang out after the sermon with me sometime and listen to the concerns]

I happen to be reading the script at the same time as I was preparing a series for the Loft LA called ‘A Different View of the Cross”. We are going to take the 5 weeks of Lent and explore different atonement theories that have come up through history.

It would be an under-statement to say that I have over-prepared for this series.

Now, all of this was going on at the same time that we had put our interview with legendary German theologian Michael Welker about his new constructive Christology (God the Revealed: Christology).

When you put these four things together (national movie release, reading a new screenplay, preparing a lenten series, and putting out the Welker podcast) that is a lot of Jesus – even for me.

 

 

What I  thought might be fun would be to throw this out on a Friday night and see what kind of conversation might develop over the weekend.

Here are three questions: 

  1. Did you see the ‘Son of God’ movie and what did you think?
  2. If you are not planning on seeing it, why?
  3. Why do you think there are so many Bible themed movies coming out this year? (Noah, Moses, Left Behind, etc.)

 

I would love to hear your thoughts!