We are at war again?

The President just finished his news conference about the plan to combat ISIS (ISIL). 11obama_video11-master675

I am somewhere between confused and infuriated – baffled and livid.

The beheadings are horrific. The threat is undeniable. But … is this really the American response?

 

My concern is that the US has created a Frankenstein.
 America is combatting a hydra of its own creation!
You cut off one head and another pops up.

 

The revival of ‘jihad’ in the 80’s to combat the Russian threat … the subsequent ‘war on terror’ after the events of 9/11 2001 … have lead to this newest manifestation … how does it possibly resolve?

 

  • There are those who buy into the ‘Class of Civilizations’ myth.
  • There are those who point to the ‘End Times‘ idea.
  • There are those who hold to the ‘American Exceptionalism’ party line.

 

One thing I know is that our Homebrewed listeners are more intelligent and insightful than I am.

 

Does anyone have some insight on this? Some thoughts to point a way forward?

I would really love to hear some alternative perspectives. 

 

2nd Reza Aslan Video

SoGo Media is doing an excellent job at editing and publishing the videos of our night with Reza Aslan.IMG_2769

Here is the 2nd (of 10) where he talks about his conversation to Christianity and then back to Islam. Embedded in what he says is a critique of religion as a whole.

Let us know what you think!

You can hear the podcast of the whole interview here. 

You can purchase Reza’s best-selling book as a Christmas present by clicking through our Amazon link.

Reza Aslan LIVE 3D Event!

Reza Aslan, New York Times #1 BestSelling Author of Jesus: The Life And Times Of Jesus Of Nazareth recorded a live Podcast with Tripp and Bo. As you will hear, Reza rolled with our rowdy style of theological zesty-ness.IMG_2879

We want to thank the Loft LA for hosting us and The Young Romans for providing great music for the evening.

Come to the homepage of HomeBrewedChristianity.com to leave us your comments and questions on the Speakpipe (click on the little microphone).

A video will soon be available for those who want to take in all of the 3-D goodness!IMG_2769

 

*** 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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Day 6: Translation Station

I am blogging my way through Neighbors and Wisemen for Lent.
We are on chpt. 6 – today we talk about views of the Bible and how our faith creates our experiences. 

First of all, I just want to acknowledge how good of a writer Tony is. I enjoyed reading the roller coaster of this chapter so much. I also grinned several times at little Balkan details he tucked in that I wondered if anyone else caught. Neighbors & Wisemen

I was fascinated by how every character in this chapter had two sides.

The Islamic preachers at first seem to be propaganda-esque caricatures, but later we see them be gracious, insightful and hospitable.

Tony starts out as a peddle-to-the-metal zealous apologist ready to take on all comers, but later we see him as a confused and fragile young apprentice.

The pastor we see is both a wise, insightful, patient and comforting presence … who also has picked up and odd fascination with a niche subject that is both troubling and upsetting.

 Characters Wanted

I love real characters. The reality is that we each have multiple sides. We have sides that face out and that the world can see. We also have shadow sides.

One of the arts of discipleship and developing christian character is acknowledge and addressing the shadow side.

That is part of what Lent is about for me. By taking something away or by adding a new variable, something is often exposed by my change of routine or my change in desire.

 

The Bible

There were two interesting aspects of the translation issue raised in this chapter.

The first has do with where our confidence is rooted. I am a big fan of the Bible. But one thing I have seen over the last 20 years of reading the Bible is that when people put that much faith in something … then they find out new information about it, it can often rock the whole house right down to its foundation.

I have said before that we live in an era where everyone can own and read a Bible (thank God). But – and this can not be overstated – the Bible was not written to individuals to read alone. It is meant to be read A) out loud B) in community.

Reading the Bible silently and alone is where a lot of bad things start.

It is a sad state of affairs that after the divides of the 20th century that we have the opposite of a bell curve- we have a trough. Bell trough

Those who believe the most in the Bible often know the least about the Bible. Those who the most behind the Bible often put the least amount of stock in the BIble.  

It is an uncomfortable situation for all involved.

 

Experience

I am a big fan of John Wesley. Wesleyans have something called a Quadrilateral. It takes Scripture and partners it with reason, tradition and experience.  This provides a real positive for me and sets up and odd negative.

The positive is that your knowledge of the Bible and the behind the scenes can be changed or adjusted without you losing your bearings. Scripture is not the sole location of our faith.

The negative comes up because I have bought into a school of thought that says “Our words & ideas not only help us interpret our experiences – they also help create the experiences.”

You can see this is Tony’s vocabulary about ‘the giants’ in our lives. Because he has this  biblical story in his mind, it actually creates his experience with the preachers at the university. He is not only interpreting his experience through that lens – that lens is creating how he experiences the other.

If he had a different story in mind, he would have experienced them very differently. Our words shape our world at some level.

I would love to hear your thoughts on 

  • the shadow side of character
  • the Bible situation 
  • spiritual experience and interpretation 

The John 14:6 Challenge Edition!!! [TNT 39]

Over 50 different HBC Deacons have answered the call.  They responded to the John 14:6 Challenge & now Bo and I get to Nerd Out with some of your calls!  It was a ton of fun to interact with you all and we will be looking forward to more interactive fun in the near future.

The release of Brian McLaren’s new book Why Did Jesus, Moses, the Buddha, and Mohammed Cross the Road?: Christian Identity in a Multi-Faith World  and our subsequent live event with him at Wild Goose West (audio here) got the ball rolling.  Then when Brian’s new publisher Jericho Books who hooked us up with some promotional copies we decided to open the mic up to y’all.

Bo has been blogging as we received the calls.  First he proposed an alternative reading to John 14:6 & now he is trying to get rid of Salvation altogether (sarcasm!).

At the conclusion of the podcast Bo started talking Christological smack so soon and very soon I will be leading Bo high up the Christological mountain where the divine Logos & Sophia make sweet eternal symmetry.

This episode is sponsored by Slave Free Earth – they are asking the deacons to join them in ending human trafficking and specifically sex slavery. Go to SlaveFreeEarth.com and join the 7 Community. Pledge to:

  • Pray 7 minutes a week
  • Give 7 dollars a month
  • Challenge 7 people a year to join

Send us the confirmation email of your joining and we will give you a shout out on the podcast – send up a question with that email and we will respond to it on the next TNT podcast.

Donations are tax deductible.
*** 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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What if John 14:6 isn’t even about Salvation?

Over the past two months we have been having a lot of fun talking about John 14:6.  The release of Brian McLaren’s new book Why Did Jesus, Moses, the Buddha, and Mohammed Cross the Road?: Christian Identity in a Multi-Faith World  and our subsequent live event with him at Wild Goose West (audio here) got us started.

Then Jericho Books gave us some copies to give away so we put out the John 14:6 Challenge. People stepped up with posts and used the speakpipe to leave us messages.

I swung first with “Jesus wasn’t talking about Muslims in John 14:6” and followed it up with “an alternative to John 14:6” saying that one that famous passage is off the table for thinking about how to deal with other religions … where does one start? What are the alternatives?

Last week, Tripp and I recorded a TNT that will come out this afternoon where we listen to some of the calls and talk about some of the posts…  in that midst of that conversation, (beginning in minute 15)  we put out an idea that I thought should be in written form and not just audio.  Here it goes:

Not only is John 14:6 not about other religions – since it is a disciple’s invitation – but it is not even about salvation. It is about relationship and not salvation.

I blame it on lazy reading that results in conflating subjects. I think that Jesus is inviting those who follow him to relate to ‘the Father’ (Abba) as he relates to Abba by:

  • living the life he laid out,
  • walking the way he modeled and
  • embodying the truth we proclaim.

Tripp implies that is has something to do with Calvinism and it’s histroical impact of making salvation:
A) transactional instead of relational
B) individual instead of communal

So I want to ask the question (you may want to listen to the TNT episode to hear the whole context):

What if John 14:6 is not only not about other religions – but isn’t even about salvation? How would that impact your use of that passage and where else would you turn in the Bible for an alternative?

Personally, I would go to Acts 4:12 “God has given no other name under heaven by which we must be saved.”  Mainly because it has the word ‘saved’ in it AND sounds semi-exclusive … which is what people TRY to get John 14:6 to be – but simply isn’t.   That is the conflation that I am talking about.

Thoughts?  Responses?