Week Links

Sam Harris’ recent opinion piece in the New York Times has renewed my interest in the reason-faith dialogue that is currently happening in American public discourse. Obviously, I’m interested for theological reasons, but I’m interested for political reasons as well. One could make a strong case that religious belief (or a lack thereof) and public policy are intersecting as much right now as they ever have in our country’s history, and we would do well to understand the concerns on both sides. To that end, I offer (a relatively old) exchange between James F. McGrath and Andrew Krause (whose blog has either moved or been deleted). It’s lengthy, but very interesting if you have some extra time to kill this weekend.

Lottery winner Callie Rogers’ personal story offers a sobering reminder that it’s all too easy to make an idol out of money (and the ‘pleasure’ it can buy).  

Have you heard the internet meme that Barack Obama is the antichrist? 3618259111_1caec0c444On the contrary! Barack Obama is actually the rightful Pope! Hopefully the sarcasm is obvious to you. On a serious note, I’ve located two very sound exegetical debunks of the idea; you can find them here and here

Said internet meme generated an open letter to lay people everywhere entitled, No. That’s not what it means at all. It’s intentionally sarcastic, as if not to take itself too seriously, but there is a helpful reminder in the midst of it all:

People who know what they are doing with the Bible will seldom appeal to “the original Greek” or “the original Hebrew” because they know that reading the Bible in those languages is important, but that it doesn’t represent some cryptic key that unlocks the meaning of the Bible.

And finally, Shane Claiborne of The Simple Way offers an alternative framework as we Americans remember 9-11, that of the prophetic lament. This is a prayer I will be praying, and I hope that you will join your voice and heart with mine.

As we remember the eighth anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks, we join our voices with the psalmist in a cry of lament: “How long, O Lord, until Abel’s blood stops crying, until justice rolls down like waters, until the lion can lay down with the lamb in a restored creation?” We lament the violence suffered by 9/11 victims and their families. And we lament the violence that people in Afghanistan and Iraq have suffered these past eight years. We cry out against the violence, and we want to act now for peace.

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