Too often, and for too long, American “Christianity” has been a political agenda in search of a gospel useful enough to accommodate it. There is a liberation theology of the Left, and there is also a liberation theology of the Right, and both are at heart mammon worship. The liberation theology of the Left often wants a Barabbas, to fight off the oppressors as though our ultimate problem were the reign of Rome and not the reign of death. The liberation theology of the Right wants a golden calf, to represent religion and to remind us of all the economic security we had in Egypt. Both want a Caesar or a Pharaoh, not a Messiah...
It’s sad to see so many Christians confusing Mormon politics or American nationalism with the gospel of Jesus Christ. But, don’t get me wrong, I’m not pessimistic. Jesus will build his church, and he will build it on the gospel. He doesn’t need American Christianity to do it. Vibrant, loving, orthodox Christianity will flourish, perhaps among the poor of Haiti or the persecuted of Sudan or the outlawed of China, but it will flourish.
And there will be a new generation, in America and elsewhere, who will be ready for a gospel that is more than just Fox News at prayer. ~ link✽ Jordon Cooper's powerful post "Losing My Religion" is worth a read. ~ link
✽ Sign of the times -- spotted on a clothing label at Walmart -- Hecho en India
✽ I want to continue plugging my new Sweeplee.com blog -- a kind of clearinghouse for online promotions and games that are fun to play. There are thousands of online drawings and sweepstakes but only a few of them have anything to them beyond filling out a form. These promotions exhibit creativity above and beyond. There is some fun involved beyond winning stuff.
✽ The Facebook advertising people tell us that there are 1.4 million adults living within 10 miles of Laveen. It's not exactly rural here anymore. Still it doesn't feel THAT crowded.
✽ The lingering memory of Japanese colonization and oppression of Korea -- 100 years later. ~ Global Post
✽ If we really want to change North Korea we'll need to come up with some radical acts of kindness that don't jeopardize face. ~ The latest floundering reported by the BBC
✽ Perhaps something like this? ~ BBC
✽ I'm liking being able to make free phone calls right out of Google Chat.
✽ I'm thinking that I'm going to be liking Gmail's new Priority Inbox ~ Lifehacker
✽ I received a freebie copy of the Common English Bible New Testament in the mail today. When I first heard about it I thought that it was going to be in "common English" -- that is, in the simple English that is commonly spoken throughout the world -- transcending American and British idioms -- and default lingua for English as Second Language speakers. However, that's not what it is. It is, though, a fine and readable dynamic equivalence translation. The CEB is sponsored by several of the American mainline denominations and the translators represent several traditions.
✽ Dear John Huppenthal: I know that you have to contact a lot of people in a short period of time if you're going to get elected. But I think that you should know that I do not vote for anyone who uses a phone machine to call my cell phone. It's nothing personal. I just think that candidates who use phone machines lack the common sense necessary to hold elected office.
✽ And the award for the best headline of 2010 will probably go to Fast Company -- "The Road to HAL Is Paved With Good Intentions: The Future of Google?" ~ link
✽ The worst place on earth to be a woman? -- DRC, says Lynne Hybels ~ link
✽ The extreme edge of electronic culture -- Japanese resort atttracts men with virtual girlfriends. ~ link
✽ Southern Baptist voice:
I don't want to come back here 15 years from now and apologize to Hispanics. It's a kingdom issue.