Thinking Out Loud

December 30, 2012

Parables for Our Times

Filed under: current events, Humor — Tags: , , , , , , , — paulthinkingoutloud @ 11:07 am

Subtitle: Not Your Grandma’s Prince of Peace

James Martin is a Catholic Priest and author of The Jesuit Guide to Almost Everything.

The Smart Samaritan

1. Just then a lawyer stood up to test Jesus. “Teacher,” he said, “what must I do to inherit eternal life?” 2. Jesus said to him, “What is written in the Law? What do you read there?” He answered, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength, and with all your mind; and your neighbor as yourself.” 3. And Jesus said to him, “You have given the right answer; do this, and you will live.” 4. But wanting to justify himself, he asked Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?”

5. Jesus replied, “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell into the hands of robbers. Fortunately, the man from Jerusalem was no fool and was carrying a big wooden club. So he beat the robbers senseless. Just then, a Samaritan came by to help him. 6. The man said to the Samaritan, “Don’t worry. They got what they deserved.” Later, though, the robbers’ friends waylaid the man. Together they had four clubs, so they beat up the man from Jerusalem. 7. Immediately the Samaritan, who had now learned a lesson, ran away, and sold his field, and with the money he purchased ten clubs. 8. The Samaritan armed his entire family, including his wives, his sons, his slaves and all his cattle and sheep. Among his heavily armed family was his elder son, who was angry at his father for not treating him as well his younger brother, who had spent all his money on loose living and had returned and was given a feast.” 9. “Lord, I’m getting confused,” said the lawyer. “Weren’t we talking about being a good neighbor?”

10. “Let me finish,” said Jesus. “The father knew that his son was angry, and potentially dangerous, so the father purchased an even bigger club that he hid under his bed. 11. That night, when father was asleep, the son came to father to apologize for being envious. The father, thinking it was a robber, hit him over the head. 12. Now which of these three, do you think, was a wise person?” said Jesus. 13. The lawyer said, “Actually, none of them. If the father hadn’t brought those weapons into his house, then no one would have gotten hurt.” Jesus was grieved at the lawyer’s blindness. 14. “You’re missing the point.” Jesus said. “It’s a violent world out there, and my advice is to purchase as many clubs as you can.” The lawyer was sad, for he was a peaceful man. 15. “Lord,” he said, “are you saying I should be like the Samaritan who has a houseful of weapons?” “Yes,” said Jesus. “Go and do likewise. And while you’re at it, buy me a club too.”

Read two more updated parables here.

October 28, 2010

Shane Claiborne: Speaking of Love in a Time of War

Since the first day, I’ve been hooked on CNN’s Belief Blog; a mixture of news reports and guest columns related to various aspects of religion.   A number of Evangelical authors do guest columns, including Shane Claiborne, who was featured today.

Speaking of the middle east situation in general and his travels in particular.  Here are some random notes and quotes:

  • We met with Jewish folks committed to stopping the home demolitions of Palestinians, and we met with Israeli soldiers who refused orders they deemed unjust.
  • …[T]he central message of the cross is grace, love, and reconciliation. It is about God’s love being so big he died, even for his enemies, and now we are to join this revolution that is big enough to set both the oppressed and the oppressors free of hatred and discrimination.
  • …[T]hese are urgent times when we need the Church to be the Church – and to remember that we are people of reconciliation and peace in a world infected with violence and prejudice.
  • …[I]f Jesus had tried to make his walk from Bethany to Jerusalem today, he wouldn’t be able to make it through the checkpoints.
  • One of the promises of Jesus in the Gospels is that the gates of hell will not prevail. I don’t think he was saying there is no hell but I do believe he was saying that there are hells today that hold people hostage. We should be storming the gates to rescue them.

Looking for more?  Check out the whole article here.

Shane Claiborne is an author and activist and one of the architects of a community in Philadelphia called The Simple Way. Shane worked in India alongside Mother Teresa and spent time in Iraq with the Christian Peacemaker Team during the recent war. His books include Jesus for President, Follow Me to Freedom, and the best-selling Irresistible Revolution. Check out more at: www.thesimpleway.org.

Here are some previous appearances on this blog by Shane:  from earlier this month, one on U.S. gun violence;  from the summer one one education;  and going much further back, a Spring 2008 review of Jesus for President.

May 5, 2010

That Time Again: Mid Week Links

It’s time for our mid wink leek mid week link list:  The best of the Christian internet except for the parts that are better.

  • Our borrowed banner this week is from Rumblings, the blog of Ryan Dueck, an associate pastor in Vancouver; that’s his son catching a view of the Pacific.
  • Bruxy Cavey at Canada’s largest multi-site church, The Meeting House is in the middle of a series with the title “Inglorious Pastors” (yes, really) which looks at the contrast between the popular “Just War” theory among evangelicals versus the pacificism practiced by the Anabaptists.   Click this teaching page, select the above-named series, then select individual sermons.
  • I thought the relaunch of James Dobson’s broadcasting career was going to be an internet-only thing, but as this website testifies, they kicked off Monday on a number of broadcast radio outlets in the U.S.   (Couldn’t resist borrowing the graphic at right, which kinda summarizes what Dobson was and still is all about.)
  • The ECPA Book of the Year for 2010 is The Hole in Our Gospel by Richard Stearns.  Other winners are listed here.
  • A couple of weeks ago, Collide magazine came up with some good reasons to stop using media, more reasons than you might imagine.  Consider:

    “The lack of conviction with which your media is created (or purchased) and presented may transfer to your audience, or fail to transfer anything at all. Even worse, you’ll be under the impression that you’ve done your job for the week, and your audience will be under the impression that what they just sat through is what they can expect from an authentic worship experience. For what it’s worth, I think you’d both be wrong.”

    Read more here.

  • Our YouTube of the week is this 90-second testimony by Tamara Lowe who may or may not watch waaaaaaaaay too much broadcast television.
  • A 100-second Bible study on all the “one another”s from scripture is found at Zach Nielsen’s blog.
  • An interesting “behind the scenes” 4-minute video with a pastor from Bethlehem Baptist Church describes the process whereby John Piper’s preaching replacement for the next eight months was found in Kenny Stokes.
  • This week Michael Lantz included a brief excerpt from the Didache, an early church document which I don’t think we’ve mentioned here.   If you don’t know the word, that most inerrant source, Wikipedia has this to offer, or go directly to Michael’s blog.
  • Blog discovery of the week:  “Wrestling with an Angel — Lessons in the life of a father learned through the struggles of his disabled son.”  Whether or not you’ve walked a similar road, you’ll be richer for having read this blog by Greg Lucas.
  • The economy disperses families, job moves tear up roots, and electronic interaction sometimes is just a poor substitute.   Here’s our quotation of the week from the blog, Contents Under Pressure:

    It seems like most people already have the maximum number of active relationships that they can handle, and simply do not have any more of themselves to give to a new relationship.  Those with kids tend to typically interact with other folks who have kids, which makes sense to a certain degree.  So, being new to the area and having no kids has proven to create a difficult scenario for my wife and I.  Relationships that we maintain from North Carolina have expectedly become more difficult, as we either communicate via voice mail, text message or social media.  These methods of communication are all fine and well, but they do not replace real interaction with people.

  • Actually, here’s another shorter quotation from C.S. Lewis from the essay “Fern Seed and Elephants” which appeared this week at the blog, Mockingbird:  “[Modern biblical critics] ask me to believe they can read between the lines of the old texts; the evidence is their obvious inability to read (in any sense worth discussing) the lines themselves. They claim to see fern-seed and can’t see an elephant ten yards way in broad daylight.”
  • Not to minimize my appreciation for widely-used BibleGateway.com, but I find I’ve been increasingly utilizing a different site that allows better search results when I’m not entirely sure of the keywords, and greater ease of translation switching.   Check out Blue Letter Bible.
  • In a world when photocopy machines did the job of e-mail forwards, this fictional story of a pastor who didn’t get hired was popular among Christians as it still is.
  • Our cartoon this week is from Matt Glover in Australia:

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