When introducing their 1992 song “Revolution,” hip-hop group Arrested Development’s front man Speech mentions those in previous generations who were tortured and killed for the freedom and dignity of generations to come. “They died for me, and they died for you,” he concludes. Might this expression shed some light onto the Bible’s claim that Jesus died “for us”?
Is Mark 9.42ff referring to cutting off literal body parts, or to expelling harmful people from the disciple community?
Many interpreters suggest that Jesus’ word to the rich man in Mark 10.17ff to sell all he has and give it to the poor was meant only for that man, because he had a “heart issue” with materialism. What if the problem is not materialism, but our preference for the freedom money can buy in contrast with what Jesus promises when we leave everything behind for him: a new family, houses, and farms–but with persecutions?
What if the point of the Sermon on the Mount is simply to create a peaceful people?
Matt. 26.52-54 is Jesus’ embodied interpretation of his own preaching from Matt. 5.38ff. Jesus only preached what he practiced. The question for the church is, will we preach and practice what Jesus did?
A God who can be distracted by seeing his crucified Son in our place is too myopic to be of much good in a violent and unjust world. And so I won’t sing “In Christ Alone.” The God the song renders is not the God who speaks to us through the Cross–and certainly not the God made flesh in the Crucified.
The Nye-Ham dustup over creation and evolution serves a scripted spectacle that has grown facile. What is really at stake is not a literal reading of the first two chapters of Genesis. Rather, what is at stake is the idea that our existence, and the existence of our world, is a gift.
Upon a closer reading of 1 Corinthians 12, I have concluded that I am God’s gift to the church–and so are you.