Every Sunday morning, we’ll be posting articles and links that are saying something important about church, culture, and mission. Here’s what resonated with us this week on the web:
Church & Theology
Benjamin L. Corey features a Bonhoeffer scholar to push back on the “assassination” narrative:
Though he was very sympathetic to the resistance movement, the main reason he joined the Abwehr wasn’t to be part of the resistance so much as to avoid military service (Bonhoeffer was originally imprisoned as a draft dodger, and it wasn’t until late 1944 that it was revealed that he worked in the same section of the Abwehr as those who planned the assassination plot). Though he was executed for his association with people who planned the assassination, he was put in prison for avoiding conscription.
Kris Beckert writes at Fresh Expressions about four ways to create a “catch and release” culture:
The primary aim for these fresh expressions is not recruitment for the established church but rather the expansion of the Kingdom. Commissioning talented and capable pioneer leaders within our communities to “go and stay” without the expectation of sending at least some of their catch back home often brings questions of “why would we do that?” or “what about us?” There’s a sense of stability and control that comes with maintaining and growing what’s going on in our churches—no matter if it’s a congregation of 50 or 500 or 5000, and no matter if it’s two, 20, or 200 years old.
Zach Hoag shares an infographic on the genealogy of Jesus over at HuffPost Religion:
The infographic represents both Matthew and Luke’s genealogies, showing the legal emphasis (in Matthew) meant to prove Jesus’s royal Israelite bloodline, and the biological emphasis (in Luke) traditionally linked to the family genealogy in Mary’s home. The “big names” are given larger placement, with often humorous bits of info. Just a quick scan reveals how diverse, even scandalous, this genealogy really is – including kings and killers, prophets and prostitutes.
News & Views
Mike Cosper at The Gospel Coalition reviews Serial with comparisons to The Wire for good measure:
Innately, as image bearers of God, we can’t help but care about injustice. In Hae’s case in particular, blood speaks. It spoke from the ground where Cain killed Abel, and it speaks from the ground in Leakin Park where Hae’s body was found. It cries out for justice.
While listening to Serial, I couldn’t help but think about The Wire, HBO’s police drama from a few years back, and not just because both take place in Baltimore. Both also force us to ask hard questions about our criminal justice system.
Christena Cleveland writes at Duke’s Faith & Leadership blog about liberating the incarnation:
Unfortunately, this enslavement of the truth is not a unique case. More often than many of us would like to admit, powerful Christians have held captive the truth of the incarnation rather than releasing it in order to dismantle society’s inequitable power structures.
This continues today. The liberating truth of the incarnation forever says no to racism, racialized police brutality, racialized incarceration rates and economic inequality.
Scot McKnight kicks off a review of Joshua Ryan Butler’s The Skeletons in God’s Closet:
I have been reading Joshua Ryan Butler’s The Skeletons in God’s Closet, the first major section in which is a study of hell – and how it fits into the Bible’s narrative. Hell without a story becomes a torture chamber.
On The Missio Blog
On the blog this week, we continued our two month #ChurchTrending series:
#ChurchTrending: Weekly Communion, by Derek Vreeland
#ChurchTrending: Can The Church Lead The Way, Part 3 (The Generational Divide), by Natasha Sistrunk Robinson
#ChurchTrending: The Maccabees, A Christmas Truce, And Bonhoeffer On Peacemaking, by Dr. Charlie Self
#ChurchTrending: Reclaiming Eve At Advent, by Suzanne Burden