The Repentance of the Rich

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How often have we heard preachers preach about repentance?

It is interesting that in the large volume of repentance preaching that repentance of the rich is hardly, if ever mentioned, except by liberal clergy. This despite repentance of the rich being an important theme in biblical texts. (Louise Schottroff, The Parables of Jesus)

When is the last time you heard a sermon on the repentance of the rich directed to the rich in your congregation?

What actions might occur with the repentance of the rich in your congregation with respect to the individual rich people?  How might your church be transformed as a result of the repentance of the rich in your church and the repentance of the rich in your country?

What would repentance of the rich mean for the well-being of your nation and what impact would it have on its political system?

I’ve Never Believed In American Exceptionalism But Now I Believe in Norway Exceptionalism

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I’ve been learning a lot about Norway the last few days.  My wife and I are fortunate to be hosting four people from Norway until next Thursday.  I’m now a believer in Norway exceptionalism.  Norwegians and Norway are very impressive.

Although I’ve heard all my life that the United States is the greatest country on earth and the greatest nation in the history of the world I’ve never believed it, except as a child during those years when you are spoon-fed patriotism and your country’s myths.  Is it me, or do you too get tired of politicians, particularly U.S. presidents, telling us how great we are every chance they get?  Don’t get me wrong, there much to admire about the United States, but there’s also much to critique.  And guess what, there may be other countries way ahead of us, countries like Norway.

What’s so great about Norway? Well, their taxes are very high and everything is very expensive.  Norwegians are willing to pay a high price so that everyone is taken care of, so everyone gets the essentials of life.  Norwegians are not selfish like Americans.  They care.

It’s embarrassing how many people have complained about healthcare reform as if their healthcare is all that matters.  Other nations have proven there is another way to do healthcare.  Other nations have demonstrated there is another way to do life.  Other nations have set the high standard of community and caring for all. Wake up America!

Pray This Prayer With Me: Save Us From Christians

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God,

The volcano erupted and death was in its path.

Life changed, in a horrific, unbelievable instant.

Futures incinerated.

Save us from silver lining Christians.

Save us from Christians with answers to questions that have no answers.

Save us from Christians focusing on salvation when the volcano erupts and nothing, especially Christian doctrine, can soothe or heal shattered lives.

In the valley of the shadow of death

lead us to Christians who do not speak but are simply present or do the things we can’t do due to tragedy induced paralysis.

Amen.

The Bible Does Not Say Anything

Non-talking Bible

Non-talking Bible

One, Christians do not agree on what books should be in the Bible.

Two, we have a manuscript tradition.  We have to choose what manuscripts to use and they are not identical.

Three, translation is more difficult than your high school and college language courses have led you to believe.

Four, there are diverse theologies and accounts in the Bible.

Five, the Bible does not say anything.  It has to be interpreted.

[Youtube video link - Case study of non-talking Bible - Click The Bible Does Not Say Anything Video]

Six, the Bible and its characters are historically and culturally conditioned, including the various portraits of Jesus presented in the canonical gospels and the non-canonical gospels.

We must learn to live with faith. Certainty is not an option.