I would argue that the best summation of Christian ethics is found in the sermon on the plain in Luke 6:20–49. What I love about the sermon on the plain is just how radical it seems on the surface, it seems almost impossible; however, when you think about what it’s saying, and think about it deeply—it makes sense. Probably my favorite example of this is found in Luke 6:34–35 (NRSV):
If you lend to those from whom you hope to receive, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners, to receive as much again. But love your enemies, do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return. Your reward will be great, and you will be children of the Most High; for he is kind to the ungrateful and the wicked.
Continue reading “Jesus against Hillel on Usury”
I recently wrote up an article for the website Libcom. The article is basically a teaser for my book, as well as a very little history of early Christianity and its social framework.
The Pew Research Center recently released data on the differences between religious and non-religious people when it comes to everyday life activities. One of the findings I find very interesting is the answer to the question “In the past week, did you donate money, time or goods to help the poor.” 65% of highly religious people, 41% not highly religious people, 34% of the “nothing in particular” group and 28 percent of Atheists answered yes. It seems to be that the more religious one is the more likely one is to spend time, money or goods helping the poor.
Continue reading “Why the Religious are more Compassionate”
In the previous post, we went over Reza Aslan’s theological assumptions coming from the school of thought beginning with Friedrich Schleiermacher. We ended with me agreeing with Reza Aslan that the answer to religious violence must come from religion. But how is this to be done? In his lecture, Reza Aslan doesn’t really explain how, but during the questions, he addresses it by saying:
Continue reading “Reza Aslan, Religion and Politics – Part 2 – Slavery”
The last post on this blog was about the Not peace but a Sword saying found in Matthew 10:34-39. The impetus for that post was actually a lecture I saw recently given by Reza Aslan on the connection between religion and violence. I’ve written on Reza Alsan before. His argument is based on a few fallacies, one of which is found around the 20 Minute mark, he says:
A Muslim is whoever says he or she is a Muslim, the end.
Continue reading “Reza Aslan, Religion and Politics – Part 1 – Equivocation”
The book by John Howard Yodar named the politics of Jesus written in 1972 was extremely influential and remains influential; anyone who wants to understand contemporary political theology should read this book. The name can be misleading given the modern concept of what politics are. Modern politics generally have to do with the State, who controls the state, what the role of the state is, what state laws are and so on, but what Yodar is talking about could be more described as a social ethic.
Continue reading “The Politics of Jesus – A Review”
The mainline protestant Churches in the United States are in decline, this is news to no one who are paying attention. Some people have bemoaned the decline, some people have delighted in it, most people simply are ambivalent to it, to be honest I don’t know what I feel about it, culturally I think it’s a sad thing to lose, theologically I think they don’t have a leg to stand on. Chris Hedges, liberal Christian activist, has recently put out an article on his take on the liberal mainline decline. As one would expect Christ Hedges doesn’t link their decline to the mainline Church’s theological un-seriousness, their more or less complete secularization or their complete abandonment of the Christian message of the sovereignty of God over all creation. Rather he puts the blame on the idea that the mainline Churches aren’t political enough, that they aren’t focusing on Social issues enough, he says:
Continue reading “Chris Hedges and Mainline Protestantism”