John 16.20-28 – Face-to-face with Papa

You will weep while the crowds cheer.  But your grief will give way to joy. (21) Giving birth is painful, but the pain is nothing compared to the joy of having a new baby. (22) You will have pain, but when I see you again on the third day, you will have joy, and no one will be able to take it away from you. (23) On that day, you will not ask me for things.  Instead, you will ask Papa in my name, and she will give to you.  (24) This will be a change from how things were …

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“End-Timey” stuff in The Shack Bible

Dear ShackBible readers, You may have noticed that The Shack Bible approaches “end-times” stuff a little differently than what some of us are used to.  For an example, look at my paraphrase of Matthew 24 and compare it to what you hear on Christian radio.  Anyway, The Shack itself doesn’t really address this topic.  But there is a coherent vision of God behind it all, and I have tried to take that way of thinking and use it to approach the various biblical texts that talk about this kind of thing. Just in case this sort of thing is interesting …

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Matt 6.19-20 – An insider investment tip

I have an insider investment tip for you:  Your 401(k) isn’t as solid as you think; it’s tied up in assets that have no future, so get out now.  Earth, Inc. is getting taken over by New Creation Corp.  It’s a done deal, but most people don’t know about it yet.  In the end, New Creation will be the only stock worth owning anyway, and it’s 100% guaranteed against depreciation and theft. It’s time to start dealing in the currency of the future – Love.

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ashamed

I’ve been too busy to post much lately (My baby boy is walking! And getting into even more things!), but this morning I just had to share some snippets from a post by the incomparable Rachel Held Evans: I am ashamed… I am ashamed of the walls. They are built high, with circles of barbed wire around the top, to keep pests away from our bread and wine, to keep the Silence from getting in…. I am ashamed of the violence—in our theology, in our words, in myself… I am ashamed of mission trips that hurt more than help, of …

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Advent shooting

<br Today is what Advent is all about. We groan at the gentleness of Jesus’s coming. On days like this, I don’t want him to exercise his rule in the manner of yeast cells and mustard seeds. I want him to be violent and thirsty for the blood of evildoers, but he will never fulfill that desire. Advent is about hurting as we wait for yeast and seeds.

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The Next Big Thing Blog Hop

Ten Interview Questions for “The Next Big Thing”: What is the working title of your book? The Shack Bible Where did the idea come from for the book?  I actually had the idea a couple years before I’d ever heard of “The Shack.”  I’ve spent the last decade being spiritually revolutionized by some of the ancient theologians (Athanasius, Irenaeus, Gregory of Nyssa) plus some newer ones (Barth, Torrance, Kruger, Moltmann).  My studies were giving me a new (non-Augustinian) lens through which to hear Scripture, and I loved what I heard!  I started writing down what I was hearing the Bible …

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John 2.13-17 – Jesus cleans house

Jesus traveled to Jerusalem for Passover. (14) But the temple courtyard wasn’t a place of prayer anymore; it had been turned into a tacky religious currency-exchange-slash-cattle-auction. (15) Luckily, Jesus knew how to deal with out-of-place creatures.  First, he MacGyver-ed a homemade whip out of materials lying around.  Then, cracking the whip over his head, he quickly herded the cattle and sheep out into the city streets (much to the consternation of the auctioneers).  He pushed over the currency exchange kiosks, scattering money all over the ground. (16) To the pigeon-peddlers he said “Take your business to someplace where it belongs. …

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Love thy neighbor with a sign on his lawn

Humans are created as social creatures who pool their resources (time, energy, wealth) to accomplish things, and to this I believe Papa, Jesus & Sarayu say: “It is good.”  This leads me to my belief that politics are part of God’s good creation.  If we say “God doesn’t care about politics,” I think we are succumbing to a kind of dualism in which politics (people’s ways of working together) are too earthly for God to touch with his delicate spiritual hands.  The human condition is home to the glorified incarnate Jesus, and the human condition involves people who think their …

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Does God ever submit to you?

When I heard that Rachel Held Evans, as part of her biblical womanhood project, was going to call her husband “Master,” I unsuccessfully tried to repress the hot flash of childhood memories of “I Dream of Jeannie” re-runs and the strange new feelings Barbara Eden evoked in me.  But once I was able to shake that off, I started to empathize with how hard the “master” thing would be, not just for Rachel but for her husband Dan.  Sure, there is part of the male primate psyche that gets off on being submitted to.  But the idea of that submission …

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The Proverbs 31 Woman

You know Proverbs 31? That chapter of the Bible that depresses every woman you know?  Jewish people have a much better way of thinking about this, and they probably understand it better than us anyway… Proverbs 31 is not a list that defines how a “biblical woman” behaves.  It is a song of praise from a husband to a wife, praise and honor for all that she does.  For real.  Go to an orthodox Jewish household for dinner and listen to what the husband sings to his wife at the beginning of dinner.  It is praise for the “woman of …

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