Have a problem getting closer to God? Blame it on Facebook, Twitter, and Myspace. Don’t let that human responsibility and human choice thing get to you. Find a scapegoat to blame. Having a four-way affair, with your spouse, your office assistant and his spouse, it’s Facebook’s fault. Obviously.
Thank you Reverend Cedric Miller, for teaching the world a valuable lesson in this oh so dangerous world called the interwebs and BookedFace. I am sure Christianity could use another hypocritical Christian going around preaching law & order legalism while scape-goating the latest technological fad all in the name of avoiding preaching repentance. Speaking for the Church universal, we appreciate that; thank you.
I side with the ever vigilant yet ever-so-slightly wrong Joel on Social Networking; it is important for churches to reach out to the world in all possible avenues. Technology is not the problem. We are.
A short time ago, there were a group of theobloggers who out-right rejected John Milbank’s mourning of the loss of Christian empire. Of course there were a few people to come to his defense, for the sake of being contrarian, like in this instance of Scott McKnight documenting Peter Leithart’s “re-assessment” of Constantine. I know that in the academy, it’s popular to blame Emperor Constantine for this huge fall for Christianity, but I do not buy into that meta-narrative. The impact Constatine had on Christians in his day would be equivalent to a bold politician abolishing the death penalty, with death-row inmates giving her all of their gratitude. We should not blind ourselves, however, to historical facts, and the deep transformation that came with Constantine’s conversion. Whatever we think of Christians and power, I think it would be suffice to say that the Gospel is the primary source of information for how a Christian should live. Indeed, this is not the case for Milbank in his latest article, criticizing John Howard Yoder for not taking his cues from Gandolf, a fictional character from the Lord of the Rings. As I bring out my inner-fundamentalist, I want to scream Prima Scriptura! Milbank’s position does not come as a surprise development. By now, he has become rather consistent in his advocacy of a Christendom foreign to the virtues of Jesus the Messiah and Paul, his slave and apostle.
I really could care less about the conclusions that Milbank conjures at this point; his error lies in his methodology. Call me a traditional Protestant all you want or fundamentalist, but as a faithful Christian, I do not think the first resource Christians need to be looking to, is a fictional book to establish a reactionary realpolitik world-wide. As Roland Boer contended months ago, using a work of fiction for a political theology is just dumb. Theologically, political meekness should be seen as God’s gift to Christ followers in a world where people are educated from their early years to make as many grabs for power as possible, where Ayn Randian ethics of “selfishness as a virtue” are lifted up over self-giving and mutuality.
Being that I was raised in a more traditional black Baptist church, but not really fundamentalist where we got obsessed with what version of the Bible we carried or what, I enjoy poking fun at those certain persons who seem to have more than just a small attachment to their preferred translation of the Bible. Inspired by this twitter conversation, here are my working conclusions so far.
New Living Translation: Indicates that you have been a part of the Bible Wars for years and you are looking for a way to escape the King James Version only crowd. It means you still hold on to your embedded conservative theology but are desiring to engage other Christians outside of the KJVO faith.
English Standard Version: If you love the ole ESV, that may mean you are either Reformed theologically or you are a moderate who is curious what an updated version of the RSV would look like.
Revised Standard Version: Still stuck in the 1950s, you believe that the RSV is all that is left between the world and knowing God’s will. The National Council of Churches was not as liberal back then, so it cannot be that bad.
New American Standard Version: You care more about accuracy, which makes you better than people attached to the NLT. Theologically, you consider yourself a moderate, which usually means you are a progressive suffering from denial.
New Revised Standard Version: Usually over-educated and indoctrinated in a mainline church, the NRSV-onlyist crowd was once adverse to reading anything outside of the New International Version. NRSV-onlyists are too smart for their own good and look down upon every other translation; that is why they are often mistaken for the KJVO.
The Message: This pretty much means you are changing religions. Seriously.
New International Version/Today’s NIV: Brought up in an evangelical church that holds firm to inerrancy and the Purpose Driven Life like the plague, the NIV came as a surprise to those who grew up familiar with the KJV. So God did not speak Shakespearean English? The NIV is more accessible to children but not really good for memorizing. Perhaps that is why the NIV reader becomes a lover of reading the Bible as story, like the……
The Voice: Defenders of the Voice are oh so obsessed with the narrative interpretation of Scripture. The translators decide what the meta-narrative is and even get to add words to the Gospel to make it more relevant. Sort of like some other religions I know of.
King James Version: Either you are a sentimental progressive who doesn’t want to rock the boat at your church or you have made the KJV the 4th person of the Trinity, right behind God, Jesus, and John Calvin.