"When I was about 20 years old, I met an old pastor’s wife who told me that when she was young and had her first child, she didn’t believe in striking children, although spanking kids with a switch pulled from a tree was standard punishment at the time. But one day, when her son was four or five, he did something that she felt warranted a spanking–the first in his life. She told him that he would have to go outside himself and find a switch for her to hit him with.
The boy was gone a long time. And when he came back in, he was crying. He said to her, “Mama, I couldn’t find a switch, but here’s a rock that you can throw at me.”
All of a sudden the mother understood how the situation felt from the child’s point of view: that if my mother wants to hurt me, then it makes no difference what she does it with; she might as well do it with a stone.
And the mother took the boy into her lap and they both cried. Then she laid the rock on a shelf in the kitchen to remind herself forever: never violence. And that is something I think everyone should keep in mind. Because if violence begins in the nursery one can raise children into violence.”
“To confess love for the other is to make oneself vulnerable, to risk rejection and injury; but to play it safe and not risk love is to lose even more, to lose oneself by being trapped within oneself in loneliness and isolation. Creation, then, must be a risk for God, a venture into the outside in which God makes Godself vulnerable. Otherwise creation is simply a divine display of power. Few things are clearer from the opening pages of Genesis than that the Lord God di not fully appreciate what he was letting himself in for in creating. In creating something other, in the image and likeness of himself—that is, beings who, like God, were able to create and reproduce—Elohim exposed himself to injury and rejection. Otherwise he did not create something other, something that would be an image of himself, something that in response to his creative word would answer back. But that is the condition of the beautiful risk, of any beautiful risk. Without the tohu wa bohu, the world would lack the standing to affirm or reject the divine love, and the divine love would be without risk, which is to say, divine love would be something less than love. If God retains full in command of his powers, if the world lacks alterity and God lacks exposure to something not under his control, then God lacks the power of love, in which one submits one’s power to the power of the other.”—John Caputo, “Olthius’ Risk,” Hermeneutics of Charity, pg 50 (via lukexvx)
“The objective, according to Jesus, was not to get people inside of heaven, but to get heaven inside of people. An understanding of the gospel that concerns itself only with getting my own soul into heaven – damn this world, it’s all going to burn anyway – falls miserably short of the revolutionary message of Jesus. Jesus did not come to live in your heart like an imaginary friend. He came to bring you into the kingdom that you might be a part of God’s communal ministry of justice, grace, and mercy.”—Ronnie McBrayer (via hislivingpoetry)
“Life is more than eating and drinking and paying bills. The abundant life that comes through Jesus is nothing less than the adventure of exploring the limitless love of a great God. It’s riding atop the shoulders of the One who made all things.”—Paul Ellis, The Gospel in Twenty Questions (via godsradicaldaughter)
“No one was there at the beginning of the world. No one saw the big bang. No one took pictures. So how do you-without science and all the data and analysis and hypothesis that come with it-write about something that is beyond words that no one witnessed? You write a poem.”—rob bell: What is the Bible? Part 10 (via azspot)
“In Matthew 8:1-4, an unclean man, a leper, comes before Jesus, begging to be healed and saying, "Lord, if you are willing, you can make me clean." Jesus reaches out and touches him (this making himself ceremonially unclean) and only then heals him. Jesus was willing to make himself unclean before he cleansed others. We see this throughout the Gospels: Jesus associates with sinners before the fully leave their sin behind. He meets them where they are at in order to call them. He doesn’t stand outside of their lives, calling them out, waiting for them to get their act together before he’ll embrace them. We should be grateful for this; otherwise we’d all be left on our own.”—Mark Van Steenwyk, “The Unkingdom of God”, p. 168 (via fromplatestograce)
“The road of nonviolent peacemaking is not an easy road, it’s not a popular road, and it’s certainly not a road for cowards. The road of “God is on our side and he shall surely smite our enemies” is a wide road. A lot of parades have gone down that road. It doesn’t take much courage to travel that road, just fall in step and follow the crowd. A marching band is usually playing. But it’s also the road that leads to burned-out villages, bombed-out cities, and solemn processions of flag-draped coffins. Until the self-professed followers of Jesus are willing to forsake the wide road for the narrow way, the popular sentiment for the unpopular conviction, the easy assumptions for the hard alternatives — Jesus will continue to weep while his disciples shout hosanna.”—Brian Zahnd (via azspot)
“In Genesis where God commands Abraham to sacrifice his son and then presents the Lamb for the sacrifice is less about Abraham’s obedience to Gods command and more about God saying “you are used to the Gods of the day demanding what is most dear to you……and I am not like that”.”—
“What rises up in majesty from the cross is not a show of might but rather forgiveness, not power but protest against the unjust execution of a just man, a great prophetic ‘no’ to injustice and persecution, a prophetic death rather than a sacrificial exchange that buys celestial reward.”—John D. Caputo, What Would Jesus Deconstruct: The Good News of Postmodernism for the Church (Grand Rapids: Baker Academic, 2007), 82. (via scottxstephens)
“Don’t pray that God would teach you how to love like He loves; pray that He would fill you with Himself and that He would love in and through you. Don’t pray that He would teach you to have joy; pray that the living God full of joy would enter into you. Don’t pray that He would teach you how to be peaceful; ask for the God of peace, the Prince of peace to infill you. Because if you try to imitate in your own strength, you will be a miserable replica. But if you allow the impartation of Jesus Christ to overtake you, suddenly it all works because it is Him imitating Himself, and He is very good at being God.”—Eric Ludy (via faithisforeverr)