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July 25, 2014 / compassioninpolitics

Letter about Faith, Power, and Science

I think this is interesting. So to that extent, thank you. Seismic shifts in preaching have occured between the 1980s and the 1990s. The later were more grace filled and far less emphasis on hell [I’m talking about a mention]. I think the 2000’s up till now have seen a similar decline. I can’t remember the last time I heard the word hell in church–and certainly not unpacked in its full rhetorical epicness of Revelation. Consistent with my previous statement I haven’t heard much of Relevation either.

If Jesus is who he says he was–I’m not entirely sure the biopower would matter. Have you seen Contagion? Its about the spread of disease across the US (and presumably the world). Similarly, I feel Christianity convincingly makes the case that we live in a fallen world–that the disease if you will of humans in temptation and sin–and the results of that disease aren’t particularly positive.

Have centralized institutions in the Catholic church abused their power and governed with fear? Probably–Yes. (at least that seems to be the Bishops presumed argument, as I assume thats the faith tradition he has the most experience with) I don’t think you would find that characteristic of churches in middle class modern America (or even outside it).

I’m glad at the end of the video he seems to have a more positive, more hopeful tone. I don’t think what he describes

Ankur we choose what we worship. We worship God or we worship the idols of the physical and the material. So, the idea of control isn’t exactly a helpful one. Control takes place on both sides. For some reason I just want to give my allegiance to the Lord of the Universe rather than Lexus, Louie Vitton, or Lockhead Martin (or any brand for that matter).

Family and deep relationships are just 100x more important.

We Americans have a love of raging against the machine–to fight injustice and in appropriate power grabs. I’m not sure how overgeneralizing about the power of the church is helpful (in the institutional abuse sense).

And institutions themselves are not without challenges. But the only ethics–the only ethics founded on overturning everything that power is fundamentally about is the faith of the man from Galilee. No other faith-leader took servant leadership so seriously–none washed the feet (metaphorically or literally).

Also, I think to fully think about this issue you have to know the Bible’s stance–particularly the New Testament–on these issues:


Scientists talk about the importance of experiments–but its kind of difficult to talk about spirituality as an experience without actually experiencing it. Sure, each line of faith has some fun quirks and traditions that to outsiders might be strange to the outside viewer (but so do most communities and families). But genuine and heart-felt examination requires something different: it requires getting to know people who take the Sermon on the Mouth seriously–who take it as marching orders for the way they live their daily lives.

Breathe that in….and ruminate on it…

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