Viewing Reviews of Rachel Held Evans’

Whoopi and Rachel may get into the sister act on The View tomorrow. I think that would be fun to watch. Alas I will not be near a television and so will depend on YouTube or another source for the clip.

Today on the Out of Ur blog Matt Mikalatos offered keen insight into reviewing books. I found his illustrations both telling and important. It is not uncommon to be taken out of context. But, when one is scolded for a lack of context by herself being taken out of context it seems to render the verdict unjustifiable, even if the psychology of disagreement is in tact.

I read a few of the early reviews. I noted posts by Christian Piatt and Jerry Faught. I read Kathy Keller’s piece as well as those by Pete Enns, Ben Witherington 3, and Roger Olsen. Before I comment which way I might go with the book, I find it telling that the reviews seem to track a priori commitments to one’s position on gender roles.


Punishment Does Not Equate to Justice or, Jesus’ Weak Move in Mark 8

Last week Joshua Steven Durcho received sentencing for killing five people in 2009. The plea agreement avoided a trial in which the victims’ relatives would surely have relived the gruesome nature of the crimes. The Oklahoman relayed Rhonda Rust’s sentiments,

“The death penalty would not have made me feel any better,” said Rhonda Rust, stepmother of the murdered woman, Summer Rust, 25. “I thank God we did not have to go through a trial.”

Later in the piece one of the victim’s grandmother noted,

After the sentencing, Evynn’s grandmother, Crystal Franklin, of Oklahoma City, told reporters: “Justice is served as far as I’m concerned. … The death penalty is not automatic. … Do I want to have to come to court every time he appealed? No. That’s why I personally agree with what has happened today. I want it done so I could get on and try to pick up the pieces that I can.”

My friend Marty Duren asked the question on his blog, “What is biblical injustice?” The question is interesting in that it seems something of an apophatic way to get to, “What is justice?” Read More

Qualify Your Biblical or, Chris Tilling Says “No More” to Unspecified Meaning

In my tribe, biblical nearly always refers to a way of reading and interpreting the Bible as the correct way, the Christian way. Ferreting out potential heterodoxy or slippery slopes that lead to heresy rest on the often indeterminate unbiblical, the un-Christian way. He or she who follows such patterns and tactics becomes the arbiter of both what he or she means by biblical and also the one who determines what you mean.

Chris Tilling calls for setting aside the use of biblical unless accompanied by some specificity. In his piece, Tilling references the phrase biblical Christianity. For my tribe this is a redundancy since we have been narrating our story as the denomination that has resisted any leftward drift or slide because the battle for the bible was won in the Conservative Resurgence.

The problem now arises from within our denomination that differing visions of soteriology place this posture at risk since both sides lay claim to biblical. Read More