Showing posts from April, 2014

Canonizations -- Sightings (Martin Marty)

This past Sunday Pope Francis and the Roman Catholic Church canonized two beloved Popes, but you probably already know that. What might interest some is the seeming universal wide embrace of the event -- even among Protestants who have in the past taken a more judgmental perspective toward saint-making and saint invoking. Martin Marty speaks to the reasons why this is so. I invite you to reflect on the recent canonizations in light of the changes laid out by Dr. Marty.

Canonizationsby MARTIN E. MARTY
Monday | Apr 28 2014St. John Paul II                                                                                  Photo Credit: Paval Hadzinski / flickrYesterday, the Roman Catholic world and many other worlds celebrated the canonization of two new saints, Pope John XXIII and Pope John Paul II. Non-comatose readers ofSightings need no further attention to be paid to the details and the drama of the event: weekend newspapers gave attention to it on pages devoted to news, features, e…

Journey to a Revelatory Meal -- A Lectionary Reflection for Easter 3A

Luke 24:13-49 New Revised Standard Version (NRSV) 13 Now on that same day two of them were going to a village called Emmaus, about seven miles[a] from Jerusalem,14 and talking with each other about all these things that had happened. 15 While they were talking and discussing, Jesus himself came near and went with them, 16 but their eyes were kept from recognizing him. 17 And he said to them, “What are you discussing with each other while you walk along?” They stood still, looking sad.[b]18 Then one of them, whose name was Cleopas, answered him, “Are you the only stranger in Jerusalem who does not know the things that have taken place there in these days?” 19 He asked them, “What things?” They replied, “The things about Jesus of Nazareth,[c] who was a prophet mighty in deed and word before God and all the people, 20 and how our chief priests and leaders handed him over to be condemned to death and crucified him. 21 But we had hoped that he was the one to redeem Israel.[d] Yes, and besid…

Making Sense of the Bible (Adam Hamilton) -- A Review

MAKING SENSE OF THE BIBLE: Rediscovering the Power of Scripture TodayBy Adam Hamilton.  San Francisco:  Harper One, 2014.  324 pages.
                Years ago – before I arrived at Fuller Theological Seminary – a battle was underway.  It was a “Battle for the Bible,” that focused on the inspiration and authority of Scripture.  The issue was whether or not the Bible was inerrant, and if so what did that mean?  Did it mean, for instance, that we must take the creation story in Genesis 1-2 as historically and scientifically accurate portrayals?  What about questions of cultural context – should we replicate views of women and even slavery that we find in the Scriptures (at the time homosexuality wasn’t front and center).  Then there was the question of what actually should be considered inerrant – the current texts or the “original autographs.”  Even defenders of inerrancy weren’t sure how to answer the questions.  At Fuller, they hedged a bit by embracing infallibility, a softer way …

Guards’ report (Matthew 28:11-15)

Matthew 28:11-15Common English Bible (CEB)
11 Now as the women were on their way, some of the guards came into the city and told the chief priests everything that had happened.12 They met with the elders and decided to give a large sum of money to the soldiers.13 They told them, “Say that Jesus’ disciples came at night and stole his body while you were sleeping.14 And if the governor hears about this, we will take care of it with him so you will have nothing to worry about.”15 So the soldiers took the money and did as they were told. And this report has spread throughout all Judea to this very day.It is the Sunday after Easter.  Jesus is risen.  We've proclaimed the good news.  But not everyone is happy.  As is often the case, there are those who have a vested interest in a different version of things.  We see this in politics all the time.  We call this spin.  Well, the religious leaders have a vested interest in Jesus being dead.  If he's dead, he'll be out of their hair.…

Suburban Poverty -- Is it the coming trend?

It was buried on page four of yesterday's Detroit Free Press, but a recent report based on census data suggests that Oakland County, one of America's most affluent county's has seen a 77% increase in poverty.
Living in the Metro-Detroit area, I know that the city of Detroit faces the extremes of poverty.  The same is true of former industrial centers like Flint and Saginaw,but could it happen in the midst of what so many perceive to be affluent suburbs?  It s true that Pontiac, another former industrial hub, has been hit hard by urban poverty, but what needs to be heard here is that poverty in Oakland County isn't just centered in Pontiac -- it's spread across the county (even in a city like Troy).   In my mind a report like that is front page news!
The story in the Free Press highlights the story of someone you wouldn't have expected to end up in poverty. In the story we learn about Bridget Agnello -- divorced, mother of one young son, college educated, forme…

Habemus Sanctum: Catholic Church Recognizes Two Former Popes as Saints -- Sightings

As a Protestant I don't have any vested interest or influence on matters of Roman Catholic sainthood. I watch from a distance, approving or disapproving as I desire. But with the impending canonization of two former Popes, one who represents the opening of the Church to new possibilities (John XXIII) and one who despite his personal popularilty seemed to close down the new direction, offers us an intriguing look into the life of the Catholic Church. The process opens us up the question of what makes a saint? Is it popularity Is it heroic effort? And for some of us, we're waiting for Oscar Romero to be so honored! Could it be that John XXIII was elevated as a counter-balance to John Pall II? This essay by Matthew Petrusek helps us sort out some of these questions.  I would be interested in what others of you feel about this event come Sunday.

Habemus Sanctum: Catholic Church Recognizes Two Former Popes as Saintsby MATTHEW PETRUSEK
Thursday | April 24 2014Pope John Paul II, …