Archives For April 2011

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The sermon above was preached earlier this year by Jason Clark at his church in Sutton, London, England. He does a wonderful job capturing the “violence” of the Christian life. We are, he asserts, being formed all the time. Yet we rarely take the time to discern what it is that is doing the forming. Followers of Christ claim that it is God, first and foremost, who is forming them into the image of Christ. But is that true? When we take a look at how we prioritize our lives, do those priorities reflect Christ? Do we really have Jesus, all the way through?
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I grew up loving Professional Wrestling. My brothers and I used to body slam one another, arguing who got to be Hulk Hogan or Ric Flair or Macho Man Randy Savage (or Sting or The Sheik or Andre the Giant or The Ultimate Warrior or Jake the Snake or … I could go on). Continue Reading…

Par for the Course?

April 4, 2011 — 3 Comments
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(image: University of Florida's Quarterback Tim Tebow with "John 3:16" written on his eye black)

Baseball's Opening Day was last week. The NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Tournament (aptly named March Madness) concludes tonight. It is appropriate, then, that I should be reading through Shirl James Hoffman's Good Game: Christianity and the Culture of Sports. Similar to Erdozain's The Problem of Pleasure, but wider in its historical scope and focused on the other side of the pond than Erdozain's assessment of Victorian sport culture, Hoffman asserts that today's

"culture of sports is light years removed from what Christians for centuries have idealized as the embodiment of the gospel message. The Christian worldview is based on an absolute, immutable, justice-loving God. The worldview of sports is based on material success. How Christians, especially evangelicals, have managed to live in these two diametrically opposed worlds, even to the point of harnessing one to serve the other, is the focus of this book." (p. 11)

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Islands of Misfts?

April 3, 2011 — 3 Comments

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This week I’ve been reading through the opening chapters of Dr. Jason Clark’s PhD not-yet-published dissertation. A much more technical treatment of the chapters he contributed to Church in the Present Tense (see my previous post on those), Clark’s dissertation is at once profound and troubling. His quest is for a tertium quid, a third way, between the predominant modes of current Evangelical responses to social relationships in late capitalist market societies. On the one hand are those who would abandon Evangelicalism altogether, concluding that it is too deeply entrenched indebted and entwined in capitalism to have any effective counter movement (Clark turns to the work of John Milbank and William Connolly for support). On the other hand are those who would argue that Evangelicalism’s problem is that it is not entrenched enough, needing to seek more and better undertakings of commodification of capitalism, thereby proving once again the adaptability and relevance of Evangelicalism (Pete Ward is his primary source here).
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