this went thru my mind (on violence)


V-for-violenceCapital punishment: * Arizona Woman’s Murder Conviction, Death Sentence Overturned; * Once On Death Row, He Now Fights To Defeat The Death Penalty

* “There was no evidence tying her to the crime …”

* “Maryland is about to become the 18th state to abolish the death penalty. … The strongest advocate to end the death penalty in Maryland is Kirk Bloodsworth, who was convicted of murder in that state in 1985 and was the first person in the U.S. to be sentenced to death row then exonerated by DNA evidence.”

Concealed carry, church, faith & guns: Guns in Church

“Do I want our members slaughtered in their seats? Of course not. … What I am suggesting, though, is that our churches have become so accommodated to culture that we are no longer relevant. We are no longer any different from the world. We have lost our saltiness, and might as well be thrown out onto the ground to be trampled. Apparently, we have lost our faith. We no longer trust that God will keep us safe, or, that if he doesn’t, that he won’t use us even in the midst of tragedy to do good. If that is the case, and I think it is, then what is the point?”

Genocide: The Holocaust Just Got More Shocking

“The numbers are so much higher than what we originally thought …”

God, Scripture, and violence: * The Phinehas vs. Jesus Conundrum; * Getting Honest about the Dark Side of the Bible; * A Coming Storm; * A Cruciform Magic Eye [required reading]

* “As followers of Jesus, we must honesty face the challenge that the ugly, violent aspects of our Bible and our history pose for us. As followers of Jesus, we are called to not only refrain from violence, but to be peacemakers (Mt 5:9) and ‘ministers of reconciliation’ and ‘ambassadors’ of the kingdom (2 Cor. 5:19). Yet our Bible, which we confess to be ‘God-breathed’ (2 Tim.3:16), contains material that is violence-making rather than peace-making. … In light of all this, we must ask ourselves: What does it mean to be makers of peace and bringers of reconciliation when the Bible we confess to be ‘God-breathed’ has material that continues to inspire violent attitudes, if not outright violence? … The question I therefore leave you with is this: Is there a way to affirm that all Scripture, including its violent stories, violent prayers, and violent depictions of God, are ‘God-breathed,’ while at the same time renouncing its violence? For in confessing Christ as Lord, it seems we are bound to do both. It may seem like an impossible conundrum, but I have found that impossible conundrums are sometimes an opportunity for the most profound insights. Think about it.”

* “I only began to discern a way to understand how horrific depictions of God in Scripture bear witness to the crucified Christ when I finally stopped trying to deny these depictions were horrific. So long as we try to tidy up, sanitize, minimize and piously gloss over material that we honestly know in our hearts is macabre and revolting, the best case scenario is that we will succeed at finding a slightly less revolting deity in these portraits than we initially found. This is what standard evangelical apologetic approaches accomplish, on a good day. It is in essence the approach I adopted five years ago when I began this present project. But I came to see that even the very best of these approaches are of no value when it comes to disclosing how this material bears witness to the self-sacrificial, enemy-loving, non-violent love of God on Calvary. And to make matters worse, all the while we are tidying up our macabre depictions of God, we are bearing some responsibility for the way this material continues to serve as a precedent for people to appeal to in order to justify their hatred and violence, as it has served throughout history.”

* “I am … proposing what I call ‘The Cruciform Thesis.’ It consists of four principles that I derive from the revelation of God on the cross, for I argue that the cross is the quintessential revelation of God and the thematic center of everything Jesus was about.”

* “The God who bore our sin and God-forsaken judgment had always been bearing the sin and God-forsaken place of his people. The God who reflected the grotesqueness of our sin back toward us by taking on the guilty, God-forsaken semblance in the process of revealing himself, had always been reflecting the grotesqueness of his people’s sin by taking on a guilty, God-forsaken semblance in the process of revealing himself. … God only became a human and suffered to atone for the sin of the world once, in the crucifixion of Christ. But the fact that this single event reveals what God is truly like means it reflects what God has always been like. And when we fully embrace this and refuse to let it be compromised by granting authority to the horrifically violent warrior images, we are in a position to discern the crucified God in the portraits of the warrior God, and see in the crucified God the crucifixion of the warrior God.”

Preventive measures to violence: Focusing on Violence Before It Happens

“‘When we looked at kids who had committed attacks, the vast majority had come to the attention of an adult for a behavior that was concerning but would not necessarily cause someone to conclude they were planning an attack,’ said Bryan M. Vossekuil, former executive director of the National Threat Assessment Center, part of the Secret Service, and a co-author of a 2002 guide to threat assessment in schools published by the service and the federal Education Department.”

War: What the Iraq War Did to and for the Middle East

“Ten years later, it’s clear that the Iraq war cast ‘a very large shadow’ indeed, but it was a much darker shadow than the fantasists who ran American foreign policy back then foresaw. Bush believed that freedom was humanity’s natural state: Blow away the manhole-cover that a tyrant pressed down on his people, and freedom would gush forth like a geyser. Yet when Saddam Hussein was toppled, the main thing liberated was the blood hatred that decades of dictatorship had suppressed beneath the surface.”

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