If you take seriously that women have heard throughout the centuries that what is masculine in some context is more closely identified with God, that what is feminine is other, and we even go back into church fathers like Tertullian for whom women were the devil’s gateway. I mean, there’s a whole lot of theological work that’s heavily invested in God being male and exclusively male. In fact, there’s a text that says men are the image of God and women are the image of man or something. That sets up a whole world of church and theology that marginalizes women. Yet for people who come out of the community that I did–the black church–for whom it really matters, what does the Bible say? It matters that the biblical text says repeatedly that God’s gender identity is complex. Binary language is used because the Hebrew Bible has two options. Masculine and feminine. But God is presented in a much more complex way. And that matters when we’re talking about people and hierarchy, particularly when those earthly hierarchies are entrenched in gender which is then claimed to be based on God and the Bible.
By James W. Perkinson
He lifted me out of the desolate pit, out of the mire and clay; he set my feet upon a high cliff and made my footing sure (Ps 40:2).
I myself did not know him; but I came baptizing with water for this reason, that he might be revealed to Israel. (Jh 1:31)
The next day John again was standing with two of his disciples, and as he watched Jesus walk by, he exclaimed, “Look, here is the Lamb of God!” (Jh 1:36).
So we sit today in bit of snow here in Motown, while our news feeds show weekly pile-ups of cold precipitation elsewhere across the land—and pile-ups, as well, of twisted metal in our stupid infatuation with cars and speed—as the Great Stream of Jetting Air bends south and brutal, from the Arctic Circle to Arizona, in announcement that Change, with a capital “C’ is not future, but here. And we wonder about the upheaval of an entire planet. Australia become a living kiln, cooking up a billion-fold of living flesh, involuntary offerings to our wanton refusal to heed! In Puerto Rico they sleep outside, as the fracked Earth, heaving from a thousand cuts, here, there, in Oklahoma now grinding Her teeth in warning hundreds of times per year where She used to rest soft and fecund and quiet, but in our little cousin island to the south, slipping and sliding the soil into great fear and one more sheer nightmare. Last time—it was the sea and sky as Maria roared through. Now it is rock and sand, all serving notice they do not plan on being raped and plundered, forever. But it is the poor who are first forced to hear and bear the pain. The rest of us sleep-walk in daylight and pull the covers of night over our oblivious heads. But our time is coming as well, I am afraid. And we are far more culpable. Continue reading
A Meaningful Way of Life:
Being an intern at Third Way Farm is a well-rounded, full-bodied experience. Not only does this program deeply immerse a person into the daily rhythms of life on a diversified farm and in the care of its ecosystem, but it also invites participants into a community whose life carries purpose and meaning beyond the confines of the farm itself. Participating in this age-old and ever-critical human work of growing food and caring for the land will open you to pathways of life and wholeness within yourself and the world around you, enriching you in ways that will serve you on whatever journey that lies ahead. Changing the world, amidst the ever complexifying crises of climate change, economic injustice, food justice, and more, begins with remembering and living into who we truly are as humans: members and caretakers of this rich web of abundant, God-given life in Creation. If we learn together how to lovingly nurture the life all around us, growing wholesome food from the soil under our feet and with the animals that enrich it and us, we will not only bless ourselves, our families, and our local community with live-giving food, but will be contributing to the preservation of this world for generations to come. So, we invite you to come, learn, grow, and be transformed with us as an intern at Third Way Farm!
Whether you are considering sustainable agriculture as a vocation or way of life, or are interested in organic farming and just want to have an experience living it for a season, this internship program is for you! Continue reading
By Dr. Cornel West, for the 50th anniversary of the assassination of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., originally posted in The Guardian
The major threat of Martin Luther King Jr to us is a spiritual and moral one. King’s courageous and compassionate example shatters the dominant neoliberal soul-craft of smartness, money and bombs. His grand fight against poverty, militarism, materialism and racism undercuts the superficial lip service and pretentious posturing of so-called progressives as well as the candid contempt and proud prejudices of genuine reactionaries. King was neither perfect nor pure in his prophetic witness – but he was the real thing in sharp contrast to the market-driven semblances and simulacra of our day. Continue reading
By Jayme R. Reaves. From Geez 56: Entertaining Angels.
When someone says “hospitality,” what comes to mind?
Offering a cup of coffee or tea, a hot meal, a bed for the night – these are the usual answers. When we dig deeper, there’s usually an emphasis on welcome, creating a space where people feel at home, a warmth, a commitment to the other’s wellbeing.
In English, the Latin roots for the word hospitality connote two different ideas. First, the root hostis implies both guest and host, indicating a fluidity of motion between the two, a reciprocity or exchange that is expected: “I do this for you because you did this for me.” In the ancient worlds that shaped our religious traditions, the common practice was to treat guests with respect for two main reasons. Either it was an act of diplomacy as you may be a traveler in their land one day, or because there was an understanding that a guest could have been a powerful being – a god – in disguise, testing the righteous. Therefore, welcoming a guest became a sacred ritual because you just never really know who this guest sitting at your table really is or what they may be able to do for you later. Continue reading
By Oz Cole-Arnal, former professor emeritus at Waterloo Lutheran Seminary
George and Julie MacLeod have now both crossed the Jordan to rest and enjoy full and complete embrace with the God they served so faithfully and courageously this side of glory. And this very God so embodied in Yeshua bar Miriam/Joseph sided outrageously and gloriously with those discarded by our society—people of color, indigenous folk, immigrants, Hispanics, women, LGBTQ+, street folk, the homeless–indeed all the poor. But today I remember with tears the impact they had on my life. They were absolutely key in transforming me and wife “Bunny” (and ultimately our two guys by dint of attachment to us) from well-intentioned liberals, who believed naively that reasonable and calm discussion over time could solve all problems, into radicals determined to follow Christ through “thick and thin.” Continue reading
New Year’s Greetings!
The Arts and Education Committee of the Dismantling the Doctrine of Discovery Coalition is assembling a new resource on the topic of reparations and repair. It will contain biblical and theological reflections as well as stories about how people have practiced reparative justice on the ground. Our intended audience is Anabaptist congregations, but our past resources (see here) have been used far and wide and are not limited to church folks! Continue reading