We mislead ourselves and others when we try to play down the extremity of the Christian vocation and the total demands it makes.
Christian Peacemaker Teammate Art Gish in Hebron in 2003 standing in front of an Israeli tank to try to stop it destroying a market in the Old City (AP Photo).
*This is the final post in a three-part series exploring more compelling ways to follow Jesus.
During the summer of 2013, Lindsay and I took a 75-day, 12,000-mile road trip. We simply wanted to meet people whose lives of faith were compelling. We wanted to get a taste test of what some might call “Movement Christianity” or “Radical Discipleship” (radical in Latin means “roots”), a particular strand of faith and action that goes all the way back to the roots of Judeo-Christian faith: Moses’ contemplative meeting with the Divine at the burning bush and his ensuing confrontation with the beastly bastards of Egyptian Empire, calling the underdogs out of enslavement and into a whole new Way of being.
By Tommy Airey
*This is the second post in a three-part series exploring more compelling ways to follow Jesus.
On the one hand we are called to play the good Samaritan on life’s roadside; but that will be only an initial act. One day we must come to see that the whole Jericho road must be transformed so that men and women will not be constantly beaten and robbed as they make their journey on life’s highway.
Martin Luther King, April 4, 1967
In a conversation we were having on a prairie highway about 30 kilometers north of Saskatoon, Ched Myers, predictably, got pedagogical. “When we become jaded or wounded, one of three things happens,” he exhorted.
1. We blame others and stay in denial, inflicting our pathologies on to others.
2. We bail out or burn out, escaping into a myriad of copings.
3. We traverse the road-less-traveled: we do the hard work of personal inventory.
Over the course of the past decade, as my Evangelical categories crumbled in the face of experience, theological reading, deep dialogue, prayer and social analysis, I’ve struggled through all three of these phases.
By Tommy Airey
*The first in a three-part series exploring more compelling ways to follow Jesus.
…the essence of Christianity is itself an essentially contested concept.
James McClendon, Doctrine (1992)
I was inducted into North American Evangelical Christianity in 1983 while attending the Christian elementary school where my mom got a job teaching 5th grade. I was in the 4th grade and my teacher, whom I loved, rhythmically proclaimed:
God said it, I believe it and that settles it.
This was after daily prayer and Bible readings in class. End of conversation. No debate or diversity. It’s settled. Period. I remember the rush of certainty and triumph that would flood my heart and mind.