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We Don’t Want You to Swim in the River

by Kathy Kelly April 14, 2014 In early April, 2014, the U.S. Navy unveiled its Mach 7 Magnetic Mangler, “a railgun straight out of Star Trek that can take out targets at 100 miles with a projectile flying at nearly 7,000 feet per second.”  So far, the U.S. military has spent $240 million developing the railgun over a period of ten years. CBS News reports that the railgun won’t go to sea until 2016, but one ...

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The Spirituality of Wit

“I know all about life and death.” Prof. Vivian Bearing, in Wit by Margaret Edson If you think contemplating death is depressing, be prepared to be surprised by AstonRep Theater Company’s production of the acclaimed Pulitzer prize-winning drama, Wit, by Margaret Edson. AstonRep’s forte is taking successful main stage plays and giving them a small stage treatment. It’s a simple idea with a profound impact on ...

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Resurrection: Calculating the Probabilities

The end of the Gospel of Mark is, shall we say, indecisive. Mark’s account of the resurrection begins with the women going to anoint Jesus body and discovering the stone rolled away, Jesus’ body gone missing, and “a young man, dressed in a white robe” sitting in the tomb. This man tells them not to be alarmed, as if that’s possible under the circumstances, and announces that Jesus “has been raised.” The you ...

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The Politics of Palm Sunday

Make no mistake: the Gospel is political. Politics refers to “the affairs of the city” and “influencing other people on a civic or individual level.” Throughout his life, death, and resurrection, Jesus is political. He influences people to live into the Kingdom of Heaven. For Jesus, Heaven is not essentially some place off in the distance where you go after you die. No, Heaven is a way of life to be lived r ...

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As We Forgive: Listening to Rwandans Tell their Story

Theorizing about evil may itself be an evil thing to do. I was gently reminded of this by a comment about a recent article I wrote called “Does God create Evil? Mimetic Theory and Isaiah 45:7.” Ben wrote, “theorizing evil seems irresponsible when it’s right there in front of you and demands a more practical, immediate response.” Amen. It’s great to have an explanatory theory about violence and evil in the w ...

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Beyond Power Struggles

Raven Founder Suzanne Ross was a keynote presenter at the Theology and Peace conference held in Baltimore, MD, in June 2011. Her paper, Beyond Power Struggles: Teaching Without Rivalry, illustrates how the teaching of Maria Montessori supports child development while avoiding teacher/child rivalries. This video of her presentation is available through the generosity of Michael and Lorri Hardin of Preaching ...

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Rigorous Truth: Baseball, Errors, and Resurrection

When I was growing up, I had three older cousins who were my model for being awesome. They were funny, smart, athletic, and they loved baseball. And so I wanted to be all of those things, but the one thing I could do without any effort was love baseball. But I had one major problem. I’m missing the athletic gene of the Ericksen family. While I could share in the love my cousins had for baseball, I couldn’t ...

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How Glenn Beck Broke My Liberal Heart

I suffer from liberal smugness. And Glenn Beck just showed me how to repent. Glenn Beck has been one of the most controversial and polarizing figures in the US media for years. As the host of conservative television shows and radio programs, Beck seemed to enjoy pushing the limits by making inflammatory remarks. And who can blame him? The media is set up for controversy. As S.E. Cupp says in her  interview ...

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World Vision: On Angry Christians

Here’s what I’ve learned about being a Christian from the World Vision controversy: Christians are angry people. This last week, World Vision announced that it will no longer discriminate against the LGBTQ community in their hiring practices. My Progressive friends and I celebrated the decision, claiming it as a win in our quest to fulfill the Gospel message of inclusion for all people. So, in this controve ...

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Does God Create Evil? Mimetic Theory and Isaiah 45:7

We recently received a message on the Raven Facebook page that raised a great question about God and evil. Below is the question and my response. I'd love to know how you would respond to this question! The Question: …I've enjoyed your blog as well and the studies on the Bible are wonderful. I wanted to ask you about a text in Isaiah 45:7 that states that God is the author of evil. How can I interpret it wi ...

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