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How Christians Reject Jesus: On Trying to Outsmart God

Here at the Raven Foundation we have written a lot about nonviolence. We take seriously the words of Jesus that we should love our enemies and pray for those who persecute us. We believe that violence begets violence, or as Jesus put it, “Those who live by the sword die by the sword.” We also take seriously the words of Rene Girard, the founder of mimetic theory, that we are now “confronted with a perfectly ...

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God, Same-Sex Marriage, and 33 Weddings at the Grammys

Call me old fashioned, but our culture hit a new low at the Grammys when 33 couples were married. Some of them were gay and lesbian couples. Indeed, it was a bad day for marriage. First, Macklemore sang Same Love, then Queen Latifah officiated a wedding for 33 couples, and then Madonna sang her 1986 single Open Your Heart. Now, don’t get me wrong. I love Macklemore’s Same Love. I love its pro-same-sex marri ...

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Allahu Akbar! Thank God for Violence!: John McCain, Fox News, and the Liberal Media

I’m all for confronting Islamaphobia, but there is a deeper theological issue here for both Christians and Muslims that the liberal media is missing. In one sense, I agree with Kilmeade. I don’t care if you are a Muslim or a Christian; I do have a problem helping anyone who screams ‘Allahu Akbar!’ or “Thank God!” after a successful military attack. ...

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The Nonviolent Atonement: Brian McLaren and James Alison on Violence, God, and Mimetic Theory

I’ve been excited to tell you this ever since July… The much anticipated conversation between Brian McLaren and James Alison has been posted! You can listen to the podcast over at Homebrewed Christianity by clicking here. I first need to point out that this recording never would have happened without Tripp Fuller and Bo Sanders of Homebrewed Christianity. At the last minute we were scrambling to find a way ...

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The Bible and Movies and Violence – Oh My!

This Thursday I’ll be interviewing Gareth Higgins on the Raven Foundation’s Voices of Peace radio show. Gareth is the founder of the very popular Wild Goose Festival. If you attend this summer, you will meet Raven friend James Alison, who will talk about his latest project, Jesus the Forgiving Victim: Listening for the Unheard Voice. Gareth is also a film critic and analyzes films from a Christian point of ...

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James Alison and Interpreting the Violence in the Bible (Video)

Suzanne Ross and her son Don sat down to discuss Catholic theologian James Alison and his writings on Biblical scholarship and atonement. This is a follow-up to a video from last week where Don explores Alison's take on the Trinity in his book, The Joy of Being Wrong. Don, a self-described non-Christian, and Suzanne, Raven Foundation's co-founder and a former director of Christian education, come at Biblica ...

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Adam Falls Again: A Review of Geoffrey Nauffts’s Play Next Fall

A wonderful production of the play Next Fall by Geoffrey Nauffts is currently being staged by the AstonRep company at the BoHo Theatre in Chicago. My apologies to out-of-towners who won’t have the opportunity to see the show, because it is blessed with a gifted ensemble, headed by Mark Jacob Chaitin and Ryan Hamlin in the lead roles. Hamlin plays Adam, who, unlike the Biblical Adam, has no relationship with ...

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Rob Bell Blogalogue Part 7: Getting Ahead of Ourselves?

Rob's thinking is that people are gradually cluing in to God's vision of a world without retributive violence. “Revenge always escalates.” he writes (Kindle Locations 1919-1920). Always. So, God takes vengeance away from us. He situates the conversation in ancient history and what we can gather about the cultural situation of their time and place in history. ...

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Johnny Cash, Isaiah, and Labors of Love

Which leads us back to Johnny and June. During the darkest moments of his life, June reflected the unconditional love and grace of God to Johnny; but Johnny had to choose whether or not he would receive June’s love. He had to decide whether or not he was worthy of that love. Fortunately... ...

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