Saturday, November 1, 2014

Recommended Reading: 11-1-14 edition

Each week (more or less) I send out an e-mail to my congregation with my thoughts including stuff I've read over the past week that I want to pass along.  Here's what I sent out on Nov. 1.  
  • I shared last week a link to a series of columns by Baptist evangelical ethicist, David Gushee, on his change of mind re: LGBT people.  He's made headlines in more conservative circles by laying out his reasons for no longer believing homosexual behavior is sinful.  His post on the passage in Romans chapter 1 and the way it is often linked with the creation accounts in Genesis by critics of LGBT people should provide any who are interested with plenty to consider.      
  •  As we continue to grow and change as a church, we will continue to experience growing pains.  Here's a blog piece I wish I had written on the subject: "A Growing Church is a Dying Church." I offer a hearty "Amen" to this piece.  What do you think?
  • As I've mentioned before, I really like the TV show The Walking Dead, although I have to record it and watch it during daylight hours--too gruesome and scary at night.  Here's an interesting piece that uses The Walking Dead's central dramatic question  (i.e. just how far will you go to survive?) to ask questions of our fears about Ebola, ISIS and other things we are afraid of in this media-generated culture of fear.
  • In my last "Thoughts" I shared a link to religion scholar Reza Aslan's response to the hyperbolic criticisms of Islam by New Atheists like Sam Harris and Bill Maher.  I found this piece interesting which points out that not only is the New Atheist critique of religion ridiculous but Aslan's response trivializes religion.  It's worth thinking about whether we consider religion to be just a collection of bad/good ideas, empty shells that we bring our own cultural biases into or something more?
  • AlterNet has begun a series on the struggle for LGBT equality in Kansas.  The first story in the series explains why we have so much farther to go beyond marriage equality when it comes to Kansas' twisted laws that discriminate against LGBT people.  CCCUCC folks--this is why it is important to actually show up at rallies and protest this crazy stuff sponsored by the Religious Right.
  • Do you know what is killing A LOT more people in the US than Ebola or ISIS?  Guns.

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