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. I haven't put my lists up on the blog in a good while so here are some that go back a ways, but if you missed them, they are still worth reading, clicking on, listening to or watching.
Stuff I've Referenced in Sermons
- In the Ash Wednesday service, I shared about NY Times reporter David Carr, who died recently. Carr wrote a memoir about his history of addiction, but instead of going from memory, he interviewed all of the other people involved. It turns out their accounts of events were very different than he had chosen to remember them. The result was a riveting depiction of how we shape our memories to avoid admitting past mistakes. Here is an interview with him onNPR's Fresh Air and here is a good piece on what Carr's memoir and career says about the nature of sin.
- In my sermon on the Transfiguration in the Gospel of Mark I shared a story told by Rev. Talitha Arnold, UCC minister from Santa Fe, NM.
- Also, in that sermon, I was inspired in my thinking about transfiguration and transformation being two different things by a piece by Methodist minister, Rev. Mike Boughman.
- This past Sunday I drew heavily from Walter Brueggemann's book The Prophetic Imagination. The public radio program On Being has an interview with him about the book and its ideas that is well worth listening to.
- Jason Harper, who has been coming to CCCUCC for almost a year with his wife Natalie Millard, was featured on KCUR's Central Standard recently. In a series called "Tested Faith," Jason talks about his own faith journey in a powerful and deeply honest way. Although he couldn't use our church's name in the piece, CCCUCC is a part of the story. Take a listen to this powerful piece of testimony.
- I haven't read Karen Armstrong's book Fields of Blood: Religion and the History of Violence, but I'm certainly sympathetic with her goal of demonstrating that violence is endemic to human nature rather than as endemic to the nature of religion. This critique of her book, however, raises the questions of since we can never isolate religion from things like nationalism, ideology, and politics--religion is always intertwined with them--how can we blame it for all the violence in the world AND how can we defend it from those who charge religion is the problem?
- The UCC's daily e-mail devotional is worth subscribing to, since it is authored by some of the better writers in our denomination. I found one recently to be especially worth passing along, because it warns of the dangers of trusting in Christian celebrities (preachers, authors, etc.).
- Dr. Molly Marshall, president of Kansas City's own Central Baptist Theological Seminary, has a good column this week about how much easier it is to make uniformed comments about people of other religions than it is to actually be in relationship with a person who holds different religions than you.
- Good ol' Bill Moyers reminds us self-righteous American Christians that we aren't very far removed from the barbarity of ISIS. If you need it, here's more about American Christianity's justification of lynching.
- Also in the category of reminding Christians that they have their own brutal history that compares to ISIS, here's an article about how ISIS compares to the Protestant Reformation and the Catholic Counter-Reformation. It turns out Protestants liked to destroy priceless religious statues just like ISIS.
- I really enjoyed this public radio interview with Jack Miles, the author of God: a Biography and the new Norton Anthology of World Religions.
- Does Katy Perry have "Post-Traumatic Church Syndrome"?
- Ever wonder why people refuse to believe in things like evolution, climate change or the efficacy of vaccinations despite the evidence for them? It turns out, there's a scientific explanation.
- A UCC minister and friend of mine from seminary days has a thoughtful essay about race, the criminal justice system and the death penalty that everyone should read.