Reading the Bible with Trayvon Martin

Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove reflects on the murder of Trayvon Martin and the practice of reading Scripture–and being read by it–in Christian community.

The constant stream of news this week about Trayvon Martin has re-ignited a national conversation about race–a conversation that has been, in my estimation, neither this public nor this intense since the controversy surrounding President Obama’s former pastor, Jeremiah Wright, during the 2008 presidential campaign. The deep pain at the center of this conversation reveals a wound that we often try to hide, despite the fact that it will not go away. Our history of race-based slavery colors everything in America. President Obama was both honest and revealing, I think, when he said in a press conference last week, “If I had a son, he would look like Trayvon.”

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The White Savior Industrial Complex

Teju Cole is the author of Open City, which won this year’s PEN/Hemingway Award and was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award. He expounds on the sentiments behind his tweets regarding the Invisible Children / Kony 2012 videos at The Atlantic website.

I disagree with the approach taken by Invisible Children in particular, and by the White Savior Industrial Complex in general, because there is much more to doing good work than “making a difference.” There is the principle of first do no harm. There is the idea that those who are being helped ought to be consulted over the matters that concern them.

read the entire article here: The White Savior Industrial Complex

The Problem with Rowan Williams

From Australian theologian Ben Myers who writes at the blog Faith and Theology:

It is often said that Williams is an unusual churchman – too scholarly, too ponderous, too sensitive to complexity – but it should equally be said that he is an unusual scholar. Although he has made important contributions to several academic disciplines – not only theology but also history, political philosophy and literary criticism – his deepest commitment has always been to the cultivation of community rather than to any particular intellectual project.

If his critics complained that he was an unusually academic archbishop, Cambridge will also find him to be an unusually priestly scholar.

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What Space Must the Church Occupy?

by Craig Wong 

At a 50th birthday party my dear wife recently threw for me, Pastor Bill Betts waxed eloquent about the “Greek, Roman, and Jewish phases of our lives.” The first phase swirls with lofty idealisms…dreams about our future and the world we hope to change. The second is where we take on the world with concrete energy, striving to make our mark. It is in the Jewish phase, however, when we realize that, when all is said and done, it is our friendships, family traditions, how we’ve lived our lives with one another that ultimately matters. Bill’s words provided food for thought for many of us that day.

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Why Do We Build the Wall?

EP endorser Tony Hunt offers this meditation on a theme from this past summer’s gathering:

Immigration, the Church, and Hadestown

Since the Ekklesia Project Gathering this summer, I’ve had the opportunity to reflect on how immigration is explored by one of the better records of 2010: Anais Mitchell’s Hadestown, a folk opera that reinterprets the classical story of Eurydice and Orpheus. Read more