Listening to 80s Music with Karl Barth

Very thoughtful survey. I’ve thought of Das Nichtige as “nothingness” because it consists of all that God opted not to create, and that because there “is” God and the things God opted to create, there must also be “not God” or “the nothingness.” Am I misreading Barth there?

Pop Culture and Theology

By Jack Holloway

I make a lot of “best of” playlists. Recently, I made a playlist of what I think are the 150 greatest 80s songs (find it here). I listened to hours and hours and hours and hours of 80s music, soaking it all in, and, like the Apostle Paul, “examining everything carefully, holding fast to everything good.”

I primarily study the theology of Karl Barth, and so I thought a lot about Barth’s theology as I contemplated the music I was listening to. Barth talks about God’s No and Yes, God’s wrath and redemption, judgment and forgiveness, and on and on. He thinks Christians should move from one realization to the other, from understanding our sinfulness to God’s forgiveness, from seeing sin and death to believing in God’s redemption.

“Human experience and thought,” he says, “would proceed in a straight line from despair to even deeper despair…

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Chris Cornell Covering “Nothing Compares 2 U.”

Chris Cornell is gone. Prince is gone. Sinead O’Conner is fighting for her mental health.

The verses are about lovers, but the song means more than that.

This is my favorite version.

That voice.

A Psalm of Prince, Sinead, and Chris. Selah.

rad infinitum

Nothing compares 2 this.

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Black. Lives. Matter.

It doesn’t matter that Dr. Tisha Brooks and I share a hometown, or that she, her husband, my wife, and I all graduated from the same college.

What matters is that what she’s saying here.

The Stockley case is egregious.  If you’re not a person of color and have had a hard time understanding that Black Lives Matter is not a terrorist or militant operation, and that saying “Black Lives Matter” does not mean saying “Only Black Lives Matter,” I’d be happy to talk with you.  You’ll get my perspective as a Christian who also happens to be white.

What Tisha is saying here is vital for such a time as this.

Brooks

Message from Tisha
Repost from Instagram @phdgirl24
・・・
This morning the “not guilty” verdict from the Stokley trial was released here in St. Louis and I got into an unexpected and heated debate with my landlord, who argued that the answer to problems like these is voting and Jesus, but not in his words “being in the streets.” I couldn’t disagree more for 3 reasons: 1) I’m currently writing a paper about activism as spiritual practice; 2) many of the people in my community are voters, Jesus-followers and are protesting in the streets as we speak; and 3) the Jesus I follow was always in the streets (or in the homes) of people who were marginalized, powerless, outcast and alienated from society. To the dismay of those in power, Jesus hung out with, listened to, and stood alongside of the poor, the sick and exiled, prisoners, prostitutes, and “the least of these.” In fact, it was this refusal to align himself with those in power that led to his crucifixion.
We are followers of Jesus because he was radical. We are followers of Jesus because he was a revolutionary. We are followers of Jesus because he has always been clear about where he stands. And though we are not allowed to hang this #blacklivesmatters sign in our window or post it in the front yard, because we do not own the property we stay in, we want to make it clear where we stand. We stand with Jesus, in the streets, in full support of those who are committed to being his hands and feet in this very broken and unjust world.
Activism = Jesus in the Streets.
#stl #stlouis #justice #jesusinthestreets #activism #protest #spiritualactivism#blacklivesmatter #professorslife #blackprofessor #speaktruthtopower#civildisobedience #faithandjustice #wherewestand #visioncarriers

On the Hot Dog Vendor in Berkeley

As a food trucker, I deal with the permitting process all the time. Some municipalities make it easy. Some make it very hard. Some charge reasonable fees. Some charge outlandish and unjust ones.

I don’t like that this gentleman was shut down, but I understand the need for regulation. That said, street vendors are routinely and illegally denied their 14th Amendment rights by municipal codes and fee structures that favor some food operators over others. That’s bad enough. The officer’s appeal to “law and order” seems, given the context and current state of political discourse, like something of a dog-whistle for something else.

Even if I’m wrong about that, I’m right about this: There’s no way the office should be going into this man’s wallet and taking his money as “evidence.” There’s no way to know if any of that cash was from that day’s vending, period. Probable cause? No way to know how much, if any, of that cash had anything to do with “illegal” vending.

Watch the video and judge for yourself.

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God Did Not Send Irma

Since writing this post a few days ago, I’ve heard someone say that God sent Irma to teach us humility.

No.

Not even a little.

We are right to pray that in the midst of tragedy, we might find our strength in God.

But God does not send hurricanes to make us see that need.

Not even a little.

We did a prayer and action vigil at church tonight.  You can download the liturgy here.  (Gathering prayer and litany written by Karl Jones, regional UCC Disaster Coordinator).