Thursday, October 31, 2013

Anthony Le Donne on Modern Reconstructions of Jesus' Sexuality

I'm currently a little more than halfway through Anthony Le Donne's The Wife of Jesus, and let me tell you: it's good. Like, really good. Le Donne deserves to be on The Daily Show or The Colbert Report. Why not? They let all those other yahoos on their shows; it would be great to have a real live Jesus historian on there for once. I am especially impressed at how well balanced Le Donne's book is, particularly in its consideration of the biases we all bring to the text as readers shaped by our culture. Take, for example, the following excerpt from Chapter 5, "Smithing Jesus":
For most of us, spotting the agendas and ideologies at work in others seems easy. Many people have probably never considered the notion that Jesus had multiple wives or that he was gay, and so they will be cautious about these sexualized portraits from the beginning. But recognizing our own agendas and ideological projections onto Jesus is more difficult. If we are to be honest and avoid the arrogance of creating Jesus in our own image, a healthy suspicion of ourselves is warranted. The challenge for us, therefore, is to examine the agendas and ideologies that we unwittingly project onto Jesus. (p.90)
I hope to have a brief review—either here or at Near Emmaus—up sometime next week, followed by a full review through Review & Expositor. Many thanks to the good folks at Oneworld for the free review copy.

Buy this book. Do it. Now.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Morning Prayer, Part Two: Erasmus

Since my last post on my morning prayer routine, I have added a prayer included in Stookey's This Day: A Wesleyan Way of Prayer. It's credited to 15th century Dutch reformer Erasmus of Rotterdam. I appreciate the poetry of the prayer, as well as the paradoxical—mystical, even—depiction of Jesus as the "sun that always rises but never sets." Perfectly appropriate for the morning:

Lord Jesus Christ,
you are the sun that always rises but never sets.
You are the source of all life,
creating and sustaining every living thing.
You are the source of all food, material and spiritual,
nourishing us in both body and soul.
You are the light that dispels the clouds of error and doubt,
and goes before me every hour of the day,
guiding my thoughts and actions.
May I walk in your light,
be sustained by your mercy,
and be warmed by your love. Amen.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

The Early Church and Trinitarian Theology

I stumbled upon this cartoon by David Hayward the other day. I am currently taking a course on early Christian worship, and this cartoon struck me as a succinct summary of the development of ancient Christianity and Trinitarian theology, as well as an honest assessment of the contemporary Church in light of the power afforded us by the Spirit.