Wednesday, March 30, 2016

[forensic jesus]

"Back in 2002 a forensic artist used Semite skulls found in Israel to reconstruct the face and head of what a first-century male from Palestine would most probably have looked like."

Paul Alexander from Evangelicals for Social Action challenges us to put a picture of this Jesus up in our churches:

Picture of Jesus as recreated by forensic artist based on Semite skulls. Photo from

Their goal is to have one million churches with this picture on display.

What do you think? How would people at your church respond? Personally, I'd like to see a slightly friendlier looking version of the forensic Jesus instead of the slightly stunned version that the scientists drew up.

How do you feel about referring to the typical pictures of Jesus as the "European Jesus"?

Forward this post or the link to the full article to your pastor, and ask them to consider adding forensic Jesus to the church walls...

Read the whole article here. They also have a higher resolution version of the picture available there.

Monday, March 28, 2016

an apology from pope francis

On the occasion of the Holy Thursday rite, held at the Castelnuovo di Porto refugee centre in Italy, March 24, 2016.

Picture of Pope Francis kissing the feet of a man at the Holy Thursday rite, held at the Castelnuovo di Porto refugee centre in Italy, March 24, 2016, where he washed and kissed the feet of 12 people including Muslims, Hindus and Christians. Photo by AP

I  just want to say

On Holy Thursday
I washed your feet
Muslim Hindu Christian
men and women

on Holy Thursday
I kissed your feet
strangers in this land
children of the same god

Forgive me
for living the truth
that so many of God's people

poem by rob g
This is a false apology poem
in the style of William Carlos Williams.

As Bishop Yvette Flunder says in her tweet below,
Christianity is useless without demonstrating authentic radical love.

Screenshot of Bishop Yvette Flunder's tweet about the Pope washing the feet of Muslims. She adds "Christianity is useless without demonstrating authentic radical love." Photo from news article shows Pope Francis kissing the foot of a black man at the Holy Thursday rite of foot washing, at the Castelnuovo di Porto refugee centre in Italy, March 24, 2016.
This is a false apology poem in the style of William Carlos Williams.

Thursday, March 24, 2016

jesus and the thief

Cartoon of jesus and disciples walking along path. Judas is carrying money purse. One disciple further back says to the others near him, "You know Judas is still a thief, right? He's been stealing from the common purse." Text below cartoon says, "said the doubter to the liars." Cartoon by rob g.

4 But one of his disciples, Judas Iscariot, who was later to betray him, objected, 5 “Why wasn’t this perfume sold and the money given to the poor? It was worth a year’s wages.” 6 He did not say this because he cared about the poor but because he was a thief; as keeper of the money bag, he used to help himself to what was put into it.
John 12:4-6 NIV

So Judas is a thief, stealing from the common purse.

If the writer of the gospel knew this, wouldn't at least some of the others have known it? And perhaps Jesus himself might have known about it? Yet Judas was still in their midst, still a disciple...

As was Thomas who doubted like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind, Peter who later refused to publicly acknowledge Jesus before others, Matthew who as tax collector had exploited God's chosen people on behalf of the oppressive Romans, Simon the zealot (might some label him a terrorist today?), James the son of Zebedee and John his brother and the other two fishermen disciples who surely are liars (though some call it telling fish stories) ...

What's with that? What kind of church was this Jesus guy building? No wonder we threw out that nasty business of putting up with everyone and are back to being holy as God is holy.

HT to Maureen whose mention of Judas and the common purse in her sermon, inspired this post.

Tuesday, March 08, 2016

[towards mental wellness - articles]

blue bird on tangled grey background. excerpt of an illustration by Brian Liu, from cover page for Winter 2016 issue of Regent College's the Regent World digital magazine
Excerpt of illustration by Brian Liu
The Winter 2016 issue of Regent College's The Regent World digital magazine is focused on mental wellness and is well worth reading!
(this is a "current issue" link, which I will update once the next issue is released)

List of articles:

Companions on the Journey: Sharon Smith & Sanctuary Mental Health Ministries

A Theological Reflection on My Experience of Depression

"Me Too." A Hospital Visit

Writing in the Margins: A Conversation with Matt Malyon

Managing Mental Health While Pursuing a PhD: Interview with Rachel Krohn

Holding on to Your Faith in the Dark Night

brief update

This is just a quick update to explain the recent lack of posts. I had spent a lot of time working on the uncertain spaces article, the abbreviated version which appeared in the Anglican Messenger, and the related video. So I think my brain is taking a little break. As well, I have been busy working on our income tax.

However, various ideas are percolating and will eventually end up here.


Tuesday, March 01, 2016

[asset mapping for straight white folks and others with privilege]

"I think white people who want to take positive action should start to asset map. Rather than being frozen in guilt and thinking about what you "can't do" or how daunting actions might seem, think of all the skills you have and all the communities and spaces you have access to. How can you utilize your assets to create real impact for black liberation?" Jamila Woods. #BlackLivesMatter

What Jamila says here is also true for any sort of privileged people who want to take positive action -- asset map and then utilize your assets to create real impact for the liberation of others...