Misunderstanding Jesus: If You Don’t Have a Sword, Sell Your Cloak and Buy One


There’s much talk these days (and these decades) about second amendment rights in the U.S., the particular amendment that focuses on the right to bear arms. For those Christians who champion this right, one obvious goal is to find biblical support for the claim.

Many times, there is a naive perspective floating around that says something like this: “God said it; I believe it; that settles it.” If God “said it” in his word (the keyword being “it,” referring to bearing arms), then we are now authorized to practice it.

One of the main go-to Scripture passages for those who promote the private right to bear arms (and use those arms) is found in Jesus’ words in Luke 22: Continue reading

The Myth of Redemptive Violence

belgian flag

Today, yet another violent attack reigned down in our world, one to which ISIS lays claim. Perhaps this was retaliation for the Belgian police’s capture of Salah Abdeslam this past week, a major suspect in the Paris attacks from 4 months ago. However you slice it, bombs were detonated at the Zaventem-Brussels airport and the metro station of Maelbeek. The attacks left at least 30 people dead and more than 230 injured. Continue reading

Bonhoeffer: Not a Would-Be Assassin

dietrich-bonhoeffer3I recently came across an article in which Dr. Joseph McGarry was interviewed by Benjamin Corey, a missiologist.

Who is Dr. McGarry? He is a Bonhoeffer scholar who, not long ago, had his doctoral thesis accepted for publication by Fortress Press under the title, Christ Among a Band of People: Dietrich Bonhoeffer and Formation in Christ.

I was quite interested in the interview with McGarry, particularly as he shares how many have overplayed the card that claims Dietrich Bonhoeffer was a would-be assassin of Adolf Hitler during World War II. Here are some comments of McGarry during the interview: Continue reading

Nosugref: Backwards Step

archOn August 9, 2014, a neighborhood on the north side of St. Louis endured a community-altering situation. It all happened in a mere 120 seconds – a struggle ensued between Michael Brown (and friend) and police officer, Darren Wilson; 12 shots were fired, Brown was hit by 6, one was the fatal shot to his head.

Three and a half months later, the grand jury decided not to indict officer Wilson. The conclusion: there was no probable cause that Wilson acted criminally in his 2-minute altercation with Brown. Following the announced decision, shockwaves were felt around much of the African-American community of not only Ferguson, but the whole of the U.S. Continue reading

Jesus & Mars Are Not Brothers


It’s all around us.


I drive to work listening to NPR in the morning and I’m greatly reminded of this through the news about Russia-Ukraine, Palestine-Israel, Afghanistan, Iraq. And then there’s the homeland as well – shooting after shooting, living in a city with one of the highest violent crime rates per capita in the U.S, drones heading every which way, and more.

It’s all around us.

Violence, war, killings, murder, the whole lot.

We recently celebrated a “holiday” (holy-day??) in which we remember how our nation came to “freedom” through war, a war of rebellion. “…And the rocket’s red glare, the bombs bursting in air, gave proof through the night that our flag was still there.” Our flag still hanging, possibly by only a few threads, as a war ended with approximately 25,000 deaths. This set the path for a Civil War some 80 years later in which the death toll might have reached 750,000.

“…that our flag was still there.”

But I’m not so sure much of this falls in line with the Jesus whom we encounter within holy Scripture.

Continue reading