I just finished reading the current issue of Relevant magazine, and I must say, I continue to be impressed with the magazine. Many of the perspectives in articles I disagree with, but you can't box this magazine into a category of liberal or conservative. Many articles also have me nodding my head in agreement, or hopping on the web to follow up something mentioned in what I read. You really should check it out if you haven't seen/read it yet.
Anyway, thoughts from this issue:
Dan Haseltine, lead singer for Jars of Clay, is an occasional writer, and in this issue has a page article titled The Louder Voice.
Excerpts: "The Church has been sold a lie that they are now investing in and perpetuating across the Western world. The lie is that technology, intertainment and comfort are core necessities to tell the Gospel story . . . I have never heard a person in remembering their journey from fear to faith recall the type of screens, the light show, the fabric colors . . . [that] stirred their heart to a place where they could examine their life and soul and see that they were a wretch and that God alone could save them. Our God is still a God of relationships . . . and the Gospel does not need our technological wonders and brilliant sanctuaries to enhance it or make it relevant. The Gospel is rooted in the messy world of relationships. It does not need comfort to thrive; in fact, it seems as though it thrives best in places where comfort cannot be pursued."
Really, I want to quote virtually the whole article. But I'll restrain myself.
Another good page article is Demagnetizing Christianity by John Fischer, where he talks about politics and attempts to sign Jesus up with a political affiliation.
And O Jesus, Who Are Thou? by Jason Boyett examines with great humor different ways we have answered over time the question, "Who do you say that I [Christ] am?" (which, by the way, is coming up in the lectionary later this summer.) Jesus types we love, according to Boyett: Gentle Jesus, Meek and Mild; Republican Jesus; Christ Hippified (my personal fave); Romanticized Boyfriend Jesus, The Wild-Hearted Jesus, and, most recently, Jesus Is My Homeboy.
Ok. So, check it out.