Saturday, March 25, 2006

Anti-Semitic? Anti-Israel? Both?

Writing for the American Thinker, Diana Appelbaum gives the Presbyterian Church (USA) a justified whack for it's 2004 "divestment" decision:
[S]upporters and detractors of divestment are discussing whether the Church’s decision was anti-Semitic, or - somehow - anti-Israel without being anti-Semitic. Curiously, despite the storm caused by the divestment vote, most Presbyterians remain unaware of the extent to which the PCUSA leadership has involved itself in old-fashioned theological anti-Semitism.
I was dismayed when the PCUSA took it's decision against Israel because I concluded, based on the way in which the issue was introduced at the last-minute, with lopsideded advocacy, that my denomination had succumbed to a position that could be associated with anti-Semitism. But I didn't realize the extent to which the church has officially associated itself with a blantantly anti-Semiticic organization that bases its theological worldview on a coupling of liberation and replacement theology (also known as supersessionism):
One of the resolutions passed at the 2004 General Assembly included a list of recommended theological "resources.” The most troubling “resource” on the list is the Sabeel Center for Liberation Theology.
Despite the official rejection of supersessionism in 1987, the church has nonetheless seen fit to formally align itself with the Sabeel Center:
The overtly anti-Semitic Sabeel Center is an official partner of the PCUSA, and receives PCUSA financial support.
Not long after the 2004 GA decision, I remember hearing an chapel address by Cantor Neil Blumofe who called the PCUSA decision "cynical." He was being kind. Make no mistake, the "divestment" decision has caused grave hurt in Jewish communities. I strongly urge those concerned about the church's contradictory and unjust positions regarding Israel to read all of Appelbaum's article, which contains some facinating and rather depressing links.

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© 2006 All Rights Reserved.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Important New Blog O' the Day

Shane Raynor, of Wesley Blog fame, has started a new Methodist online magazine called Wesley Daily. The new website aggregates the best posts from all corners of the global Methodist blogosphere. Check it out!

Entertaining Blog O' the Day

If you ever had to read Geoffrey Chaucer's Canterbury Tales in your youth, forsooth, you will appreciate this blog.

Monday, March 20, 2006

Being Re-Appropriated by the Spirit

If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will give life to your mortal bodies also through his Spirit that dwells in you. – St. Paul, Romans 8:11 [NRSV]

In the West, we think essentially in Christological categories, and then, in a second, non-constitutive moment, we decorate the already constructed system with pneumatological baubles, a little Spirit tinsel. – Killian McDonnell1

Why is God the Holy Spirit seemingly missing-in-action in the day-to-day life of many traditional denominations and theologies – a phenomenon Elizabeth Johnson refers to as “forgetting the spirit?"2

For more of my take on this matter, click here [pdf].

1 McDonnell, Kilian. “The Determinative Doctrine of the Holy Spirit.” Theology Today 39.2 (1982): 142.
2 Johnson, Elizabeth. She Who Is. New York: Herder & Herder, 2003, 128.

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© 2006 All Rights Reserved.

Sunday, March 19, 2006


Again, Father, we rejoice this day.
We rejoice in the folds of your everlasting grace
We rejoice at the sound of your whispering voice,
At the proclamation of your Word,
Enveloped in your Spirit.

We come to you with eyes uplifted,
Lifting hearts filled with adoration.
With praise we thank you, almighty and eternal God,
For all of your mighty works.

Holy Christ, we look upon you with adoration.
With praise we thank you for your gift of salvation,
Oh Lamb of God, also Shepherd,
Hear our cries of praise.

Holy Spirit, come to us in our worship.
Grant us your peace as we praise and acclaim You,
Together with the Father and Son,
One God in power and might and glory.

All we have and all we are, we give to you,
Through Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior, Amen.