Win, Lose or Draw?

Jesus' Way of Confounding the Trophy-centric Ways of this World

The ancient Olympic games were a series of athletic competitions between city-states. The results determined who were the winners, and who were the losers. But during the games, any conflict between the warring states was forbidden. If ever there was a time when that Olympic torch should be lit and never be extinguished, perhaps this is it. But how? It seems international good sportsmanship inside the stadium can only be assured by heavy security on the outside; where unruly competing self-interests would seek to turn winning at all cost into a blood sport. The previous Words & Ways commentary explored a foolish kind of wisdom once espoused by a Galilean sage through his teaching, the parables he told, and even the seeming absurdity found in his miracles (see “The Foolishness of Jesus”). It is this same Jesus tradition that also proposes such counter-cultural notions that one can “win by losing,” and “the last shall be first.” Here’s John Bennison’s latest commentary from Words & Ways.

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A Doxology, A Prayer

(Sung to the traditional tune)

Praise God for love in all its forms

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“We commit ourselves to lives of compassion”

Group reading…a commitment to live as compassionate beings.

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Blinded by the Lite

Reflections on

Ehrenreich’s exploration of mind-over-matter thinking, the “prosperity gospel”, “The Secret”, and “positive psychology” led her into a study of American religious history. She concluded that this so-called New Thought movement appropriated one painful feature of the theology it meant to replace: guilt.

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The Power of Half: how Hannah Salwen and her family gave half their home away

When 14-year-old Hannah Salwen asked her parents to sell their $2 million house and donate half the proceeds to charity, rather than laugh her suggestion off they took it seriously.

‘As we were talking, I could hear what it sounded like through Hannah’s ears and it sounded lame,’ Kevin says. ‘The truth was we weren’t giving generously. With the resources we had, we could have been doing much, much more.’

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Olympic Prayer

Eternal God, Giver of joy and source of all strength, we pray for those who prepare for the London Olympic and Paralympic Games. For the competitors training for the Games and their loved ones, For the many …

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Unity in Diversity

We affirm our common humanity with all human beings and our commitment to truly value each person regardless of how different they are from us. All: We celebrate our unity in our diversity   We acknowledge that …

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The Danger of Religious Prayer versus Spiritual Prayer

The public prayers of conservative Christians are embarrassing to me, and I find myself uncomfortable sharing with strangers the fact that I am an ordained member of the Christian clergy. I was recently in a situation in which I once again experienced this unsettling, self-conscious feeling.

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The Uncertainty-Driven Life

Wandering, I stumbled upon my purpose,
Adrift, I made port,
Unbidden, love arrived,
Asleep, I learned my lesson,
In silence, notes danced across my score,
Dreaming, my problems solved themselves.

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“Lift high the banner”

Lift high the banner of these games, in this Olympic year, that as we forge relationships, respect might cast out fear.

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Thank You Ross Douthat; A Discussion on Liberal Christianity

Well at least we can all agree that Ross Douthat got our attention with the article he wrote recently for the New York Times. His dire attack on the so called liberal churches has already stimulated several well written articles, with a plethora of responses to each of these.

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Living the Questions: The Wisdom of Progressive Christianity

Based on the bestselling DVD course of the same name, Living the Questions explores matters many churches are afraid to address including the humanity of Jesus and homosexuality, and examines in a new light traditional faith topics such as the Bible, atonement, salvation, the rapture, and more.

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