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Category: The Politics of Scripture

The Politics of Scripture series follows the Revised Common Lectionary to connect the biblical text to political issues in contemporary thought and practice. You can search past archives by scriptural book here.

The Politics of Scripture blog welcomes contributions from scholars, religious leaders, and activists. If you would like to submit an essay or join our contributor list, please email Series Editor, Chelsea Mak at chelsea.deanna.mak[at]emory.edu.

Resource-Less or Resourceful

In the midst of a complicated and troubled world it may seem impossible to make a difference, and yet, the wish of a little Israelite girl says otherwise. The spirit of the young Israelite girl and her larger cadre of enslave servants to Naaman live on today in the resourceful actions and tireless work of so many influential youth in our world, those whose passion and will for change persist.

Freedom Shaped by Love

Freedom shaped by love is not a passive sentimental response to the world’s violence. It is the key to seeing clearly and moving beyond it. It disarms, dismantles, and disappears.

Fearlessly Embracing Their God: Jezebel and Elijah

Jezebel embraces her gods just as Elijah does. When the prophets of her gods are mocked and killed in a most disrespectful way, Jezebel is angered. In the face of death, she remains fearless. Her fearlessness combined with her reverence to her gods in a foreign land makes her an example for contemporary women. 

Is there comfort in the Spirit?

Can the Spirit provide comfort when confronted by such great sin and suffering? I offer a tentative, hesitant yes. A Spirit committed to justice is a Spirit that will lament injustice.

Pentecost is Justice Revived

A Pentecostal revival of justice would bear all of the hallmarks of Luke’s story. In quick order the Spirit-driven church of Acts established a community where nobody was lacking. A revival today could bring that same ecstatic joy and establish a community oriented toward justice.

Capital Losses

When we attempt to wrest human capital from exploitive, for-profit hands, there will be hell to pay. Does the church have the courage to bear it?

Women Prevailing Against Limited Vision

Lydia does not need a man or any other figure of authority to speak for her or to dictate her life. She is her own agent and even Luke-Acts’ Paul has to respect that. She cares for her own, commits to seeking justice, and makes her own choices.

The Newness of the New Commandment

Love should be the interpreting principle in every situation and to every person. Love for God is not expressed by hatred towards a neighbour based on any text.

Flourishing by Following

Jesus’ claim to be the good shepherd is much more than a comforting metaphor. It is a claim to kingship and a clarion call to surrender our wills and follow him to green pastures. His kingship subverts hierarchies. He models followership for us and ushers us into wide-open spaces where we can flourish in his upside-down kingdom.

The Disrupting, Expansive Spirit

It is, as we read throughout Acts, about how this epistemological truth has moral and ethical implications, disrupting the naturalized ways in how we relate to each other as consequences of history, religion, or culture. We do not only see Jesus where we expect him, but also in those who are oppressed, who we oppress, and oppose.

“We are witnesses”: Embodying the Power of Resurrection

As apostles of Jesus, in the face of hatred and violence, Christians are called to embody a culture of healing and transformation. Being witnesses to the risen Jesus Christ is an existential commitment to pursue justice and practice love.

Uncertain Hope

Accompaniment in fear, in suffering, in trauma: that seems to me to be an appropriate call for Christians over the past three Easters. We are still sitting in a messy, middle space – enduring in grief, and hoping for a new day, a new creation.