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Category: Politics of Scripture

The Politics of Scripture series follows the Revised Common Lectionary to connect the biblical text to political issues in ancient and contemporary thought and practice. You can search past archives by scriptural book here. We welcome contributions from scholars, religious leaders, and activists. Contact the series editor, Tim McNinch at politicsofscripture@gmail.com.

Waiting as a Spiritual (and Political) Practice

The author of 2 Peter maintains that in order to wait well one must place trust in God and God’s promises (3:13). What sets a follower of Christ apart in the communities to which this epistle is addressed is that they do not act according to their own interests, or even their own timeline, but rather, in accordance with the promise of God.

Advent is a Time of Learning the Skill of Waiting

Hope orients one to look beyond the horizon of suffering and to see the resilient light of new beginnings.

The Potential of Creative Misinterpretation

Perhaps the tension between honest reading and creative liberatory “misinterpretation” should not be solved at all but rather retained as an unsettling force in our work.

Redeeming Refusal

The third slave, as truth-teller and whistle-blower, validates what Jesus’ listeners know about their reality. They know that the deck is stacked against them, if they choose to buck the system.

Choosing God, Choosing Lands, Choosing Peoples

Choosing God, choosing lands, and choosing the peoples one lives with, both then and now, is no easy task. Nevertheless, the good news, while not always easy or comforting, is that the borders of our identities and lands have always been permeable. Could that be our embodied witness?

Right Nightmares

Those who commit dehumanizing acts of violence—whether through physical harm, abusive exploitation, or benign neglect—themselves become debased and subhuman, even as they sit in positions of power. Indeed, Micah puts this in sharp relief … where he depicts the corrupt “leaders and rulers” as ravenous animals who cannibalize those who the Lord has placed in their care.

On “Blessedness”

Rather than read it prescriptively to justify my own identification as a “righteous Christian,” I now read this passage for what it is: a poem that describes the resilience of a people who found true comfort and safety in God, despite attacks from those who would cause them harm.

Christian Nationalism’s Superstition Problem

Christian nationalism is a form of superstition. It is superstitious because, instead of appealing to the God of all nations, it appeals to a culturally fabricated God for cultural privilege, power, and benefits.

The Cost of Dissent

Jesus’ parable identifies chosenness in those who resist, dissent, protest and refuse the invitations of the empire.

Sabbath as Freedom

The Sabbath commandment is a word of freedom and of resistance to an economic system that is destructive to ourselves and our planet.

Power, Freedom, and the Humility of Christ

In this hymnic account of Jesus’ person and mission, his preference for and service to others becomes a paradigm for faithful human existence. God’s solidarity with the human race discloses the truth of both power and freedom.

The Laborers are Many, the Jobs are Few

If we are willing to listen to those standing around without work, however, a new possibility emerges. Why are they standing around without work? “Because no one has hired us,” they reply (Matthew 20:7). They aren’t lazy, they’re desperate enough to stand around all day waiting for work. The laborers are many; the jobs are few.