xbn .

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.

The Loneliness of the Zealot

In our zeal for the projects to which we commit ourselves, especially when we see them as responding to God’s call upon our lives, we risk a myopia that obscures our perception of other realities. Elijah’s story serves as both a warning and a source of hope to those of us inclined to abandon the institutional church, reminding us that there are likely many others who share our deepest commitments, even if these others remain invisible to us for now.

Wrestling With Identity

Just as Jacob’s encounter brought new beginnings and transformation for him, embracing our true identities can lead to a powerful ripple effect within our communities. By cultivating a culture of acceptance, understanding, and celebration of individual uniqueness, we can foster an environment where marginalised voices get uplifted and empowered.

The Scandalous and Subversive Kingdom

Given the precarious nature of the planet we call home, the need for a scandalous and subversive kingdom animated by the Spirit of God, which advocates justice, mercy, compassion, and healing to the creation, couldn’t be more urgent.

When we serve the least among us, we serve God

God’s call is not to engage in politics of personal power or self-service, but engage in a politics of liberation, one that ends the idolatrous hold on power so many have.

Farewell to the Flesh

Paul’s “Flesh/Spirit” dichotomy is not an overly-spiritualized, anti-body othering (i.e., a devaluation of the body against supposedly holy disembodiment) but an ethical cleavage with profoundly political repercussions.

When Faithfulness to God Hurts Our Neighbor

Whatever our exegesis of scripture and tradition may suggest, it is imperative that we take into account the pain and damage our religious piety causes to others. Is our perception of divine instruction sufficient justification for actual injury (physical, psychological, and/or spiritual) to our neighbors?

Lament As Subversive Prayer

In the voices of the oppressed, one can listen to the voice of the divine. In this decolonial reading, one can excavate a liberative hermeneutic, which is life affirming and life nurturing. The lament of Hagar and her son Ishmael are echoed today in the voices of several people who are excluded in the society by the dominant, and the call for us today is to listen to the divine and work for a just world. 

From Servitude to Service

The laws at Sinai are no ball-and-chain, implementing a new form of slavery. They express the practical dimensions of life in freedom, the boundaries within which the nation can experience a life-giving form of service to the One who graciously rescued them from servitude. In short, they are revolutionary.

The Problematic Blessing of Occupied Land

I want to pretend that the “land flowing with milk and honey” was in fact an unoccupied land—a specially preserved paradise, just waiting for the Israelite people to discover it. But, unfortunately, we all know the rest of the story.

The Nonbinary Creation

The fact that people use Genesis 1 as justification for all of this hate is not only horrifying and appalling, but it’s also, simply put, WRONG. The creation thrums with life purely because God’s love makes it so.

Living the Dream

Pentecost isn’t simply about the dreams of old men or the prophesies of children; though, these, certainly, are a part. Pentecost is about living the dream.

Inspiration—being filled by the spirit, is not about dreaming dreams or seeing visions, it is about living them.

The Ascension and the Politics of Endurance

Contending against the dominion of sin and death requires the same wisdom and willing vulnerability that characterize Jesus. Exemplifying both of these characteristics means seeking a solidarity with the world’s plight while simultaneously refusing to assimilate to its norms of greed, selfishness, and domination.