xbn .

Politics of Scripture

Essays featuring a specific Book of the Bible.

Recent Politics of Scripture

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.

Praise as Abolitionist Vision

What if we saw in Psalm 98 a longing for an abolitionist vision of justice? How might entering into the psalmist’s vision of a joyful, praising creation animate and free our collective vision of how we might live together?

The True Vine and the Farmer

Subaltern hermeneutics offers two insights in this text, a “de-anthropomorphic” reading and “de-transcendental divine” reading. These readings offer hope to the subaltern communities in their journey of faith today and challenge all readers to seek partnerships with the creation, for Jesus is the crop….

Let Love Be the First Motion

When Love is the first motion in our lives, we are defined by how we respond, not only in the grand gestures, but also in the unremarkable expressions of everyday life.

Who is the Precious Cornerstone?

For all our show of humility, Christians have capitalized on the doctrine of election, distorting it to create a very real power differential between ourselves and the world beyond Christianity, at home and abroad. In an ironic twist, we have become the builders who are rejecting precious stones.

The Healing Power of Memory

It is only in the memories of Jesus the fully human that we can find what I argue is the greatest power of the Passion for human lives held captive by the oppressive forces of Empire: the strength to face our crippling fear, stare the full oppressive might of the state in the face, and refuse to cede our full humanity – our joy, love, compassion, and hope – in service to the state’s liturgies of violence and fear.

A Different Kind of Covenant

Unlike the other covenants of the Hebrew Bible, Jeremiah’s new covenant does not focus on intermediaries, or written tablets, or monarchy, or temple, but on the divine self.

Learning Shalom

During this season of Lent the pandemic gives us quite a taste of the Exodus journey of our mothers and fathers in the faith. Even though there are signs of hope (the vaccine being one of them), we are like those walking around in the wilderness without having much hope or orientation.

God’s Radiant Law

Jesus pronounced judgment on the entire system and dismantled it with a whip – modeling for us how to treat egregious distortions of Christian worship that distract from God’s redemptive work. This is not politics “out there,” in the public square, but in house.

Is God Fickle-Minded?

If God invites dialogue and intervention and is moved by human persons, God is thus open to changing God’s mind. This picture of God has implications for human interactions. In cultural and political movements, people often make up their mind and are unpersuaded by what other people say or do. When these others are suffering others, being unpersuaded is a mark of tyranny. When evidence of malevolent intention is presented and the evidence is brushed aside in favour of aligning with larger—national or otherwise—interests, impassibility is a crime.

From Mountaintops to Valleys

Transfiguration means to be challenged and governed by a different set of norms, in opposition to this world and the powers that disfigure the image of God in each one of us. Theologically, transfiguration is an eschatological vision that transforms and revolutionises our present.