In his Advent, Jesus does lots of miracles, but his miracles are particular in nature and function. None of his miracles are weird. You have no lasers coming out of people’s eyes, no shape-shifting, no invisibility, etc. What you have is a God that comes and ushers in the future world to come and brings it into the present. In other words, all of his miracles are restoring things to the way they will be and are intended to be; they are acts of justice. People were not meant to be blind, or die, or go hungry, or be handicapped, or be sick. And so he ushers in this future reality into the present by healing these things. The future world begins with a wedding feast with much wine, and so his messianic mission begins with turning water to wine at a wedding feast.
2. Ariel Dorfman’s lost library
NPR has an interview with novelist and activist Ariel Dorfman, who was forced to flee his home in Chile after the overthrow of President Allende in 1973. Going into exile he lost a lot, but here he reflects on the impact of losing his personal library.
3. Big Planet Apparel on The Lancast
My good friend Chris Newcomer is the guest on the latest episode of The Lancast, a podcast focused on interesting people in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. Chris is an entrepreneur and here he talks about how his company, Big Planet Apparel, came to be. You’re not likely to hear more laughter in a 34 minute interview anywhere else, and hopefully you’ll now know where to turn when you need to make t-shirts.
4. Misrepresenting “Africa” and “the poor”
In this TED Talk, reporter and researcher Leslie Dodson urges those who engage in storytelling about the poor (researchers, journalists, NGOs, etc) to do so ethically, not misrepresenting them through simplistic depictions or by robbing them of their dignity in the process (Thanks to Jennifer Rohde Williams for passing this along).
5. Photographs of homelessness around the world
Okay, here’s a chance to think critically about the ethics of photographing the homeless, based on what Leslie Dodson had to say in the video above. In this photo essay, I was struck by the prevailing “namelessness” of the poor. There were a handful of those in the US whose names were given, as well as the name of the recently deceased homeless man (not pictured) whose funeral two unnamed (but pictured) homeless women attended. What do you think of this namelessness in photos of the poor and homeless?
6. “Kicking at the Darkness”
Byron Borger has some brief comments on Kicking at the Darkness: Bruce Cockburn and the Christian Imagination, a new book by Brian J. Walsh that I’m eager to read. Here’s the blurb Byron wrote for the back cover of the book:
I’ve been listening to Cockburn for three decades and reading Walsh almost that long, and I can hardly imagine surviving these times, let alone believing that joy will find a way, without the artistry and insight of both. This is an extraordinarily ambitious project, years in the making, and there is profound insight on every page. Whether you are a seasoned Cockburn fan or not, this is a rewarding, provocative, experiment in criticism. I recommend it with great enthusiasm and with immense gratitude.
8. Coming together on theology and culture?
Tim Keller writes that a convergence may be happening within evangelicalism on a “third way” of considering the relationship between Christ and culture, beyond the “Two Kingdoms” and the “Transformationist” views. Here’s a great snippet on an important aspect of this third way:
While the mission of the institutional church is to preach the Word and produce disciples, the church must disciple Christians in such a way that they live justly and integrate their faith with their work. So the church doesn’t directly change culture, but it disciples and supports people who do.
Repaso is intended as a thought-provoking compilation of news and commentary from the past week related to the intersections of faith, development, justice and peace. As always, I welcome your thoughts on any of the links and ideas in this roundup!