I know of no theology of suicide bombings. It initially seems something foreign to Christian tradition, something for other religions to grapple with. But just this morning, Andrew White, the Vicar of Baghdad, pleaded for prayers as scores were killed from two suicide bombs in Iraq. Of course, it is a Christian issue, for the suicide bomb stands in our global culture today as the cross once did to first century Romans: A foremost spectacle of gruesome “justice.” Far more shocking than any suicide bomb theology would be the idea that the Christian God is incapable of grappling with tragedy on this scale. But He is – and the first Christian thing to say about it is that Christ suffers with the victim of every such event. The New Testament even leaves room for us to say he mysteriously is every victim. “Whatsoever you have done unto the least of these you have done unto me.”
2. Being known and being loved
Tim Kreider writes for the New York Times’ Opinionator blog:
We don’t give other people credit for the same interior complexity we take for granted in ourselves, the same capacity for holding contradictory feelings in balance, for complexly alloyed affections, for bottomless generosity of heart and petty, capricious malice. We can’t believe that anyone could be unkind to us and still be genuinely fond of us, although we do it all the time… [Ultimately], if we want the rewards of being loved we have to submit to the mortifying ordeal of being known.
3. America’s worst charities
There are a lot of nonprofits doing really great work thanks to generous donations. They deserve our support. Unfortunately, there are some that swindle and deceive – like the one profiled here in nearby Mesa, Arizona. They deserve to be scrutinized and shamed, which this investigative report has done, but they also deserve to be prosecuted. Make sure you ask good questions when deciding which organizations to support.
4. Does child sponsorship work?
The June cover story of Christianity Today is a piece by development economist Bruce Wydick on the impact child sponsorship has in the lives of its beneficiaries, and the article has now been posted online. There’s also an interview with Charles Kenny (@charlesjkenny), a senior fellow at the Center for Global Development and author of Getting Better, in which he shows that development efforts are actually working. Finally, Ken Walker writes about the lives former sponsored children go on to live.
5. Through the fire, through the flames
It’s always interesting when pop culture figures who aren’t necessarily known for their piety engage with the divine. Ya Hey from Vampire Weekend is a catchy new song open to all kinds of interpretation.
[Image: Detail, The Roof Garden Commission: Imran Qureshi, The Museum of Modern Art via pakistanartnews.blogspot.com]