Undiluted by Benjamin Corey

UndilutedI had the privilege of reading an advanced copy of Undiluted by fellow MennoNerd Benjamin Corey. The goal of the book is to help us reclaim an understanding of Jesus and Christian faith that has not been diluted by our culture. In my estimation, it does a great job of accomplishing this goal.

General Impressions

It is a very readable book. That much will stand out right away. I spaced my reading out simply because of a busy summer, but I’m sure doing it in a day or at least a weekend wouldn’t have been challenging. That’s an important quality for a book with this one’s goal. To be more specific, each chapter essentially begins more as a memoir and then shifts to a more general discussion of Jesus’ life and teachings on the topic. (more…)

How Long, O Lord?

I haven’t blogged much this summer. One of the big reasons: I really am starting to hate being at the computer absorbing so much bad news. It really has seemed like much more than usual this summer. If case you’ve missed out, it’s all rather depressing: war with borderline genocide in Gaza, extremists killing everyone not like them in Iraq, Mark Driscoll’s latest abuses coming to light and his continued refusal to get help, the suicide of Robin Williams and the many harmful things said by some Christians in response.

(more…)

The Birth of Jesus: Solidarity with the Outcast

We typically portray the story of Jesus’ birth in a very romanticized way. It’s all very cute and happy. There’s no blood or sweat or tears or troubling social dynamics. That is pretty far from the truth, as anybody who has had a baby even with today’s technology could tell you.

Jesus the Bastard

I don’t use the word “bastard” to be crude. Before becoming more of a generic insult in recent years, bastard meant somebody who was conceived before his or her parents were married. According to Matthew, Jesus was a bastard: Mary was pregnant before she married Joseph. An even bigger problem was when Joseph found out because he knew that he hadn’t slept with her. As an honorable man who didn’t want to unnecessarily hurt her, he decided to call off the wedding quietly before an angel stopped him. (more…)

Violent Videogames

Micah Murray recently wrote for Convergent Books about how he has stopped playing violent video games. It’s a great piece about how he didn’t feel it made him a violent person or anything like that, but it was weird for him to set aside his convictions for an hour or two for the sake of entertainment. He doesn’t condemn any Christians who still play violent games, but says that he can’t anymore. I think of it like Paul’s teaching on eating meat sacrificed to idols, personally: not a clear right or wrong, but listen to your own conscience and if you do say yes for yourself, also respect those who say no.

(more…)