May 29, 2009

The Gift of Meekness: A Counter to N.T. Wright's Case For A Stronger United Nations, PART 3


N T Wright on the United Nations:

"the USA and Britain could never act as a credible police force in the world, especially in the Middle East;
(ii) imposing the will of the West, by brute force, on another part of the world, simply invokes a might-is-right philosophy which we will strongly object to as soon as India or China attains superpower status and decides to effect regime change in London or Washington;

All this has happened, and I conclude that this war always was unjust, and that if we wanted to prevent Saddam tyrannizing his own people (why stop there? There are plenty of other brutal tyrants in the world) the best and only way was through . . . the United Nations. YES, I KNOW – this, quickly, to those who at once pour scorn on the very mention of it – the United Nations has been a laughing-stock and, despite many successes (some unsung), has had many failures and muddles. But part of this is because America has had a strong vested interest in keeping the UN weak (just like America doesn’t like the idea of an international court of justice, or the Kyoto protocol, etc.).
We badly need a credible international police force; we don’t have one at the moment; USA plus Britain can’t function as such; we should be working flat out either at enabling the UN to act in that way or at creating a body that can."

I agree with NT Wright that the War for Iraq was a political mistake but he is mistaken in thinking that the error lies in George W. Bush or Tony Blair not following the guidelines of the Augustinian Just War theory; rather, the Operation Iraqi Freedom was a blunder largely because the unfaithfulness of the Bush administration to the U.S. Constitution (specifically Article I, Section 8, Clause 11-the Power to declare war by CONGRESS!) and Bush presidency’s insubORDinate behavior (that is, their refusal to subject themselves to the demands of God’s Word) towards the command in Romans 13 to be subORDinate to the authorities, which is in this case, the U.S. House of Representatives and the Senate according to the Constitution. Even the proposal of a United Nations’ created international police force by Wright runs contrary to the principles that the United Nations was founded upon.
Chapter 1, Article 1, section 1 of the UN Charter clearly states that the United Nations desires to MAINTAIN international peace and security as well as to develop friendly relationships, and achieve international cooperation; but it goes on to recognize in Article 2, section 1 that each state is EQUALLY SOVEREIGN and in section 4 of that same article that “All Members shall refrain in their international relations from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any state, or in any other manner inconsistent with the Purposes of the United Nations.” In other words, the establishment of a police force that uses both actual and veiled forms of violence, is contrary to the UN Charter and violates the rights of individual member states.
In addition, Wright overlooks the unequal power relationships created by the existence of the U.N. Security Council as it stands right now. The notion that it is necessary to keep the same five particular countries which must remain on the council with veto powers or the peculiar statuses of the Vatican and Palestine having Permanent Observers to the UN. The nature of these relationships along with the good number of intergovernmental agencies such as the African Union and the European community must be dealt with before there is any talk of an international police force; are regional considerations and differences, for example, going to be respected? Lastly, if it is a possible to create a police force through the United Nations as it exists, what authority will the force be accountable to? The International Court of Justice? The International Criminal Court? Or maybe individual states?

Rather than trying to find a solution based on an unwarranted fear of chaos, I propose that the Church follow a model that first recognized the Mastery of Jesus the Messiah over the universe. Christians do have their own charter, the new Law given to us as a gift by Christ, from which we read about in Scripture called the Sermon on the Mount. We must subORDinate our lives to the law of Christ and then subsequently, the laws of the land. There is a Christian organization dedicated to making peace, and not just keeping the peace as the U.N. is called to do. The Matthew 5:21-26 Project is a group of Evangelicals and Pentecostals whose aim it is to recognize the Lordship of Jesus the Messiah by making him LORD over everything in their lives, including their relationships with strangers and “enemies.” They serve as an example of a peaceful witness dedicated to the limitation of governments to wield arms and the promotion of nuclear weapons reductions. An international police force will not be necessary because God has ordained the Church to serve as a nonviolent radical remnant beholden to the Crucified, Risen, and Returning LORD and the order that God prefers in the empire of God.

Vicit agnus noster; eum sequamur

Our Lamb has conquered; him let us follow.

Works Cited
Yoder, John Howard. The Politics of Jesus : Vicit Agnus Noster. 2nd ed. Grand Rapids, Mich.Carlisle, U.K.: Eerdmans ; Paternoster Press, 1994.

The Gift of Powerlessness, Part 1

The Gift of Powerlessness, Part 2

DISCLAIMER #1 (NICHOLAS THOMAS WRIGHT)- There are many persons in the blogosphere who make it their business to criticize the work of NT Wright and the New Perspective on Paul based on hermeneutical and theological differences. Usually, it comes from the corners of the evangelical community that lean Reformed. This post is no such thing. I refuse to put Martin Luther, Jean Calvin, and for that matter, Karl Barth on a pedestal. Far from it; it is the author’s wish to push great men like these from their thrones in the royal court of theology and see Jesus the Messiah at the center of all theological reflection. That would include ethics, politics, race relations, sexual issues, and economics.

DISCLAIMER #2 (THE UNITED NATIONS)- There are a few Christian communities that have given society the impression that all Christians possess an irrational fear of the United Nations or any form of international cooperation. In fact, the producers of such stellar Christian movies such as MEGGIDO and the writers of the LEFT BEHIND series even go so far as to intimate that the UN or an organization as such will be an instrument of the Anti-Messiah. I do not interpret the book of Revelation in such a manner, and will I am fully aware of the tradition behind the pre-millenial dispensationalist reading of that text, there seems to be too many holes regarding that interpretation. I do affirm the physical, bodily return of Jesus the Messiah; I just do not share the same reasoning for believing in his return as pre-mils or Wright. This blog post is not going to be a fear-mongering, UN-bashing polemic.

The Gift of Meekness: A Counter to N.T. Wright's Case For A Stronger United Nations, PART 2

N T Wright says of the powers that be:

"The problem, of course, is that human authorities themselves are then tempted to become part of the problem to which they are supposed to be an anticipation of the solution, and then you get the double chaos of tyranny – a chaos held in place by an essentially chaotic, because unjust, rule. Because one of the God-given tasks of authorities in the present time is to protect the weak and vulnerable from oppression, I believe that police action is often necessary, involving physical restraint and sometimes actual violence to prevent wicked and powerful people getting away with their intended ill-treatment of the weak, poor and vulnerable."

N T Wright is correct; police action is necessary; humans need to be restrained at some point because we are all fallen sinners. Police action, however, should never be confused with war-making or empire-building. Normally, Christians use Romans 13:1-7 as their text when arguing the state’s right to go to war, but the passage is primarily about the policing affairs of the nation-state. The activity of police forces are held accountable to higher authorities. Yoder argues that it is fallacious to place the doctrine of just war under the umbrella of police authority. While violence from a police officer is (ideally) applied to an individual who breaks the law, the imperative for justifiable wars does not seem to be located in this text. The sword, or the machaira, was really a dagger used by the Roman military that served as a symbol of judicial authority, not executive (Yoder, 203). An honest reading of Romans 13 should lead us to conclude that the Christian concept of Just War theory (which excludes Jesus’ peace-making mission) simply cannot be found in the text, rather the doctrine of Just War is read into the meaning of this passage.
Also, I feel uncomfortable with Wright’s vision of power where god is invisibly working behind the scenes as that g-d secretly and unambiguously endorses the heroes over the villains while Jesus functions as some superhero in the mold of Captain America who will come back to save the day just as the world is about to drown in chaos. In the realm of international politics, where EVERY state is driven by self-interest, any nation can be considered the “good” guy at any point in history as well as any country can earn the label of the “bad” guy just as well. Wright still understands the power of God as the ability to control, to micro-manage the human situation at any given point in history, joining the good guys in their cause eventually at the end. While Wright is honestly trying to deal with the problem of empires abusing their power, he falls into the trap of promoting a soft form of triumphalism. Rather than viewing Christian victory as something where the divine assures us of our triumph because of the effectiveness of some method or strategy on our part; rather true Christian victory comes from joining in the faithfulness of Jesus the Messiah. If I may refer to Yoder once more:

"The triumph of the right is assured not by the might that comes to the aid of the right, which is of course the justification of the use of violence and other kinds of power in every human conflict. The triumph of the right, although it is assured, is sure because of the power of the resurrection and not because of any calculation of causes and effects, nor because of the inherently greater strength of the good guys. The relationship between obedience of God’s people and the triumph of God’s cause is not a relationship of cause and effect but one of cross and resurrection." (232)

Absent from Wright’s political theology expressed in his criticism of the U.S. and U.K.’s bilateral war in Iraq is what Luther called a “theologia crucis,” or a theology of the cross. Luther says that in Thesis 20, “He [sic] deserves to be called a theologian, however, who comprehends the visible and manifest things of God seen through suffering and the cross.” And in Thesis 21, he continues to say about theologians of glory, “A theologian of glory calls suffering evil while he [sic] calls works good. In fact, he [sic] works to avoid suffering.” One cannot divorce a theology of the cross from the Resurrection and Return of Jesus that easily in a Christian political theology. These three events constitute one salvific episode; to uplift one at the expense of the other is to neglect certain parts of the implications of God’s liberating and reconciling activity in the world. In particular, there is a tendency on both the right and the left to try to leave out as many references to the crucifixion of Jesus of Nazareth as possible. My fear is that Christian communities [that is, the many forms of Christianity whether they are Roman Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, Protestant, Mennonite, etc.] will start to adopt theologies of glory while neglecting those human beings on the margins of society, suffering and dying much like our Savior who has joined them in their oppressed state. In part three, we will examine what this means for a Christian view of international peacemaking missions.

May 28, 2009

The Gift of Meekness: A Counter to N.T. Wright's Case For A Stronger United Nations, PART 1

NT Wright on a stronger United Nations

Usually, whenever I find myself discussing issues of war and peace with other Christians, they always ask the exact same question: What if there is another Adolf Hitler [insert the name of a Two-Thirds world dictator here if you like]? From the very start, these Christians who are advocates usually of some form of Just War theory are asking the wrong question. That is the problem with Christians today! In order to make their case for the destruction of human life, they start out with inquiries based on fear of what happened in the past the Shoah or the Holocaust during World War II in most circles. As Christians, we participate in the life of Jesus the Messiah; therefore, he should be the beginning and end of all ethical questions and not Adolf Hitler or Saddam Hussein or Kim Jong IL. We should be asking, “What has Jesus done? What is Jesus doing? What will Jesus do?” NT Wright is one of those Christians that I was referring to earlier, the ones not asking the correct questions to begin conversations of ethical discourse. Rather than phrasing the question in a way that is Christ-centered, Wright, for example begins his case for a strong United Nations with typical Just War logic. Let us examine his case.

1. N T Wright says about the doctrine of just war:

"The doctrine of ‘just war’ was developed in order to emphasize that, though war is always an evil, sometimes it is the lesser of two evils.
Doing justice, in whatever form, is always about anticipating in the present God’s eventual design to put the whole world to rights, to gather up all things in heaven and on earth into Jesus Christ (Ephesians 1.10). Though God will eventually do this completely and fully, he does not want the creation to lapse into complete chaos in the present age, and so calls into being structures of human government and authority to bring about a measure of order, some kind of anticipation of his eventual putting-to-rights of all things."

Granted, Wright has to simplify his definition of what the doctrine of just war is for a general audience rather than a particularly Christian one, but he is defending the traditional Christian case for just wars. Now, the first problem is that he suggests that “doing justice, in whatever form” is done in the anticipation of God’s act of justifying the entire creation. I question the idea that we can be just in “whatever form.” From a Christian standpoint, we have a peculiar way of examining what is or is not just and that is the Justifier (Romans 5). There are many forms of justice; among them are: social justice, racial justice, gender justice, environmental justice, retributive justice, restorative justice, and transformative justice. The question we have to ask ourselves is: does God’s justice include all of these, only one of these, or just a few of these forms of justice. Christian concepts of any form of justice begin with God’s image, or Jesus the Messiah.
Rather than beginning questions of justice with inquiries such as, ‘Why does this or that injustice exist?’ and then subsequently answer that question with an answer that may or may not be biblical, one should start with, “How did/is Christ, God’s righteousness revealed, manage/ managing this event?” Secondly, Wright is presenting a God of LAW and ORDER who soothes the bourgeois classes’ fears of THEIR society going into utter chaos. Chaos is seen as a problem, as something that must be confronted and controlled. Does Wright ever bother to ask if chaos is God’s instrument to fashion the world, by allowing various free agents with free will living within the order that God sustains so that God can have a loving, covenantal relationship with that creation? John Howard Yoder had quite different Christian understanding by which God brings the state and political institutions into order:

"to put them in order, sovereignly to tell them where they belong, what is their place. It is not as if there was a time when there was no government and then God made government through a new creative invention; there has been hierarchy and authority and power since human society existed. […] Nor is it that by ordering this realm God specifically, morally approves of what a government does. […] God does not take responsibility for the existence of the rebellious ‘powers that be or for their shape or identity; they already are. What the text says is that God orders them, brings them into line, providentially and permissively lines them up with divine purposes." (Yoder, 203)

According to Yoder, God does not endorse or support any one form of government over the centuries; rather, God allows humans with free will to choose their preference of governance, and then God responds by sending witnesses to these powers in their place. The one rule that God accepts is the reign of the Messiah; the Church universal, which claims to adhere to Solo Christo), must subORDinate themselves under God’s chosen priest-king who both initiates and reigns in the nonviolent empire of God. All other forms of government are temporary, provisional, and fallen, and always in need of reform. No human empire or emperor has the divine right to impose their will upon the Earth. That authority is reserved solely for the Triune God; whether or not God has chosen to utilize domination as the means of accomplishing God’s will is a question to be answered in part 2.

May 26, 2009

NABPR paper presentation and sesssions

The NABPR paper presentation went well. Last night, at 11:15p.m., I sat down on the couch and wrote the last five sentences of my NABPR paper. That was a struggle. How does one conclude an assessment on three books, on the same topic, from three very different perspectives? My original plan was in the hopes of having at least two pages to sketch out my own constructive theology of sexuality involving the last half of John 2, 1st Corinthians 3:16-17, and 2nd Corinthians 7, three passages that unite the Resurrection of Jesus the Messiah with the story of the Jerusalem temple. So, instead, I only made a short allusion to it in this manner:

It is not possible for any one Christian thinker to come up with a resolution to the sexual and racial issues that currently divide the Body of Christ. Although one may not agree with their methodology and/or conclusions, the works of Grenz, Douglas, and De La Torre can serve as conversation starters to at least get congregations thinking theologically about race and sex. Jesus of Nazareth, whose human body the Evangelist of the Gospel of John refers to as the Holy of Holies of God, is the central revelation for the Christian understanding of the divine and human. Therefore, it should be the mission of the Church to develop an ethic of racial and gender justice where every human body is treated as the temple of the most High God.”

Fuller Seminary’s Glenn Stassen, a personal friend of the late Stanley Grenz, had high remarks for my presentation. One of Grenz’s students who was part of the audience even told me that I had a good grasp of Grenz’s views. Overall today was a good day. I got my inspiration from Acts 4 and Judges 6, two stories of great courage. During the sessions I was not presenting, I came out firing on all cylinders, asking the hard questions. I was merciful though; better a friend and member of a society asking the hard questions to prepare presenters than an enemy, right? To be honest, last night’s Opening program made me sad in the inside. I heard Bob Darden’s story of the Black Gospel Restoration Project. I felt like cursing the Hip Hop culture after that. It is a story of lost LPs, records, and Black recording artists getting scammed and facing racism as well. In recognition of this cause, I have added a link to this blog.

Later tonight, I did not calm down from this morning. I listened to a presentation on John Howard Yoder's call to Christian peacemaking. The author I completely disagree with because the author of the paper implied that Yoder was just some pacifist who just saw all religions united by nonviolence. This is simply untrue. Yeah, at Warsaw, in front of a Roman Catholic audience, Yoder would appeal more than to just Jesus and the scripture and Christian tradition, but for anyone who has read Yoder's The Politics of Jesus knows that the crucifixion is the key theological doctrine for his ethic of nonviolence; Yoder is promoting a particularly cruciform, and therefore, a Christian ethic of non-violence. There is a difference. Glen Stassen was in that audience and he agreed with me as did one other professor. I have already blogged about the difference between being an advocate of Christian nonviolence and being a Christian with the political position of pacifism; see here: A conversion to Christian nonviolence

Below is a copy of my NABPR paper presentation:

The Temple He Had Spoken Of Was His Body: Christian Sexual Ethics, Race, Sexuality, and the Biblical Narrative from Womanist, Liberationist, and Evangelical Perspectives

May 25, 2009

The Mass X-odus to Word Press.... and me an X-egete?

I have a few friends who have left either just begun blogging or who have made a switch to No worries, I am not leaving anytime soon. It has been good to me;

I have known Richard since my days as a religious studies major at Texas Christian University. He is into Biblical studies and hermeneutics.

I met Rob on the Theology Rocks Facebook group. Ah, those were the days. Now, he is at Dallas Seminary mastering the Hebrew Bible.

I recently encountered Mike a few months ago on the biblioblogosphere. His interests are the New Testament and Christian origins.

On a personal note, it seems so funny that recently I have been seriously considering a change in my career path. Rather than working in the field of systematic and constructive theologies or theological ethics, it has been recommended to me that I should look into becoming a biblical studies person. You know, those people, that study all those weird sounding languages, in addition to Greek and Hebrew, like Aramaic or Uggaritic, or ancient Georgian. I really have run out of excuses as to why I am not. It is not like I could not do biblical studies, ethics and theology all at the same time; these are all interrelated, obviously. Imagining if I did change, I may pursue something to do with the 1)Gospel of Matthew, 2) the Letter to the Hebrews, 3) the Son of Man tradition 4) the Priestly Messiah in the second Temple Judaism. I do like what I read from the New Perspective on Paul folk, like N.T. Wright and James D.G. Dunn. I guess I will have to keep praying over this. What do you all think?

A Memorial Day Reflection

Michael, over at Pisteuomen, has an interesting Memorial Day reflection for Christians located in the U.S.A.

May 18, 2009

John D. Zizioulas on the individual

Some context and explanation for this quote. I came across this quote from John D. Zizioulas while I went back to read his Being As Communion again. I did not catch it the first time I read it because I was focused on Zizioulas' notion of Truth as ontology (rather than a propositional statement) as well as his view of community for my past work. But my search for his case in favor of theosis (the Christ follower's participation in God's Holiness) led me to find this passage. Keep in mind, the term persona, for Zizioulas, is used in a negative (i.e., not positive, or bad) sense, in which personas are really masks for human beings who continue to live a lie (outside the Truth, true being, a.k.a., Jesus the Messiah).

"Uniqueness is something absolute for the person. The person is so absolute in its uniqueness that it does not permit itself to be regarded as an arithmetical concept, to be set alongside other beings, to be combined with other objects, or to be used as a means, even for the most sacred goal. The goal is the person itself; personhood is the total fulfillment of being, the catholic expression of its nature. This tendency of the person, like freedom, is the 'two--edged sword' of existence. For applied to man it leads to the denial of others, to egocentrism, to the destruction of social life. As in the case of freedom, so with the unique and hypostatic nature of the person, a relativisation appears to be indispensible if chaos is to be avoided. Thus uniqueness is relativised in social life, and man becomes--in a greater or lesser degree but nevertheless assusredly so-- a useful 'object,' a 'combination,' a persona. But it is precisely this which constitutes the tragic aspect of the person. Diffused today throughout all forms of social life is the intense search for personal identity."

John D. Zizioulas in Being As Communion:Studies in Personhood and the Church. Crestwood, NY,St. Vladimir's Seminary Press, 2002. p.47.

In other words, once we start denying the uniqueness of the human individual person, we risk objectifying people and only seen her and/or him as another cog in the machine, only useful for our own objectives. That would make all forms of essentialism and stereotypes dehumanizing, huh?

May 13, 2009

The Make Over for this blog

Just an update:

I have been considering for quite a while to change the template of this blog to make it aesthetically pleasing. The picture at the top is a saint in Greek Orthodoxy named Moses the Black or Moses the Ethiopian who lived as a slave at one point. I think that he is symbolic of the work I am trying to do, understanding the Chrisitian religion in light of imperial social structures such as slavery.

In addition, the title of the blog has changed to ECHOMEN ELPIDA which is greek for, We Have Hope! I thought it made sense given the url's namesake. I also have been wanting to, ever since I started reading and writing in Biblical Greek to re-do the title of this blog in something greek, like the peeps over at Euangelion and Koinonia as well as Epignoskein and Pisteuomen. You can just call me a copycat, w/e!

I HOPE (elpidzo) you all enjoy! :)

May 11, 2009

Between The Patriot's Bible and the movie The American President: The Futilitiy of Study Bibles

The conversation between Lewis Rothschild and President Andrew Shepherd:

"Lewis Rothschild: You have a deeper love of this country than any man I’ve ever known. And I want to know what it says to you that in the past seven weeks, 59% of Americans have begun to question your patriotism.

President Andrew Shepherd: Look, if the people want to listen to-…

Lewis Rothschild: They don’t have a choice! Bob Rumson is the only one doing the talking! People want leadership, Mr. President, and in the absence of genuine leadership, they’ll listen to anyone who steps up to the microphone. They want leadership. They’re so thirsty for it they’ll crawl through the desert toward a mirage, and when they discover there’s no water, they’ll drink the sand.

President Andrew Shepherd: Lewis, we’ve had presidents who were beloved, who couldn’t find a coherent sentence with two hands and a flashlight. People don’t drink the sand because they’re thirsty. They drink the sand because they don’t know the difference.”

Recently, on the biblio/theo-blogosphere, there has been some outrage expressed at the latest study Bible published by Thomas Nelson called The Patriot's Bible. Pastor Greg Boyd was so disturbed by the nationalism and violence promoted in this book that he has begun to write a series about it on his blog in addition to a book review on it. My friends Celucien and T.C. authors of Christ My Righteousness and Theological Graffitti have shared their concerns for the Patriot's Bible as well.

I believe that the real problem is not so much American Christian nationalism, per se, but that our dilemma starts with the fact that most North American Christians do not know the difference between the true religion of Jesus the Messiah and the American brand. Like Lewis Rothschild shouts to President Shepherd, that the people do not have a choice and so that they will listen to whoever offers the truth. Rather than being offered Gospel Truth by religious educators and preachers, lay persons, thirsty for knowledge and hungry for truth, run to their closest Christian bookstores and buy the latest, most fashionable study Bible. There are markets for study bibles for teenagers, women, men, African Americans, followers of Joel Olsteen, etc. What's next? A study bible for Democrats and another for Republicans? I forgot, they already exist, the New Revised Standard Version (D) and the English Standard Version (R).

President Andrew Shepherd is also right. The people when they are thirsty do not know the difference between sand and water. North American Christian education ministries have failed to equip the saints to be discerning between the truth and untruth. So, we should not be surprised when a book called, "The Patriots Bible" comes off the presses. What needs to happen is that alternative voices need to begin to speak out, to put to shame the liars and the false prophets. Otherwise, I can start doing research for the creation of the Libertarian Study Bible. Has a nice ring to it, doesn't it?

May 7, 2009

MY FIFTIETH POST!!!- Why I had a hard time organizing my library and upcoming posts

I just finished my final examination as a Master of Divinity student on Monday at around noon. Tuesday, I made a futile attempt to organize all of my books in my library. However, this was very difficult for me to do. Why? Because of interdisciplinary studies and the scholarship of the 21st century. Where does John Howard Yoder’s The Politics Of Jesus belong? Does he belong in my Christian Peacemaking section? Theology? Biblical studies? Does Cain Hope Felder’s Stony The Road We Trod have to be placed in my work about Black Church Studies, or in my recently created Biblical Studies section? I could not decide where most of my books belonged, so I left some of the works in the status quo. It is so confusing, even for Reinhold Neibuhr’s Moral Man And Immoral Society, History? Ethics? Theology? Empire Studies? Nothing is as simple as it seems. Labels have very little meaning in a “postmodern” world. Or maybe, it is a good thing that scholars are beginning to converse with scholars from other fields. We can no longer sit on our little islands and think that religious studies has nothing to say to economics, or that international law has nothing to contribute to biblical studies. Our world is shrinking and this calls for more conversation if everyone is live interdependently and independently as a community as well as individuals.


1. Only God Can Judge Me?- a sermon I wrote for Dr. Lozada’s Johannine Literature course

2. Honor the U.S. Constitution: Reading 1st Peter 2:17 while Living in a Democratic-Republic- A post looking at traditional understandings of 1st Peter 2:17 while engaging the historical context of the passage. [I owe this one to CJ from a while ago, but I have been working on it]

3. English Bible Translations and Empire- a series looking at the imperialist leanings of some English translations of the Bible that have real-life implications for those who are colonized. Starting with the New International Version. [I have been reflecting on this topic and my friend Adam has encouraged me to pursue it].

4. My Biases- Along with my friend Chad, I am posting some of my favorite things and ideological preferences such as politics, religion, and positions on various issues so I cannot be ever accused of trying to be neutral. [Thanks Chad for this idea].

5. An Anabaptist/Libertarian response to N.T. Wright's post on a stronger United Nations