We were right to be angry at the great wrongs of 9/11, but at some point, rehearsing that anger year after year doesn’t move us toward justice, love, or the forgiveness Jesus commands of his followers. It moves us toward resentment, hostility, and bitterness, with all the trouble it brings (Heb. 12:15).
We never knew how to mourn. We just knew how to get angry.
We need to learn all over again how to handle the memory.
How we remember is as important as that we remember, as theologian Miroslav Volf has argued, and we should discipline ourselves to remember “both with the desire for knowing truth and with the desire of overcoming enmity and creating a communion in love.”
It was a fundamental change in our society. I was reminded of so much in a Netflix short series called “Turning Point.” The footage of the day… the phone calls recorded from people who knew they weren’t going to make it out of the towers that day… the phone calls from Flight 93…
The wars that followed… especially Iraq. I think of that time period and being so naive and losing a close Muslim friend over my bent thinking at the time, and it still brings tears to my eyes.
How many times I’ve tried to quit social media… and failed. I take breaks. I look in less often… and yet, there it is. Do I stay engaged? There are times when it irritates the living daylights out of me because there is far too much lack of discernment about those I thought to be “Christian” and I am too often left with my jaw on the floor.
Yet, there are some things to stay engaged with because there is such a serious lack of discernment. These are wise words:
…in our efforts to define what it means to be a Christian man, we shouldn’t center our efforts on “masculinity” at all, but rather on understanding a person—a person who, “though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.”
Driscoll, in all his toughness and swagger, tried to make men out of Christians. The church, however, should make Christians out of men.
This week was a whirlwind of activity with the SBC annual meeting in Nashville and a narrow “win” for the leadership of SBC going to the least offensive candidate. (He is actually a good man and I am familiar with his work in racial justice in the Mobile area.)
It was a tense week watching conspiracy theories and bad information flow into a meeting, and then taking a breath as the SBC decided, for the moment, to not plunge totally into an abyss of at least the appearance of Christian nationalism. Even if it’s a step back from the brink, it’s still clear that a good strong wind could take care of that in quick fashion.
The state of Arizona is getting its gas chamber ready to execute people using hydrogen cyanide, the deadly gas used by the Nazis at Auschwitz and other extermination camps during the Holocaust.
The Guardian reported last week that it had obtained documents revealing that Arizona’s department of corrections has spent more than $2,000 to purchase the ingredients to make cyanide gas—including a solid brick of potassium cyanide purchased in December for $1,530 and the sodium hydroxide pellets and sulfuric acid that are used to generate the lethal gas.
However, to an unusual degree, evangelicals have remained oblivious to how their own stories map onto larger histories. It’s not that evangelicals disregard history entirely, but they tend to prefer their own versions of events. At a popular level, pseudo-historians have played fast and loose with historical evidence to spin fanciful tales of America’s Christian origins. Within academic circles, some evangelical historians have produced narratives that tend to downplay the darker sides of their religious tradition.