It has been a wild year here at Restoring Pangea. This post is dedicated to looking back at our top 5 posts over this past year. The way that we gauged whether or not a post was a “top 5 post” was based on viewer interaction (i.e. comments) and page views (i.e. how many visitors a certain post attracted). First and foremost, we would like to thank our (small) audience for supporting us–even if you don’t always agree with what we write. Secondly, we encourage everyone to leave comments on our posts so that we can get a better grasp on what we are doing well and where we need to grow. Lastly, please feel free to share our posts anywhere and everywhere you go! Now, without further adieu, the top 5 posts of the year.
5. Christus Paradox: The Idolatry of Language & the Balance of Metaphors–
In Michael Wiltshire’s Christus Paradox post, he tackles the use of metaphors and the way it can effect (both negatively and positively) our theological proclivities. Michael explicitly asks the hard but necessary question: Are Christians, specifically Evangelicals, making male imagery for YHWH an idol?
Quote: My conclusion is that we need a myriad of metaphors because we have made contact with a God who is unable to be described or depicted by a single word or system of like-minded words. Following in the tradition of the Israelites would mean that each metaphor we use ought to counterbalance our other metaphors. By doing so, we can avoid the idolatrous tendency to believe or communicate that God is confined to a word/ideal bound to limited human understanding.
4. Ultimatums, Interpretations and an Old World Vision–
In this post, Josiah R. Daniels interacts with topics pertaining to hermeneutics, theology, epistemology, enemy love and the LGBTQ community. This piece was written in the midst of World Visions backtracking on their decision to allow openly gay and lesbian Christians to work at their headquarters.
Quote: I’d like to make a case that in the same way I am having to learn how to partake in the Eucharist with G.I. Joe, other Christians, who have a more traditional understanding concerning the topic of LGBTQ matters, must learn to relinquish their infallibility and reaffirm God’s sovereignty and finality. Therefore both parties,while still disagreeing, affirm: diverse interpretations of scripture, humility before the text and the importance of unity despite difference(s).
3. Why Christians Need to Press the Mute Button (Responding to Phil Robertson)–
Josiah attempts to construct a charitable response to Phil Robertson’s disparaging comments concerning race and (primarily) sexuality while simultaneously encouraging Christians to remember the power of words. Josiah also seeks to remind Christians that the Bible, not the U.S. Constitution, should dictate what a Christian should and should not say.
Quote: Robertson serves as both a reminder and a scapegoat insofar as his comments reveal the Christian condition concerning language and the American-Christian temptation of insisting that the Constitution should set the standard for our speech instead of the Word of the Lord. Until Christians learn how to speak in a way that is simultaneously articulate yet also loving, it would be best if we mute ourselves before more damage is done.
2. The Gospel Coalition’s “Theological Famine”–
Nathan Smith, in his piece about the Gospel Coalitions “theological famine,” aptly criticizes The Gospel Coalition’s paternalistic and triumphalistic attitude concerning global communities and their theology. Nathan makes the case that it should be the Holy Spirit– not well-to-do white males–leading the way when it comes to theological education. Ultimately, Nathan makes a case that indigenous theology should not be feared, but celebrated.
Quote: One thing we shouldn’t worry about is the white man’s burden to protect the Indigenous at all times. This conversation has thrust me into realizing my own paternalistic desire to protect indigenous communities overseas from the sectarian rivalries that influence the formation of organizations like TGC and their base of resources from the West. These communities need as much help being protected from TGC as they need organizations like TGC deciding for them what they should and shouldn’t read. We can trust that whatever comes of these efforts, the church universal has the resources and the Holy Spirit’s guidance to delineate for themselves whether a theological resource from the West is helpful, sectarian, factional or not. I only wish they didn’t have to.
1. Why I Appreciate Mark Driscoll’s e-Book: Pastor Dad–
In our top post, Michael creatively and subversively interacts with Mark Driscoll’s e-Book Pastor Dad. While Driscoll feels comfortable in asserting that he knows the best way to be a father, husband and pastor, Michael offers a more nuanced perspective on gender roles, fatherhood (and motherhood) and leadership roles in general.
Quote: Pastor Dad may be helpful at a certain level, yet it is certainly representative of one particular theology of the family which has chosen to expose readers to only a select set of biblical passages while neglecting to mention scriptural insights which might oppose the author’s own ideologies. I wish Driscoll would have simply owned that approach. This sort of picking-and-choosing passages is nothing new or uncommon—in fact, I do it all the time. Yet, the harsh dogmatic tones of Pastor Dad reveal (unintentionally or otherwise) a certain authoritarian ethos behind Driscoll’s thesis which leaves this reader with the sense that when it comes to being the best mother or father or single that God has called you to be, it is Pastor Mark’s way or the highway.
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