I notified people on Facebook and Twitter regarding this interview a couple days ago, but I realize many who read this blog may not be connected to me via social media, so I want to place a link here as well. WNYC has released a previously unedited interview with Martin Luther King, Jr., recorded in 1961. You can listen to it here.
Dr. King discusses a variety of thing related to being Black in the south, his education, his reason for becoming a minister, his understanding of the “social Gospel”, his approach to non-violence as influenced by the teachings of Jesus and Gandhi, and much more.
One quote from early in the interview that I appreciated in this one (statement starts around 2:54): ”I came to see that religion could be emotionally satisfying as well as intellectually respectable.” I agree, Dr. King!
For those interested, Craig A. Evans (Acadia University) and James VanderKam (University of Notre Dame) discussed the Dead Sea Scrolls on WGN Chicago 720 while in town for AAR/SBL. You can listen to it here.
(HT: Greg Monette)
Daniel A. Rodriguez
Daniel Rodriguez, the associate professor of religion and Hispanic studies at Pepperdine University and the author of A Future for the Latino Church, discussed the Latino church on the radio show Connecting Faith with Neil Stavum. You can access the mp3 here. It about fifty-one minutes long and it’s well worth your time.
One of the most simple, obvious, and necessary things Rodriguez said is that when a Latino family visits your church assume they are native born. The political debate regarding immigration has led to much discrimination against Latinos, even those born in this country. It is insulting for a U.S. born Latino to be asked from what part of Mexico did they come or other statements that assume outright that Latinos are foreigners.
Another thing he said that was important is that Christians in the United States must think of themselves as Christians first and foremost. This demands love of neighbor. Whether or not you have more conservative or more liberal views of “border control” one thing that is undeniable for Christians is that we are to follow the example of the Good Samaritan and care for our neighbor no matter their race, ethnicity, culture, or nationality. M. Daniel Carroll R.’s book Christians at the Border: Immigration, the Church, and the Bible opened my eyes to this reality like no other book. I recommend it and I am sure Rodriguez’s book is fantastic although I have not read it yet.
Of course, there has been no one that has opened my eyes to the need of the church and our nation to honor the place of Latinos like my wife. She has provided me more of an education on this matter than a thousand books. I thank her for her sensitivity to matters of race and socio-economics in our country. Without her insights I’d be ignorant of the needs of many of my neighbors.
One of the participants in CTS’s ‘The Journey to Christmas’ is Drew Marshall who is the host of ‘The Drew Marshall Show’ dubbed as “Canada’s Most Listened to Spiritual Talk Show”. Last week he interviewed Craig A. Evans who is always provides a great interview. To listen go here and scroll down to the second guest under November 26th.
John Perry and Ken Taylor
Today I was listening to one of my favorite radio shows: Philosophy Talk. It is hosted by John Perry and Ken Taylor, philosophy professors from Stanford University. This week’s show was on miracles (see here). They discussed whether or not a rational person can believe in miracles. Of course, I consider myself rational (though not a rationalist), but I do believe that miracles can happen and that sometimes they do happen. That being said, I think that much of what we call miracles can be explained by the laws of nature. Let me give you a few of examples:
(1) In the Exodus narrative when Moses leads the Hebrews through the Red Sea this is something that doesn’t happen every day. If we accept the details of the story it is quite odd that the wall of water collapsed after the Hebrews had crossed and the Egyptians had begun their journey across the way. It seems that God must have been involved, but did God do this miracle without using any of the laws of nature? What if God used a particular stream of wind at a very high pace that could be measured by scientist had they been present? This would allow the laws of nature to explain how it happened, but not why it happened. Those who believe in God would point to God as the cause of the measurable effects, even if how God as the cause of the effect could not be measured, only the effect.
(2) Some of the demonic oppression described in the Gospels sounds a lot like epilepsy. People in the days of Jesus would have understood the demonic, but not the medical condition. In our world today people understand the medical condition, but most denounce the demonic. If we can observe something happening to someone and the physical signs point toward epilepsy must we completely exclude some immeasurable, spiritual force at work? Could an epileptic be troubled by the demonic so that what is happening spiritually results in physical stimulation to the body? We could explain what was happening in the body, but we would never be able to explain what was happening elsewhere. If Jesus was given power to deal with that exterior influence could people have measured the physical changes as he did the miracle had they had the technology?
(3) When I was a young boy I had chronic asthma. I was often in the hospital. I used a large breathing machine that asthmatics today have replaced with tiny little pocket size breathing spray tools (a miracle of sorts). During one particularly bad fit my mother took me outside, prayed for me, I puked, and I never had another asthma attack. My mother kept medicine around for sometime, but it never happened again. I cannot remember the medical explanation that one person gave me, but let us assume that it could be measured and explained. The how is there, but the why–especially as my mother is praying followed by something as odd as puking–seems quite odd to be a coincidence.
As we think on these examples let us assume some things considered miracles can be explained by science to some extent, does that invalidate them as miracles? What are your thoughts? Does a miracle have to be something where there could never be a natural explanation of some of the phenomena or can there be a natural explanation of some of the phenomena?
If you have not heard the interview with Eugene Peterson on NPR’s All Things Considered (from Sunday, March 6th) then you can listen here. Also, you can read the article that accompanies the interview here.
Frank Chu, San Francisco Legend
It appears that Pastor Terry Jones has decided that burning Qur’ans is a bad idea. While this is good news Jim West wonders if this will lead to “lunatic clerics all across the country…seeking publicity too”. I worry about this as well. Since Jones made it onto big time TV why shouldn’t others follow his model? Personally, I think our media outlets made a mistake by covering these shenanigans. I hope that if anyone else makes an attention-grabbing move like the one Jones made that media agencies will make an ethical decision not to provide the sought after attention.
I wonder when it is the right time to simply ignore the antics of wackos? When I lived in San Francisco I saw plenty of nut jobs doing all kinds of silly things to gain attention. What frustrated them more than anything was when you refused to look. I am not sure if this will always work, and I don’t have guidelines for how to make it happen, but I do think it is something we need to think about before another Terry Jones pops up on the nightly news.