1. Sigur Rós and “worship music”
Sigur Rós’s new record comes out next week. I’ve long been moved by the band’s music, even though I don’t understand a word they sing. That’s one of the reasons I was especially interested to see Joshua Busman’s piece this week in The Other Journal’s Mediation blog on the ways music itself — including “worship music” — can communicate even apart from its lyrics.
I’ll be the first to agree that the ‘culture war’ mentality is problematic and unhelpful (I think James Davison Hunter makes an excellent critique of that paradigm in his book, To Change the World), but deciding that we should be the ones to set the terms for our faith is not the answer. This is simply idolatry, replacing the rule of Christ with our own authority… Trying to live faithfully under the lordship of Jesus Christ isn’t about making Christianity palatable to the culture around us. As it is, sometimes the total allegiance that Jesus demands will make it feel like we’re sitting all alone in a crowded room. Sometimes it is even going to hurt. But for Christians, it is the only option.
3. The Bible’s chief political concern
Last year I reviewed Tim Suttle’s book An Evangelical Social Gospel? for the Englewood Review of Books. Suttle blogs for the Huffington Post and recently he asked leading theologians, scholars and ethicists from different Christian streams — people like N.T. Wright, James K.A. Smith, Miroslav Volf, and Walter Brueggemann — what they considered the chief political concern in the Bible. They give some very interesting answers.
Gardens might not save the world. They might not even save Canadian democracy. But the green shoots of civic virtue needed for healthy politics are cultivated there, and that’s a start.
The estimated 2.7 million Native Americans living in federally recognized tribal areas have to contend with problems like unemployment, alcoholism, sexual abuse, and suicide. Now a UN report is investigating the conditions of Native Americans in the U.S. Host Michel Martin speaks with S. James Anaya, the UN special rapporteur on indigenous peoples.
Repaso is intended as a thought-provoking compilation of news and commentary from the past week related to the intersections of faith, development, justice and peace. As always, I welcome your thoughts on any of the links and ideas in this roundup!
[Photo credit: The Other Journal]