We could spend Advent anticipating the coming of Christ to be born our Saviour and the second coming of Christ to be our judge. Or we could ditch that and read the Gospel of St Marcus as true light enlightening the world. Or maybe not. Borg seems to have stolen the Advent spirit and hidden it in a pile of progressive platitudes.
This week we could spend the period of mourning for Nelson Mandela celebrating his Christ-likeness, or we could do a slash-and-burn-his-legacy grizzle about how he was a dupe of global capitalism. Thanks John Pilger for worrying about the role of capitalism in improving life in South Africa. I had never realised that socialism was a well proven alternative. With a sterling record of socialistic success on the African continent, how could I have missed that obvious fact!
Advent is a potentially a time for quiet reflection (e.g. for people who do not send Christmas cards, buy Christmas presents and attend break ups, prize givings and carol services). We could do better than the above pieces by reading this thoughtful (but long) piece on Jesus the Theological Educator. A nice thought, says this theological educator :)
Since penning the above paragraph in draft, I note a superb evaluation of the Pilling Report by Andrew Goddard at ACI: sobering! His title, Divisions Deepen in Pilling, reminds us that this attempt to hold the C of E together may actually hasten its separation into two or more churches.
I also note a lovely summary and friendly promotion by Joel Willitts of a new IVP book by no less than Andrew Louth, Introducing Eastern Orthodox Theology.
If nevertheless you are lost for something to read about Christianity there are always the words of Jesus himself! In preparation for a soon to come post on the importance of the Bible for Anglican authority, take a few moments to read John 12:44-50 [NIV (2011)]:
"44 Then Jesus cried out, “Whoever believes in me does not believe in me only, but in the one who sent me. 45 The one who looks at me is seeing the one who sent me. 46 I have come into the world as a light, so that no one who believes in me should stay in darkness.
47 “If anyone hears my words but does not keep them, I do not judge that person. For I did not come to judge the world, but to save the world. 48 There is a judge for the one who rejects me and does not accept my words; the very words I have spoken will condemn them at the last day. 49 For I did not speak on my own, but the Father who sent me commanded me to say all that I have spoken. 50 I know that his command leads to eternal life. So whatever I say is just what the Father has told me to say.”"