Sex and the Bible. Wow. It is a topic that most Christians shy away from, yet every single person has an opinion. The book ‘Unprotected Texts’ by Jennifer Wright Knust dares to go where most Christians will not. I was excited to read it, and a bit terrified to review it. I could almost hear the angry comments from numerous Christians out there wanting to know how I could read, and also write about a topic like this.
I was intrigued by ‘Evolving in Monkey Town’ the minute I unwrapped it from its travel envelope. What caught my attention was that the front cover talks about a girl (first-time author and friend of this site Rachel Held Evans) who learned to “ask the questions.” See, I don’t question out loud. I have them, and while they fly through my head every single day, I just care too much about what others will think of me, so these pesky questions remain inside my head, unanswered. The idea of learning to ask “the” questions, no matter what “the” might be, was very interesting indeed.
So I think I missed the bandwagon and am therefore not privy to the cutting edge of being hip, because I am just now reading Donald Miller’s book ‘A Million Miles in a Thousand Years.’ If you are a Christian and want to be considered cool and thoughtful, you were supposed to read this book at least three weeks before it was released. That’s the rumor, anyway. Well it’s been out for a while now, but that’s okay because I’m not feeling very cool these days. For example, I just tried Wilco’s ‘Hotel Yankee Foxtrot’ some 8 years after the universal acclaim happened and I’m somewhat indifferent to the album. As for Miller’s book, it was given to my wife by a good friend of ours. After my wife’s glowing review, I’m into it now and it’s got me thinking.
An example of the church not being the church.
When an e-mail came through requesting that The Broken Telegraph review the book ‘If the Church Were Christian’ by Philip Gulley, I was excited. Although the offer had been made to all three of us here, I really hoped that the privilege would be mine. “What IF the church were Christian?” This is a question that I have asked myself and others for many years; a question that I have struggled to answer. When it was decided that I would be the one to read and review this book, I anticipated that it might provide some insight to the unanswered question. What I received from ‘If the Church Were Christian’ was so much more.
Photo credit: FailBlog.org
I am interested in people who have achieved great things, but not on their own terms, and in a field that was never their original intent. I’m sure you’ve read about examples of this. Devastating failure often precedes greatness for those brave enough to change the course of their life. I’ve read some heroic examples of this recently and it’s got me thinking.
I just finished reading the newly released ‘Mission Accomplished! Or How We Won The War In Iraq.’ Many remember the President’s infamous visit to the aircraft carrier in May of 2003, where he emerged from a S-3B Viking aircraft wearing a flight suit and later gave a “victory” speech that was premature to say the least. The title of the book borrows from the huge banner that hung behind the President as he spoke to the cameras on that day- only this time it’s meant to be tongue in cheek. It’s a quick read and a pretty devastating one, too.
“Our mission is clear in Iraq. Should we have to go in, our mission is very clear: disarmament.” -George W. Bush, March 6, 2003
‘Mission Accomplished’ works so well because it is really just a compilation of quotes- about Iraq and related matters- spoken by everyone from the hawks at the top of the Bush Administration to the trumpeters in the media. The authors (Christopher Cerf and Victor S. Navasky along with illustrator Robert Grossman) frequently interrupt the rhetoric with factual rebuttals and clever sketches, but they mostly let the politicians and pundits hang themselves by their own words.
“Our forces have been given a clear mission: to end a regime that threatened its neighbors and the world with weapons of mass destruction and to free a people that have suffered far too long.” -George W. Bush, April 14, 2003
These two guys did a massive amount of research, and I want to share a bit of it with you in hopes that you’ll share your thoughts with me. First, a look back at the stated mission in Iraq (keeping in mind the previous two quotes):