Weekly Ponderings

Here some links I learned from this week. As always be warned some content may be offensive (depending on one’s sensitivities) and I do not necessarily agree with everything in each link.

Why are graven images forbidden by the Torah?“ I once heard Abraham Joshua Heschel ask. Why is the Torah so concerned with idolatry? You might think that it is because God has no image, and any image of God is therefore a distortion. But Heschel read the commandment differently. “No,” he said, “it is precisely because God has an image that idols are forbidden. You are the image of God. But the only medium in which you can shape that image is that of your entire life. To take anything less than a full, living, breathing human being and try to create God’s image out of it – that diminishes the divine and is considered idolatry.” You can’t make God’s image; you can only be God’s image.

Rabbi Arthur Green

“…an article from John Piper, where he addresses the question, “Is It Sinful to Be Pregnant Before Marriage?” which includes this quote:
‘That there would be a stigma that attaches to pregnancy outside of marriage is, I think, a good thing…’

…this excerpt from a post I wrote in 2014, It wasn’t like that for Mary. Maybe it’s never like that.

Mary had agreed to all this, telling the angel, “I am the Lord’s servant.” But how on earth could God do this to her? God was making her into the kind of woman she had always judged.

“Doesn’t God know,” she wondered, “that people would judge me, and they’d be right! It’s right to judge a girl who gets pregnant. We put people into categories, pure or impure, and we do it because God commanded it.

“How can this be?” she had asked the angel. How could God make her into a symbol of something dirty? She had done nothing wrong. She was just trying her best to follow God.

People would never listen. They already know that it’s automatically sinful to be unmarried and pregnant. But it wasn’t like that.

Merry Christmas from John Piper from Tell me why the world is weird blog


What’s wrong with the world? “Other people,” says the mob surrounding the adulteress. “What’s wrong with the world is other people … those who aren’t one of us.”

I have never met a person who fell in love with Jesus because a Christian scolded them about their morality or their ethics. Have you?

No One Ever Came to Jesus Because a Christian Scolded Them by Scott Sauls


“Translated into the Jesus story, this would be the first step toward a contemporary crucifixion. We don’t nail people to crosses. We nail them online or on-air with slurs and lies that are widely believed simply because they’re repeated.

The lack of a birth certificate would only be the start of Jesus’s problems in being embraced by the nation that just made it safe to say “Merry Christmas.” After all, the baby Jesus was brown, Jewish, Middle Eastern, and given what’s now a predominantly Mexican name…

May this Christmas be a day when we Christians resolve to “be not afraid” as we stand by those who have been marginalized and even brutalized. That would be a Christmas worth celebrating and a birthday party worth attending — one where I hope Jesus himself would feel welcome and at home.”

Have a Truthful Christmas by Parker J. Palmer


“To the older generation, remember how you felt when your parents’ generation constantly criticized you for everything? Stop doing it to us. Of course we are not perfect, but neither are you. Of course we don’t know everything, but neither do you. Of course we have things to learn from you, but you can also learn some things from us. We are not a lesser part of Christ’s Church. We bring value to it as well. The thing is, this article is absolutely right when it comes to what our world is like, but the Christian should not be content to let it stay that way…”

Defending Millennials Against Christians by Chris Nelson

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