Here is a selection of blog posts I read recently that those interested in the major themes of Jesus without Baggage might like. I hope you enjoy them!
Stephen Webster: Study – Belief in an angry God associated with variety of mental illnesses
People who believe in an angry, punishing God are much more likely to suffer from a variety of mental illnesses, a scientific study published in the April edition of Journal of Religion & Health finds…she queried the data on three types of believers: those who see God as angry, those who see God as neutral and those who see God as loving.
Reba Riley: It’s Called Post-Traumatic Church Syndrome and Yes, It’s Real
For the better part of a decade I suffered from a chronic mystery illness that was attacking me from the inside out. Countless doctors and specialists couldn’t diagnose me, couldn’t give me a name for what was happening…After eight years of sickness, a doctor handed me a slip of paper. On the paper was the name of the disease I had been fighting; the disease that had been fighting me. Post-Traumatic Church Syndrome.
Not Just a Blonde: You First Gotta Love Yourself
Jesus tells us to love our neighbor as we love ourselves. But what if we don’t really even like ourselves, let alone love ourselves? It is no wonder we struggle to love our neighbor! Without self-love how can we begin to follow Jesus’ command? Truly, the love we might share with our neighbor is often limited by the lack of love we have for ourselves.
Fred Clark: Indiana Jones, the Antichrist, and Hell
Davidson notes that “diverse traditions about the ark continued to develop into the Christian era.” His post also, of course, includes some Indiana Jones allusions and images as a lighthearted touch...
The text itself gets popularized and its stories are retold. Its stories provide the basis for other stories about those stories, and details from those new stories seep back into the popular understanding as though they were part of the original. The revised and expanded idea of the original then provides the basis for even more new stories, and the cycle repeats itself. The text feeds into popular culture and popular culture, in turn, feeds back into the text, and after multiple repetitions of that cycle we lose the ability to distinguish one from the other.
That’s where 90 percent of what most Christians “know” about Hell or Satan or “the Antichrist” comes from. They’re confident that all this stuff they “know” is in the Bible somewhere, but you can’t find it in the text itself, only in the idea of the text that exists after generations of this text-culture-text cycle has done its work.