Bo Sanders: Public Theology

updating & innovating for today


December 2011

Hurting at the Holidays

This really moved me to pray for and remember those who are sick and hurting during the Holiday Season.

The following is a note from a formerly famous quarterback. He won all the awards and played in the NFL. When it was over he went work for a ministry in New Orleans (Desire Street Ministries) that had to move to another city because of the hurricane.

Dear Friends,

“Life is tough.”

I remember hearing those words often growing up, especially from my father when things weren’t going my way. I hated those words as a kid…and I still do.

Something inside me resists any suggestion that life shouldn’t be comfortable. While my mind might accept the reality that life can be tough, my emotional reaction in the midst of difficulties Continue reading “Hurting at the Holidays”


Sorting through the ‘super’ natural

Mike Horn asked a great question on the Tim Tebow post this week:

I was hoping you could elaborate more on this … 1) What are the “interventionist assumptions behind a supernatural world view?; 2) the antiquated relics of a pre-modern understanding, which are untenable in the 21st century? I read the “pentecost for progressives” summary but didn’t see anything that really explained questions (1) and (2). Does my belief in the supernatural make me a “pre-modern” in my thinking? “Post-modern emergents” don’t believe in praying for the sick? What does “untenable in the 21st Century” mean? I was hoping you could elaborate further. I love the conversation. Thanks!

A couple things as we begin:
a diagnostic question: If you have the following formula anywhere in your faith “If its good – its God, if its bad then you don’t have enough faith … unless you do, then its the devil.”  then I am talking to you.
if you think that God talks to your heart and are comfortable talking about demons and spirits and the enemy, then I am talking to you.
If you think that world works the exact same way as it is described in the Bible ie. Gender roles and that science proves that a man can live the belly of fish for 3 days, then I am talking you.

Now, to your question:

The assumptions behind a supernaturalist worldview can be framed in a 3-tiered view of the universe. God is up (in the heavens) and this transcendent God is so good and so pure that ‘He’ can have nothing to do with our sin and fallen dirtiness.  NOW – we quickly run into two problems:

  • How was Jesus fully God and fully man? Traditional Answer: it is a mystery.
  • How does God answer prayers and work in the world?  that is the problem

The way around the problem (if you insist that God is only transcendent) is a mechanism called intervention – what I call interference. Continue reading “Sorting through the ‘super’ natural”

Talking about Tebow’s God

This is a repost from Homebrewed Christianity. There was a wild discussion that ensued. I thought I would bring it over here as well – in case anyone wanted to have quieter conversation.

I have held off as long as I could but I think we better talk about this now before it goes any further.

Tim Tebow is a phenomenon is the media these days. His Denver Broncos football team is on a 6 game winning streak and he is 7-1 as their starting Quaterback. Despite his apparent limitations (skills) he has orchestrated a series of amazing comebacks during the winning streak.  That is a big deal! Any fan would love to have their team on this kind of a roller coaster – come from behind – frenzy.

That, however, is not what makes this news. Continue reading “Talking about Tebow’s God”

Winter Break Reading

I have 35 days from this Monday (when I turn in my last paper) and when school restarts in January.  I’m going to try and engage these 17 books – some of which I have read before and some of which are new to me.

No Rising Tide by Rieger (Economics & Theology)
Discovering an Evangelical Heritage by Dayton
Revisioning Evangelical Theology by Grenz
The Process Perspective by Cob
Process Theology by Cobb
Revelation Commentary by Farmer
Liberation Theology by Boff
a Theology of Liberation by Gutierrez
Engaging Theology by Bracken
Deglobalization by Bello
Globalization and its Discontents by Stiglitz
Sexism and God-talk by Ruether
God is not One by Prothero (Religion)
Emergence by Johnson (Science)
The Second Naivete by Wallace (Biblical Interpretation)
The 10,000 year explosion by Chochran and Harpending (Science)
To Each Its Own Meaning by McKenzie and Haynes (Biblical Interpretation)
also the upcoming book by my mentor and friend Randy Woodley entitled “Shalom in the Community of Creation”.

Some science, some Bible, some religion, some global issues and a whole lot of theology.  Should a be a fun month and it will get me ready for the next semester!

What is on your reading list?


Humans: nipples, bellybuttons and the imago dei

3 themes continually emerge in my conversations these days – these 3 things about humans I have become convinced of:

Humans are mammals. The nipples and bellybuttons give it away. Some people will want to say that we are more than mammals, but we are not less than mammals. One can argue that we are exceptional mammals – but we are not exceptions to mammals.

Humans are social creatures. If biologically we are mammals then sociologically we are communal. We naturally break into families, clans, and tribes.

Humans are meaning making beings.  We have an inherent propensity to take any number of events or variables and assign them a narrative framework. Our minds long for reasons and explanation to tie together our experiences.

These three confessions have several deep implications. Continue reading “Humans: nipples, bellybuttons and the imago dei”

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