Jesus Creed

NeanderthalStones.jpgThe Cave Man Diet, or Paleo Diet, is getting attention. (Nothing is said about Culver’s at all.) The big omission, I have to admit, is that those folks were hunters — using spears or smacking some rabbit upside the conk or grabbing a fish or two with their hands … but that’s what makes this diet so fun: you gotta go the whole way and hunt your own food. Running and chasing and throwing and grabbing and stuff like that. Going to the grocery store for the Paleo diet creates ambivalence for me.

What are your suggestions for Paleo dieters?
Our Stone Age ancestors lived in an uncomfortable world, spending their 30-year life spans hunting and gathering without air conditioning or heat. But some say the cave men ate better than we do.

That’s the premise behind the Paleo diet, a health and weight-loss trend that encourages people to eat modern-day versions of Paleolithic food.

Several weeks ago, one group of health-conscious Californians took on the Paleo diet and planned to spend nine weeks eating like cave men. That means consuming only animals, vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds and mushrooms, said Rick Larson, co-owner of CrossFit West Sacramento, the gym running the challenge….

Out is anything that humans began eating after the agriculture and animal husbandry revolutions, meaning no dairy, beans, grains or starches and absolutely nothing processed.

“If you can’t eat it raw, then you shouldn’t consume it,” Larson said. (Although, since our Paleolithic ancestors did have fire, cooking food is permissible.)

Psalm 30 is the story of the ups and downs of life, and David is frank and clear. He was in a flourishing spot, he became proud, the Lord was with him but disciplined him, and then the Lord lifted him back into that flourishing spot. 

Integral to genuine prayer is the rehearsal of our own story.
But before we hear the specifics of David’s story, we need to see two things: first, that he is now thankful to God for liberation (vv. 1-3, 11-12); second, that he encourages everyone to praise God for God’s goodness and faithfulness (vv. 4-5). In this second element, David reflects on the big picture: God’s anger lasts but awhile; his goodness returns. And then v. 5 says things that are proverbial and memorable:

One may experience sorrow during the night,

but joy arrives in the morning.

To be sure, these aren’t glib words but sincere words of one who has seen how God has worked in his life. But they are words that span our experience: from a temporary setback, to the loss of a job, and to life’s (and death’s) more threatening realities. God’s way is to transform death into life.

Telling the truth of the Church’s Story means telling the whole story. In the Church’s Story are the stories of women who did mighty things. But these stories are not being told. What can we do to include these stories in our church’s story?

The following is from Arise and is written by Priscilla Pope-Levison…

From Arise, the weekly e-newsletter from Christians for Biblical Equality.

Priscilla Pope-Levison is Professor of Theology and Assistant Director of Women’s Studies, Seattle Pacific University, affiliate faculty in Women Studies, University of Washington, and a United Methodist clergywoman.

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The momentous contribution of women evangelists to American life, past and present, is only now emerging from dusty archives shelves, where their sermons, diaries, papers, and autobiographies were boxed away. These women have been notably absent from the history of American evangelism, which conventionally moves in a single-gender trajectory: Jonathan Edwards–Charles Finney–Dwight Moody–Billy Sunday–Billy Graham. A decade ago, when preparing for an introductory lecture on American evangelism, I was inundated by resources on these men. With my simple question–were there any women?–the first stirrings toward a nearly forgotten history began to transpire. To summarize briefly the enormous impact of women evangelists, we will consider four arenas: institutions, social outreach, political impact, and audience numbers.

Institutions: they provided for the education and nurture of converts as well as future generations by founding denominations, educational institutions from grade school to university, and a host of churches from New York to California.

Social outreach: they often incorporated humanitarianism along with evangelism. Sojourner Truth solicited aid for freed slaves living in squalid camps in the nation’s capital city. Phoebe Palmer began Five Points Mission, one of America’s first urban mission centers, in a New York City slum. Within two months after Aimee Semple McPherson’s Angelus Temple Free Dining Hall opened in 1931, its workers had already fed more than 80,000 hungry people, and the Angelus Temple Commissary, opened in 1927, was crucial to the survival of many in Los Angeles during the Depression. In terms of race relations, women evangelists wielded influence by holding integrated meetings, like Jarena Lee, whose audiences in the 1820’s included “white and colored,” “slaves and the holders,” and “Indians.” This practice continued into the twentieth century with Aimee Semple McPherson’s and Kathryn Kuhlman’s integrated services.

Political impact: they influenced the nation’s leaders as well as the populace. Harriet Livermore preached in Congress several times between 1827 and 1843 about the predicament of Native Americans. Sojourner Truth generated a petition and presented it to President Ulysses S. Grant requesting that a colony for freed slaves be established in the western United States. Jennie Fowler Willing’s speech on women and temperance in 1874 prompted many who heard it to consider forming a national temperance organization. Through her periodical, Woman’s Chains, Alma White supported the platform of the National Woman’s Party, including the Equal Rights Amendment.

Audience numbers: They preached to audiences often numbering in the thousands. During her 1889 Oakland revival, Maria Woodworth-Etter repeatedly packed to capacity her 8000-seat tent. Aimee Semple McPherson’s church in Los Angeles had a 5300-seat auditorium, which filled up three times for Sunday services. Uldine Utley preached in Madison Square Garden to a crowd of 14,000. Numbers are impossible to gauge for Kathryn Kuhlman’s radio program, “Heart-to-Heart,” which was regularly broadcast for over 40 years, or her long-running CBS television program.

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Turn the Pulpit Loose: Two Centuries of American Women Evangelists, by Priscilla Pope-Levison, uncovers this nearly forgotten history, as does this website.

Paul.jpgIf you’ve ever taught Paul’s letters you know the challenge: How does one put Paul together? Or the teacher asks, Where can I begin that makes the whole become clear? Where do I tap to make this diamond fall out?  

Tim Gombis’s new book, Paul: A Guide for the Perplexed (Guides for the Perplexed)
, does this so well.
For instance, in a sketch of Paul’s letters, Gombis asks this question: Is Paul a theologian, a missionary or a pastor? Which of these would be your first choice? And what order would you put them in? How do you explain Paul to those who don’t know him?
Frankly, many of us resort to teaching Paul as if he were a theologian — which he’s not since his letters are not “theology” but theologically informed and rooted pastoral guides — and that means we get to the core of his theology and then teach that. Thus, we focus on soteriology or ecclesiology or Christology, do a good job of sketching the depth of those themes, and then … well, then, we get to a letter like Philippians and it takes a good long while to get to where Paul’s soteriology really starts digging deep.
In short, there’s a way to approach Paul that conforms to how Paul does things.
So, Tim Gombis is saying “let Paul be Paul.”