Talking with Leonard Sweet

Unfortunately, I won’t be able to make it to the Emergent Theological Philosophical Conversation due to an urgent family matter.  However, this past weekend I did manage to sit on a lively panel with writer/theologian Leonard Sweet Hosted by New Community Church in Raleigh, NC.  My good friend Tripp Fuller invited me up to have a little chat with the chaordic postmodern gadfly.

We had a great time as we covered topics such as technology, church’s role in society and politics, and love or hate it the emerging church.  I felt a level of ambivalence regarding this young conversation but it was civil conversation nonetheless.  Alot of caricatures and valid concerns.  I was glad to sit with folks who had some valid criticism and viscerally held caricatures of Emergent Village.

The highlight of the conversation, for me, was when we got into a brief exchange over his (Sweet’s) disagreement of some of us in Emergent Village whose ‘view’ of Jeus is that of a political revolutionary.  He did not like that.  Of course I reminded him that to divide politics from religion is a Enlightnement/modernist move.  That in pre-modern societies such as the early Christ followers there was no such thing as religion vs. politics.  Somehow in the discussion that was lost but we both agreed that the politics of Jesus did not presuppose the modern nation-state.  Agreed.  There was no such thing as yet.  Which, to my mind, does not negate the reality that the gospel is a ‘political’ message because it deal with bodies and neighbors and goods.

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Jesus Walks

We praise you Lord God!  We thank you for the sending of your Son into this beautiful mess called creation.  He was tortured and killed by the might of a godless Empire.  You vindicated him by raising him from the dead.  Now you call us to sit in heavenly places to practice the politics of the insurrection-resurrection.  We wrestle against sin, death, and satan while walking in the goodness and sunshine of Your presence.  Walk with us Lord! Ay-men!

My good friend Steve Knight offers a meditation on the Resurrection.  (Steve, I love that image of Jesus)

My 2007 Easter Soundtrack:

Track Title  | Artist | Album

 1. Lord Give Me A Sign DMX Lord Give Me A Sign
 2. Jesus Walks (Remix) Kanye West One Million Strong Vol.2 [Edited Version]
 3. Be (Intro) Common Be [Edited Version]
 4. Pass Me Over Anthony Hamilton Ain’t Nobody Worryin’
 5. To
Zion
Lauryn Hill The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill
 6. No More Drama Mary J. Blige No More Drama
 7. The Emperor’s Soundtrack (Amended Album Version) Lupe Fiasco Lupe Fiasco’s Food & Liquor
 8. Black Jesuz Outlawz Still I Rise [Edited Version]
 9. When You Praise Fred Hammond Purpose By Design
10. You Are The Living Word Fred Hammond Purpose By Design

Holy Week Reflections

Holy Week has begun leading up to Easter.  I was talking with a co-worker about Easter this morning.  We were talking about our past Easter experiences and the various things we have done for Easter including our plans for this Sunday. 

Strange thought.  What is the first thing that comes to my mind when Easter is discussed?

The smell of boiled eggs. 

Someone asked…

What is a Christian? why are you people here? what do you do?

I said:

Let me explain some of this.  I can’t speak for all of them cause some of them act like the very folks that crucified the person they worship every Sunday. 

What is this all about you ask?  How can I break this down for you young brutha?

Its like stuntin’ like my daddy…we do what we see the Father doing.  Its about giving away an impossible love…like the love Mary J. Blige talked about.  The love that is more than a metaphor.  Its also about being a part of a non-violent insurgency.  An insurgency that continues the insurrection started by The Peasant 2,000 years ago.  

So…what is Easter all about?

I’ll give you part of the story I’ll think you’ll appreciate.  Easter is about The Peasant  being vindicated.  Easter was God’s Okay-ing The Peasant’s insurrectionist activity.  You see…The Peasant was killed partly because he live out an impossible love that turned upside down the world as folks understood it.  A world where the powerful lived to fullest at the expense of those at the bottom.  The Peasant’s insurrection was beginning to turn that situation around.  Before the insurrection could reach fever pitch they killed The Peasant.  All was thought to be lost.  But God raised The Peasant from the dead in order to vindicate and continue the Insurrection.

Who follows this Peasant today?

Those you see calling for an Insurrection against a world that subverts God’s justice. 

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