…people like Jesus and Paul were not executed for saying, “Love one another.” They were killed because their understanding of love meant more than being compassionate towards individuals, although it did include that. It also meant standing against the domination systems that rule their world, and collaborating with the Spirit in the creation of a new way of life that stood in contrast to the normalcy of the wisdom of this world. Love and justice go together. Justice without love can be brutal and love without justice can be banal. Love is the heart of justice and justice is the social form of love.
Marcus J. Borg and John Dominic Crossan, The First Paul: Reclaiming the Radical Visionary Behind the Church’s Conservative Icon p.205 (via scottxstephens)
“This afternoon, SpaceX/Tesla founder Elon Musk finally gave his initial plans for the much-teased Hyperloop. The Hyperloop is supposed to be a better, faster, more efficient mode of travel—you know how tech dudes are gonna save the world with disruption or whatever?—and would supposedly get passengers from Los Angeles to San Francisco in about 35 minutes.”
Now we are able to rejoice that we are saved not through the immanent mechanisms of history and nature, but by grace; that God will not unite all of history’s many strands in one great synthesis, but will judge much of history false and damnable; that he will not simply reveal the sublime logic of fallen nature, but will strike off the fetters in which creation languishes; and that, rather than showing us how the tears of a small girl suffering in the dark were necessary for the building of the Kingdom, he will instead raise her up and wipe away all tears from her eyes – and there shall be no more death, or sorrow, nor crying, nor any more pain, for the former things will have passed away, and he that sits upon the throne will say, “Behold, I make all things new.”
You might be thinking you’re unimpressive and unqualified. That’s good. God performs the most impressive feats through the most unimpressive people. God likes to wet the wood before he sets it on fire. That way, everybody knows who made it burn.
While the Old Testament contains much violence, it also contains a significant concern for peace. Its civil laws are ostensibly structured to limit the violence individuals are entitled to, which Jesus then further limits, to none. Many understand the concept of “eye for an eye” as a tacit approval of violence, when in fact it restricts violence to only as much as you were injured initially. Jesus simply takes the restriction further, and says, “When injured, do not seek reprisal at all.” What is more, it is the Old Testament that tells us that when the Messiah inaugurates his reign, “They will beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks. Nation will not take up sword against nation, nor will they train for war anymore.”