NBC Nightly News recently aired Rev. Eugene Rivers‘ description of Pentecostalism and its appeal to the poor. Rev. Rivers is pastor of Azusa Christian Community in Boston. While I do not accept his emphasis on movement from “poverty to prosperity”, I understand that as a white middle-class AG Pentecostal I have my own biases when it comes to the social implications of Gospel. I would like to think that Pentecostalism can be socially-concerned without being “prosperity” driven. I cannot endorse a prosperity-Gospel in the vein of Osteen or Roberts, but I do believe that a Spirit-driven Gospel must confront materialism and the systemic oppression of the poor.
The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor. Luke 4:18-19
Each year the Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary staff have a Christmas door decorating contest. This year, Goddard Library entered with a large, door-sized mosaic of theological book covers depicting Mary, Joseph and Jesus.
Many thanks to Hanna for permission to use her artwork. I have enjoyed her work for some time, as she envisions the biblical text with a non-Western Christian’s imagination.
Update: The library’s door won third place (as judged by an independent panel of employees), but we won the all-seminary community vote. Because of this we get to pick the cookies of our choice to be baked for the library staff. Yum!
I have sinned against biblioblogdom, and I am sorry. As Tyler Williams (Codex) and Doug Chaplin (Metacatholic) have noted, the person responsible for Biblical Studies Carnival XXIV canceled at the last minute. Not only did he trample upon the sacred institution of the carnival – he actually desecrated it during the high-holy month of SBL.
Let me express my deepest regrets and apologies to the community and to Tyler in particular for backing out. I’ve felt like a louse for it.
So, in the spirit of works-righteousness (I do, after all like the Epistle of James), perhaps some of the community could chime in with appropriate penance for the guilty to perform in order to receive absolution.
Is there any penance appropriate? Flogging? Cilice?