Lisa Sharon Harper
The Rev. Leah Daughtry stood in front of fellow black Christian leaders and told them they will need to work harder for social justice.
“If you’ve been feeding them, now clothe them,” said the Pentecostal pastor and 2016 CEO of the Democratic National Convention Committee at a conference last week. “If you’ve been clothing them, now console them. If you’ve been at a march, now lead the march. If you’ve been at a rally, now organize the rally.”
The day after the election, Lisa Sharon Harper nearly gave up the name “evangelical.”
That’s because 81 percent of white evangelical Christians voted for Donald Trump for president, a candidate she described as “representing all of the things Jesus stood against — lust for money, sex, and power.” And their vote propelled the Republican nominee to victory.
In a letter signed by 49 evangelicals from Texas and around the country, the Christian leaders said officials have a “moral obligation” to stop the execution, which is scheduled for Aug. 24.
This week, we talk to culture critic and author Chuck Klosterman about his new book on the nature of truth. It’s a fascinating conversation, especially for Christians. Also, activist and author Lisa Sharon Harper joins us to talk about gaining a new understanding of biblical justice. And of course, Pokemon Go makes an appearance.
An interview with author Lisa Sharon Harper.
But one day several years ago, as I walked away from the King Center in Atlanta, one thought haunted me: The good news of my gospel doesn’t feel good enough.
Harper’s account of the Gospel in her new book is shalom-based. Drawing deeply from a theme that runs through the Bible but is especially strong in the Hebrew prophets, Harper tells a story of a God who acts in Jesus Christ to bring shalom, or holistic peace and justice, in every part of creation.
Lisa’s work provides a thorough biblical analysis, from Genesis to Revelation. It takes all 66 books of both testaments to fully grasp the texture and depth of the biblical theme of shalom, this pervasive idea so vast in its meaning which defies simplistic theological definition. Shalom requires, indeed demands, this kind of careful reading in order to grasp what Walter Brueggemann calls an emphasis on a “’thick’ reading of the gospel,” in contrast to the “’thin’ theology” so often put forward by both “convenient fundamentalism” as well as the “progressive church.”
Tracing God’s indomitable shalom throughout Scripture, The Very Good Gospel celebrates the blessed web of creation where the flourishing of one is the flourishing of all. Devoting nearly 20 pages to shalom between the genders, Lisa Sharon Harper considers her own experiences in Christian ministry where too often God’s gifts to women are shamed and marginalized. Harper challenges the theological distortions that rob men and women of that blessed partnership beaming throughout the pages of Scripture.
If I were to share my understanding of the gospel to my ancestors who walked the Cherokee Trail of Tears (according to family oral tradition) and slaved in South Carolina and Virginia (according to Census Slave Schedules), would they receive my simple understanding of Jesus’ “good news” as good news? Would they jump for joy to find out “God has a wonderful plan for their lives, but they are sinful and therefore separated from God, but Jesus died for their sin, so if they pray a simple prayer they get to go to heaven?”
If this news would not lead my oppressed ancestors to shout with joy, then maybe it’s not good news at all — or at least it’s not good enough.
Influential faith leaders mourn following the decision not to indict the officer who killed Tamir Rice.
"Twelve seconds. One-fifth of a minute. Produces a lifetime of pain for a family and now eternal shame for America.”
— Rev. Dr. William Barber II, Forward Together, founder of the Moral Monday Movement, North Carolina
World Relief, which calls itself the "biggest evangelical refugee resettlement agency in America" is urging political leaders around the country -- many of whom consistently court evangelical votes -- to support the resettling of Syrian refugees in this country. Politico.com quotes World Relief's vice president Jenny Yang who says that talk of shutting such refugees out "does not reflect what we've been hearing from our constituencies, which are evangelical churches across the country."
Chum’s Annual Fall Community Assembly was held Tuesday at the Glen Avon Presbyterian Church. The event featured "The Uncommon Tour", which focuses on the connection between faith, poverty, and racial equality.
“There’s also part of Duluth of people who are left out of the great stuff that Duluth has to offer so the question we have to ask and that we will be asking over the weekend, is how do we make a better Duluth for everyone?” said Lisa Sharon Harper, the Keynote Speaker of the Uncommon Assembly.
Uncommon Tour at Glen Avon
CHUM's Annual Fall Community Assembly will features Sojourners Ministries' Uncommon Tour on Nov. 10 and 11, at Glen Avon Presbyterian Church, 2105 Woodland Ave.
The "Uncommon Tour" is a speaking tour on the subjects of faith, poverty and racial equality. Participants will have the opportunity to join Sojourners' and CHUM's ongoing advocacy work.
This article is a response to CT’s November 2015 cover story, “The Power of Our Weakness.”
"There remains an experience of incomparable value. We have for once learnt to see the great events of world history from below."
When I was 15, I stepped into a warm bath on my church's sanctuary stage. I was a bit of an outsider - the occasionally bullied Chinese-American kid in the white suburb - and I had found a place of belonging at this Chinese immigrant church. I made a joke about how I felt the same way about my new faith as my 16-year-old friend felt about her new driver's license: I had no idea how I ever lived without this. Even my pastor chuckled as he clasped my hands, preparing to dunk me.