Tag Archives: martyrdom

The Politics of All Saints’ Day (Series on “Minding the Web”)

“Unless Jesus is the only way to the Father, the martyr cannot exist. For the martyr’s death is her confession that Jesus is Lord, the Messiah of God. The martyrs are those who have died in a manner that make the cross of Christ unmistakable as God’s victory over death. Therefore just as the Father glorifies the Son, the Son glorifies those who suffer for his sake. That is why it is so important that we remember the martyrs, that we remember Stephen. Continue reading The Politics of All Saints’ Day (Series on “Minding the Web”)

The Siren of Safety (Series on “Minding the Web”)

“Shockingly there remain to this day Christians who support Trump’s anti-migration policies because they believe his policies will “keep us safe.” Surely one could not wish for a more misleading understanding of what it means to be Christian. Christians worship at the church of martyrs; they seek fellowship with the crucified Lord. Being a Christian is not about being safe, but about challenging the status quo in ways that cannot help but put you in danger. Continue reading The Siren of Safety (Series on “Minding the Web”)

The Truth Will Set You Free

As the dust settles following last Monday’s initial United States Presidential debate, I took the opportunity yesterday to preach on the question of “What does it mean to tell the truth?”  I suggested that for Christians telling the truth is inseparable from becoming truthful people, as we find ourselves caught up by the Spirit in the life of Jesus, who is the Truth.  For this reason, the Christian tradition has held a special place for the martyrs.  The martyrs are those who have borne witness to the truth at the cost of their lives.  Although I didn’t explicitly make the connection, a member of the congregation observed that the sermon implicitly contrasted the richness of the faithful witness of Dietrich Bonhoeffer and Maximilian Kolbe with the poverty of the two presidential candidates. Continue reading The Truth Will Set You Free

Martyrdom and the “No” of Faith

“The church makes disciples in order to form a company of faith, a theater of martyrdom” (218). Kevin Vanhoozer elucidates this claim in the concluding chapter of his recent book Faith Speaking Understanding: Performing the Drama of Doctrine (Louisville: Westminster John Knox Press, 2014). The chapter sparked some thoughtful discussion in my systematic theology class this past week. During the discussion it occurred to me that we privileged Western Christians are sometimes enamored with overly romantic conceptions of martyrdom. Continue reading Martyrdom and the “No” of Faith