Religiously Incorrect

The Jesus Review

In his new film Religulous which opened in theaters last month, political humorist and comedian Bill Maher travels the world to talk to faithful people about God. The film bills itself as the “#1 Sacrilegious Comedy in America,” which may explain my discomfort. Discomfort is a nice way of expressing how I felt sitting amid the amused laughter of other movie goers. Anger might be more appropriate. Outrage might get the heart of it.

I think religion can be funny. We should be able to laugh at ourselves and wonder about the strange stories that we tell each other. As a clergy woman, who is familiar with doubt, I know that our Biblical narratives are often hard to swallow. However, I have also sat with people that have opened the Biblical canon and found something that they may never heard or seen before. It happens. In fact, it happens every time I sit down for Bible Study.

Read more

What Would Jesus Watch: Mad Men

The Jesus Review

Now, make no mistake.  If Jesus came now instead of two thousand years ago, I don’t think he’d spend a lot of time watching television.  There is too much poverty, injustice, and suffering in our world for him to waste even a moment on even the best entertainment.  So, please, take this column with a grain of salt.  We know that Jesus doesn’t Tivo—but we do.

Mad Men is an Emmy-winning series on the cable channel AMC, set in an advertising firm in 1960 (Season One) and 1962 (Season Two).  Matthew Weiner, the creator of the show, is dedicated to showing, as authentically as he can, what life was like in the early 60s.  From the set design, to costumes, to cultural references, every minute detail is planned carefully.  Even if the plots and characters were dull, the show would be worth watching just for the gorgeous costumes and detailed office sets.

Read more

Book Review: Those Preaching Women: A Multicultural Collection


Oddly enough, I found myself enjoying Those Preaching Women: A Multicultural Collection, edited by Ella Pearson Mitchell and Valerie Bridgeman Davis and published by Judson Press.

The contributers are Christian women from a variety of denominations, ethnic backgrounds, and walks of life. The exegetes interpret the texts from the numerous vantage points at which they experience God in Christ, from the basketball court to the reservation, from the movie theater to the kitchen table. Their words, as different from one another as they may be, bring the Word of God alive. Organized by the biblical text driving the sermon, nearly every sermon provides an opportunity to reimagine a supposedly familiar biblical character: Hagar, Leah, the widow of mite-giving fame, Mary, and, of course, Jesus himself.

I eventually realized that my cup of coffee was not my sole companion. These preachers and their powerful, faithful words accompanied me that day as well. The collection reminded me of the possibility  each new Sunday represents and encouraged me to get off my duff and spend more time with Scripture.

I recommend it.