Save the dates for these upcoming BCM webinars, featuring scriptural reflection, movement history and social justice themes. Our 2014 schedule will be (mostly) the second Tuesday of the month at 5:45-7:15 pm Pacific Time except where noted.
Tuesday , Jan 14:
“How Dr. King has Shaped our Lives”: Interview with Murphy Davis and Eduard Loring. Our annual webinar in honor of Dr. King and the Civil Rights movement, and how they shaped our lives. Murphy and Eduard (pictured above at left) are co-founders of the Open Door Community in Atlanta, which has been accompanying the homeless and those on Georgia's Death Row for more than 30 years.
The rest of our 2014 schedule will be posted shortly.
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It’s good to recognize milestones. First published by Orbis Books in 1988, a 20th anniversary edition of this commentary with new front matter was issued in 2008. It is still widely used in theological schools, but also is tackled by lay readers in study groups (despite the teasing I get for writing “such a long and difficult tome”). I am grateful that this study has had measurable impact on the seminary, sanctuary and streets alike. People often tell me that it changed their lives—three lovely notes I’ve received over the years are below—and I can honestly say that it changed mine as well. A quarter century later, I’m still trying to embody the discipleship vision of Mark’s gospel in my life and work.
- I was a junior at St. Mary's University in San Antonio Texas in 2003 when I enrolled in an independent study. The sole text was Binding the Strong Man. I was way over my head intellectually at first, having to constantly carry both a standard and theological dictionary. I met weekly with my professor and each time I walked out of the conversation overjoyed. Someone put to words an understanding of Jesus that actually made sense to me. Jesus was once again compelling and worth listening to. My life was never the same. I carried Binding with me everywhere I would carry my Bible, and referenced it every week. I have purchased two copies in addition to my original, which was so covered in notes it was almost illegible. I cannot thank you enough for your work on the Gospel of Mark. You have helped revolutionize my faith and my life in such a way that I cannot imagine ever going back. May the Spirit of God continue to work in and through you. -- Jason Valendy, Nov 2011 (now a Methodist pastor in Saginaw, Tx)
- Binding the Strong Man has been a valuable tool for those of us who are disturbed and wounded by those who still talk about the possibility of doing “objective studies”… Your indignation found resonance in mine; your dreams of rupture, liberation and radical discipleship added to my own. Each day the challenge is more urgent: to enter the house of the strong man, bind him and recover what has been taken from us: the life and dignity of our peoples, of Afro-Latin Americans, of women, children, and impoverished men. Thank you for your expression of the community of those who are “tireless dreamers.”
-- Sylvia Regina de Lima, March 2008 (currently N.T. professor at Universidad Biblica Latinoamericana, Costa Rica)
- I'm a thirty-year old Vancouverite, a recent ThM grad from Regent College and have, in the last few months, read Binding the Strong Man, Who Will Roll Away the Stone?, and Say to This Mountain. I want to thank you for all the effort, thought and care that you put into these works. With all sincerity, I can say that they have been the most powerful and transformative books I have read. The Jesus you present, and the life of discipleship you articulate, is so challenging, radical and encouraging, and in my mind, it rings true to the Biblical text. I've undergone some kind of conversion through them. So thank you. I'm going to continually revisit these books in the years to come, and try to live out this radical and liberating life of discipleship. Many thanks.
-- Steve Heinrichs, Sept 2006 (now Director of Indigenous Relations, Mennonite Church Canada)
For longer reviews see Art Cabrera and Marc Delmonico. Of course you can purchase the book on this site. Finally, to keep things in perspective: A quick Google of “binding the strong man” shows that every URL not referencing my book—which is 90% of them—refers to some version of “spiritual warfare” and/or “prosperity theology” from the U.S. Christian Right! So we’re not exactly winning the hermeneutic battle… which is why the task of reconnecting Word and world continues.
Happy Anniversary, Strong Man!
Featuring scriptural reflection on a timely social justice theme.
Three kinds of ways to save on Webinars:
Gift Certificates: Gift webinars to friends and family for 1,2, or 3 webinars.
Group rates: Gather groups to watch and discuss webinars— from the pub, parlor, or classroom. Host pays standard fee, additional participants pay just $5 each.
Bundles and Annual pass: Purchase several webinars to save big.
For upcoming Webinars click here.
For past Webinars, available in archived form, click here.
Here are our webinars archives available for purchase as video recordings to view at your convenience!
"Watch out, that no one deceive you!" (Mk 13:5): As the Drumbeat of War Builds, the Gift of Two Prophetic Resources
So the U.S. is contemplating bombing Syria, to teach the Assad regime that bombing people is wrong.
Here we go again. Time to review the most basic catechism for Christian faith under Empire: War is inevitable. War changes nothing. War is apostate for followers of Jesus.
But of course, this catechism is far from central in our hearts or among our churches. So at moments like this, and on the eve of the 12th anniversary of 9/11, we at BCM think it's helpful to dust off two texts that teach U.S. Christians how to think and act as the fog of war approaches.
I have a reputation as a bit of a Bible geek. But it wasn't always that way. Here is the story of my first experience with scripture, which I relate in order to acknowledge a milestone in my journey this month.
I was an exchange student in Norway in 1972-73--a long and difficult year. (The above picture was taken in the spring of 1973 on the shore of Moss Fjord, by my buddy Marshall Rogers; it's brooding tone accurately captured my state of mind during much of that year). Back home, my sister had in the meantime "found Jesus." One day there's a big postal package for me, and I'm excited to get something from California. Imagine my disappointment: she had dutifully sent me a Bible.
Last Sunday afternoon, at the heart of summery August, and at the ripe age of 58, I finally attended my first County Fair. I was moved by my encounter with this venerable American tradition. Admittedly, I’ve never been any good at “normal” leisure pursuits, being an inveterate workaholic. But this experience was one of those occasional epiphanies revealing what is undeniably lovable about America (something I don't write about often). //more
Note: Elaine and I were in Arizona last week at the Mennonite Church US biennial Convention, arriving just a day after the heroic firefighters were killed northwest of the city. Our friend Rabbi Arthur Waskow has written a poignant reflection below that we commend. He shares deeply our BCM commitment to name public addictions such as fossil fuels, and to the strategy of "moving money," that we've advocated for a decade now. Read on.
In Arizona this past week, 19 highly skilled firefighters were killed by a fire in what the New York Times called “Deadly New Normal: A Tinderbox West.” It was the largest number of firefighters killed in a single day since the terrorist attack on 9/11.
WHY is a tinderbox West the “new normal”?
Tommy Airey is inhabiting our blog space again! He and Lindsay are amidst a 10 week circumnavigation by Prius of North America, visiting friends and radical Christian communities along the way. They met up with Elaine and I in Winnipeg, MB during the last week of June, and Tom's report (an excerpt from their road trip blog) captures some of the highlights of that week. (Above: Harley Eagle talks to our class at CSOP.)
Conversation is a discourse that holds within it the possibility of mutual conversion. (Ched Myers & Elaine Enns, Ambassadors Of Reconciliation, Volume II, 2012)
We are all involved in politics whether we like it or not. Otherwise you are in denial.
(Bill Blaikie, retired New Democratic Party political leader)
(Lakota Sioux Phrase used to end prayers meaning "everything and everybody is connected")
First time in Canada for both Lindsay and me. On the warmest day of the summer so far (30 degrees celsius!), we headed to Winnipeg, just an hour north of the Minnesota/Canada border. We met A LOT of fascinating people this week.