Wednesday, October 8, 2008

His Jesus Year

If you've been raised in a traditional church setting what I'm about to say might upset & shock you, bring your blood pressure to an unhealthy 140/90, and cause you to stop reading my blog before it ever gets started (please note the sarcasm). I listen to National Public Radio (NPR) from time to time; and I have a favorite program in the NPR line-up--Talk of the Nation (TOTN) (you can find the corresponding blog for this show on the right—in the directional sense of the word, not the political one). You might be thinking (sarcasm alert...), "how can you listen to that liberal nonsense; Jesus died for you! And if Dr. James Dobson is good enough for Peter, he's good enough for me." (If you were totally lost in that last sentence, consider yourself blessed.)
The truth is that I find NPR, in general, to be much more balanced than what some of our conservative Christian predecessors tried to scare us into believing about them. Maybe there was something to be leery of in the past; but, in an ironic twist, NPR has come under fire for leaning too heavily to the right (in the political sense this time) in recent years. What I appreciate most, though, is the lack of shouting and, in most cases, the sense of mutual respect extended to both sides of the story.
If you're a Christian, whatever your feelings toward NPR might be, I think you'll find the following TOTN interview from Monday (10/6) quite interesting. The last 10 minutes of the interview might be the most insightful.

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=95431617

http://www.npr.org/templates/player/mediaPlayer.html?action=1&t=1&islist=false&id=95431617&
m=95437273

OK, if you have an aversion to NPR and "the liberal media," that might not have been the best introduction, and I apologize if you now need to visit your cardiologist after listening, but I hope you were able to sift through the story for nuggets of truth and inspiration.
I wish Benyamin would have investigated just a little deeper and got beneath the surface of Christianity to witness the heart of what it means to be a disciple of Jesus. Perhaps we should take from this story the lesson that while the trappings of Christianity might seem appropriate, meaningful, and even attractive to us and others, they sometimes obscure the essence of our faith. Maybe Benyamin couldn't see that because he went in with the intention of not being converted; or maybe Christians, in an effort to show him the wonders of the Church, made it difficult. God only knows.

2 comments:

Dan White said...

For you grammar freaks who noticed the misplaced modifier ("blog for this show on the right"), it was intentional.

Blessings,
dan

Jack said...

I also listen to NPR on occasion. I really like Car Talk and Wait, Wait, Don't Tell Me. Science Friday was a favorite of mine when I lived in Cairo and was driving home on Friday afternoons.

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