Caputo on the “Right” & WWJD

Caputo’s What Would Jesus Deconstruct is a really good book for anyone interested in Derridian philosophy and how it might bear on the church. It’s quite simple and short but packs a lot of punch. I also love reading books that have great one-liners. Here are a few of my favorite things:

“It will be an eye opener to the Christian Right, who, having tried to blackmail us with this question [WWJD], will discover that the slogan they have been wearing on their T-shirts and pasting on their automobile bumpers all these years is a call for radical social justice!” (22).

“The question [WWJD] is tricky, not a magic bullet, because, everybody left or right wants Jesus on their side (instead of the other way around). It requires an immense amount of interpretation, interpolation, and self-questioning to give it any bite – and if it is not biting us, it has no bite – lest it be just a way of getting others to do what I want them to do but under the cover of Jesus” (24-25).

“We sing songs to the truth as if it were a source of comfort, warmth, and good hygiene. But in deconstruction the truth is dangerous, and it will drive you out into the cold” (27).

“The next time we look up to heaven and piously pray “Come, Lord Jesus,” we may find that he is already here, trying to get warm over an urban steam grate or trying to cross our borders” (30).

“The truth will make you free, but it does so by turning your life upside down” (30).

“The religious heart or frame of mind is not “realist,” because it is not satisfied with the reality that is all around it. Nor is it antirealist, because it is not trying to substitute fabrications for reality; rather, it is what I would call “hyper-realist,” in search of the real beyond the real, the hyper, the uber or au-dela, the beyond, in search of the event that stirs within things that will exceed our present horizons” (39).

“To announce the kingdom of God is to bring good news to all those who are poor in spirit and just plain poor, to those who hunger for justice and who are just plain hungry, to those whose minds are blinded by sin and who are just plain blind, to those whose hearts are bent by evil and whose bodies are just plain bent”

Caputo on the “Right” & WWJD

Caputo’s What Would Jesus Deconstruct is a really good book for anyone interested in Derridian philosophy and how it might bear on the church. It’s quite simple and short but packs a lot of punch. I also love reading books that have great one-liners. Here are a few of my favorite things:

“It will be an eye opener to the Christian Right, who, having tried to blackmail us with this question [WWJD], will discover that the slogan they have been wearing on their T-shirts and pasting on their automobile bumpers all these years is a call for radical social justice!” (22).

“The question [WWJD] is tricky, not a magic bullet, because, everybody left or right wants Jesus on their side (instead of the other way around). It requires an immense amount of interpretation, interpolation, and self-questioning to give it any bite – and if it is not biting us, it has no bite – lest it be just a way of getting others to do what I want them to do but under the cover of Jesus” (24-25).

“We sing songs to the truth as if it were a source of comfort, warmth, and good hygiene. But in deconstruction the truth is dangerous, and it will drive you out into the cold” (27).

“The next time we look up to heaven and piously pray “Come, Lord Jesus,” we may find that he is already here, trying to get warm over an urban steam grate or trying to cross our borders” (30).

“The truth will make you free, but it does so by turning your life upside down” (30).

“The religious heart or frame of mind is not “realist,” because it is not satisfied with the reality that is all around it. Nor is it antirealist, because it is not trying to substitute fabrications for reality; rather, it is what I would call “hyper-realist,” in search of the real beyond the real, the hyper, the uber or au-dela, the beyond, in search of the event that stirs within things that will exceed our present horizons” (39).

“To announce the kingdom of God is to bring good news to all those who are poor in spirit and just plain poor, to those who hunger for justice and who are just plain hungry, to those whose minds are blinded by sin and who are just plain blind, to those whose hearts are bent by evil and whose bodies are just plain bent”

Caputo on the "Right" & WWJD

Caputo’s What Would Jesus Deconstruct is a really good book for anyone interested in Derridian philosophy and how it might bear on the church. It’s quite simple and short but packs a lot of punch. I also love reading books that have great one-liners. Here are a few of my favorite things:

“It will be an eye opener to the Christian Right, who, having tried to blackmail us with this question [WWJD], will discover that the slogan they have been wearing on their T-shirts and pasting on their automobile bumpers all these years is a call for radical social justice!” (22).

“The question [WWJD] is tricky, not a magic bullet, because, everybody left or right wants Jesus on their side (instead of the other way around). It requires an immense amount of interpretation, interpolation, and self-questioning to give it any bite – and if it is not biting us, it has no bite – lest it be just a way of getting others to do what I want them to do but under the cover of Jesus” (24-25).

“We sing songs to the truth as if it were a source of comfort, warmth, and good hygiene. But in deconstruction the truth is dangerous, and it will drive you out into the cold” (27).

“The next time we look up to heaven and piously pray “Come, Lord Jesus,” we may find that he is already here, trying to get warm over an urban steam grate or trying to cross our borders” (30).

“The truth will make you free, but it does so by turning your life upside down” (30).

“The religious heart or frame of mind is not “realist,” because it is not satisfied with the reality that is all around it. Nor is it antirealist, because it is not trying to substitute fabrications for reality; rather, it is what I would call “hyper-realist,” in search of the real beyond the real, the hyper, the uber or au-dela, the beyond, in search of the event that stirs within things that will exceed our present horizons” (39).

“To announce the kingdom of God is to bring good news to all those who are poor in spirit and just plain poor, to those who hunger for justice and who are just plain hungry, to those whose minds are blinded by sin and who are just plain blind, to those whose hearts are bent by evil and whose bodies are just plain bent”

Jonah 7

Although there are dozens of other great literary features in the book of Jonah (like chapter 4′s affinity with the book of Exodus) I will end this series with a discussion of how the Ninevites are portrayed in the book. The book makes it sound as though the Ninevites are no better than cattle.

Now, oftentimes, the Old Testament will call people animals. For instance, Amos rails against some foreign wives and says, “Hear this word, you cows of Bashan who are on the mountain of Samaria, who oppress the poor, who crush the needy!” But there in Jonah the comparison between the foreigners and cattle is a little more subtle.

This idea is seen in Jonah 3:7-8 and 4:11. In 3:7-8 the author lumps man and beast together in the proclamation of the king of Nineveh who says:

“Do not let man, beast, herd, or flock taste anything. Do no let them eat or drink water. But both man and beast must be covered with sackcloth and let them call on God earnestly that each may turn from his wicked way and the violence which is in their hands.” So both man and animal (what a strange idea) must be covered with sackcloth (a traditional Hebrew rite for mourning) and let them (another strange idea) call on God.

Then in 4:11 he also lumps them together although the connection is not as explicit:
“Should I not have compassion on Nineveh, the great city in which there are more than 120,000 persons who do not know the difference between their right and left hand, as well as many animals?”

Jonah 7

Although there are dozens of other great literary features in the book of Jonah (like chapter 4′s affinity with the book of Exodus) I will end this series with a discussion of how the Ninevites are portrayed in the book. The book makes it sound as though the Ninevites are no better than cattle.

Now, oftentimes, the Old Testament will call people animals. For instance, Amos rails against some foreign wives and says, “Hear this word, you cows of Bashan who are on the mountain of Samaria, who oppress the poor, who crush the needy!” But there in Jonah the comparison between the foreigners and cattle is a little more subtle.

This idea is seen in Jonah 3:7-8 and 4:11. In 3:7-8 the author lumps man and beast together in the proclamation of the king of Nineveh who says:

“Do not let man, beast, herd, or flock taste anything. Do no let them eat or drink water. But both man and beast must be covered with sackcloth and let them call on God earnestly that each may turn from his wicked way and the violence which is in their hands.” So both man and animal (what a strange idea) must be covered with sackcloth (a traditional Hebrew rite for mourning) and let them (another strange idea) call on God.

Then in 4:11 he also lumps them together although the connection is not as explicit:
“Should I not have compassion on Nineveh, the great city in which there are more than 120,000 persons who do not know the difference between their right and left hand, as well as many animals?”

Son Lux

I very rarely listen to Christian music but when I was reading CT the other day they mentioned an artist that was obsessed with Radiohead and had won a contest and a chance to record with a label. Well, I took a chance and loved him. His name is Ryan Lott but his “alias” is Son Lux. Check out his myspace, though it only has songs from his old album, which is not nearly as good as the new one called at war with walls and mazes.

Son Lux

I very rarely listen to Christian music but when I was reading CT the other day they mentioned an artist that was obsessed with Radiohead and had won a contest and a chance to record with a label. Well, I took a chance and loved him. His name is Ryan Lott but his “alias” is Son Lux. Check out his myspace, though it only has songs from his old album, which is not nearly as good as the new one called at war with walls and mazes.