Mallory McDuff–How to put a good face on Christianity

It was a tough week to be a Christian. Within the safety of the sanctuary and the liturgical calendar, we were still in the Easter season, so the hymns were jubilant, the “Alleluias” loud and earnest.

But on Facebook, all anyone could talk about was the Rapture. I’ve never witnessed my atheist, agnostic, and “spiritual but not religious” friends make so many status updates about religion in a 24-hour period. It felt like a conversion for stand-up comics….

Perhaps we need a return to our traditional Christian stories, even if through the lens of a television. I want my children to know these stories, as well as the narrative of modern Christians on the front lines of injustice in our community. I don’t care how the stories are told ”” through dinner-table conversations, service projects, Sunday school classes, Facebook groups, Twitter or TV.

Read it all.


Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Religion & Culture

4 comments on “Mallory McDuff–How to put a good face on Christianity

  1. Scatcatpdx says:

    “So who is telling the story of Christians working to eradicate poverty, fight climate change and feed the hungry? When do we share the story of those who believe that the Kingdom of God isn’t coming, but it’s now, here on earth?”

    Without the Cross of Christ, how god redeemed us through is sacrifice on the cross this article is just one bad idea chasing another.

  2. sandlapper says:

    Scoffers have joined with Fundamentalists in assuming that the Bible actually predicts a near-future end of the world, and has been predicting that for two millennia. The Rapture story, a la the “Left Behind” books, sadly captured most of the Fundamentalist movement early in the 20th Century, with devastating consequences to theological conservatism in America. One effect was a neglect of good works in society by Fundamentalists because “you don’t polish brass on a sinking ship.”

    The good news, for those of us who want to take the Bible seriously, is that the Rapture theory is bad interpretation. For faithful, God-honoring exegesis that demonstrates that the Rapture theory is false, I recommend materials published by American Vision, of Atlanta. For example, the book, “Last Days Madness,” by Gary DeMar, dissects the Rapture arguments in detail.

    Many Episcopalians avoid the current end-times zaniness by avoiding the Bible passages which speak of end times. Apparently, Professor McDuff takes that approach and wishes to tell the story of Christian service in the world. Let’s do both – take all the Bible seriously and let the truths found there inform our efforts to make our world better.

  3. drjoan says:

    The problem is the postmodern definitions of “justice, love, service and, ultimately, the mystery that is life” are a little different than the traditional Christian’s definitions of those words. This author refers to justice as eradicating poverty and fighting climate change; the Christian knows that God’s justice demands that all of humankind has sinned and is deserving of hell. Service for this author refers to doing good things so as to reach the Kingdom of Heaven; we know that service is only fruitful when led by the Spirit of God. Love for her is–well, “love is all you need;” for the Christian it is love that has God sending his only Son to pay the penalty for my sins and assuring me of an eternal relationship with the Sovereign Lord.
    But she (the author) IS right: we need to tell our story: That God so loved the world that He gave his only begotten Son that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life. (That story is called “The Good News!”

  4. Teatime2 says:

    Well, to be fair, there’s nothing here that suggests Dr. McDuff is only about good works and not about Scripture. She does, in fact, include sacred texts in her appeal to get the word out.

    If you read the bit about her at the very end, you see that she has written a book about Christian involvement in environmental and justice issues. I’m guessing that’s why she wrote this piece, in particular, and why it was published. But it doesn’t mean she eschews traditional Christian catechesis, either.