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The Stunning Beauty of Enemy-Love: Malala Yousafzai on The Daily Show

Malala Yousafzai is a 16-year-old, Pakistani, Muslim girl. She was interviewed on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart to promote her new book. Her story is pretty amazing, but not nearly as amazing as her nonviolent convictions. When her opportunity to pursue education was taken away by terrorists, she refused to keep quiet. Instead, she spoke out for the rights of girls to receive an education through every available means. This made her a target of the Taliban, and they sought to murder her.

In the interview with Jon Stewart, an amazing thing happened. Stewart asked Malala what she was thinking when she found out she was being targeted by a terrorist group. In a thrilling moment of television history, she related to Stewart her firm conviction to seek the good even of those who would want to kill her. She explained that even the female children of the Taliban deserve the opportunity to get an education. And she told Jon in no uncertain terms that she would not resort to violence, even to defend herself.

Both my wife, Osheta, and I were watching this interview while reading and writing on our laptops. When we heard her words, we both stopped typing and looked up—we were as stunned as Stewart. Malala embodies the spirit of Jesus's command to love one's enemies better than most of the teaching among US American Christians. And Stewart didn't know it, but the beauty of her testimony, the beauty that stunned him silent, is the beauty of the cross-shaped love of Jesus. 

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The "Real" Jesus: Why Reza Aslan is Right! (…and Wrong)—Jesus, the Reign of God, and Objectivity

For those who are not familiar with Dr. Reza Aslan (like his Fox News interviewer, apparently), he is a religion scholar 1 who has published several books on terrorism, Islam, and radical Islamic fundamentalism.2 I became familiar with Aslan when he appeared twice on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, once in 2009 to promote his book How to Win a Cosmic War and again in 2010 to promote a different book: Beyond Fundamentalism. Both books deal with religion, globalization, and terrorism.3

Recently, Aslan has returned to The Daily Show, this time to promote his new book on Jesus, but not Christianity.4 At the start of the interview, John Oliver (the interviewer) says:

"Let's be clear, this book is about Jesus the man, not so much Jesus the Christ."

To which Aslan responds, nodding his head in the affirmative:

"It's about the historical Jesus, not the Christ of faith."

The tricky thing about evaluating Aslan's take on Jesus is that so much of what he says is exactly correct. But in the fine details, Aslan makes many critical errors that are both historical and theological. In this post, I'd like to give Aslan credit for what he gets correct, while also pointing out the mistakes he makes and offering a possible reason why he's made them.

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Calvinism Mentioned on the Daily Show!


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Theological Graffiti is a blog written by T. C. Moore @tc_moore ...a Jesus-disciple, husband, father, Associate Pastor @NewCityChurch of Los Angeles, sometimes web designer, writer, and theology geek. For more about me, visit my Personal Website or my Online Profile. Otherwise, enjoy the graffiti.

T. C.

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