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Jun
11
2013

Twitterformity Versus Cruciformity: Leadership, Celebrity, and Power in Light of Philippians 2.6-11

[Sidenote: This is the first "syncroblog" of the Despised Ones blogging collective. To read more submissions on this topic, visit our Facebook Page.] 

"Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage;
rather, he made himself nothing
by taking the very nature of a servant,
being made in human likeness.
And being found in appearance as a man,
he humbled himself
by becoming obedient to death—
even death on a cross!
Therefore God exalted him to the highest place
and gave him the name that is above every name,
that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow,
in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord,
to the glory of God the Father."

If you're an evangelical Christian under 40, you've more than likely encountered the phenomenon of celebrity pastors using Twitter to communicate with the world. And if you've read tweets by celebrity pastors, you've probably cringed, thrown things, laughed, cried, cheered, or feverishly wrote angry responses on your blog.

It's clear to many of us that a pattern has emerged: 1) A celebrity pastor posts a crazy, stupid, homophobic, insensitive, and/or racist tweet; 2) This sparks a news cycle's worth of responses on Twitter, Facebook, blogs, and Christian news outlets with nothing better to write about; 3) Eventually the hype dies down, only to be resuscitated by the next tweet heard around the interwebs. Am I the only one who is getting exhausted by this cycle?

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Jan
12
2013

The "Big God" Lie and Why It's Dangerously Wrong

Being black and Reformed is hot right now. If you're a black Christian male in the U.S. and you want to be cool and sound smart, all you have to do is talk about the "doctrines of grace," God's glory, and Penal Substitution. It's not just for Christian rappers anymore! Now, there's even a black version of the Gospel Coalition.
 
Some black Calvinists now want to spread their gospel of predestination to the laypeople of black churches. But the problem they immediately run into is: How do we make it seem like the theology of dead, sixteenth-century, white and European men is relevant to black U.S. Americans in the 21st century—when it obviously isn't? 
 
One entrepreneurial black Calvinist thinks he has the answer: Marketing! See, if you have an illogical idea, that really is quite counter-intuitive to the people you want to adopt it, all you have to do is come up with a slick way to package your idea so that it sounds normal and good. Jemar Tisby, a black male student at Reformed Theological Seminary, has figured out just such a solution for delivering Calvinism to black church-goers. He's calling it "Big God theology."
 
Now, I know what you're thinking: That's incredibly patronizing. Yes, yes it is. But Tisby is convinced the ends justify the means (by double imputation no doubt). He's convinced black parishioners need to intellectually affirm the meticulous providence of an all-controlling deity to have biblical theology. So he's come up with this way of presenting Calvinism to make it sound normal and good. Papa Piper would be so proud!
 
But not only is Tisby wrong, Tisby is dangerously wrong. In what follows, I'll show that being "big" has never been a priority for God, and why exalting 'big-ness' can backfire and lead to destructive Christian practice Jesus wouldn't recognize.

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Welcome to TheologicalGraffiti.com

T. C. and Tyson Moore

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

Shalom,
T. C.

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