Hello, brave fellow readers, and welcome to my fourth (!) weekly digest. Find last week's digest here
Still working my way through my usual leftist podcasts, but I discovered some new (to me) music. After church, I was reflecting on the sermon while waiting for the bus, and thinking about Cyndi Lauper. The priest had ended her sermon by singing the chorus of "True Colors", and everyone else who knew it sang along. I did not know it, so I looked it for it in Spotify while standing next to the bus stop, listened, then started looking at other Cyndi Lauper songs. When I stumbled upon a Cyndi Lauper Pride playlist, I tapped "shuffle" and started to enjoy myself immensely. This playlist contains Cyndi Lauper songs and songs that are similar in some fashion (don't ask me, I'm not good at making playlists), and is curated by Cyndi Lauper. It is my official jam for the rest of the month: Cyndi Lauper: Pride Playlist
Captain Marvel, Earth's Mightiest Hero, Vol. 3. I really like the illustrations in this one compared to the first two volumes.
Nine Perfect Strangers. I'm almost finished with this one. It goes through waves of boring and entertaining, being somewhat predictable, and it reminds me why I used to have such a hard time reading contemporary novels. They get really predictable.
Evangelical Theology. I started this in September of last year, and am determined to finish it before July comes. It took me a minute to grow accustomed Barth's lecture style, but I think I'm starting to get the hang of it.
I mentioned Wisdom Ways a couple weeks ago, promising a review. Here's a reflection and review of sorts.
Familiarize yourself with Juneteenth: History.com: What is Juneteenth
Two days ago, which was Juneteenth, Mason Mennenga tweeted a list of books by black theologians that were formative for him.
Here's that list:
Happy #Juneteenth y’all.— Mason Mennenga (@masonmennenga) June 19, 2019
Here is a thread of five theology books by black theologians that have most shaped how I understand theology and race:
And, I thought I would add a few more books that have been highly recommended by different folks:
There was a House hearing about reparations on Juneteenth, as well. If you're not familiar with The Case for Reparations, read up or listen to the audio version here. Here's Coates' testimony on reparations at the hearing. And, if you want more history and reasons for reparations, read this piece: Black People's Land was Stolen, and this piece: Blacks Were Enslaved Well into the 1960s.
Articles and miscellanea
Daniel Camacho recently wrote a cover article for Sojourners, reflecting on genetic ancestry and identity and shedding white supremacy. Read "Who Am I?" here. Having Latin American ancestry myself, I could relate to some of his questions regarding his own identity.
Watching and Curiosities
Okay, this is mostly for kicks and giggles. You all know I don't endorse the message of this video, but thought I would issue a few real-time thoughts as I watch it. Curiosity killed the cat.
- Dr. Moore calls what he has seen in Soviet Union "socialism", which is actually not the whole truth. You've got to get into the details of Leninism, and Stalinism before you can make sweeping statements.
- It took me a second to figure this out because of Dr. M's awful pronunciation (n.b, it is not "shay"; it's "cheh", like "check" without the "k" sound), Che Guevara wasn't a "bloodthirsty murderer." Revolutionary Left Radio has a couple of excellent episodes on Che Guevara that will dispel that notion.
- Dr. M's definition of socialism is "when the state owns the means of production." That would be true, if he means "state" as in "workers."
- He goes on to use the term "totalitarian communism" to describe Cuba and the Soviet Union, which is more accurate than simply labeling it as "socialism", so that's good, but he also says that democratic socialism is when the state owns the means of production, which is definitely an oversimplification.
- Dr. M does admit there are problems with capitalism, so that's good, but he mentions pornography as one of its problems, which I don't quite understand.
- Dr. M then launches into a defense of private property as a "biblical principle."
- When he gets to describing the early church in Acts, he differenitates it as most capitalists do, attributing the sharing and equal distribution of goods to the influence of the Holy Spirit, as opposed to "socialism" that is controlled by the state. Okay, so this means Christians should be communists, right???
- I'm getting bored, because I've heard pretty much all of these arguments before. Curiosity killed the cat because it turned into boredom.
- According to Dr. M, the Bible puts limits on the power of the state.
- He concludes by saying, "it's [socialism is] only attractive to those who haven't seen it up close." This is after admitting that capitalism may need reforms here and there, which would have been an opportune time to mention the systems in certain Scandinavian countries, as he could have in point 4.
Dr. Moore needs to familiarize himself with different arguments from Christian Socialists. Fortunately, he was given several suggestions on Twitter.
I hate capitalism. I've seen its wreckage up close. It’s based on a faulty view of human nature. Plus, it doesn’t work.— sabrina 🇵🇷 (@sdrp_) June 20, 2019
But support for capitalism seems to be on the rise. So let's talk about it. How should Christians think about this issue? https://t.co/ngUaJVZ4nA
And that's all for this week!