Sunday, August 25, 2013

theologygrams make me chuckle


Okay, this post is mostly for fellow seminarians and theology geeks, but I think it's chuckle-worthy enough to pass along.  I recently ran across the blog "theologygrams" and have enjoyed its anonymous author's ability to capture complex theological issues in the form of simple graphical charts and graphs.

This one, for instance, reflects a common tendency on the part of those who preach, or those who like to find specific verses in the bible that fit the moment, without paying much attention to the surrounding context.

Micah, for instance, is one of the 12 "minor prophets" of the Hebrew Bible (Old Testament), who lived in the 8th century BCE, around the same time as the prophets Amos and Hosea and the first of the three prophets whose words are collected as the major prophet Isaiah.  Like his contemporaries, Micah foresaw the coming destruction of Jerusalem and the temple and warned - to no avail - that the people needed to get back to their covenant to love each other and protect the poor, the widow, the orphan and the alien in their land, or else.  

Much of this short book, as the theologygrams graphic depicts, is all about violent destruction.  Consider if you will Micah 5:10-15:
On that day, says the Lord,
   I will cut off your horses from among you
   and will destroy your chariots;
and I will cut off the cities of your land
   and throw down all your strongholds;
and I will cut off sorceries from your hand,
   and you shall have no more soothsayers;
and I will cut off your images
   and your pillars from among you,
and you shall bow down no more
   to the work of your hands;
and I will uproot your sacred poles from among you
   and destroy your towns.
And in anger and wrath I will execute vengeance
   on the nations that did not obey. 
Right.  But there in the middle of all that wrath, one verse stands out on the graph: Micah 6:8. Look it up, and you'll find the kind of poetic scripture that has made it a quotable quote down to this day: 
what does the Lord require of you
but to do justice, and to love kindness,
   and to walk humbly with your God? 
Does the graphic make sense now? I thought it might.

theologygrams.  Check it out, and if you like it, subscribe.  It's fun, and it makes you think.