Brian Zahnd is the founder and lead pastor of Word of Life Church, a non-denominational Christian congregation in Saint Joseph, Missouri. Brian and his wife, Peri, founded the church in 1981. Brian is also the author of several books, including, Sinners in the Hands of a Loving God, Water to Wine, A Farewell To Mars, Beauty Will Save the World, and Unconditional?: The Call of Jesus to Radical Forgiveness.
In his famous sermon “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God,” Puritan revivalist Jonathan Edwards shaped predominating American theology with a vision of God as angry, violent, and retributive. Three centuries later, Brian Zahnd was both mesmerized and terrified by Edwards’s wrathful God. Haunted by fear that crippled his relationship with God, Zahnd spent years praying for a divine experience of hell. What Zahnd experienced instead was the Father’s love—revealed perfectly through Jesus Christ—for all prodigal sons and daughters. In Sinners in the Hands of a Loving God, Zahnd asks important questions like: Is seeing God primarily as wrathful towards sinners true or biblical? Is fearing God a normal expected behavior? And where might the natural implications of this theological framework lead us? Thoughtfully wrestling with subjects like Old Testament genocide, the crucifixion of Jesus, eternal punishment in hell, and the final judgment in Revelation, Zanhd maintains that the summit of divine revelation for sinners is not God is wrath, but God is love.
Voices In My Head Podcast #223: Walter Brueggeman and Rick Lee James Discuss Imprecatory Psalms as Faithful Prayer, Trump, and More
Voices In My Head Podcast #222: Refugees, Racism, and Simple Worship.
Rick takes on theee topics in less than an hour, or your money back.
We’re Doing It Again
In the last year we have released three music videos from my album, “Hymns, Prayer, and Invitations“. These videos have been warmly received by thousands of people on social platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube. I’m excited to say that this coming Wednesday, August 16th, I’ll be releasing a new music video for the song, “More Than The Watchman (Psalm 130)”.
It’s always exciting for me to share a new project but this video in particular means a great deal to me beyond the music itself. With this new video we are hoping to bring a fresh look at the global refugee crisis.
Nazarene Compassionate Ministries (www.NCM.org) has graciously allowed us to use footage from their recent work with refugees from Syria and other parts of the world. The footage is beautifully shot and I think it tells their story better than a thousand words can say. In spite of that, let me briefly try.
There are currently more than 11 million who have been displaced, and 5 million who are living as refugees outside their home country. The men, women, and children that you will see in this music video have fled from their homes due to violence and persecution. With your help, we can share their story and do our best to make a difference in their lives.
Before You read this next part, let me be clear, I am not asking you for money.
However,I do need your help. I have invested more than two months of my income to create this project and I don’t want it to go to waste.
Videos like these are meant to be seen and heard. I’m asking you to help me make that happen, and your support is key.
What Am I Asking Of You?
I’m glad you asked.
Will you help me share this video when it releases on Wednesday?
You will be able to find it on these sites:
Here are some answers to questions you may have for me:
Where Should I Share It?
- Your Facebook Page.
- Facebook Groups.
- Your Blog Sites.
- On Twitter (tag @RickLeeJames and the hash tag #Refugees when you post)
- On Tumblr
- Talk about it on your podcasts (I’m happy to make a guest appearance).
How often should I share it?
- As often as you like. The more we share it over the first few weeks the more visibility it will have. Once a day would be ideal.
What Should I say when I share?
When you share the video link on Wednesday, an added comment like this would be wonderful to add to your post:
- Together we can help millions of refugees who have been forced from their homes by violence and war. #Refugees @RickLeeJames
Can I Donate Money To Help With The Cost If I Want?
Together we can do so much to help.
My Sincerest Thanks,
Rick Lee James
It’s sobering to think an American citizen was killed standing up to Nazis on American soil this weekend. Now their web site is calling her a fat lazy s— who was a drain on the system. It’s unreal.
In spite of this, we have to speak a better word than this to the world my friends. We have a better story to tell. It’s not going to happen by retaliation, vengeance, or returning hateful speech. Seeking after those things would be like drinking poison and hoping our enemy will get sick.
Let us be people who speak the truth in love. I don’t want to let our enemies off the hook, but I do want to give them a chance at redemption, to regain their humanity. I want to give them a chance to be redeemed.
There must be consequences for their actions but if all we can speak back to hate is more hate then the battle is already lost.
Be angry, be heartbroken, be hurt, be as upset as you need to be, but don’t let yourself become like the enemy. Don’t lose your humanity to hatred. There is a better way.
God help us, for only You can.
20 Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, 21 to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.
Ephesians 3:20-21New International Version (NIV)