Formation episode 12 - Christian Empire and the Roots of Exclusion

For the first few centuries, Christianity was a minority movement on the underside of the Roman Empire. Christian action in the world was subversive, inclusive and socially transformative in subtle and hidden ways. But when Christianity becomes the dominant religion of the Empire in the 4th century, theology and salvation both become issues that hold political implications, a move which radically reshapes the nature of the conversation. So what does this mean for how we think about the Christian tradition today, and what it means to include, exclude and belong?

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Clint Gibson
Formation episode 9 - Naming the Antichrist

Revelation moves backward and forward in time, it collapses different images together … Moses, Elijah, David, Sodom, Jezebel, Babylon … all caught up in a swirling cacophony of images and symbols. and ultimately all centred around the story of Jesus Christ as it challenges the dominant narrative of the Roman empire. All telling and re-telling the story of God and Christ from multiple angles and perspectives. Jesus is portrayed as confronting the violent powers of Empire, and he conquers over it precisely through sacrificial love.

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Clint Gibson
Formation episode 8 - What the Hell?

If God is a God who tortures people forever for not getting their religious choices correct, then God is a monster. That kind of God can be used to justify violence and war and oppression. That kind of God sets us up for tribalism. God asks us to forgive, and when we say ‘how many times’ he says ‘again and again and again.’ So does God do the same? Do we hold God to a lower ethical bar than we hold each other?

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Clint Gibson
Formation episode 7 - Heavenly Creatures

In many ways heaven is a difficult topic to talk about. It’s difficult because there are so many ideas about what it entails, and it’s difficult because despite all of these ideas, no-one really knows exactly what we’re dealing with.  And the more you talk about it, the more it can start to sound like a science fiction movie and we end up sounding a bit delusional! Pearly gates. Clouds. Wings. An old white man playing God. Maybe some streets of gold. A mansion for you, and you and you. What do we do with all of this and where do all of these ideas come from?

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Clint Gibson
Formation episode 6 - What is the gospel?

Throughout this series we have offered 4 ways of looking at the meaning of the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ: Jesus as archetype, crucifixion as the "death of God", the kingdom of non-violent love, and the overturning of scapegoating and the sacrificial system. In this episode we discuss together what the "good news of the gospel of Jesus" might mean for us now.

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Clint Gibson
Formation episode 5 - Saved from Sacrifice

The events of Easter are a rejection of sacrifice as a way to please God or to bring peace. It is a repudiation of the image of a bloodthirsty God, and of scapegoating as a means to manage human violence and appease God (or the gods). Jesus enters into the human system of retributive and "redemptive" violence, experiences it, exposes it, and then invites us to move beyond it into something new.

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Clint Gibson