Jonathan Martin Profile picture
Director of the Center for Spiritual Life at DePauw University. author of The Road Away from God, How to Survive a Shipwreck, & Prototype. host of The Zeitcast.
Oct 4, 2018 21 tweets 4 min read
We have intentionally obscured the unambiguously clear, unifying message of the New Testament, in all of its diversity—that God’s agenda is to transfigure the world through nonviolent, self-sacrificial love. That is the Jesus way. There is simply no way around this. I mostly have tried not to put this in divisive terms. But at this point, I find it hard to take any Christian teacher/teaching that doesn’t take nonviolence seriously. How will you instruct me if you have no regard for the rightful Lord of the Church?
Jul 21, 2018 5 tweets 1 min read
I’m not moralistic at all—perhaps problematically so. I’m fairly terrible at “living right,” among other things. Where I do hear a call to sanctification—God calls us to surrender anything that keeps us from being on mission. What hinders me from living out holy resistance? What would it look like for you to drop the “law”—shame, unnecessary guilt, Puritanism—but attempted to submit anything to Spirit that keeps you from living out your calling to the full? Made it less about righteousness, & more about usefulness in God’s kingdom?
Jul 18, 2018 6 tweets 2 min read
I couldn’t take notes fast enough on Otis Moss Jr. & @om3’s tag-team sermon. But I loved their reading of the demoniac in Mark 5 so much, I’ve got to at least give you movements: The man had been in shackles & chains, was “formerly incarcerated.” #CDFProctor The “10,000 policies” of the empire are constructed to fracture identity, so that people are never able to know their own name. Thus when Jesus asks the demoniac his own name, “he can’t speak, but his issues speak for him.” @om3 #CDFProctor
Jul 13, 2018 6 tweets 2 min read
Prophetic movements start from the margins, gathered around disenfranchised voices. Precisely because they are on the margins, they hear some things clearly. When they get power, people listen to them...but the leaders aren’t in the same proximity to listen to the Spirit anymore. I don’t say this with judgment. It happens to all of us. Once we become experts on hearing/speaking for God, we forget we only heard God before because we were on the outside, where God always is. So by the time we become experts, we actually don’t hear God so well.
Jun 18, 2018 12 tweets 3 min read
I’ve had folks tell me they get tired of me talking like I do now. That’s more than fair, cause I’m tired of talking about the things I talk about too, & even more tired of thinking about the things I think about. Frankly, I want to crawl back under the covers & go back to sleep. You know what I want to talk about? I’m not being sarcastic here—I really DO want to talk about a new season, or how your comeback starts now, or how God is gonna turn it around. I want to say something vaguely but universally hopeful. I love to preach things, that preach easy.
Jun 10, 2018 11 tweets 2 min read
It’s a heavy time for so many. I haven’t felt like saying anything hopeful about it, cause I’ve got my own sadness, & I don’t always want to be hopeful. Sometimes I just need to feel what I feel. But if it’s helpful, brief thoughts on depression, suicide, & hell. No disclaimers. Hell is a real place. Have you been? It’s where your stuck inside your own despair, trapped in your head, can see no way out. I’ve visited a few times, & thought I was over—wanted to be over. I’ve stood over the non-metaphorical cliff, ready to make that last call.
May 15, 2018 7 tweets 2 min read
Every single dangerous theological idea I can think of (as in, theology that ACTUALLY RESULTS IN KILLING PEOPLE) comes down to one massive misreading: who/how God chooses (or, who God calls/elects/predestines, whether speaking of Israel or individuals who are "saved"). First of all, Israel as a modern nation-state has no connection whatsoever to Israel as the people of God in our Old Testament. But for a moment, let's grant that it does. Why does God call Abraham/Israel? So that through him/them, "all the families of the earth shall be blessed"
Apr 21, 2018 12 tweets 3 min read
Hebrews 13.12-13: “Therefore Jesus also suffered outside the city gate in order to sanctify the people by his own blood. Let us then go to him outside the camp and bear the abuse he endured.” My, my. Go TO Jesus. Where? Outside the camp. Why? To bear rejection alongside him. No matter who you are or where you are, conscious awareness of God’s presence will come & go. But I’m convinced that many of us rarely sense the presence simply because we don’t go to Jesus where he is—outside the camp, outside the gate.
Apr 1, 2018 5 tweets 2 min read
We’ve fallen off of some wagons, jumped on to some others. You got a raise or lost the money. You got drunk or sober, married or divorced. People were born, people died. Nothing could stop the rising. Your accomplishments didn’t speed him up, your failure didn’t slow him down. Love got up, in his own sweet time. Death was conquered. Maybe you don’t believe it. So? What you BELIEVE won’t make it more or less true.
Resurrection is God's responsibility. #easter
Mar 21, 2018 6 tweets 1 min read
Ideological purity will give you plenty of room for self-congratulation & superiority, but there’s no grace in it. People move, shift, grow change—& the folk that ought to cheer them on the loudest attack them the hardest instead, telling them they haven’t come far enough. Isn’t it better to affirm any steps toward life, love & justice—“hey good job taking these small steps! We believe in you! You can do it!”—rather than ripping people for not coming all the way? People who just left Egypt don’t need to be lectured while they are in the wilderness.
Feb 20, 2018 7 tweets 2 min read
You can survive. You can survive when you've lost all rational reasons for wanting to survive. You can survive off of the primal, animal instinct that says it's not your time to go, no matter what the voices in your head try to tell you. You can survive out of sheer morbid curiosity as to where your story might yet land. You can survive off of one garbled, half-sincere prayer. While not recommended for long, you can survive off of rage, or the refusal to give your enemies the satisfaction of watching you quit.
Feb 16, 2018 13 tweets 3 min read
It never ceases to amaze that the president of the largest Christian institution for higher learning in North America consistently collapses the language of Christian faith with idolatrous nationalism. Nor does it cease to amaze that you literally have NOTHING TO SAY ABOUT JESUS. Further, 1) I'm not a "Christian leftist." I am a Jesus-ist, a kingdom-of-God-ist. I believe Jesus' call to the kingdom transcends my allegiance to any particular nation-state. I'm not interested in telling Caesar how to run Rome, but telling Christians not to worship Rome/Caesar
Feb 11, 2018 28 tweets 4 min read
Dear twitter friends: these days have felt heavy to me. I’ve not said a lot, b/c I haven’t had a lot to say. But feeling a little freed up tonight, maybe I’ll make up for lost time with a few unconnected thoughts. Not super coherent, but a glimpse into my heart-however random: 1) A “platform” will not pay your bills. “Influence” doesn’t automatically translate into anything quantifiable at all. Let him/her who has ears to hear, hear.
Jan 24, 2018 14 tweets 3 min read
I try to not riff/give “hot takes” on everything—I too easily could rant constantly. I prefer to be generous/edifying as much as possible. But for better or worse, here’s me letting out the monster that ever runs beneath my normally jolly, ostensibly encouraging exterior self: I read the inflammatory piece on “shitholes” from Rod Dreher, & the flap over the latest asinine thing John Piper said about women in ministry. I’m torn between two responses: a) eye-rolling b) the same thing I feel when people report something crazy Pat Robertson says...
Jan 18, 2018 11 tweets 2 min read
So you keep hurtling down the path of deconstruction...good! I’m not afraid of this. God is an arsonist, regularly setting fire to systems & structures (especially religious ones) that keep out the Spirit’s wildness. If it can burn, let it burn. If it can be shaken, let it shake. God is full of mischief. You couldn’t be more disruptive than God is if you wanted to. The question for you is...will you stick around for the new construction, on the other side of the deconstruction? Taking it all apart is exhilarating at first, then gets boring after awhile.
Nov 30, 2017 7 tweets 2 min read
Blessings to the intuitive folks out there—exhausted from every link they click, feeling every sound bite like a paper cut; & the folks just trying to keep their hearts open, with constant chaos in the air. Clear the hard drive of your heart. Disconnect. Remember your true name. Blessings to the sensitive out there, who can’t stop feeling the brutality in the air, settled in your bones like winter’s chill. Blessings to the over-stimulated, about to collapse under the weight of your own wanting. Hear the call to fall/come apart, into Spirit’s sweet rest.
Oct 31, 2017 20 tweets 4 min read
First off, I want to apologize to the group of @LibertyU students who were going to meet me at 7am for prayer tomorrow outside the library. This is a crucial moment in history, & what you do with it matters--so I hope you will still come & seek divine wisdom to be faithful in it.
Oct 27, 2017 19 tweets 4 min read
Friends: I do not do this in a light or cavalier way. But I feel like I can’t get away from this—I’m going to need some prayer & some help. I feel led to organize a time of praise & peaceful protest at one of the most hostile environments for the gospel in the US: @LibertyU.