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Micah is a biblical prophet in ancient Israel. I dusted off my bible to read his relatively short essay preserved in the Hebrew and Christian scriptures. There I met a man who was highly sensitive to the traumas perpetrated by the lack of leadership at every level within his society. A sample from his essay flows like a conscious hip hop verse:

“Both hands are skilled in doing evil; the ruler demands gifts, the judge accepts bribes, the powerful dictate what they desire — they all conspire together” (Micah 7:3, NIV).

Conspiracy was not just a theory, it was a fact, according to Micah. It does not feel as if these words were penned thousands of years ago because Micah’s criticisms of local and national leaders then are just as relevant now, but on a global scale. Human systems and the planet seem to be reacting negatively to our institutions and their patriarchy — a massive allergic reaction. …


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Just over one year ago, during the second half of February 2018, I traveled to the Middle East. I had heard, and in my own ways believed, the biblical stories that are the roots of my Christian faith for 33 years. I needed to see things for myself so I could come to some of my own conclusions, and wrestle with some new questions. I set out on my journey with two major expectations. I expected to be somewhat disappointed and I expected to be quite fascinated.

It is a bit cynical but I had considered the irony of the ancient stories, the crusades, the ongoing conflicts, and the modernization and memorializing all adding up to produce a tourist trap. I had also imagined a family feud so complicated it must require an act of God to resolve it. If I am honest, I have long been afraid to learn more about the ancient and modern roots of my Christian faith because I feared what might happen if I found out there is someone behind the curtain, and it is not God. And if that curtain is torn in half, where does that leave me? Nevertheless, I set out to dig up whatever unexpected truth I might find. …


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I have not found a more diverse or barrier-breaking expression of Protestant Christian faith in the United States than what I have observed from those affiliated with the Christian Community Development Association (CCDA). “CCDA pioneer, John Perkins, first developed [the] philosophy while working among the poor in Mississippi.” Dr. Perkins, and his wife, Dr. Vera Mae Perkins have been living out their philosophy for nearly sixty years.

Over the past three decades, dozens of other practitioners from common and uncommon contexts have added their own contributions, some having attained Christian rock star status within the association, yet none surpassing Dr. Perkins. …

About

Dr. Zachary Hamilton, DTL

This account is a vessel of prose and poetry for scholar-practitioner Dr. Zachary Hamilton, DTL.

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