"Former IBM employee Bruce Buckelew has made it his mission to eliminate the digital divide in Oakland, Calif. By refurbishing donated computers and giving low-income families access to technology, the Oakland Technology Exchange (OTX) is providing access to the educational, health care, and employment resources available on the Internet that so many people take for granted." See audio slideshow.
I was reading that Google Social Search is going live Monday. Still pondering the implications for Christian bloggers. But with greater integration of Facebook and Google I am suspecting some of the SEO rules will be shifting.
I was just reading about the booming Nigerian film industry known as Nollywood. Not only has Nollywood recently surpassed Hollywood in film production, most Nigerian films are spiritual in nature and over 20% are Christian, making Nigeria the Christian Movie Capital of the World.
I was reading in the news that, "As the United Nations has made a small but significant step forward towards declaring caste-based discrimination a human rights violation, Indian Christian leaders have called on the churches to confess that the caste system is still being practised also within them."
Now, before we tut, tut the continuance of caste discrimination within the Indian church, have you ever considered just how much missional ecclesiology is drawn from the experience of Indian missionaries? The experience that growth is faster Christians contextualize into the subcultures (aka castes) rather than challenge subcultural boundaries? Have you considered that the homogenous unity principle was hashed out in a caste situation?
Now understand, I am not saying contextualization is of no value, I think it has much value. But part of the contextualizing process should surely be contextually challenging cultural boundaries?
Not so long ago I wrote some articles on Christian yoga. Firstly, in How (not) to Christianize Yoga, I outlined a basic methodology. Secondly, in Yoga Body Yoga Spirit, I outlined some specific challenges, namely, how we understand Spirit (pneumatology) and how we understand union with God (soteriology).
So, having stirred the pot on Yoga and Hinduism, I now what to turn my attention to Zen and Buddhism. To what extent can we Christianize Zen? Again, there are good ways to Christianize a non-Christian practice ... and there are not so good ways. Again we can find a multitude of less than inspiring examples. But before we begin, I have a confession to make, I am actually a former Zen Christian … of the distinctly syncretistic, mix-n-match kind. So when I say there are some "not so good ways", I cite my own inital practice as a prime example.
You see, when I converted to Christianity out of the New Age Movement some 16 or so years ago now, there was not much guidance available in those days. So I had to figure things out for myself, and I made many mistakes getting to that point. It took me some time to realize that any Zen, any dhyāna, any meditation, that can be authentically called Christian, will be grounded in Christ and Christ alone, before anything and everything.
Following this, in exploring Zen as Christians there is a sense in which we need to develop our own Christian Buddhology. In the same way Buddhists see the need to articulate a Buddhist understanding of Christ, Christians need to articulate a Christian understanding of Buddha. And here is the crux of it: if we seek to practice meditation in an authentically Christian way, the Buddha can never be granted the same authority as Christ. His perspectives may prove useful, but we cannot never hail him co-master, so long as we wish to remain Christ-centered that is.
That's enough for now, I'll return to this topic soon.