Bob Hyatt proposes an interesting solution to the same sex marriage connundrum. As marriage is a church term, states shouldn't "marry" anyone, hetrosexuals included. They should however offer civil unions to everyone.
Do Christians need a Christian prime minister? - "Recently disendorsed NSW Liberal candidate, David Barker, expressed concern that Julia Gillard was "anti-God" and that a non-Liberal vote would be a vote for Muslims, thus reintroducing religion, kicking and screaming in protest, to the campaign agenda." Excellent critique of theocratic Christianity by Greg Clarke.
Election ignores marginalised says Anglicare - Sydney Morning Herald reports, "The poor and marginalised will be left out of this year's election debate as leaders focus on middle Australia, the Christian charity Anglicare says."
I have been involved in a few conversations about Gnosticism lately and it's prompted me to ask, what can Christians learn from Gnostics? I ask this because, while I do see Gnosticism as a counterfeit form of Christianity, I nevertheless think there are opportunities to learn from it. I think this of every religion.
With Gnosticism this can be a bit tricky though. Because often things are attributed exclusively to Gnostic scriptures which are already found within the New Testament. For example, authoritative females (Acts 18:26) and mystical experience (Acts 22:17).
As sites like Techcrunch and Gizmodo have been saying, it's pretty clear now that the next big social networking thing is going to be location. Location-based social networks like Foursquare, Gowalla and Loopt allow friends to keep up with each other in the real world. The business potential is huge.
I've got my eye on the subculture potential. Imagine the scenes that you're in. What if, as you're walking down the street, your smart phone alerted you to the fact that that coffee shop / book store over there was becoming real popular with your friends or interest group of choise, and that some mates were hanging out there right now?
The web has birthed all sorts of groups that would hardly exist in the size or shape they are now without it. Just think of the plethora of groups you're a member of on Facebook or the friends you've met through blogs. Imagine them multiplying in real space? We've seen the birth of so-called cyber churches. Is it beyond the bounds of imagination to envisage location-based social networked churches? Or missional churches plugged into location-based social networking scenes?
One of the envisaged applications is the ability for friends to share their rankings for locations such as restaurants, pubs, etc. Earlier this week I learned of JewPS, an app which focusses on kosher people and places. Imagine how location-based social networking could turbo-charge the Charismatic underground ... or church switching? Locations of interest and "likings" be shared around like the Ship of Fools mystery shopper on steroids. Whether you like it or not, I think your kids will, and I think it's a reality we will soon be forced to adapt to.
JewPS: track Jews with your iPhone. At first glance I wondered if neonazi skinheads or the Islamic Jihad was behind this one, but noooo. According to Keren Hayesod and the Jewish iPhone community it's a kosher GPS app that is coming soon for iPhones. I'm still not sure what to think. If it's genuine I can only imagine how it will fuel underground cultural and religious evolution.
One of the critical weaknesses of the evangelical tradition, IMO, is that it has no appreciation for silence. Evangelical teachers talk, talk, talk, and never know when to shut up. I expect it comes from their emphasis on the Word. It's like silence is some kind of sacrilege.
Yet the Word itself speaks of silence.
Ecclesiastes 3 says,
"There is a time for everything ... a time to be silent and a time to speak."
Habakkuk 2 says,
"But the LORD is in his holy temple; let all the earth be silent before him."
Revelation 8 says,
"When he opened the seventh seal, there was silence in heaven for about half an hour."
Have you ever experienced silence used powerfully in worship?
Some news articles that attracted my attention this week:
Solomon's Temple in Brazil - "One of the world's largest and most controversial Pentecostal churches has been given permission to build a $200m (£130m) replica of Solomon's Temple in Brazil's economic capital, São Paulo." I can't help thinking of what Jesus said, "I tell you that one greater than the temple is here." (Matthew 12:6)
Young Salvationists hear call to tackle human trafficking - "The head of Women’s Ministries in The Salvation Army USA has called on more than 1,000 young Salvationists from around the world to join the fight against human trafficking." Great to see more and more people waking up to the human trafficking issue worldwide.
The high price of being a Christian in Pakistan - "The last two months have seen an intensification of the level of discrimination and persecution against Christians, particularly women and young girls. Kidnap, rape, forced marriage and forced conversion to Islam have sadly become everyday occurrences." Very disturbing.
"No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.” Mark 13:32
So, omnipotence was illusive even for God incarnate. How much more so for us then? It is important to recognize the limits of our knowledge. It’s important to flesh out a negative theology even as we affirm Jesus as the revelation of God. I’m thinking that negative theology can potentially function as a corrective against theological arrogance.