Sunday, September 25, 2005

Telegraph | Expat | The Bible for slow readers

Telegraph | Expat | The Bible for slow readers

Nice idea. I like their clearly defined target audience: those in search of faith, or Christians who want to be refreshed in their experience with the Bible. (Those are my words)

Sometimes we get so hung up over the fact that the Bible is God's Word that we fear presenting it in a relevant way. To people of that mindset I say just present it in the original Hebrew or Greek and let people learn the languages if they really want to seek.

Some stuff in the old testament is more easily understood with charts etc. than paragraphs, yet because the information was stored in words, it was able to be passed down more accurately to us. God knew what He was doing :) Diagrams may not have survived the hands of many scribes as well as letters and characters.

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Telegraph | Expat | Missionaries desert the Dark Continent to convert the secular French

Not that this is news, but kind of refreshing to find a comment about Christianity in the mainstream media that's not laced with sarcasm or negativity. Much.

The article's about British evangelical mission organisations sending people to France and Spain.


"[Europe]'s geographical proximity and relative lack of Bible-based Protestant churches has made it increasingly alluring territory for British evangelicals. Moreover, large parts of the Third World are now so teeming with Christians that they are no longer seen as obvious destinations - and they are even exporting their own missionaries to the West."

This last bit is so true. I can't remember where I read it, but it said that Africa and Asia are now sending more missionaries back to Europe than the other way around.

Another article (or maybe the same one, can't remember?) was saying that figures showing which religion is growing fastest (you know, the ones that show Islam is the fastest growing) may be misleading because the statisticians are looking for institutional, traditional expressions of religion - and much of the explosive growth in places like Africa and India is taking place in a far less official way, through the growth of housechurches, etc.

Just like it was in the book of Acts.

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

The Complex Christ: Stages of Faith - Anxiety, Church and the Freedom to Doubt

The Complex Christ: Stages of Faith - Anxiety, Church and the Freedom to Doubt

I like this! I wish I'd read stuff like this YEARS ago. Particularly:

"...anxiety comes from not being able to know the world you're in, not being able to orient yourself in your own existence."

Friday, September 02, 2005

Link: Rendering unto Caesar

Rendering unto Caesar

Ole Anthony runs a Christian satirical magazine called The Door. Trouble with satire sometimes is you don't know what the satirist actually believes. Thankfully, his eloquent editorials answer that question.

With an election looming, and Christians in politics all over the place, this article is very timely.

I don't have a problem with Christians going for office - after all, Daniel and Joseph occupied very high positions of authority, and the book of Acts mentions an important member of Herod's household as being part of the Antioch eldership. But it's interesting that, in Daniel and Joseph's case, they were forced into the position; they didn't seek it.

Also a few thoughts on the verse at the heart of Ole's editorial: "Give to Caesar what is Caesar's, and to God what is God's."

I think a lot of people get this verse upside down and around the wrong way, thinking that Caesar (or the government, or the world) has some bits, and God has the remainder. Look at what Jesus said:

"Show me the coin used for paying the tax ... Whose portrait is this? Whose inscription?"

"Caesar's," they replied.

Then he said to them, "Give to Caesar what is Caesar's, and to God what is God's.

(Matthew 22:19-21)

Let's turn the question around. A bit like Jeopardy!

What are we talking about if "God" is the answer and "Whose portrait is this? Whose inscription?" is the question?

Answer: The Earth is the Lord's and everything in it!

Sure, Caesar's got his head on the coin. But it's not a matter of two equal halves, sacred and secular, it's more a case of concentric circles - God's delegated authority to man (leaders who often ignore Him) and God's sovereign authority over space and time.

Does that help me with the upcoming election? Kind of. As with last time, I'm voting United Future - a secular party with a lot of Christians in it, and values that Christians can ally with.

Having shown my card, I'll now go and eat some pizza. Mmm!