28 September 2012

Another Article: Bill Gates on life and death

Bill Gates wrote a letter to Steve Jobs, who kept it by his bedside as he lay dying. In this profile by Mary Riddell of The Daily Telegraph, Gates addresses economic fairness, philanthropy, his friendship with business rival Jobs, and what will become of himself and his legacy.
Though not especially religious, and far from pious (“People on the front line are the saints”), Bill Gates is driven on by faith. “I believed in the personal computer and I devoted my life to it,” he says. “If you have a dream, and it comes true, it’s a very cool thing.” Now he extends the passion he once expended on enterprise to ending disease and starvation. The man who changed the way the rich world lives is equally determined to change the way in which the poor world dies.

21 September 2012

The Word became cloth-bound and republished

          Never have I been so excited for a new Bible (a theologian problem) as today when I was able to find a copy of The New English Bible at a used bookstore in the university district. Aptly I dub it "the English major's Bible," particularly because of how it is an example of how the English language, despite its faultiness, is able to translate essence and devotion across cultures and eras into the present day. The British theological commitment to emphasizing beauty in scriptural wording is probably a reason people still use Biblical excerpts as a text for hermeneutical approaches in a public setting. You cannot say that about the New International Version or the New American Standard, even though they may be accurate in doctrine. It is audibly comprehensible while maintaining the distinctiveness and reverence found in King Jimmy's translation. I think it is perfect for scripture reading in church or meditation on a lazy Sunday, be it a rainy or golden morning. Completely published in 1970 by the universities of Cambridge and Oxford, it isn't quite popular in the U.S. as it is primarily accessible by British influenced ecclesia (don't call it a hipster version, even though the NIV is too mainstream).

Expect to see readings from this new book of scripture here.

20 September 2012

On the God who cries with us

Jesus’ outcry ‘My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?’ echoes every victim’s outcry. When a hungry child cries in starvation, a child is sexually or physically abused or molested, a child is despised and discriminated against because of the color of his or her skin, a woman is raped, a homosexual person is murdered, a poor person shivers in the cold, a prisoner in a dungeon is tortured, a person is injured or killed in a war, or an AIDS victim dies, Jesus’ shrill outcry ‘My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?’ reverberates across the valley of the shadow of death.  
—Andrew Sung Park, "Triune Atonement"

13 September 2012

On God and our political platforms

         "There seems to be a misconception among many American Christians that fighting the good fight of faith means keeping God’s name on our money, in our speeches, in our pledge, and on our bumper stickers. 
         But this is the danger of civic religion: it convinces us that God’s name is the same as God’s presence; it convinces us that we’ve “won” when we hear the right words, regardless of whether we’ve seen the right fruit. But God’s name is not enough, and America has a troubled history of slavery, ethnic cleansing, and the destruction of creation to show that invoking God’s name is not the same as earning God’s favor. 
          As Susan B. Anthony so wisely put it, “I distrust those people who know so well what God wants them to do because I notice it always coincides with their own desires.” Ironically, we render God’s name more meaningless each time we use it carelessly to advance our own agendas." 
 Rachel Held Evans, Christian columnist and writer.

07 September 2012

The kingdom of God is near

           Of course a number of issues bother young people today, among them sex, relationships, academic and career options, etc. So for anyone of us with a faith background, we deal with the relevance of faith in our lives, as well as one other question that becomes pertinent with maturity into adulthood: What is the will of God in my life?