Random Glimpses from Narita Airport
Labels: Really Random Pictures
My adventures with God,life and all these stuff.
Labels: Really Random Pictures
Myers in his blogpost
There’s an extremely valuable analysis of all this in the excellent study by Young-Gwan Kim, Karl Barth’s Reception in Korea: Focusing on Ecclesiology in Relation to Korean Christian Thought (Peter Lang 2003). Kim provides a broad account of the institutional and denominational contexts of Barth’s reception in Korea. He argues that the distinctiveness of Korean Barth-reception has much to do with the culture’s deep Confucian heritage, and with the intimate connection between Confucianism and the rise of Christianity in Korea. (It was Confucian scholars who first translated the Bible into Korean: Confucianism is already entwined with the roots of Korean Christianity.) After tracing the broad history of Barth’s reception in Korea, Kim provides an extensive analysis (pp. 225-324) of the work of Sung-Bum Yun. Although he is critical of Yun’s tendency towards philosophical abstraction (it becomes hard to see where the salvation-event fits into his elaborate system of Tao, jen, and filial piety), he concludes: “we cannot deny Yun’s insistence that Korean Christianity is strikingly a Confucian-influenced Christianity and that therefore the indigenization of Karl Barth’s theology within the Korean Confucian context is a viable theological enterprise” (p. 324).
SFI Seminar 2011/2
Spiritual Formation Institute Seminar 2011/1
Labels: Conference Infomation
Batman, Inc and Spiritual Multiplication
Batman Incorporated (also known as Batman, Inc.) is an American comic book ongoing series, written by Grant Morrison and featuring Batman, that began in 2010. The debut of the series follows the events of Final Crisis, Batman and Robin and The Return of Bruce Wayne where, after being stranded in the distant past and believed dead, Bruce Wayne has returned to the present day DC Universe and is prepared to take his war on crime to the next level, by essentially "franchising" it and drafting, training and commanding a global team of heroes who will answer to Batman himself.
According to an article in the New York Post and DC Comics themselves, Dick Grayson will retain the role of Batman in Gotham City as Bruce Wayne travels across the world, seeking to use the symbolic power Batman has on a global scale. Wayne will also be featured wearing a new costume designed by David Finch, to further distinguish him from Grayson. Batwoman, who had previously guest-starred in Morrison's Batman and Robin series, will appear in issue #4 as part of a lead-in to her new ongoing series.I still cannot get over the idea of Batman starting a franchise. For a man who is not super or meta powered, not invulnerable but dependent on his wit and gadgetry to survive, he has been doing well. However part of his ethos is that he is a loner, a creature of the night so that he strikes fear into the hearts of criminals. Coming into the light and organising a franchise of 'batmans' is just not in his character. Also many of his wards or apprentices that he has take on especially the Jason Todd Robin and Stephanie did not fare well. Dick Grayson was literally forced to become the Batman of Gotham when he was doing so well as Nightwing. Batman/Bruce Wayne is not able to produce another crimefighter like him. He was not doing too well in the mentoring department.
Christine Sine in her blog Godspace has a synchroblog for Lent. She has graciously included one of my meditations in per blog
Posted on March 22, 2011 by Christine Sine
Today’s post comes from Alex Tang, a senior consultant paediatrician at the Johor Specialist Hospital, Johor Bahru and an adjunct teaching faculty of Monash University School of Medicine in Malaysia. His books include Random Musings From a Doctor’s Chair. He is founder of the Spiritual Formation Institute at the Holy Light Church in Johor Bahru. His special interests are in theology, philosophy, spiritual formation, Christian spirituality and biomedical ethics.
This post first appeared on Alex tang’s blog: Random Musing’s From a Doctor’s Chair
_________________________________________________________You ask me to follow you? To be a fisher of men? Aren’t you just a carpenter? And the son of a carpenter? What do you know about fishing? Who do you think you are? And why should I follow you?
What? Yes, I must admit that I have heard rumours of your so-called miracles; the blind can see and the deaf can hear. Me? I’m seeing and hearing just fine. I have a thriving business here and have branches in Tarsus and Derby. That’s in Greece, you know. I have a beautiful wife and many children. Yes, children are a gift from God and my quiver is full. Too full, I sometimes feel. I am a respected leader in the community. In the evening I sit at the gate with the other leaders of this community and share my wisdom with them. In the synagogue I have a honoured place by the eastern wall. I serve my God well. I am not fanatical as the Pharisees in following rules. Well okay, sometimes I bend them a bit. Then I am not so crazy as the Essenes with their monastic ideals. I am seeing and hearing just fine.
Erh? You want me to follow you and leave all these behind? Do you know how much work I have put in to become who I am today? You do? Stop looking at me with those piercing eyes! Sometimes I feel that you are looking directly into my soul. I am a good man I am. Well maybe there are a few dark secrets I keep. Okay, okay, more than a few. But then who hasn’t? Well maybe I play too easy with the rules in my business. You know what they say, as long as you don’t get caught… Will you stop looking at me that way? Yes, I am sometimes a hypocrite in my dealings others and sometimes I pretend to know when I don’t. But I do have to keep their respect, don’t I?
Again with the following. You don’t exactly live in five-stars hotels in your wandering. I like my comfort. I deserved it after working so hard, don’t I? What, you want me to shake your hand? Oh, to see your hands. Man, your hand is so hard and rough. So many scars and calluses. Must be hard being a carpenter, eh? No power tools. Okay, okay, you work hard too. Who is going to look after my wife and kids when I am following you? Who is going to take care of my business when we are gone? Your Abba in heaven. You mean the One whose name we must not say. Your Abba? Woh, let me get out of the way. Lightning strike time.
Follow you, Jesus of Nazareth? Give me one good reason why I should. What do you mean I have to give you reasons why I should not?
The posts for this Lenten Series on Following Jesus What Difference Does it Make have been both thought provoking and inspiring. and readers are loving it. I hope that you will continue to read along with us through the following weeks. Here is the list for those of you that have missed them.A prayer for the Second Sunday of Lent
Eugene Cho - Giving Up Coffee or My Life
Tim Dalton – Following Jesus What Difference Does it Make
Paula Mitchell – The Grace to Trust
Jeff Johnson – Christ Has Walked this Path A Lenten video
Christine Sine – Where is God in the Midst of Disaster?
Keith Giles – Nobody Follows Jesus So Why Should You?
Ron Cole – Leaving to Find Church
Jon Stevens – You Do Not Need To Go To Seminary to Follow Jesus
Christine Sine – Earthquake In Japan How Do We Pray?
John Van de Laar – Into The Desert
Lynne Baab - Freedom From Fear of Death
A Lenten Prayer by Ignatius Loyola
Another Ash Wednesday Prayer
Wanna read Karl Barth's Church Dogmatics in a week? Over at the Faith and Theology blog, Benjamin Myers gives us a shorter version.
Church Dogmatics is one of the longest theological works ever written. The work was published as 13 massive tomes; and although Barth had planned to divide the work into five main volumes, he did not live long enough to complete even the fourth volume.
With that disclaimer aside, let me now heartlessly betray Barth by offering a sort of fast-food version of the Church Dogmatics....
nkw expands on his earlier post Malay Bibles Desecrated by Malaysian Authorities
Some government officials have claimed that Christians are making an unnecessary fuss over the recent stamping of the Alkitab seized in Port Klang and Kuching. After all, they say, the Government also requires copies of the Quran to be chopped/stamped with a notice of government approval before they are sold in the shops.
Even some Christians also wonder why such a big deal is being made about the stamping since Christians, unlike Muslims, do not regard printed copies of the Bible with reverence. It is just a printed text. What matters is the message conveyed by the Bible.
This article seeks to address the failure to understand the reason for rejecting the stamping of the Alkitab.
Iron Man (アイアンマン, Aian Man ) is the first show of the series with 12 episodes. The series was directed by Yuzo Sato with Warren Ellis writing the story. A special preview ran on Animax on September 25, 2010, before the series began airing on October 1, 2010, and ended on December 17, 2010.
Tony Stark goes to Japan to produce a new arc station and showcase the Iron Man Dio, a new prototype armor, that will replace him when he retires. However, the Dio goes out of control and it is up to Tony as Iron Man to stop it along with an organization called the Zodiac.
You ask me to follow you? To be a fisher of men? Aren't you just a carpenter? And the son of a carpenter? What do you know about fishing? Who do you think you are? And why should I follow you?
From Thinking Faith
RPM Volume 13, Number 12 (March 20 to March 26, 2011), is now available. The following articles are featured in this issue:
Here is a posting from nkm which I have reproduced in full. For more read here
Malay Bibles Desecrated by Malaysian AuthoritiesBy nkw
“Oh No! They killed our loved ones even though we paid the ransom.”
This is the worst nightmare experienced by people who paid ransom to kidnappers only to find their loved ones returned to them executed.
“Oh No! They desecrated our beloved Holy Bibles.”
This is the heart wrenching experience of Malaysian Christians who found their Holy Bibles returned to them defaced and desecrated. Malaysian Christians have earlier out of courtesy and grace agreed with the government to print the Alkitab (Malay Bible) with the symbol of the cross on the front cover along with the caption “A Christian Publication” [ The claim by the Minister of Home Affairs that Christians have earlier agreed to have the phrase, "For Christians only" stamped on the Alkitab is a lie. There was no such agreement. His statement, "We stamped the Bible based on amalan (practice) before… during Abdullah Badawi and even Tun Dr Mahathir’s time,” is also a lie].
Nevertheless, the authorities proceeded to detain 5000 copies of the Alkitab for the last two years.
Malaysian Christians waited with guarded optimism when the government recently announced that it will release the Alkitab that have been confiscated but to their horror they were suddenly informed that the authorities have hurriedly and unilaterally stamped all the Alkitab with an ugly notification from the Ministry of Home Affairs. See picture below.
The English translation reads: Reminder: This ‘Al Kitab Berita Baik’ is for the use of Christians only. By order of the Home Minister.”
Notice the official chop/stamp (Bottom Left) and the serial number that is to be imprinted onto the Bible (Upper Right).
The defaced Bible is now imprinted with a serial number, obviously to facilitate the authorities threatening to track every copy of the Alkitab used by the community.
Christians are horrified by the arrogance of the officials. The contemptuous act of defacing the Alkitab is nothing less than sacrilege.
The Christian Federation of Malaysia rightly expressed that they felt “deeply hurt”. I think it is being polite. “Outrage” would have been a more appropriate word.
I think the only proper thing for the government to do is to make immediate amends: Apologize for its callous act. Return the Alkitab back to the publisher and replace them with new Alkitab. Under no circumstances should these defaced Alkitab be destroyed – that would be another act of desecration. The government should bear all costs and give written assurance that such desecration will never happen again.
O God, your Holy Scripture has been desecrated, your name and reputation defiled! When will you rise up and judge all these arrogant offenders for their blatant act of sacrilege?
In the 20th century, no man has been a stronger witness to the continuing significance of Christ's death and Christ's return than the world's ranking Protestant theologian, Swiss-born Karl Barth (rhymes with heart). Barth knows that the Gospel accounts of the Resurrection are not coherent, but he refuses to make the mystery more palatable to human reason by suggesting—as did the great 19th century Theologian D. F. Strauss in his Life of Jesus—that the story of the crucifixion is a "myth." Instead, Barth argues that the subject of this unique event is God, not man; and only God can know the full truth of his own history. Man's only road to understanding of this divine history is through faith—faith in the reality and truth of what the Evangelists so incoherently describe.These are fighting words and so very true.
"Do you want to believe in the living Christ?" says Barth. "We may believe in him only if we believe in his corporeal resurrection. This is the content of the New Testament. We are always free to reject it, but not to modify it, nor to pretend that the New Testament tells something else. We may accept or refuse the message, but we may not change it."
Essentially, Barth is a Christological theologian, whose uniquely modern thought centers around ancient realities: faith, the Bible, the church. He has a philosopher's knowledge of philosophy, but unlike such contemporaries as Tillich or Bultmann, Barth is wary of restating the dogmas of the church in nontraditional language. His thought is complex, but he nonetheless writes of doctrine in prose that is not far removed from that of the pulpit. Above all he writes of the mysterious history of Christ. Knowledge of God is knowledge of God through Christ. Faith is faith in Christ; the church is the Church of Christ; the Bible is the witness of Christ. Theologian Hans Frei of Yale calls him "a Christ-intoxicated man."read more
Did a Spiritual Formation Seminar with some Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM) students with some unexpected results
Labels: Spiritual Formation
The “crisis” among new evangelicals appears evident as they increasingly disassociate from the Religious Right and take up a progressive theological agenda oriented toward social justice – with an emphasis on a broad range of social issues. What is less clear is how they develop a shared narrative and means of sustained informal interaction. Despite the lack of an apparent organizational center, there are significant commonalities among the new evangelicals. The most significant of these shared aims is their growing agenda, which places an emphasis on social justice issues and the degree to which their theological expression is intimately bound to the exercise of social responsibility.
This book looks at the ways that Western politics incorporate, and exploit, religion. In particular, it examines the rise of US evangelicalism as a force in world affairs. It looks in detail at some of the most powerful agencies involved, and at the way they operate - often as US government proxies - in such countries as Iraq, Thailand, and India...Armies of God is a plea for us to realize just how pervasive (and unspoken) is the role of religion in power politics - and how destructive we have allowed it to be.
Martyn Lloyd-Jones once wrote: “Prayer is beyond any question the highest activity of the human soul. Man is at his greatest and highest when upon his knees he comes face to face with God”
Labels: Really Random Musings
I am reposting this poem that I wrote for Ash Wednesday 2009
|Thursday, 12 May|
|7.00 - 8.00pm||Registration|
|8.00 - 8.15pm||Welcome & Worship|
|8.15 - 9.30pm||Session 1 "The Kingdom of Heaven"|
|Friday, 13 May||Saturday, 14 May|
|8.30 - 9.00am||Registration||Registration|
|9.00 - 9.15am||Worship||Worship|
|9.15 - 10.15am||Session 2 "The Call to Discipleship"||Session 5 "How Disciples Pray"|
|10.15 - 10.45am||Morning Tea Break||Morning Tea Break|
|10.45 - 12pm||Session 3 Guided Discussion||Session 6 Guided Discussion|
|12.00 - 1.00pm||Lunch||Lunch|
|1.00 - 2.15pm||Workshop *||Workshop *|
|2.15 - 2.45pm||Afternoon Tea Break||Afternoon Tea Break|
|2.45 - 3.45pm||Session 4 "Kingdom Living"||Session 7 "Disciples & Priorities"|
|3.45 - 4.00pm||Closing||Closing|
Labels: Conference Information
By Steven Pressfield | Published: March 7, 2011Chapter 12 How the Spartans Became the Spartans
All warrior cultures start with a great man.
In ancient Sparta, that man was Lycurgus. He took the city from a normal society and made it into a warrior culture.
So that no individual would have grounds to feel superior to another, Lycurgus divided the country into 9000 equal plots of land. To each family he gave one plot. Further, he decreed that the men no longer be called “citizens,” but “peers” or “equals.”Lycurgus outlawed all occupations except warrior. He decreed that no name could be inscribed on a tombstone except that of a woman who died in childbirth or a man killed on the battlefield. A Spartan entered the army at eighteen and remained in service till he was sixty; he regarded all other occupations as unfitting for a man.
So that no man might compete with another or put on airs over wealth, Lycurgus outlawed money. A coin sufficient to purchase a loaf of bread was made of iron, the size of a man’s head and weighing over thirty pounds. So ridiculous was such coinage that men no longer coveted wealth but pursued virtue instead.
There are some good articles in this issue.