Wednesday, April 30, 2008

The Embryology Bill in the United Kingdom

The Embryology Bill: What is at stake?
by Agneta Sutton

Expected to have its Second Reading in the House of Commons in May, the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill has already been the focus of controversy, with media attention given to the interventions of Church leaders and the call for the government to allow a free vote. But what does the Bill actually propose? Agneta Sutton examines some of the most contentious measures and the ethical issues they raise.

The Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill, currently on its way through Parliament, contains a number of controversial proposals. Four of them in particular will be the subject of heated debate: the proposal to legalise the creation of human-animal embryos for research; the proposal to allow lesbian couples to have IVF and be registered as parents of the child; the proposal to give legal sanction to the creation of so-called saviour siblings; and the proposal to allow the use of a technique similar to that of cloning to avoid mother-to-child transmission of mitochondrial disease. There is also a debate about whether the time-limit for abortion ought to be lowered.

read more

If passed, this Bill will have major ramifications throughout the world. What do you think?

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Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Excelsior, true believer!

An interview with Stan Lee

Stan Lee is an ageless wonder. At 85, he's busier than most guys half his age, and his mind is as sharp as ever, too, still cranking out ideas for comic books and films, and still capable of recounting stories about his remarkable career. SCI FI Weekly recently caught up with Lee in advance of the May 2 release of Iron Man, the latest would-be blockbuster based on one of his comic-book creations. In this wide-ranging conversation, Lee talks about being an action figure, contemplates the differences between a good comic book and a good film, discusses his cameo appearances in Iron Man and The Incredible Hulk and reveals that he doesn't plan to retire anytime soon.

Do you see much difference between a good comic book and a good movie or television show based on a comic book?

Lee: Wow. Well, a good comic book, like any form of literature, should have characters you care about and a story that holds your interest. One thing that helps a story hold your interest is it should be replete with surprises and the characterization should always be interesting and realistic. Even if you're doing superheroes, the characterizations should be believable and realistic. And I don't think there's any difference between a good comic book and a good movie or TV show, because they're both for the purpose of entertaining. If a good movie or TV show can hold your interest and entertain you and, when you leave the theater, make you say, "Wow, I enjoyed that," that's what you hope a reader will say who's read a good comic book or a good novel or hears a good opera or sees a good stage show or a ballet. They're different media, but it's all the same. We're in the business of entertaining, and we have to entertain the reader, the viewer or the audience.

read the rest of the interview

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The Wanderer

Artist's Comments
En route to fulfill a diplomatic mission, a quite majestic imperial Nekhbeht class cruiser passes near planet Khons, homeworld of the ruling caste of the venerable Sethnakhte race.Modelled in Amapi 6, post-production in Adobe Photoshop.

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The Science of Iron Man

Some interesting facts and fiction about Iron Man's armour. The trick is to differentiate what is science and what is fiction...

April 28, 2008
Lab Notes

Iron Manic, Lithium Depressive

By Wil McCarthy

Stronger than steel, more powerful than an M1 tank, able to leap tall buildings and defeat bad guys ... Who among us has never dreamed of being a superhero? Unfortunately, Superman is from another planet, Spider-Man was bitten by a radioactive arachnid, and Batman combines the resources of an aerospace corporation, the intellect of a Sherlock Holmes or a Thomas Edison and the physical prowess of both an Olympic gymnast and a UFC cage-fight champion.

Hard to imagine you and I could measure up against a standard like that! But when a wounded Tony Stark first climbed inside his Iron Man armor in 1963 (possibly inspired by Robert Heinlein's Starship Troopers, 1959), he offered up the possibility that with the right equipment, any ordinary person (well, any billionaire genius) could grow up to be a bulletproof, cement-wall-smashing, crime-fighting rocket jock.

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Monday, April 28, 2008

A Letter to My Nephew

As you stand on the threshold of adulthood, you are beginning on a wonderful journey of discovery. This will be a journey full of laughter and tears; joy and pain; happiness and sorrow; and light and darkness. However, do not be afraid to step forth because you will never journey alone. Your mother, father and sister will be with you. Your Uncle Alex, auntie and cousins will also walk with you. Most of all, there is One who will walk closely with you each step of your journey.

This is a journey of discovery. You will discover what a great and wonderful world you are living in. Your eyes will be open to new vistas and broad horizons. In the process you will discover yourself. Take time to know this person who is you. He may not be the person you want him to be yet, but give him time. Know that you are unique and in all the eons of creation, there is only one you. You will also discover new friends and old. Take the time and efforts to cultivate friendships because these are lasting in these ever changing times. You will also discover stirrings inside of you as you grow into a man. Keep yourself pure; avoid pre-marital sexual encounters until you meet the girl God has created specially for you.

You will also discover new knowledge and much information. Reflect on what you have learned everyday because knowledge and information is only useful if they are tapered by wisdom. Knowledge and information comes and goes, but wisdom remains. Keep your mind open and retain your sense of wonder. College and universities will be beckoning soon. In terms of your vocation, think not of what you can do for God but what He can do through you. In your journey, you will work in many jobs but you have only one vocation.

Be gentle with yourself and maintain a wholesome discipline. You will discover the liberty of freedom but freedom is no excuse for laziness. You must have self-control and exert self-discipline. Know that all your choices have consequences, so choose well. Make short and long term goals and seek to fulfil them. There will be times of great success in your life. Enjoy them but do not let them go to your head. There will also be times of failure and rejection. Learn from them and leave them behind. Live life with purpose and you will find life fulfilling.

Be not ashamed of your heritage. Instead be proud because you have received the best attributes that China, Korea and Malaysia have to offer. Be they princes or paupers, your ancestors have passed to you the great potential that you now possess. Go forth and fulfil that potential. Take time to embrace your heritage.

Take time to laugh because that is God’s gift to mankind and receive Joy for that is His salvation. Never take yourself too seriously or others too lightly. Be counter cultural if you have to for that is the Way of Jesus. You will find much human glory in the sport fields and in physical beauty, and you will be tempted to lust for such glory. You will think being popular is a worthwhile ambition and be willing be sacrifice for it. Football jackets, prom queens, and popularity are temptations for you in this part of your journey as wealth, sex, and power are in a later part. Learn to resist these temptations for they will lead to much heartache.

Get to know the One who walks with you. It is time for you to develop your own faith because all these years you have been covered by the faith of your parents. You will discover that the One who walks with you is a self-revealing God. If you seek Him, He will be found by you. Develop Godly habits of Bible reading and study, praying, fellowship, spiritual friendship, silence and solitude, giving, service, and journaling. Then your journey will be a powerful experience as you dive into the depths of God and soar the heights like an eagle.

Finally learn to love and be loved. You grew up in a family built upon love. Now you will be entering a world where love is often abused. And loving can be painful. However, there is no greater force in the world than love. Let love be your guide and your sustenance. Love is commitment and loyalty.

Our ancestors have a proverb that states, “A journey of a thousand miles start with a single step.” Take that step now, and know that our love goes with you.

your loving uncle



Sunday, April 27, 2008

A True Son in the Faith

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Saturday, April 26, 2008

Top 5 Books on World Christianity

My Top 5 Books on World Christianity
By Martin E. Marty, author of The Christian World: A Global History (Modern Library) posted 4/22/2008 08:49AM

A World History Of Christianity
Edited by Adrian Hastings
The fourteen historians who contribute to A World History of Christianity do what no single historian could do with much detail: write about Christianity in places far from Europe and North America, while doing justice to the places that have engrossed most historians of Christianity.

Disciples of All Nations: Pillars of World Christianity
Lamin Sanneh
Gambia-born Sanneh, now teaching at Yale, does important work to place the story of Christianity in the Southern world in the minds of Westerners. Disciples of All Nations is the kind of comprehensive work that informed Christians and the community of historians can use as a guide.

The Next Christendom: The Coming of Global Christianity, Revised and Updated
Philip Jenkins
Jenkins is the exemplar of the "new kind" of church history, which deals with the background to the way the church is "going South." Like Sanneh, Jenkins dramatizes and, some say, over-dramatizes the meanings of this epochal shift in Christian locations and energies.

The Story of Christianity from Birth to Global Presence
Jakob Balling
Balling, a Danish historian, spends as much time reflecting on the story as he does writing his narrative. Sometimes sociological concepts crowd out elements of The Story, but his work will no doubt prompt others to take new looks at power relations in the churches, and help them assess their direction.

Christianity: A Short Global History
Frederick W. Norris
Norris knows where the Christian power shift is taking the church, and helps account for it. For Norris and many other historians (including Balling), the global story in the last two centuries is preoccupying. They provide charters for those who will bring new curiosity to the longer, wider Christian story.

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From Moses to Mao, A Man and his Art

Christianity Today (Web only) 2008

From Mao to Moses
Artist He Qi, born again in China's Cultural Revolution, is painting a new peaceful identity for the Chinese church.
Susan Wunderink, with reporting by Gary Gnidovic posted 4/25/2008 09:26AM

A teenager at the launch of the Cultural Revolution, Chinese artist He Qi (pronounced huh chee) is fast gaining world recognition for his paintings, which are almost exclusively depictions of biblical events.

The witty, reverent paintings are full of the symbolism of Beijing Opera, medieval-style hidden messages, and modernist plays on perspective and time. And He is introducing a new idiom for biblical art, one influenced by, but not part of, the European traditions. His website says, "He hopes to help change the 'foreign image' of Christianity in China by using artistic language, and at the same time, to supplement Chinese art the way Buddhist art did in ancient times."

He's work is gaining more and more attention in the West. He has exhibited in the U.S., the U.K., Switzerland, Germany, Canada, Japan, and Hong Kong, as well as in mainland China. In 2006, Overseas Ministry Study Center collected his work in Look Toward the Heavens, and he is now working on an ambitious project: an illustrated Bible. It's an unlikely project for the son of a non-Christian mathematics professor.

read more

watch powerpoint slideshow here

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Friday, April 25, 2008

The Current Preaching Emergency

Brueggemann (2007) Minneapolis, Fortress Press

Walter Brueggemann is Professor of Old Testament Emeritus in the William Marcellus McPheeters chair at Columbia Theological Seminary.

Finally, another book by Brueggemann on preaching. Brueggemann is one of my favourite OT scholars. Knowledgeable, precise, incisive with a deadly wit, he does not suffer fools gladly. However, he is a prophet crying in the wilderness on a number of topics. One of them is preaching and he is declaring for a state of emergency on preaching.

He writes,

On all counts, the act of preaching is:
  • foolish because in the congregation some know more and because in every congregation there are those ideologically committed in ways that preclude serious listening...
  • dangerous if it is fruitful, because the powers of retrenchment are every-where among us, a passion to keep things as they were before utterance. Ideological resistance is readily evoked in most congregations...
  • a risky self-exposure of the preacher, who at best is vulnerable in the precariousness of the utterance. Every preacher knows with some regularity that what is said and what must be said inescapably expose the preacher as something of a fraud, for good preaching must speak truth to which the preacher's own life does not always attest...

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Thursday, April 24, 2008

My Sin is Ever Before Me

Credit: Kevin Frank.Net


New Marketing for Old Church

April 21, 2008
Secular Thoughts on Sacred Marketing
Seth Godin’s advice on spreading your church’s message.
by Chris Blumhofer recently sat down with marketing guru Seth Godin and asked his advice on church “marketing” in our increasingly plugged-in, techno-driven society. At the forefront of Godin’s thought-world these days is “new marketing”—methods of communicating messages that aren’t top-down (from an ad firm to your TV) but side-to-side (from a bootleg YouTube clip, to your blog, to my blog, to the evening news). New marketing reaches smaller audiences, but it creates more of an impact.

His advice may surprise or offend, but it is still worth thinking about.

Consider these excerpts (you can see the full interview here):

"Churches are the oldest businesses around today. And yes, they’re businesses. They don’t necessarily sell a physical product, and they don’t always charge money, but there’s a transaction nonetheless. And that involves the individual paying attention. Attention is precious and it’s rare and it’s non-refundable…."

"Just because it’s important to you (and it could be your Tupperware product line or your sermon) doesn’t mean it’s important to me. The essential idea here is that new media is selfish and you can’t buy or demand attention, no matter how worthy you believe your idea may be…."

"I'd say you need to concentrate on what's remarkable and interesting and noteworthy and touches my faith, and stop spending time on tasks that don't amplify any of those elements. Doing something because you've always done it isn't an idea worth spreading…."

What do you think? Do we short-change ourselves by taking people’s attention for granted? Do we recognize the selfish way in which people listen to our messages? How can church leaders make the most of insights from the business world?

Check out the full interview on StreamingFaith’s website.

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Interview with an Theistic Evolutionist

Francis Collins
Interview by Marcus Goodyear

Ten years ago, the average person had probably never heard the word "'genome," but Francis Collins was already the director of the Human Genome Project. It's a project many are calling the most important scientific undertaking of our time.

In 2000, Collins publicly presented the first draft of the human genome alongside President Clinton. According to his New York Times bestseller,
The Language of God, Clinton's speech on that day took a surprisingly spiritual turn: "Today we are learning the language in which God created life. We are gaining ever more awe for the complexity, the beauty, and the wonder of God's most divine and sacred gift."

As an outspoken scientist, Christian, and theistic-evolutionist, Collins sits at an incredibly controversial crossroads. Many Christians fear his defense of Darwin while many Darwinists shun his faith. Regardless of where you stand on these issues, there is no denying that Christians can learn something from Francis Collins' approach to worship and scientific research.

Celebrating God Through Science (Part 1)

Love God With a Scientific Mind (Part 2)

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Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Holy Matador! Of course...

picture credit

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The Whys and Wherefores of Writing

"They enrich us with their knowledge concerning knowledge of the past, counsel, educate, honour and dignify us; if you say they are dead you are not wrong, and if you say they are alive you do not lie"

Ibn Tiqtiqa in 'Al-Fakhri'

The whys and wherefores of writing
IKIM Views
Senior Fellow, Centre for Science and Technology, IKIM
Insofar as Islamic intellectual tradition is concerned, the zest for books has often been described as all permeating.

APRIL 4 began with what by now is an annual affair, the 10-day long Kuala Lumpur International Book Fair at the Putra Trade World Centre. Although one of the very few events worth attending for book lovers, it remains essentially an event for players with stakes in the book industry. The occasion therefore, is more about writings being products to be marketed rather than as food for thought.

Writings – be they in such traditional forms as treatises, monographs, books, or in non-conventional modes – are media for the mind to express itself. As such, they play a significant role in the intellectual culture of any peoples.

Insofar as Islamic intellectual tradition is concerned, the zest for books has often been described as all permeating. Numerous anecdotes testifying to such enthusiasm have been narrated.

The 13th Century scholar ibn Tiqtiqa, for example, reported in his al-Fakhri that a certain Caliph had sent for a certain scholar merely to share his company. The servant who was instructed to meet the scholar later found him sitting surrounded by books which he was studying. Having been informed that the Caliph had summoned him, the scholar answered: “Tell him some learned men are with me, and I am conversing with them. Once I have finished with them, I will come.” The Caliph, upset as he was upon being informed of the scholar’s reply, asked his servant who those learned men the scholar referred to were. The servant gave a straightforward answer: “In truth, O Caliph, there was no one with him.” “Fetch him at once, regardless of what state he is in!” instantly came the Caliph’s command. When that scholar arrived, the Caliph angrily queried: “Who were those learned men with you?” “O, Caliph,” the scholar replied, “we have companions, trusty and trusted, whether absent or here to see, of whose talk we do not tire; they enrich us with their knowledge concerning knowledge of the past, counsel, educate, honour and dignify us; if you say they are dead you are not wrong, and if you say they are alive you do not lie.” With such a witty reply, the Caliph knew that the scholar was referring to books, and did not therefore mind his tardiness.

Books are indeed the product of the human mind; as such, like any other mental act or operation, they are intentional. There are always reasons for one to write a book.

Ibn Hazm of Andalusia (Muslim Spain) (d. 1064) in his al-Taqrib, a treatise on logic, enumerated seven reasons for one to compose in a meaningful manner. First, an author may have something original to write. Second, he may want to complete something that had been left uncompleted. Third, he may want to put right something that was erroneous. Fourth, he may want to clarify and explain matters that are mysterious, abstruse or complicated. Fifth, he may shorten, without omitting anything vital, a work by another person that is too long. Sixth, he may want to gather information from numerous independent sources. Seventh, he may want to assemble things that hitherto had been scattered like beads, and thread them together again.

In fact, ibn Hazm was alleged to have considered the above as the only categories for which scholars and perceptive people write.

That, however, is the opinion of a scholar of the 11th century in a place now part of Europe.

Eight hundred years later, in another part of the globe, the Indian Sub-Continent, we find the prolific Siddiq b. Hassan Khan al-Qinnawji (d. 1889) echoing the same sentiments in his three-volume Abjad al-’Ulum. Al-Qinnawji argued that composition is of seven types from which no intelligent scholar can escape. First, something having no precedence, which he therefore invents. Second, something deficient, which he therefore completes. Third, something abstruse, which he therefore explains. Fourth, something lengthy, which he therefore abridges without affecting any of its original meanings. Fifth, something scattered, which he therefore combines. Sixth, something mixed or confused, which he therefore puts into order. Seventh, something regarding which its author was in error, which he therefore corrects.

If ever we are writers with conviction, which of these groups do we consider ourselves?

read here

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Monday, April 21, 2008

The Evangelical Mind

"The scandal of the evangelical mind is that there is not much of an evangelical mind"

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Anselm of Canterbury

Thoughts for Saint Anselm's Day

On the feast of Saint Anselm of Canterbury, Professor Jack Mahoney SJ assesses the lasting contribution to Christian thought of this eleventh century monk, and also notes some limitations we might yet need to overcome.

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Sunday, April 20, 2008

150 Teaching Methods

For those who love lists, here is 150 teaching methods


Saturday, April 19, 2008

The Movie about a Forbidden Kingdom

The Forbidden Kingdom
Review by Peter T. Chattaway posted 04/18/08

The Forbidden Kingdom

Martial-arts fans have been waiting for years to see Jackie Chan and Jet Li co-star in the same movie, and when these two living legends finally meet for the first time in The Forbidden Kingom, you can sense that the filmmakers wanted to make the most of this historic moment.
Chan plays Lu Yan, a slightly comic figure who is always drinking wine and does a lot of his fighting "drunken" style, while Li plays a mysterious figure known only as the Silent Monk—and their first encounter, in an abandoned temple, leads to a seemingly non-stop series of kicks and blows, choreographed by The Matrix's Yuen Woo-ping, that looks incredible...

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Friday, April 18, 2008

The 20 Greatest Fight Scenes Ever

This is from Rotten Tomatoes, my favourite website on movies.

Total Recall: The 20 Greatest Fights Scenes Ever
by Tim Ryan

Road House
From Russia with Love
Bridget Jones' Diary
2 Days In The Valley
The Karate Kid
Evil Dead 2: Dead by Dawn
Night and the City
Happy Gilmore
Game of Death
Charlie's Angels
The Bourne Ultimatum
The Transporter
They Live
Raiders of the Lost Ark
Fist of Legend
The Legend of Drunken Master
The Matrix
The Protector

violence, violence, nothing but violence on this blog!


Thursday, April 17, 2008

The Theology of the God of Consumerism

With globalisation, there is a “global culture” that is slowly insinuating into the local cultures and at times supplants them. This global culture is not irreligious but brings along its own branding and mythology. The branding is named McDonaldisation. The new mythology includes what Neil Postman calls the “god of consumerism,” “god of technology,” and “god of Economic Utility” (1995 , 27-36). Each of these gods have their own theology.

The “god of consumerism” teaches through the media, the most powerful being television commercials.

Postman notes,

But the majority of important television commercials take the form of religious
parables organised around a coherent theology. Like all religious parables,
these commercials put forward a concept of sin, intimations of the way to
redemption, and a vision of Heaven. This will be obvious to those who have taken
to heart the Parable of the Person with Rotten Breath, the Parable of the Stupid
Investor, the Parable of the lost Traveller’s Checks, the Parable of the Man Who
Runs Through Airports, or most of the hundreds of others that are part of our
youth’s religious education (1995, 34)

This was written in 1995. Postman did foresee the “god of consumerism” working with the “god of technology” but may not imagine how true was his forecast. This partnership resulted in niche marketing, the rise of the Internet, the pervasive influence of computers, the DVD revolution, the virtual life (facebook, second life), and the prevalence of handphones as status symbols, multimedia communication devices, and entertainment centre.


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Countdown to Final Crisis

Countdown, retitled as Countdown to Final Crisis from issue 26 onwards, is a comic book limited series published by DC Comics, which debuted on May 9, 2007, directly following the conclusion of the last issue of 52. The series is written primarily by Paul Dini, along with a rotating team of writers and artists. Countdown consists of 51 issues published weekly for one year, crossing over with noteworthy and significant titles published by DC. The series is numbered in reverse order, starting with #51. The series covers much of the fictional DC Universe and is told in parallel narratives, through the interconnecting stories of a cast of characters, and frequently crosses over with various other DC titles.

read more


Wednesday, April 16, 2008

John Ortberg on Spiritual Friends

Leader's Insight: Spiritual Friends

Here's the gift you should really be seeking.
by John Ortberg

There is an old Celtic saying:
"Anyone without a soul friend is a body without a head." There are not many Celtic sayings about what people without success are; the Celts didn't seem to be terribly interested in success. But they were pretty big on friendship. Finish the article


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Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Tessellating: Where Faith meets Practice

Jeremy Beckett, Tessellating: Starting out in Medicine and Dentistry, Where faith meets practice, Christian and Dental Medical Fellowship of Australia.

The title was the first thing that caught my eye when a Monash Malaysia medical student lent me this book. I am ashamed to admit that I do not know what it means. It must have baffled a number of others too because on the back cover was a helpful definition: Tessellating = creating a mosaic from small tiles of identical shape.

Being curious how faith and medical practice may be considered identical shape, I started to read the book. The author, Jeremy Beckett was the president of the Christian Healthcare Group (SMA) at the University of Western Australia. He graduated in 2002.

Beckett has set himself a challenging task as he seeks to reconcile Christian faith and medical practice. However, it is not one that is unique because this is a task all Christian doctors or doctors who are Christian have struggled with through the ages.

Before Christianity, the Pythagoreans had struggled with ethical medical practice and their philosophy. The Pythagorean did not only come out with the Pythagoras' theorem of the triangle but also Hippocrates. In all ages, doctors have struggled with faith and practice. For some strange reason, medicine has always demanded strict ethical and moral standards of her followers. Faith and practice is a struggle and creates a creative tension for doctors and other healthcare personnel. This is especially so if one is serious about his or her faith and medicine.

The approach in the book starts with the gospel, the love of the Father, how our thinking are nuanced by Greek philosophies, leading to how we are to live out the Christian faith in the workplace as a healer, community-of-faith member, and disciple. I like his 9 practical tips:

  1. everything is spiritual!

  2. there is a different ways of doing everything

  3. the importance of human touch

  4. the value of a cup of tea

  5. learn names, and use them

  6. write neatly and document well

  7. avoid mercenary thinking

  8. loving the unlovable

  9. …and when necessary use words

There are many gems of wisdom in these practical tips. However I cannot imagine Malaysian and Singaporean doctors and dentists making tea for their patients! I do appreciate the gesture as saying “I have time for you.” Nevertheless, a Christian doctor in a government outpatient clinic may have to rethink the strategy as he or she may have to see between 100-150 patients per session!

This is a good book for medical and dental students to read. They need to be ready to engage their Christian belief and their medical practice in context of where they are. Medical and dental students must build up the foundations of their faith before they graduate because the final examination they will face is not in the final MBBS but in their daily workplace for the next 20-30 years.


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Save the Christian Bookstores

Christianity Today, April 2008 ran an interesting series of articles on Christian bookstores in the States and how they are closing down.

How to save the Christian bookstores

Closing down the bookstore

Bringing the bookstore to church


Monday, April 14, 2008

Restoring the Image of the Trinity

Spiritual Formation as Restoring the Image of the Trinity (imatatio Trinitatis)

The doctrine of the Trinity is that God reveals himself in the Scripture as God the Father, Jesus the Son, and the Holy Spirit. There is only one God and in the essence of this one Godhead, there are three persons: the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. These three persons are neither parts of one another, facets, or modes of existence but are co-equal and co-eternal.[1] According to theologian Stanley Grenz contemporary understanding of the doctrine of the Trinity stems from a consensus among theologians that view “theological language as metaphorical” (2001,7-8). Thus it allows theologians from different traditions to interact on this doctrine since a revival of interest stimulated by Karl Barth in the last century (Olson and Hall 2002, 95).

Malaysian theologian Albert Sundaraj Walters suggests a contextualized model of the Trinity which he named “Trinity from Below.” He constructs this model from interviews with Malaysian Christians and Muslims and then reflected on his findings theologically. Using the banana tree as a symbol of “fullness of life,” he writes, “Thus, this image of the banana tree is closely linked to the Trinity which portrays the essence of Being as a coming-from and a going-to, a giving and receiving” (2002, 276). A Korean theologian in the United States, Jung Young Lee uses the Chinese symbol of Yin-Yang to express his understanding of the Trinity. He starts with Jesus whose dual nature as man and God is reflected in the two portions of the Yin-Yang symbol. The feminine Yin represents the Holy Spirit which is female and Mother. The Yang represent the masculine and hence God the Father. (Lee 1996). These are just two examples of how Asian theologians are engaged in understanding the Trinity.

Catholic theologian Karl Rahner’s describes the Trinity in a short sentence, “The ‘economic’ Trinity is the ‘immanent’ Trinity and the ‘immanent’ Trinity is the ‘economic’ Trinity” (1967, 22). Olson and Hall broke that rather cryptic statement into “immanent Trinity”(beyond the world) and “economic Trinity”(within history). What Rahner is saying is that God created the world and relates to the world, but the world is not part of God. Otherwise, saving the world “becomes God’s self-salvation as well.” (Olson and Hall 2002, 3). Thus God is uniquely one: “The Lord, our God is one Lord” (Deu.6:4) who is the creator that stands outside of his creation.

The three persons of the Trinity relates to one another. The Father sends the Son and yet remains with him (Jn 8:29). The Son represents the Father and obey him willingly (Jn 8:28). Jesus proclaims that he is God (Jn 8:58) and accept faith and worship from his disciples (Matt.16:16, Jn 20:28). The Holy Spirit is part of this relationship (Jn 14-16). The close and intimate relationship and interaction within the Trinity is often referred to as perichoresis, the Greek word for a dance. As in a dance, there is a dynamic energy as each dancer moves in perfect partnership and equality with each other.[2]

Volf in arguing for an anthropological model of “social trinitarianism” emphases that the Trinity is not just understood by God’s self-revelation but also by what was done in salvation history (2006, 5-7). He then elaborates that there is a role for a person with the image of God or of the Trinity (imatatio Trinitatis). According to him,
Because God has made us to reflect God’s own triune being, our human tasks are not first of all to do as God does – and certainly not to make ourselves
as God is – but to let ourselves be indwelled by God and to celebrate and
proclaim what God has done, is doing, and will do (2006, 6-7).

This role of human, created in God’s image and fulfilling the potential of that image by the indwelling of the Holy Spirit is similar to our definition of Christian spiritual formation. I will argue that this aspect of the Trinity is the basis for Christian spiritual formation. I will use an anthropological approach which is consistent with my approach in the earlier parts of this section concerning shalom and the image of God.

First, Christian spiritual formation is a process of being in communion with the Trinitarian God. Grenz describes the influence of social personalism[3] as the realisation the self who is not a “what” but a “who.” This “who” emerges out of conversations with other “whos” to become persons-in-communion. However it is when persons-in-communion become part of a conversation with God that the “who” discover discovers its identity as a person-in-relationship (2001, 12-14). It is in community with a Christian faith community that we discover who we are. This is only possible in relationships with others in the community and with God. When God created us, it is to enjoy a relationship with him (Gen.3:8, 9). Our spiritual growth is a process of self discovery in relationship with God and with others. Puritan theologian John Owen in his 1657 book, Communion with the Triune God described in detail the communion possible with the Triune God, and individually with God the Father, Jesus the Son, and the Holy Spirit (Owen 2007). He noted,
Our communion, then with God consists in his communication of himself unto us, with our return unto him of that which he requires and accepts, flowing from
that union which in Jesus Christ we have with him (Owen 2007, 94 edited by Kelly
M.Kapic and Justin Taylor)

The Trinitarian God engages individuals in Christian faith communities in communion. Communion helps us to know God by moving from a cognitive state to an experiential state. This is sometimes called faith[4]. We learn about love too. In order to save us and to reveal himself to us, God became incarnate. Jesus Christ is God incarnate; fully human and fully God (1 Jn. 1:1-3). God the Father shows us love in action as Jesus the Son suffers and dies on the cross. The persons of the Trinity are so close that when Jesus suffers, the Father and the Holy Spirit also experience suffering. Erickson comments, “This says that God is not merely aloft and indifferent to suffering in the world. The second person of the trinity has acted to take some of that evil’s effects on himself ” (2000, 74).

Second, Christian spiritual formation is about a process of building relationships. Theologian Jürgen Moltmann suggests that it is the interpersonal relationship within the Godhead that gives us the model to love our neighbours (1981, 199). Within the Godhead, there is mutual respect, submission, harmony and equality. This should then be the model for us to respect, submit and live with one another in harmony and equality (Erickson 2000, 84-98). Walters suggests that hospitality and friendship are important elements in learning from the interpersonal relationship within the Trinity (2002, 265- 278).

Third, Christian spiritual formation is a process of forming a people for the Trinitarian God (Rom.8:29, 30: 1 Peter 2:9-10). The Biblical record is a meta-narrative of how God is calling a people to himself, those whom he has prepared before creation began. Gabriel Franke illustrates, “In the most elementary of terms, these refrains are the chapter heading of The Christian Story: Creation, Fall, Covenant, Jesus Christ, Church, Salvation, Consummation, with their Prologue and Epilogue, God.” (1996, 5). God, the Father intervenes in history to create this group of people. To prove his commitment, God has sealed this group of people with the Holy Spirit. This special group of people is the ecclesia (the called out ones) or the Church who will praise and worship him for all eternity. In a series of lectures on The Promises & Problems of Evangelical Spirituality given in Regent College, Vancouver, Simon Chan said that the “church is pre-existing. God uses creation as a means to bring the church into existence for communion with him.”[5] Grenz in his examination of the postmodern self, identifies the “ecclesial” self that is formed in the Church in communion and as an image of the relational Trinitarian God (2001, 331-336). Theologian Miroslaf Volf, writing from the perspective of Roman Catholic and Orthodox theologies concludes also that the Church is the image of the Trinity (Volf 1998).

Finally, Christian spiritual formation is a process of being the body of Christ on earth after Jesus has ascended to heaven. This body of Christ or the Church will carry on Jesus’ mission here on earth. To enable them to complete this mammoth task, God the Father sent the Holy Spirit to indwell them and empower and guide them with spiritual gifts and other divine powers. Jesus’ mission is to carry out to completion the Father’s plan of redemption for all fallen men and women, and the fallen creation itself. The idea of mission dei (mission of God) was first mooted following the lead of Karl Barth at the International Missionary Council held in Willingen, Germany (Seamands 2005,160). The one-in-three or plurality of the Trinity also helps to explain the relationship of the Trinity to creation or the natural world. Theologian Colin Gunton, using T.F. Torrance “parallel rationalities” argues that
the plurality in unity of the triune revelation enables us to do justice to the diversity, richness, and openness of the world without denying its unity in
relativistic versions of pluralism. It is that vision that trinitarian theology
has to offer the fragmented modern world (Gunton 1997,103.

Missio dei is the restoration of human beings and nature, through the empowering of the people of God by the Holy Spirit. Canadian theologian Paul Stevens explains, “Mission is God’s own going forth – truly an ekstasis of God. He is Sender, Sent and Sending,” (Stevens 1999, 194).

The challenge is to explain the Trinity to a multicultural pluralistic society like Malaysia. Simon Chan posed some interesting questions
How do we teach the Trinity vis-avis the world religions such as Hinduism,
Buddhism and Islam?…How does the Christian doctrine of the Spirit relate to the
traditional Asian animistic instinct?... What do we make of the hierarchical
structure of the Asian family?...How does Christian prayer differ from the idea
prevailing in popular religions that it is an “exchange” between a person and
the deity? (2006,116-117)

In examining the Trinitarian influence on ministry, theologian Stephen Seamands discovers seven characteristics: (1) relational personhood, (2) joyful intimacy, (3) glad surrender, (4) complex simplicity, (5) gracious self-acceptance, (6) mutual indwelling, and (7) passionate mission (Seamands 2005). These seven characteristics should not only influence ministry but also describe Christian spiritual formation. At least it may offer a common ground to dialogue with other religions and Asian cultures.


Chan, S. (2006). Liturgical Theology: The Church as Worshiping Community. Downers Grove, Illinois, InterVarsity Press.
Dykstra, C. (2005). Growing in the Life of Faith: Education and Christian Practices. Louisville, KN, Westminster John Knox Press.
Erickson, M. J. (2000). Making Sense of the Trinity. Grand Rapids, MI, Baker Books.
Fackre, G. (1996). The Christian Story: A Narrative Interpretation of Basic Christian Doctrine. Grand Rapids. MI, William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company.
Grenz, S. J. (2001). The Social God and the Relational Self: A Trinitarian Theology of the Imago Dei. Louisville, KY, Westminster John Knox Press.
Grenz, S. J. (2004). Rediscovering the Triune God: The Trinity in Contemporary Theology. Minneapolis, MN, Fortress Press.
Gunton, C. (1997). The Trinity, Natural Theology, and a Theology of Nature. The Trinity in a Pluralistic Age: Theological Essays on Culture and Religion. K. J. Vanhoozer. Grand Rapids, MI, William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company: 88-103.
Lee, J. Y. (1996). The Trinity in Asian Perspective. Nashville, Abingdon Press.
Moltmann, J. (1981). The Trinity and the Kingdom of God. London, SCM Press.
Olson, R. and C. Hall (2002). The Trinity. Grand Rapids, MI, William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company.
Owen, J. (2007). Communion with God. Wheaton, IL, Crossway Books.
Peterson, E. H. (2005). Christ Plays in Ten Thousand Places: A Conversation in Spiritual Theology. Grand Rapids, MI., William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company.
Rahner, K. (1967). The Trinity. New York, Crossroad Publishing Company.
Seamands, S. (2005). Ministry in the Image of God: The Trinitarian Shape of Christian Service. Downers Groove, IL, InterVarsity Press.
Stevens, R. P. (1999). The Other Six Days: Vocation, Work and Ministry in Biblical Perspective. Grand Rapids, MI., William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company.
Volf, M. (1998). After Our Likeness: The Church as the Image of the Trinity. Grand Rapids, MI, William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company.
Volf, M. (2006). Being as God Is. God's Life in Trinity. M. Volf and M. Welker. Minneapolis, MN, Fortress Press: 3-12.
Walters, A. S. (2002). We Believe in One God? Reflections on the Trinity in the Malaysian Context. New Delhi, ISPCK.

[1] Following Karl Barth, some of the Protestant theologians like Jürgen Moltman, Wolfhart Pannenberg and Eberhard Jüngel in Germany; T.F. Torrance and Colin Gunton in the United Kingdom; Ted Peters, Miroslav Volf, Elizabeth Johnson, Emil Brunner, Paul Tillich, Robert Jensen and Millard Erickson in the North America; Leonardo Boff, Okechukwu Ogbonnaya and Jung Young Lee in Latin America, Africa and Asia; Roman Catholics theologians like Karl Rahner,and Catherine Mowry LaCunga; Orthodox theologians like Vladimir Lossky and John Zizioulas, have been influential in developing our theological understanding of the Trinity. Olson and Hall have written a comprehensive historical and theological survey of the doctrine of the Trinity with a very useful bibliography on books published in English on the Trinity . see Olson, R. and C. Hall (2002). The Trinity. Grand Rapids, MI, William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company. See also Rahner, K. (1967). The Trinity. New York, Crossroad Publishing Company.; Grenz, S. J. (2004). Rediscovering the Triune God: The Trinity in Contemporary Theology. Minneapolis, MN, Fortress Press.
[2] The Greek word perichoresis is not in the Bible. It is a word from classical Greek and was introduced by Greek theologian John Damascene in the eight century. Damascene used it “to highlight the dynamic interpersonal character of the Trinity in contrast to impersonal images and abstraction.” See Peterson, E. H. (2005). Christ Plays in Ten Thousand Places: A Conversation in Spiritual Theology. Grand Rapids, MI., William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company. p.344.
[3] Grenz attributes much of the thinking behind “social personalism” as based on the works of Martin Buber, Michael Polanyi, and John Macmurray. Grenz, S. J. (2001). The Social God and the Relational Self: A Trinitarian Theology of the Imago Dei. Louisville, KY, Westminster John Knox Press. p.10-14.
[4] Dykstra makes this point, “…that faith is still primarily a matter of knowing some thing, however, we have missed what is fundamental about it. For faith is not only knowing the message, it is knowing the Messenger. (italics author’s) Dykstra, C. (2005). Growing in the Life of Faith: Education and Christian Practices. Louisville, KN, Westminster John Knox Press. p.21. Hence faith is not blind.
[5] Notes transcribed while listening to lectures. Spring School, Regent College, Vancouver. 29 May-9 June, 2006

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Sunday, April 13, 2008

Death and Beyond

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Saturday, April 12, 2008

God and the Mystery of the Universe

God and the Mystery of the Universe

In the second of his series of articles for Thinking Faith, Vatican astronomer, Guy Consolmagno SJ, traces how our understanding of the Universe has developed over the centuries, and the place of God both in this Universe and in this understanding.

Read >>

Photo by Computer Science Geek at

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Friday, April 11, 2008

At the Crossroads-Malaysia

Journeyman Pictures is London's leading independent distributor of topical news features, documentaries and footage. We're like a video encyclopedia of the world.


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How Much Do Medical Tutors Make?

thanks to my friend, Punna who wrote this

The doctors were sitting around the dining table discussing life after the usual CME talk.

One doctor, a very successful private Consultant, decided to explore the problem of the poor pay of teachers. He reasoned,"Firstly, how much can one MAKE as a teacher? You need to do procedures, interventions, etc to be financially successful. How much can one make as a doctor teaching medical students?"

To stress his point he said to another diner;"You're teaching, ...... Be honest. What do you make from teaching?"


The medical school tutor answered "You really want to know what I make? Well, I make young minds work harder than they ever thought they could.

I make restless young boys and girls go through 120 minutes of discussion on diagnosis and patient care.

I make them amazed at the beautiful art of diagnosis.

I make them question every decision they make.

I make them realise that every illness has a Real human face behind it; they are patients NOT cases.

I make them have respect and responsibility for their actions.I teach them to think like a doctor and then I make them feel that all of them can be great doctors if only they want to badly enough.

I make them read, read, read the science of medicine.I make students feel proud to wear a white coat and to be in the lineage of a great and noble profession.

Finally, I make them understand that if they use the gifts they were given, work hard, and follow their hearts, they can all succeed in life, for success is NOT necessarily measured in dollars and cents, but definitely in how much we can help our fellow men."

"Then, when people enquire what I make, I can hold my head up high ... You still want to know what I make?

I MAKE A DIFFERENCE. Now what do you make?"

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Thursday, April 10, 2008

Looking for the Invisible

G.K. Chesterton once said that there are two kinds of people in the world:
When trees are waving wildly in the wind,
one group of people thinks that it is the wind,
the other group thinks that the motion of the trees creates the wind.

The former view was the consensus held by most of mankind until recent years. The consensus was always that there is an invisible behind which give energy to the visible.

Recently however, there is a group of people who believe that only what they can see and touch is reality and people are capable of generating what cannot be verified with their senses. They think that the visible accounts for the invisible.

which group do you belong ?



Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Spiritual Formation as Restoring the Image of God

God created the present creation in six days and on the seventh day he rested (Gen.1:1-2:1). He made man and woman in his own image, the imago dei (Gen.1:26-27). Theologian Anthony Hoekema in his exhaustive study of the image of God discerned two aspects; a functional aspect as “involving man in his threefold relationship – to God, to others, and to nature” (1986, 75-82), and a structural aspect as moving from the “original image” to the “the perverted image” after the Fall, and the “the renewed image”, to “the perfected image” in God’s redemptive work (1986, 82-96).

Man and woman are created for a relationship with God (Gen.3:8-9). Unfortunately the man and woman disobeyed him, and fell, distorting his perfect creation in what is known as the “original sin” or Fall resulting in Hoekema’s “perverted image”(Gen.3:1-24). There is also a break in the threefold functioning relationship with God, others and nature. Theologian Demarest presents this as historical fact while others like Karl Barth and Emil Brunner argues that the fall is not historical but “saga or legend” (Demarest 1984,405). It is beyond the scope of this post to examine in depth this theological topic. As theologian Henri Blocher has noted, “the controversies has continued unabated through the centuries” (1997, 15). I am more in agreement with the perspective of Demarest and Blocher.

God sent his Son to redeem fallen human beings by his death on the cross and by his resurrection. Those who receive his Son are restored in union and justified. He sends the Holy Spirit to empower them as they are restored into the image of Christ (renewed image) and as his special people. God the Father wants to work in partnership with his restored human beings in his plan to redeem his whole creation[1]. The end result is the “perfected image” of God for humankind and a new heaven and earth. Hoekema summarises “the purpose of redemption is to restore the image of God in man” (1986, 27).

The restoration of the image of God is not just limited to individual human beings but also involve the Church. This is because all believers are part of the Church which is the body of Christ (Eph. 5:26). The Church is the laos, the special called-out people of God. The restoration of the image of God has a corporate component, or “ecclesiastical aspect” as Hoekema indicates (1986, 89). Approaching from the epistemological rather than anthropological angle, theologian Ian McFarland postulates that in restoring the divine image, one receives more revelation and knowledge of God (McFarland 2005).

There are some connections between the image of God and Christian spiritual formation. First, Christian spiritual formation is the process of restoring the fallen imago dei in each human being so that he or she become more like God. Hoekema notes that “because Christ is the perfect image of God, becoming more like God also means becoming more like Christ” (1986,89). Hence Christian spiritual formation is to restore our fallen nature to become like that of Christ’s or Christlikeness (Gal. 4:19; Rom.8:29; 2 Cor 3:18). It is after being restored that we can be who God has created us to be.

Second, Christian spiritual formation in restoring the image of God is also restoring its functioning as relationship builder. This means restoring our vertical relationship with God, and horizontal relationship with other persons and nature. Christianity is relational because of its characteristic of relationship building. The image of God is also the image of the Trinity. The three persons in the Trinity (Father, Son and Holy Spirit) are in close relationship to one another. When we are restored to the image of God, we are also restored to a relationship to the Triune God. This is because as we restore the image of Christ in us, we are drawn into the Trinitarian relationship through Christ by the power of the Holy Spirit.

Third, Christian spiritual formation in restoring the image of God in individuals has a corporate effect. Individual members of the body of Christ contribute to the body and come to a deeper knowledge of God; and to partake of the nature of God (2 Peter 1:4; 1 Jn. 3:12). As each of us individually restores our divine image, we are also doing so corporately because we are the body of Christ. Therefore, the restoration of the image of God also restores the body of Christ which is the church.

Finally, Christian spiritual formation in restoring the image of God is a cooperative effort between the Holy Spirit and individuals. The Holy Spirit works through Scripture and the means of grace[2] which slowly transforms believers into his likeness. For the believers it may involve making tough choices and sometimes being placed in painful circumstances. Christian spiritual formation is a continuing process of making choices that will result in the restoration of the image of God within us.


Arnold, W. T. (1996). Salvation. Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology. W. A. Elwell. Grand Rapids, MI, Baker Books: 701-703.
Blevins, D. G. (2005). "Renovating Christian Education in the 21st Century: A Wesleyan Contribution." Christian Education Journal: Series 3 2(1): 6-29.
Blocher, H. (1997). Original Sin: Illuminating the Riddle. Downer Drive, IL, InterVarsity Press.
Demarest, B. A. (1984). Fall of Man. Evangelical Dictionary of Theology. W. A. Elwell. Grand Rapids, MI, Baker Books: 403-405.
Erickson, M. J. (1999). ChristianTheology. Grand Rapids, MI, Baker Books.
Hoekema, A. A. (1986). Created in God's Image. Grand Rapids, MI, William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company.
McFarland, I. A. (2005). The Divine Image: Envisioning the Invisible God. Minneapolis, MN, Augsburg Fortress.
White, R. E. O. (1984). Salvation. Evangelical Dictionary of Theology. W. A. Elwell. Grand Rapids, MI, Baker Books: 967-969.


[1] This is a brief outline of God’s great plan of redemption or salvation. See White, R. E. O. (1984). Salvation. Evangelical Dictionary of Theology. W. A. Elwell. Grand Rapids, MI, Baker Books: 967-969. also see Arnold, W. T. (1996). Salvation. Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology. W. A. Elwell. Grand Rapids, MI, baker Books: 701-703. A more detail treatment see Erickson, M. J. (1999). ChristianTheology. Grand Rapids, MI, Baker Books. p.901-1032. These are all from the evangelical view.
[2] Means of grace was coined by John Wesley. Unfortunately Wesley varies his definitions in his various sermons and writing. Basically, he divided means of grace into two groups: acts of piety and acts of mercy. Later, as the Methodist movement matures, he divided the means of grace into instituted and prudential means. Dean Blevins elaborates, “The instituted means are very similar to Wesley’s understanding of ordinances or acts of piety, and include prayer (private, family, and public), searching the Scriptures (by reading, meditating, and hearing), the Lord’s Supper, fasting, and Christian Conference…The prudential means include particular rules, arts of holy living, acts of ministry, and larger attitudes toward daily living listed under the headings of watching, denying ourselves, taking up the cross, and exercising the presence of God.” Blevins, D. G. (2005). "Renovating Christian Education in the 21st Century: A Wesleyan Contribution." Christian Education Journal: Series 3 2(1): 6-29.p.14


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Tuesday, April 08, 2008

The Discipline of Spiritual Discernment

Tim Challies writes,

The Bible teaches there is a clear relationship between spiritual discernment and spiritual maturity. For a Christian to be mature, he must also be discerning. Those who are not discerning must be immature, backsliding, or dead. Conversely, those who exhibit discernment must be alive, growing, and mature. It is clear from Scripture that all Christians are expected to pursue discernment, for the Bible cries out repeatedly for us to do so. It is the responsibility of each Christian to heed and to answer the call and so to guard the deposit God has entrusted to us.

read more about the discipline of spiritual discernment.


Monday, April 07, 2008

Christianity Today Book Awards 2008

Books, like proverbs, receive their chief value from the stamp and esteem of ages through which they have passed.—Sir William Temple

Of the hundreds of books nominated for a Christianity Today book award, a small percentage receives awards. Those awarded often deserve extra attention.

Christianity Today Book Awards 2008


There Is A God: How the World's Most Notorious Atheist Changed His Mind

Antony Flew with Roy Abraham Varghese (HarperOne)"Makes the philosophical search for God both accessible and exciting. After a meal of Flew's rich stew of argument and opinion, one lifts a spoonful of most professional apologetics and mutters, 'Thin soup indeed.'"

Biblical Studies

The Jesus Legend: A Case for the Historical Reliability of the Synoptic Jesus Tradition

Paul Rhodes Eddy and Gregory A. Boyd (Baker Academic)"Answers a timeless question: Can we trust the Gospels to report to us an historical portrait of Jesus? This is simply an amazing book: exhaustive in its coverage, elegant in its style. Will see heavy use for many years to come."

Christianity and Culture

Faith in the Halls of Power: How Evangelicals Joined the American Elite

D. Michael Lindsay (Oxford)"A lucid and well-documented survey. If we ever doubted that evangelicals have been playing a significant role in modern culture, we need doubt no longer. Lindsay's access to hundreds of leaders is an accomplishment in itself."

Christian Living

Caring for Mother: A Daughter's Long Goodbye

Virginia Stem Owens (Westminster John Knox)"Owens provides a moving and painfully honest personal account of her own journey with an aging parent struggling with dementia. Honesty, simplicity, and openness to the hard, deep lessons that age, dementia, and death offer those who come alongside."

The Church/ Pastoral Leadership

The Call to Joy and Pain: Embracing Suffering in Your Ministry

Ajith Fernando (Crossway)"Simple, yet deep. Speaks directly to the heart of the pastor, to this confusing intersection where the calling into Christ's service, our greatest delight, is also the source of suffering. Fernando escorts the reader on a journey into the essence of ministry that will change the minister forever."


Quaker Summer

Lisa Samson (Thomas Nelson)"Samson shines with themes of grace, purpose, and the emptiness of what we call success. Her stories prompt Christians to rethink stereotypes and call them to riskier living. Neither contrived nor saccharine; manages to convict without preaching."


Charles Taylor (Belknap)"Massive and erudite, yet moving. Offers a powerful historical analysis of secularization, secularity, and secularism in the modern West. The best book ever written on the West's transition 'from a society where belief in God is unchallenged and, indeed, unproblematic to one in which it is understood to be one option among others, and frequently not the easiest to embrace.'"

Missions/Global Affairs

Lamin O. Sanneh (Oxford)"Global sweep and academic depth. A masterful piece demonstrating the development of global Christianity. Sanneh shows missions as the complex story of missionaries and the national movements that missionaries set in motion, in all its warts and glory."


Eugene H. Peterson (Eerdmans)"Rugged and fearless, challenging and informed. Draws readers into a bold and knowledgeable conversation on the ways we go about following Jesus—and the ways we do not. A refreshing and accomplished reflection. A truly landmark work."


Resounding Truth: Christian Wisdom in the World of Music

Jeremy S. Begbie (Baker Academic)"A profoundly creative, wonderfully engaging reflection on the encounter of theology and music. Impressive for its thoughtfulness, theological depth, and balance. Offers a robust theology of creativity and worship. Begbie's book is as good a way as any to discover afresh how faith comes through hearing."

*sigh* too many books, too little time