Tuesday, April 26, 2011

John Dominic Crossan's Jesus

John Dominic Crossan says even the writers of the Bible disagreed about Jesus' message.
John Dominic Crossan says even the writers of the Bible disagreed about Jesus' message.

John Dominic Crossan's 'blasphemous' portrait of Jesus

By John Blake, CNN
February 27, 2011 -- Updated 0648 GMT (1448 HKT)
  • John Dominic Crossan's dubbed "demonic" because of his theories about Jesus
  • Crossan is one of world's top "historic Jesus" scholars
  • Crossan's says traditional portrait of Jesus is flawed
  • Crossan: Jesus was a "peasant with an attitude"

read more

Christianity both admits and subverts the historical Jesus.
--John Dominic Crossan, historic Jesus scholar.



Saturday, April 23, 2011

What I read during Holy Saturday

helpful book for me to understand the Jesus Quest.


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Friday, April 22, 2011

Good Friday Service 2011

Sis Caroline Lee sings 'Lord, You Are My Greatest Friend' or '主,你是我最好的朋友' in Hokkien at the Holy Light Church Good Friday Combined Worship Service, April 22, 2011.

HLCE Men's Choir sings 'At The Cross' at the Holy Light Church Good Friday Combined Worship Service, April 22, 2011.


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Consulting an Australian Paediatrican

In the first national snapshot of paediatician consultations in Australia published in The Medical Journal of Australia, some interesting facts have emerged.

Children Attending Paediatricians Study: a national prospective audit of outpatient practice from the Australian Paediatric Research Network

Harriet Hiscock, Gehan Roberts, Daryl Efron, Jillian R Sewell, Hannah E Bryson, Anna M H Price, Frank Oberklaid, Michael South and Melissa A Wake

MJA 2011; 194 (8): 392-397

The ten common conditions are listed with the frequency in brackets. The time given for the first consultation is also given  - the first figure shows the normal allocated time and the second the additonal time.

1. Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (10%) [average consultation time-first visit - 47.6 + 12.2 minutes]
2. Learning difficulty/disability (8%)  [average consultation time-first visit - 55.1 + 15.2 minutes]
3. Eczema (7%)  [average consultation time-first visit - 41.3 + 6.9 minutes]
4. Behaviour (6%)  [average consultation time-first visit -51.3 + 13.2 minutes]
5. Language delay(6%)  [average consultation time-first visit -53.2 + 17.7 minutes]
6. Asthma (6%)  [average consultation time-first visit - 45.2 + 8.5 minutes]
7. Allergy — other food† (6%)  [average consultation time-first visit -36.2 + 7.1 minutes]
8. Dermatological/skin problems‡ (5%)  [average consultation time-first visit -33.6 + 8.2 minutes]
9. Baby check (premature/full-term) (5%)  [average consultation time-first visit -29.8 + 5.9 minutes]
10. Anxiety (5%)  [average consultation time-first visit -50.0 + 11.0 minutes]

I am fascinated by this study. First, what is interesting is that ADHD and behavioural problems forms the large bulk of the Australian paediatricians' workload. Second, is the amount of time allocated to the first consultation.

The situation in Malaysia is very different - both in the type of problems seen for paediatric consultations and the length of time given to patients in the first consultations.


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Thursday, April 21, 2011

The Murder of God

§ 1.11.1 and § 1.11.2 of Karl Barth’s Church Dogmatics discusses God the Son: “The one God reveals Himself according to Scripture as the Reconciler, i.e. as the Lord in the midst of our enmity towards Him. As such He is the Son of God who has come to us or the Word of God that has been spoken to us, because He is so antecedently in Himself as the Son or Word of God the Father” in the section on the Revelation of God (§11). Karl Barth affirms the New Testament and early church dogma that Jesus is God, the same God who is a reconciler and the revealer of Himself.

As I meditate on this during the Holy Week of 2011, I have this image of God moving towards Jerusalem as Jesus of Nazareth, well aware that he is walking into a trap. Yet he continue to walk to his own murder. The supreme irony of this is the Creator walking towards a murder, organised by his own creations, in the name of a religion based on his revelations about himself.

Unlike many religious traditions where either man is an avatar of a god or man himself becomes a god, the Christian tradition maintains that Jesus is already truly God and truly man. That is Barth’s main thesis in this section. The deity of Jesus is important because it gives so much significance to the horrors of Good Friday and the joy of Easter Sunday.


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Maundy Thursday

From Wiki

Maundy Thursday, also known as Holy Thursday, Covenant Thursday, Great & Holy Thursday, and Thursday of Mysteries, is the Christian feast or holy day falling on the Thursday before Easter that commemorates the Last Supper of Jesus Christ with the Apostles as described in the Canonical gospels. It is the fifth day of Holy Week, and is preceded by Holy Wednesday and followed by Good Friday.
The date is always between 19 March and 22 April inclusive. These dates in the Julian calendar, on which Eastern churches in general base their calculations of the date of Easter, correspond throughout the 21st century to 1 April and 5 May in the more commonly used Gregorian calendar. The Mass of the Lord's Supper initiates the Easter Triduum, the three days of Good Friday, Holy Saturday and Easter Sunday that commemorate the Passion, Death and Resurrection of Jesus
read more




Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Learning the Presentation Skills of Steve Jobs

and you can find some greats videos of Steve Jobs' presentation here


Thy Will be Done

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Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Your 2-year-old can read. Good or bad?

The child you didn't dream of. read more


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ADHD Diagnostic Criteria

DSM-IV (Text Revision) Definition

Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder

Essential features:

A. Persistent pattern of inattention and/or hyperactivity-impulsivity that is more frequently displayed and is more severe than is typically observed in individuals at comparable level of development.

B. Some hyperactive-impulsive or inattentive symptoms must have been present before seven years of age.

C. Some impairment from the symptoms must be present in at least two settings.

D. There must be clear evidence of interference with developmentally appropriate social, academic or occupational functioning.

E. The disturbance does not occur exclusively during the course of a Pervasive Developmental Disorder, Schizophrenia, or other Psychotic Disorders and is not better accounted for by another mental disorder.

Three Subtypes:

Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder Predominantly Inattentive Type: This subtype is used if six (or more) symptoms of inattention (but fewer than six symptoms of hyperactivity-impulsivity) have persisted for at least six months.

Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder Predominantly Hyperactive-Impulsive Type: This subtype should be used if six (or more) symptoms of hyperactivity-impulsivity (but fewer than six of inattention) have persisted for at least six months.

Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder Combined Type: This subtype should be used if six (or more) symptoms of inattention and six (or more) symptoms of hyperactivity-impulsivity have persisted for at least six months.

Diagnostic Criteria for the three subtypes of Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder according to DSM-IV:

A. “Persistent pattern of inattention and/or hyperactivity-impulsivity that is more frequently displayed and is more severe than is typically observed in individuals at comparable level of development.” Individual must meet criteria for either (1) or (2):

(1) Six (or more) of the following symptoms of inattention have persisted for at least six months to a degree that is maladaptive and inconsistent with developmental level:


(a) often fails to give close attention to details or makes careless mistakes in schoolwork, work or other activities

(b) often has difficulty sustaining attention in tasks or play activity

(c) often does not seem to listen when spoken to directly

(d) often does not follow through on instructions and fails to finish schoolwork, chores or duties in the workplace (not due to oppositional behavior or failure to understand instructions)

(e) often has difficulty organizing tasks and activities

(f) often avoids, dislikes, or is reluctant to engage in tasks that require sustained mental effort (such as schoolwork or homework)

(g) often looses things necessary for tasks or activities (e.g., toys, school assignments, pencils, books or tools)

(h) is often easily distracted by extraneous stimuli

(i) is often forgetful in daily activities

(2) Six (or more) of the following symptoms of hyperactivity-impulsivity have persisted for at least six months to a degree that is maladaptive and inconsistent with developmental level:


(a) often fidgets with hands or feet or squirms in seat

(b) often leaves seat in classroom or in other situations in which remaining seated is expected

(c) often runs about or climbs excessively in situations in which it is inappropriate (in adolescents or adults, may be limited to subjective feelings of restlessness)

(d) often has difficulty playing or engaging in leisure activities quietly

(e) is often “on the go” or often acts as if “driven by a motor”

(f) often talks excessively


(g) often blurts out answers before questions have been completed

(h) often has difficulty awaiting turn

(i) often interrupts or intrudes on others (e.g., butts into conversations or games)

B. Some hyperactive-impulsive or inattentive symptoms must have been present before age 7 years.

C. Some impairment from the symptoms is present in at least two settings (e.g., at school [or work] and at home).

D. There must be clear evidence of interference with developmentally appropriate social, academic or occupational functioning.

E. The disturbance does not occur exclusively during the course of a Pervasive Developmental Disorder, Schizophrenia, or other Psychotic Disorders and is not better accounted for by another mental disorder (e.g., Mood Disorder, Anxiety Disorder, Dissociative Disorder, or a Personality Disorder).


Thy Kingdom Come

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Sunday, April 17, 2011

Between Athens and Jerusalem

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Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Playing Crysis2 on my PS3

I am playing Crysis2. Challenging game with incredible computer graphics

From Wiki
Crysis 2 is a science fiction first-person shooter video game developed by Crytek and published by Electronic Arts for Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 3, and Xbox 360, that was released on March 22, 2011 (US). It is the sequel to the 2007 video game Crysis and Crysis Warhead. The story was written by author Richard Morgan. Another science fiction author, Peter Watts, was also consulted and wrote a novel adaptation of the game. It is the first game to showcase the CryEngine 3 game engine. Read more

I love the way I am able to customise the armour and weapon system.



Monday, April 11, 2011

One.Life and Kingdom of God

Kingdom [of God] is an interconnected society;
Kingdom is a society noted by caring for others;
Kingdom is a society shaped by justice;
Kingdom is a society empowered by love;
Kingdom is a society dwelling in peace;
Kingdom is a society flowing with wisdom;
Kingdom is a society that knows its history;
Kingdom is a society living out its memory;
Kingdom is a society that values society;
Kingdom is a society that cares about its future.

McKnight, (2010), One.Life: Jesus Calls, We Follow, Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, p.34


Daniel Tong's Spiritual Formation Institute Seminar

It was a good seminar with plenty of interactions and learning. His four principles of engagement with Chinese Beliefs and Feng Shui are appropriate and set the tone for the considerations of these beliefs. These principles are
(1) origin versus legend
(2) context versus connotation
(3) symbolism versus superstition
(4) proclamation versus practice

SFI Seminar 2011/2

The Christian Approach to Chinese Beliefs and Culture

Date:             2.00pm - 9.30pm, Saturday 9 April 2011

Place:            Berea, Holy Light Church
                     11-C, Jalan Gertak Merah, 80100 Johor Bahru, Malaysia

Speaker:         Canon Daniel Tong

Synopsis of seminar

Session 1: Chinese Traditions
Believers in Christ desire to honour and please Him, but do often struggle with doing so while yet respecting and continuing to uphold the ethnic cultural heritage that is ours as Chinese. This struggle between faith and culture is not something new. In this session, principles with which to evaluate the acceptability or not of a cultural belief and practice to the teaching of the Bible will be presented. A number of Chinese festivals will be explored so to help participants understand how these principles are to be applied. 

      Session 2: Ancestral Veneration
The call to honour our father and mother is universal. In Chinese tradition, this thought has been extended to the care of and obedience to our dearly departed. What does the Bible have to say about this? What are we to make of the traditional practices of venerating our departed ancestors? In this session, we will seek to better understand the Chinese perspective, and determine that which is acceptable or unacceptable for us who believe in Christ. 

                          Session 3: Feng Shui 

The Chinese have practiced Feng Shui for thousands of years, but how much do we really understand this practise? Is it really a science? Why do people engage in this practise? Feng Shui has enjoyed renewed interest in South East Asia in recent years. In this session, we will explore the origin of this practise and seek a deeper understand of its primary principles. This will provide us with a better basis with which to decide on whether or not we should engage in Feng Shui.

Biodata of speaker:
Canon Daniel Tong is Vicar of the Chapel of the Resurrection – a Parish under the Diocese of Singapore (Anglican), the Chaplain of the Saint Andrew’s Junior College and author of three books – A Biblical Approach to Chinese Traditions and Beliefs, A Biblical Approach to Feng Shui and Divination, and Praying Right


Thursday, April 07, 2011

Discipleship Conference May 2011 Singapore

more details here



Wednesday, April 06, 2011

Michael Moorthy and Boys' Brigade in Asia

Well done Michael Moorthy. This article is reproduced from the City Harvest website citynews. An oversight in this article is that it fails to mention that the 1st JB Company is sponsored by the Holy Light Church (English) in Johor Bahru, Malaysia, and Michael Moorthy's involvement since 1966 is fully sponsored and supported by the church even after he has chosen to worship with City Harvest Church in 1997.

A “Sure And Steadfast” Man

Posted on 05 April 2011

Business owner Michael Moorthy serves three posts in the Boys’ Brigade in Asia. He shares his passion for his mission.
Contributed By Nicolette Ng

Moorthy (right) with Singapore’s President S.R. Nathan. PHOTO COURTESY OF MICHAEL MOORTHY
Michael Moorthy, 59, is not quite your average business owner.

Moorthy, the director of Anjung Segar Sdn Bhd, a frozen foods company, is “on call” for the Boys’ Brigade, which he serves as the president of Boys’ Brigade Malaysia, the president of Boys Brigade Asia, as well as the honorary captain of the 1st Johor Bahru Boys’ Brigade company.

The oldest uniformed group in the world, the BB is an interdenominational Christian youth organization, conceived by William Alexander Smith in Glasgow in 1883, which combines drill and fun activities with Christian values.

What sets the BB apart is that its activities not only cater to the physical and mental development of the youth, but also their spiritual development through Christian education classes and activities. This is also where the “graduated” pool of officers who are all volunteers comes in to train the next generation after being blessed by the BB. These people are role models and impact the lives of the young people entrusted in their hands. Their motto: “Sure and Steadfast.”

Having many youths in his care, Moorthy shares that as captain of the 1st JB Company, he is responsible for the overall direction and vision of where the Company is headed in terms of growth and planning their calendar for the year, whilst also ensuring that the weekly operations and meetings run smoothly.
Through a holistic program, the BB instils discipline and the development of three key areas: body, soul and spirit. While updating their programs regularly to mold the character and leadership skills of the youths is effective, Moorthy shares that it is important not to lose sight of sharing Christ with them in the process. The BB’s objective is “The advancement of Christ’s kingdom among Boys and the promotion of habits of Obedience, Reverence, Discipline, Self-respect and all that tends towards a true Christian manliness.”

It was in 1966 when Moorthy, impressed by the uniforms, badges and the marching band and caving in to the persistent encouragement of his classmates, joined the BB. There has been no turning back since. It was also through the BB that Moorthy got to know Christ as his Savior. It is no surprise that Moorthy’s greatest satisfaction from the ministry is to know that through the BB, they are changing lives and reaching out to young people who are transformed to become better members of the society.


Moorthy acknowledges that the success the Companies have had come about because of a group effort. “I’m only as effective and efficient as the team of fellow volunteer officers I’ve had around me over the years, and I have been blessed to have their support.”

To date, the 1st JB Boys’ Brigade Company has grown to become one of the largest Companies in Malaysia. One milestone for them was when their marching band played overseas in Thailand and China, and was featured in the Malaysian Book of Records for being the First Youth Marching Band to play at the Great Wall of China.

The City Harvest Church member and his family from JB first encountered the church in 1997. “We just fell in love with CHC, the praise and worship, the inspiring messages by Pastor Kong. The love and care from our friends over the years made us realize that CHC is not just a mega-church but a mega-caring church,” says Moorthy. Since those days of the church at Hollywood Theatre, Moorthy and his wife, Janet, and their four children have commuted across the Causeway every single weekend to attend service. It comes as no surprise that his eldest and second son were also BB members.

His is a life and a family that is dedicated to the cause of Christ. “It is my belief for my family and me, that we are all about tending God’s business, and will do our best to the measure He has entrusted to us.”

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A Call to Prayer for the Church & Our Nation Malaysia

To: The Body of Christ in Malaysia



As Christians and God’s people in Malaysia,
• We are called to pray for our beloved country so that Habakkuk’s vision, “For the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the LORD, as the waters cover the sea” (Habakkuk 2:14), will be fulfilled in our land.
As Christians and God’s people in Malaysia,
• We believe that God’s message to His people through Jeremiah, “Seek the welfare of the city where I have sent you … and pray to the LORD on its behalf, for in its welfare you will find your welfare” (Jeremiah 29:7), is also His word for us today.

1. Humbling Ourselves to Seek God in Prayer
In Acts 1 we read of how a ten-day prayer meeting preceded the release of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost. Similarly, earnest and persistent prayer led to great revivals which had lasting and world-changing effects. These include the Moravian Revival (1727), the Great Awakening in America (18th century), the Welsh Revival (1904), the Azusa Street Revival (1906) and the Korean Revival (1907).
Closer to home, the several waves of revival experienced by the SIB have often been preceded and sustained by prevailing prayer and holy living. This has resulted in SIB being the fastest growing church in the country in the last few decades, with whole tribal communities being holistically transformed along the way.
a. Pray that the Malaysian church will seek the face of God together earnestly and with perseverance, so that He will open the heavens, reveal His glory and pour His power upon our nation. Let us claim His promise that “if my people … humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land” (2 Chronicles 7:14).

2. Emphasising Holiness and Righteousness in the Church
The Malaysian church can only be a prophetic community, impacting society, when we live authentic and vibrant Christian lives. Only then the church can act and speak with credibility and moral authority, and be taken seriously by the world.
a. Pray that pastors, church leaders and members will strive to live godly lives at home, in church, and in the market place and the public square.
b. Pray that every church will provide systematic teaching on holy living from the pulpit, in our small groups, and at every level of church ministry.

3. Fostering Church Unity and the Ministry Of Reconciliation
We live in a society where ethnic tensions and divisions have deteriorated badly. But for the church, God has already brought peace and unity through the cross (Ephesians 2:14ff).
a. Pray that Christians will make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit, embracing reconciliation within the Christian community.
b. Pray that as Christian leaders, local churches and whole denominations learn to live in unity, through forgiveness and reconciliation, we will model ethnic reconciliation powerfully in our nation.

4. Teaching Christians the Cost of Discipleship
We must be intentional in teaching that Jesus taught clearly that there is always a cost in following him as true disciples (Luke 9:23). One consequence of our failure here has been the mass exodus of Christians leaving the country through emigration, which has weakened both the church in Malaysia and our contribution to nation-building.
a. Pray that Christians will understand what true discipleship means, and be willing to take up their cross daily and suffer for Christ.
b. Pray that many Christian professionals and countless university students studying abroad will return with a clear vision to build both the church and nation.
c. Pray that Christian parents will encourage their children to come home or to remain in Malaysia to serve God here.

5. Developing Godly Leadership for Our Churches
There is a great need in our time for godly leaders who model Christ-like servanthood. Further, as Paul advised Timothy, “what you have heard from me … entrust to faithful men who will be able to teach others as well” (2 Timothy 2:2), we must intentionally disciple younger leaders.
a. Pray that church leaders, both pastoral and lay, will grow in depth and maturity as true shepherds of Christ. Pray that they will have a real hunger for God’s Word, a firm commitment to God’s truth and to live by it, and the courage to teach the same to their flocks.
b. Pray that the present generation of leaders will strive to lay strong foundations for churches and Christian organizations in our country, to model godly and humble servanthood, and to manage succession plans well, as they gradually hand over the baton of leadership to younger people.

6. Empowering Bumiputra Churches, Especially Those in East Malaysia
Based on Government Census of 2001, Bumiputras form some 60% of the Malaysian church. Their churches lack financial resources and are often weak due to insufficient teaching material. They have also been a major target of certain parties seeking to draw their members away. Many of the children and youths have been converted away from their Christian faith and heritage.
a. Pray for the increasing availability of both the Bible and discipleship materials in Bahasa Malaysia.
b. Pray for a growing and effective partnership in ministry and mission between the churches in West Malaysia and in East Malaysia.
c. Pray for the increasing emergence of strong churches among Bumiputra communities in our land, and the rising up of bold and God-fearing leaders among them.


7. Being “Salt and Light” in Our Nation
The church cannot remain silent, neutral or unmoved by the vital issues confronting us in our country’s economic development, especially if we are to fulfil our calling to “seek the welfare” (Jeremiah 29:7) of this nation.
a. Pray that God will continue to bless our nation with strong and steady growth of the national economy so that all citizens will be blessed. Pray for the equitable sharing of the wealth of this nation among all races.
b. Pray against the twin problems of badly formulated policies and prevalent corruption, both of which combine to adversely affect national economic growth.
c. Pray that the smaller and economically weaker communities will not be marginalised. In particular, pray that the rights and means of livelihood of the native people of Sabah and Sarawak, and the Orang Asli in West Malaysia will be legally recognised and safe-guarded, especially their land rights.
d. Pray that the church will take the lead in reaching out with concrete acts of love and compassion to the poor, including refugees and migrant workers, regardless of race or religion.


8. Defending the Supremacy of the Federal Constitution and Fundamental Human Liberties
The defence of the supremacy of our Federal Constitution, fundamental human liberties, the principles of democracy and the rule of law in our country has now become increasingly critical. This is because of repeated and continuing efforts to undermine them, in particular, through certain Islamisation policies, which effectively marginalise believers of other faiths.
a. Pray that the church, civil society and the rakyat in general will defend the Federal Constitution so that fundamental liberties of all citizens, especially religious freedom, will be upheld.
b. Pray that the government will genuinely seek to uphold the principle of equal citizenship rights for all Malaysians, which had been forged originally against a diverse background of race, religion and culture. Pray against all efforts made at asserting ethnic and religious supremacy which, if unchecked, will destroy the foundations of our nation.
c. Pray that the democratic processes and institutions will mature and, if necessary, be revitalised in our country, especially the Parliament, State Assemblies, the Judiciary and the Civil Service.

9. Electing Politicians Who Are Competent and Genuine, and Committed to Integrity and Justice
Whilst the church does not identify herself with any particular political group, all Christians have a responsibility in a democracy to elect candidates who are competent and sincere in serving the rakyat, and who are noted for their integrity and commitment to justice.
a. Pray that our citizens will have the discernment and wisdom to elect sincere and politically competent leaders who will govern the nation with compassion, integrity, righteousness and justice.
b. Pray that Christians will take their responsibility as voters seriously and do what is right.
c. Pray that in the up-coming Sarawak State Elections on 16 April, and the General Elections which may follow shortly, that God will so overrule that governments which will be faithful to the mandate to rule for the good of the nation will come into power. Pray specially against the work of unseen spiritual powers that seek to keep the nation under their control through evil of all kinds.

10. Making Malaysia a Model Nation
The Malaysian church has an unprecedented opportunity in our generation to be used by God to bring about a powerful transformation which will result in blessings for all the peoples of our land.
a. Pray that Malaysia, by God’s grace, will develop into an advanced economy and a stable and harmonious democracy, in which all citizens are equal, with fundamental liberties protected by the Constitution and a legal framework which protect the weakest and the least. This will make Malaysia a model nation for others.

As Christians and God’s people in Malaysia, we live, pray and labour in hope to be a blessing to our country!
“For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and future” (Jeremiah 29:11).

for list of Christian leaders endorsing this call,see here
sign petition here

The A Call to Prayer for the Church & Our Nation Malaysia Petition to The Body of Christ in Malaysia was created by and written by Pray4Malaysia Administrator (info@pray4malaysia.org).  


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Tuesday, April 05, 2011

Glass Technology

I love the technology displayed in this video

HT: Michael Hyatt

Monday, April 04, 2011

Books I Read Last Week

Last week was a good week to catch up on my reading.


Blogosphere Karl Barth Blog Conference

Discovered that Travis MacMaken, a PhD candidate at Princeton Theological Seminary has been organizing Karl Barth Blog Conference (KBBC) on his blog Der Evangelische Theologice (DET) since 2007. I am made aware of this by following the links provided by another promising PhD student, Sivin Kit from Malaysia (HT Sivin) who have just started his PhD journey. Since reading this I am looking forward to the KBBC 2011.

Much has changed over the past few years. When I organized the first KBBC back in 2007, it was a much more parochial undertaking. Students at Princeton Theological Seminary (PTS) have, from time to time, joined together to form “reading groups” as a supplement to the official course offerings. Such groups are comprised of like-minded individuals who want to tackle a certain theological text or thinker, and who expect to come to a better understanding of the material through communal discussion rather than mere independent reading. The first KBBC was simply to be an online, blog-y version of this phenomenon. Thus, a number of my friends and colleagues took turns writing on the various chapters of Barth’s Protestant Theology in the Nineteenth Century (index).

The second KBBC in 2008 was much in the same vein (index). This time the text up for consideration and exposition was Jüngel’s God’s Being is in Becoming. However, something important began to happen. Whereas the first KBBC was authored almost exclusively by PTS folk, the second KBBC saw contributions from authors from other corners of the theological education and theo-blog worlds. Although PTS folk have remained central to the subsequent KBBCs, I’m glad that this trend toward wider participation has continued. Also, the plenary posts this second year began to be more exploratory and innovative – no longer content to explicate the text in question, KBBC authors were deploying complex arguments, often with constructive goals. Finally, this second KBBC was when the theo-blogosphere stood up and took notice. Traffic increased significantly and, consequently, so did the number of comments.

One of the themes to which the discussion surrounding the 2008 KBBC repeatedly returned was that of natural theology. So, I set the 2009 KBBC (index) theme as Romans 1 and the possibility of natural knowledge of God. For the first time in KBBC history, the theme was not bound to a particular text by or about Barth. Once again, plenary writers and respondents were drawn from various spheres, although some mainstays also returned. The plenary posts and responses were well done, the conversation in the comments section was heavy, and this KBBC continued to surpass its previous records for traffic and comments. It was an unqualified success, and I began to plot and scheme to ensure that the trajectory continued to trend upwards.
read more 
Der Evangelische Theologe: 2010 KBBC: Welcome and Introduction

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Karl Barth's Comic Theology

From Ben Myers' Faith and Theology blog Karl Barth's Comic Theology

check out the wonderful essay by Jessica DeCou of Chicago Divinity School: "'Too Dogmatic For Words'? Karl Barth's Comic Theology", Religion and Culture Web Forum February 2011. She argues that Barth's legendary combativeness and his legendary humour are two sides of the same coin: a "comic" theology. I think Eberhard Jüngel once described Barth as "the happiest theologian of our age" – and this essay shows that laughter and comedy are important for understanding Barth's thought.

And while you're at it, here's another interesting piece on Barth: John Parratta, "Barth and Buddhism in the Theology of Katsume Takizawa", SJT 64:2 (2011).

read more


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