28 February 2011

US neo-cons urge Libya intervention

Here's an article worth looking at.

US neo-cons urge Libya intervention - Features - Al Jazeera English

Many Americans grow frustrated with America acting as 'policeman' as they put it. It's not about America trying to play international cop, nor is about America's generosity. It's geo-politics and empire.

The Pentagon Molech

In light of my recent post regarding Egypt and the comments made from the pulpit, I though this Roberts piece to be appropriate. Why does he see and understand the way things work and so many Christians, so many Christian leaders do not?

Ecclesiology #4- A Theology of Means part 4

With regard to this whole concept of Means.....

What about the Proto-Protestants? What about the Church Fathers?

For me all of this came together at the same time. I remember reading the Church Fathers early on and being very frustrated.

For those unfamiliar with the Church Fathers, I'm talking about the Didache, the Epistle to Diognetus, Ignatius of Antioch, Polycarp, Justin Martyr, Irenaeus and others.

27 February 2011

Ecclesiology #3- A Theology of Means part 3

For some this discussion of Means will seem strange. Many who are interested in the non-institutional or as some would put it the tradition of dissent are more often than not Baptistic in their theology.

I'm afraid I'm stepping on some toes here, but I believe these issues to be quite important. For those who don't agree with this whole line of discussion...I understand. Believe me I understand very well.

But I urge you to think about it.

Ecclesiology #2- A Theology of Means part 2

Paul speaks of Circumcision in Colossians 2.11 and then of Baptism in verse 12. The ideas are related. The physicals signs differ but the cutting away is symbolic of the same idea…death and a new person. The Jews should have understood because the Old Testament is abundantly clear that the forms were not the end.

They were told to circumcise their hearts…showing that the outward act could not actually save in and of itself.

They were told to obey is better than to sacrifice showing the obedience flowing out of a regenerate heart was more important than the Form, the sacrifice showing a sign of your repentance.

But that didn't mean you could just ignore circumcision as Moses did in Exodus 4.

Ecclesiology #1- A Theology of Means

God willing this will be the first of several posts in which I try to interact with present ecclesiastical understandings and discuss what I believe to be a better way, the Biblical understanding of the Church on Earth and how it is to work.

Though the idea of Means is not very popular today, this is critical to understanding the tensions between many of the Biblical passages which seem to stand in contradiction.

Paul tells us in Romans 9 that they are not all Israel who are of Israel. This profound passage can be used as something of a starting point for the discussion.

16 February 2011

Update on 16 February 2011

Sorry for the lack of posts in recent days. Work and other things have kept me occupied. In addition to writing new pieces I have been going back and reviewing the posts I've already written. I've been meaning to do so, but there just aren't enough hours in the day. And at this point there's somewhere in the realm of 1000 pages of material. If I don't start reviewing, it will get away from me.

I started this blog back in June and was bedridden for a good portion of July which enabled me to write copiously. There were and are so many things I wish to touch on. Initially I was in a flurry to cover a wide range of topics in case anyone actually started reading the weblog. The ideas are interconnected and much of what I was initially trying to say was cumulative in nature. There was some traffic in the early days, but I realized the theology wouldn't mean much to people unless I put it into application. I started commenting on some current events and interacting with other articles….and people started reading those. And now since there's a lot more people coming here, some interest in the other material is starting to grow.

Being bedridden for a few weeks, I produced a lot of material and very quickly. I proofread the material but much too fast and some of the early pieces were not written very well. I am in the process of reviewing them. I'm not changing what I've written, but I'm cleaning up some of the missed typos and occasionally adding a line, or deleting one. But 99% of the articles will stay as they are. It's not a book, but it bothers me to re-read something and find typos. And there are plenty. Also, I want to re-read some of the early material and decide how I can re-visit those topics and present the material in a more readable and useful form.

So in addition to writing some new material, I will continue to plod through the older posts. I might even call attention to certain aspects and ideas as I know some of those posts are not read much. Some readers will be more familiar with my ideas and now may be able to benefit from those early pieces.

Thanks for being patient. New posts will be appearing, but there will be occasional pauses.

Answer to a Vietnam Veteran

I received the following email the other day. I decided to post it and interact with it publicly. I receive a lot of emails, some are from quacks, some from friends, some from honest inquirers. This is one that contains information that some might find helpful...in understanding where other's are coming from.

Christian Right advocates find some of my statements to be outrageous. If you’re at all sympathetic to how I’m approaching history, current events, and theology you will also be more than a little put off by the contents of this letter.

The letter:

14 February 2011

Chinese Christians want Washington DC to help them

Continuing this line thought, this article is rather interesting….

Here you have Chinese Christians that want the American Government to put pressure on Beijing to help their cause.

The Three-Self Patriotic Churches are under state control…so back in 2004 they were urged to pray for Kerry, who would have a less bellicose and more amiable approach to Beijing and the rest of the world.

American Evangelicals sure don’t like that…but would they have the same issue if Beijing was urging them to pray for Bush?

Isn’t this all interesting….Churches being steered by political regimes, and other Churches looking to external political regimes for aid.

This is not very encouraging news from China.

13 February 2011

The Constantinian Dilemma in Egypt

During the Lebanese Civil War back in the 1980's I can remember very clearly that when the Maronite Christians were mentioned in the news…they were one of the sides in that complex struggle….American Christians did not in any way view those people as being Christians… in the Biblical sense.

11 February 2011

Going Down to Egypt pt.2- The Limits of the Common Order

A couple of additional comments....

In Acts we do see Paul making use of the Roman authorities. He's not afraid to appeal to his citizenship as we see in the Phillipi episode as well as the riot in Jerusalem. (Acts 16 & 22)

But this does not mean that Paul expected Rome (or any other magistrate) to help him in his tasks in promoting the Kingdom of Jesus Christ.

What would be an instance in which a Christian might appeal to the state in order to help brethren in another country? Or to put it differently, on what basis and with what expectation could we appeal to a state?

09 February 2011

I wish it was a joke

For those who really want to 'render unto Caesar'....you might enjoy this link.

Going down to Egypt

A friend recently wrote to me concerning Christians appealing to the US government for aid in petitioning for the release or relief of Christians being persecuted in other countries. While it may sound very strange to even question this practice it's worth thinking about for a moment.

07 February 2011

A Concise Apologia for Syllabic Prose as a legitimate form of Poetic Verse

Syllabic verse continues to generate controversy even though it has been an accepted form of poetry for more than a century. While some may dispute the nature and extent of its acceptance, the fact that a British poet laureate championed the style suggests it cannot be dismissed as mere doggerel.

01 February 2011

The Crisis in Egypt Thus Far...

We just finished watching president Obama's primetime speech. It's always interesting to see the leader of the United States stand up and speak as an emperor and then for the sake of appearance, backtrack. Mubarak needs to begin the transition NOW, but America doesn't decide who a country's rulers are. We're the nice empire.

Saul's Politics pt. 2

 Today I was thinking about the law and the great importance placed upon it by those in the Evangelical sphere. They place such an emphasis on the constructs of the law, precedent and technical language in order to prove their argument that America is a Christian country, and to employ the law in shaping the culture.