31 October 2014

Exiles in Babylon: Should Christians Vote? (II)

With bitterness any Constantinian will be forced to admit the New Testament says absolutely nothing about their vision of society. There's not a single verse to support it and many to oppose it. Recently I've seen some desperate attempts to suggest that Paul was engaged in culture war when he referred to the Cretans (by quote) as liars, gluttons and evil beasts etc... and demanded they be rebuked. It is debated as to whether he was referring to some of the Jewish Christians of Crete and their abusive quoting of Epimenides or to Epimenides himself as a 'prophet' bearing a truthful witness of the Cretian character. Regardless, his rebuke is internal, not directed at the larger Cretan society or its governors. Those to be rebuked by Titus are within the Church.

Exiles in Babylon: Should Christians Vote?

As strangers, pilgrims and exiles we view the state as something that is wholly other or outside the Kingdom realm to which we belong.
We understand why the state was instituted and to some degree we are thankful that it exists. And yet we also are painfully aware of both its limitations and dangers.

Prophetic Idiom, Prophetic Perspective and Redemptive-History

(This is a re-post from 2011. The title and context have been changed.)

The Pharisees employed a literalistic reading of the Old Testament prophecies, this fueling their concepts of the Kingdom and leading them to completely miss the Messiah and the Spiritual Kingdom He was ushering in.

26 October 2014

Christian Schools in Britain, Social Crisis and the Larger Issues at Stake

There are stories beginning to circulate in Christian circles of a private Christian school in the United Kingdom which is risking the loss of what we would call accreditation due to a lack of diversity with regard to religious instruction.

24 October 2014

My Friday Trip to Amishland

I spent some time with the Amish this afternoon. I had to make a trip out to purchase some rough-cut lumber. There are several groups in the larger area but the nearest ones live about 10 miles from me. A lot of them are no longer into farming and we see their construction crews all over our area. They're cheap, but you often have to pick them up and take them home. Some travel amazing distances in their buggies.

15 October 2014

Middle Class Aspirations, Globalisation, Huntington's Clash and the Acculturated Church

These types of videos always remind me of Huntington's Clash of Civilizations thesis. Huntington wants to argue that religious and cultural identities will always take precedent. This is to counter the notion that either the world is becoming Westernized or that Globalisation itself is creating a wholly new world culture.
While I will indeed argue that history defines the present and the future, the Huntington thesis cannot properly take into account the way Globalisation has and is changing the world.
Unlike some I do not believe that Globalisation will change the world to the extent that old issues will simply evaporate and we can all move on to or progress toward Free Market Democratic societies. 
Obviously this hasn't proven the case and I don't believe it ever will. This kind of Hegelian optimism was rampant in the early 1990's. Many falsely believed that the supposed American victory in the Cold War would bring about a wholly new paradigm that would render previous historical tensions and concerns more or less irrelevant.

09 October 2014

China, Christians, Second-Class Citizenship and Political Agitation

Woe and lamentation.
Numerous reports have come out that there are many Christians involved in and in some cases leading the protests in Hong Kong. While the government in China is indeed a detestable one, this is nothing to celebrate and yet that is exactly what Christian Media seems to be doing.
Charismatic and Dominionist theology are spreading around the world and the coming harvest will spell doom for Christians the world over.

04 October 2014

Middle Class Values and the American Church

I've worked for and mingled within upper class circles at many points in my life. The funny thing about the wealthier class is that they don't have anything to prove. You have some that are certainly conceited and smug, others are downright eccentric and thankfully well off because otherwise they're basically dysfunctional.
I've worked for the poor and that certainly is the class to which I belong. I say this as one who grew up fairly well off. I was sent to private schools at different times. One was rather exclusive and geared toward future Ivy Leaguers. There were a lot of very wealthy kids at that school...BMW's and a Ferrari... and I learned a lot of lessons about values and money. I remember being really disgusted with some of the other kids who judged others in terms of clothes or vehicles and yet these boastful adolescents had done nothing in life and their judgment was bred only by their blood ties and the class they believed themselves to be. Living in San Diego and knocking around the streets of Tijuana I saw very hard working but desperately poor people... people I had far more respect for than these spoiled brats of the upper class.

02 October 2014

Idelette de Bure and Legitimate Marriage

Idelette de Bure was an Anabaptist who married John Calvin. On more than one occasion I've heard Calvin praised for his graciousness and charity because Anabaptist women were looked on as being of dubious character.
There were rumours of wife-sharing as an outworking of Anabaptist tendencies which tended toward communalism and communism. Shared possessions meant shared wives. So in other words Idelette was probably a bit of whore, but since she became Reformed, Calvin was willing to marry her anyway.