Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Beyond Welfare Religion...

In his book The Great Omission, Steve Saint, son of legendary Christian Martyr Nate Saint, addresses the problem he sees with some Christian mission work:

"...the Waodani “felt threatened by all of the benevolence they were receiving from Christian missions and relief organizations” (p. 18). Initially, the Waodani churches had been self-governing, self-supporting, and self-propagating, but now they waited for outsiders to build their church buildings and to conduct their Bible conferences."

These three short videos describe Steve's current thrust of transferring appropriate technology along with the ways and means so the Waodani can take up their own part in missions:

Thursday, June 10, 2010

You Don't Bring Me Cookies Anymore...

This video illustrates our childish version of love. "I like you when you give me cookies." And who of us hasn't said (or at least thought) to our parents when they've witheld something from us - "I don't like you!" (or worse)...

Theologians have filled hundreds of pages analyzing the book of Job in the bible. I've seen it summarized as: Would you love God for nothing? That is - when He's not giving you cookies? When He's even witholding "cookies" from you?

This is the difference between human, conditional, versions of love and God's amazing, unconditional love. Enjoy this clip:

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Surprise! Surprise!

Theologian Gregory A. Boyd, in his book God of the Possible, discusses the thesis that the future is partly fixed and partly open even to God because the details are unfolding with the participation of free-will agents - i.e. human beings.

Pop writer Dean Koontz captures the essense of this phenomenon - one that any fiction writer can attest to:

"If you give your characters free will they will grow in ways you never anticipated, and they will take the story places you could not have predicted, raising themes you might or might not have intended to explore. Characters shape events; events illuminate the characters. The people in a story begin as seeds, become buds, and blossom in ways that surprise the author, precisely as real people frequently surprise him with their intentions and capacities." (Relentless by Dean Koontz - spoken by the narrator)