Thursday, April 15


My long-time friend Mike Gillett, who is an Army reserve chaplain and has done a couple of tours in the desert, works with vets in his civilian job. He is pretty frustrated with the poor treatment and bureaucratic headaches that our military veterans are receiving right now. Mike, by nature isn't much of a whiner, so when he sounds the clarion call it's worth a listen. He points to this Adam Liptak column in the NY Times.

New statistics show one in five people on Guam have diabetes and up to 50% of Pacific Islanders have the disease. ~ link

We are NOT God's masterpieces... Our latest MasterPiece Church newsletter is now online. ~ link

✽ Arizona drivers are now paying an average of $2.89 for a gallon of regular unleaded gasoline. ~ link

"'The focus of the issue is predominantly Guam,' Seymour said. 'We really don't have a big problem with the other places.'" ~ link

"America Must Boycott Arizona" -- Arizona already thinks of itself as the victim in this case. This is why people here are willing to embrace some extreme measures and people. A boycott would just reinforce that mentality and as the state digs in its heels to protect itself from critics it will become even more irrational in how it deals with the problem. We need people who can foster constructive dialog -- people who can come up with realistic solutions rather than knee-jerk reactions. ~ link

✽ New Pew research: 25% of African Christians still engage in traditional animistic religious practices. ~ link

Recent deadly quakes ~ link
  • Feb 2010: Magnitude 8.8 quake in central Chile kills at least 450
  • Jan 2010: About 230,000 die in magnitude 7.0 tremor in Haiti
  • April 2009: Quake measuring 6.3 in L'Aquila, Italy, kills 300 people
  • May 2008: 87,000 die in 7.8 scale tremor in Sichuan province, China
  • Oct 2005: Quake measuring 7.6 hits north Pakistan, killing 73,000
✽ Over 600 dead, 9,000 injured, widespread damage in this week's China quake. ~ link

✽ "A federal judge in Wisconsin ruled the National Day of Prayer unconstitutional Thursday, saying the day amounts to a call for religious action." ~ link

Mark Galli is quite quotable again:
In short, what Christians uniquely have to offer the world is not religious experience or even a unique religious way of life. We're not hawking "your best religion now," for our religion, upon close examination, seems no more admirable or sinful than any other religion. Christianity stands under the judgment and grace of God—as do all religions.

No, what Christians bring to the world is a message embedded in a story, and nothing less than a God-given, God-revealed message and story...

The Christian faith is, at its core, not about ethics or religious experience, but a message about a God who has gone to extraordinary lengths to be and remain on our side, to become the-God-with-a-name, Emmanuel, "God with us." Christians are not primarily mystics (those who experience God in a special way) or activists (those who live the way of Jesus). We are mostly witnesses of who God is and what he has done and what he will do in Jesus Christ, the God who in Christ has "a plan for the fullness of time, to unite all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth" (Eph. 1:10). ~ link


Alyssa the Ragamuffin said...

I don't know, I'm about ready to boycott Arizona and I live here.... I'm looking into options for how to take positive action against this new law and in support of an increasingly oppressed people. Not okay. For one thing, Sheriff Joe's opponent can count on all the money we can muster in the next election.

Ann said...

Galli's quote sounds almost as if we can excuse ourselves for not loving God and neighbors in our own lives. Why, then, would the Father have given the Holy Spirit to believers and the church? At least for most of us, "witness" sounds as if we're simply talking about something.

Brad Boydston said...

Alyssa, I share your frustration. My sense though is that if we respond to these guys with what can be interpreted as strident opposition, that it's like slamming the door on a Jehovah's Witness. It just feeds their inner fire and pumps them up to go knock on another 50 doors. Responses need to be calculated -- and offer more positive alternatives.

Brad Boydston said...

Ann, I don't think he is saying that experience is unimportant. His point has more to do with the fact that if you want intense religious experiences there might be better ways to get that than Christianity. Experience is important but it pales in relationship to the content of the story. You can duplicate experiences but it's participation in the story that matters.