Luke Bruce Made Me Post This part 3

Howdy folks, welcome to the third post in the Luke Bruce Made Me Post This series. I have to admit that this will be very anti-climactic. It should be this great thing, this collossus. It's not. I mostly want to draw a little attention to how much less clear cut real life is than the theoretical world most of us live in.

Here's a canada.com article about Slobodan Milosevic dying. And here's a quote:

Tens of thousands of mourners packed a square in front of Belgrade's federal parliament building Saturday to bid a final farewell to Slobodan Milosevic, who died while on UN trial for some of Europe's worst atrocities since World War II.

Here's the thing that I don't get: He's a criminal! He's on the level of Osama Bin Laden... actually, in terms of sheer nubers, probably worse. And yet, in two days, 70,000 people stopped by to mourn his passing and to view his coffin.

I guess it's not as black and white as good guy/bad guy.


Luke Bruce Made Me Post This, part 2

So, post number two in my "Luke Bruce made me post this" series takes me to a little article I found today on Christianitytoday.com.

Stewart compared the importance of his home region in presidential elections with that of his guest, Newt Gingrich. "I'm from the Northeast," he said. "We used to be important."

Let me play Stewart to Christianity Today's Gingrich: "I'm a mainline Protestant. We used to be important." Though we Methodists boasted allegiance from three of the four members of the ballot in 2004's presidential election, this seems to have been more a cultural accretion than anything else. The one whose faith mattered—President Bush—has made a career out of his fluency in speaking evangelicals' language. The Republican Party has courted evangelicals long enough and well enough to have almost an insurmountable majority in Congress and, soon, in the Supreme Court as well. Congratulations, evangelicals: You're in charge.

So, I probably wouldn't agree with this guy if I sat down and chatted with him. I'm pretty sure evangelicals aren't holding the general populace hostage by their votes. But you know, he's got to be spot on when he says "Political power is a good deal more transient than the things we both hold most dear." It's pretty easy to trade our future hope for an apparent earthly hope that never delivers. Whether it's Canadian politics or American, ultimately it's still politics.


Luke Bruce Made Me Post This, p. 1

Okay, okay, Luke didn't really make me post this. He told me that he actually still checks my blog, so I said, okay, I'm going to commit to three blog posts this week. It actually would be a good practise for every week, however I'm not sure I can commit yet. Anyway, in honour of that commitment, here is post numero uno:

I've been reading a book about marriage (surprised, right?) called The Mystery of Marriage. It's pretty awesome. Like most good, semi-theological books, J.I. Packer (back when he was just James Packer) endorsed it. His intro is really funny--he says that if any student of his had asked him whether they should write a book on marriage, he'd tell them that the market was already flooded with drivel on marriage, so they ought not bother (This was in 1985. If anything, it's gotten worse). He follows up that statement by saying that he's so glad that this particular student of his never bothered to ask. So, by way of introduction, J.I. Packer thinks it's good (and someone's going to comment about how he also signed Catholics and Evangelicals together... to you I say, Ask me about my theory on that one later).

So, I'm reading this book, and it's quite profound. It's pretty well a theology of marriage, or rather, a definition and explanation of marriage on the basis of theology. My favourite parts so far (and I'm only 64 pages in) tend to be when he talks about fate and all the questions that theologians and psuedotheologians (like myself) love to ask about marriage. Below is an excerpt that, had I wrote it, might sound a little haughty, but, I didn't write it, and it's certainly true from my vantage point.

What is interesting about this question of the fortuitousness of love, however, of whether it turns upon fate or coincidence, is that it is a question that is probably only seriously entertained by those who are not yet in love, or not deeply in love, or who in fact have no idea what love is. This is the sort of person who likes to ponder whether there may be some "special someone out there," or whether even the person they have found might be only one of any number of possibilities. But the person who is in love, by contrast, couldn't care less about other possibilities, just as one who has found the Truth takes no interest in "other truths." For the one who believes and for the one who loves, there is no other truth and there is no other love.

So, real love is always fated. It has been arranged from before time. It is the most meticulously prepared of coincidences. And fate, of course, is simply the secular term for the will of God, and coincidence for His grace.
(Mike Mason, The Mystery of Marriage,
copyright 1985, Multnomah Press, Portland.)


an article I wanted to write

Back in the fall, I read with interest that Bruce Wilkinson was retiring from ministry. I almost wrote a little blog post about how his theology contributed to the problem. This Christianity Today article is much more informed than I would've been on the issues involved.

A quote and a comment:
Wilkinson mistook his vision for God's plan. In a letter to King Mswati demanding quick action, Wilkinson wrote, "Given the fact that Swaziland has been placed on the heart of DFA by God through devoted prayer, we believe the country has reached a major juncture in its quest to take ownership of its problems and to embrace God's divine will for Swaziland."
Now, the writer doesn't go there, but really, isn't that the issue with the theology behind the Prayer of Jabez? His conviction that God would be expanding his territory kinda blew up in his face. But then, that's just what I think.