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Archive for December, 2008

I must confess i am a list freak!

I love reading lists.  I love making lists.  My everyday is dictated by lists.  When i procrastinate and hence do not follow a ‘to-do list’, i make a new one! 

In these final days of 2008, i have enjoyed looking at Time Magazine’s ‘Top 10 Everything of 2008’.  Check it out here

 

While the lists are written primarily for an American audience, there are plenty of great reflections on the year that was.  The list i found most intriguing was The Top 10 Underreported News Stories.

 

Top of the list was a diplomatic and military bungle from the United States (no, not the War on Terror).  While it certainly had potentially widespread international ramifications, the Pentagon’s nuclear equipment fiasco was predominantly a domestic issue. 

Item 2 on the list captured my interest as i agree it has been the most underreported international news story of 2008. 

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Licenced to Thrill

For the first time in Test Cricket history, South Africa have earnt a series victory against a once-mighty Australia on Australian soil.  Now an unassailable 2-0 up in the 3 match series, the Proteas completely outclassed the home side.

Leading the way was the worlds best fast bowler Dale Steyn.  His match figures of 10/154, along with an invaluable first innings 76 with the bat, earnt Steyn the well-deserved ‘Man of the Match’ award.

Notwithstanding his impressive pace, consistent line and ability to move the ball through the air, perhaps the most striking aspect of Steyn, Dale Steyn is his uncanny resemblance to Daniel Craig, aka James Bond. 

 

 

People Daniel Craig

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On Steyn’s next tour of the West Indies, if the paparazzi could photograph him stepping out of the Carribean waters in a pair of blue trunks Casino Royale style we may have a dead ringer!

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My previous posts have been looking at the unholy marriage of Christendom and how the Church has compromised some of their actions and beliefs in order to please their new suitor.

 

Violence and Empire

It is my belief that the early church prior to Christendom almost exclusively understood and practiced the teachings of Jesus as incorporating nonviolence.  By nonviolent or pacifist, i do not mean submissive nonresistance or passifism.  Rather i mean a courageous, principled active nonviolence as resistance against the injustices which stand against the ways of Christ. 

Perhaps the best known of the many faithful exponents of nonviolence in the modern era is Martin Luther King Jr. who led a nonviolent civil rights campaign in America.  How did the ‘powers’ of the day respond to this challenge?  With violence of course.

Just as the Pax Romana (Peace of Rome) was paradoxically maintained through the blunt coersion of violence, so modern day empires rely on the sword as the final solution to any threat.  Sadly, we in ‘Christian’ nations, lead the world in promoting the industrial-military complex as we rely on them for our security and ‘salvation’.

 

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My previous post (Proclamation Day) discussing the concept of Christendom concluded with a reference to the Lord’s Prayer.  The irony of this conclusion is highlighted by the ongoing Christendom practice of reciting the Lord’s Prayer to commence parliamentary sittings in Australia.

Is it appropriate for our nation’s parliament to recite a Christian prayer as part of its procedural requirements?

Doug Hynd, writing in the Anabaptist Association of Australia and New Zealand newsletter (December 2008), makes a compelling case for the removal of the Lord’s Prayer from the parliament!

This proposal may initially seem counter-intuitive but i believe it could be a symbolic step forward.  Read on and see what you think!

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Proclamation Day

December 28th marks the commemeration of Proclamation Day in South Australia.  On this day in 1836, under the officially named Old Gum Tree at Glenelg, Captain John Hindmarsh proclaimed South Australia a British Province.  Thus we inherited British law and the Westminster system of government under the British monarchy.

 

Remnants of Christendom

These facts may be of limited interest to most (even South Australians!) but they reminded me of a presentation i heard which may have broader relevance.  Unfortunately, the location of this presentation was in a church service (meeting).  The leadership of our church saw fit to cancel the sermon for the day (to which i have no major objection) and replace it with a presentation from a member of an Australia-wide right-wing Christian political lobby group.  Unfortunately, this speaker was so far ‘right’ it was wrong.

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Boxing Day

After spending Christmas day having a wonderful time feasting with family and celebrating the incredible news of Christ’s birth, we awoke today for another great holiday in Australia…Boxing Day.

In Australia Boxing Day comprises 4 core activities. (more…)

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What better day than today to post this sermon by a man who shares the same initials as my son!

41 years ago, Martin Luther King Jr. delivered a stirring address on peace which has now become known as the ‘Christmas Eve Sermon’.

King brilliantly weaves a cutting critique of injustice with a soaring vision of God’s shalom coming on earth, as it is in heaven.  It is a long read (for a blog post anyway), but well worth it…

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