Thursday, January 8, 2009

Jesus is my Quarterback

As some of the other boys of Orthodukso are no doubt engrossed in the NCAA Football National Title Game this evening, I ran across an short article about two of the major players in this evening's game. So while die-hard alums like the Street Theologian are cheering themselves hoarse....those of us who have no "dog in the fight" can find other interesting angles to the big game.

First off, for our international readers....this is American Football. Please do not ask me why it is played with hands and not "the foot". (This is a favorite question of our foreign born brothers which would be bareable if only it wasn't asked in that "oh you silly americans" tone of voice...)

At any rate, this evening's game pits the University of Florida Gators vs. the Oklahoma Sooners. It just so happens that both quarterbacks have more than Heisman trophies in common....they share a deep profession for their christian faith. In a world full of Pacman's, Ocho Cinco's, and TO's (Mr. I Love me Some Me), it is refreshing that there are athletes who keep grounded and are lead by their faith. (If none of those names are familiar, count yourselves fortunate)

The below article briefly mentions the faiths of both Tim Tebow (UF) and Sam Bradford (OU):

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Jesus can be scary...

Church removes 'scary crucifix'

I believe that the following story is a good representation of the modern views of christianity amongst its own. In this story, we read of a crucifix hanging from a the exterior wall of a church. Although the crucifix was mounted in the 1960's, the current vicar describes it as "scaring children".

""Children have commented on how scary they find it and how off-putting they find it as a symbol outside the church.

"As a key exterior symbol for us it was putting people off rather than having a sense of hope and life and the power of the resurrection."

This says alot about how modern society deals with Christ. We embrace the feel good nature of the Joel Osteen's of the world...if we have to listen to what the Church has to say, we want to hear only of the Gospel of hope, love and peace. We like our christianity clean, neat and tidy.

Unfortunately, it is impossible to speak of a risen Christ absent the crucifixion. The very foundation of the early church was built upon the blood of its martyrs. We want to hear about salvation...but hate to utter the word sacrafice. And so we take the gruesome portrayal of Christ...put it out of site and replace it with a shiny prettier image we can deal with.

Talk about metaphorical....

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Is the Orthodox Church losing ground? Another perspective....

Many forums debate the inroads and losses being made on a human level by the Orthodox Church. In particular, our Indian churches have their own ethnocentric take on why we might be losing or gaining members. (Blame the westerners, blame the pentecostals, and be sure to blame the t-shirt/blue jean crowd!!)

If we can stop shaking our angry fists long enough.... An article was posted on a blog written by a resident of Addis Abbaba ...regarding the same issues within the Ethiopian Orthodox Church. I think it's fascinating to see a similarity in concern.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Newsweek: Gay Marriage & the Bible

In the December 15, 2008 edition of Newsweek, Religion columnist Lisa Miller takes a stab at articulating the Biblical perspective on gay-marriage.
Fair enough.
Her article begins by saying: "Let's try for a minute to take the religious conservatives at their word and define marriage as the Bible does."


Next sentence: " Shall we look to Abraham, the great patriarch, who slept with his servant when he discovered his beloved wife Sarah was infertile? Or to Jacob, who fathered children with four different women (two sisters and their servants)? Abraham, Jacob, David, Solomon and the kings of Judah and Israel—all these fathers and heroes were polygamists." Woah. Hold on there...

Just when your finger comes back to the table from scratching your see that it gets better: "The New Testament model of marriage is hardly better. Jesus himself was single and preached an indifference to earthly attachments—especially family. The apostle Paul (also single) regarded marriage as an act of last resort for those unable to contain their animal lust. "It is better to marry than to burn with passion," says the apostle, in one of the most lukewarm endorsements of a treasured institution ever uttered."

Wait a second... Slow down there Lisa...

And then the final sentence: "Would any contemporary heterosexual married couple—who likely woke up on their wedding day harboring some optimistic and newfangled ideas about gender equality and romantic love—turn to the Bible as a how-to script?" When I said final sentence...I meant the final sentence of the introductory paragraph!

I'll leave the basic theological arguments on the gay marriage issue to those more qualified than myself. But in reading this "News"week article, I am reminded of the famous standup routine of Chris Rock who finishes a commentary about the working man who comes home to an animated wife and in exasperation declares: "At least let me get my foot in the door!..."

If you make it through the rest of the article, bloggers everywhere (even the good fellows of Orthodukso!) should be empowered with a new hope that they too can aspire to be writers for a bigtime publication. Afterall, you don't need to really understand the perspectives you present, you don't need to have any in depth knowledge of the subject matter, and you don't need to provide truth in advertising. You simply need to pick a side on the most provocative subject you can find, pepper it with very bad characterizations... and come out guns'a'blazing from the get go. Sensitive topics deserve better than a hatchet job.

The blogshere is buzzing now over this article, with many in the Christian community responding in kind. The sad part is that this is probably the response Newsweek wanted all along. It's a timeless media formula to increasing traffic/ratings: 1) Pick a topic that Christians care about 2) Characterize them as loony 3) Argue in favor of the other side.

Hmm...maybe they are onto something....

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

At Long Last...

So in the interests of being honest, I have done a more than poor job of updating this log over the last year. Time to roll up the sleeves and get to work...stay tuned for updates.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Christian biologist fired for beliefs

Here's an interesting article that is getting some pub recently. Might I point out that it seems as if the subject of the article is a fellow mallu. Not sure how I feel about a $500k suit (including pain and suffering for unfair firing), but it's actually a fascinating case. Should a scientist who refuses to accept a theory, be fired? this a case of making a mountain out of a molehill?

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

An Eventful Month....

Well, it has been quite a while since I last blogged. Since then the "Advocacy" has taken some big steps...overwhelming at times but full of hope and possibilities. More to come....