Friday, January 25, 2008

VOM, Pakistan:

On January 17, a pastor was shot and killed by an unknown person in Peshawar, Pakistan. According to The Voice of the Martyrs contacts, the pastor had worked with the Assembly of God Church in Peshawar, for the past 10 years. He is survived by his wife and a one-year-old daughter. Pray for this grieving family and church. Ask God to comfort believers in Peshawar and for this pastor's family to realize that to be absent from the body is to be present with Him.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Here's the New York Times coverage of the breaking down of the Egyptian-Gazan wall by Gazan Palestinians on Wednesday:

Muhammad Mishlahad broke down nearly a half-mile of massive concrete blocks with his big Effer crane. “I got a call from Hamas at 6 a.m. this morning and they said they had a job for me,” Mr. Mishlahad said, nearly giddy with the thrill of the day. “They asked me to come and clear the barrier.”

Just another day in the life of a crane operator!

Monday, January 21, 2008

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Steve Brown on war and peace:
When one gets into the specifics of which war to fight, how to go about obtaining justice, what kind of force should be used and how in particular one should protect the innocent, the way gets kind of muddy. (“The devil is in the details.”) Someone has said that simplicity on this side of complexity isn’t worth dink, but that simplicity on the other side of complexity is incredibly valuable. I sometimes fear that Christians (both pacifist Christians and “kill the enemy for Jesus” Christians) have never taken the time to go through the complexity. Jesus said that we were to be “as wise as serpents and as innocent as doves.”

That’s not an easy thing to do and, if it seems to be, we haven’t understood.
I've liked that idea of post-complexity simplicity for a long time. Of course, getting there is another matter.
A survey of John Searle's philosophy of consciousness.

For Searle, genuine freedom is incompatible with determinism, and that’s that. Given this, he turns to quantum mechanical indeterminism to make space for free will. His admittedly tentative solution is that the unreduced conscious mind might play an independent role in directing brain processes that are subject to indeterminacy at the neuronal level.

That's ok, I didn't understand it either.

HT: A&LDaily
VOM, Iraq:

On January 6, four churches and three convents were damaged in coordinated bombings. According to numerous media reports, the blasts occurred within five minutes of each other and involved mortar shells, explosive devices and car bombs. In Baghdad, the St. George Chaldean Church in Ghadir quarter, a Chaldean convent in the Zaafaraniya quarter and a Greek-Melkite parish were attacked. In Mosul, the St. Paul Chaldean Church and the House of the Holy Spirit, a Chaldean convent, were simultaneously bombed. A Dominican convent in Mosul was also attacked and an Ancient Assyrian Church in the al-Nur district was damaged when a parked car blew up outside the building. At least six people were injured, one of them seriously, in the explosions. Pray for Iraqi Christians as they deal with the effects of this attack. Pray for healing for those injured. Ask God to enable Iraqi Christians to be joyful in hope, patient in affliction and faithful in prayer as they suffer for Him.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

So Huckabee wants to amend the Constitution "to fit God's standards." Greg Boyd is confused, and I'm rapidly running out of candidates to vote for.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Dan Edelen on Ragnarok, Recession, and Real ID:

The early Church prepared for problems. In fact, they listened to their prophets and sprang into action. But where are our prophets? And in lieu of prophets, why can’t we seem to heed our own common sense? Yet I can’t think of one major Church leader in this country talking about economic issues and how the Church must face them.
Should Christians apologize to Muslims for the Crusades? Nathan Bradfield, citing Al Mohler and a few others, doesn't think so.

I say it's worth a bit more thought.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

MercatorNet reviews The Whisperers - a book about private life in Stalin's Russia:

Figes has compiled so many stories of sorrow and injustice that the book is hard reading. Combined with many photos of unsmiling adults and children with haunted eyes it is a compelling document, bearing witness to the tribulations of a whole nation that took place within living memory.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

MercatorNet critiques Pullman's Golden Compass. The verdict: disorderly and confused, which is not much of a surprise considering Pullman has abandoned God.
An American's prayer for the New Year, from Ben Witherington.