Brian McLaren interview – Changing faith, staying faithful

Brian McLaren - 06 05 Geneva
With Brian McLaren, years ago, in Geneva

Stephen Tomkins, from Reform Magazine in the UK has just published a very interesting interview with Brian McLaren. My readers know that I like Brian a lot, even if I do not always agree with him, and I am sure he does not mind that.

Here is the interview, which is worth reading, I would suggest. I know some of those who read this blog do not like McLaren. It is their right, and I am ready to respect it. I hope they do the same with me.

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Can you tell me about the faith that you were brought up in?
I was born in a Plymouth Brethren family, so that would probably be considered fundamentalist. Very passionate; a very deep love for the Bible. My father grew up in Africa – his father was a missionary – so very committed.

Looking back does that feel restricted or oppressive to you now?
I’m very grateful for it, for a lot that I got from it, but if my only choice had been to stay or leave, I would have had to leave. When I was 13 my Sunday school teacher said: “You can either believe in God or evolution”, and I remember thinking: “Evolution makes a lot of sense to me.” When I started playing rock ’n’ roll, it wasn’t a great fit – our church didn’t even have musical instruments. There were very tight restrictions on what women could do. There were a lot of things I would never have stayed with. Continue reading “Brian McLaren interview – Changing faith, staying faithful”

Bible Treated as Pornography in North Korea

North Korea had 80 people executed on Nov 3

North Korea’s Kim Jong-Un had 80 people publicly executed on November 3, according to Korea’s Joongang Daily News. It’s the first known public executions since he took power after his father’s death.

In seven cities across North Korea, people who had watched South Korean videos, “pornography” or possessed Bibles were killed. The executions took place in Wonsan in Kangwon Province, Chongjin in North Hamgyong Province, Sariwon in North Hwanghae Province and Pyongsong in South Pyongan. According to the newspaper, about ten people were killed in each city.

The newspaper reported: Continue reading “Bible Treated as Pornography in North Korea”

Why Islamic Rage Over Burning the Quran?, Christian News

Why Islamic Rage Over Burning the Quran?, Christian News.

Why do some Muslims resort to incendiary violence when their holy book is burned? Do Christians do the same when their Bible is desecrated or burned? No. We do not because our view of the Bible is different to how Muslims view the Qur’an. (We should not however underestimate the degree to which religious leaders in some Mid-East countries use this issue as a way of manipulating emotions, triggering mob violence and murder.)

Muslims believe the Qur’an was dictated directly to the Prophet Muhammad by Allah over 20 years, somewhere between 570 and 632 AD. This is different to our Bible, in that while we believe it is inspired, we acknowledge the Bible is a series of books written over time by various authors, in testimony to Jesus of Nazareth, God’s Son. We believe Jesus is divine, much like Muslims believe the Qur’an is divine. However when we make the Bible and the Qur’an equivalent, we misunderstand how Muslims regard their holy book. The Qur’an and Bible operate very differently for Muslims and Christians.’

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There is so much ignorance among Christians about the basic teachings of Islam. The same is true among Muslims about the basic teachings of Christianity.

The Book of Books – What Literature Owes the Bible –

The Book of Books – What Literature Owes the Bible –

Here is a splendid article in the New York Times about the influence of the Bible on the great works of world literature.

I paste here two paragraphs, as a teaser:

A number of the great works of Western literature address themselves very directly to questions that arise within Christianity. They answer to the same impulse to put flesh on Scripture and doctrine, to test them by means of dramatic imagination, that is visible in the old paintings of the Annunciation or the road to Damascus. How is the violence and corruption of a beloved city to be understood as part of an eternal cosmic order? What would be the consequences for the story of the expulsion from Eden, if the fall were understood as divine providence? What if Job’s challenge to God’s justice had not been overawed and silenced by the wild glory of creation? Continue reading “The Book of Books – What Literature Owes the Bible –”

NT Wright – Tea and the Bible saving his day in the morning

This is suitable short clip for a good morning. Enjoy!