Where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
It’s a true, but a challenging statement. Its true, because while we may not put our money where our mouth is, we do put our money where our hearts are. Its challenging because we need only look to where we put our treasure to find where we’ve placed our values. Indeed, as a country, as a church, and in our families, we need only look at our budgets to discover what we actually believe. Continue reading →
“This child is destined for the falling and the rising of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be opposed so that the inner thoughts of many will be revealed—and a sword will pierce your own soul too.”
This afternoon, I came to the conclusion that I needed to overthrow the state, and so I baked a loaf of bread. It seems like an odd response doesn’t it? What does yeast rising have to do with revolution, and perhaps more to the point: why would I need to overthrow the state in the first place? The simple answer is that I’ve come to realize how deeply my imagination as a Christian has been held captive by the state. Continue reading →
I love apocalyptic films. Alien invasions, panicked pandemics, climate change catastrophes, and nuclear fallout: our culture has depicted its own destruction in a myriad of ways.
This week I rented the film, Seeking a Friend for the End of the World, an apocalyptic story in an end times sub-genre I like to call: A Giant Asteroid is Set on a Collision Course with Earth. Continue reading →
When my father retied from the airline industry he decided he wanted to more actively seek a life of Christian service. Taking his pension early, he joined an aviation mission group and traveled overseas where he was assigned to fly medical supplies and doctors into remote villages in Papua New Guinea.
At the beginning, it seemed like it would be a straightforward task. He would fly into small isolated communities, pick up the sick and wounded, and fly them to where they could receive medical treatment.
Yet nothing in life turns out to be so straightforward. On one of his first missions, he was greeted with skepticism by a few of the locals in a village. After a bit of awkwardness, one of the locals approached my father and asked, “You’re new. So, are you missionaries or mercenaries?” Continue reading →
Toward A Biblical Theology of Church Sanctuary in Canada
The date has been set. The votes have been counted. The deportations will likely begin in January.
On June 28th, the Government of Canada signed into law Bill C-31, the so-called Protecting Canada’s Immigration System Act. Under the guise of reforming unfair queue jumping and eliminating what Canadian Immigration Minister Jason Kenny has termed “bogus refugees,” this new legislation will streamline the current application process, moving away from a reliance upon panels of human rights experts, and concentrating more power in the hands of the Minster.
Under the new legislation, refugees seeking asylum in Canada will have fifteen days to submit a fully researched application in order to qualify for refugee status. Refugees from countries the Minister of Immigration designates, as “safe” – a designation not defined or regulated by the terms of the law but made under the Minister’s personal discretion – would then be deported from Canada with little hope of appeal. Moreover, while such refugees are in Canada, they will be ineligible for health care coverage, denying insulin to diabetics, and preventing pregnant women from having access to doctors or midwives during birth. Continue reading →
There are some places in our world so evil, that the very ground you walk upon can drain you of hope. Places where cruelty is the norm, where persons are transformed into numbers, and where good people say nothing.
Auschwitz-Birkenau is one of those places. While the deceptive grass now hides the crimes committed in the name of the nation, you don’t have to dig too deep before you find the ashes. Continue reading →
A review of Frank Anthony Spina’s The Faith of the Outsider: Exclusion and Inclusion in the Biblical Story, Grand Rapids: Wm. B. Erdmans Publishing Co., 2005, 206 pages.
It is expected that on June 29th, Bill C-31, the so called Protecting Canada’s Immigration Act, will be signed into law, paving the way for the deportation of those it designates as unwanted outsiders, including victims of persecution and torture. As Mary Jo Leddy, theologian and founder of Romero House claims, “this may very well become the civil rights issue of our times.” If Leddy is correct, it follows that no theological theme could be more important for churches in Canada to reflect upon then the relation between the insider and the outside in the biblical witness. Thankfully, Frank Anthony Spina’s book, The Faith of the Outsider: Exclusion and Inclusion in the Biblical Story, does just that. Continue reading →
If you happen to be looking for B.C. Premier Christy Clark at 8 o’clock on a Sunday morning, you might find her at Christ Church Cathedral in downtown Vancouver. A former religious studies scholar at the University of Edinburgh, Clark worships now and then at the century-old Anglican church on Burrard. She even popped up as a reader at one recent service, filling the beautifully restored Gothic interior with her smooth radio voice. Continue reading →
“When people become more concerned with the gratification of their own appetites than with their responsibilities to society, the days of that civilization are numbered.”
- Le Déclin de l’Empire Américain, Denys Arcand (1986)
In 2011, one only needs to listen to the headlines – be they international, national, provincial, or municipal – to hear the signs of imperial decay, as the signifiers that once held their identity in the polis, such as citizen, have come to be usurped by the ubiquitous taxpayer. The difference between the two is striking. Whereas the signifier citizen contains within it an understanding of the responsibilities that one’s belonging to a polis entails, a taxpayer assumes no such responsibility. A taxpayer is a consumer, one who pays a fee and expects a service in return. Or, perhaps as Arcand realized several decades earlier, a taxpayer is more consumed with her own appetites, a citizen with her obligations to others. Continue reading →