Archive for July, 2013

From the Clash to the Renewal of Civilizations: A View from Jakarta

Wednesday, July 31st, 2013 by Amos Yong

JakartaThat the “clash of civilizations” thesis regarding the coming Armageddon between Islam and the West, including Christianity in the most apocalyptic scenarios, remains an ominous possibility is no less felt in Indonesia than it is in various pockets around the world. Yet my recent visit to Jakarta, including stops at International English Service, Harvest Theological Seminary, Seminari Bethel (affiliated with the Church of God, Cleveland), and Gereja Bethel Indonesia GLOW Fellowship (in the Serpong suburb), suggest to me that the church in Indonesia may be poised to make a substantive contribution to the next generation of renewal theology. Here are two major reasons for my cautious optimism. Read the rest of this entry »

Why are millennials leaving the church? Whose church?

Monday, July 29th, 2013 by Dale M. Coulter

g9510.20_Millennials.CoverAfter seeing it shared more times than I wanted on Facebook, I finally decided to read Rachel Held Evans’ CNN post, even though I’m not that keen on recent efforts to define generations of human beings before they have lived most of their existence. I myself have never really fit the descriptions of Generation X.

At their best such descriptions point one in a direction like someone saying, “have you seen my dog? He’s black and brown and medium-sized.” They give you some generic descriptions, but that’s about it. At their worst, they trade in stereo types or labels that then get perpetuated. “You’re a millennial, Oh, you MUST be like this!” Just ask those who reacted to Joel Stein’s portrait of millennials in TIME.

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The Theology of Amos Yong and the New Face of Pentecostal Scholarship

Monday, July 29th, 2013 by John Sylvest

yongWolfgang Vondey and Martin William Mittelstadt (eds.). The Theology of Amos Yong and the New Face of Pentecostal Scholarship: Passion for the Spirit. Global Pentecostal and Charismatic Studies 14. Leiden: Brill, 2013. ISBN: 9789004251748. $141.00.

In The Theology of Amos Yong and the New Face of Pentecostal Scholarship, an inspired group of authors have interpreted his hermeneutic. Most succinctly, in essence, what they have proposed is that Yong’s leit motif suggests that pneumatology models phenomenology. For Yong, it appears, this is really the very same premise as John Polkinghorne’s epistemology models ontology. Yong’s extensive oeuvre suggests that the amplified epistemic risks that are entailed in taking this pneumatological turn, epistemologically, are warranted by the augmented values to be realized, axiologically. This is no vulgar pragmatism but is, instead, grounded in a fallibilist realism, one that requires a rather rigorous discernment process. The major thesis is that a pneumatological imagination can better engage science, religion, philosophy and culture, mining those resources and bringing their gifts - not anxiously, but – urgently, to a world in need. In discerning the truth, then, we journey – not always directly, but – inexorably, guided – not always by the robustly truth-conducive, but, rather – by the weakly truth-indicative, overcoming such weaknesses by sharing our success stories and, as a discerning eye must surely see, the greatest story ever toldRead the rest of this entry »

The Future of Renewal: A Malaysian-American Reconnaissance

Tuesday, July 23rd, 2013 by Amos Yong

map-malaysiaI left Malaysia, my place of birth, about 37 years ago, when my parents immigrated to the USA as missionaries to Chinese speaking immigrants in California. I spent this past week in Kuala Lumpur (KL) – only my third trip back to my homeland, all since 2001 – enjoying visiting with my family, feasting (practically non-stop – forgive me Jesus!) on the distinctive Malaysian foods, enduring the humidity, and marveling at the incredible urbanization and modernization of this city (there are probably as many skyscrapers per square mile in the KL metropolitan area as anywhere, with many more to come). Having lived in America since 1976, I felt as if I was coming back to the ends of the end; in reality, I had gone as a 10-year old to the ends of the earth, and now have tasted home again. Read the rest of this entry »

Oedipus, Adoption, and the Complexities of Identity

Thursday, July 18th, 2013 by Dale M. Coulter

oedipus_sphinxAs a historian, I have a strong appreciation for tradition and the way it determines identity. Every human being is traditioned upon entering the world. This is simply a fact of life. For most persons, however, the shaping of their identities happens imperceptibly and only enters the conscious mind as family traditions begin to be challenged during adolescence. I rather have my doubts that this is the case for the adopted child; at least, it was not the case for me. The tension between nature and nurture, the shaping of human identity through traditioning and the givenness of human identity at birth was always heightened for me and has become even more so in my adulthood. This tension has led to more questions than I can answer about who we are as human persons. Read the rest of this entry »

Rolling Stone, Boston Marathon & the Renewal of Ethics in the Media

Wednesday, July 17th, 2013 by Wolfgang Vondey

The latest issue of the Rolling Stone Magazine has caused a (arguably calculated) uproar when one of the suspects of the Boston Marathon bombings was placed on the cover. A similar outcry occurred when the magazine placed mass murderer Charles Manson on the cover 43 years ago (Source: USA Today July 17, 2013). The choice to place the suspect rather than the victims on the cover, the mere decision to feature the alleged mass murderer, has led to calls to boycott the magazine on Twitter and Facebook. The decision shows poor taste, at best, or perhaps more to the point, a complete failure of the editors to understand the role of media in today’s world by choosing to attribute celebrity status to the suspect. A worst, it shows a carelessness that capitulates morals for the sake of financial gain. My intention here is not to lend an uncritical support of the naysayers but to question the broader reality that underlies the debate: the lack of ethics in a mass media world.

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