Friday, May 20, 2011

The real hope and change, according to Paul writing to the Romans

Hope and Change has a nice biblical ring and cadence, but it has been misused as a political slogan. Paul explains hope and change in Romans 7-14 with a crash course in Jewish history.

God made a promise to Abraham--that he would populate the earth with his descendants through his wife Sarah, who was beyond child bearing age (and laughed at God's plan). Abraham received this promise through faith, not by being a good person (which he wasn't, at least not good enough).

Even when there was no reason for HOPE, Abraham kept hoping--believing someday he would be the father of many nations. He believed in God who brings the dead back to life and created galaxies and universes out of nothing.

Abraham believed God. That's what his HOPE was based on. He was convinced that God would keep his word. For this he was counted as righteous. And so are we, children of Abraham, believing in the one who raised Jesus from the dead, making us righteous and bringing us to a place of undeserved, unearned privilege and joy. . . and that's the change.

Don't fall for a slogan, a pretty face or handouts from the government to do God's work. Do it Paul's way.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Raped While a Peace Corps Volunteer - ABC News

More than 1,000 young American women have been raped or sexually assaulted in the last decade while serving as Peace Corps volunteers in foreign countries, an ABC News 20/20 investigation has found.

Raped While a Peace Corps Volunteer - ABC News

Monday, May 09, 2011

David Livingstone, Christian missionary, fought the Arab slave trade in Africa

Galaxy of Images | Smithsonian Institution Libraries

In [David] Livingstone's day Arab and African merchants dominated the slave and ivory trade from the east [African] coast ports, notably Mombassa and Kilwa. From about 1840 the islands of Zanzibar and Pemba became increasingly important in this economy. These islands were under the control of the sultanate of Oman. They were slave-based plantation economies devoted to growing cloves. Many slaves were shipped from this area to the Sakalava chiefdoms of north western Madagascar and to the Persian Gulf. By the time of Livingstone's arrival, trade routes for slaves and ivory extended deep into Africa. Lake Nyassa, from which the Shire emerges, was the epicentre of this trade as slaves from central Africa were transported around or across the lake to reach the east coast. As slaves came east, so Islam spread inland. Between six and twenty million people (estimates vary) were victims of this trade between 1830 and 1873. In this later year, when the trading of slaves in East Africa was at its height, the Anglo-Zanzibar Treaty prohibited the export of slaves from the mainland.

David Livingstone's Africa

Friday, May 06, 2011

Earth Day: Environmentalism the new national religion

"Environmentalism has become our newest religion. According to Joel Garreau, professor of law, culture and values at the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law at Arizona State University, a religion is characterized by “a distinction between sacred and profane objects; a moral code; feelings of awe, mystery and guilt; adoration in the presence of sacred objects and during rituals; a worldview that includes a notion of where the individual fits; and a cohesive social group of the likeminded.” Environmentalism, Garreau concluded in an article last year, fits this definition of religion very well."

Earth Day: Newsroom: The Independent Institute