Let me pick four which struck me:
My breakfast addition to my cup of coffee this morning:
“The problem faced by many progressive theologians today is having to translate ethics and morality into modern public life without falling into the numerous pitfalls that lie before it: More often than not when morality makes an appearance in the public political domain it is at the behest of right-wing conservatives who merely wish to use ethics and morality as yet another means of domesticating society and controlling the masses. Then there are the political elites who have turned religious ethics into a mere ideology, fit only for vote-winning and the demonisation of other communities deemed ‘deviant’, ‘infidels’ and ‘Others’. What is needed now is a new vocabulary of religious ethics that takes ethics into the public domain of the present, addressing issues of today and speaking the language of ordinary people living in the 21st century.
Religion, if it is to be real and relevant, cannot be trapped in the myth of some pristine golden age of the past. The morality of religion is not to be found in temples, mosques or churches; or in books and tomes that have been left to rot in libraries of monasteries. One does not find God’s ethics in outdated rituals and empty religious praxis, any more than in the length of beards, the size of turbans and the cut of one’s holy robes…
As the South African theologian Prof. Farid Esack once wrote, the real mission of religion and faith today is to be a living, dynamic force of social change and transformation, with the capacity of making the world a better, safer and more equal place for all. This is what he refers to as the ‘Prophetic mission’ of all divine ideas, and it has to be remembered that Prophets were seldom Kings or Presidents, but themselves marginal figures who stood on the margins to represent the downtrodden, disempowered and voiceless. Religious ethics, Prof Esack argues, does not and should not be an appendage to power, but must rather speak up to power and its abuses. By speaking up for the people of Burma who have suffered so much under military rule for so long, the monks of Burma are doing precisely that: living up to the Prophetic mission of Buddhism and showing that ethics and morals are out there in the streets and in demonstrations.”
Wisdom from the unexpected?
It’s always a joy to hear the stories of how a guy proposes to the girl and then the adventure shifts gear from there.
Thank DJ for these links.
The word “commitment” can take on new meaning in a world where “commitment” is so thin! Here’s two for a sampling:
“Committed to seeing secular vocation, the making a living, the amount of money one makes, and career as secondary to call of God on your life for His Mission.
Committed to regular practices of spiritual formation that center one’s life in Christ and in His Mission. This includes a proposed Rule of St Fiacre, a regular time of meeting in triads (groups of three) for Scripture reading, prayer, corporate silence, mutual submission of one’s emotions to God, mutual confession of sin, repentance and reconciliation, working out one’s struggles, pains and joys as part of God’s work in you for His Mission and finally a mutual benediction being sent into the Mission. And likewise this includes being committed to a regular time of communal worship of God that includes silence, confession, submission to Christ’s Mission, affirmation of Our Story, the reading and hearing of the Word, the Lord’s Table, corporate prayer, thanksgiving and prayer, the benedictory blessing and sending forth into Mission.”