Sunday, September 29, 2013

We can't talk about it

An article entitled Our Young People Kill Themselves And We Can’t Say It Out Loud turned up recently on a NZ blog site called Military Models. The author's name isn't obvious from the site, and I suspect this blog post is a bit of an unusual one for them. 

The writer's main point is that the current Government policy doesn't allow suicides to be written about or reported at the time they happen, and while there is a move to change this policy it's not happening fast enough for many.  I note on Twitter that there's been a good deal of discussion about this recently, initiated to a great extent by SPINZ (Suicide Prevention Information New Zealand).

One of the comments relating to the article says:
What hits me most about this is not the hypocrit [sic] way of the officials, it is the fact that so many kids apparently cannot stand their life and go to this extreme. What is wrong in your country?
Apparently we have a very wrong concept of New Zealand here in Europe where for many it is a very desirable place to be. Maybe that is Peter Jackson´s fault…
There is a lot of pressure on kids everywhere in the western world today, but this sounds alarming.
Start by calling things by their name,but then go and find the root of this disease.

We know some of the issues - a lack of a spiritual base is one of them - but there is a good deal of work to be done to reduce the horrendous toll suicide takes on the lives of young people.


Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Coercive decontextualized manipulation

David Fitch using unnecessarily big words - we are reacting against a coercive decontextualized manipulation of the gospel* - but otherwise making good sense in his new blog post: What the Missional Church is missing: Proclaiming the Gospel.

I like a lot of what David Fitch writes, though it puzzles me that he has such a strong focus on spending quite so much time in Starbucks - not on mission but on coffee.  However, as he notes in his third point: An understanding  of what it means to be with people, so as to listen long enough to create the opening whereby you are invited to proclaim the gospel as it most makes most direct sense within this person’s life. That's probably what Starbucks is all about....

Fitch's recent book, Prodigal Christianity, has had some mixed reactions - I haven't had a chance to read it yet (I'm in a P T Forsyth mode at the moment, thanks to Jason Goroncy), but I'll aim to get onto it at some point.  One Amazon reviewer wrote about it: Take a bit of David Bosch, combine him with Darrel Guder and Lesslie Newbigin, shake in Tim Keller, Scot McKnight, Alan Hirsch and bake on a broad Augustinian base, and you'll get Prodigal Christianity, an unique and filling book that Christians living in the 21st century should read.

*Or: there’s an epistemological shift here that goes way beyond the cognitive enlightenment modes of communication most Americans are addicted to.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Do singles have scales under their clothes?

I haven't posted on here in a good while, but there's a great deal of valuable material out there relevant to this blog, and so I'll try and point people towards them more frequently from now on.  

Here's the opening of a piece about singles in the church, which I think is worth considering, especially considering the demographics. 

In the movie Bridget Jones, Bridget is having dinner with some pretentious married people. One of them says to her “Bridget, why do you think there are so many people over thirty and single these days?”  Bridget looks her straight in the face and says “Well, I guess it doesn’t hurt that we have scales under our clothes.”
We singles often feel like we have scales under our clothes in our churches. Not a gross disfigurement that makes everyone stare. Not an outward, in your face prejudice that is thrown at us. But something more subtle. Something that makes us feel like even though we look pretty normal on the outside, there is quite possibly something wrong with us underneath the surface.

Read the rest here - Singles and the Church: why it sucks to be unintentionally overlooked