July 9 - July 11, 2002
Thursday 11th July, 2002
Bene Diction posts:
Thinking Out Loud posts on his change of heart about Australia’s boat
Sand in the Gears has a sports rant.
Aarondot continues his mission in Utah.
Anne Wilson corrects misperceptions about the nursing profession.
How Christians influence the culture is posted on
Here is the explanation for all the
blogchalk posts popping up. Google! Daypop! Over here! English,
Australia, Melbourne, Victoria, Martin, Male, 50 – 55.
O’Reilly Network on controlling your net identity.
What congregations need to think about by
Spudlets on double entendres.
A ‘why I blog’ post by
Stranger in a Strange Land.
Touchstone enters the debate on women bishops in the Church of England.
David Horowitz now has his own blog.
An aid group
ministers to the dwindling Christian population in Bethlehem.
Online pay for play games called
MMOG’s need to be more appealing to a less hard core gaming group.
The Protestant and evangelical population is
exploding in Brazil. This rapid growth has not been without its
The photographer wasn’t hurt. He wrapped his camera,
stuck it through the barrier, used a remote, and snapped
The Heavens Declare
The universe may be
older than first thought.
The Church of England has finally
relaxed its rules about where couples can hold their ceremony.
Which countries lead the world in
cyber attacks? The results of this study are surprising.
-posted 8:40am, by Bene Diction
Wednesday 10th July, 2002
Bene Diction posts:
If you have run out of topic ideas for your blog, try
The Topic Blog. Link via
G’day and Bonjour to the new kids on the blog:
Princess Fluffy’s Journal
There is a hyperlink problem with Princess Fluffy. You
can use the link in the roll.
Next Wave Magazine, Andrew Careaga tells the creation story like a chat
on an IRC. Link via
I really called the honeymoon blogging of
Mark Byron wrong, didn’t I?
Midwest Conservative Journal takes on Nick Kristoff’s column on
Half the world has never made a phone call. Not true.
Shirky debunks that myth. Link via
Beers Across America warns against dehumanizing others.
The Truth Laid Bear has a great
satellite shot of the Quebec fires.
Common Things is vacationing in Quebec.
Innocent Smith in NC does an apocalyptic double take. Canada has the
world’s top forest fire fighters because we have a lot of forest, but things
are not under control
Holy Weblog has a snappy answer to a reader from the God Squad today,
and lots of other goodies.
My rant on blogging a while ago bothered
/ben/ a bit. I responded to his concerns in his comments section. He’s
only the second blogger to question an opinion I’ve expressed. Maybe I
should opine more often!
A Surprising Gesture
Patriotism isn’t something I feel very much, it’s more
something I think.
John Scalzi’s tribute to Canada made me feel. A little thank you goes a
long way. Gordon Sinclair wrote this
tribute to the US in 1973, which is in the Congressional Hall of Record.
Scalzi’s piece should be archived by the Canadian government. Link via
bought PayPal. Good. eBay honours the laws of the countries they operate
in. Maybe now international users can get a break with PayPal.
Pledge to Be a Decent Parent Buddy
From the outside looking in, this
Pledge of Allegiance suit is a custody battle run amok.
husband killing on the rise in Iran or is there better scrutiny?
You Can’t Placate an Obsessive
That is a great line from Lawrence Henry’s
article in the American Prowler.
The Economist has a good an analysis of Turkey’s political upheaval and
There are ongoing Internet problems since yesterday. Here
site I pop over to and check before I start worrying about my computer.
One Tough Austrian
I have great respect for
beekeepers. On a related note, vegetarians think worker bees are
oppressed. Tell that to the beekeeper.
On Monday I linked to a story about Aussie thieves making off with a three
metre inflatable dog. Not to be outdone, Canuck thieves prefer
-posted 2:35pm, by Bene Diction
Tuesday 9th July, 2002
Martin Roth Christian Commentary
Is This Revival?
Long decades of decline
have made many Christians in the West defensive and insular. Could we be
missing a major movement of God in our midst?
In my homeland of Australia you don’t need
to spend long checking out churches before being struck by one phenomenon –
the sharp rise in the number of Chinese congregations. Enquire further and
you will probably find that the numbers of worshippers at these
congregations are also growing.
My church has a thriving Cantonese
congregation. A nearby church where I worshipped for two years has a growing
Mandarin congregation, and is considering starting a Cantonese one.
This phenomenon is not just confined to
the wealthier Eastern suburbs, where many affluent Hong Kong migrants live.
It’s happening all over the city. The pastor of a small Baptist church in a
less well-to-do inner-city suburb told me of his church’s Mandarin-language
worship service: “They’re always having baptisms. And they’re very generous.
They’ve bought a major sound system for the church.”
Recently I had dinner
with a multi-cultural officer of the Baptist church. He told me that Chinese
church members had overtaken those from Romania as the most numerous of all
ethnic groups within the local Baptist Union.
This year’s visit of the Dalai Lama put a media spotlight on the growth of
Buddhism in Australia, which is largely the result of sharply increased
levels of Asian migration in recent years. Because the media are generally
not interested in Christian good news stories they have missed the other
side to the tale – the growth of the local Chinese church and the fact that
so much of this expansion comes from migrants who arrive as Buddhists and
then find Jesus.
An example of what is happening is
Melbourne's Evangelical Chinese Church, which I visited recently. Started in
1978 with 10 members, it now attracts some 1,400 worshippers (including
children) to 10 services each Sunday, in Mandarin, Cantonese and English, at
four locations. And it is still growing.
Its 10 pastors come from almost as many
denominational backgrounds, and the
church itself is resolutely
non-denominational. "Love prevails in this church," says one of the pastors,
Dr W.Y. Ang, who was formerly a dentist. He estimated that around half the
people from the various congregations are from a non-Christian background,
and he cited the example of a woman member who had spent some years in a
Buddhist temple and is now a fervent Christian.
A feature of the church is its outreach
activity. Each year it releases up to 20 people on short-term mission to
Thailand, Myanmar, the Philippines, China and the Ukraine.
Under the Lord's guidance the church has
registered the name Evangelical Community Church and will be using this
title in some of its congregations in the future. Already it is attracting
non-Chinese worshippers to its English services. It is hoping it might be
able to find some Australian pastors and start ministering to other groups.
Is this revival?
I don’t really know. But it is a
phenomenon that is being replicated in many cities in the West. And of
course it reflects what is happening within China itself, and in some other
parts of Asia.
So perhaps the more important questions
are these: Is the church in the West aware of what is happening? And what is
it doing in response?
* See also my commentary, “With
God on Their Side”.