June 4 - June 6, 2002
Thursday 6th June, 2002
Martin Roth posts:
What Are We Missing Right Now?
examines the controversy over who didn’t know what and didn’t tell whom:
In addition to asking, "What else did we know back then?" we should be
asking, "What are we missing right now?" Hindsight is useful only when it
improves our foresight.
For example, front pages now focus on a potential India-Pakistan conflict
and on Yasir Arafat's war on Israel. But in a year's time, editors may be
directing reporters to find out why investors had not been warned of an
incipient bear market; or why parents had not been warned of the effect on
teenagers of the F.B.I.'s sudden withdrawal from crackdowns on drug
kingpins; or why nobody here knew of some country's secret research into
cloning of humans.
Here’s my suggestion about what editors
could be asking in a few years time: why didn’t we pay more attention to the
Christian revival in China?
I reckon it’s going to be a huge story,
though I’ve no idea what’s going to happen. But it fascinates me that at a
time when China is rapidly becoming the major power of Asia, it is also
experiencing a wildfire Christian revival, spread across all sectors of
Numerous of the Chinese dissident leaders
have become Christians. I’ve written
an article on this.
And I’ll post in the
next day or so a short article on the rapid growth of Chinese congregations
here in my city of Melbourne. At a time when the local media is rhapsodising
over the recent visit of the Dalai Lama, and the growth of Buddhism in
Australia, they are ignoring the other side of the story – the expansion in
the local Chinese church and the fact that so many of the new Christians
come from a Buddhist background.
I had dinner over the
weekend with a multi-cultural official from 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 is a revival that will have a big
influence on the church worldwide. But it could also influence global
politics, society and culture. Stay tuned.
-posted 9:15pm, by
Bene Diction posts:
When Modesty Can Kill You
Disaster planning experts in the US are rethinking
strip and hose procedures. Removal of clothing
in the event of a biological attack is critical, however, most people are
extremely reluctant to get naked in front of others. I find myself laughing
at the incredulity of the officials in this story.
The Yuck Factor
A Canadian man got an
unpleasant surprise when he opened a can of beans the other day. This
story is so Canadian. There is no mention of lawsuits, and everyone is
falling all over themselves to help.
Has anyone else noticed how many blogs are getting
spruced up these days? And, why is it that
bloggers seem to be most productive on Wednesday and Thursdays? So many
blogs, so little time, sigh.
The lively linking editors at Christianity Today’s
Weblog have been very busy. There in an
interesting story they have covered on their main page about a spat between
an evangelical group and the Canadian Jewish Congress over the use of the
Menorah as a symbol.
C log has come out of the gate with a bang. Leon Podles has a
thoughtful post on the catholic crisis at
MartinRothOnline.com has about 180 blogs in the
semi-definitive list. It’s growing weekly and that is terrific. I try to
read every one once a week, and in doing so, notice the ebb and flow of what
is on bloggers hearts and minds. Our Catholic bloggers are really wrestling
with the problems in their church. Linking through, this
post at Streams of Consciousness caught my attention.
P.S. Bloggers, don’t be afraid to email Martin if we are
missing out on some good stuff here in Blog Watch. He doesn’t bite; indeed,
it has been my experience these past few weeks that Australians are as nice
Check Out lane catches a lot of what we miss. And Kathy Shaidle at
Relapsed Catholic is simply the
best at linking well to the sublime and ridiculous.
Blithering Idiot had me holding my breath this week. A discussion about
Hiroshima and Nagasaki could have degenerated into nastiness. Sulik is a
lawyer, and verbally holds his own in any debate. He had the grace to
acknowledge his need to communicate more clearly.
In the ecosystem of the blogosphere, those of us who
claim Jesus Christ as Lord have a high standard to maintain in our blogging.
The community of Christian bloggers is starting to be noticed by others.
Honest, it really is,
Colossians 4:6 Keep up the good work everyone. I’m honored to be part of
-posted 11:55am, by Bene Diction
Wednesday 5th June, 2002
Martin Roth posts:
continues over claims that Sydney Catholic Archbishop George Pell was
offering hush money to victims of sex abuse by priests. But with no new
allegations, it is becoming a matter of whom do you believe.
ambush approach of 60 Minutes pit bull terrier
Richard Carleton has upset some, including
Crikey, which today posts a rambling account of media coverage of the
editorial makes the following point:
The disagreement does show
that simply speaking to a victim can be risky for church leaders. Should
someone such as Dr Pell discuss abuse with a pastoral tone, the victim can
construe it as an admission of error by the church. Should he discuss the
issue using legal aplomb, he can be accused of callous disregard for
McGuinness, not normally a friend of the church,
It seems these days that there is more energy devoted to attacks on people,
especially church officials, for what they didn't do rather than on actual
perpetrators of abuse.
And one has to wonder about the ulterior motives involved in the onslaughts
on first the Governor-General, [former Anglican Archbishop] Peter
Hollingworth, and now the Catholic Archbishop of Sydney, the Most Rev George
Pell, for things they are supposed to have not done many years ago….
In the newly liberated climate of the '70s and after it seemed that celibacy
was more honoured in the breach than in the observance.
Perhaps if the churches had enforced their moral rules more strictly and
with less forgiveness of sinners, they would now look a lot better.
So the strongest charge which can be made against the churches of those days
is that they did not resist the Zeitgeist, the spirit of the age, but all
too enthusiastically embraced it.
Maybe Hollingworth, Pell and others are as much scapegoats for the guilt
which we, as a community, feel for our attitudes of those days as they are
Relieved thanks to Eric Olsen of
Tres Producers who plans to ensure he misses
Tim Blair and me when he nukes all Aussie whales. That reminds me of a
mean trick I played on some green-leaning visiting Western friends when I
lived in Tokyo. At a local restaurant I ordered a dish of grilled
whale meat. It looked and tasted like prime beef. Utterly delicious,
said my friends. I seem to recall one of them – a very idealistic New
Zealand schoolgirl – actually screaming when I revealed what they had eaten.
-posted 10:50am, by
Bene Diction posts:
More older people are living together outside
Canadian Politics 101
Canadians can learn something reading this Q & A in
Pundit Magazine about the federal political earthquake this weekend.
Americans can learn something about their neighbors. Hey, whoever wants to
can read this for an understanding of why Canadians were a bit self absorbed
and cranky this weekend. Link via
Soccer or Worship?
Church attendance took a hit this weekend in
Nairobi when worshippers stayed home to watch the World Cup. Martin has
a post on Saturday, June 1st about English church going fans.
John Berlau at Insight on the News picks up the theme of the National
Post article I linked to Monday.
Where Your Treasure Is
I’m pulling a journalistic no no. I’ve linked the last
paragraph instead of the lead. That’s because I’m following a train of
thought today, and I’m hoping you can pick up on it and relate it to your
The damage is caused, however,
not by the apostates, but by the failure of the church to throw them out. If
all this is telling us anything, it's that we should clean up the shop--get
rid of the pansy clerics who go after teenaged boys, and the apostate clergy
who are being paid to propagate cynicism. Do that, and in time the golf
course will lose its appeal and the church gain some.
Three Legged Stools
And to end my thematic tangent I present Christianity
The blogosphere ecosystem as a jpg.
Wow. How did he do that?
The Truth Laid Bear is not only happy to tell the technically gifted, he
links to another blogger’s picture and graph of the links that move through
cyberspace in war blogs.
Tal G is a must read today as he ponders security from his computer in
Jerusalem. He links to a disturbing article in
Ha’aretz about cross border fighting being soon and inevitable.
C-log, the new Townhall.com blog, has lots of good posts today.
I’m certainly not anti
Praying the Post. What a clear and intelligent response to my question
about Mary worship in Catholism on May 31st. He also gets high praise for
answering in a way young evangelical Protestants can identify with. Great
Little Green Footballs leads the anti-idiotarian charge.
Max Power looks at collaborative blogging in a June 3 post. (Scroll
down.) I couldn’t agree more. Blogging by yourself is like being on a high
wire without a net.
Junk Yard Blog muses about his time spent in Japan and the lessons
learned from WWII
Thinking Out Loud wonders if God can repent.
Barlow Farms has a beautiful picture of an awful spider. I like the post
that goes with it though.
e-church.com is tossing out ideas on what his vision is for his site. Go
read and help him out in his comments section. May I drop a gentle hint to
our many cutting edge Gen-X bloggers? Tiny type on colored background blurs
for the bi-focal generation.
-posted 9:05am, by Bene Diction
Tuesday 4th June, 2002
Bene Diction posts:
Relapsed Catholic links to a Forbes article on religious scams that
netted one billion dollars last year.
Andrew Sullivan takes down New York High School Regency exams that gut
literary classics with the ‘new religion of sensitivity’.
In Between Naps has nothing good to say about her least favorite
children’s author after he criticized C.S. Lewis.
Bill Quick aka Daily Pundit has a great new look. Comments are now part
of his front page. He links to an article wondering how the Arab world would
function if there was no Israel.
Brothers Judd look at world cup soccer and the conservative mind.
-posted 4:15pm, by Bene Diction
The Freedom Trail
Pressure from the US and various human rights groups has
enabled 900 Vietnamese tribes people to end a long bid for freedom. They
fled Vietnam last year after persecution from the Vietnamese government
and have been in UN sponsored camps in Cambodia.
Vietnam's hill tribe people,
collectively known as Montagnards, claim they were stripped of their
farmland, persecuted for their Christian faith and faced systematic
discrimination by Vietnamese authorities.
These 900 may be the last to
get to freedom. Cambodian PM Hun Sen says he has
closed the refugee camps and
announced that any more Montagnards found in Cambodia would be sent back to
Vietnam as illegal border crossers.
More Unrealistic Optimism?
An Associated Press report says US and Filipino troops
are ‘closer’ to finding and freeing kidnapped missionaries Marcia and Martin
Christianity Today has
information on beleaguered
Beliefnet’s ongoing woes and the sale of
Free fall for Canada’s federal liberal is
just starting after yesterday’s firing of the Finance Minister.
Best of the Web today
questions Reuter’s response to the arrest of one of their photographers
in the Gaza strip recently.
Here is a quick
quiz for ethically challenged, politically correct airport security
personnel. Could you pass? Link via NRO’s
An article by Daniel S. Brenner on
Beliefnet has suggested a way to deal with religious needs at ground
USAF Parts Turn Up on EBay
pass methane gas. Ok. If you say so. I’m just glad I’m not one of the
scientists investigating this particular anatomical aspect of a kangaroo.
This, er, little-known fact may offer a solution to global warming.
(Must…not…must…not..digress into to adolescent humor…must..not…)
-posted 9:05am, by Bene Diction