Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Somebody takes my doctor-ate seriously!!!

The project manager overseeing our building operation is a member of the congregation. He sub-contracted the building to a youngish guy who is fantastic. I suppose it is a novalty for some of the congregation-members to say that their minister is "studying to become a doctor"...

This afternoon, on arriving home, this builder came to me, striking up a conversation, saying "Are you a doctor already?" to which I replied quite concisely (not to drag the topic on too long): "Not yet, but soon."

He then started speaking in a lower, rougher voice, stroking his throat and said "Eish, it is burning here, what must I take?". I was really not going to try to explain the difference between eschatology and a colonoscopy, so I gave him a Strepsil.

He then continued: "...and when I eat in the morning, it is sore right here" (Pointing to his stomach). So, I asked him a couple of general doctor-like questions like how often he flatulates, whether he drinks on an empty stomach etc. and decided that Gaviscon would do the trick. "If it doesn't work," I concluded, "then call me in the morning".

I had a good chuckle afterwards.

"Thou shalt not bear false...." Oops.

A little laugh about a serious matter

School Teacher arrested

NEW YORK - A public school teacher was arrested today at John F.Kennedy
International Airport as he attempted to board a flight while in
Possession of a ruler, a protractor, a set square, a slide rule, and a

At a morning press conference, Attorney General John Ashcroft said he
believes the man is a member of the notorious Al-gebra movement. He did
not identify the man, who has been charged by the FBI with carrying
weapons of math instruction.

"Al-gebra is a problem for us," Ashcroft said. "They desire solutions by
means and extremes, and sometimes go off on tangents in a search of
absolute value. They use secret code names like 'x' and 'y' and refer to
themselves as 'unknowns,' but we have determined they belong to a common
denominator of the axis of medieval with coordinates in every country.
As the Greek philanderer Isosceles used to say, 'There are 3 sides to
every triangle.'

'When asked to comment on the arrest, President Bush said, "If God had
wanted us to have better Weapons of Math Instruction, he would have
given us more fingers and toes." White House aides told reporters they
could not recall a more intelligent or profound statement by the

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

We're building!!!

We have been privileged to live in our own house, but it has always been without a study. My books have been stored in a Wendy-house for the past year, found their way to our diningroom-table (on occasion) and made their way back.

With our second little expression of love on the way, we have had to close our eyes and take the plunge... We are building a study.

So, here is a picture of our study on day 1 of building. Please pray with us that this project will be a success. I will keep you informed of developments.

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Some questions that fry my brain.

Here are some thinks that freak me out.

One must be able to count the amount of gravel-stones used to tar the N1 between Cape Town and Polokwane. What would that number be? In addition, if you were able to scrape all the stones used to make the highway together and make a heap, how big would it be? Seeing that it came from somewhere, we should be missing a couple of mountains.

How much ammo did the Voortrekkers take when they started on the Great Trek? How much did it weigh? Considering the amount of battles and wars, where did they get the lead to make ammo while they were on the move? Is the story of the Great Trek, propoganda?

If the revolution of an electron around a nucleus were experienced in the same manner as we experience the amount of time it takes for the earth to revolve around the sun, what would it do to our concept of time? Is there a bigger dimension asking the same question about our experience of time and theirs?

How can a God who superceeds all our knowledge of time, space and experience love this piece of dust so much that God chooses for it to be able to be in relationship with God and in meaningful relationship with other pieces of dust?

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Barth Conference

I was fortunate enough to be invited to speak at the "Reading Karl Barth in South Africa today" Conference held in Pretoria during the past few days.

What a privilege it is to interact with students and seasoned professors who are as passionate about the subject as I am, if not more. My topic was once again "Barth's definition of church in politics and culture" and was accepted very well. A couple of awkward questions, especially by my friend(?) Dion, kept me on my toes, but all went well.

Statement of the day that jumped out of my mouth without thinking: "The institutional church is one of those holy cows that sometimes needs to be slaughtered."

Oops. Did I say that?

Friday, August 04, 2006

Prof. Vroom

Prof. H.M. Vroom from the Vrije Universiteit van Amsterdam visited this week
at TUKS.

For those who are interested in new developments in theology regarding
consciousness, creation theory and inter-religioius dialogue, will find his
material extremely valuable. A topic that he also shared related to how the
university at which he serves is making headway in the recent introduction
of Islamic theology in their faculty. They resisted forming a seperate
faculty and also did not allow themselves to merely teach Islamology.

Many university theology-faculties have moved along the "religious-studies"
route and are finding it difficult to keep head above water.

An interesting comment about the Free University-approach was made in that
Christian-theology students are now, more than ever, "forced" into a
position where they have to stand-up for what they believe in. This is not
done in an apologetic- or militant manner, but in their conversations with
students with different religious backgrounds, they have to sharpen what
they believe in if they want to engage meaningfully regarding issues where
other beliefs portary a greater certainty or confidence i.e. the doctrine of

By going down this path, religious relativism is avoided and an atmosphere
of serious, but respectful inter-religious dialogue is ensured. Staff from
the different religious communities are also asked to share offices, and so,
the dialogue continues even in the tea-rooms.

Nobody can "talk about us without us". Perhaps we should consider this model
in shaping our theological faculties?

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

A good God?

Archibald MacLeish wrote a play called "J.B.". This is a modern interpretation of the book of Job.

In this book a phrase is repeated stating: "If God is God, then God is not good; If God is good, then God is not God; take the even, take the odd." (sic.)

When we speak about God, we tend to get caught-up in one of two mutually exclusive paradigms. The first makes God supreme, but fails to explain how God tolerates suffering. The other speaks of a God who is present, but fails to achieve perfect justice. I suppose one is pretty much a 15th century Catholic perspective (or even a perspective held by Plato), while the latter speaks of a liberation-theology deity.

To me, Christianity offers a third perspective in the belief of Divine incarnation. Passages like the raising of Lazarus are helpful in seeing the two natures of Christ (the God who is God and the God who is good).

But in my impatience I long to see the Kingdom NOW!

Theodicy creates interesting God-talk, especially in the light of the current middle-East crisis.

"If God is God, then God is not good;
If God is good, then God is not God;
take the even, take the odd."...