Tuesday, 30 April 2013

Te Ouderwetse Kerkgemeenschap reden tot verlaten

Jaap Marinus deed vorig jaar een onderzoek naar Grote Woorden in protestantse kerken en legde de verbinding met kerkverlating. Bijna zevenhonderd christenen, twijfelaars en atheïsten vulden de vragenlijst in.

Uit de vele, vaak uitgebreide antwoorden op de open vragen, heeft hij vijftien oorzaken van kerkverlating gefilterd.

Kerken sluiten massaal de deuren, maar er zijn ook gemeenschappen die juist explosief groeien. Daarom verstaat hij onder kerkverlating iedereen die een kerk verlaat, ongeacht of er een nieuwe gemeenschap gevonden wordt of niet.

De twee grootste oorzaken,
1. Verhuizing +
2. Kerkgemeenschap te ouderwets

behandelt hij in:

De grootste oorzaak van kerkverlating: ouderwetse kerkdiensten #onderzoek


Shelter in the morning

"Do not say, 'It is morning,' and dismiss it with a name of yesterday.
See it for the first time as a newborn child that has no name."
- Rabindranath Tagore

"Let the morning bring me word of your unfailing love,
for I have put my trust in you. Show me the way I should go,
for to you I lift up my soul."
Psalm 143:8

“Let me not pray to be sheltered from dangers,
but to be fearless in facing them.
Let me not beg for the stilling of my pain,
but for the heart to conquer it.”
- Rabindranath Tagore

Rabindranath Tagore
Cover of Rabindranath Tagore

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Saturday, 27 April 2013

Engaging the enemy

A a sold out, born again chaser of Christ write on his blog sheanwages:

You want to start winning the war, you have to start engaging the enemy.  The best weapon against hate, Love.  Don’t attack someone because a lifestyle choice is sinful, you are probably in sin too.  Instead why not work together to seek out salvation just like the scripture tells us to?  The church is not a building, the church is us – and it reflects, or should reflect the mind of Christ as we are his hands and feet here.
English: Christ Church in Newton, New Jersey, ...
Christ Church in Newton, New Jersey, United States. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Continue reading:

And do everything with Love…

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Friday, 26 April 2013

Abrahamic Faith Gathering – July 22 – July 28, 2013

The Church of God of the Abrahamic Faith (CGAF) is pleased to announce the 38th Annual Church of God of the Abrahamic Faith Gathering to be held July 22 to July 28, 2013 at Denison University in the charming town of Granville, Ohio. The theme for this year’s conference is Psalm 130:
Out of the depths have I cried unto thee, O Lord. Lord, hear my voice: let thine ears be attentive to the voice of my supplications. If thou, Lord, shouldest mark iniquities, O Lord, who shall stand? But there is forgiveness with thee, that thou mayest be feared. I wait for the Lord, my soul doth wait, and in his word do I hope. My soul waiteth for the Lord more than they that watch for the morning: I say, more than they that watch for the morning. Let Israel hope in the Lord: for with the Lord there is mercy, and with him is plenteous redemption. And he shall redeem Israel from all his iniquities.

  • Fellowship with brethren from near and far
  • Private, secluded campus
  • Suites w/kitchenettes & 2 bathrooms (limited availability)
  • Air-conditioned rooms for those with medical need
  • Full range of classes for children/teens
  • Swimming pool, gym, volleyball, golf outing
  • Free, professionally staffed nursery
  • Reduced rates for seniors/fixed incomes
  • Confidential financial aid available
  • Monthly payment option
  • Golf cart transportation provided
  • Free shuttle service to and from Columbus airport
  • Special dietary needs fulfilled
  • Evening programs for musical praise
  • Evening talks on the theme passage
  • Afternoon Bible discussions
Date: July 22 – July 28, 2013
Location: Denison University – Granville, Ohio [Click here for Google Maps Location]
  • Ken Curry: “Stewardship: Guiding Principle of a Godly Life”
  • Joe Fordham: “Judgment and Discernment”
  • Alan Curtis: “Forgive Us as We Forgive”
  • Monday, July 22 at 1:30 p.m. Slayter Hall – Brother/Sisters Conference:
    Brother’s topic: “Seeing God Today”
    Sisters’ topic: TBA
Registration forms for the Gathering will be available in late March 2013 either by mail or on our website (see link below. In the meantime, you can visit our website to listen to or download all the main classes from previous gatherings. – Brother Brad Rek, Abrahamic Faith Gathering Committee Secretary.
[Click here for the Online Registration Form]
Gathering Website: [www.abrahamicfaithgathering.org]

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Monday, 22 April 2013

A dialogue about the earth moving and spinning around the sun

The dangerous dialogue

Galileo’s groundbreaking book is finally translated into Dutch – and it’s a good read
Almost four centuries have passed since the trial, and the idea has become generally accepted that Galilei was a true martyr of science, prosecuted by the Inquisition and, according to many historians, even tortured. Some say that it was not only Galilei who stood trial, but science in general.

In reality, Galilei was put under house arrest in his Tuscan villa, where he could spend the rest of his life (he died nine years later) in relative luxury. The subject of the trial, a book, was put on the infamous Index, the church’s list of forbidden books, from which it was only removed in 1835.
English: * Description: Tomb of Galileo Galile...
English: * Description: Tomb of Galileo Galilei (Location: Santa Croce, Florence, Italy.) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

That “pagan” book, Dialogue Concerning the Two Chief World Systems, was originally written in Italian in 1632. Only now, after nearly 400 years, has it been translated into Dutch.

In Dialogue, Galilei introduced his “new” world view, with the earth moving and spinning around the sun – taking away the former status of the earth as centre of the universe. It was a clear rejection of the philosophy of Aristotle, which was, in Galilei’s time, the main theory on how nature worked.

“Above all, Galilei wrote his book in a very understandable manner, so that even the common man could understand his ideas,” says Hans van den Berg, who has translated the Dialogue into Dutch. “Maybe that was why the church was so concerned about it. Also, the original is in Italian and not in Latin, which made this book accessible for everyone in Italy who could read – and not only for academics and priests who understood Latin.”

Revolutionary reading

A replica of the earliest surviving telescope ...
A replica of the earliest surviving telescope attributed to Galileo Galilei, on display at the Griffith Observatory. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Presumably it takes a background in science, not just linguistic expertise, to translate a book like this? “Yes, I trained as a scientist,” explains Van den Berg. He lectured for decades in mathematics at the University of Wageningen in the Netherlands until he retired a few years ago. “In 2001, I started to learn Italian as a hobby, which led to training to become a professional translator.”

And what, according to Van den Berg, makes the Dialogue so special? “First of all, it’s the content: Galilei gives fierce opposition to the theory of Aristotle, who was at that time the Catholic Church’s ‘house philosopher’. The science in this book really was revolutionary. Galilei’s ideas about movement, speed and acceleration were totally new – and, most importantly, they were backed up by evidence, thanks to the many observations he made with his self-constructed telescopes.”

And the book is, says the Dutch translator, “astonishingly well written. Galilei limited the pure maths to a minimum. And, like the title says, he wrote in a highly polemical way. He presents his ideas during a fictional discussion between three people: Salviati, who shares Galilei’s point of view; Sagredo, a neutral moderator; and Simplicio, a dedicated follower of Aristotle.” As you might have guessed, simplicio means “simpleton” in Italian.

Mural of Galileo Galilei
Mural of Galileo Galilei (Photo credit: Children of the Concrete)
“As the discussion progresses, Salviati has no mercy with Simplicio’s arguments, and in some excerpts he just makes a fool of him,” continues Van den Berg. “It was this merciless style of writing that got Galilei into trouble. In the years before the publication of the Dialogue, he had quite a good relationship with Pope Urban VIII. So if he had written his ideas in a more conciliatory way, he might have avoided a trial – however, we can’t know for sure. Nevertheless, thanks to his polemical style, Galilei’s Dialogue remains one of the cornerstones of Italian literature – quite exceptional for a science book.”

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Saturday, 20 April 2013

Thema-avond over Syrië

Broederlijk Delen en Pax Christi Vlaanderen volgen de situatie in Syrië op de voet.
 Sinds het uitbreken van de Arabische revoluties in 2011, verruimden zij hun werking van het Israëlisch-Palestijns conflict naar de bredere regio.

 Centraal in hun politiek werk staat volgens hen het respect voor het internationaal recht en met name de bescherming van burgers. De Arabische revoluties vormen een keerpunt in de geschiedenis van de regio. Voor het eerst in decennia kwamen burgers massaal de straat op om basisrechten te eisen en slaagden ze erin om verandering af te dwingen. De keerzijde is echter dat de protesten op korte termijn de onstabiliteit in de regio vergrootten. Ook mensenrechtenschendingen namen sterk toe door onder meer de repressie van de heersende regimes.

In Syrië, waar het regime de protestbeweging met extreem geweld in de kiem probeerde te smoren, is de situatie bijzonder problematisch.

Broederlijk Delen en Pax Christi Vlaanderen  benadrukken dat er ondanks de militarisering nog steeds een civiele protestbeweging is, ook al is die naar de achtergrond verdrongen. Zo verlenen duizenden burgers humanitaire hulp in gebieden die niet meer onder de controle van het Syrische regime vallen. Op het moment dat Syrië desintegreert, ontwikkelt zich tegelijkertijd een dynamiek waarbij burgers middenveldstructuren en solidariteitsnetwerken oprichten. Ze weigeren passief te blijven onder het geweld of toe te kijken hoe hun opstand wordt gekaapt door radicale krachten. Wij pleiten er bij onze regering onder meer voor om humanitaire hulp te verhogen en te diversifiëren, via de steun aan lokale activisten en groepen. De Europese Unie moet meer investeren op humanitair vlak en ook samenwerken met de Syrische oppositie om vrije toegang tot noodlijdende burgers te krijgen.

Naar de mening van Broederlijk Delen en Pax Christi Vlaanderen heeft de verdeeldheid van de internationale gemeenschap bijgedragen tot de escalatie van het conflict. Gebrek aan afdoende actie draagt echter aanzienlijke risico’s met zich mee: een ongeziene humanitaire crisis, spill-over effecten in de buurlanden en toenemende radicalisering en sektarisme op het terrein.

 Het politieke debat is echter sterk gefocust op het militaire luik, met name de mogelijke levering van wapens aan de rebellen van het Vrije Syrische Leger. Wij menen dat onze regering en de Europese Unie een politieke oplossing moeten blijven zoeken. Er is meer politieke en diplomatieke druk nodig op het Assad-regime en landen als Rusland en China om een transitie mogelijk te maken. Daarom moeten de diplomatieke inspanningen van Speciaal Gezant Brahimi verder worden gezet en kunnen militaire opties slechts een laatste toevluchtmiddel zijn.

Brigitte Herremans was op zondag 14 april 2013 samen met Philippe Henon, Koert Debeuf en vredesambassadeur Majd Khalifeh te gast in De zevende dag (op tv-één). Bekijk de reportage
In mei (co)organiseren Broederlijk Delen en Pax Christi twee info- en gespreksavonden over de situatie in Syrië:

Thema-avond over Syrië – 8 mei 2013

  • 1. Op 8 mei 2013, 20u. organiseren Missio Antwerpen, Commissie Rechtvaardigheid & Vrede en Heelheid van de Schepping, Pax Christi Vlaanderen, Broederlijk Delen en CCV Antwerpen een open avond over het conflict in Syrië en de gevolgen ervan in het Midden-Oosten.
Op het programma:
  • Analyse van de situatie door Brigitte Herremans, Midden-Oostenmedewerker Broederlijk Delen/Pax Christi Vlaanderen
    Brigitte Herremans (Broederlijk Delen)
    Brigitte Herremans (Broederlijk Delen) (Photo credit: CIDSE - together for global justice)
  • Theepauze
  • Getuigenis van Syrische vluchteling(en)
  • De situatie van de Kerken en christenen in Syrië
  • Interactie met de aanwezigen
  • Afsluitend gebed
Moderatie – Luc Claessens, voorzitter Commissie Rechtvaardigheid & Vrede en Heelheid van de Schepping
Theologisch en Pastoraal Centrum, Groenenborgerlaan 149, 2020 Antwerpen.

  • 2. Op dinsdag 14 mei 2013 van 20u tot 22u in de Bibliotheek van Oudenaarde, Markt 35, Oudenaarde. Meer info
Twitter via @Briherremans

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Friday, 19 April 2013

Humanities and consensus

Recently, one of the students of Joel S. Baden, inquiring about the relationship between two biblical texts, asked him, “What’s the consensus on this?”
Consensus new and old
Consensus new and old (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A common enough question, especially from students who are just starting in the field. And, indeed, a common enough concept, one that appears with some regularity in scholarly works. But “consensus” is a problematic word, especially in biblical studies.

Consensus is a useful term only when it refers to agreement between parties who are otherwise inclined to disagree. If a European pentateuchal scholar and a documentary scholar can agree on something—that there is priestly material in the Pentateuch—then you have something like consensus.

Too frequently, however, “consensus” is used as a sort of code for extensive and/or fundamental claims that have never been fully worked out, but that are assumed by many scholars nevertheless.


In the end, the history of scholarship, of human thought in general, has demonstrated over and over that “consensus” is really nothing more than a label for whatever idea is next in line to be overthrown by new data, new theories, and new methods. There is hardly a consensus left of the many that have been put forward over the decades and centuries. 


Biblical studies—again, particularly that branch which tries to reconstruct canonically obscured literary strata—is a branch of the humanities, not of the hard sciences. We trade not in facts, not in certainties, but in ideas, in possibilities. Rare indeed is the argument that can be fully discounted, or completely accepted. “Consensus” obscures this fundamental truth about what it is that we do.

Continue reading:

Against Consensus

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