Wednesday, July 02, 2008

The wrap: summer edition

T Vintage LEGO Letter H E
stained glass W scribbly R A Pewter Ransom Font P
Bumper summer edition. Web-surfing made easy.

I suppose there are two major news stories which have dominated headlines in recent days in the UK and Malaysia respectively. The former concerns the recently concluded Global Anglican Futures Conference (GAFCON), which, not surprisingly, has attracted much comment. Unfortunately reading the mainstream media on this is almost next to useless since it's difficult, I think, for journalists to get a handle on the rather complex situation in the Anglican Communion; inevitably, many of them frame the issue in terms of power struggles or homophobia. Btw, I don't claim to have a handle on all things Anglican either, and in some ways, it's stuff like this that convinces me I'll never be one, it's just so distracting! The key thing to remember is that the issue is not primarily about homosexuality but about biblical authority and mission. After all, wasn't the keynote lecture at GAFCON from Professor Lamin Sanneh on the inherent cultural translability of the gospel?(See too, for eg., Dr. Vinay Samuel's letter earlier this year responding to charges of agenda-setting by white European males).

I was also quite disappointed that the normally level-headed Ruth Gledhill, probably the best religious correspondent in the UK, displayed some unusual 'chronological snobbery' in a blog post on J.I Packer. To be fair to her, GAFCON: A closer look is probably more representative of her work. (Am slightly bemused to see St. Helen's described as ultra-conservative, though, although given that I once also thought that way, understandable). Chris Sugden, a key player in the discussions, was given some space in the Guardian to briefly attempt to show what GAFCON is really all about. For an insider viewpoint, along with the full statement released at the end of the conference, you can see Tony Payne's report. There was also a meeting yesterday at All Souls to help communicate what was achieved and you can find interviews online with Henry Orombi, Greg Venables, Peter Jensen and J.I Packer, plus a panel discussion. Tom Wright, who is the most senior evangelical Anglican bishop, has a sympathetic but not uncritical response. All this talk about parallel jurisdictions make my head spin...

Back home in Malaysia of course, it's not pleasant to see Malaysia plunged into a fresh state of uncertainty thanks to the fresh allegations made against the charismatic opposition leader, Anwar Ibrahim. It's hard to believe that the government, beleaguered as it is, will score such a massive own-goal, so there must be more than meets the eye here. Malaysian politics is often associated with sandiwara (shadow-play), and that again appears to be the case. Not surprisingly, everyone has a favourite conspiracy theory. I'm one of those very much inclined to give Anwar a second chance but I think he's guilty of some showboating in this particular instance. Malik Imtiaz's stream-of-consciousness post, Trial of Democracy, is worth reading. I've been finding some of the commentaries available at The Malaysian Insider helpful - see Anwar has to straddle credibility gap and These are confusing and uncertain days. I haven't seen any explicitly Christian commentary, although there are brief mentions at The Micah Mandate.

But they did have an earlier commentary which I thought was helpful: MCA doesn't = Chinese, UMNO doesn't = Malays etc.

I thought this was quite sad: Christian students struggle with Christianity. We all could do better.

Insightful post from Ben Myers: The pornographer's dream; or the problem with contemporary worship. Don't be put off by the title, it isn't quite about what you may think it is.

We can all benefit from John Stackhouse's meditations on envy.

David Fitch has started reading David Wells's The Courage to be Protestant and has some musings along the way, defending a more emerging ethos over against the "young, restless and reformed" approach. The comment thread has good dialogue as well.

Review of Pixar's latest cinematic masterpiece, WALL-E. Btw, I was told not to look at Ebert's review as it apparently has a major spoiler!

Al Mohler on the challenge of attention in the digital age, and related to this, the NY Review of Books also has a very good longer piece: The Library in the Digital Age. Hmmmm, come to think of it, isn't The Wrap guilty of contributing to our shortened attention spans?

Fascinating profile of rookie Joe Alexander, an amazing athlete who was raised in China, recently drafted by the Milwaukee Bucks.

English is English, or is it?

I married a stranger. Feature article on a couple who married barely 4 weeks after they met. Did their relationship survive? (I know, I know, sounds like something that belongs to Hello! Magazine and not this erudite blog, but it was very interesting!)


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Blogger Malik Imtiaz Sarwar said...

Dear BK,

thanks for the link to my comment on Anwar. Found your blog fascinating, insightful and your links very interesting. Will be back for more!

Malik Imtiaz

11:32 pm  
Blogger BK said...

Thanks for your kind words.

6:28 pm  
Blogger Debibo said...

firstly, i like the 'married a stranger' story. goes to show that you don't have to know the person inside out before getting hitched - and you're meant to anyway.

secondly st h is uber-conservative?? haha. ha. ha. ha. and no, i'm not anglican either. somehow the word 'bishop' doesn't conjur up pleasantries in my head.

6:36 am  

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