Dion's random ramblings

Saturday, November 19, 2005

Tillich, Anselm or God forbid, Karl Barth! Have you ever wondered!?

A good friend of mine, Wessel, sent me a link to the following fun website. It is a quick quiz that tells you what Theologian your own theology most resembles. He is one of the best theologians I know. His score was pretty accurate. Follow this link to do the quiz. I would love to hear some results, so if you do the quiz send me an email and let me know!


Here are my results (Good Lord, Charles Finney and Jonathan Edwards!):

You scored as Paul Tillich.

Paul Tillich sought to express Christian truth in an existentialist way. Our primary problem is alienation from the ground of our being, so that our life is meaningless. Great for psychotherapy, but no longer very influential.

Paul Tillich 80%
Jurgen Moltmann 73%
Anselm 73%
Friedrich Schleiermacher 67%
Augustine 60%
John Calvin 53%
Charles Finney 40%
Martin Luther 33%
Jonathan Edwards 27%
Karl Barth 20%

Saturday, November 12, 2005

See, I told you I was sick...

The comedian Spike Milligan is rumoured to have the following inscription on his tombstone, "See, I told I was sick..."

Since reading the blog of a friend in ministry earlier this week I have been thinking about, and praying for, ministers who are under extreme pressure, even facing burnout. I have felt this way in the past. Praise God I am not there now.

Being in ministry can be complex, since one's 'work' is so closely linked to one's faith. One of the common feelings among ministers is that one's work is never done. Long before I was born, and long after I die, there will be people with needs, struggles, and concerns. God's love for people, and longing to be in relationship with people, is always the same. So, there is never a time when one could sign off on ministry, believing that the 'work' is complete.

For those in Churches, please watch for the signs of burnout and exhaustion in the persons who are called to serve you. Love them, listen to their cries for help and assistance, help where you can, and of course pray for them.

Friday, November 11, 2005

Sticks and stones....

The internet is an amazing place! It is truly a postmodern marvel! On the net people think and let think (well at least there is not very much that can be done if someone feels differently to you!)

I have been having some problems accessing my blogger account using the NetFront web browser on my Palm OS Clie. So, I decided to download Eudora Internet Suite 2.1. Imagine my surprise when I saw these words printed at the bottom of the download page:

"You are prohibited from downloading the installers on this page if you are located in Afghanistan, Cuba, Iran, Iraq, Libya, North Korea, Sudan, or Syria." (http://www.eudora.com/products/unsupported/internetsuite/download/ accessed 9 November 2005, 14h20).

I had to read if a few times just to see whether my eyes weren't fooling my brain! Yup, it is true. Can you imagine them trying to enforce this ludicrous statement? I can just picture little plump North American balding men in late middle age with pocket protectors and thick spectacles scanning the IP addresses of every attempted download, zapping every Cuban and Iraqi who tries to download the install file. Heck, I say if an Iraqi or Cuban citizen can afford a Palm after all that America has done to them, they should be rewarded with a free upgrade and unlimited lifetime support!

I am reminded of that saying which was so common on my school playground, "sticks and stones may break my bones, but words can never hurt me". Words, nothing but words...

During the darkest days of Apartheid in South Africa we considered it a duty and honour to break the oppressive laws of the Apartheid Regime. We would deliberately dissobey the governments' edict to keep white and black persons separate. We worshiped together, prayed together. I encouraged the members of my congregation not to pay their taxes since their money was keeping fellow Christians enslaved and impoverished. If the law is wrong it cannot, in fact it must not, be obeyed!

If there is anyone from Afghanistan, Cuba, Iran, Iraq, Libya, North Korea, Sudan, or Syria who needs this software you are welcome to email me. I'll be happy to get a copy to you! Oppressive laws are meant to be broken.

The last time I had to apply for a Visa to get into the US it took about 6 hours, long interviews and answering many questions about things I had said and written... Let's see how long it takes next time I have to go! I know you're watching. I don't mind. Anyone, from anywhere, is welcome to download anything from my site.

(Image from www.fodors.com/wire/archives/welcome.gif)

Friday, November 04, 2005

Spirituality podcast 7 - 4 November 2005 - scast7.mp3 (11MB)

This is a sermon that I preached on Stewardship Sunday at Bryanston Methodist Church last week Sunday. It is that one Sunday of the year that just about every minister I know hates! There is nothing quite so difficult as preaching on money! Strangely enough this sermon has very little do do with money. In fact it has much more to do with a life of true devotion to God. In particular it draws some insight from the Levitical principle of offering God our 'first fruits', that which is best and most precious to us. For some that may be money. However, for very many I think it has to do with making time for God and others, service, humility, true intimacy, depth, true change and a real relationship with God, self and the world.

I hope you find something of value in it. Please do keep the feedback coming! Either post a comment here, or send an email to digitaldion@gmail.com.

I got some positive feedback from the last sermon that I posted here. Thank you for that.

It seems that I am not getting much time to set up my podcasting rig in order to record anything that may be of actual spiritual value or academic interest. However, with the request for more sermons I decided to record this sermon on Sunday evening called "First things first".

PS. Please do forgive the fairly poor sound quality. I have not had a chance to do any post production.

Download the MP3 here scast7.mp3