Global Christian Perspectives – February 19, 2016

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Notes

(These are simply raw notes and links to help participants follow and prepare for discussion of the topic.)

The likelihood of Saudi Arabia and Turkey putting ground troops into the Syrian conflict:-

It seems to me that Iran is willing to put resources into supporting Shia muslims, Saudi and Turkey are willing to put resources into supporting Sunni muslims; no ostensibly Christian nation is supporting the now rather small Christian minorities in Syria. Have we our priorities right? The big fear is clearly that there is a strong possibility of Russian (and Iranian) backed Assad forces being in direct conflict with American backed forces, Turkey and Saudi both being US allies and Turkey being part of NATO – is this sufficient reason to hold back? This links to http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/canada-set-to-cease-airstrikes-against-isis-as-syrians-need-help-not-vengeance-a6862491.html. as well.

Ted Cruz has said he is a Christian first, an American second. Is this a correct attitude for a presidential candidate? (I would have liked to talk about this with a different flavour of Christian, to be honest!). http://www.politicalresearch.org/2016/02/14/dominionism-is-the-new-religious-freedom/#sthash.2zxqMYL0.NBKZDF2d.dpbs
and if we’re talking about him, Canada might come up:-
http://bobonbooks.com/2016/02/16/ive-no-plans-to-move-to-canada/

From Henry:- Sometime we should discuss the developing political dynamic in Asia as India moves up and China continues to grow in influence. There’s a potential conflict there as well. I don’t have a recent news story there, though the Facebook internet controversy might play.http://www.usatoday.com/story/tech/news/2016/02/08/facebooks-free-basics-blocked-india-regulators/80014378/. It has featured in my Google News feed recently, but my news feed may be a bit eccentric. I paid more attention to elections in Guyana, Canada, and the UK than I have so far to the US elections. Like a certain senator from Texas, it turns out that due to a change in Canadian law I suddenly became a dual citizen in 2009. Didn’t realize it until I saw something familiar in the coverage of Cruz’s citizenship.

Also big on my personal horizon (but maybe not relevant in the States) is this development here:-
Henry has made some comments about divestment recently; this, if implemented, would make it illegal for any public body (whether or not it had its own democratic mandate) to pursue divestment here. I also have a major concern that, if implemented, it would leak into potential shareholder actions against companies which seek to follow an “ethical” investment policy.

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Scientists from the LIGO project have just confirmed actual observation of gravitational waves, predicted 100 years ago by Einstein
https://uk.news.yahoo.com/ligo-gravitational-wave-detection-tremendous-183107009.html
This is a very valuable piece of confirmation of the General Theory of Relativity

 

Australia just cut 110 climate scientist jobs. http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/australia-cuts-110-climate-scientist-jobs/. I find some of the reasoning a bit troubling.
(linked)

The court’s action is very unusual, but is yet another indication that Obama’s actions are illegal.  This come’s right after the court’s likewise expanding the case on illegal immigrants to include whether the president is following his oath to faithfully uphold the law.  This is with a background of an unprecedented 12 9-0 losses before the court ruling his actions illegal.

Canada will stop boming ISIS: http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/canada-set-to-cease-airstrikes-against-isis-as-syrians-need-help-not-vengeance-a6862491.html.

I’ve been suggesting for some time that just south of Europe is a large area of rather under-utilised land with a LOT of sunshine, and that solar from there would solve a lot of problems. This could be the start of something good. (I deplore our reliance on oil; in particular burning it is incredibly wasteful of a resource, granted the uses of oil in, for instance, production of plastics).
http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2016/feb/04/morocco-to-switch-on-first-phase-of-worlds-largest-solar-plant
Are there any worries based on this being in an Islamic country? A lot of the relevant area is unstable (Libya in particular).


Steve Kindle has posted a defence of Energion’s publishing policy following some criticism:-
https://mail.aol.com/webmail-std/en-gb/suite
My own take, developed from my time as sysop for the Christianity section on the Compuserve (later AoL) Religion Forum is that we should be able to accommodate all shades of Christian opinion, even (and perhaps especially) those which some find scandalous. Let’s face it, if I didn’t feel that we sometimes need shaking our of a rut  I wouldn’t have linked Exodus 3:14 with Popeye in a blogpost today!

http://eyrelines.energion.net/?p=917

Global Christian Perspectives, Friday, February 5, 2016

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(This week topics were prepared by Chris Eyre.)

Not so likely Trump now, but Cruz?
http://forward.com/news/breaking-news/331729/ted-cruz-embraces-preacher-who-said-jews-will-die-if-they-reject-christ/
I know there’s history of people’s pastors views resulting in them being given a hard time, but really?
Also, Cruz has declared himself opposed to the system he’ll have to work with and has been instrumental in stopping it working in the past. Is he a fit candidate?
Plus http://www.religionnews.com/2016/02/04/ted-cruzs-campaign-fueled-dominionist-vision-america-commentary/, and Trump’s comments about Christianity http://thehill.com/blogs/ballot-box/266234-trump-christianity-under-siege
On the democratic side, we do not see so much mention of Christianity. Is this a good or a bad thing? Is Iowa actually a win for Bernie, and might he get the nomination?

Elgin and myself were talking about methodological as opposed to metaphysical naturalism last week, and didn’t finish; we could return to that.

Also left over was, from Henry:-

“I would also note the posts on a multiplicity of interpretations of scripture as a possible subject if you go to the logic behind it. Steve Kindle posted the ‘Yes’ and Edward Vick was rather hard on the ‘Yes’ position (his post appears tomorrow). Let me give a sample:

That there is a multitude of teachings derived from the Bible should not be taken to imply that none of them is worthy of belief and so the effort to discover which are to be accepted is not a worthy activity. It is the result of bad logic, an example of non sequitur. Does the proponent really mean to suggest that the more interpretations there are the less any are likely to be reasonable? Or, is it not rather the unwillingness to be involved in expending a great deal of effort in the quest?

I would think that would also be a useful topic, even though not so much political. Yet it has an impact on society.”

From Elgin:-

Full circle?  Historically the Democrats have been the party of slavery, segregation, and the KKK. In the 1960s they changed and started accusing the Republicans of being racist for not supporting race based policies.  Are these policies coming full circle?

http://thelibertarianrepublic.com/university-of-connecticut-to-build-blacks-only-segregated-dorm/
Allan and Steve Kindle have expressed differing views about atonement theories this week.
https://energion.co/discuss/2016/02/01/do-atonement-theories-continue-to-speak-to-the-human-condition-yes/
https://energion.co/discuss/2016/02/02/do-atonement-theories-continue-to-speak-to-the-human-condition-no/
I have been very critical of substitutionary theories, especially PSA, in the past; those I definitely think are no longer fit for purpose.