Showing posts from 2014

Technology - I Won't Let You Down

In the summer of 2008, I attended a lecture on artificial intelligence and Christian faith at Cambridge University. At the C.S. Lewis Conference's annual Summer Institutes, Nigel Cameron of Washington's Center for Policy on Emerging Technology gave us a cursory glimpse of some of the fast-developing advancements in the field of A.I.  His primary purpose was to introduce and to explain a few of the real and challenging ethical dilemmas that these technologies were posing for researchers, academic institutions, and political bodies. For those of us who were on the outside looking in, it was almost a bit surreal. First, the technologies that were already being developed sounded like they were coming out of a sci-fi novel. It was hard to believe that we would see some of these things in our lifetime. However, we were told and we are now seeing that technology is advancing far faster than most of our imaginations. Second, and probably for the reason that the advancements seemed so…

Shark Tank Spirituality

Every once in a while, my wife and I like to watch a television show called "Shark Tank". It is a hugely popular program in which a panel of wealthy business men and women listen to the sales pitches of "budding entrepreneurs". Then, if they can be convinced of the legitimacy and potential of the presenters' ideas, they offer to invest hundreds of thousands of their own dollars into these fledgling businesses and inventions. The sharks, of course, want to do more than share their wealth and expertise. They want to make big money by partnering with the best opportunities out there.
            It is fascinating, on the one hand, to see how many creative people there are who are thinking up, patenting, and producing goods to fill the shelves of Walmart or to be sold on television shopping networks. It is also tragic to see how many clueless people risk everything that they have on some really, really, bad idea in hopes of becoming the next "success" sto…


When the Green Bay Packers got off to a shaky start to the 2014 National Football League season, veteran quarterback Aaron Rodgers had a simple message for all those panicking cheeseheads (nickname for Packers' fans, see picture above): "Five letters here just for everybody out there in Packer-land: R-E-L-A-X, Relax. We're going to be OK." Rodgers' comments seem prophetic now that the Packers have been winning in dominating fashion and Rodgers himself has suddenly become mentioned as a midseason candidate for Most Valuable Player. His words also have been repeated regularly. Humorously, a video of his words was played on the NFL network (see Rodgers remix). When the Cleveland Cavaliers stumbled out of the blocks with several losses, returning NBA star Lebron James tweeted out these words: "In the words of the great @AaronRodgers12 "RELAX"! Sometimes, people need to be told plain and clear: "Relax." In the Bible, Psalm 37 is written for tha…

Richard Sibbes quote


Jian or Jesus

This past summer, my wife, MariAnne, and I were walking along a street in Oxford England. As we passed one of the many Oxford colleges, we had to make our way around a large group of international students who were lined up along a long stone wall which stretched to the end of the block. The most clearly noticeable feature of this group was that they were all (and when I say "all", I mean "all") absorbed with their smart phones. No one was talking, laughing, or listening to one another. They may have been chatting with each other by means of texting. Who knows? However, it seemed clear that they were using the break between classes to catch up on whatever was happening online.
            It is pretty clear today that it takes no effort to fill the gaps of time in our lives with information. That information may be as shallow and mundane as Facebook posts about the weather, what people ate for breakfast, or the rantings of those "friends" who are continual…

Sleeping Well in a World Gone Mad

"In peace, I will both lie down and sleep; for You alone, O Lord, make me dwell in safety." Psalm 4:8
            It is not often that there is a great deal of Canadian news dominating the headlines in the United States. Other than the antics of former Toronto mayor Rob Ford, Canada tends to be the sleepy, easy to ignore neighbour to the North. We ship many of our best hockey players, comedians, and theologians south of the border, but most people just assume that they have always been from America. Canada typically remains out of sight and out of mind. It is only on a rare occasion such as yesterday that Canada is thrust into the spotlight. On October 22, 2014,  all over the U.S., and the world for that matter, major news networks covered the unfolding events surrounding the deadly attack at the Parliament buildings of Ottawa by a Quebec man who had become radicalized into an extreme and violent Islamic ideology.             What made this event capture the attention of the wo…

Grieving with Hope

Before long, grief comes. It is the inevitable and often heart wrenching experience of every one of us this side of heaven. For those who profess to be Christians, there is no escaping what is common to all people everywhere. None of us grieve precisely the same way. For some, grief will be part of our experience until it is our time to leave our earthly tent. For others, the pain will pass more quickly with only occasional times when it seems to appear out of nowhere and catches us off guard.
          The Scriptures encourage us by not dismissing or making light of grief. We do grieve. Jesus wept. Such deep trials will "distress" us, according to the apostle Peter[1]. The Bible also remind us that grief, though real and difficult, is fundamentally different for those who have put their faith in Jesus Christ. Paul encourages a grieving and distressed group of believers in his first letter to the church at Thessalonica by telling them "We do not want you to be …

Practise What You Speak

In my first two blog posts about how we are to talk to each other as Christians, I focused on building a philosophy of speaking and developing an understanding of the principles that set the parameters of our speaking as Christians. I have rooted this study in the book of Ephesians. So far, it has looked like this:

The Philosophy of Christian Speaking:
·Be the temple of God
·Build the temple of God

Six Principles That Guide our Christian Speaking:

Praise - Our speech must first be to the glory and praise of God's grace.Peace - Our speech must recognize that in Christ, we have been united as one people.Prayer - Our speech must be the overflow of our prayer that all God's people might know the certainty and depth of His love for them in Christ.Preserve - Our speech must recognize that it is our calling to preserve the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.Pattern - Our speech must flow out of our determination to love one another as God …