Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Monday, September 29, 2008

Xena-"I need a hero"




"I need a Hero"



Xena warrior Princess versus Jack Sparrow

Xena-"I need a hero"




"I need a Hero"



Xena warrior Princess versus Jack Sparrow

Lectio Divina

Lectio Divina

Prayer of the Heart

Prayer of the heart...consists principally of a person placing his mind within the heart and, without speaking with his mouth, but only with inner words spoken in the heart, saying this brief and single prayer: 'Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me.'

St. Nicodemus of the Holy Mountain

Prayer of the Heart

Prayer of the heart...consists principally of a person placing his mind within the heart and, without speaking with his mouth, but only with inner words spoken in the heart, saying this brief and single prayer: 'Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me.'

St. Nicodemus of the Holy Mountain

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Introduction to Lectio Divina

Introduction to Lectio Divina

How to Cultivate a Love of Reading in Your Child


Francois de Fenelon, a French archbishop and spiritual director declares, “If the riches of the Indies, or the crowns of all the kingdom of Europe, were laid at my feet in exchange for my love of reading, I would spurn them all.” How we wish we will hear such declarations from our children. As parents we want our children to read. We know that reading is a beneficial activity for our children. Unfortunately very few of us actually take the trouble to cultivate the love of reading in our children. We hope that they will develop this love on their own. Very few parents will take the time and effort to help their children to love books. They prefer to spend thousands of dollars on piano lessons, ballet and art appreciation classes, and course fees in specialised teaching that may make their child smarter, yet begrudge spending money in buying books for their children.

Cultivating a love of reading, like all other good habits has to start with intentionality and action plans. Habits develop easily in children, especially bad habits. Parents have to decide that they want to cultivate a love of reading in their children. Once they have this desire, here are five action plans I suggest they implement:

read more

.

How to Cultivate a Love of Reading in Your Child


Francois de Fenelon, a French archbishop and spiritual director declares, “If the riches of the Indies, or the crowns of all the kingdom of Europe, were laid at my feet in exchange for my love of reading, I would spurn them all.” How we wish we will hear such declarations from our children. As parents we want our children to read. We know that reading is a beneficial activity for our children. Unfortunately very few of us actually take the trouble to cultivate the love of reading in our children. We hope that they will develop this love on their own. Very few parents will take the time and effort to help their children to love books. They prefer to spend thousands of dollars on piano lessons, ballet and art appreciation classes, and course fees in specialised teaching that may make their child smarter, yet begrudge spending money in buying books for their children.

Cultivating a love of reading, like all other good habits has to start with intentionality and action plans. Habits develop easily in children, especially bad habits. Parents have to decide that they want to cultivate a love of reading in their children. Once they have this desire, here are five action plans I suggest they implement:

read more

.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Thomas Keating: Spiritual but not Religious

Thomas Keating: Spiritual but not Religious

The Emergence of Emergent

The Emergent movement has stirred passions as a new way of doing church or yet another attempt to wipe the slate clean and start new. But the movement isn't really a movement, not yet, say its supporters. It's still a conversation, one that's taking place in books, articles, and weblogs. Christianity Today and its sister publications participated in the conversation with book reviews and articles. Whether you're a newcomer to the discussion or looking to dive deep, there's plenty of conversation fodder here.


Everything Hasn't Changed

An apocalyptic Brian McLaren strives to reframe Jesus and discipleship.Review by John Wilson, editor of Books & Culture January 16, 2008


Rethinking Church in an Emergent Salon

Rising from the Ashes asks emergent leaders about the impact of alternative worship on the mainline church.Review by Howard A. Snyder January 9, 2008


Technology and the Gospel

Phyllis Tickle, Brian McLaren, and others weigh in on worship and evangelism in a plugged-in age.by Becky Garrison, excerpted from Rising from the Ashes: Rethinking Church January 9, 2008


Five Streams of the Emerging Church

Key elements of the most controversial and misunderstood movement in the church today.By Scot McKnight January 19, 2007


Emerging Confusion

Jesus is the truth whether we experience him or not.By Charles Colson with Anne Morse June 1, 2006


Emergent Evangelism

The place of absolute truths in a postmodern world—two views.By Brian McLaren and Duane Litfin November 1, 2004


The Emergent Mystique

The 'emerging church' movement has generated a lot of excitement but only a handful of congregations. Is it the wave of the future or a passing fancy?By Andy Crouch November 1, 2004


Theologian Stan Grenz Dies

Leading advocate of emergent movement mourned.By Ken Walker May 1, 2005


Christianity Today Reviews A New Kind of Christian and the Sequel


The Virtue of Unoriginality

The old kind of Christian is the best hope for church renewal.By Mark Galli posted 04/04/2002


The Postmodern Moment

Are Christians prepared for ministry after modernism's failure?By Glenn T. Stanton posted 06/18/2002


A Story Darwin Might Love

Brian McLaren's evolutionary interpretation of the faith promises more than it delivers, but what it delivers is good enough.By Mark Galli posted 04/14/2003


A Newer Kind of Christian

Brian McLaren's sequel to A New Kind of Christian touches other tenets of faith.Reviewed by Cindy Crosby posted 03/26/2003


Books & Culture and the Book that Started It All


Faithfully Dangerous

Christians in postmodern times .By Brian D. McLaren May/June 2002


Post-Evangelicalism

Last in a series of responses to Brian McLaren's book, A New Kind of Christian.Tony Jones May/June 2002


Reformed or Deformed?

Questions for postmodern ChristiansBy Mark Dever March/April 2002


Let's Get Personal

Yes, the church needs to get past modernity's impersonal techniques. But adding the prefix post doesn't solve anything. By Andy Crouch January/February 2002


Leadership's Emergent Wrestling


My Emergent Guilt

How did I get here, dancing off-beat, and out of touch?By Ron Benson


Has the Emergent Church Emerged?

When newspapers pick up on a religion story, there's a good chance it's old hat to insiders. So now that the Denver Post and the Press-Enterprise of inland Southern California have written stories on emergent churches, are they really still emerging?By Rob Moll


Nomo Pomo—a Postmodern Rant

Why we can and should talk about something else.By Kevin Miller


Pomo Ponderings

10 Questions about Postmodern Ministry. By Kevin Miller


Is Pomo Nomo?

A postmodern pastor reaches out to the Mod Squad.By Chris Seay


How to Evangelize Today

Reaching people who think negatively about Christianity.An interview with Brian McLaren.


Brian McLaren Says


Passionate, but Not for Mel's Movie

Why The Passion 'outreach' was all hype, and I didn't fall for it.By Brian McLaren


Bless This House?

Why efforts to renew the church are often misguided.By Brian McLaren


It's All About Who, Jesus?

If worship is for God, why are so many songs about us?By Brian McLaren


Emerging Values

The next generation is redefining spiritual formation, community, and mission.By Brian McLaren

.

The Emergence of Emergent

The Emergent movement has stirred passions as a new way of doing church or yet another attempt to wipe the slate clean and start new. But the movement isn't really a movement, not yet, say its supporters. It's still a conversation, one that's taking place in books, articles, and weblogs. Christianity Today and its sister publications participated in the conversation with book reviews and articles. Whether you're a newcomer to the discussion or looking to dive deep, there's plenty of conversation fodder here.


Everything Hasn't Changed

An apocalyptic Brian McLaren strives to reframe Jesus and discipleship.Review by John Wilson, editor of Books & Culture January 16, 2008


Rethinking Church in an Emergent Salon

Rising from the Ashes asks emergent leaders about the impact of alternative worship on the mainline church.Review by Howard A. Snyder January 9, 2008


Technology and the Gospel

Phyllis Tickle, Brian McLaren, and others weigh in on worship and evangelism in a plugged-in age.by Becky Garrison, excerpted from Rising from the Ashes: Rethinking Church January 9, 2008


Five Streams of the Emerging Church

Key elements of the most controversial and misunderstood movement in the church today.By Scot McKnight January 19, 2007


Emerging Confusion

Jesus is the truth whether we experience him or not.By Charles Colson with Anne Morse June 1, 2006


Emergent Evangelism

The place of absolute truths in a postmodern world—two views.By Brian McLaren and Duane Litfin November 1, 2004


The Emergent Mystique

The 'emerging church' movement has generated a lot of excitement but only a handful of congregations. Is it the wave of the future or a passing fancy?By Andy Crouch November 1, 2004


Theologian Stan Grenz Dies

Leading advocate of emergent movement mourned.By Ken Walker May 1, 2005


Christianity Today Reviews A New Kind of Christian and the Sequel


The Virtue of Unoriginality

The old kind of Christian is the best hope for church renewal.By Mark Galli posted 04/04/2002


The Postmodern Moment

Are Christians prepared for ministry after modernism's failure?By Glenn T. Stanton posted 06/18/2002


A Story Darwin Might Love

Brian McLaren's evolutionary interpretation of the faith promises more than it delivers, but what it delivers is good enough.By Mark Galli posted 04/14/2003


A Newer Kind of Christian

Brian McLaren's sequel to A New Kind of Christian touches other tenets of faith.Reviewed by Cindy Crosby posted 03/26/2003


Books & Culture and the Book that Started It All


Faithfully Dangerous

Christians in postmodern times .By Brian D. McLaren May/June 2002


Post-Evangelicalism

Last in a series of responses to Brian McLaren's book, A New Kind of Christian.Tony Jones May/June 2002


Reformed or Deformed?

Questions for postmodern ChristiansBy Mark Dever March/April 2002


Let's Get Personal

Yes, the church needs to get past modernity's impersonal techniques. But adding the prefix post doesn't solve anything. By Andy Crouch January/February 2002


Leadership's Emergent Wrestling


My Emergent Guilt

How did I get here, dancing off-beat, and out of touch?By Ron Benson


Has the Emergent Church Emerged?

When newspapers pick up on a religion story, there's a good chance it's old hat to insiders. So now that the Denver Post and the Press-Enterprise of inland Southern California have written stories on emergent churches, are they really still emerging?By Rob Moll


Nomo Pomo—a Postmodern Rant

Why we can and should talk about something else.By Kevin Miller


Pomo Ponderings

10 Questions about Postmodern Ministry. By Kevin Miller


Is Pomo Nomo?

A postmodern pastor reaches out to the Mod Squad.By Chris Seay


How to Evangelize Today

Reaching people who think negatively about Christianity.An interview with Brian McLaren.


Brian McLaren Says


Passionate, but Not for Mel's Movie

Why The Passion 'outreach' was all hype, and I didn't fall for it.By Brian McLaren


Bless This House?

Why efforts to renew the church are often misguided.By Brian McLaren


It's All About Who, Jesus?

If worship is for God, why are so many songs about us?By Brian McLaren


Emerging Values

The next generation is redefining spiritual formation, community, and mission.By Brian McLaren

.

More on Centering Prayer

More on Centering Prayer

Friday, September 26, 2008

The Ironic Faith of Emergents

Christianity Today, September, 2008

The Ironic Faith of Emergents
McLaren shows us not only where 'post-evangelicals' are going, but also how they get there.
Scot McKnight posted 9/26/2008 11:11AM

The experience of "ironic faith" is pervasive—though rarely noticed—in the work of McLaren and other emergents. The irony is that they have deconstructed the very thing they were most committed to, and are left with what many call post-evangelicalism.

read more

.

The Ironic Faith of Emergents

Christianity Today, September, 2008

The Ironic Faith of Emergents
McLaren shows us not only where 'post-evangelicals' are going, but also how they get there.
Scot McKnight posted 9/26/2008 11:11AM

The experience of "ironic faith" is pervasive—though rarely noticed—in the work of McLaren and other emergents. The irony is that they have deconstructed the very thing they were most committed to, and are left with what many call post-evangelicalism.

read more

.

Brian McLaren's Emergent Theology

Finally this article appear online. See my earlier post on this.


McLaren Emerging
In his last two books, Brian McLaren presents more clearly than ever his vision of the gospel.
Scot McKnight posted 9/26/2008 11:09AM

I maintain a crucial distinction between two related streams: emergent and the broader emerging movement. Emergent is crystallized in Emergent Village and its leaders Brian McLaren, Tony Jones, and Doug Pagitt. Emerging is a mix of orthodox, missional, evangelical, church-centered, and social justice leaders and lay folk. When I think of this broader emerging movement, I think of Dan Kimball at Vintage Faith Church in Santa Cruz, Dave Dunbar at Biblical Seminary in Hatfield, Pennsylvania, Michael Frost and Alan Hirsch and their book The Shaping of Things to Come, and Donald Miller's Blue Like Jazz. Some of this was anticipated by Lesslie Newbigin's many writings and is now sketched in Tom Sine's The New Conspirators. Furthermore, I see emerging trends in megachurches like Willow Creek Community Church and Saddleback Church.

read more

.

Brian McLaren's Emergent Theology

Finally this article appear online. See my earlier post on this.


McLaren Emerging
In his last two books, Brian McLaren presents more clearly than ever his vision of the gospel.
Scot McKnight posted 9/26/2008 11:09AM

I maintain a crucial distinction between two related streams: emergent and the broader emerging movement. Emergent is crystallized in Emergent Village and its leaders Brian McLaren, Tony Jones, and Doug Pagitt. Emerging is a mix of orthodox, missional, evangelical, church-centered, and social justice leaders and lay folk. When I think of this broader emerging movement, I think of Dan Kimball at Vintage Faith Church in Santa Cruz, Dave Dunbar at Biblical Seminary in Hatfield, Pennsylvania, Michael Frost and Alan Hirsch and their book The Shaping of Things to Come, and Donald Miller's Blue Like Jazz. Some of this was anticipated by Lesslie Newbigin's many writings and is now sketched in Tom Sine's The New Conspirators. Furthermore, I see emerging trends in megachurches like Willow Creek Community Church and Saddleback Church.

read more

.

Thomas Keating on Centering Prayer

Thomas Keating on Centering Prayer

Following the Footsteps of St. Paul (23)

The Cult of Asclepius at Epidaurus

The Asklepieion of Epidauros or the Sanctuary of the god Ascelpius was one of the most important and revered Ascelpieia in the ancient world. It flourished as a place of worship and healing from the fifth century B.C. The major festival were the Great Asklepieia which were celebrated every 4 years, 9 days after the Isthmian Games. The worship of Asklepios (Ascelpius) only ended in 426 A.D. when it was outlawed by the Christian Emperor Theodosius II.

This is what the Asclepieia looks like today

a reconstructed view of the Asclepieia
note the Temple of Asklepios in the centre

this is what remains of the Temple of Asklepios

a reconstruction of what the temple looks like

poster in the museum in Epidaurus


The god's cure was based on the faith of the patient. After the ceremony of purification and the appropriate sacrifices made, the patient went to sleep in the precinct of the sanctuary. The god would appear to the patient personally or in the patient's dream. He then gave instructions for the patient's treatment. The therapy involved the epiphany of the god's appearance as himself or in the form of his sacred creatures which include snakes and dogs.
Archaeological finds from the site include large numbers of surgical instruments indicating that the Sanctuary serves as a hospital and a place of healing.


view of the amphitheater from the top seat

Following the Footsteps of St. Paul (23)

The Cult of Asclepius at Epidaurus

The Asklepieion of Epidauros or the Sanctuary of the god Ascelpius was one of the most important and revered Ascelpieia in the ancient world. It flourished as a place of worship and healing from the fifth century B.C. The major festival were the Great Asklepieia which were celebrated every 4 years, 9 days after the Isthmian Games. The worship of Asklepios (Ascelpius) only ended in 426 A.D. when it was outlawed by the Christian Emperor Theodosius II.

This is what the Asclepieia looks like today

a reconstructed view of the Asclepieia
note the Temple of Asklepios in the centre

this is what remains of the Temple of Asklepios

a reconstruction of what the temple looks like

poster in the museum in Epidaurus


The god's cure was based on the faith of the patient. After the ceremony of purification and the appropriate sacrifices made, the patient went to sleep in the precinct of the sanctuary. The god would appear to the patient personally or in the patient's dream. He then gave instructions for the patient's treatment. The therapy involved the epiphany of the god's appearance as himself or in the form of his sacred creatures which include snakes and dogs.
Archaeological finds from the site include large numbers of surgical instruments indicating that the Sanctuary serves as a hospital and a place of healing.


view of the amphitheater from the top seat

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Asklepios: Ancient Model of Medical Caring

My dear friend Punna posted this interesting piece of mythology connected to medicine.

Society's demands of integrity, sacrifice, and compassion from its doctors have roots in the traditions of ancient Greece. Asklepios exemplified the ideal physician and the pitfalls he or she may face.
"I swear by Apollo Physician, Asklepios, Hygiea, Panacea and all the gods and goddesses, making them my witnesses. ... Into whatever houses I may enter, I will come for the benefit of the sick."
Hippocratic Oath, circa 400 BC

Although physician roles and status have changed substantially in the last 3000 years, the public's demand for integrity, sacrifice, and compassion has remained constant.

Throughout Greek literature Asklepios performs no heroic feats other than healing. Unlike other Greek heroes who gain their fame through conquest, Asklepios has to work for a living. Whenever Asklepios is mentioned, his honorific is as "a great joy to men, a soother of cruel pangs" or as a "gentle craftsman" brought to "heal mortal men of painful maladies".

Asklepios was the illegitimate son of the God Apollo and the human Coronis. Apollo loved her and at once consorted with her, but she, in accordance with her father's judgement, chose Ischys and married him. Apollo cursed the raven that brought the news and made it black instead of white, and in his anger he killed Coronis. As she lay dying, he removed the baby from the womb of the burning Coronis and brought it to Chiron the Centaur, by whom he was brought up and taught the arts of healing. Asklepios born by cesarean section out of the womb of his dying mother, symbolizes by his very life the ability of the physician to bring life out of death.

Asklepios refines the art of medicine to the degree that he not only prevented some from dying, but even raised up the dead. Zeus, fearing that men might acquire the healing art from him and so come to the rescue of each other then killed Asklepios with a thunderbolt because he restored the dead to life against the order of the gods and nature.

Zeus resented Asklepios because Asklepios helped mortals in matters of life and death, hence elevating the human doctors, making them the equals of gods and ultimately threatening the gods' power. What made Asklepios heroic and gave his doctor descendents honour was that Asklepios stood up for mankind, even risking death to alleviate the suffering of others.

Asklepios was killed because he "was extending his competence into a forbidden field—life-saving service to one whose life was forfeit to the gods." No one dared assist for fear of incurring the wrath of the gods. The ancient Greeks considered Asklepios as the foremost physician because he alone dared to care for the outcast, to succor anyone suffering, regardless of the consequences. This teaches us his modern descendents to assist the suffering, regardless of the sufferer's station and the personal risk the doctor might incur.

His two daughters, Hygiea and Panacea represents the two arms of medicine; Preventive and Curative. Hygiea from which we derive the word "Hygiene" is the giver and preserver of health; and Panacea represented the remedies which brought those suffering comfort. The crest of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow for example has the staff and serpent to represent Asklepios, and two ladies representing his two daughters.

Asklepios: Ancient Model of Medical Caring

My dear friend Punna posted this interesting piece of mythology connected to medicine.

Society's demands of integrity, sacrifice, and compassion from its doctors have roots in the traditions of ancient Greece. Asklepios exemplified the ideal physician and the pitfalls he or she may face.
"I swear by Apollo Physician, Asklepios, Hygiea, Panacea and all the gods and goddesses, making them my witnesses. ... Into whatever houses I may enter, I will come for the benefit of the sick."
Hippocratic Oath, circa 400 BC

Although physician roles and status have changed substantially in the last 3000 years, the public's demand for integrity, sacrifice, and compassion has remained constant.

Throughout Greek literature Asklepios performs no heroic feats other than healing. Unlike other Greek heroes who gain their fame through conquest, Asklepios has to work for a living. Whenever Asklepios is mentioned, his honorific is as "a great joy to men, a soother of cruel pangs" or as a "gentle craftsman" brought to "heal mortal men of painful maladies".

Asklepios was the illegitimate son of the God Apollo and the human Coronis. Apollo loved her and at once consorted with her, but she, in accordance with her father's judgement, chose Ischys and married him. Apollo cursed the raven that brought the news and made it black instead of white, and in his anger he killed Coronis. As she lay dying, he removed the baby from the womb of the burning Coronis and brought it to Chiron the Centaur, by whom he was brought up and taught the arts of healing. Asklepios born by cesarean section out of the womb of his dying mother, symbolizes by his very life the ability of the physician to bring life out of death.

Asklepios refines the art of medicine to the degree that he not only prevented some from dying, but even raised up the dead. Zeus, fearing that men might acquire the healing art from him and so come to the rescue of each other then killed Asklepios with a thunderbolt because he restored the dead to life against the order of the gods and nature.

Zeus resented Asklepios because Asklepios helped mortals in matters of life and death, hence elevating the human doctors, making them the equals of gods and ultimately threatening the gods' power. What made Asklepios heroic and gave his doctor descendents honour was that Asklepios stood up for mankind, even risking death to alleviate the suffering of others.

Asklepios was killed because he "was extending his competence into a forbidden field—life-saving service to one whose life was forfeit to the gods." No one dared assist for fear of incurring the wrath of the gods. The ancient Greeks considered Asklepios as the foremost physician because he alone dared to care for the outcast, to succor anyone suffering, regardless of the consequences. This teaches us his modern descendents to assist the suffering, regardless of the sufferer's station and the personal risk the doctor might incur.

His two daughters, Hygiea and Panacea represents the two arms of medicine; Preventive and Curative. Hygiea from which we derive the word "Hygiene" is the giver and preserver of health; and Panacea represented the remedies which brought those suffering comfort. The crest of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow for example has the staff and serpent to represent Asklepios, and two ladies representing his two daughters.

Melamine Poisoning in Children

Melamine resin or melamine formaldehyde (also shortened to melamine) is a hard, plastic made from melamine and formaldehyde by polymerization. This plastic is often used in kitchen utensils and plates, often called melamine wares. It may also used as table lining such as formica. Being fire resistant, it has been made into fibres of fire resistant clothes that firemen use.

Aside from common commercial uses, melamine became a topic of much discussion in early 2007, when veterinary scientists determined it to be the cause of hundreds of pet deaths, because of pet food contamination. Prior to these reports, melamine had been regarded as non-toxic or minimally toxic. However, because of the unexplained presence of melamine in wheat gluten added to mass-produced dog and cat foods, it is the most likely cause. Pet owners report symptoms that are commonly associated with renal failure, which could be explained by the ammonia that may result from the digestion of the melamine.


Time magazine 17 September 2008 mentions “the material — in powdered form — has also come into use by certain unscrupulous food companies as a cheap and abundant filler substance for products ranging from livestock feed to pet food — and now, apparently, to baby formula. In some tests used to determine the nutritional value of a foodstuff, melamine shows up as a protein — so manufacturers can use the compound to make their products appear more nutritious. Melamine is not toxic, but inside the body it can cause kidney stones and renal failure.” The FDA database concurs.

Another Time report 16 September 2008 states that “On September 17, Chinese Health Ministry authorities announced that over 6200 babies had fallen ill, many developing kidney stones, from drinking milk made from toxic powder. At least three have died, and more than 50 remain in serious condition. Officials have said the number of victims could climb, the China Daily reported. Chinese authorities say the milk powder, produced by Chinese dairy giant Sanlu Group, was contaminated with melamine, a chemical used in making plastics. Melamine has been illegally added to food products in China to boost their apparent protein content.” The company started recalling its product on 11 September 2008, a too little, too late to save those who have died and countless others who will suffer kidney problems now or in the future. It was suspected that the company has received complaints about their milk in December 2007.

The World Health Organisation has this to say:



What are the health effects of melamine consumptions in humans?

While there are no direct human studies on the effect of melamine data from animal studies can be used to predict adverse health effects. Melamine alone causes bladder stones in animal tests. When combined with cyanuric acid, which may also be present in melamine powder, melamine can form crystals that can give rise to kidney stones.


These small crystals can also block the small tubes in the kidney potentially stoppingthe production of urine, causing kidney failure and, in some cases, death. Melamine has also been shown to have carcinogenic effects in animals in certain circumstances, but there is insufficient evidence to make a judgment on carcinogenic risk in humans.

What are the symptoms and signs of melamine poisoning?

Irritability, blood in urine, little or no urine, signs of kidney infection, high blood pressure

What is the treatment for kidney stones and kidney failure?

Patients may receive various types of treatment, depending on the severity of the kidney effects. Treatment may include infusion of fluids and urine alkalinisation, correction of electrolyte and acid-base disturbance, haemodialysis or peritoneal dialysis, or surgical removal of kidney stones.


Today I have seen a few children brought in by parents who are afraid their children has melamine poisoning (I practise paediatrics in Malaysia)

My advice is:

(1) There is no need to panic. Most infant formula in Malaysia are sourced from Australia, New Zealand and Europe. Check with the local papers to see if your children have been drinking milk that are on the banned item list.

(2) Eating from melamine plates and bowls do not cause melamine poisoning.

(3) Bring your child to see a doctor only if your child has been drinking milk on these banned list in the last twelve months. It is not necessary for you to bring your child if your child has drunk a glass of the ‘banned’ milk or eaten a White Rabbit candy ten years ago!

(4) Your doctor may suggest a urine test if he or she suspects anything. The urine test is a good screening for injury to the kidneys.


Keep up with the latest with google news

Photo source


source CBS

Melamine Poisoning in Children

Melamine resin or melamine formaldehyde (also shortened to melamine) is a hard, plastic made from melamine and formaldehyde by polymerization. This plastic is often used in kitchen utensils and plates, often called melamine wares. It may also used as table lining such as formica. Being fire resistant, it has been made into fibres of fire resistant clothes that firemen use.

Aside from common commercial uses, melamine became a topic of much discussion in early 2007, when veterinary scientists determined it to be the cause of hundreds of pet deaths, because of pet food contamination. Prior to these reports, melamine had been regarded as non-toxic or minimally toxic. However, because of the unexplained presence of melamine in wheat gluten added to mass-produced dog and cat foods, it is the most likely cause. Pet owners report symptoms that are commonly associated with renal failure, which could be explained by the ammonia that may result from the digestion of the melamine.


Time magazine 17 September 2008 mentions “the material — in powdered form — has also come into use by certain unscrupulous food companies as a cheap and abundant filler substance for products ranging from livestock feed to pet food — and now, apparently, to baby formula. In some tests used to determine the nutritional value of a foodstuff, melamine shows up as a protein — so manufacturers can use the compound to make their products appear more nutritious. Melamine is not toxic, but inside the body it can cause kidney stones and renal failure.” The FDA database concurs.

Another Time report 16 September 2008 states that “On September 17, Chinese Health Ministry authorities announced that over 6200 babies had fallen ill, many developing kidney stones, from drinking milk made from toxic powder. At least three have died, and more than 50 remain in serious condition. Officials have said the number of victims could climb, the China Daily reported. Chinese authorities say the milk powder, produced by Chinese dairy giant Sanlu Group, was contaminated with melamine, a chemical used in making plastics. Melamine has been illegally added to food products in China to boost their apparent protein content.” The company started recalling its product on 11 September 2008, a too little, too late to save those who have died and countless others who will suffer kidney problems now or in the future. It was suspected that the company has received complaints about their milk in December 2007.

The World Health Organisation has this to say:



What are the health effects of melamine consumptions in humans?

While there are no direct human studies on the effect of melamine data from animal studies can be used to predict adverse health effects. Melamine alone causes bladder stones in animal tests. When combined with cyanuric acid, which may also be present in melamine powder, melamine can form crystals that can give rise to kidney stones.


These small crystals can also block the small tubes in the kidney potentially stoppingthe production of urine, causing kidney failure and, in some cases, death. Melamine has also been shown to have carcinogenic effects in animals in certain circumstances, but there is insufficient evidence to make a judgment on carcinogenic risk in humans.

What are the symptoms and signs of melamine poisoning?

Irritability, blood in urine, little or no urine, signs of kidney infection, high blood pressure

What is the treatment for kidney stones and kidney failure?

Patients may receive various types of treatment, depending on the severity of the kidney effects. Treatment may include infusion of fluids and urine alkalinisation, correction of electrolyte and acid-base disturbance, haemodialysis or peritoneal dialysis, or surgical removal of kidney stones.


Today I have seen a few children brought in by parents who are afraid their children has melamine poisoning (I practise paediatrics in Malaysia)

My advice is:

(1) There is no need to panic. Most infant formula in Malaysia are sourced from Australia, New Zealand and Europe. Check with the local papers to see if your children have been drinking milk that are on the banned item list.

(2) Eating from melamine plates and bowls do not cause melamine poisoning.

(3) Bring your child to see a doctor only if your child has been drinking milk on these banned list in the last twelve months. It is not necessary for you to bring your child if your child has drunk a glass of the ‘banned’ milk or eaten a White Rabbit candy ten years ago!

(4) Your doctor may suggest a urine test if he or she suspects anything. The urine test is a good screening for injury to the kidneys.


Keep up with the latest with google news

Photo source


source CBS

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

The Dream of a Perfect Church-Emerging Church

The Dream of a Perfect Church-Emerging Church

Interview with CEO of CMA

CEO of the Christian Medical Association on fertility treatments and discrimination

Interview by Sarah Pulliam posted 9/18/2008 09:18AM

Have you seen other cases like this?

We did a survey of our members, and 40 percent said they had been discriminated against because of their stance on issues like this. If these issues are not dealt with, Christians will be slowly pushed out of health care. One of my doctors in Texas was employed by a university. When it became known a few months ago that she did not prescribe contraceptives to unmarried women, they pressured her, and she resigned. Ob-gyn residents have been denied training when they stated they were not willing to do abortions.

Does CMA have a stance on fertility treatments for gays and lesbians?

[CMA's] physicians take care of people [whose behavior] we disagree with all the time, whether the patients don't take their medicine or whether they are rapists. We would be happy to take care of your cold, your cancer, or whatever, but when you ask me to be an active participant in an act I see as immoral, I become complicit in it.

Do you believe this is a case of discrimination?

This group of physicians provided the health care up to the act they considered to be immoral. They told the woman when she came in the door that that would be the case. She chose to stay there until the point of [intrauterine insemination]. Then they referred her to a different practice. She got pregnant, had a child, and sued them. This was about making a point, not about, "I couldn't get the services." What's trying to be legislated through the courts is essentially to turn doctors into vending machines.A California woman alleged that her doctors had denied her artificial insemination because she is a lesbian. The physicians said they would not perform the procedure on any unmarried woman. But the state supreme court ruled in August that the state's anti-discrimination law trumped physicians' rights of religious freedom and free speech. David Stevens is CEO of the Christian Medical Association (CMA), which filed a brief on behalf of the physicians.



read more
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Interview with CEO of CMA

CEO of the Christian Medical Association on fertility treatments and discrimination

Interview by Sarah Pulliam posted 9/18/2008 09:18AM

Have you seen other cases like this?

We did a survey of our members, and 40 percent said they had been discriminated against because of their stance on issues like this. If these issues are not dealt with, Christians will be slowly pushed out of health care. One of my doctors in Texas was employed by a university. When it became known a few months ago that she did not prescribe contraceptives to unmarried women, they pressured her, and she resigned. Ob-gyn residents have been denied training when they stated they were not willing to do abortions.

Does CMA have a stance on fertility treatments for gays and lesbians?

[CMA's] physicians take care of people [whose behavior] we disagree with all the time, whether the patients don't take their medicine or whether they are rapists. We would be happy to take care of your cold, your cancer, or whatever, but when you ask me to be an active participant in an act I see as immoral, I become complicit in it.

Do you believe this is a case of discrimination?

This group of physicians provided the health care up to the act they considered to be immoral. They told the woman when she came in the door that that would be the case. She chose to stay there until the point of [intrauterine insemination]. Then they referred her to a different practice. She got pregnant, had a child, and sued them. This was about making a point, not about, "I couldn't get the services." What's trying to be legislated through the courts is essentially to turn doctors into vending machines.A California woman alleged that her doctors had denied her artificial insemination because she is a lesbian. The physicians said they would not perform the procedure on any unmarried woman. But the state supreme court ruled in August that the state's anti-discrimination law trumped physicians' rights of religious freedom and free speech. David Stevens is CEO of the Christian Medical Association (CMA), which filed a brief on behalf of the physicians.



read more
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The Emerging Church is Dead

According to this post from Out of Ur, R.I.P. Emerging Church, the emerging church is dead. The term 'emerging church' that is, not the actual movement which seems very much alive. Apparently Dan Kimball and Andrew Jones aka. Tall Skinny Kiwi has found the term 'emerging church' so 'polluted' that they have decided not to use the term anymore. Imagine that. Are we in the post emerging church era?

Meanwhile back in the United States, the emerging church movement can be broadly divided into two categories according to an article by Scot McKnight on Brian McLaren's Emerging Theology published in Christianity Today magazine, September 2008 p.58-66, which strangely did not appear on its online form. Sorry readers, you have to get a hardcopy of the magazine to read that.[update: article now availble here] Acccording to McKnight, one category is the Emergent Village (EV) of which Brian Mclaren is the leader with his distinctive brand of theology and the rest belongs to the other category.

Some leaders in the other category are planning to start an alliance that has a theology closer to the Lausanne Covenant. This promises to be fun. We shall be see more of Mclaren and McKnight (I wonder why both have a dropped 'a' in their surname) in the coming years.

In the meantime, listen to Doug Pagit explaining these terms 'emergent' and 'emerging' to you.


The Emerging Church is Dead

According to this post from Out of Ur, R.I.P. Emerging Church, the emerging church is dead. The term 'emerging church' that is, not the actual movement which seems very much alive. Apparently Dan Kimball and Andrew Jones aka. Tall Skinny Kiwi has found the term 'emerging church' so 'polluted' that they have decided not to use the term anymore. Imagine that. Are we in the post emerging church era?

Meanwhile back in the United States, the emerging church movement can be broadly divided into two categories according to an article by Scot McKnight on Brian McLaren's Emerging Theology published in Christianity Today magazine, September 2008 p.58-66, which strangely did not appear on its online form. Sorry readers, you have to get a hardcopy of the magazine to read that.[update: article now availble here] Acccording to McKnight, one category is the Emergent Village (EV) of which Brian Mclaren is the leader with his distinctive brand of theology and the rest belongs to the other category.

Some leaders in the other category are planning to start an alliance that has a theology closer to the Lausanne Covenant. This promises to be fun. We shall be see more of Mclaren and McKnight (I wonder why both have a dropped 'a' in their surname) in the coming years.

In the meantime, listen to Doug Pagit explaining these terms 'emergent' and 'emerging' to you.


The Future Direction of Theology

I seems to have missed this post on Out or Ur by Scot McKnight on the future direction of theology. I agree with McKnight. And somehow I have a sense that this is connected to the emerging church movement.

August 15, 2008
The Wright Brothers (in Christ)
Scot McKnight says N.T. Wright and Christopher Wright show the future of theology.

Recently I was asked where theology was headed. I assured my reader that I wasn’t “in the know” but that I would hazard a guess or two. First I thought we were likely to see a more robust Trinitarian theology, one deeply anchored in the great Cappadocian theologians like Gregory of Nyssa. But in some ways all the main lines of Trinitarian thought have already been sketched by great theologians like Karl Barth, James B. Torrance and others. With this first idea now set aside, I had a second idea of where theology is going: “The Wright Brothers.”

No, not those Wright Brothers, but another set of Wrights (who aren’t even brothers, except in Christ): Tom and Chris. Even if they don’t map where all of theology is headed, these two scholars and devoted churchmen, both Anglican, do set before us two words that have become increasingly fruitful and I think will be the subject of serious theological reflection in the future. The two words are “earth” and “mission.” Each scholar discusses both, but I will focus in this post on Tom Wright’s focus on “earth” and Chris Wright’s focus on “mission.”

Increasingly we are seeing more and more Christians own up to the earthly focus of biblical revelation—the claim God makes upon this earth through his Eikons (humans made in his image). We are seeing a deeper reflection on what it means to participate in the historical flow, in government and politics and society and culture, and we are seeing a renewed interest in vocation and work. One of the more striking elements of this new surge is that theologians who are deeply anchored in the Bible also see our eternal destiny having an earthly shape.

And not only are we seeing the increasing presence of “earthly,” but we are seeing a reshaping of theology itself so that God’s mission in this world becomes central. Everyone knows that the latest buzz word is missional but not enough are thinking carefully about what mission means in the Bible and what it means to speak about “God’s mission” (missio Dei). But there is a surge of thinking now about this topic and it will continue to spark interest both for pastors and professional theologians.

read more

.

The Future Direction of Theology

I seems to have missed this post on Out or Ur by Scot McKnight on the future direction of theology. I agree with McKnight. And somehow I have a sense that this is connected to the emerging church movement.

August 15, 2008
The Wright Brothers (in Christ)
Scot McKnight says N.T. Wright and Christopher Wright show the future of theology.

Recently I was asked where theology was headed. I assured my reader that I wasn’t “in the know” but that I would hazard a guess or two. First I thought we were likely to see a more robust Trinitarian theology, one deeply anchored in the great Cappadocian theologians like Gregory of Nyssa. But in some ways all the main lines of Trinitarian thought have already been sketched by great theologians like Karl Barth, James B. Torrance and others. With this first idea now set aside, I had a second idea of where theology is going: “The Wright Brothers.”

No, not those Wright Brothers, but another set of Wrights (who aren’t even brothers, except in Christ): Tom and Chris. Even if they don’t map where all of theology is headed, these two scholars and devoted churchmen, both Anglican, do set before us two words that have become increasingly fruitful and I think will be the subject of serious theological reflection in the future. The two words are “earth” and “mission.” Each scholar discusses both, but I will focus in this post on Tom Wright’s focus on “earth” and Chris Wright’s focus on “mission.”

Increasingly we are seeing more and more Christians own up to the earthly focus of biblical revelation—the claim God makes upon this earth through his Eikons (humans made in his image). We are seeing a deeper reflection on what it means to participate in the historical flow, in government and politics and society and culture, and we are seeing a renewed interest in vocation and work. One of the more striking elements of this new surge is that theologians who are deeply anchored in the Bible also see our eternal destiny having an earthly shape.

And not only are we seeing the increasing presence of “earthly,” but we are seeing a reshaping of theology itself so that God’s mission in this world becomes central. Everyone knows that the latest buzz word is missional but not enough are thinking carefully about what mission means in the Bible and what it means to speak about “God’s mission” (missio Dei). But there is a surge of thinking now about this topic and it will continue to spark interest both for pastors and professional theologians.

read more

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Tuesday, September 23, 2008

The Books of James Rollin

My latest favourite author is James Rollins. Since discovering his books on a shelf of a local MPH bookstore, I have read almost all of his published novels except for Map of Bones and The Judas Strain in the last three months. His books are:

Subterranean (1999),
Excavation (2000),
Deep Fathom (2001),
Amazonia (2002),
Ice Hunt (2003),
Sandstorm (2004),
Map of Bones (2005),
Black Order (2006),
The Judas Strain (2007),
and The Last Oracle (2008)
He also wrote the novelisation of the movie, Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull.

James Rollins has a doctorate in veterinary medicine and is an amateur spelunker and certified scuba diver. Thus he brings to his books a realistic sense of the great outdoor-underground or underwater, and a scientific basis for his story telling. He writes like Michael Crichton (author of Jurassic Park, Next, The Andromeda Strain). Both are very talented in stretching the scientific "what if" into a storyline that their readers are led to ask where the truth ends and science fiction begins. It also helps that their story telling is fast moving and action packed like an Alister MacLean or a Jack Higgins novel.

Each of his novel has a historical link to the present with a specific theme. This is what makes his writings so fascinating.

The Last Oracle (2008) is his latest offering. Its historical link is the great oracle at Delphi, ancient Greek. Whether we acknowledge it or not, the oracles given from Delphi had significantly changed Greek civilisation, and in a sense modern civilisation. What if there is a genetic basis to the women called Pythias who gave the oracles? And what if it is possible to harness the same genetic potential in certain individuals? Could someone use these oracle sayers as a means to power? Intriguing thoughts and a sound basis for a thriller. Along the way, I learned something about India and the gypsies. So much so that I am buying one or two books that he recommends in his author's notes.

.

The Books of James Rollin

My latest favourite author is James Rollins. Since discovering his books on a shelf of a local MPH bookstore, I have read almost all of his published novels except for Map of Bones and The Judas Strain in the last three months. His books are:

Subterranean (1999),
Excavation (2000),
Deep Fathom (2001),
Amazonia (2002),
Ice Hunt (2003),
Sandstorm (2004),
Map of Bones (2005),
Black Order (2006),
The Judas Strain (2007),
and The Last Oracle (2008)
He also wrote the novelisation of the movie, Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull.

James Rollins has a doctorate in veterinary medicine and is an amateur spelunker and certified scuba diver. Thus he brings to his books a realistic sense of the great outdoor-underground or underwater, and a scientific basis for his story telling. He writes like Michael Crichton (author of Jurassic Park, Next, The Andromeda Strain). Both are very talented in stretching the scientific "what if" into a storyline that their readers are led to ask where the truth ends and science fiction begins. It also helps that their story telling is fast moving and action packed like an Alister MacLean or a Jack Higgins novel.

Each of his novel has a historical link to the present with a specific theme. This is what makes his writings so fascinating.

The Last Oracle (2008) is his latest offering. Its historical link is the great oracle at Delphi, ancient Greek. Whether we acknowledge it or not, the oracles given from Delphi had significantly changed Greek civilisation, and in a sense modern civilisation. What if there is a genetic basis to the women called Pythias who gave the oracles? And what if it is possible to harness the same genetic potential in certain individuals? Could someone use these oracle sayers as a means to power? Intriguing thoughts and a sound basis for a thriller. Along the way, I learned something about India and the gypsies. So much so that I am buying one or two books that he recommends in his author's notes.

.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Honour your Doctor


The Son of Sirach on Medicine

Hold the physician in honor, for he is essential to you,
and God it was who established his profession.
From God the doctor has his wisdom,
and the king provides for his sustenance.
His knowledge makes the doctor distinguished,
and gives him access to those in authority.
God makes the earth yield healing herbs
which the prudent man will not neglect;
was not the water sweetened by a twig
that men might learn his power?
He endows men with the knowledge
to glory in his mighty works,
through which the doctor eases pain
and the druggist prepares his medicines;
thus God's creative work continues without cease
in its efficacy on the surface of the earth.

My son, when you are ill, delay not,
but pray to God who will heal you:
flee wickedness; let your hands be just,
cleanse your heart of every sin;
offer your sweet-smelling oblation and petition,
a rich offering according to your means.
Then give the doctor his place
lest he leave; for you need him too.
There are times that give him an advantage,
and he too beseeches God
that his diagnosis may be correct
and his treatment bring about a cure.
He who is a sinner toward his Maker
will be defiant toward the doctor.

Sirach 38:1-15(New American Bible)

Sirach is one of the books of the Apocrypha
THE WISDOM OF JESUS THE SON OF SIRACH, OR ECCLESIASTICUS



picture source

Honour your Doctor


The Son of Sirach on Medicine

Hold the physician in honor, for he is essential to you,
and God it was who established his profession.
From God the doctor has his wisdom,
and the king provides for his sustenance.
His knowledge makes the doctor distinguished,
and gives him access to those in authority.
God makes the earth yield healing herbs
which the prudent man will not neglect;
was not the water sweetened by a twig
that men might learn his power?
He endows men with the knowledge
to glory in his mighty works,
through which the doctor eases pain
and the druggist prepares his medicines;
thus God's creative work continues without cease
in its efficacy on the surface of the earth.

My son, when you are ill, delay not,
but pray to God who will heal you:
flee wickedness; let your hands be just,
cleanse your heart of every sin;
offer your sweet-smelling oblation and petition,
a rich offering according to your means.
Then give the doctor his place
lest he leave; for you need him too.
There are times that give him an advantage,
and he too beseeches God
that his diagnosis may be correct
and his treatment bring about a cure.
He who is a sinner toward his Maker
will be defiant toward the doctor.

Sirach 38:1-15(New American Bible)

Sirach is one of the books of the Apocrypha
THE WISDOM OF JESUS THE SON OF SIRACH, OR ECCLESIASTICUS



picture source

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Richard Foster's Spiritual Formation

A Life Formed in the Spirit
Richard Foster's disciplined attention to spiritual formation began early on.


Interview by Mark Galli posted 9/17/2008 10:23AM

Thirty-one years ago, not many evangelicals thought much of the "spiritual disciplines," and when they did, they thought of them negatively—as one more form of works righteousness. That began to change substantially 30 years ago, with the publication of Celebration of Discipline by Richard Foster. This book, arguably more than any other, introduced evangelicals not only to the disciplines, but also to the wealth of spiritual formation writing from the medieval and ancient church.

read more

Richard Foster's Spiritual Formation

A Life Formed in the Spirit
Richard Foster's disciplined attention to spiritual formation began early on.


Interview by Mark Galli posted 9/17/2008 10:23AM

Thirty-one years ago, not many evangelicals thought much of the "spiritual disciplines," and when they did, they thought of them negatively—as one more form of works righteousness. That began to change substantially 30 years ago, with the publication of Celebration of Discipline by Richard Foster. This book, arguably more than any other, introduced evangelicals not only to the disciplines, but also to the wealth of spiritual formation writing from the medieval and ancient church.

read more

Love the Sinners

Love sinners but despise their deeds. Remember that you share in the stench of Adam, and you also are clothed in his infirmity. To the one who has need of ardent prayer and soothing words, do not give a reproof instead, lest you destroy him and his soul be required from your hands. Imitate doctors who use cold things against fevers.
St. Isaac of Syria

Love the Sinners

Love sinners but despise their deeds. Remember that you share in the stench of Adam, and you also are clothed in his infirmity. To the one who has need of ardent prayer and soothing words, do not give a reproof instead, lest you destroy him and his soul be required from your hands. Imitate doctors who use cold things against fevers.
St. Isaac of Syria

New Additions to the Family






New Additions to the Family






How to Take Notes

This is from a Questria newsletter

Struggling to record everything you hear during a lecture is a sure-fire way to miss important points and give yourself a bad case of writers' cramp. A far better approach focuses on capturing essential material and working with it to strengthen understanding and memory.
Based on a technique developed by Cornell University professor Walter Pauk,
The Cornell Note-taking System begins with the notepaper you use. Set up a note-taking column about 6 inches wide, and create a cue column about 2 ½ inches wide running down the left side of the page with a margin 2 inches deep across the bottom for your summary.

Use the large note-taking column to record "telegraphic sentences" from the lecture. ASAP after class, jot questions based on the lecture notes plus key words or phrases in the cue column. "Writing questions," says Cornell, "helps to clarify meanings, reveal relationships, establish continuity, and strengthen memory." Later, to review your notes or study for an exam, look at the cue column (cover up the note-taking column) and recite answers to questions or cue-words relating to facts or ideas. "Reflect on the material by asking yourself…'What's the significance of these facts? What principle are they based on? How can I apply them? How do they fit in with what I already know?'" Setting aside at least 10 minutes weekly to review your notes will boost retention. And use the space at the bottom of the paper to write a summary of the notes on that page.

Note-taking, says Christian Toto in The Washington Times article "
Taking Note of This," should be "marked by intense listening and occasional writing." He cites American University's Kathy Schwartz, who recommends inspecting notes shortly after class to fill in the blanks or clean up handwriting because "Our memories start to fade within two hours of learning new information."

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How to Take Notes

This is from a Questria newsletter

Struggling to record everything you hear during a lecture is a sure-fire way to miss important points and give yourself a bad case of writers' cramp. A far better approach focuses on capturing essential material and working with it to strengthen understanding and memory.
Based on a technique developed by Cornell University professor Walter Pauk,
The Cornell Note-taking System begins with the notepaper you use. Set up a note-taking column about 6 inches wide, and create a cue column about 2 ½ inches wide running down the left side of the page with a margin 2 inches deep across the bottom for your summary.

Use the large note-taking column to record "telegraphic sentences" from the lecture. ASAP after class, jot questions based on the lecture notes plus key words or phrases in the cue column. "Writing questions," says Cornell, "helps to clarify meanings, reveal relationships, establish continuity, and strengthen memory." Later, to review your notes or study for an exam, look at the cue column (cover up the note-taking column) and recite answers to questions or cue-words relating to facts or ideas. "Reflect on the material by asking yourself…'What's the significance of these facts? What principle are they based on? How can I apply them? How do they fit in with what I already know?'" Setting aside at least 10 minutes weekly to review your notes will boost retention. And use the space at the bottom of the paper to write a summary of the notes on that page.

Note-taking, says Christian Toto in The Washington Times article "
Taking Note of This," should be "marked by intense listening and occasional writing." He cites American University's Kathy Schwartz, who recommends inspecting notes shortly after class to fill in the blanks or clean up handwriting because "Our memories start to fade within two hours of learning new information."

.

Friday, September 19, 2008

The sun doesn't revolve round the earth?




1822: The College of Cardinals finally caves in to the hard facts of science, saying that the "publication of works treating of the motion of the Earth and the stability of the sun, in accordance with the opinion of modern astronomers, is permitted."

It represented a major shift in dogma for the Catholic Church, a concession that the Earth, in fact, might revolve around the sun. Unfortunately, it came 189 years too late to do
Galileo Galilei any good.

Still, it would take another 13 years, until 1835, before Galileo's Dialogue Concerning the Two Chief World Systems -- the work in which he defends the
heliocentric theory -- would be removed from the Vatican's list of banned books.

As a theory, heliocentrism had existed since the ancient Greeks, who were the first to determine that the
Earth is a sphere in a sky full of spheres. It remained an unproven theory directly opposed to the geocentric view held by Ptolemy and Aristotle, and embraced by Rome, that the Earth is the center of the universe.

Galileo was greatly influenced by the
Polish astronomer Nicholas Copernicus, who not only posited that the Earth revolves around the sun but that it makes a complete turn on its axis every 24 hours. The Catholic Church, however, considered the theory heresy, and Galileo was convicted by the Inquisition in 1633 and remained under house arrest for the rest of his life.

Nearly two centuries later, however, the weight of scientific evidence was so overwhelming that the
College of Cardinals finally reversed itself and allowed the teaching of heliocentrism. Still, it would take another 170 years, until 1992, for a pope -- in this case, John Paul II -- to officially concede that, yes, the Earth isn't stationary in the heavens. Eight years after that, in 2000, John Paul apologized for the way the Catholic Church treated Galileo.

Source: Various

The Ancient Christian Path of Transformation

Frederica Mathewes-Green, 2001, The Illuminated Heart: The Ancient Christian Path of Transformation, Brewster, MA: Paraclete Press

Frederica Mathewes-Green writes from a Greek Orthodox point of view. I have always enjoyed her articles and this is the first time I read a book by her. This is a small book and the main thesis is to answer this question, "How do we come like Jesus?"

Frederica approaches "the becoming like Jesus" as the orthodox process of theosis. She mines from the wisdom of the desert fathers and suggests that the ancient path of transformation includes discipline of our bodies (by fasting), and our mind (by the Jesus prayer). Additional to that is having a spiritual mentor and social interactions of the inner circle of the family, and the outer circle of the community.

I find it fascinating that she does not mention bible study, service or evangelism that is so key in the Evangelical tradition in her ancient Christian path of transformation. Or of the role of the Holy Spirit. I look forward to reading more of her books to understand the Orthodox tradition.

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