Things have been tense here in Manitoba for the past week or so… longer, for some. In recent days, the provincial flood forecast has been changing frequently, and almost hourly at times. When people have been sandbagging frantically to build a dike, it can be rather disheartening to hear that the anticipated water level just went up another eight inches, or two feet. The present forecast suggests that the water level will be second only to the legendary “Flood of the Century” in 1997, ranking this flood second over the past hundred years. To make matters worse, the two rivers that meet in downtown Winnipeg are projected to crest at the same time.
Mark Sayers points to an article concerning a recent survey on Aussie opinions about Jesus: Australians not so sceptical about Jesus, survey finds. Surprisingly, the survey suggests more belief in the historicity and divinity of Jesus than one would expect. Indeed, Mark observes that Stanley Hauweras described Australia as the most secular in the World, and and points to the description of America by some as post-Christian. He doesn’t mention it, but I thought of the recent Newsweek article on “The End of Christian America.” We’ll get to the society that’s less Christian than it thinks — first there’s the one that’s closer to Christian than we all thought.
MORE than four in 10 Australians who don’t consider themselves “born again” nevertheless believe Jesus rose from the dead, while one in 10 doesn’t believe he even existed.
Now and again there comes an issue in this old E/MC blogosphere that begs for comment from those of us with egos ample enough to imagine that everyone else cares what we think about it. Sorry I’ve been a bit remiss on the point, but I’m finally getting around to comment on Michael (iMonk) Spencer’s prognosis for Evangelicalism. Of course I’m not alone in offering a response, but naturally I imagine you want to know what I think. First, I must offer some explanation for the sake of my readers who read no other blog but mine so that I can fill in the back story.
Born March 9, 1959, Barbie Millicent Roberts turns 50 today… but you’ve probably already heard about that. Oddly enough, she was born an adult, meaning she’s closer to 70 than 50. I think Ms. Roberts (pictured) has had work done… somehow she just has that kind of “plastic” quality about her. That and the fact that by age 50 it seems almost certain that surgery would have been required for chronic back problems. Based on the gravity-defying figure she seemed to hold for the past 50 years, it was determined that if the 11½” doll were 5’6″, her measurements would be 39-21-33. One expert calculated that a woman’s chances of having Barbie’s figure were less than 1 in 100,000, so given the global population, this means there could actually be 50,000 women walking around with her measurements. Oddly enough, I can’t seem to recall having met any of them. No word on what 50-year-old Barbie’s measurements would be, nor what Barbara Segal’s measurements were or are. Ms. Segal is of course the daughter after whom Barbie was named by creator Ruth Handler, who died in 2005 at age 85. Word has it that in the toy world, G.I. Joe thinks that for taking so long to commit to Barbie and then letting her go, Ken is an idiot of Billy Joel proportions. But that’s just a rumour.
The inauguration of Barack Obama last week caught a lot of attention, naturally. It’s the sense of a new day in Washington, DC that Americans are all-too-aware of, and the world is taking notice with the hopes of a renewed, kindler, gentler US of A. Some are suggesting this presidency marks a seismic shift — no ordinary change of power, but a milestone marking a change in the way things are. Obama’s effective use of the Internet in his campaign has been likened to Kennedy’s effective use of television, with Arianna Huffington going as far as to say that without the Internet, Obama would not be president. In many ways, it’s the fruition of Joe Trippi’s The Revolution Will Not Be Televised Revised: Democracy, the Internet, and the Overthrow of Everything.
Lots of stuff around on Obama’s inauguration. Christine Sine: An Historic Day; Scot McKnight: A Prayer for our New President, Barack Obama.
Transcript: Barack Obama’s Inaugural Address
Change has come to WhiteHouse.gov (see Before & After) — watch the new White House blog for updates. Transcript: Barack Obama’s Inaugural Address
And of course:
Today is Remembrance Day, and for the occasion, I’ve resurrected the oldest draft post in my arsenal… from back in 2004. I began with an idea jotted down and then thought it would be better left until the whole Iraq thing cooled down… but of course you know how that’s gone. Opening the post up for the first time in (literally) years, I see I hadn’t written as much as I thought I had, but the gist of an idea is there, and it’s percolated for some time now.
Earlier today, my wife mused aloud, wondering what those “prophetic types” are saying about Barack Obama being elected in the USA. I thought Grace choking on her scone in response to an appalling snippet of conversation concerning the rise to power of Barack Obama, “almost exactly like the Left Behind books.” No wonder she choked on her scone. I mentioned this “end times” idea to my wife as a suggestion of what these prophetic types might be saying. She made a mental note to ask a friend who tends to get told these things by people who thinks she cares. At least, that’s how my wife put it. So a few hours ago, Frank Viola tweeted a link that brought this whole question up again. Now by the way, Frank’s blog post today not only offered his view on the recent presidential election, he also named who he considers the top six Christian bloggers around, including yours truly. I’m not sure if I’m actually that good or if Frank’s a little deranged, but I figure it’s best not to press to far, just in case I don’t like the answer.