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A vida é simples


A vida é simples

Social Division in Church

"The rejection of the gospel as social is not just a repudiation of the social gospel; the rejection of the gospel's implications for combating race and class divisions nurtures social niches and fosters a "social-club" gospel." (Paul Metzger, in Consuming Jesus)

I'm reading Consuming Jesus, a very interesting book that talks about race and class divisions in a consumist church, and this quote jumped into my eyes. I have been thinking a lot about unity in church, specially unity as something different from conformity and uniformity. I mean unity in diversity, the only real unity I believe in.

It is easy to be "united" when there is uniformity, or when we abdicate of out uniqueness to conform into a predefined mold. It is so easy, that what it really creates is a false unity, a unity that will only stand firm if we reach out for people "just like us", which normally means middle class white people.

Real unity exists in diversity, where diference is not ignored, but embraced. It is a unity that stands after confrontation and conflict of different visions. It is a unity that when it happens, it has a solid foundation, that no one can destroy. It exists not because of avoiding confrontation, but because of embracing confrontation of different beliefs. Not through conforming with an artificial pattern, or abdicating of beliefs for "the common good".

This is a unity that needs courage, humility, love. That is focused on Jesus Christ, and not on our own pleasures and wishes. It is composed of people that sacrifice their preferences without sacrificing their beliefs. Great maturity is needed to make room for this to happen.

The Starfish Manifesto by Wolfgang Simson

Let me start by saying that The Starfish Manifesto (press the link to download it) is not really a book. It's more like a draft of a book, with many parts that would (and probably should) be changed and cut before becoming a book. Which means it is not easy to read, and it is really long. Only the really interested soul will be able to finish it (like I did, and no one else I know was able to).

The Starfish Manifesto starts where Houses that Change the World stopped. It is focused mainly on the prophetic and apostolic gifts, and how the strategy of God to the discipling of the planet can operate through those gifts.

The book starts describing the roles of the prophet and of the apostle, and then how those roles work together for the envisioning of the strategy of the church, locally as well as globally. It finishes with some practical wisdom in how to make the jump. I identified a lot with what is written in the book, except with the financial principles.

This book, together with The Forgotten Ways, are at the moment, in my opinion, the ones that best describe the vision of God for the church of today. A organic, Christ-centered, Kingdom of God oriented, apostolic, missiological church.

Serve God, Save the Planet by J. Matthew Sleeth

This is a long overdue review. I finished reading this book some months ago.

Serve God, Save the Planet is a book that obviously caught my interest, since it talks about the two most important themes in my life: God and nature.

The book starts by showing all the theoretical reasons why christians should be actively interested in protecting the environment, and it does accomplish that role really well. I wouldn't say it brings much new things for someone that understands both subjects as well as I do, but it is an excellent resume of all those reasons.

After that, it turns into the practical consequences of those beliefs, and that's where I find the book a little bit lacking. Most practical aspects talked about are mainly in a personal level. More about what we can do alone in our house (mainly recycling and saving energy). But not much in how we should work to protect and restore natural habitats, or how we can politically intervene in those subjects. And it got a little bit boring by the end, with so many small things we can do.

But overall, I think it is a great book as an introduction to this subject, and worth a read. I would offer one to people interested but with no clue about the subject.

Windows outra vez

Por razões profissionais tenho de fazer umas coisas em Flash esta semana, e como na empresa onde trabalho não há macs, tenho que usar o Windows. Sempre que volto a usar o Windows, recordo-me porque é que decidi deixar de o usar há mais de 5 anos. É que não há pachorra.

Qualquer coisita que faço, lá vai ele fazer um restart. Instalo um programita da treta, restart. em vez de fazer os updates todos ao mesmo tempo, parece que vai por fases. Fez restart 3 vezes só para os updates do Windows, fora o restart por causa do anti-vírus, e o do update do Java (duas vezes?). E mais as porcarias que a "marca" do PC também instalou. E mais a barra do Yahoo que me apareceu no internet explorer, browser esse que nem quero usar.

Para ter um sistema minimamente produtivo gastei metade de um dia. Que grande perda de tempo. É pá, se têm aversão ao Mac, ao menos usem Ubuntu. A vossa saúde mental, e a vossa pressão arterial agradecerá.