Hanneke van Dam is a Dutch missionary to Mongolia who works with the German organisation HELP International. She reports in a recent newsletter:
Thinking Faith blogs
During the Welsh revival of 1904 there were many extraordinary incidents. Here is one of them.
During a revival meeting in a disused sawmill in Aberdare, a heckler began shouting – "There is no God, if there be a God strike us dead in our seats all of us three". The man was full of derision and nothing could staunch his flow. "There you are, you see nothing happens!" His scornful laughter reverberated around the building.
Andrew Copson is the Chief Executive of the British Humanist Association. Polly Toynbee is the President and Richard Dawkins is the vice president.
"How should RE be taught in schools?"
The debate went extremely well. Andrew is a very affable and intelligent man. I think I disarmed him by telling some of my stories with voices. I was very encouraged to see him smiling in a very nice way. I argued that we desperately need worldview awareness plus critical thinking skills etc. In a vague way he seemed to agree.
In Pittsburgh in the 1950s, a black evangelical Christian Robert Lavelle set up a most unusual bank. The Dwelling House Savings and Loan Association would lend money to poor people who are not 'good risks' at the lowest possible rates of interest. This banking philosophy challenges banking orthodoxy which prefers to lend money to rich people at high rates of interest.
There's been a lot of talk in the press about these two geezers – Andy Gray and Richard Keys. They've both departed Sky Sports amid a cloud of lurid and seedy lad mag shenanigans. Apparently both 'lads' like aggressive sexist banter and don't mind upsetting people. Any nastiness is understood as just having a bit of a 'laff' and a joke luv! They love their nasty banter and so should we.
It isn't only Romanian witches and politicians who live in pagan stories.
English poets are very fascinated by pagan and gnostic worldviews.
A few years ago a group of Romanian witches warned former Chelsea player, Adrian Mutu, that his career might suffer because of curses put on him by a former girlfriend.
"No problem", replied Mutu, revealing an unusual Romanian superstition. "Curses can't touch me because I wear my underwear inside out".
Many western people find this story perplexing and bizarre. Secular people do not just ignore God but they also ignore the spirits, the gods and the superstitious behaviour that paganism brings.