Friday, August 22, 2008

The Limits of Power

I would encourage you to watch this interview with former US Army Colonel Andrew J. Bacevich (now a professor at Boston University). Bacevich identifies three major problems facing our democracy:
  • the crises of economy,
  • government and militarism,
  • and calls for a redefinition of the American way of life
Watch with an open mind.

The Limits of Power

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Saddleback Civil Forum

Last night we watched Rick Warren interview both Barak Obama and John McCain on a variety of issues. Before the interviews I fully expected Obama to do much better than McCain, despite the fact that I suspected the audience would be more sympathetic to McCain. I was quite surprised by what I observed.

I felt that Obama often did not answer questions directly. He seemed rather uncomfortable in the setting and often gave long answers that didn't always answer the questions directly. While I hold similar positions to Obama on many issues (but not all), I was disappointed by his performance.

I was quite surprised by John McCain. He was funny, articulate, succinct and answered questions directly -- which forced Rick Warren to ask him additional questions. I was quite impressed with McCain's performance despite the fact that I disagree with him on several major issues (healthcare and taxes to name two of them).

Did this debate have any impact on how I will vote in November? Perhaps -- at a minimum I walked away from watching the interviews with a much more favourable impression of McCain than I had before.

I wonder about one thing however. Can either of these men make a difference in how politics happens in the USA? I am rather skeptical that they can. Both parties are slaves to lobbyists, big business, labour unions and special interests. We'll be able to see that first hand in the conventions coming up.

Politics is not the answer to the challenges the USA and the world faces. The answer lies in a church that understands how to serve. A church that understands the influence of "power under". While there is a growing realization that influence comes through service, too much of the evangelical/charismatic church still is too enamoured by political leaders and by concepts of "dominion" and the idea that Christians deserve to be heard and have the right to special status in our supposedly Christian nation. I do see some glimmers of hope out there, but I suspect it will take many years before we truly understand that discipling a nation comes from living like Jesus.

Friday, August 08, 2008

A Common Word - A Discussion Between Muslims and Christians

A friend of mine recently was at Yale University for a meeting of Christian and Muslim leaders. His observations and comments can be found here.