In Celebration of National Braai Day…

Today was Heritage Day here in South Africa, a public holiday. Our government set aside this day for all South Africans to celebrate our rich heritage, of which the braai is very much a part. So someone sent along this pic earlier… If you’re South African, this one is sure to make you smile!


My broetjie(s) my bratjie(s)…



A Coming Evangelical Collapse?

Over at Near Emmaus:

In the last week I have read three interesting blog posts that mention people exiling from evangelicalism (or Reformed thinking) that I have found interesting:

– Jason Stellman discusses his controversial departure from the Presbyterian Church of America to the Roman Catholic Church in “I Fought the Church, and the Church Won”–a guest post for the blog Called to Communion. He says that Catholicism was not alluring to him, but that he found it to be “the truth,” especially when he began to doubt the reformational language regarding Sola Scriptura and Sola Fide. Remember, this is the man who lead the trial against Peter Leithart for the Pacific Northwest Presbytery because Leithart was suspected of teachings that were close to those of Rome.

– Roman Catholics are not alone in anticipating more people to flee evangelical and reformed community. The Orthodox Church is asking themselves if they are ready for the “coming evangelical collapse.” Kevin Allen provides a self-diagnosis for this communion in “Are We Ready for the Coming Evangelical Collapse?” He believes that the Orthodox will be “short-term beneficiaries, but that there are many hinderances to people joining their ranks as well.

– Peter Enns has written many blog posts providing an “in-house” critique of evangelicalism’s shrinking boarders warning that there are many who no longer feel at home in evangelicalism as it is self-defined currently. In “Outgrowing Evangelicalism: It’s Not Just for Scholars Anymore” he shows that it isn’t academics alone who are feeling marginalized within evangelical circles. Of course, the so-called “emerging church” has been saying this for sometime now. I think evangelicals seeking to realign and redefine evangelicalism may have a harder time than Roman Catholics and Orthodox because there has yet to “emerge” an alternative to evangelicalism than doesn’t have the feel of evangelicalism run amok with individualism or the type of church that seeks to be “ancient-future” in practice while being liberal-progressive Protestant in theology (something that may lack staying power).

Pentecostalism continues to expand globally and domestically (I think the Assemblies of God are one of the few larger denominations in this country that have seen growth over recent years). There remain many problems there as well. When the energy declines and the emotionalism dries many “thinkers” in Pentecostal ranks wonder what they are doing with their time. At least that was my experience.

Do you foresee a “coming evangelical collapse?” If so, where will evangelicals go? If not, what reforms do you think need to be made?


Catholics Upset at Portrayal in New Bollywood Film

Mumbai – Catholics have threatened to stop the screening of a forthcoming Hindi movie directed by Priyadarshan, “Kamaal Dhamaal Malamaal” if certain scenes making a “disresptful portrayal” of the community and its priests are not deleted, an official said here Sunday.

A delegation of representatives of Catholic groups and a priest representing the Archdiocese of Bombay met and submitted a memorandum to Central Board of Film Certification chairperson Leela Samson Saturday.

Copies of the memorandum highlighting the community’s grievances have also been sent to Information & Broadcasting Minister Ambika Soni and censor board CEO Pankaja Thakur, according to Judith Monteiro, secretary of Association of Concerned Catholics (AOCC).

“We have registered our protest against the movie. We have demanded a special screening of the movie urgently and deletion of objectionable scenes based on a review by the Catholic community representatives,” Monteiro said.

Catholic Secular Forum chief Joseph Dias pointed out that stereotyping of Christians has existed in films.

“This time with the priest shown in such bad light, Bollywood has hit a new low. We call for the resignation of Leela Samson and transfer of (Pankaja) Thakur,” an angry Dias said.

Father Rueben Tellis, representative of the Archdiocese of Bombay, also referred to an earlier movie, “Kya Superkool Hai Hum” which had offensive scenes of a Catholic priest and reiterated the community’s demand for a permanent representative on the censor board to prevent such recurrences in the guise of “cinematic liberty”.

The delegation included members of AoCC, CSF, Maharashtra Christian Youth Forum, Catholic Residents Organisation for Social Servicess (CROSS) and Father Tellis.

Demanding a special screening by Monday, Monteiro listed out some of the objectionable scenes which have hurt the community’s sentiments.

These include a Catholic priest (Asrani) dancing with a rosary around his neck and wearing a garland of lottery tickets with a church in the background, an actor (Shreyas Talpade) misusing and indiscriminately using the Holy Water Sprinkler, a priest with a bouquet of flowers with an ‘I Love You’ message, a notorious character with garlands of currency notes shown with the church in the background, among others.