Before Saint Benedict formed his first monastery, Nestorian (churches) existed at Nishapur and Tus in Khurasan, in NE Persia, and at Rai. Before England had its first Archbishop of Canterbury, Nestorians already had (church districts) at Merv and Herat, in the modern nations of Turmenistan and Afghanistan, and churches were operating in Sri Lanka and Malabar. Before Poland was Christian, the Nestorian sees of Bukhara, Samarkand, and Patna all achieve metropolitan status. Sooo…who were the real heretics? The Western church (Roman, Orthodox) condemned the Eastern church (Nestorian, Jacobite)…but who’s to say? These churches in the East were thriving while the European ones were embroiled in bitter wars, barbaric exorcisms, and witch burning. What would have happened if the hegemony of Europe hadn’t been established? Might we have been far more pluralistic, had a greater appreciation of paradox, and taken seriously the role of faithfulness to the *practice* of Christ?
Let’s set the Victorian bush fires in their ecological and meteorological context. Victoria had been sitting at the tail end of a fourteen year drought; things were pretty dry, then, in the first place. Then there was the extraordinary heat wave pushing temperatures to over 45 degrees. Then there were the gale force winds, with immensely strong gusts, often in random directions. The conditions for raging bush fires were excellent, to say the least. But the Australian media are now starting to look a bit deeper. Who or what is to blame? Now there are those who shrug their shoulders at the inanity of the question. Natural disasters happen. They are without any direct human causality. Why bother with the blame game? There is merit to this line of thought. Or is there?
for me faith is a very personal and difficult journey. i would find myself agreeing with many of the disbeliever’s doubts, concerns and critiques of the present form and practice of christian faith. however if the person actually wants to engage on a serious level i would share my experiences of god’s grace helping me through many dark days and turning on a light in my mind and heart.