Friday, February 11, 2011

Colleagues List, February 12th, 2011

Vol. VI. No. 22


Wayne A. Holst, Editor


Colleagues List Blog:


In this Issue:

Special Item This Week -

Book Notice:

"Thinking in Tongues -
 Pentecostal Contributions
 to Christian Philosophy"

Colleague Contributions:

Ron Rolheiser
Martin Marty
Jim Taylor
Erich/Miranda Weingartner

Net Notes:

A Time for Mental Ecology
Books About Nelson Mandela
Most Redeeming Films of 2010
Indian Churches Can Teach World
The Beatification of John Paul II
God at the Grammys - the Chosen Ones
Acadia Offers Top Chaplaincy Program
Shun Idol Worship Urges the Dalai Lama
Four Decades of Anglican/Catholic Dialogue
Egyptian Christians Join in Calls for Reform
iPhone Confession is no Sacramental Substitute
Church in UK Must Continue to Influence Debate

Global Faith Potpourri:

Eleven ENI Stories This Week


Quotes of the Week:

Madeleine L'Engle
Eleanor Roosevelt
D.H. Lawrence
Maya Angelou

On This Day: (Feb 6th - Feb 11th)

Feb. 6, 1952 -  King George VI died.
                Elizabeth II is Queen
Feb. 7, 1984 -  First spacewalk for
                McCandless and Stewart
Feb. 8, 1996 -  Clinton revamps
                telecommunications industry
Feb. 9, 1943 -  US defeats Japan, WWII
                battle of Guadalcanal
Feb. 11, 1945 - Roosevelt, Churchill, Stalin
                sign Yalta Agreement

Closing Thought - Brother Roger of Taize



Dear Friends:

Welcome to the latest issue of Colleagues List,
a weekly collection of religion and culture
themes from a Canadian perspective with a
global scope.

Next week I want to introduce to you the latest
book by colleague Reginald Bibby, entitled:
"Beyond the Gods and Back: Religion's Demise
and Rise, and Why It Matters."

This is the fourth in his "gods" series, and
the release date is February 26th. Reading my
thoughts on this book next week should give
you a leg up on its themes before it appears
for sale in stores and online.

In this issue I introduce a book given to
me by colleague Kelly Johnson, Pentecostal
chaplain at the U. of Calgary where I teach.

The book is entitled "Thinking in Tongues:
Pentecostal Contributions to Christian
Philosophy" by a friend of Kelly's, James
K.A. Smith. Thanks for your gift, Kelly.
I hope that others will benefit too!

Colleague Contributions:

Ron Rolheiser (San Antonio, TX) - writes
"Tormenting the Cat" a reflection on
why we live in an "extreme" world today
(Ron's web site)

Martin Marty (Chicago, IL) - re-introduces
us to emergent church leader Brian McLaren
whom most of you know but many of Marty's
readers apparently do not (Sightings)

Jim Taylor (Okanagan, BC) - speaks of
the wind, which Jesus also alludes to
in John chapter three.. They seem
to agree on the subject (Jim's web log)

Erich and Miranda Weingartner
(Calendar, ON) - use Word Press
support as they continue their web-
publication after hackers broke into
their site. Read the United Church
of Canada letter to the Harper
government regarding a Canadian
stance to North Korea.

We wish the Weingarters
well as they rebuild (CanKor)


Net Notes:

"A Time for Mental Ecology" -
a call for "Paulo Friere prophets"
in our time (New Catholic Times)

"Books About Nelson Mandela" -
three titles, including one that
was previously introduced on
this list (New York Times)

"Most Redeeming Films of 2010" -
from an American evangelical
perspective, here are ten special
movies from the past year
(Christianity Today)

"Indian Churches Can Teach World" -
India can be a global leader in the
field of religious inculturation
(Times of India)

"The Beatification of John Paul II" -
two stories, one critical, one positive,
regarding the first step to sainthood
for Benedict's predecessor, in May
(National Catholic Reporter, The
 Telegram, UK)

"God at the Grammys - the Chosen Ones" -
many modern music stars are convinced
that their rise to fame has a divine
basis (Wall Street Journal)

"Acadia Offers Top Chaplaincy Program" -
a Nova Scotia seminary is developing a
special chaplaincy for ministers to
prison inmates (

"Shun Idol Worship Urges the Dalai Lama" -
the Tibetan Buddhist leader picks up on a
theme that Abrahamic religions have spoken
against for millennia (Uccan News)

"Four Decades of Anglican/Catholic Dialogue" -
Anglicans and Catholics in Canada have been
talking together longer than those in other
discussions around the world (Anglican Journal)

"Egyptian Christians Join in Calls for Reform" -
the fall of Mubarak has been a strong commitment
of many in Egypt, including Christian minorities
(Christianity Today, Truthout)

"iPhone Confession is no Sacramental Substitute" -
Rome is making confessions easier, but makes it
clear that speaking with a priest is still quite
essential (Catholic News Service)

"Church in UK Must Continue to Influence Debate" -
the Archbishop of York believes that the church
in Great Britain must continue to bring its views
to the public square (Guardian, UK)


Global Faith Potpourri:

Eleven ENI stories this week from the World
Council of Churches news service, Geneva.


Quotes of the Week:

Madeleine L'Engle, Eleanor Roosevelt,
D.H. Lawrence and Maya Angelou share
their insights with us, courtesy of

On This Day: (Feb 6th - Feb 11th)

King George VI died.
Elizabeth II is Queen (1952)

First spacewalk for McCandless
and Stewart (1984)

Clinton revamps telecommunications
industry (1996)

US defeats Japan in WWII battle of
Guadalcanal (1943)

Roosevelt, Churchill, Stalin sign
Yalta Agreement (1945)

Closing Thought -

This week we conclude with a reflection from the
deceased Brother Roger of Taize. Is is in french,
with english subtitles.


Blessings on your pre-Lenten days.




Contact us at: (or)
St. David's Web Address -

Listen to audio recordings of Sunday services -



Created and maintained by Colleague
Jock McTavish



Books Considered:

"An Altar in the World"
 by Barbara Brown Taylor


"I Shall Not Hate -
 A Gaza Doctor's Journey"
 by Izzeldin Abuelaish

More study and website particulars will
be posted as they become available.

Classes are well underway!

Here is the link to the sessions:




We continue our investigation of the
New Atheists and consider the question:
"Can we be good without God?"

Text for the course will be Sam Harris'
new book:

"The Moral Landscape:
 How Science Can Determine Human Values"
 (Free Press, October, 2010)

Supplementary text:

"Godless Morality" by Richard Holloway
 (Canongate (new edition) 2009)

Course description and registration

Classes going well. A great group
representing a gamut of believers
through atheists. I hope to learn
much from them and will post insights
as they emerge.




We plan a 15-day tour of special Celtic sites
in Scotland, Ireland, Wales and England -
April 26th - May 10th, 2011.

A highlight of the tour will be a visit to
St. David's Cathedral, Pembrokeshire. Choir
members from our group will sing at various
informal cathedral events through the day
of our visit,  Saturday, May 7th!

We have 25 choristers signed up as part of
the tour group. This special choir began
rehearsals in late January - prepared by our
congregation's music director, Brent Tucker.

Details are presently being finalized with
the St. David's cathedral dean, Fr. Jonathan
Lean and their music director, Alex Mason.

We are also planning to sing while visiting
other locations on our tour.


January 26th was the deadline for all
trip payments - 90 days before departure.

We have started an interest list for more
and future tours!

Let me know if you are interested in knowing
more about exciting, spiritual tourism! This
is a cutting edge ministry at St. David's.
We hope to do many more tours in future!



A collection of twenty-five+ studies conducted
since 2000 can quickly be found at:

This collection of study resources represents
a decade of Monday Night Studies at St. David's,
plus extra courses too!

You are welcome to use our course outlines,
class notes and resource pages in your personal
and group reflections.



Book Notice:

Pentecostal Contributions
to Christian Philosophy,
by James K. A. Smith

Eerdmans Publishing:
Grand Rapids/Cambridge
2010. $21.00 CAD. 155 pp.
ISBN #978-0-8028-6184-9

Publisher's Promo:

Introducing a New Research Project

The Pentecostal Manifesto Study Series aims
to speak for and to a rising, outward-looking
generation of Pentecostal scholars.

Written by both established and newly
emerging scholars, these volumes will be
creative statements, marked by rigorous
theological scholarship, reflecting a
distinctly Pentecostal engagement with
wider themes and concerns in Christian
thought today.


In this inaugural volume, James K. A. Smith
offers considered advice to Pentecostal
philosophers and, even more, pertinent
Pentecostal advice to Christian philosophers.

Maintaining that implicit in Pentecostal
and charismatic spirituality is a tacit
worldview of "social imaginary," Smith unpacks
and articulates key elements of this worldview
and then explores their implications for
philosophical reflection on... aesthetics,
language, science, philosophy of religion, etc.

In each case, Smith demonstrates how the wisdom
of Pentecostal spirituality makes unique
contributions to current conversations in
Christian philosophy.


Author's Words:

A New Generation

Pentecostal scholars in the second century
of their movement's history possess a new

This (new) generation is beginning to interrogate
the reigning religious philosophies from the
perspective of a unique Pentecostal worldview.

It is expanding its focus to bring a Pentecostal
perspective to bear on important questions and
issues that are concerns not only for Pentecostals
and charismatics, but also for the whole church.

It is engaged in contributing to and even
impacting the conversations of the wider
theological academy.


From the Introduction (xi-xxv)

I am not primarily interested in demonstrating
that Pentecostals can be just as smart as
evangelicals or Catholics are - or more
specifically, that Pentecostals can learn to
do theology just as evangelicals, Catholics or
Reformed folk can.

Rather than an apologetic defense of Pentecostal
theology, this book is meant to be an unapologetic
articulation of the elements of a distinctly
Pentecostal philosophy...

To paraphrase Gustavo Gutierrez, this is an
attempt to show that we can "drink from our own
wells," (and do it with the resources provided
us by our own history and experience...)

By "pentecostal" I mean to refer not to a classic
or denominational definition, but rather to an
understanding of the Christian faith that is
radically open to the continued operations of
the Spirit.

My methodology follows these procedures:

- to articulate the worldview that is latent
  within pentecostal practice

- to grapple with pentecostal spirituality and
  practice to show its uniqueness and challenge
  to the received paradigms in philosophy of

- to create a constructive role for pentecostal
  testimony, witness and story

I hope that other artisans will join me in
filling in the colors (of what I present here.)


My Thoughts:

When Kelly Johnson and two of his Pentecostal
colleagues were special guests at St. David's
United Calgary last spring, we sensed that
a number of our stereotypes of Pentecostals
would be challenged, and they were.

Recently, Kelly offered me a book that continues
to challenge stereotypes. This time, it is a
study in Pentecostal contributions to Christian

I believe that we are on the verge of discovering
that the pentecostalism we like to peg as lodged
among the poor and uneducated of the world (even
though it has proven to be very successful in
the service of the poor and uneducated) is no
longer but a limited expression of that element
of the world's pentecostalist population.

Just as we need to be alert to many inter-faith
developments in our global village, we also
need to become much more aware of the fastest -
growing expression of the Christian faith,
and that is pentecostalism.

The pentecostalist worldview may surprize
many of us as we grow more familiar with
some of its expressions.

(from footnote 65, page 40)

Harvey Cox writes in his book "Fire from Heaven:
The Rise of Pentecostalism and the Reshaping of
Religion in the Twenty-first Century" Addison-
Wesley, 1995:

"... it seemed a little humorous to me that
even though many western Christians and certainly
most academic theologians would find the primal
cosmos of the African indigenous churches to be
'primitive' or even 'superstitious' the real
situation is very different.

We may be behind the times. Perhaps modern,
liberal western theology - the kind I learned
as a graduate student - has been vainly striving
to reconcile religion to an allegedly scientific
worldview which is actually becoming more out-
dated every day.

Paradoxically, the traditional African cosmology,
which indigenous Christians incorporate so
inventively, may be more in tune with the
'quantum world' than western theology is."


Cox serves notice that what once seemed primitive
may be much more true to modern reality that
what we in the enlightened West know.

In his six chapters, Smith lays the groundwork
for a pentecostal philosophy. He unpacks the
pentecostalist worldview and reflects creatively
on how we know things and live in response to
what we know. He discusses how this worldview
can engage science, joining in current debates
involving religious and scientific thinkers.

Smith argues that the very nature of his
pentecostalist spirituality, worship and practice
poses a enlightening challenge to currently
dominant paradigms of philosophy of language
which is largely primed for the more "heady"
religion of more mainstream Protestantism.

Finally, Smith considers "glossolalia" (or
speaking in tongues) and a challenge to much
mainstream thinking about the meaning of
language - showing "tongues speaking" as a
critique of status quo thinking.


I agree with the author in his epilogue
that pentecostals can make their own unique
contributions to current debates in philosophy
and science working unapologetically AS
pentecostals whose imaginations have been
informed by the embodied rhythms of pentecostal
worship and spirituality. (p. 151)

He adds that he hopes his venture into rather
deep philosophical thought will yet serve his
more traditional pentecostalist brothers and
sisters who may not have a lot of time to
invest in such distinctions, but who "are
nonetheless empowered by the Spirit for mission."


My Conclusion:

Those who want to stay current with modern,
global theological thinking should not
ignore the kind of study represented by
this book.


Buy the Book from -



San Antonio, TX

Web Reflection
Feb. 6th, 2011

"Tormenting the Cat"

Eighty-five years ago, G. K. Chesterton
looked at his society and saw some things
that disturbed him. Here's his comment:

Read the article:


Chicago. IL

Sightings  2/7/2011

"Christian Evolutions"

Ever since 1859 anyone could start fights by
breathing a single word: “evolution,” on which
Charles Darwin held the patent. The conflicts
were billed as “science vs. religion,” but it
has been clear for 152 years that some schools
of scientists opposed other schools in science
and some schools of religion opposed others in
religion. The “moderns” advocated syntheses of
“science” and “religion,” while conservatives,
some of them fundamentalist, opposed them.
New controversies keep developing.

If I read the reports accurately, there is one
brewing within the ranks of Christians often
tabbed as evangelicals...



Web Log
Feb. 9th, 2011

"Invisible Influences"

... we’ve never actually seen wind.
We’ve only seen what it does...



February 11th, 2011

"Hackers Break into ConKor Site"



We need another Paulo Freire!

New Catholic Times
February 7th, 2011


Revolution From Within

New York Times Review of Books
Sunday, February 13th, 2011


Evangelical Perspective on the Movies

Christianity Today,
Feb. 9th, 2011


'Inculturation' is a model for all

The Times of India
February 6th, 2011


Doubt Cast on Vatican Ceremony

National Catholic Reporter
February 9th, 2011


Beatification Update -
Rome Running Out of Accommodation

The Telegraph, UK
February 10th, 2011


Why do so many stars think that their
careers are part of some divine plan?

Wall Street Journal
February 11th, 2011


Nova Scotia Seminary a Canadian Leader
Feb. 8th, 2011


He Advises Against Common Pitfalls

Uccan News
Feb. 9th, 2011


Canadian ARCIC Talks Set a Global Record

Anglican Journal
Feb. 9th, 2011


Evangelicals have Influence

Christianity Today
Feb. 4th, 2011


"Egyptians Tell Old Pharoah to Go"

Feb. 11th, 2011


Vatican Offers an Alternative

Catholic News Service
February 9th, 2011


Archbishop of York Speaks

The Guardian, UK
February 9th, 2011



Ecumenical News International
News Highlights
7 February 2011

Canadian bishops urge Catholics
to live chastely

Toronto, Canada (ENI news)— Decrying the
"sex-saturated world of contemporary Western
culture," Roman Catholic bishops in Canada
are urging church members – married and
single – to live chastely.


8 February 2011

Russian Orthodox Clergy May Run for Office

Moscow (ENI news)- The Russian Orthodox Church
has ruled that hierarchs (church leaders) and
clergy can run for office in exceptional cases
when their presence is needed to fight "forces
striving to use electoral power to fight the
Orthodox Church."


9 February 2011

New Nepal PM urged to ensure Christians' rights

Kathmandu, Nepal(ENI news)- With the former Hindu
kingdom of Nepal ending a seven-month political
deadlock by electing a new prime minister,
Christian organisations are asking the new
government to finalise a new constitution by May
and guarantee the rights of Christians, including
allowing an official burial site.


Sudanese churches seek action
on Ugandan rebel group

Juba, Southern Sudan(ENI  news)- Church leaders
in Southern Sudan have called for urgent
strategies to end threats caused by northern
Uganda's rebel group, the Lord's Resistance
Army (LRA). The leaders said attacks are
escalating, threatening a fragile peace in a
region that will celebrate independence on
9 July.


Church of Scotland to discuss
sustainable farming

Canterbury, England(ENI  news) - Ways and means
of improving food production in Britain and
overseas against the background of high fuel
prices and a growing demand for all land-based
commodities will be discussed in Edinburgh on
10 February at a one-day conference organized
by the Church of Scotland.


10 February 2011

Kandhamal Christians struggling after carnage

Borimunda, India (ENI news)- Junos Nayak's family
owns more than ten acres of land in Gadaguda, a
village in the Kandhamal district in eastern India,
but his turmeric and rice fields have remained
barren for the last two years.


In the watery Netherlands,
a modern Noah builds an ark

Utrecht, Netherlands (ENI news) - If there was
ever a country that understands floods, it is
the Netherlands, where one-quarter of the land
is below sea level, and it is there that a
modern Noah is constructing an ark.
(more coming)


Indonesia urged to repeal blasphemy laws

London (ENI news)- Indonesia has been urged to
repeal its blasphemy laws and provide greater
protection to religious minorities – including
Christians and the Muslim Ahmadiyya sect - in
order to safeguard its reputation as one of the
world’s most progressive and tolerant Muslim-
majority countries.


11 February 2011

Philippine church celebrates
100 years of Protestantism

Baguio City, Philippines (ENI news)- A
Philippine church, which traces its start to
American colonisation in the early 1900s, is
now 100 years old and leaders and parishioners
are celebrating the legacies of Protestantism
for "a century of God’s faithfulness and love."

Textile, photo exhibits to open in Geneva

Toronto, Canada (ENI news)- The medium is
traditional South American but the message is
modern-day European reality: a piece of textile
art depicting the financial pressures of a rural
Irish farming family hit hard by the current


Ukrainian Greek Catholic leader resigns

Moscow (ENI news)--Pope Benedict XVI has accepted
the resignation of Cardinal Lubomyr Husar, the
leader of seven million Ukrainian Greek Catholics
worldwide who follow the Byzantine rite but are
in communion with Rome. Husar, who is 77,
announced at a news conference in Kiev, the
Ukrainian capital, that he is stepping down
due to poor health.



Provided by

February 7th, 2011

"I sit on my favorite rock, looking
over the brook, to take time away
from busy-ness, time to be... it's
something we all need for our
spiritual health, and often we
don't take enough of it."

- Madeleine L'Engle


February 9th, 2011

"Justice cannot be for one side alone,
 but must be for both."

- Eleanor Roosevelt


February 10th, 2011

"Plant consciousness, insect consciousness,
fish consciousness, animal consciousness,
all are related by one permanent element,
which we may call the religious element
inherent in all life, even in a flea: the
sense of wonder. That is our sixth sense.
And it is the natural religious sense."

- D.H. Lawrence


February 11th, 2011

"Courage is the most important of all the
virtues, because without courage you can't
practice any other virtue consistently. You
can practice any virtue erratically, but
nothing consistently without courage."

- Maya Angelou


Feb. 6, 1952 - Britain's King George VI died;
he was succeeded by his daughter, Elizabeth II.


Feb. 7, 1984 - space shuttle astronauts Bruce
McCandless II and Robert L. Stewart went on the
first untethered spacewalk.


Feb. 8, 1996 - in a ceremony at the Library of
Congress, President Clinton signed legislation
revamping the telecommunications industry, saying
it would "bring the future to our doorstep."


Feb. 9, 1943 - the World War II battle of
Guadalcanal in the southwest Pacific ended with
an American victory over Japanese forces.


Feb. 11, 1945 - President Roosevelt, British
Prime Minister Winston Churchill and Soviet
leader Josef Stalin signed the Yalta Agreement
during World War II.



Meditation by Brother Roger of Taize


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