GLOBAL AND ECUMENICAL IN SCOPE
CANADIAN IN PERSPECTIVE
Wayne A. Holst, Editor
My E-Mail Address:
Colleagues List Web Site:
"Quicklinks" are included with many items
at the beginning of this issue.
To get a more complete picture, however,
scroll down to find your special selection
in the body of the blog.
We return to weekly mailings of Colleagues
List, which I hope you will enjoy.
My Special Item this week was introduced
here by means of a Publisher's Weekly link
but was only offered on sale this week in
Canada. It is entitled
"Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth"
by Iranian-American, Muslim author Reza Aslan
which I suggest is a helpful aid to interfaith
Scroll down for the complete book notice.
This week, I heard from old friends who
have not posted to me for a while -
Hardy Schroeder, of Winnipeg, MB (and)
Jean Koning, of Peterborough, ON
This week originate in the USA -
Martin Marty, Chicago, IL
- writes about the Crystal Cathedral folly
Ron Rolheiser, San Antonio,
- shares on the "slow, imperceptible
march of goodness" in our world
"Tyndale Breaks Records" - this
evangelical college and seminary,
located in Toronto, is experiencing
significant growth at a time when
many Canadian religious schools
are struggling to keep the doors open
(Tyndale News Release) - text below
"The Good Kind of Liberalism" -
there are good and bad ways to promote
liberalism today, says this article which
appears currently in Christian Century
"Quebec Charter Roundly Criticized" -
the big news out of Quebec this week
was a proposed "secular charter" and
it garnered much reaction within and
beyond the province (Life Sites News
and Anglican Journal)
"A New Yorker's Reflections on 9/11" -
twelve years after the disaster in Lower
Manhattan, a personal testimony
"Sri Lanka - War Over but Not at Peace" -
this nation and its recent civil war has not
been much in the news lately, but here is
an update (UCA News)
"Four Found Guilty in Delhi Rape Case" -
this was the expected 'popular' outcome
of a most grizzly happening late 2012
(UCA News) http://tinyurl.com/lrkwatd
"Ad Campaign Addresses Indian Violence" -
there is a growing grass-roots movement
to counter violence against women in
modern India society (UCA News)
(or click link in main blog body, below)
"Emergency Shelters - Made From Paper" -
the cathedral at Christchurch, New Zealand
has used this approach, and it seems that
others like what this Japanese architect does
"Pope Advises Atheist to Follow Conscience"
- Francis continues his populist ways and
opens new doors to dialogue with previously
unhappy partners (The Guardian, UK)
"Rome - Priestly Celibacy "Open to Discussion"
- an important papal representative suggests
a different approach by the current pontiff
(Huffington Post Canada)
Wisdom of the Week:
Albert Schweitzer, Belle Fox-Matin,
Marian Anderson and Mary McCarthy
contribute their thoughts.
On This Day:
From the archives of the New York Times -
German Air Force Begins London Blitz
Planes Crashed into New York Trade Center
Biko Dies in South Africa Apartheid Conflict
Mao Tse-Tung Dies at 82 in Beijing
Closing Thought - Helen Keller
Blessings, and let me hear from you!
MY AUTUMN PROGRAMS AT
THE CHURCH AND UNIVERSITY
UPCOMING ACTIVITY AT THE CHURCH
FALL MONDAY NIGHT STUDY
ST. DAVID'S UNITED CHURCH
"Immortal Diamond - The Search
for the True Self"" by Richard Rohr
Description of the Book:
Mondays, 7:00PM - 9:00PM
September 16th - November 25th, 2013
SESSIONS BEGIN THIS WEEK
Team Taught With Jock McTavish
Books on sale at the church --
Registration, Hospitality and Book - $50.00
Book only - $20.
THURSDAY MORNING BIBLE STUDY
Weekly from September 19th - December 5th
10:00 - 11:00AM
Two Six Week Series -
Themes to be Selected by the Class
During its First Meeting, Sept. 19th.
FALL TUESDAY NIGHT UNIVERSITY COURSE
"Heresies and Heretics" -
Encountering the Early Church Controversies
by Bart Ehrman
Tuesday, 7:00PM - 9:00PM
September 24th - December 3rd, 2013
(no class, October 7th)
Description and Registration Info:
Jock McTavish will offer two video sessions
to complement the series
FAITH AND SPIRITUALITY CENTRE
FALL BOOK STUDY
Presented by the Christian Chaplains
For Faculty, Staff and Students -
A Six Week Series on the Book:
"Jesus, Moses, the Buddha and Mohammed:
Christian Identity in a Multi-Faith World"
Six sessions - Fridays October 18th
through November 22nd, 2013
12 Noon to 1:00PM
Native Centre Board Room
MacEwan Student Centre
SPECIAL ST. DAVID'S LINKS
Contact us at: email@example.com (or) firstname.lastname@example.org
St. David's Web Address - http://sduc.ca/
Listen to audio recordings of Sunday services -
An accumulation of thirty-five books studied
since 2000 can quickly be found at:
This collection of study resources represents
more than 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 -
THE LIFE AND TIMES
OF JESUS OF NAZARETH
by Reza Aslan, Hardcover.
Random House Canada.
$32.00CAD. 336 pages.
From the internationally bestselling author of
No god but God comes a fascinating, provocative,
and meticulously researched biography that
challenges long-held assumptions about the
man we know as Jesus of Nazareth.
Two thousand years ago, an itinerant Jewish
preacher and miracle worker walked across the
Galilee, gathering followers to establish what he
called the “Kingdom of God.” The revolutionary
movement he launched was so threatening to
the established order that he was captured,
tortured, and executed as a state criminal.
Within decades after his shameful death,
his followers would call him God.
Sifting through centuries of myth making,
Reza Aslan sheds new light on one of history’s
most influential and enigmatic characters by
examining Jesus through the lens of the
tumultuous era in which he lived: first-century
Palestine, an age awash in apocalyptic fervor.
Scores of Jewish prophets, preachers, and
would-be messiahs wandered through the Holy
Land, bearing messages from God. This was
the age of zealotry—a fervent nationalism that
made resistance to the Roman occupation a
sacred duty incumbent on all Jews. And few
figures better exemplified this principle than
the charismatic Galilean who defied both the
imperial authorities and their allies in the
Jewish religious hierarchy.
Balancing the Jesus of the Gospels against
the historical sources, Aslan describes a man
full of conviction and passion, yet rife with
contradiction; a man of peace who exhorted
his followers to arm themselves with swords;
an exorcist and faith healer who urged his
disciples to keep his identity a secret; and
ultimately the seditious “King of the Jews”
whose promise of liberation from Rome went
unfulfilled in his brief lifetime. Aslan explores
the reasons why the early Christian church
preferred to promulgate an image of Jesus
as a peaceful spiritual teacher rather than
a politically conscious revolutionary. And
he grapples with the riddle of how Jesus
understood himself, the mystery that is at
the heart of all subsequent claims about
Zealot yields a fresh perspective on one of
the greatest stories ever told even as it affirms
the radical and transformative nature of Jesus
of Nazareth’s life and mission. The result is a
thought-provoking, elegantly written biography
with the pulse of a fast-paced novel: a singularly
brilliant portrait of a man, a time, and the birth
of a religion.
When I was fifteen years old, I found Jesus.
(It was) at an evangelical youth camp in
Northern California... It was there that I heard
a remarkable story that would change my
(I learned the highlights of that story and
learned that) His death was the point of it
all, for his sacrifice freed us all from the
burden of our sins... and three days later
he rose again, exalted and divine, so that
now, all who believe in him and accept him
into their hearts would also never die, but
have eternal life...
Never before had I felt so intimately the
pull of God.
(I came from an American family of
lukewarm Muslims, originating in Iran.)
My religion and ethnicity were intimately
linked. (But after the Iranian revolution,
religion in general, and Islam in particular,
became taboo in our household.)
In the America of the 1980's, being Muslim
was like being from Mars... Jesus, on the
other hand was America (and) I burned with
absolute devotion to my new found faith. (I
had been offered an invitation to follow Jesus
that I could not refuse.) I began to share that
But the more I probed the Bible to arm
myself against the doubts of unbelievers,
the more distance I discovered between the
Jesus of the gospels and the Jesus of history
- between Jesus the Christ and the Jesus of
(In college I discovered that the evangelical
Christianity I had been taught, with its
true, literal and inerrant scriptures was patently
and irrefutably false, and that the Bible is
replete with the most blatant and obvious
errors and contradictions.) All this left me
confused and spiritually unmoored. I felt
I had been duped by Christians.
Meanwhile I continued my work in religious
studies, delving back into the Bible not as an
unquestioning believer but as an inquisitive
Today, after decades of academic research
into the origins of Christianity, I have become
a more genuinely committed disciple of
Jesus of Nazareth than I ever was of Jesus
My hope with this book is to spread the
good news of the Jesus of history with the
same fervor I once applied to spreading
the story of Christ.
Rather than burden the reader with the
centuries-long debate about the life and
mission of Jesus of Nazareth, I have
constructed my narrative upon what I believe
to be the most accurate and reasonable
argument, based on my two decades of
scholarly research into the New Testament
and early Christian history.
A balanced review of this book was
written by Dale B. Martin, professor of
religious studies at Yale University.
It appeared in the New York Times:
When all is said and done, the value of this
book for me is not so much in its biblical
and early church scholarship. Nor is it
because it is presented in fine prose.
What makes it important to me it that it was
written by a Western Muslim who came to
experience Jesus, but was encouraged
during a period of doubt, to revisit his Islamic
spiritual roots. He ultimately converted back
to the faith of his ancestors with a renewed
sense of belonging.. And yet, he could not
forget about Jesus.
The Jesus he presents in this book is
that of a scholar, not a believer. But his
continuing investigation into the life and
death of Jesus has led him to a great
teacher and human, if not a savior.
In that quest for an authentically human
Jesus he is not new. Western students
have been working on that theme for
several centuries. But what I find most
important is that it is a Western Muslim
who shares these profound discoveries.
His book "Zealot" does not offer a lot of
new insights, but his faith journey opens
a way to interfaith dialogue that I find
intriguing and most constructive.
Both Christians and Muslims have
traditionally viewed Jesus through
the lens of their respective biases.
Here, however, is a book that records
the faith quest of a man who was born
a Muslim, converted to evangelical
Christianity in America, and then
(at the encouragement of his Christian
academic mentors) re-converted to
the faith of his Iranian ancestors.
Aslan offers us an important spiritual
journey that to my mind builds bridges,
not barriers, between the two faiths.
He will obviously continue to be
criticized by conservatives of both
religions, but he has done something
that few others have done thus far. He
creates a path for persons of both faiths
to investigate and learn from together.
For personal growth, this book offers
support. As a basic for inter-faith study,
it will also prove to be worth investigation.
We need more Reza Aslans and people
like him in our world today!
Buy the book from Amazon.ca:
September 8th, 2013
Good to read you again. (Haven't done that for a while ... )
Thanks especially for your personal reflection ("A New
Season of Learning and Growth" Colleagues List,
September 8th, 2013.)
Greetings and best wished to you and Marlene.
(Elfrieda and) Hardy
September 9th, 2013
Many thanks for CL. As it happens, I have today received
an advance notice that the Truth & Reconciliation Commission
hearings (Listening to Canada's First Nations Peoples) will be
held in Calgary November 4th and 5th, 2013,
This may be of interest to your readers who are in Calgary.
No other information is available at this time, but I will watch
the TRC website and let you know more as the info is posted
there. Meantime, the website is -
http://tinyurl.com/2ua5or2 just FYI
September 9th, 2013
San Antonio, TX
September 8th, 2013
"The Slow Imperceptible
March of Goodness"
TYNDALE BREAKS ENROLLMENT RECORD
2013 Registers High in College and Seminary
On the first day of classes for the fall ’13 term,
Tyndale University College welcomed the largest
enrollment in its history with over 600 students.
This represents a 3% increase from 2012 and a
27% increase over the last 5 years.
Tyndale Seminary also welcomed a larger student
body, with growth of over 8% from the previous year.
Over 750 students are enrolled at Tyndale Seminary
in a variety of programs and formats, maintaining its
place as the largest graduate theological school in
Canada. Dr. Barry Smith, Registrar and VP of Student
Services, commented, “We are excited to welcome
record enrollments for both Tyndale University College
and Tyndale Seminary. The increase at the university
college represents our hard work over the last few
years as we focused on developing a unique
undergraduate university educational experience.
Academically it is our strongest incoming class
with more President Scholarships offered to students
with an exceptional entering GPA.” Between the two
schools, Tyndale’s student body of more than 1,400
come from 8 provinces and several US states, with
increasing numbers originating from outside of North
America, both on campus and online. This continued
growth and expansion positions Tyndale well as it
moves to the new 56 acre campus on Bayview Avenue
THE GOOD KIND OF LIBERALISM
The Christian Century
September 3rd, 2013
QUEBEC CHARTER ROUNDLY CRITICIZED
Secular Project Reaction Quick and General
Life Sites News
September 13th, 2013
Charter May Foster Racism
September 13th, 2013
A NEW YORKER'S REFLECTIONS ON 9/11
Thoughts Based on the Original Day of Infamy
September 12th, 2013
WAR OVER - BUT SRI LANKA NOT AT PEACE
September 12th, 2013
FOUR FOUND GUILTY IN DELHI GANG RAPE
Death Sentence Recommended
September 13th, 2013
AD CAMPAIGN ADDRESSES INDIAN VIOLENCE
Grass Roots Campaign Gains Popular Support
September 10th, 2012
EMERGENCY SHELTERS MADE FROM PAPER
TED Talk by "Temporary" Christchurch Cathedral Builder
September 12th, 2013
POPE ADVISES ATHEIST TO 'FOLLOW CONSCIENCE'
Open Letter Takes a Respectful Approach
September 11th, 2013
VATICAN SAYS PRIESTLY CELIBACY
"OPEN TO DISCUSSION"
Huffington Post Canada
September 12th, 2013
WISDOM OF THE WEEK
Provided by Sojourners Online
A man is truly ethical only when he obeys
the compulsion to help all life which he is
able to assist, and shrinks from injuring
anything that lives.
- Albert Schweitzer
Put prayers on the ground, so many prayers
that not a drop of blood can find its way to the
earth, not a drop can leach into the soil or soul.
Put your prayers on the ground.
Make a place for God to walk among the horrors
and hopes.There you will find us standing in his
wake, knee deep in invocations and possibilities.
- Belle Fox-Matin
"No matter how big a nation is, it is no stronger
that its weakest people, and as long as you
keep a person down, some part of you has to
be down there to hold [that person] down, so
it means you cannot soar as you might
- Marian Anderson
"In violence we forget who we are."
- Mary McCarthy
ON THIS DAY
Provided from the Archives
of the New York Times
GERMAN AIR FORCE BEGINS LONDON BLITZ
PLANES CRASHED INTO NY TRADE CENTER
BIKO DIES IN S.AFRICA APARTHEID CONFLICT
MAO TSE-TUNG DIES AT 82
CLOSING THOUGHT - HELEN KELLER
"Although the world is full of suffering,
it is full also of the overcoming of it."
- Helen Keller