Saturday, April 19, 2014

Colleagues List, April 20th, 2014

Vol. IX.  No. 34




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. 

Note that not all items here have links.


Dear Friends:

This has been a trying week for
everyone at the University of Calgary
where I spend some of my time.

The tragic murder of five students
has caused much grief and pain.
I wish to hold up in prayer and
honour a number of colleagues
receiving this mailing. The chaplains
and staff of the Faith and Spirituality 
Centre have worked under very
trying circumstances and you have
been offering splendid service.
Read what the university president
has to say in "Net Notes" below.


My Special Item this week is a
presentation and reflection on  
the play - "The Diary of Anne Frank"
which is currently being staged at
the Rosebud Theatre in rural Alberta.
We found this a special venue to
visit during Holy Week this year.
Please scroll down for it.


Colleague Comments - this week
are by John Horman of Kitchener-
Waterloo ON and William Shantz
of Thunder Bay ON. Both respond
to my presentation of Bart Ehrman's
latest book "How Jesus Became God"
last week. Please scroll down for
their comments.


Colleague Contributions - are from
Marjorie Gibson, Lorna Dueck,
Martin Marty, Jim Taylor and 
Ron Rolheiser. Please click -


Net Notes -

"Simply Service" - please read
this special reflection for Holy Week
(Sojourners Online)

"Mystical Atheism" - Can an atheist
have mystical experiences? Why not?
check out this interesting article

"The Pope in the Attic" - an intriguing
article on the significant differences
between Benedict and Francis as well
as some  current papal behavior
(Atlantic Online, The Tablet, UK
  and Religious News Service)

"Enthralling Easter Art" - a special
article on the beauty of the Easter
season conveyed through art
(Australian Broadcasting Company)

"We Do Not Stand Alone" - Elizabeth
Canon, president of the University
of Calgary, has some important things
to say during a week of great trauma

"Surprised by N.T. Wright" - a  good
introduction to the current work of the
scholar Anglican bishop, worth reading
(Christianity Today)

"Lesbian Evangelical Pastor in Brazil" -
an intriguing story of a woman pastor
who views her sexual orientation as a
special gift from God, to be celebrated
(The Atlantic Online)

"Book of Common Prayer Still a Big Deal" -
- Evangelical Christians are discovering
the beauty and grandeur of an ancient
book of worship from the Anglican tradition
(Christianity Today)

"Criminal Salvadoran Deported from USA" -
the man responsible for the deaths of many
in El Salvador, including Oscar Romero, is
finally being deported from the USA
(National Catholic Reporter)

"Electronic Devises - Servants or Masters?" -
an article on a most timely subject that should
cause all of us to ponder our social media habits
(The Christian Post)


Wisdom of the Week -

Evelyn Underhill, Robert Greenleaf,
Mahatma Gandhi, Mother Teresa
and John Oliver Killens share their
insights thanks to Sojourners and
Bruderhof online services.

Please scroll down to read this.


On This Day -

From the archives of the New York 
Times read of events taking place
between April 13th - 19th -

"Titanic Sinks After Hitting Iceberg"

"Lincoln Assassinated in Washington"

"Major Earthquake Hits San Francisco"

"Disastrous Bay of Pigs Invasion Against Cuba"

Closing Thought - from Paul Robeson. Scroll down.


Thus ends the Easter Edition of Colleagues List!

A blessed resurrection celebration to you.



Monday Night Church Study Links
St. David's Book Study Archives



"The Diary of Anne Frank"
   Rosebud Theatre
   Rosebud Alberta

Particularly worthwhile for us during Holy Week,
Marlene and I drove to Rosebud, Alberta, a
small community 90 minutes east of Calgary
on the way to Drumheller, to see the Rosebud
Theatre production of "The Diary of Anne Frank."

We had visited Anne Frankhaus in Amsterdam
in 2008 where we learned much more of the
story and have pondered it since.

This drama has been around since 1955 when it
opened on Broadway and has had several 
reproductions and revivals since. It has won a
number of coveted awards, and was particularly
recognized, early on, when it played to several 
German cities and before Queen Juliana of the 

A more recent edition opened on Broadway in
1997, serving as the source of this production.

The Story

The drama is based on the life of Anne Frank
and the diary is a book of writings from the
Dutch language diary that this young girl kept
while she was hiding for two years with her
family during the Nazi occupation of the
Netherlands in WWII.

The family's hideout was discovered and
eight people in all were apprehended in
1944. Anne died of typhus in the Bergen-
Belsen  concentration camp. Most of the
people who lived with Anne also died in
the war camps.

The diary was retrieved by Miep Gies,
a Dutch friend of Anne's, who gave it
to her father, Otto, the only family member
who survived. The diary has now been
published in more than 60 different languages
and the book has sold more that 31 million
copies. The play and a movie based on the 
play have been seen by many people around 
the world over the past 60 years.

The book:

The play:


Artistic Director's Words:

We're all here because we've been drawn
towards this particular story. How can
there be such light in the midst of such a
dark time? That is a compelling mystery
to me. There's a Bruce Cockburn lyric
that talks about "kicking out the darkness
till it bleeds daylight." Here in Rosebud,
we stubbornly believe that can indeed be
true. And there's proof! The diary of a
young woman locked away in a dark time
has shown us it can be done.

- Morris Ertman


Director's Words:

We were talking in rehearsal about how
foreign it is for so many of us to understand
what it means to be a minority and to be
persecuted. Most of us are so very
privileged that we cannot fully comprehend
what it meant to be Jewish in Europe during
WWII. However, that same kind of persecution
is happening today in many parts of the world.
I think about Syria, the Ukraine, and of course
in very recent memory, Rwanda and Bosnia/

Anne's diary is a testament to the power of
Story. The persecution of the Jews in WWII
being witnessed through the eyes of a young
girl has held inestimable value for us for 70
years, and I'm certain it will for centuries
to come.

Through Anne's eyes, we get a picture of
real people, mothers, fathers, sons and
daughters, living day to day, fearing for
their very lives, not knowing when the
end would come, hanging on to hope with
everything they've got. We see our very
human selves in them, our strengths, and
our shortcomings. We are reminded then,
when we are in complete and utter crisis,
all the extremes of the human condition
come to the surface. We can be our very
best, and we can be our very worst.

In the wake of WWII, the world needed
to hear Anne's story. We needed to believe
that in spite of all the atrocities of that dark
time, there was still light and life and hope,
and that somehow goodness was tenacious
enough to still be present in the midst of
it all. We needed to believe that the strength
and courage of the human spirit would

I want to believe that virtues like love, 
hope and courage are stronger than fear
and hatred. Anne's story makes me
believe that they are.

- Paul F. Muir


My Thoughts:

We have long believed that great drama
has a way of drawing people deeply into 
the lives and circumstances of those who
are being portrayed. 

The Greeks dramatists and thespians 
knew this, and many of the world's
great societies have believed this as
well. Perhaps we too are growing in
stature as a Canadian culture because of 
our own growing interest and investment
in dramatic arts and plays like this in
many diverse communities like Rosebud.

There was a special irony for us in viewing
"The Diary" during Holy Week. Many of
us have listened to passages of scripture
being read this past week that conveyed
the distinct impression that it was "the Jews"
who were responsible for the death of Christ.
Here, before our eyes, was an unfolding
drama that cast Christian Germans in the
role of being responsible for the holocaust
deaths of millions of innocent Jews. From
their tradition killing Jews for killing Christ
was not all the unthinkable.

How could such evil occur? How could the
people who grieved the death of Christ
at the proverbial "hands of the Jews"
not be moved by the pending deaths
of these Jews at the "hands of Christians."

Another point to be made has to do with
minorities. Not all persecution of minorities
has been taking place "somewhere else."
In our own lifetimes and in our own nation,
we have been becoming more aware of
what Euro-Canadian Christians did to the 
First Nations and what many Christians 
have actively or passively done to gay,
lesbian and transgendered people.

It would be a great tragedy if all our
animus were turned against "those
evil Nazis" when the "log in our own
eye" (to quote Jesus) is so great.

The death and resurrection of Jesus, 
and its potential meaning for everyone - 
including Jew and Christian alike - must 
no longer be seen in exclusive terms. 
It must be seen in universal terms. 

The power of evil transcends us all, 
and we all need to be freed from it. 
We Christians have a lot of thinking
to do regarding the universal meaning 
of the death of Jesus - freeing that death
from narrow religious confinement.


This play portrays in profound fashion
that the survival of truth, beauty and
goodness is not the purview of any
one religion or culture or people. It
is, rather, something to which all true
religious and humanist values point 
and to which we humans must all
struggle to champion for each other.

It was special to see "The Diary of
Anne Frank" during Holy Week 2014.
If you live within driving distance,
the play continues through May 17th.
Why not go to see it, or see it at a
location near you when it appears.



Regarding last week's Special Item
Bart Ehrman's "From Jesus to Christ"

Kitchener-Waterloo, ON


Just reading through Bart Ehrman's summary 
made me realize what huge gaps there are in 
modern ideas of Jesus. For most of us who study 
evidence about the life of Jesus, what Ehrman 
concludes is basic axiom. If you read people like 
Bultmann, they start where Ehrman ends up, 
and that is also what I discovered when I took 
a graduate course in historical Jesus from Richard 
Zehnle. One of Zehnle's arguments was that Jesus 
could not have thought that he was divine unless 
he were insane. My own future research suggested 
to me that not everyone was even willing to rule 
out this other possibility, and that there were no 
conclusive grounds to do so. See Mk. 3:21,22.

Yet people take these courses and nevertheless 
go on to take the part of congregational ministers 
and talk to their congregations as if nothing has 
happened, and what the Council of Nicaea said 
was just fine.



Thunder Bay, ON


No doubt you are acquainted with John Hick's
'The Myth of God Incarnate'


Hick gave some lectures at the U. of Calgary more
than 20 years ago, at a conference convened by

colleague Irving Hexham and others.

I much appreciated his creative insights into other 
faiths and people of no faith. He help me start on 
that journey to better understanding.


"The Myth of God Incarnate"

"John Hick" (Wikipedia Bio)

Thanks to J. Horman and W. Shantz for writing!



Vancouver, BC

Marjorie Remembers Blog
April 18th, 2014



Toronto, ON

Globe and Mail
April 17th, 2014

"Death is Not the Final Word"
(Remembering Jim Flaherty)


Chicago, IL

April 14th, 2014

"Pope Asks for Forgiveness"

(An Unusual Statement)


Okanagan, BC

Personal Web Log
April 13th, 2014

"Too Smart for Our Own Interest"


San Antonio, TX

Personal Web Site
April 13th, 2014

"The Transcript of Our Trial"



Reflection for Holy Week

Sojourners Online
April 17th, 2014


She Has Had an 'Experience'

April 17th, 2014


 Benedict in the Time of Francis

The Atlantic
April 19th, 2014

Pope Washes Feet of 
Women and Non-Catholics

The Tablet, UK
April 17th, 2014

Some Catholics are Offended
When Pope Washes Women's Feet

Religion News Service
April 16th, 2014


Magnificient Christian Legacy

Australian Broadcasting Company
April 18th, 2014


U of C President Speaks of Tragedy
Five Student Murders Shock Community

UToday (video) - wait for it to open
April 16th, 2014

UToday (text)
April 17th, 2014


Changing How We Talk Faith

Christianity Today
April 8th, 2014


Evangelical Woman Proud to be Lesbian

The Atlantic
April 17th, 2014


The Tradition Still Speaks to Moderns

Christianity Today
April 7th, 2014


Defense Minister Was Responsible for Mass Killings

National Catholic Reporter
April 17th, 2014


Enjoying the Benefits While Avoiding Addiction

Christian Post
April 15th, 2014



Provided by Sojourners and Bruderhof Online:

"To look at the Crucifix and then to look at our 
own hearts; to test by the cross the quality of 
our love – if we do that honestly and unflinchingly 
we don’t need any other self-examination. The 
lash, the crown of thorns, the mockery, the 
stripping, the nails – life has equivalents of all 
these for us and God asks a love for himself 
and his children which can accept and survive 
all that in the particular way in which it is offered 
to us. It is no use to talk in a large vague way 
about the love of God; here is its point of 
insertion in the world.

- Evelyn Underhill


"A fresh critical look is being taken at the issues 
of power and authority, and people are beginning 
to learn, however haltingly, to relate to one another 
in less coercive and more creatively supporting ways."

- Robert Greenleaf


"A genuine fast cleanses body, mind and soul. It crucifies 
the flesh and to that extent sets the soul free. A sincere 
prayer can work wonders."

- Mahatma Gandhi


“God has identified himself with the hungry, the sick, 
the naked, the homeless; hunger not only for bread, 
but for love, for care, to be somebody to someone; 
nakedness, not for clothing only, but nakedness of 
that compassion that very few people give to the 
unknown; homelessness, not only just for a shelter 
made from stone but for that homelessness that 
comes from having no one to call your own.”

- Mother Teresa


"My fight is not for racial sameness but for 
racial equality and against racial prejudice 
and discrimination."

- John Oliver Killens



From the Archives of
the New York Times

"Titanic Sinks After Hitting Iceberg"

"Lincoln Assassinated in Washington"

"Major Earthquake Hits San Francisco"

"Disastrous Bay of Pigs Invasion Against Cuba"



"The answer to injustice is not to silence the critic
  but to end the injustice."



"Near Death and Eternal Life"



No comments:

Post a Comment