Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Message from brother Youcef Nadarkhani

Message from  brother Youcef NadarkhaniThis is a message from  brother Youcef Nadarkhani, a pastor of an Iranian church who is remaining in prison and to be excected on 24 October 2010 (see articles below).  Our dear brother has been kept in custody since the October of 2009 and has recently been sentenced to death. This message has been translated from Farsi to English.  (for more information visit  http://presenttruthmn.com/) Dear brothers and sisters, Salam In the Name of our Lord Jesus Christ, I am continuously seeking grace and mercy to you, that you remember me and those who are bearing efforts for his name in your prayers. Your loyalty to God is the cause of my strength and encouragement. For I know well that you will be rewarded; as it’s stated: blessed is the one who has faith, for what has been said to him by God, will be carried out.  As we believe, heaven and earth will fade but his word will still remain.Dear beloved ones, I would like to take this opportunity to remind you of a few verses, although you might know them, So that in everything, you gu give more effort than the past, both to prove your election, and for the sake of Gospel that is to be preached to the entire world as well. I know that not all of us are granted to keep this word, but to those who are granted this power and this revelation, I announce the same as Jude, earnestly contend for the faith that was once delivered to the saints.We are passing by special and sensitive days.They are days that for an alert and awake believer can be days of spiritual growth and progress. Because for him, more than any other time there is the possibility to compare his faith with the word of God, have God’s promises in mind, and survey his faith. Therefore he (the true believer) does not need to wonder for the fiery trial that has been set on for him as though it were something unusual, but it pleases him to participate in Christ’s suffering.Because the believer knows he will rejoice in his glory. Dears, the “ judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God? And if the righteous scarcely be saved, where shall the ungodly and the sinner appear?” Therefore those who are enduring burdens by the will of God, commit their souls to the faithful Creator. Promises that he has given us, are unique and precious. As we’ve heard he has said: “Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you” How can it be possible for a believer to understand these words? Not only when he is focusing on Jesus Christ with adapting his life according to the life Jesus lived when he was on earth? As it is said ” O fools, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken: Ought not Christ to have suffered these things, and to enter into his glory? And it is easier for heaven and earth to pass, than one tittle of the law to fail.” Have we not read and heard: Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it. Many attempt to flee from their spiritual tests, and they have to face those same tests in a more difficult manner, because no one will be victorious by escaping from them, but with patience and humility he will be able to overcome all the tests, and gain victory.  Therefore in the place of Christ’s followers, we must not feel desperate, but we have to pray to God in supplication with more passion to help us with any assistance we may need. According to what Paul has said: In every temptation, God himself will make a way for us to tolerate it.O beloved ones, difficulties do not weaken mankind, but they reveal the true human nature. It will be good for us to occasionally face persecutions and abnormalities, since these abnormalities will persuade us to search our hearts, and to survey ourselves. So as a result, we conclude that troubles are difficult, but usually good and useful to build us. Dear brothers and sisters, we must be more careful than any other time.Because in these days, the hearts and thoughts of many are revealed, so that the faith is tested. May your treasure be where there is no moth and rust. I would like to remind you of some verses that we nearly discuss everyday, (Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.) but as long as our human will has priority over God’s will, his will will not be done. As we have learned from him in Gethsemane, he surrendered his will to the father, “My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will.” What we are bearing today, is a difficult but not unbearable situation, because neither he has tested us more than our faith and our endurance, nor does he do as such. And as we have known from before, we must beware not to fail, but to advance in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, And consider these bumps and prisons as opportunities to testify to his name. He said: If anyone is ashamed of me and my words, the Son of Man will be ashamed of him when he comes in his glory and in the glory of the Father and of the holy angels. As a small servant, necessarily in prison to carry out what I must do, I say with faith in the word of God that he will come soon.”However, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on the earth?” Discipline yourself with faith in the word of God. Retain your souls with patience. For there is no man that doeth any thing in secret, and he himself seeketh to be known openly.May you are granted grace and blessings increasingly in the name of Lord Jesus Christ.Yusef NadarkhaniLakan Prison in Rasht2/June/2010 Next few days Critical - Youcef Update (see original article below)The next few days are very critical days in the case of Brother Youcef Nadarkhani, who is currently in solitary confinement. According to our sources, unfortunately, the Rasht politicians have been very un-cooperative with Youcef’s attorney.A written verdict is necessary to appeal to the supreme court of Iran and as of yet they have not provided the written verdict, it has only been given verbally to Youcef and his attorney. No written notice has been given. The attorney was informed this week that Youcef may be executed anytime without even having the opportunity to appeal.This is a very strange situation and many that are involved are puzzled at how it is proceeding.Remember him in your prayers and ask that God would give him strength to overcome and endure through this process so that he would honor and glorify Jesus Christ through it.Adapted from www.presenttruthmn/blog/days-critical-youcef-update/Attacked: Elderly Christian Couple: Pakistan (compass)SARGODHA, Pakistan, October 21 (CDN) — An 80-year-old Christian in southern Punjab Province said Muslims beat him and his 75-year-old wife, breaking his arms and legs and her skull, because he refused a prostitute they had offered him.

From his hospital bed in Vehari, Emmanuel Masih told Compass by telephone that two powerful Muslim land owners in the area, brothers Muhammad Malik Jutt and Muhammad Khaliq Jutt, accompanied by two other unidentified men, brought a prostitute to his house on Oct. 8. Targeting him as a Christian on the premise that he would not have the social status to fight back legally, the men ordered him to have sex with the woman at his residence in village 489-EB, he said.“I turned down the order of the Muslim land owners, which provoked the ire of those four Muslim men,” Masih said in a frail voice. District Headquarters Hospital (DHQ) Vehari officials confirmed that he suffered broken hip, arm and leg bones in the subsequent attack.His wife, Inayatan Bibi, said she was cleaning the courtyard of her home when she heard the four furious men brutally striking Masih in her house. “I tried to intervene to stop them and pleaded for mercy, and they also thrashed me with clubs and small pieces of iron rods,” she said by telephone. Berkat said the Muslim assailants initially intimidated Fateh Shah police into refraining from filing charges against them. After intervention by Berkat and Albert Patras, director of human rights group Social Environment Protection, police reluctantly registered a case against the Jutt brothers and two unidentified accomplices for attempted murder and “assisting to devise a crime.” The First Information Report (FIR) number is 281/10.Death sentence confirmed: Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani: Iran (ANS)TEHRAN, IRAN (ANS) -- A Christian pastor in Iran who was sentenced to death for what is being called a "thought crime" has less than a week to live.  Advocates for Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani told ASSIST News that while all of the other prisoners arrested in a wide-ranging crackdown by Iranian authorities have been released, Nadarkhani still faces the death penalty on October 24. Present Truth Ministries (www.presenttruthmn.com ) says all detained recently by the Iranian Government, except for Youcef and one other pastor who is awaiting one more judge to pass the death sentence, are now free from prison.   The ministry says Youcef only has one more week before his sentence is due to be carried out. Sunday, October 24 is the date of his impending execution. However, the ministry did have good news to share about Youcef's wife, known affectionately as "Sister Tina."  Pastor Youcef and 'Sister Tina' Nadarkhani (Courtesy Present Truth Ministries). Writing on the ministry webblog, Jason DeMars says: "We have received news that Monday, October 11, Fatemeh Pasandideh (Youcef Nadarkhani's wife) has been released! A second trial was held and she was acquitted and released and is now home with her two children! What a wonderful thing to be thankful for on Thanksgiving!! (in Canada)."   DeMars had just received a report that Fatemeh Pasandideh (Sister Tina), the wife of pastor Youcef Nadarkhani was released as of early last week.  DeMars writes: "Previously, she had been convicted and sentenced to life in prison for the 'thought crime' of converting to Christianity."   He continued: "The attorney that was hired appealed the verdict and a new trial was held. She was acquitted of the crime and released. She has now been reunited with her two boys. Give thanks to God our Father and our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ for his grace and mercy in answering our prayers and allowing sister Tina to be released."DeMars asks Chrstians in the West to continue to pray for Sister Tina's husband, Youcef Nadarkhani and to approach government authorities to lobby for Youcef's acquittal and release. "He is still in prison and has been sentenced to death. We have a week to spread the word to others to pray and to inform government officials of the violation of his human rights."   DeMars said Nadarkhani was convicted of converting to Christianity and bringing others to faith in Christ.  DeMars added: "Pray also for pastor Behrouz Sadegh-Khandjani, who is being held in prison in Shiraz, Iran and has been given limited contact with his family and his attorney.   "It is reported that he is being held in the area of the prison that holds HIV and Hepatitis patients and that he is quite ill. He will not talk about it to those with whom he speaks, however, he barely has a voice. Please pray for them and ask God to deliver them from the hands of their enemies."   According to webblogs following the case, Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani, responsible for one of the largest Protestant communities in Iran, "has been" sentenced to death for apostasy Saturday, October 2 by the 11th Chamber of The Assize Court of the province of Gilan.  This information was given to his lawyer Nasser Sarbaz. It was communicated to him verbally, news sources said. Pastor Youcef was transferred after the verdict from Lakan prison to another place of detention, which is under the direction of the Political Police of The Islamic Republic.  Pastor Youcef was arrested in October 2009 for protesting against a decision of the Corporation to impose Koranic teaching to his son. Iran adheres, at least officially, to the Charter of Human Rights and the Iranian Constitution recognizes the right to religious freedom and according to Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad there is no thought crimes law in Iran.   There is a petition to the Iranian Government in several languages www.petitiononline.com/IRANPET/petition.html  to have Youcef released.   The petition asks Iranian Presidemt Ahmadinejad to release Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani, Fatemeh Pasandideh, Fatemeh Kojouri Tork ( the wife of Pastor Behrouz), Mehdi and Mina Kerbalayi and their mother, Nahid, Brother Afshin, Sister Mahsa, brother mid, Sister Nasrin, Pastor Behnam Irani, Pastor Behrouz Sadegh immediately, without charges.  Concerned believers are being asked to contact the German government and human rights associations to let them know about this problem. Www.worthynews.com  reports Pastor Youcef faces execution after two judges agreed to make him "liable to capital punishment," as part of a crackdown on the growing Protestant church movement in the Islamic nation.Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani was detained in June along with wife Fatemeh Pasandideh in the city of Rasht in northwestern Iran because of their Christian activities, Iranian Christians said.  A senior pastor of the Church of Iran movement, which includes house churches across the country, told Worthy News that judges had "already signed" an Islamic order that would potentially allow a death sentence for Nadarkhani, pending further investigations. The pastor usually speaks on condition of anonymity amid security concerns.   News of the execution overshadowed joy over the release of two Church of Iran Christians, a man and a woman, and the expected release this week on bail of two other members, who the movement only identified as "brothers Mehdi and Afshin." MORE DETENTIONSWorthynews.com reports they were part of a group of eight Church of Iran members detained June 18, according to the senior pastor. One of them, a pastor's wife identified as Fatemeh Kojouri Tork, remained in Tehran's notorious Evin prison Tuesday, July 13, while her husband, Behrouz Sadegh Khanjani, was kept in isolation in a security prison in the southwestern city of Shiraz, the Christian leader said.  "We still do not hear from Reverend Behrouz Khanjani..." Iranian Christians have also expressed concerns about reports of other detentions, including last month's capture of Pastor Behnam Irani in the city of Karaj, 20 kilometers (12.5 miles) west of Tehran.  Several believers have allegedly been mistreated, sources said.  "We have learned that information that [security forces] have been using substances to extract confessions from Christians," the senior pastor said.  Iranian officials have not commented on the cases, the sources stated. AUTHORITIES CONCERNEDWortheynews.com also says religious rights groups have linked the crackdown to concern among authorities about growing churches and the spread of Christianity among Muslims in the country.Church sources say the number of Christians in Iran has grown from 500 known believers in 1979 to at least 100,000 today.   President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has reportedly said the government needed to halt the growing movement of house churches across Iran.  Under Iran's strict interpretation of Islam, "apostasy" -- or the formal renunciation of religion -- is punishable by death. One Christian persecution watchdog reports that over the last decade, the Iranian church has grown significantly and estimates now say the total number of Christians in Iran to be about 450,000.  The group said the government has intentionally sought to stop this growth and make it impossible for Christians to practice their religion.  Although churches connected to minority groups, such as Armenians and Assyrians, are allowed to teach their own people in their own language, it is forbidden to minister to people with a Muslim background (speaking Farsi). Please pray:1. Remember believers such as Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani, Fatemeh Kojouri Tork, Behrouz Sadegh Khanjani and Pastor Behnam who are in prison because of their faith. Ask God to strengthen them physically, emotionally and spiritually, so that they will be a 'light in the darkness.'2. Thank God that despite the horrendous circumstances for Christians in Iran and the opposition they face from the government, the church is growing.3. Pray for the house church movement, which is responsible for much of the growth of the church. Ask God to protect its leaders and give them wisdom and understanding.The death sentence imposed on Pastor Youcef is expected to be carried out by October 24.Please feel free to forward this email to members of your church, friends and family.

brother Youcef Nadarkhani, a pastor of an Iranian church who is remaining in prison and to be executed on 24 October 2010

Thursday, October 21, 2010


Q. 3) William Ellery Channing
Meyer (1973) paints the Reverend Channing, venerated by the more definitively Transcendentalist Emerson and Fuller, not as an innovator, nor as a great thinker, but posits rather that, “Channing summed up well what many people were thinking and wanted to hear” (p. 173) – in other words, he represented the evolving nature of American thought in his day.  Here was “the best of the Puritan past” moving towards “intelligent adaptability to change and a spirit of sensible optimism concerning the future of the still new nation” (ibid).  The current study seeks to understand the social, political and religious contexts in which Channing formed his thoughts, as well as exploring the legacy of this remarkable individual.
Late eighteenth-century American Unitarianism had roots in sixteenth- and seventeenth-century Socianism, a theological movement associated with John Locke and with the Latitudinarians.  From here was derived an emphasis on free will, moralism, the role and capacity of reason,” as well as the belief that Christianity included only a very few fundamental doctrines necessary for salvation (Marshall, 1998). This movement was ”explicitly undogmatic but centred on disbelief in the Trinity, (and) original sin” with emphasis on the prophetic role of Christ, the use of reason in the interpretation of Scripture over and above “creeds, traditions and church authority,” as well as a concern for religious toleration” (ibid). Schneider (1938) posits three forces which influenced Channing’s formation which are of import to the question at hand.  The first was Pietism, via Jonathan Edwards’s Calvinism, with its “renewed attention to questions of personal piety and devotion” (Guelzo, 1998).  The second was natural religion (or natural theology), which “consists of truths about God which are either (1) self-evident or evident to sense perception, or (2) derived by deductively valid proofs the (ultimate) premises of which are self-evident or evident to sense perception(MacDonald, 1998).  The third force named by Schneider is republicanism (or liberalism), with consideration of “the importance of civic virtue and political participation, the dangers of corruption, the benefits of a mixed constitution and the rule of law” wherein “the paramount republican value is political liberty, understood as non-domination or independence from arbitrary power” (Lovett, 2008).  Further influences on the young Channing include the Great Awakening (module 4), an evangelical movement of the 1740's (which) played a key role in the development of democratic concepts in the period of the American Revolution,believed to be “a precursor to the War of Independence and the New Lights, who believed that salvation was more important than religious training” (The Wikipedia).  One cannot ignore the importance of another source, that of Enlightenment Rationalism and Scottish Common Sense Philosophy (module 4), which is taken as “a general confidence in the powers of the human intellect, in opposition to faith and blind acceptance of institutional authority, as a source of knowledge” (Markie, 1998).
Having considered some of the influences on Channing in the context of late eighteenth-century American Unitarianism, it follows to survey some of his most important writings. In his 1819 sermon, Unitarian Christianity,” Channing presents a defense of reason and its usefulness to the project of biblical study.  An explanation of the Unitarian rejection of trinity is followed by a statement of belief in the “moral perfection of God,” aimed at undermining orthodox religion’s emphasis on sin and judgment.  Channing goes on to argue for Jesus as a moral example to be followed and provides a discussion of the meaning of Christ’s death.  After this, he provides exhortations on the virtues of loving God, Jesus and one’s fellow-humans.  Taking up the charge of the reformer, he reiterates the ills of traditional forms of religion:  “sheltering under the name of pious zeal the love of domination, the conceit of infallibility, and the spirit of intolerance, and trampling on men's rights under the pretence of saving their souls (Channing, 1819).  The text is seen to have had an integrating effect on the Unitarian movement, giving definition to its liberal tendencies, in contradistinction to the Calvinists (Robinson, 2004).
In “Likeness to God” (1828), Channing discourses on the potential of humanity’s higher nature: “true religion consists in proposing, as our great end, a growing likeness to the Supreme Being”.  He speculates that this ascension is the means by which we can “enjoy God (and) the universe” – an ambition compatible with the American “pursuit of happiness” (Schneider, p. 4).  Channing’s kinship with Plato and the Idealists is evident in this work and his exhortation to preachers to “turn men's aspirations and efforts to that perfection of the soul, which constitutes it a bright image of God” (Channing, 1928) make this sermon a practical bridge en route to Transcendentalist thought
In “Slavery” (1835), Channing attacks the policy of human beings as property, using arguments based on “Rights”, Essential Equality and the imago dei
“He cannot be property in the sight of God and justice, because he is a Rational, Moral, Immortal Being; because created in God's image, and therefore in the highest sense his child; because created to unfold godlike faculties, and to govern himself by a Divine Law written on his heart, and republished in God's Word”  (Channing, 1835).
Other important works not to be considered here which were also written by Channing include a pacifist sermon, “War” (1816), “Spiritual Freedom” (1830) and “Self-Culture” (1838).  Rather, it follows from this brief digest of some of Channing’s writings and thought, to consider which contemporary religious, social, and political issues captured the attention of our subject.
As a student, being reared, as were his fellows at Harvard in a conservative, Brahmin milieu (module 4, p. 6), Channing was a Federalist and thus not sympathetic towards the ideals of the French Revolution.  For a time during a visit to Richmond, he expressed socialist tendencies, decrying the “distinctions of property” which, if not borne out later in full extent, at least demonstrated a concern for “the place of government in American life” (Reinhardt, 156).  During the next few years, while preparing for the ministry, he recanted these early political musings, recognizing government as a civilizing force, yet with the decline of Federalism and the rise of Jacksonianism, Channing ended up disillusioned, with rather eclectic views on politics (ibid, 157).  This led him to search for repair to society in the development of the individual conscience, a project which was to be aided by the “coercive sovereignty” of the Republic, naturally providing justification, for Channing, for the War of 1812 (ibid, 158).  This emphasis on the need for strong government was held in check by the promise of a time when (wo)men would rule themselves by virtue of their heightened consciences - until then, its role would be simply to “secure to us the unobstructed exercise of our powers in working out blessings for ourselves” (ibid, 160).  As he became disenchanted with the abuses of government and its aid in securing monopolies for privileged classes, Channing advocated for “little government”, placing hope instead on a “transcendent individualism” (ibid, 160-61).  In this he pursued the elevation of the laboring classes not by political action but by education, a manifestation of “Self-culture”, which sought “to make the man equal to his own support by awakening in him the spirit and the powers of a man” (ibid, 161-62).  Channing’s concern for the underprivileged was best seen in his support for the abolitionist movement during his later years, as evidenced by his treatise, “Slavery” and his thoughts on the necessity of personal growth were important in the genesis of proto-feminist thought, notably in the writings of Fuller (Robinson, 84-85).
Having examined the influence of contemporary religious, social and political thought on Channing during various stages of his life, it follows to turn to a consideration of how the man’s writings exemplify both establishment Unitarianism and revolutionary Transcendentalism.
Ladu (1939) provides a clear understanding of Channing’s rapport to establishment Unitarianism and revolutionary Transcendentalism, highlighting his role as a bridge between the two.  With respect to the former, he relates that Channing agreed with Unitarians in:  their rejection of Calvinism, the unity of God, the dignity of humans, Jesus’ role as a moral exemplar, as well as his belief in a “spirit of free inquiry” (p. 130).  However, as the group later tended towards formality in creed, Channing identified with them less and began criticizing them more.  As a transition towards Transcendentalism, Channing is said to have migrated from the Unitarian belief that (wo)man is essentially good to the opinion that humans are divine (Ibid, 132).  Thus he shared with the Transcendentalists a zeal for the individual project, although he differed from them notably in their rejection of miracles (ibid).  More conservative than the later Transcendentalists in political thought, Channing inclined towards Republicanism rather than democracy, yet he maintained his dissimilarity from the religious establishment in his Platonic ideals, which he derived from reading such authors as Price and Madame de Staël. Channing held to “an idealistic version of Unitarianism against Locke and Priestley, and he used the doctrine that ‘almost every object in nature grows gradually, from a weak and low, to a mature and improved state of being’” (Schneider, 14).  His pietism extended towards social concern, with the notion of duty following less along political lines (i.e., of service of to a republic out of greed) than religious. His notion of liberty, too, became distanced from the merely civic and took on the form of a personal morality whose aim was to combat the enemies of “republicanism, rationalism, and pietism,” which were, namely, “Slavery, bigotry, and worldliness” (Ibid, 19-20).   Schneider sums up the transition:  “Channing began virtually  a  pietist,  with  a socialized  version  of  the  theology  of  regeneration; he  ended virtually a humanitarian,  with a firm faith  in human nature” (Ibid, 21).
Now, having investigated all these things, in order to learn more about the legacy of Channing, one might consider which of his writings most influenced New England Transcendentalists.  The most direct link is made to “Likeness to God”, in which direct communion with God’s mind via self-knowledge is promoted and the divinity of humanity is highlighted in a redefinition of religion from the traditional to a more personal, Idealist conception: 
“In truth, the beauty and glory of God's works are revealed to the mind by a light beaming from itself. We discern the impress of God's attributes in the universe, by accordance of nature, and enjoy them through sympathy. -- I hardly need observe, that these remarks in relation to the universe apply with equal, if not greater force, to revelation.” (Channing, 1828).
There is also nascent in this work a helpful notion of moral responsibility:  ”It is the lawgiver in our own breasts, which gives us the idea of divine authority, and binds us to obey it.”  It is this idea of conscience which leads, for some transcendentalists, to a theory of social reform.

Works Cited
Channing, William Ellery. Unitarian Christianity” (1819). http://www.transcendentalists.com/unitarian_christianity.htm (accessed July 29, 2009).
Channing, William Ellery. “Likeness to God” (1828). http://www.americanunitarian.org/likeness.htm (accessed July 29, 2009).  
Channing, William Ellery. “Slavery(1835). http://www.americanunitarian.org/slavery.htm (accessed July 29, 2009).  
Guelzo, Allen C. (1998). Pietism. In E. Craig (Ed.), Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy. London: Routledge. Retrieved July 29, 2009, from http://www.rep.routledge.com.proxy.queensu.ca/article/K068.
Ladu, Arthur I.  "Channing and Transcendentalism."  American Literature Vol. 11 (1939):  129-137.
Lovett, Frank. (2008). Republicanism. In Edward N. Zalta (Ed.), The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Retrieved July 29, 2009, from http://plato.stanford.edu/archives/fall2008/entries/republicanism.
MacDonald, Scott (1998). Natural theology. In E. Craig (Ed.), Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy. London: Routledge. Retrieved July 29, 2009, from http://www.rep.routledge.com.proxy.queensu.ca/article/K107.
Markie, Peter J. (1998). Rationalism. In E. Craig (Ed.), Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy. London: Routledge. Retrieved July 29, 2009, from http://www.rep.routledge.com.proxy.queensu.ca/article/P041.
Marshall, John (1998). Socinianism. In E. Craig (Ed.), Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy. London: Routledge. Retrieved July 29, 2009, from http://www.rep.routledge.com.proxy.queensu.ca/article/DA069.
Meyer, D. H.  "The Saint as Hero: William Ellery Channing and the Nineteenth-Century Mind." The Winterthur Portfolio, Vol. 8 (1973): 171-185. 
Reinhardt, John E.  'The Evolution of William Ellery Channing's Sociopolitical Ideas".  American Literature, Vol. 26 (May 1954):  154-165.
Robinson, David M.  "Margaret Fuller and the Transcendental Ethos:  Woman in the Nineteenth Century."  PMLA Vol. 97 (1982):  83-98.
Robinson, David M. (Ed.), William Ellery Channing: Selected Writings (Sources of American Spirituality)New York, 1985. Retrieved July 29, 2009, from http://www.americanunitarian.org/channing.htm.
Schneider, Herbert Wallace.  "The Intellectual Background of William Ellery Channing."  Church History Vol. 7 (March 1938):  3-23.
The Wikipedia. Great Awakening.  Retrieved July 29, 2009, from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_awakening.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

She is Alive

I greet you in the matchless name of our Lord and savior Jesus Christ.

I hope you are doing great in His name and for His glory. Today I would like
to share with you about a awesome miracle that happens in the life of a
Christian sister Shama.

Shama will die within 15-20 minutes, doctors told to her husband and
relatives after 22 days in a hospital. She was in coma and continually on
ventilation. It is an amazing and true story about the power of our Lord
Jesus Christ that this lady Shama who is in red suit (I can send you
pictures if you want) was sick and admitted in 7th Day Adventist Hospital
Karachi for 22 days and doctors said she is no more after a few minutes. Go
and do some necessary arrangements to take her dead body to home and bring
ambulance etc because she will die after 15-20 minutes. All of the relatives
started crying and mourning.

Prayer warriors like a young Pastor Nathaniel and his team said “Lord I want
you to show your glory through this miracle, I don’t want to see Satan
laughing”. He and his team were in prayer. I was invited also to come and
pray for her at 11pm and I went in ICU while she was on ventilation.

Now because of the cooperative prayers of many believers the Lord our God
has performed an unexpected miracle and healed her instantly.  Doctors were
surprise to see that how it could happen. Our Lord makes surprise to the
people of this world and no doubt the carnal mind people can not understand
His great and mighty works.

Day before yesterday the family of Shama arranged a great thanksgiving
meeting and asked me to come and preach. It was a huge meeting where around
250 people were gathered. There were testimonies, tears, praising,
happiness, crying and much mix emotions. Shama gave her testimony and every
one was surprised.

Finaly Shama’s brother said to her husband Nadeem and his family that now
our sister Shama is again in red suit as a bride and take her home along
with you now. She is Alive, Heleloya. While I am writing this, there are
tears in my eyes because of the wonderful and awesome works of our Lord and
I praise the Lord who does great and mighty things in our lives. If you want
to see the pictures of this program and Shama then I can send you via
e-mail. May the Lord our God bless you and use you more and more for the
extension of His Kingdom.

Your brother in Him

Naveed Malik


"We went through the fire and water, but you brought us to a place of
(Psalm 66:12)
Please visit: www.newlifeinstitute.org

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Captain's bLog: Salvation Army International Theology & Ethics Symposium Begins (Report 1)

Captain's bLog: Salvation Army International Theology & Ethics Symposium Begins (Report 1)

blissful anon

When we sense the smallnesses in one another then we may merge our purposes into the unitive of shared existence - it's fishin all 'round as our inner hopes and dreams aspire to play in one another's insensate oceans blissful anon

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Of the Woodcarver, Time and Don Quixote

Inspired by the Painting De Historia et Veritate by Richard Pentelbury - my beloved grade nine English teacher

It was a lovely day for an auction in the field on the Plains of Abraham by Quebec - circa nontime - and a small crowd of curious and not-so-curious onlookers had gathered by a great oak tree to watch a woodcarver at his work.
"Ah, at long last!" exclaimed the Baron. "This fine piece will look magnificent in my Hall. Alright woodcarver, name your price. No cost is too great for so beautiful a statue!" He reached into a small leather pouch and shook his coins invitingly.
"Actually," said Helen of Troy slavishly. "I think it's quite atrocious." She shifted her feet ever so slightly but her lithe body jiggled invitingly nevertheless. "What is it anyway?" she demanded.
"That, my dear, is a carving of Don Quixote, a fictionary peasant who thought he was a knight. A man by the name of Cervantes wrote after the Golden Age of Knighthood, in order to mock its archaic ways," said Mr. Doe.
"Very good, dear. Very good," cooed Mrs. Doe, her right hand sliding across his shoulder.
"The Golden Age of what?" questioned Helen.
"Of knighthood. You see, about six hundred years-"
"Enough!" exclaimed the impatient Baron. "Look," he said, turning to the woodcarver. "I am prepared to give you three hundred gold pieces for your wonderful work," he said, taking out the coins.
"Woodcarver, I will give you two hundred pounds for that superlative creation. Come, come, Baron! You cannot top that!" challenged Mr. Doe, standing upright.
"Who do you think you are?" said a young man beside the statue. "I will give you ten thousand ru-"
"Look here, my dear man, surely you will give this pièce de résistance to me," said the dwarfed but proud Napoleon, atop a tree stump. "I will make you a general in my army," he added, his gutteral R's revealing his heritage.
The young man was fuming, along with the Baron and Mr. John Doe. "I will offer you fifty thousand rubles!" he yelled.
"One thousand gold pieces!"
"One thousand pounds!" The bidding erupted, numbers flew past the cricketeers, who paused momentarily to see what was happening. The woodcarver remained expressionless despite the anxiety directed towards him.
"Woodcarver," said a dulcet voice, cushioned by ecstatic melodies. "I will buy the statue for a song." It was the delicate woman in the red dress. A light breeze undid her loosely held hair, magnifying her loveliness tenfold. Her skin glowed pink from cheek to cheek and her dress billowed out around her feet. She was truly magnificent.
"Sing, then, beautiful maiden, and the carving will be yours," said the woodcarver, breaking his silence.
The red lady sang. She sang a song so perfect and beautiful that the cricket players behind them stopped their match to listen and the quarreling men stopped their duel of words. It was a song without music, but music was not needed. She sang so wonderfully well that the reverberations of her words were the soft hummings of harps. A lark flew down from the great tree and atop her shoulder, it sang with the angel in red.
It was a duet like none had ever heard before, nor were likely to hear again. The sun peered out from behind the afternoon clouds, and in the background, the soft lapping of the waves sang in harmony with the two ethereal creatures. And when it was over, everyone, everything- faded into the ebbing final notes, and the lark and the red lady flew into the sun with their well-earned prize.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010


Here's some pieces written while I was in seminary...

Who descends upon the eagle but the sun?
Woos a ruler like the Holy One?
To move the stone; dare to pray
And watch as waters fell the gate

 September 11, 2009 01:36PM

The trinity held a conference on the bishops' resolutions
to see if love would be a good solution...
They shook hands and signed a great decree
That life be given those who see
in themselves the enemy.
 September 11, 2009 01:36PM

Shedding our skins
Reason and sins
All washed away in His blood

Friendship and kin
Wrestling within
Placed at the feet of His love

Oh where have they gone
Sinner and song
Betrothed, bequeathed, enough!
 September 11, 2009 01:36PM

O Lord You surround me with grace
From birth to death and beyond.
Though I fail to do what your law says,
Enable me to fulfill your command.
Your grace is the answer, your grace is the key.
Let your grace heal the cancer,
Of my thoughts towards me.
Let your love wash me gently,
Let your love make me pure.
In the grace you have mend me,
For grace is the cure.
 September 11, 2009 01:36PM

Lord You called me into Your light
Covering o'er all my fright
Infused by grace to be made just
Not in human works to trust
Yet calling deeper asked of me
To share in merit and in glory
Though sinner am I and sinner might be
I now take part in redemption story
With Christ o'er all, perfect forever
Full of truth and holiest favour..
 September 11, 2009 01:37PM

O God You have given me a wondrous gift,
Which of my own works I could never merit.
Through grace you have given me new life,
Married me to the eternal Christ.
When I ascribe truth to You,
You fit me with a righteous hue.
Then freely may I do Thy deeds,
Helping all my neighbour's need.
Thy knowledge is a shield for me,
May it ever keep me in peace.
 September 11, 2009 01:37PM

Though my first father sinned and died
In second Adam I am justified.
You called me, Lord, though I knew You not,
Gave me grace, free and co-opt'd.
Your word awakened faith in me,
Turned me turning to set me free.
Your mercy, then, has made me just,
To do good works and thus,
Confirm my call and my election,
Secured through Christ in Your affection.
 September 11, 2009 01:37PM

It may be that I am perfectly made,
Endowed with natural ability.
Or it may be that I need grace,
Added by Your love so free.
Whether grace transcends
Or whether it is immanent,
Grace enables, ennobles me,
Allowing me to be Your friend.
Grace, therefore, it is required,
Send me grace, O noble Sire!
 September 11, 2009 01:37PM

Togetherness, to gather us
Forever Thou and I
Sensual-willed, though caritas
Still beckons to my sky
A millionaire?
A million stars
Burst upon my eye
And Father dare
Call Being ours
Where Thou dost meet the I.
 September 11, 2009 01:38PM

Paper thin
sense and skin
bewilders blinds and beckons

Justice when?
forgive my kin
tho twisted wish to reckon

Believers fair
believers true
believe i me
believe then you?

A martyr's fate
Enlisted late
Believers are not forgotten

 September 11, 2009 01:38PM

I come up from the streets
Raw, abased, full of defeat.
Who will know me?
Who will mark my place?

Genteel and disturbed by gentility
I walk gently along the curb
Searching for my lover
Seeking her as fodder
Seeking her as rain
Come in for forgiveness
Come in thru this pain

My heart astounded, plundered
My furrows in the now
My costumes buckling under
The folly of the proud
Am I yet to be found?
Am I yet to be found?

All guts & glory
Yet no remains
No remains forever
Forever in the found
No remains forever
Forever in the clouds
With You my Lord
Forever in the clouds

Am I stealing thunder
Am I calling now
The pristine and the wonder
Do I my calling doubt?
Am I awaiting victory?
Am I still in defeat?

Are You not forever with me?
In every song I meet?
With victory and flavour
The kingdom's all around
For Jesus has picked me
Therefore I am found
Therefore I am

 September 11, 2009 01:38PM

Go to your husbands
Go to your wives
Keep faith with yourselves
While you're still alive

Justice is coming
Though mercy still rains
Old tunes that we're drumming
Bear fruit tho with pain...
bear fruit though with pain

What jezebel's stolen
(Sweet waters she claims)
Been told where it's goin'
Still couldn't refrain

Am I pharisaical?
Sight colored with pride?
Could you then be prayerful
And stand by my side

Awaken the dawn comes!
And shaken we rise
To pay for what we've done
And hope for the prize

I ask God for wisdom
That I might be wise
that i might be wise
 September 11, 2009 01:39PM

i made myself a stepping stone
so climb upon my head
'scend 'pon it to heaven's throne
you'll find a gentle tread

then laying all your burden there
give up your life, your all
and taking up your ploughing-share
be seeded to the call

someday someone else shall come
to rest upon your stone
as Jesus builds us one by one
into a Spirit-home

This is a poem i wrote for a friend at the loss of her father in 1993...


I will visit you
in wells of solitude
a pilgrim
breath held quietly in my palm
like petals in autumn

You will visit me
when I am singing, unawares
make the world stop
squeeze my soul with a sadder song

Where are you my potter?
I drown in steps you carved for me
Stumble through my lines
Freeze in time.

These are the lyrics to a song i wrote for my wife while we were still just friends

(A D)
Martha Martha why do you run to and fro
See the kingdom here and now
Look on your sister Mary
She has chosen what is right
Come and sit here in the light
Martha Martha why do you run (C A C A)
(A D)
Martha Martha put down your tools
Forget 'bout all the rules
Come and sit I will give you rest
life is a gift and not a test
Martha Martha (C A C A)
(A D)
Martha Martha look at the cross
And count all things as lost
I am the resurrection and the life
You are the church, my wife
Martha Martha (C A C A)

Something i found scribbled in blue highlighting on the back of some lab notes from years ago...

We might discover at last, in the sunset of our relationship, thru the veil of friendship, that what has blossomed between us, without any effort or deliberate movement, is love - not fragile like a rose, but as solid as our years of struggle against one another, and as hearty as the laughter we have now for the laughter which was once so stunted.
Sitting beside her I felt as though she were several miles away... not so much because of the distance of our spirits, but because of the fragility of her voice.

Here's something from years back (gr. 12, 1988)...

The rains will start...
Theirs is an intangible pressure
My arm sweeps faintly across a humid vision-
I left my body on a distant shore
Words I never thought to speak
Form from dryness in my throat:
"What drives me forward
is a consistency which lies behind me."
Vultures tear at webs around my heart,
Soaring higher and farther with my soul
But the image is false-
I cannot grasp the secrets of the universe
Falling inward now, the vision forms...
A shining city of citadels
Borne of freely drifting thoughts
Ringed by frenzied cotton-clouds
Sitting on the hump of an emerald tortoise...
A jeweled tear blurs all at once
Tumbling once more, and toppling there
What once stood firmly implanted; a sentinel
At last true wings form
Flight is knowledge in the glorious sun
And revelation lifts my lids...
A new awakening

(on the flipside of the same tattered page was this...)

Drifting among the lilypads,
She waits
The world is born
Then, scarcely a wink,
And all is dust.
The subject of all her thoughts...
Temptation, frustration
A flickering at the edge of consciousness-
No. It is only the sun, going out.
The old man, in the back of her mind...
Snickering, snickering
The love is false, a house of glass,
Reflecting her own whimsical desires.
But still she waits, in a garden of smiling poppies.
Across the bridge, the universe reawakens, beckons...
All is but a handful of sand beside her jewel.
The river flows past, patterns of life dancing like fairies in her water,
But her shawl is drawn across the eyes.
And now, a stirring in the bush-
He wipes her tears with joy and love,
And together, they dance to the one drummer,
Whose beat is chaos and perfection all at once .

Friday, October 1, 2010

Skid Notes


1.        *The Art of Theological Reflection.
Patricia O’Connell Killen and John De Beer.  New York, Crossroads, 1994 and 2000. *This text is available in TST libraries.  Required reading:                 Introduction, Chapters 1 and 2, (p. viii - 45).
2.        The Globe and Mail.  Saturday
September 6, 2008,  GLOBE FOCUS p. 1 and 3, “Jean Vanier: A Conversation Begins” by Ian Brown. 3.              
The Velveteen Rabbit (Google reference)
Full text of the book by Margery Williams with
illustrations by William Nicholson. Originally published in 1922 digital.library.upenn.edu/women/williams/rabbit/rabbit.html

3.        Your Learning Agreement
and Learning


Reading 1:        
The Art of Theological Reflection
One-page synthesis for each of: Introduction, Chapter 1, Chapter 2 Total: 3 synthesis pages Reading 2:        
The Globe and Mail, Ian Brown
article on Jean Vanier                 4-6 sentences offering: *Purpose, Point, Presuppositions, Praxis Value Reading 3:        
The Velveteen Rabbit
               8-10 sentences offering *Purpose, Point,
Presuppositions, Praxis Value Reading 4:        Re-read your
and Learning
for recall
*Purpose:                  A hidden question:  Why does the author
write? *
Point:                The author’s answer
*Presupposition:        What is the author presuming about you
the reader? *
Praxis Value                Of what worth to you/others is this text?