Know your heresy: Docetism

Docetism, is a heretical sect that developed within the early church, its name is derived from the Greek word dokesis which means "semblance" they are particularly dangerous for the Christian faith because of their Christological understanding that Christ only "appeared" or "seemed to be a man”, which in a way denies Christ’s humanity. The danger as exhibited in history is that some Docetists even went as far as claiming that it was Simon of Cyrene who was crucified, while Jesus looked on from a place of safety. They also emphasized on the temporality of the human body and of the material world which puts forward a tendency to undercut the importance of the belief in resurrection of the dead and the goodness of created matter, which opposes the very nature of orthodoxy that stresses on the importance of the salvific work of God in Christ that transpired in the material world that we live in, which could be seen with their disengagement with the affairs of the world at large and their abstinence in partaking the sacrament of the Eucharist.

The Church responded with the assertion of the Scripture’s account of Christ as God Incarnate or God ‘in flesh’ (John 1:14; 1 John 4:13; 2 John 7). Early Christian apologists like Ignatius of Antioch, Irenaeus and Hippolatus who all wrote against it in the early part of the second century.

Learn more about it from the perspective of:
Roman Catholics >>>
Eastern Orthodox >>>
Protestants >>>
Further reading: Docetism entry on the Early Church History in the World Wide Web

The Killing Joke: Insanity & human perseverance

I remember buying this graphic novel back when I was still in high school, and it’s still really interesting how the story still strikes a chord with regards to my sympathetic appreciation of the most hated Batman’s enemies.
“Any man can have one really bad day and end up just like me.”
Indeed, it only takes a bad day is enough to put a former clerical staff a at a chemical processing plant who resigned from his job to become a stand-up comedian, who has a pregnant wife, a backlog of bills, and not to mention the fact that the whole career move that he made is seen perceived as a stupid move by everyone around him.

But his fate seems to change as he is given a break by thieves who asked the clerk-turned-comedian to help them break into the chemical plant that he used to work in. However, a few hours before the heist the man comedian who would in time become The Joker got a call from a doctor telling him that his wife died from a freak accident in an electronics store while testing a water heater, realizing that he has nothing left to live for he tried to walk off from the heist, but the crooks told him that he can’t back-off, so reluctantly he guides them through the chemical plant. During the heist they ran into plant security and eventually Batman who out of fear caused him to jump into a pool of chemicals causing him to disfigure his face and eventually lose his sanity transforming him to the homicidal Joker.

EDSA @ 25: Renewing the commitment to persevere in our struggle

The color yellow is everywhere as today Filipinos remember, re-live and re-enact the miracle that was the 1st EDSA People Power Revolution, which is the forerunner (and most significant) of the series of popular non-violent revolutions and prayerful mass street demonstrations in the Philippines that occurred in 1986, which marked the restoration of the country's democracy.

From the backdrop turbulent times People Power reminds us that EDSA was not merely a political act as President Benigno Aquino II puts it on his Facebook status earlier today, “it was also an act of faith. And it was this faith that somehow helped keep EDSA from turning violent.”

Every day, we are reminded of the universal struggle for justice and peace. We take it into our own hands to decide the fate or welfare of other human beings. Because the faint whisper of justice is innate to the human experience.

In that quest for justice EDSA reminds us of the power of the many the nameless, faceless people who responded to that faint whisper for justice --peacefully.

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Lamenting on climate change

You might notice the distressing tone of the song. In a way the song functions as a lament. For those who are familiar with the genres of Scripture, laments function as a conduit to stir the complacent into action. I believe that the urgency of climate action is a message that needs to continuously conveyed as solutions are readily available, what we just need now is commitment from those in power to lead the way for the enactment of these solutions. I believe that Christians should join the climate justice movement because it also is about standing up for the ‘life in full’ that we proclaim as followers of Christ, moreover I also believe that the church plays a vital role in the climate justice movement as a prophetic voice of hope in the midst of struggle for a greener and peaceful future that we hope and are working for in the present.

The discriminating theological trajectory of Calvin’s Doctrine of Election

Election has been a hot button for most Evangelical Christians, since it rightly highlights the sovereignty of God that is conveyed in Scriptures. With regards to Election’s relationship with ethnicity it can be said that it can be traced to the Election of Israel which is put into operation by God’s summoning of a certain herdsman from Ur to become the father of a nation who will in time become His people (Gen.12:1-4). The answer to that call came in three successive generations (Abraham, Isaac, Jacob/Israel) which served as the root upon which the trunk of Israel's nationhood that started with the liberation of the Jews from Egypt (Deut. 4:32-39) that grew through the years to eventually becoming the Kingdom of Israel.

Know your heresy: Montanism

Montanism originated in Pepuza in Phrygia, a province of Asia Minor. Its first leaders were Montanus who claimed to have received a series of direct revelations from the Holy Spirit; Priscilla and Maximilla, who functioned as his prophetesses. Later on they were able to convert the Church Father, and onetime champion of orthodox belief, Tertullian of Carthage in Northern Africa who would later on become the most widely known defender of the Montanists.

Learn more about it from the perspectives of:

Contrasting theology with doctrine

To speak of theology is to promote a conversation between the ‘I’ and the ‘Thou.’ It is in that ‘divine’ conversation that we find ourselves in a situation of struggling with the nature of what we believe –the situation of faith which unfolds in the whole sweep of our existence. In saying this we struggle to find appropriate speech with which to express our faith.

No one will be 'Left Behind'

Its about time that people like Barbara R. Rossing, who are blessedly brave enough to speak against this false and abusive theology of last things. This is good and challenging reading for people who like me have struggled with the nature of such a violent, discriminating and triumphlist eschatology that has yoked so many Evangelical Christians since it was formally articulated by Darby and Scofield. This is a welcomed publication that in a way helps ease out my cringing whenever I'd see people somewhat rejoicing over global catastrophe because they see it as signs of the times, without ever thinking that the victims of those catastrophes are people just like them.

The role of science & art in deliberating theological method

A responsible theologian should give due attention to science and art in order to highlight two factors that rightly contributes to the formulation of levelheaded and empathic theological answers to questions that people are facing now.

Science lays the groundwork of situating the Biblical text in its proper context as well as in providing a systematic methodology of interpretation given the many factors that contribute to the development of Scripture and its interpretations in history.

While the focus on art is equally important as Scripture itself is a literary art form that is produced by people who used different literary styles that can be classified according to genre in giving language to their understanding of experiences and encounters with the divine because art is a creative response to particular life settings.

Thus science answers the question of methodology and objectivity in theologizing while art responds to the need for empathic appreciation and examination of the dynamic response of people in their plight and journey to discern God’s will and purpose.

Join Greenpeace's Photo Petition/Competition

Facebook plans to start a new data center in Oregon, USA, which will be powered by coal. The same coal which threatens forests, wildlife and the entire environment.

People from across the world have been asking Facebook to go green by using renewable energy to power the network.

Recently they have started to move, but nowhere near enough. To encourage them to do so, Greenpeace have now given Facebook a deadline - Earth Day, April 22, 2011.

As part of the campaign to a 'greener' Facebook Greenpeace are inviting folks to join a very special photo petition -- no, call it a competition -- to get the message out far and wide on Facebook and beyond.

never forget the cause | no more guitar heroes

Never Forget The Cause has a new song entitled: No More Guitar Heroes. Which is also included in StickySweetSounds Records recently released compilation entitled: SinSSS. The compilation features artist mostly from Bacolod and Negros Occidental, Philippines but also includes several acts from nearby provinces and from Manila.

God on Trial: The Verdict

More than half-a-century after Auschwitz, we seemed to have become anesthetized to the once disquieting cry for justice, grown cold of the prophetic voice of the few who still cry out against the horrors of events that came years after Auschwitz. Words such as: Agent Orange, Khmer Rouge, Rwanda, Martial Law and Extra-judicial killings are now merely anecdotal information in history. Perhaps it is true that for those of us who dare call ourselves 'Christians' we are indeed content and unknowingly proclaim the dictum that perhaps: "God is not good, he is simply on our side..."

Unity Of Opposites | There Goes Another Decade...

Unity of Opposites is an indie electronic music label that supports DIY music projects regardless of their genre. This year they've started to showcase their roster of diverse indie bands in a sampler entitled, There Goes Another Decade which features music from the following artists: Ellen Degenerate, DeathToPuberty, The Loperamides, Never Forget The Cause and more. What's interesting about this compilation is that it can be downloaded for free!

Click here to download the sampler>>>