There’s a debate raging in the Seventh-day Adventist Church about creation vs. evolution, particularly as its taught in higher education, e.g. La Sierra University. I am not about to get into that issue here.
The irony is that those American churches that protest most vocally against the teaching of Darwinism in their schools are often, in their public policies, supporting a kind of economic Darwinism, the survival of the fittest in world markets and military power.
So my question: If the church won’t “flinch” in our stand for creation, will we be consistent? If we stand against Darwinism, will we stand against it in all forms, even social Darwinism? If not, it seems to me our convictions about creation have little real world significance other than a house of cards, propping up our beliefs.
The New Yorker released a fascinating article by Malcolm Gladwell today on social revolutions and social media. In Small Change: Why the Revolution Will Not be Tweeted, Gladwell compares strong-tie activism, like the civil right movement of the 1960′s, with weak-tie activism, like the Twitter Revolution, such as the recent elections in Iran. Which method is more effective? It’s a long read, one I want to go back and digest, but for now it appears both have its advantages and disadvantages. One take away thought, I need to remember that social media (e.g. Twitter, Facebook, etc.) is great at spreading the ideas of the revolution, but nothing will replace giving my life away for something I believe in, like the young men and women of the Civil Rights Movement. Here’s a paragraph from Gladwell’s piece that’s got me thinking about all this today:
Boycotts and sit-ins and nonviolent confrontations—which were the weapons of choice for the civil-rights movement—are high-risk strategies. They leave little room for conflict and error. The moment even one protester deviates from the script and responds to provocation, the moral legitimacy of the entire protest is compromised. Enthusiasts for social media would no doubt have us believe that King’s task in Birmingham would have been made infinitely easier had he been able to communicate with his followers through Facebook, and contented himself with tweets from a Birmingham jail. But networks are messy: think of the ceaseless pattern of correction and revision, amendment and debate, that characterizes Wikipedia. If Martin Luther King, Jr., had tried to do a wiki-boycott in Montgomery, he would have been steamrollered by the white power structure. And of what use would a digital communication tool be in a town where ninety-eight per cent of the black community could be reached every Sunday morning at church? The things that King needed in Birmingham—discipline and strategy—were things that online social media cannot provide.
MONTREAL – A former UN water advisor is warning that water and sanitation should be much higher on the core MDG priority list given they are essential to reaching the other goals.
Prime Minister Stephen Harper, US President Barack Obama, Chinese Prime Minister Wen Jiabao and more than 140 leaders have now gathered in New York City for the United Nations Millennium Development Goals summit, which runs September 20-22.
The Millennium Development Goals include the goals of halving the proportion of people who cannot reach or afford safe drinking water and halving the number who do not have basic sanitation by 2015. Presently, over 900 million people lack access to drinking water and 2.6 billion people do not have access to adequate sanitation. Read the entire story.
Here’s a brief video we did at CrossWalk this past weekend. I am talking about CrossWalk’s upcoming series “Going Glocal” and interviewing CrossWalk member Tamra Handysides about Stand Up 2010 and the UN’s Millennium Development Goals.
Apparently it’s been around for awhile, but I like this video titled The Girl Effect. I discovered it on Garr Reynold’s blog, Presentation Zen, who discovered it on Dan Heath’s blog, Made to Stick. Check out the video and then see my comments afterward:
You can learn about the organizations behind The Girl Effect at http://girleffect.org. One of the reasons I like this video is because of CARE, a humanitarian organization I support. CARE fights global poverty by helping poor women around the world. As they say, “women have the power to help whole families and entire communities escape poverty.” Read more here.
I am honored to be part of a Public Service Announcement titled “I’m a Social Justice Christian.” The PSA was produced by New Name Pictures, a film production venture co-founded by my friend Ryan Bell, pastor of the Hollywood SDA Church.
You can learn more about the project at www.socialjusticechristian.com. There’s also other resources for the “I’m a Social Justice Christian” campaign on their website. I’ve included the PSA in this post, as well as Brian McLaren’s response. Please pass the word about the project. Good work Ryan!
The Suburban Pastor is the personal blog of Jeff Gang. I’m pastor for the Anaheim Seventh-day Adventist Church in Anaheim, California. This blog is a place for me to share my thoughts about ordinary life as a Jesus follower, pastor, husband, father of three, friend, and triathlete in my spare time.