war on the empire

September 5, 2008

It was Albert Nolan’s Jesus Today which first introduced me to the idea of America as empire. Ever since… well, ever since a very long time ago, like probably about 2700 or more, you find an empire ruling the world: Assirians, Babilonians, Persians, Greeks, Romans, Roman Catholic Church, Britian… Might be more complicated than this, since the Monguls would come into this at some point, only more to the east, so would the Chinese and Muslim empire. The empire want to rule everything.

In leftist jounalist John Pilger’s documentary War on Democrasy, this theme is taken up again. It talks about a number of instances where the American government has been involved, directly of indirectly, in coups against young South American democracies. Focusing especially on Venezuela, but also on a number of older stories. He talks about attrocities and human rights violations in the name of American National Security, in order that America can keep on controlling these countries.

Empires has always been overthrown in the end. Nolan point to the vast amount of social justice groups that appearing like mushrooms, and that the combined force of these people are stronger than any empire. Pilger talk about young governments in South America that are revolting against the American system, and starting something fresh, apart from mother USA. Both these people seem to find hope for change.

Within recent political events within South Africa this is also of interest. With the growing tension between America and China, as China build up it’s weoponry, and become the second superpower, China seem to be investing energy into Africa, and president Mbeki has built great relations with China. I’ve wondered in the past whether this mean that he has chosen against the American empire. But now Mbeki has made an arrangement to get oil from Venezuela, the country who has supplied America with 15% of it’s oil a few years back (I’m not sure whether Venazuela still supply oil).

In Old Testament thought we sometimes get the idea that new empires are used by God to destroy old empires. In the New Testament we find the idea that God is building a new empire, the empire of God.

To my American friends, just a note: Nolan also admits that some of the strongest voices against the empire is coming from America! Thanks!

words on God for today

July 26, 2008

I’m working on my sermon for tomorrow evening. I’m gonna attempt to ask the question: How do we speak about God?. But I find this extremely difficult, might even have considered backing out if it wasn’t for the fact that word is already out on the theme. OK, part of the problem might be the fact that I didn’t have time to prepare during the week.

So tonight I read Albert Nolan‘s chapter called “One with God” in Jesus Today. I will write more on this book in future, but for now I want to urge all people reading this to read this book! I seldom feel so positive about a book, and seldom would I so strongly encourage others to read it. But this time I must say: Read this book! I will also use this chapter extensively tomorrow evening.