some things just never end

January 4, 2008

Look at this list of search engine terms I just found on my dashboard. The search engine terms are temrs used in search engines which caused people to click onto your blog. Especially those in bold:

andries van aarde 2
Kobus van Wyngaard 1
more ecology 1
Beowulf the new roman god christ 1
nurturing people Jesus’ way 1
when the Dutch Reformed Church ended 1
Ferdie Mulder 1

Look like someone, or a number of people, are still trying to get info on the same things that was going on two years ago. Well, if “Kobus van Wyngaard” was intended to find me, please, do spell my name correctly in future, it’s Cobus.

emerging event at TUKS

October 23, 2007

TUKS mission is an organization that promote mission at the university of Pretoria. Most people, myself included, knew no more about TUKS mission than their yearly missions week, where they usually got some fancy preacher from America. I attended this event in my first year (2003), and the first evening of my second year, but then decided that this was the end. I couldn’t stand the people trying to manipulate everyone into going to faraway places to preach a gospel of sin management (to use the words of Dallas Willard). And what was more, I got fed up with the people they got to man all kinds of book stalls and stuff outside or in front of wherever they were meeting. I especially couldn’t see what the creationists had to do with missions.

OK, now I’ve got this of my chest, the secret is out, and everyone can know what I thought about these people. Then I saw a poster on campus a few days ago about an analogy meeting which would be held last night, and from what the poster said, I had this feeling that these people got some ideas from the alternative worship or emerging crowds, so I decided to give them a second chance. I told Maryke beforehand that if I get irritated, I’m just going to leave. I’ll leave them to do things their way, but I’m not going to attend just for the sake of attending.

But I was quite wrong! Waiting outside TUKS conference centre I noticed more people than I expected. Analogy isn’t the big missions week event held every year, but something new that got started by TUKS mission. I also noticed a number of first and second year theological students, which was something new. Usually the theological students don’t mix with the TUKS mission crowd, not that the theological students don’t like mission, they are very much involved with the outreach events from Universiteitsoord, but there has, since I can remember, been a major discomfort with the way TUKS mission did things, and the people they associate with.

OK, so we came into the conference centre, right outside the door was a table with coffee and tea. Inside there wasn’t any chairs, everyone sat on the ground, and the room was filled tight! The event started out with a home made video, that was done quite professionally (advantage of a student community), that showed some picture while a song played that I didn’t know. Then someone stood up and told us that we can stand up and get coffee at any stage in the meeting. There was a number of different voices that added to the event, reading poems, explaining things, or whatever.

We then watched a video from Special Assignment about child prostitution in Sunnyside, the area right beside the university. This was great! The move from talking about Afghanistan and the Muslim crisis in the mid-east to talking about the realities at our doorsteps, talking about the needs of people just a couple of blocks from us was great! Afterwards someone that work with these kids talked for too long, didn’t time her, but that was the one thing that could have been shorter. After her we had two homeless guys that formed a panel, they told their stories, and then we could ask them questions.

The evening ended of with a time of reflection, lying around on the carpet (at this stage some people had to go, so there was more room), while some poems was read. All in all, this was a good experience, and somehow, I’m not sure whether they were aware of this, they started doing that which many of us are talking about. The liturgy won’t be found in any textbook, but the evening was big on liturgy. There wasn’t a sermon, but you found theology. We didn’t know each others names, and there was no “let’s get to know each other” activity, but there was community.

I know I’m not blogging that often at the moment. Something I believe we should give ourselves freedom to do: sometimes not blog! And I was at the point of writing something on Revelation and preaching, but that will have to wait. When I opened my dashboard, I saw the amount of people searching for stuff on the “evangeliese initiatief” (EI)*, and I decided that maybe it has become time that I write some thoughts on this.

First of all. I did not attend the EI event at moreleta yesterday. I was lucky enough to attend Arthur’s birthday party, and have some great conversations with Cori and some of the Nieucommunities people. About allergies, beer, God, poverty, South Africa, Rugby and some other stuff. But really, I did not want to attend this event! Usually I’m all for listening to everyone, and I would have said that actually I should go, even though I don’t agree with them. But then they came with the whole idea that if they get enough people at their event, then they can proceed with their cause, knowing that the church supports their ideas. Since when are we back to a democracy? Why, if I get 10000 young people in our church together to say that… well… to say anything, does that add weight to my argument? Come on, really, can’t anyone see where this is going?

And when are the church going to learn to talk to each other. I’ve been studying theology at TUKS for 5 years. I’ve been chairman of theological students for the past year. When will the EI, and all these other people stop talking about how bad it is for the poor students that get indoctrinated by lecturers, and start talking to us. Start really listening. And listening is only listening if it’s possible that both sides can change their point of view. So please, don’t come to theological students with the idea that you have all the answers and that they simply need to confirm your ideas of heresy in the faculties or something, we have had enough of that kind of thing!

So, you want the inside info? I like my lecturers (sorry for those of you whose classes I skip from time to time, if you were to read this, I know I’m not that good an example for other students:-)). I respect my lecturers. I respect them as academics, they are brilliant people. But I also respect them as fellow believers. They taught me some greek and hebrew (although I’m not always so sure how successful that was), they taught me theology. Theology which helped me through some difficult times. But in them I also saw fellow believers, in different ways some of them have been mentors for me.

But this happened in relationships. It happened in relation with lecturers, together with the rest of the theological students. So I just wish all those supposedly well meaning people from the EI who are so worried about the theological students and their lecturers would just keep quite for a while and act like Christians and take the conversation where it is supposed to go on: with the people it is about. You are really hurting students! Have you ever thought what you are doing to theological students when you tell them that the lecturers whom they like, respect, and learn from, are supposed to be heathens or heretics of whatever? Do you really think you will call them closer in the proses? Come on, stop the joke, all you are doing is making us more and more uncomfortable with the type of theology you are practising, since we see the bad side to it. You are reminding us to keep up with that which we have been taught: To search for better, more biblical, ways of being followers of Jesus in this world we live in today.

I dream of a church where we listen to each other

I dream of a church where we make room for each other

I dream of a church where we live in the way of Jesus, acknowledging that not one of us have the final word on this

I dream of a church where God is central, and we realize that sometimes our words are simply not enough, that the words of another might be necessary, and that sometimes we should all just shut up… be quite

The direct translation for Evangeliese Initiatief would be Evangelical Initiative, although I not sure if this will do justice to there cause. I understand that they want to link with the Reformed Evangelical tradition, rather than the more American Evangelical tradition, which is what people generally think about when they hear the word evangelical. They started a few months ago, have been talking a lot about a literal physical historical resurrection, claiming that this is the way the Bible portray the resurrection, and