Explicating context

•December 27, 2008 • 1 Comment

Most people intuitively understand what a generation gap is. We’ve all personally experience how jokes, values, musical tastes often fail to traverse the relatively brief temporal space of a few decades. There are just some things that mom and dad don’t get. And we certainly don’t see how any of their jokes are actually funny. 

Somethings become lost in translation. Not irredeemably so, but effort is required to bridge this undeniable and inevitable rift. While we’re not merely the products of our times, when and where we are born (and indeed the who and what and why and how) have significant effects on our individual identities. 

As a 21st century resident of Singapore, I am alienated from my parents and grandparents by more than just time. Mom and dad grew up in a poor third world country, I grew up in a modern wealthy technocracy. Grandma and grandpa can barely read English, I can barely read anything else. 

Because of all these differences, there are somethings that will be difficult, perhaps even impossible for one generation to adequately represent to another. Either we have to work real hard, or we have to simply accept on faith that the other is not stark raving mad. Both are tenable and reasonable positions. 

This is however not a sweeping acceptance of an absolute amoral postmodern relativistic view of the world. Rather, it is recognising that conversations sometimes have to be a little more drawn out, dialouges a little more involved. If there are few shared premises to begin with, it only makes sense that more time needs be devoted to sharing. And if there is misunderstanding, to not beat ourselves up too much for it. Misunderstanding is not unexpected. 

Hence, I’m not surprised that some things in the Bible offend my 21st century Singaporean Chinese upper middle class male sensibilities. There is a multi-millennial gap, wealth gap, class gap, racial gap etc, to traverse. 

It is important to recognise this as it will inform our approach towards scripture and faith. I think this will make us work harder to get things right, and yet allow us to be less hard on ourselves when we get things wrong. 


Another quote recorded for posterity

•December 23, 2008 • Leave a Comment

God doesn’t call the qualified. He qualifies the called. 

– Pastor Jonathan Kuah

Something else for the identity thieves

•December 9, 2008 • Leave a Comment

I never quite got the specifics down pat, that is until today. Apparently I was born on the 4th December 1984, 1.20pm @ 2, Jalan 22 24/9, Taman Megah, Petaling Jaya, Selangor, Malaysia. Weighing in at 2.98 kg, which is well below the average weight of new born infants. Who would’ve thunk?

Happy Birthday To Me.

•December 4, 2008 • Leave a Comment

It’s good to be alive.

Unity is…

•December 3, 2008 • Leave a Comment

…more than just proximity. It is also more than just the absence of strife.

Quote of the Day

•December 1, 2008 • 1 Comment

“If the leaders do not have a sense of expectation, then it is unlikely that the people will.”

– Reverend Mark Poh

Once more…with feeling

•November 30, 2008 • Leave a Comment

Paralysis is the complete loss of muscle function for one or more muscle groups. Paralysis can cause loss of feeling and/or loss of mobility in the affected area.

Paralysis is most often caused by damage to the nervous system.

The nervous system is a network of specialized cells that communicate information about an animal’s surroundings and itself. It processes this information and causes reactions in other parts of the body.”

– Wikipedia

“12For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ. 13For in one Spirit we were all baptized into one body— Jews or Greeks, slaves or free—and all were made to drink of one Spirit.

14For the body does not consist of one member but of many.

20As it is, there are many parts, yet one body.

26If one member suffers, all suffer together; if one member is honored, all rejoice together.”

– 1 Corinthians 12 (English Standard Version)

“Plasticity is the ability of the nervous system to rewire its connections.

Increased plasticity could be useful in many conditions affecting the nervous system, including spinal cord injury, stroke, head injury and multiple sclerosis.”

– Cambridge Centre for Brain Repair

Damaged/absent connections within a body results in paralysis and an inability to act. Conversely, restored/strong connections engenders mobility and effectiveness. If a church is to advance forward, it must make every effort to guard its relationships, to wire and rewire its connections. Also, the most important parts of the nervous system are the brain and the backbone of the body, and incidentally aren’t those the  roles played by leaders within the church?

Funny that.

To be a church on the move, prioritizing intimate relationships especially within the leadership is a necessity, and not merely a nice optional extra.