Sunday, September 28, 2008
There's a lot more at the link above. An interesting angle is that China' move into Africa is not out of some racially bigoted paternalism mixed with greed. It is strictly rapacity. The mine bosses sometimes beat the workers, in the opinion of some, because they seem to think the Africans disrespect them because they're not White. Communism, greed, and cultural ignorance between the West and the Chinese. Who gets caught in the middle? Africans.
The diggers feared - and their evil, sinister bosses had worked hard on that fear - that if people like me publicised their filthy way of life, then the mine might be closed and the $3 a day might be taken away.
I can give you no better explanation in miniature of the wicked thing that I believe is now happening in Africa.
Out of desperation, much of the continent is selling itself into a new era of corruption and virtual slavery as China seeks to buy up all the metals, minerals and oil she can lay her hands on: copper for electric and telephone cables, cobalt for mobile phones and jet engines - the basic raw materials of modern life.
It is crude rapacity, but to Africans and many of their leaders it is better than the alternative, which is slow starvation.
It is my view - and not just because I was so nearly killed - that China's cynical new version of imperialism in Africa is a wicked enterprise.
China offers both rulers and the ruled in Africa the simple, squalid advantages of shameless exploitation.
For the governments, there are gargantuan loans, promises of new roads, railways, hospitals and schools - in return for giving Peking a free and tax-free run at Africa's rich resources of oil, minerals and metals.
For the people, there are these wretched leavings, which, miserable as they are, must be better than the near-starvation they otherwise face.
Saturday, September 27, 2008
Friday, September 26, 2008
Wally Hilgenberg passed away at age 66 from Lou Gehrig's Disease. Here's a bit from the Minneapolis Star-Tribune on his passing:
Being a kid in the 1970s and growing up in Texas, I'm a huge Dallas Cowboys fan. Therefore I hate the Washington Redskins first and the Pittsburgh Steelers second -- by default. Another great team of the 1970s was the Minnesota Vikings. Fran Trakenton, Alan Page, Carl Eller, Chuck Foreman and others were the stars of that team. An unsung player on that team was linebacker Wally Hilgenberg -- #58 in the photo above. They were in 3 Super Bowls in the '70s and the Cowboys were in 5 so they were always playing each other in the playoffs. Hilgenberg was a great player and sounds like a great guy off the field as well. I'm relieved and blessed to now he was a believer in Christ.
Hilgenberg, 66, died Tuesday at his home. He was surrounded by his wife, Mary, four children and many of his 14 grandchildren.
"It was beautiful," youngest daughter Kristi said. "We held Dad's hands, we prayed together and he went peacefully to see his Maker."
Thursday, September 25, 2008
One of the things we have to get straight is the right relationship of the Church to various manifestations of earthly civil government. And in our setting, in our time, we have to come to grips with American hegemony in the world. That fact is a given -- how shall we respond to it?
One common mistake is that of anabaptist pseudo-separation. Another is when the existing (unbelieving) structures coopt the Church -- in a grotesque reversal of the image at the end of Revelation, the Church brings her honor and glory into the city of man. The former is the Church against culture, and the latter is the Church under culture, and both are unbiblical and unacceptable.
Christians are called by Christ to infiltrate every level of every society they find themselves in, and to do so without the idolatrous commitments that surround them on every hand. If they are living in a time of empire, it is not ungodly compromise with empire to do this -- think of Daniel and Joseph, just for starters. At the same time, temptations to capitulate before the idolatrous pretensions will be common enough -- think of Daniel's three friends.
Sunday, September 21, 2008
This is a quote from Mark Driscoll posted over at John Piper's blog (emphasis is Piper's):
The curious paradox of the atoning death of a bloody Jesus rising above the plane of human history with a mocking crown of thorns is that he is offensive in an attractive way. It is the utter horror of the cross that cuts through the chatter, noise, and nonsense of our day to rivet our attention, shut our mouths, and compel us to listen to an impassioned dying man who is crying out for the forgiveness of our sins and to ask why he suffered. Tragically, if we lose the offense of the cross, we also lose the attraction of the cross so that no one is compelled to look at Jesus. Therefore, Jesus does not need a marketing firm or a makeover as much as a prophet to preach the horror of the cross unashamedly.
Saturday, September 20, 2008
Tuesday, September 16, 2008
Thursday, September 11, 2008
When they kill somebody, it's not just a case of three bullets in the head, it's usually by repeated use of a machete whereby heads and limbs are severed and left rotting in the mid-day sun as a chilling reminder to rival gangs not to mess or intrude on their territory. Tattooed from head to toe with gang logos, members also have their own five-finger salute in the shape of the letter M.
Drug smuggling from South America earns the MS-13 hierarchy what is estimated at several hundreds of millions of dollars a year.
Robert Clifford of the FBI told USA Today in 2005: "MS-13 are the biggest domestic threat to US security." The problem has worsened since, with M-13 committing rapes, smuggling drugs, raiding houses, extorting money from small businesses, intimidating witnesses and savagely murdering and beheading whoever gets in their way, putting the activities of the Italian and Russian Mafia as well as the Chinese triads and Japanese Yakuza gangs in the shade.