Saturday, July 30, 2011
Thursday, July 21, 2011
- Why can’t I resize the “Mailbox” panel in Mail to the size I want? So what if I want it too small to be useful!
- Why does Mail have to reindex the mail boxes again? This hasn’t taken too long for me but for my colleague...well, it’s still going!
- The scrolling goes the WRONG WAY!
- I have to download a new XCode; but it was for free, thankfully!
- At work I have two monitors; the one on the laptop and an external. Why oh why does it maximize the application to my laptop monitor when it was originally on my external? How annoying! How dumb!
- It looks like iTunes; everything looks like iTunes...like everything!
Tuesday, July 19, 2011
Wednesday, July 13, 2011
When we make statements such as:
- the “church” should do...
- the “church” should be...
Exactly what do we mean? The word “church” seems to have too many meanings and the meaning often depends on the person making the statement. Let’s take a quick - and not necessarily well thought out look - at what these statements might mean uttered by an insider and uttered by an outsider.
Let’s be clear here. We’re talking about Christian churches. There are, no doubt, other bodies that might identify themselves a “church” although with the bad rap that the Christian church has consistently gotten I’m not sure that’s such a wise move; and here I am saying that as a Christian church goer!
So, let’s start from the inside. Most Christians agree that the church should help the poor and needy. Most Christians believe the church should spread God’s word. But what does that mean? Sometimes this is used as a form of criticism, implying that the church doesn’t do enough of what it should be doing, if doing any of it at all. At other times it could be a call, almost a command to the church to actually do whatever it is that we’re supposing it should be doing.
Hence, the first form “should do” could be a gentle encouragement, a command, a criticism. It could even be an explanation and even an apologetic. This innocuous term “should do” turns up in so many forms but I feel its most insidious form is the form of negative criticism.
The issue here is that when you get a bunch of church goers, insiders as it were, all debating what the church should be doing, they paradoxically forget what the church should be doing: being a witness to the kingdom of God, inviting all to a change of heart that they might share in the life of the triune God.
Trust me, when you see church goers all in heated debate with each other they’re not always particularly nice about it. If you sense one person or faction is really throwing metaphorical “brick bats” at the other side you’re probably not seeing things. They very well might be.
Outsiders, I sense, use the two words in the same sense and more for constructive or negative criticism. The problem is that they often fail to identify that although there is “one holy, catholic and apostolic” church they’re not all one denomination. The biggest confusion that I find outsiders committing using these two forms is that they honestly don’t quite know to what they are referring.
Not all churches are mega-churches. Not all church goers like the types of services typified by the Hill Song church. Not all churches enjoy liturgical garb. Some churches seem not to exist for a reason that Jesus might recognise at all. This doesn’t mean one can suddenly turn around and say “The church should do/be...” simply on the basis of that one church or part of a church.
Is this a problem of English usage? Yes and no. Today the word “church” often holds negative connotations for outsiders and even some insiders and the word “should” upsets our individualistic, “I did it my way” enlightened attitude. Given these, it might be somewhat useful to unravel the words and find something less likely to cause an unproductive squabble, rant or rave and something that actually discusses what the church should be or should do in a calm, civilised manner.
Different Ways We Use “Church”
When we say “church” we could mean:
- a church building
- a church parish we belong to
- a church denomination within orthodox Christianity
- a denomination that is not within orthodox Christianity (but still claims to be Christian)
- a congregation
Tuesday, July 12, 2011
I work within the IT industry and specifically as a computer programmer. Although it is always somewhat dubious to “extend” one’s limited perspective “onto” others it seems that many people in the IT industry with whom I work and associate do not accept any of the canonical gospel’s accounts of what Jesus proclaimed.
Consequently, my experience with the people I tend to work with and share a professional life with is a decided “Jesus NO!”
Furthermore, the churches of various denominations have all been embroiled in varying degrees of turmoil. These range from sex scandals that have been covered up through to evangelists who seem more concerned about using donations to fund their own life styles rather than helping the poor, needy and outcast.
Consequently, my experience here with the people I tend to work with and share a professional life with is a decided “Church NO!” and sometimes worse “I wish it never existed.”
Spirituality Yes - Church No
I must say that people within the IT industry seem quite impervious to spirituality and religion including Christianity. Those who are either tend to lie low. This may be because people in the IT industry tend to consider themselves somewhat more rational than others - something I would contend is not actually true - and tend to rely more on some form of scientific method to determine what happens in the world.
This “scientific method” appears to be “any method not involving spirituality or religion.”
That said, if I were to expand into my acquaintances there is some truth to this matter. Understanding “church” as “Christian church” (as opposed to, say a Buddhist Temple), most of my friends do have some form of spiritual beliefs or at least respect the spiritual beliefs of others.
But most of them are quick to point out the church’s shortcomings.
Where do I sit? I’m the odd guy in the IT industry who likes to have a Bible (or two) sitting on his desk, who isn’t afraid to patiently discuss what being Christian means to me with my fellow colleagues and who isn’t of the fundamentalist, bible bashing, I am always right variety.