The Persians started it. Alex the Great and his successors ‘imported’ it to the Mediterranean. The Romans perfected and re-exported it to whatever lands they conquered. Thus, until Emperor Constantine abolished it in the fourth century AD, crucifixion — nailing a dude against two wooden beams as formal punishment — was almost as common throughout the Roman empire as MCO fines were in the Klang Valley.
Today is Good Friday. Thanks to Mel Gibson’s Passion of the Christ, people (even non-Christians) are generally familiar with the significance of this day, not to mention the trauma surrounding crucifixion.
Still, why did…
Christians did not:
See Kreider, Alan. The Patient Ferment of the Early Church: The Improbable Rise of Christianity in the Roman Empire. Baker Academic, 2016.
The on-going controversy over Malaysia’s Federal Court’s ruling which rendered unconstitutional a provision in the Selangor Syariah law relating to unnatural sex is just so, well, snazzy. There’s something about people putting, uh, things in certain ‘areas’ to derive sexual pleasure which, obviously, gets some religious folks heated up.
Our country’s antagonism towards and policing of LGBQT activities is one of many symptoms of some quirky institutional need to police sexuality (without, tragically, doing much about child marriages). One can only imagine the amount of time, man-power and documentation expended to dictate what lovers do with each other’s bodies.
1 — The world is way way more uncertain, uncontrollable and unpredictable than what the experts claim it is.
Accepting structural opacity (or the reality and severity of the unseen and the unknown) comes first before anything else.
2 — We can be much more certain about what will NOT work than what will. Negative confirmation takes priority over positive ones.
Progress will happen more from the errors we STOP committing, than all the ‘new’ stuff we’re putting in place.
3 — Forget about predicting new “trends”, fads, innovations, etc. Quit the neo-mania. Stop listening to those telling you that…
Financial freedom can be akin to a dog chasing a car.
After it reaches the car, what does it do? Oh, it just stands around, maybe pee on it and wait…until the car goes again so it can continue chasing it. And this is what the pursuit of financial freedom amounts to, a dog chasing something simply because it feels it has to chase it.
Simply chat with a Unit Trust adviser or financial planner or what-not. Chances are there’s one and only one outcome from such a conversation: You still don’t have enough.
It’s like one of those David…
A few years ago I asked a group of Form 5 kids what the Malay term was for “self-cutting”. Immediately a few of them told me it was “toreh diri”. Macam menorah getah, abang!
That was both cute yet tragic at the same time.
I then asked them if they had ever done it, if they had ever slashed themselves. Thankfully, nobody nodded or pointed to anyone else. I asked them if they know any friends from another school who had done some ‘toreh diri’. Some heads nodded.
Finally, I asked them if they knew why these kids cut themselves…
It’s hard to look at websites like Linked-In the same way after reading 2 Corinthians in light of the Roman “RES GESTAE” i.e. a listing of honours, officers and achievements boasted of by every Roman emperor, consul, proconsul — it was their “CV”, so to speak.
The photos below show the Res Gestae Divi Augusti (a translation of the accolades is available at bit.ly/3kCsrmz) which have been placed in various locations around the Roman empire, this particular one in Ancyra (a former capital in Galatia, or modern-day Turkey).
(Sermon delivered on 1/1/2017, apparently the only one I ever typed and read out. I’ve switched ‘2017’ with ‘2021’ for, u know, dramatic effect)
In Galatians 2:20, Paul says:
“I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God who loved me and gave Himself for me.”
“I am loved, therefore I am”
Because God loves me, I am already whole. I don’t have to prove anything. …
Around Christmas time last year, it was confirmed that Ravi Zacharias, world-famous Christian evangelist and apologist who passed away in May 2020, was in all likelihood guilty of numerous acts of sexual impropriety ranging from solicitation to assault and even at least one occasion of rape. The allegations appeared formally in August 2020, after which an investigate team was set up by the board of Zacharias’ organisation (Ravi Zacharias International Ministries, RZIM) to verify as much as possible the truth of the accusations made.
In early February, the board released a full statement confirming their belief in the truth of…
I’ve updated this chart, originally made a few years ago after I completed Greg Boyd’s two-volumed Crucifixion of the Warrior God (Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2017)
I’m tempted to insert another row on “Perspectives on U.S. Politics” but let’s not push it?
Edu-trainer, Žižek studies, amateur theologian, columnist.