Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Clear Blue Skies & Pauline Theology


It's sometimes hoped that the journey of our lives will be like a bed of roses. But rarely it turns out to be clear blue skies all the times. The haze had reached Ranau last Saturday though it had not gotten past into the unhealthy range of psi 100 and above. So for the past few days the clear blue skies over our heads are a welcome sight. Often we take the good things of nature for granted, sunshine and rain in their seasons. In the end time when climate change is a major challenge, Christians like everyone else will have to face up to an uncertain future and an increasing unpredictable weather. This will include haze from neighbouring countries. As much as we want to help them change their ways, it is unlikely to happen unless change comes from within.
Slash and burn has been the custom for centuries and to change mindsets is harder than to move mountains. So soft power from friendly nations will do more good than complains and whinging about the haze. Learn speak Indonesian Malay. Send hundreds of Malaysians and Singaporeans to Kalimantan and Sumatra for 2 or 3 years, perhaps as part of overseas experience or even national service. Go and live with the peoples in the villages and towns. Teach them new ways of doing things.

I see Paul the apostle as the great agent of change. He was absolutely convinced that the Gospel of God revealed in Christ could change mankind and the world. By changing people from within, from racism and exclusivism that are cultural dictates and innate to many ethnic groups,  Paul preaches a Gospel of unity of all races based on the one God who is the God of the Jews as well as the God of the Gentiles. The wall of partition is broken down. The death of Christ cancels the demands of the Law that call for the exclusion of non-Jews in the commonwealth of Israel. In Christ, two groups are now one, one new man in Christ. If there is any passage that represents the height of Pauline theology it is Ephesians 2,11-22. Paul's theology of inclusivism shines like the clear blue skies banishing the gloom of racial hatred, ethnic strife and communal conflicts in the world today.

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