Schemes, Beauty Pageants, Politics, Genocide, Sex & Alcohol... The Old Testament book of Esther has it all. As a matter of fact it reads like a Game of Thrones style soap opera, full of morally questionable figures. Even the so called 'good guys' aren't very kosher (Pun intended)! Yet through the mess and without being mentioned - the silent hand of God is at work. Not through plagues or sea openings, but in the everyday stuff.
Stel jouself voor jy kom by die werk en jou werkgewer vertel hy het reeds jou werk vir die maand gedoen en jou salaris op dei 1ste van die maand inbetaal. Stel jouself voor die president van die land slaap op straat sodat iemand sonder 'n huis in sy bed kan slaap. Verbeel jou die koningin van England moet wagstaan by die hek sodat haar wagte veilig kan slaap in Buckingham Palace. Wat kan ons leer by Jesus van leierskap?
Lei verskillende paaie na dieselfde God? Dien Moslem, Christen, Jood en Hindoe nie maar eintlik dieselfde God nie? Dit laat 'n mens nogal wonder, glo ek nie maar net oor dit wat my ouers my geleer het nie?
Abortion is a highly controversial and emotive subject in many places, but in South Africa, it seems to elicit very little conversation. Andre and Marianne van Zyl take on this thorny but important issue from a Christian perspective in a talk entitled The sound of silence: Abortion in South Africa.
This talk was given by Johan Erasmus.
It is the test of a good religion whether you can joke about it... Perhaps that is why angels can fly because they take themselves lightly. - GK Chesterton
A key indication to whether you 'caught' a joke is to laugh at the appropriate time. Your laughter indicates your comprehension. Perhaps one can argue that if you have never laughed during prayer, bible study or worship that you didn't 'get it'. Maybe it is our religious fear of blasphemy that prevents us from laughing? Yet it would seem that humour is a powerful tool in the hand of God, which is why it permeates the Bible. It not only helps to understand ourselves better - it also makes God more accessible. Many will tell you that Christianity is serious and therefore no laughing matter. I would like to suggest that because it is serious, laughing matters! It is funny, because it is true...
(Apologies for the poor quality of the recording.)
The recent attacks across Europe, means that many people need to figure out how they deal with the threat of Islamic Extremism. Al-Shabaab, Boko Haram and others are the African version of the same threat.
Secular Europe is at odds with itself and clutching at straws in their attempt to engage with this explosive issue. Christians however have the benefit of reflecting on the Scriptures to navigate this ethical dilemma, but a dilemma it remains.
How should Christians respond when Isis behead innocent people in the Middle East? What does it look like when the cross comes across radical Islamic terrorism?
"The Shack" - and the Problem of Evil." By Dr. Roedolf Botha
Human suffering still carries some of the deepest and most frequently asked questions today: Is there a benevolent God? Does he really care about us? How can a loving God allow so much human affliction? A few years ago a very controversial book, The Shack, tried to address some of these questions. The book had also recently been translated into a movie. Tonight we are going to explore some of the ideas in it in trying to answer some of life's most fundamental questions.
The Christian church is often seen as a socially and politically conservative body, preserving the status quo...we even have official state churches in some countries. But Jesus was a radical, even a revolutionary, in all sorts of ways, and he challenged the status quo, finally getting crucified by the authorities. He had some extraordinarily hard-hitting things to say to rich people and about the use and abuse of money, and about sharing resources. Conveniently rich Christians often seem not to have heard what Jesus said! But in our unequal world Jesus is a very relevant voice: he called people to find God's love and to respond to it in practical action.
The talk was given by Prof David Wenham.