Desmond Tutu

In May 2001 journalist Giles Brandeth interviewed South African Anglican Archbishop Desmond Tutu. It was a powerful experience for Brandeth, for Desmond Tutu was suffering from prostate cancer and there was a real chance this might be the last interview he would ever give. What might Tutu want to talk about? Perhaps the amazing transformation in the politics of his country, and of which he himself had a leading role. No. Here’s what he told Brandeth: “If this is going to be my last interview, I am glad we are not going to talk about politics. Let us talk about prayer and adoration, about faith, hope and forgiveness.” For Tutu these are the things that are the stuff of life.

Source: reported in The Age May 19, 2001

Under the Gaze of Christ

Have you ever driven by a highly polluted area and wondered what can be done to stop people dumping their rubbish? At the turn of the Millennium Peru city authorities tried a novel approach. Some of the streets in the capital city were scarred by terrible littering – people even stopping to urinate in the streets. The authorities responded by placing pictures of Jesus and Mary on the walls of buildings lining the most polluted streets. Why? Because the people of Peru are, on the whole, committed to Roman Catholicism. The authorities have found that people are far less likely to litter the streets under the gaze of Jesus and the Virgin Mary.


Source: based on Reuters News Story January 2001.

Anyone for a Bible Bar?

Feeling peckish? Why not try a “Bible Bar”, produced by a US nutritional company called Logia. Foods of the Bible. The company was founded on the premise that the bible outlines God’s plan for good nutrition. Logia points out that “over 50 different foods are mentioned in the Scriptures – mostly all of them in a very positive way.” In particular the principle categories of food mentioned by the bible are fresh fruits, vegetables, seeds, grains and nuts. If we want to follow the biblical approach to nutrition then we will “include as many of the Bible foods as possible into your daily diet.”

To help us do this Logia markets a range of “biblical” nutritional products. One such product is the Bible Bar. According to the Logia web site “The Bible Bar is a highly nutritious food bar based on a recipe from the Book of Deuteronomy 8:8. In Deuteronomy 8:8, God describes the goodness of the Promised Land by listing seven foods which He also calls good. ‘For the LORD thy God bringeth thee into a good land. . . A land of wheat, and barley, and vines, and fig trees, and pomegranates; a land of oil olive, and honey;’ ” And guess what? “These seven foods are all contained in the Bible Bar.”

So what does it mean to be biblical? The Logia company seems to assume that to be biblical is to mimic the practises and habits of people in biblical times. So where to next? The Biblical Footwear company, which of course would manufacture sandals? The Biblical Transport company, which specialises in the use of livestock as the only biblical form of land transportation?

But if being biblical is not mere mimicry, then what does it mean to be biblical?


Note: I ca no longer find a Logia website.