“I don’t think you can make a difference…”

That’s what Mark Kelley says to a couple of young Christians in the States who are on a mission to debate people into knowing God.

Mark Kelley is a reporter with CBC. He’s doing a series called Seven, where he spends seven days with people and learns about them.

The latest episode, which aired on December 19th, shows his seven days spent with evangelical Christians (all in America).  I think it’s a must see for any Christian who is serious about engaging with culture, wants to know how people who aren’t Christians think and see Christians, and who genuinely wants to share Christ to their friends.

There’s a lot to complain about this story. Like bias: sure Kelley could have had a wider range of Evangelicals he hung out with. But the perception is there (whether Kelley’s or our friends) that “Christians” or “Evangelicals” believe these things. And so, I think there’s great value in seeing the other perspective.

In the least, I think this story gives us a good picture (perhaps not a perfect picture) of how we’re viewed and raises some important questions regarding our “mission” and how we should go about it.

Here are the videos, from the CBC website:

Part I (Runs 18:18)

Part II (Runs 6:18)

(If anyone knows how to “save” these videos, please let me know. I’d like to show these. Or maybe I’ll write CBC for copies.)

AIDS and me

December 5, 2006

A confession: I haven’t cared about people with AIDS as much as I feel I should.

I came across these two videos online, and it got me thinking more. How do/can/should I respond?

God, grant me a compassion that reflects yours, for people suffering because of AIDS.

12 min photo story of men, women and children in Africa (by MediaStorm)

2.5 min report by TIME: “New Hope for Kids with AIDS”


My niece is born.  7 lbs. 11:34pm Oct. 10, 2006.



October 10, 2006

My first chuckle of the day.

Okay. I’m not finding amusement from the frightening thought of North Korea having successfully tested a nuclear weapon. This certainly gives me the shivers. I can only imagine what it’s like in North East Asia…to be a person in South Korea, China, Japan and even in North Korea. Scary.

But, when I came across the above “front page” of a seemingly respectable American news agency (edit: to me, respectable no longer), I couldn’t help but chuckle. Why would CNN plaster a photo of a North Korean soldier throwing a pebble?

Perhaps to reflect this response to the N. Korean nuke test by the US Ambassador to the UN, John Bolton:

“This is the way North Korea typically negotiates, by threat and intimidation,” he said. “It’s worked for them before. It’s not going to work this time.” (from the CNN report here)

Is he saying the US have been intimidated by North Korean rock throwing before? (As the always philosophical Arsenio Hall would aptly put it, these are one of those things that make you go “Hmmm…”)

Or perhaps CNN is wanting to convey that the North Korean test is well…really not that threatening after all, as Bolton so boldly declares.

But isn’t it? A “rogue” nation, an underdog in the global community, flexing all of whatever might they might have (apparently, nuclear might). They just tested a nuclear weapon. That’s intimidating to me! I’m a Canadian one big ocean away from North Korea, and I’m a little scared. (But I do get a little frightened in dark rooms and big dogs too)

And all this is happening, according to Bolton, simply “because they [the N. Koreans] are not getting what they want.” Doesn’t even this sound a bit paternalistic? (There, there, you can’t always get what you want.)

I’m no expert in global politics, foreign policy, international law, blah blah blah. I’m just a regular schmo trying to make sense of this world in which I live. I’m also not an expert in media, journalism, news ethics, blah blah blah (that’s why I have a blog!). But I can’t help but think–after seeing CNN’s front page at mid-day–to continue my growing skepticism of news-tellers who want not only to tell me what’s going on, but how to think about what’s going on.

Just for fun (and to show that I have unbiased sensibilities), I browsed around to see what’s on the front page of other news agency websites:

CBS News: Much macho-er image than CNN’s. And the swirling proton and electron super-imposed on the N. Korean flag is a nice touch, eh? (But, which way are the missles going? Hmmmm….)

Good ol’ CBC: Polite. Accurate. Fully funded by Hockey Night in Canada…for now.

National Post: Now that’s a soldier who looks like he means business. Notice his weapon of choice.

And…even knowing that Big Red censors all of its news (p-r-o-p-o-g-a-n-d-a), I was still curious to know what would be on the front page of the China Daily:

Hmmmm… Headline should be: “Unusual High Heel Growth Appearing on Heads of Chinese Women” =P (Hmmm…to see the only mention of the nuke test you had to scroll down one page to see a one-liner link).

Back to the North Korean David (above), and about all this “information” we get about other people, places and countries, I think Jesus’ words to the rock throwers of his day is interestingly appropriate: “If any one of you is without sin, let him be the first to throw a stone at her.”