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Vinoth Ramachandra on Christian Faithfulness

There is a great interview with Sri Lankan lay theologian, Vinoth Ramachandra, the author of the excellent book, Subverting Global Myths. Here is a quote from the interview in which Ramachandra talks a bit about what he thinks Christian faithfulness means (or should mean) in our world:

My fundamental conviction remains the absolute lordship of the crucified and risen Jesus Christ over every area of life. My second conviction is that we cannot bear credible witness to this truth without entering, imaginatively, into the pain of those who suffer the consequences of the worship of lords other than Jesus Christ. Such false lords—idols, ideologies—need to be unmasked in every age. I try to use my speaking and writing gifts to do that, but I find myself coveting other gifts—music, novel writing, filmmaking—which may be more effective in this present age. I have discovered that it is by embracing the suffering of others—in my case, remaining in a war-torn, poverty-stricken nation rather than seeking security in the rich West—that one is given insights and sensitivities that may elude others. Another conviction is that faithfulness to Christ requires constant openness to others, even our fiercest anti-Christian critics, to see how our own faith and lifestyle may themselves be redolent with idolatry. The biggest objections to Christians and Christianity are ethical, not intellectual. I have little time for the kind of apologetics that is divorced from ethics and political life.

Some stuff we should all ponder there, I think.


  1. Roger Flyer wrote:

    I second this Halden. How about this?!

    ”…(You) must not lead the discussion on a religious idea or theology or a personality such as Muhammad without being able to find out what lay at the root…not to dismiss ideas out of hand from a superior view of post-enlightenment, Western rationalism, but to divest yourself of that rationalistic outlook and enter the minds of these mystics and sages and poets and keep on asking, “But why? But why?”

    And filling up with scholarly knowledge the background until you come to the point where you can imagine yourself feeling the same, or believing the same as them, until basically the intellectual ideas learn to reverberate with you personally…”
    -Karen Armstrong

    How’s that for a quote to scare the pants off a fundamentalist?

    Wednesday, January 28, 2009 at 3:24 pm | Permalink
  2. Nicholas McDonald wrote:

    Halden – You’re blogs are brilliant. I don’t necessarily agree with all you have to write, but the articulation and daily insights you have are helpful and provocative. Thank you

    Wednesday, January 28, 2009 at 8:59 pm | Permalink
  3. CTN wrote:

    Very nice quote Halden. I remember the kinds of sensitivities he described in my own travels to war-torn countries, and it’s amazing how easily one slips back into a rich (but really poor!) spiritual slumber when settling down back here in the States. One need not journey far into our streets to find suffering, but one certainly needs to make it an intention to journey there – at least in person and with the joy of a truly personal encounter with Jesus Christ.

    Wednesday, January 28, 2009 at 10:27 pm | Permalink
  4. Christian wrote:

    This is a fascinating quote. Thanks, H.

    Wednesday, January 28, 2009 at 10:46 pm | Permalink
  5. samuel wrote:

    if u love subverting global myths, try this one too:

    Church and Mission in the New Asia: New Gods, New Identities

    check it out at amazon or trinity theological college’s center for study of Christianity in Asia site.

    no apologies for promoting an avant garde booklet.

    Thursday, March 19, 2009 at 6:32 am | Permalink

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