Sometimes I have been asked, Should Christians in Arabic countries translate God with 'Allah'? The concern being that Christians using 'Allah' might convey a wrong understanding of the God of Jesus Christ. It would be better, of course, to ask Arabic Christians what they think. But in a twist to the question, Christians in Malaysia want to use 'Allah' for God and are banned for doing so.
The NYT has a challenging report on the issue facing Christians in this predominantly Muslim country. The ban from using their common word for 'God', that is, 'Allah', applies anywhere outside of churches. This has implications for the publication of Bibles. But is it all a political ploy to magnify minimal threats to Islam? And is it making Malaysia the laughing stock of the Islamic world?
Sticking with Islam, Steve Bell's blog publishes an article on the roots of Islamism worth a look. It makes an important point about the power of ideas and consequentially on the best way to respond to warring ideologies.
I note via Taonga that one aspect of warring ideologies, fighting between Shi'ites and Sunnis, appears to be erupting on the streets of Sydney. Don't go to Syria. Syria is coming to you.
Sometimes Catholics and Protestants have been at war too, both with bullets and with ideas. But Pope Francis is keen to discuss ideas. On the question of the day, marriage, he has invited Protestants to a colloquium. Can you guess which leading Prots are going? Answers here.
Katy Perry, who greets me most mornings in a fetching - that's code for "not many clothes on" - outfit via a poster on my daughter's bedroom wall, is the daughter of Pentecostal pastors (we may recall). What we may not know is that she is a metrical guide to the theology of Karl Barth. Well, sort of. Ace theologian Michael Bird has de-coded the hidden meaning of "I kissed a girl and I liked it." The translated version is here.