Back at work today. Great holiday - thank you, Lord. Some bits of the holiday will appear in subsequent postings. The Hell Hole of the South Pacific. Going to church with Bill English. Joy of cricket.
More than a little facetiously: the (continuing, informative, lively, provocative, profound) discussion on this blog over recent weeks since my last post and in the absence of new posts has inspired me with the thought that I need never post again ...
But the best news for this blog, really, is the ever present Donald Trump in the media, mainstream, social, you name it media. He is and will be the gift that keeps on giving to bloggers, reporters, Tweeters and dinner table conversationalists. However this is a Christian and Anglican blog, so my comments about Donald Trump or spurred on by the same, will try to have a Christian and Anglican angle to them. For starters, today, and to ease my way back into blogging for 2017 - the tenth year of ADU - I will list the reasons why I (at least) can thank God for Donald Trump.
(1) As already stated, he regularly furnishes new material for blogs. (But, Donald, if you are reading this, could you please tone it down a bit. How about one new thing to respond to each day rather than each hour?)
(2) He is (sometimes) fun to observe and even more fun is observing the people straining to find the good in him, only to find with the next revelation that he is a complete [you fill this bit in]. And for those readers here who think there really is a lot of good in him, note the ways in which his new cabinet picks try to dial back his more outlandish thoughts (especially on hugging Russia) and how allies are genuinely concerned he might give away secret agent names to the Russians.
(3) More importantly, Trump's very divisiveness is challenging us all in respect of values, attitudes and actions. Christians and non-Christians alike: who do we serve? what do we stand for? who matters in society? who is neighbour, enemy, alien and how will we love them? Talk is cheap. Trump's era will demand action from the chattering classes of Western societies.
(4) Despite all the "post-truth" naming of this new era in politics, I think we are going to find ourselves re-searching for plain truth and, consequentially, recalibrating our ability to call a lie a falsehood. But that journey will be tough and for a time we are going to be very confused about what is and is not true, who is and who is not reliable as a truth teller and as a discerner of lies. (Dust off those Orwellian volumes, 1984 and Animal Farm: essential guides for an era in which we are not certain whether Trump is a muppet or a puppet of Putin or whether Putin is playing a shell-game in which his greatest success is that we think Trump is his poodle when in fact he is not. Though he keeps Tweeting as though he is ...
(5) I think I said something about this last year, but Trump is illustrative of a significant way in which God's judgment is worked out in the course of history. Trump is precisely the president the USA and the West deserve when we have followed the devices and desires of our own hearts, lapping up immoral entertainment from Hollywood and its satellites and worshipping in the citadels of consumerist capitalism. We will focus on the latest Tweet from Trump but we should be focusing on why we have Trump and whether we can or cannot stem the rot which is killing Western civilization. (Memo to ourselves: the best way out of the inexorable judgment of God is through repentance.)
(6) Trump will re-focus our attention on the Book of Revelation. Most of the time this book makes no sense, save for some sense that "at the end of time" it will make sense because at that time The World Will Turn To Custard in Bizarre and Terrifying Ways. Maybe that time has come. (Expect a post or two on Revelation 13-17!)
(7) This may sound a bit perverse, but I think the world has been heading towards a major war for some time (think: China, Russia, Middle East, with or without American involvement) and rather than this time dragging on for decades through this century, just maybe Trump will hasten the day of culmination. I pray it might be largely a cyber and economic war, rather than a guns and bullets war.