Archives For Ideology

The tally of the Sri Lankan bombings on Resurrection Sunday now stands at 290 people with around 500 more wounded (many of that number include Sri Lankan Christians).

CNN reported that ‘two (now revealed to be 8) suicide bombers perpetrated the attacks hitting three churches and four luxury hotels.’  The Wall Street Journal noted official statements from the Sri Lankan government, who said that the attacks were perpetrated by an Islamist group known as National Thoweeth Jamath.

Apart from some formal condemnations from countries such as Indonesia, the Muslim world remains largely silent. While there are live updates from news organizations, including CNN, there’s no outrage about Islamism, or widespread sympathy from Muslims.

In addition, as was done to right-wing groups after the Mosque attack in New Zealand, there are no extensive editorials, and little to no panels filled by Leftist academics, sitting down to examine the issues and dangers pertaining to Islamism, and how the Islamic faith is interwoven with political ideology, or how events like the mass murder of Sri Lankans in church celebrating Easter, proves that the political dogma which permeates Islam is a tyrannical antitheses to Biblical Christianity (Judeo-Christianity), it’s progeny Classical Liberalism and Western Civilization[1].

With over 500 wounded and 290 dead, the outpouring of support, outrage and sympathy has been well short of that which was seen after a lone wolf, “eco-fascist”, attacked the Al Noor Mosque in Christchurch, killing 50 and wounding another 50.

One of the few examples of unprecedented support for Christians, came from Antonio Tajani, the European Parliament President, who hours after the Islamist terror attacks in Sri Lanka, issued a message of condolence, and solidarity. Tajani stated that the “attacks on Sri Lankan churches testify to a real genocide perpetrated against Christians.”

Tajani called a spade a spade, arguing for a renewal of the pursuit for religious freedom. Part of this was an implied condemnation of violent attempts to eradicate Christians from Asia, Africa, and the Middle East.

Tajani’s response is a direct contrast to the begrudging sympathy issued forth by leading Democrats in the United States. Democrats fell in line with Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, falsely referring the victims of the Church attacks as “Easter worshippers”.

Certainly not every victim was a Christian, but this deliberate ambiguity is antagonistic, if not snarky, and manipulative. It’s how the Democratic Left does politics and it’s abhorrent.

Not calling a spade a spade, or politicking with half-truths is why the American Democrats are viewed with suspicion in the eyes of many voters. What voters see and observe, doesn’t match what their politicians are selling them.

That leading Democrats are still continuing to play around with words, and blur distinctions, in order to suit their own narrative, shows that these leading Democrats have learnt nothing from Hillary Clinton’s bitter election loss in 2016.

Calling the Christian victims “Easter worshippers” doesn’t just insult the victims of the Islamist attack on three Sri Lankan churches, it rubs salt into a wound felt by Christians all around the world.

Adding insult to injury, some Leftists and at least one Australian Union mocked Scott Morrison, Australia’s Christian Prime Minister, after video emerged of him attending Church. Inferring that Christians were “Nazi worshippers”. Twitter users falsely equated Christians raising their hands in a sign of surrender and openness to God (and as such an act of humility and worship), with the Hitler salute.

One Twitter user referencing an article in The Age stated: “[A] nazi salute. Have a look at the photo – only two men doing it so it can’t be a religious thing.”

Another: “The only difference to this and a Nazi rally from the 30s are the players and the date… except Murdoch is Hitler and Morrison is Goebbels!”

Then another asserted that: “Scott Morrison is not a Christian.”By their works ye shall know them”. Looks like a Nazi salute to me.”

While all of these users were anonymous, that fact doesn’t delegitimize the severity of the act, the accusation, and the negative pattern of behavior attached to it.

Turning Christians into “Easter worshippers” and Christians worshipping in Church, into “Nazi worshippers”, shows the contrast between reactions to N.Z and Sri Lanka.

It’s another example of how the narrative surrounding “white guilt” is built up to force Westerners to remain silent, where there should be outrage, critique and criticism.

The West is told that Islamophobia is racism. Any challenge to Islamic ideology is to be punished. All moral opposition to Islamism is treated as treason. (It’s now much the same with critiques of homosexuality).

For fear of being accused of white supremacism, many in the West become unable to see how terms like Islamophobia are used to slowly bring the World into submission to what could be rightfully be called Islamist supremacism.

For example, British Philosopher, Sir Roger Scruton lost his U.K Government role as Housing Adviser, after criticizing George Soros and asserting that

“Islamophobia was an attempt to control conversation by making any and all criticism of Islam or Muslims a social pathology. (The same is true with all these absurd, politicized -phobias.)”[2]

There have also been calls for Scruton’s knighthood to be revoked.

As Scruton and Muslim writer, Ismail Royer point out.

“[In the minds of the Muslim Brotherhood it’s] impossible for anyone to write critically about Islam, or the deeds of Muslims, in good faith. The only acceptable angle was flattery” (Scruton)
“The Scruton affair illustrates a mindset afflicting many modern Muslims. As @ScholarsInk points out, this is a man who has engaged in substantive dialogue with Islamic scholars. It’s a problem that many Muslims find anything other than flattery to be absolutely intolerable.” (Royer)

Through the Left’s sycophantic political correctness imposed on Western societies, far too many are having their hands tied and mouths gagged, by falsehoods and lies such as the myth that Islam is an oppressed “race”, and that “all white people are racist.”

Add “Easter worshippers” and “Nazi worshippers” to these falsehoods and you’d have to be blind not to see the negative pattern of behavior and the agenda behind it.

Persecution of Christians isn’t subsiding. Terror Attacks on Christians and churches in Nigeria, the Philippines, Syria, Iran, China, India, Egypt and France, are now common place. Every year another country is added to the list.

Although different and a lot less blatant in The West, intolerance and discrimination against Christians is surfacing, e.g.: Roger Scruton, Israel Folau, Margaret Court.

Just as physical attacks on Churches are coordinated and deliberate, so are the intellectual and verbal assaults against Westerners and Christians in general.

There is an obvious discrepancy between the response to Christians after the Sri Lankan Church bombings and the global embrace that was afforded to Muslims, not just in New Zealand, but around the world.

One such example is when leading American Democrats deliberately refuse to call the victims of the church bombings Christians, and instead refer to them as “Easter Worshippers”; an insult that dehumanizes Christians and waters down the threat. This was exhibited by vile diatribes from Leftists, who also inferred that Christians were “Nazi worshippers”.

There is, however, hope. There are those like Tajani (in this case anyway), Scruton, and Royer who see the gathering storm, and instead of cowering in appeasement before it, choose to do everything in their power to respond to it, by educating people in the truth about Islam’s violent historical path and the deceptive nature that hides the destructive all-consuming agenda of Islamists.

If the Hillary Clinton losing the 2016 election, Brexit, Lexit, Blexit, #walkaway, Yellow Jackets, Fraser Anning and the list goes on, say anything, it’s that the age of manipulating the truth, of not calling a spade a spade, of sugar coating, and softening truth to fit into people’s lives in order to win votes, instead of speaking truthfully and allowing the truth to correct people’s lives, is nearing an end.

Therefore the work of the church today is to understand and posit an effective resistance within the context of this new and universal Church struggle, not be defined by it. Resisting the storm comes by standing on the truth. The church speaking God’s agenda for the culture, instead of submitting to any culture that seeks to make itself a god and determine the agenda of the Church. Therefore, ‘[our] reaction should be one of a spiritual and psychological nature, and on a scholarly level.’ (Jacques Ellul, 2015)[3]

For Christians, even those who stand before direct hostility, and who face the possibility of annihilation[4], this means continuing to follow the leading of the Holy Spirit, not the spirit of the age.

It’s by this Light that Christians can ‘stand and proceed even when they and their neighbours expect to see themselves fall into the abyss. It’s by this Light that Christians can be courageous and patient and cheerful even where not just appearances, but the massive whole of reality forbids them to be so.’[5]

This means following Jesus Christ, the One who despite the world’s violent opposition, and despite falsehood from without and within, guides us by God’s grace, through God’s providence, and fatherly good will, into all Truth (John 14:6, ESV).


References:

[1] See Roger Scruton’s ‘The West & all the Rest’ 2002; and Jacques Ellul’s, ‘Islam & Judeo-Christianity: a Critique of their Commonality’, 2015.

[2] Rod Dreher, The ‘Islamophobia’ Smear Against Scruton April 12th 2019, The American Conservative

[3] Islam & Judeo-Christianity: A Critique of Their Commonality (p.67)

[4] Such as the Egyptians Coptic Christians and Assyrian Christians in Northern Iraq and Southern Turkey; for more see the excellent Documentary ‘The Last Christians’.

[5] Barth, K., Bromiley, G. W., & Torrance, T. F. (2004). Church dogmatics: The doctrine of creation, Part 3 (3rd ed., Vol. 3, p. 250). London; New York: T&T Clark.

(Originally posted on Caldron Pool, 23rd April 2019)

©Rod Lampard, 2019

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Flail

The wheat and tares

Flail

The winding, twisted arguments and their hypocritical stares

Flail

.  The grinding edge of the apocalypse;

.  Godspeed the Prince of Peace and an end to greedy politics!

Flail

The revolutionary, veiled promises and their violence that haunts darkened thrones

Flail

. The path of injustice as it drives its warlike wedge toward our homes

Flail

.  The tyrants, who’ve enslaved people to their ideas

Flail

. their sycophants and their flood of empty tears.

Flail

. the superior denier and self-righteous believer,

.      who fails to see no grace for either

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. “parent one” and “parent two” which replace gender specific roles;

.       those who’d kill mother and father,

.       and rob little children,

.       to placate selfish “trolls”.

Flail

. the revanchist;

.           controversialist,

.            who fixes an argument so it’s won;

.            where 4 + 4 equals 5, and its forbidden to correct the sum.

Flail

. vanity metrics and its socio-political funds,

.      where a hashtag can destroy an honest man

.      and any good work that he has done.

Flail

.     the auctioneers and their ideological lunge

.      who play the people’s court,

.      to shoot to kill with a social media gun.

Flail

. the willing beggar who swallows this garbage hole.

. Who then thinks, is, speaks, and blindly does, whatever the bloody-hell they’re told.

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But, halleujah for the resistance and its gladdening light

hallelujah for those who’ve not surrendered to the storm, or to its encroaching night.

Halleujah to the King of Kings,

. The Prince of Peace, the presence of the Christ.


©RL2017

 Artwork credit: John Martin, ‘The Last Man’, 1849

19th-december-2016-023Here’s how a committee meeting between Herod and his advisers might sound, if such a meeting were to take place in a Western context today.


“This baby! This Jesus, his mother and father, is a threat to us! Committee members, you are asked to agree with Herod’s call for the genocide of all new born male Hebrew children. For by this child’s very existence, all the power structures that surround him stand unprotected. This so-called, “Prince of peace”, is a threat to safe spaces, our glorious goal of perpetual revolution and the power of its leaders.”

“This child’s birth is nothing but a conservative, bourgeois conspiracy, comrades! It’s violence against everything we stand for, which is surely justification enough for its violent suppression.”

“His existence as an outright repressive assault on everything we’ve built; everything we want people to believe in.”

“This is blasphemy against the State and it must not go unpunished. We’ve heard of the academics; how three bourgeoisie wise-men cheated you. Traitors to our glorious academic industrial complex, all of them!! Therefore, any who refuse to give up this child’s location should be tried and tortured. Treated like the vermin, we say they are.”

“It’s their kind that hinders us from completely implementing the way of our glorious leaders. The way of our glorious revolution [pounds fist on desk] !! We should continue to seek to replace structures we deem oppressive with our own. Tear them down!! This child, the “Prince of peace” is a threat! He challenges us, our religion of peace, and our people.”

“Comrades, you know that ‘State power must be exercised in all spheres, even in that of thought!’ [i] For what we do is for the good of the people, we know what’s best for them, better than they know themselves.”

“Yes. Our revolutionary non-gender specific person of the same mind is correct! Our collective’s survival rests on our ideas dominating the higher ground in the hearts of the people. Those who still have sway with the young, and yet betray us must be purged!”

“I concur! This birth represents heteronormative oppression. We must rally people to take up arms against it. He who says that God became man is guilty of hatred towards women. It is said that the husband, one carpenter by the name of Joseph, has wed this woman, Mary, under strange circumstances. As it has been told to us by our spies and confirmed by the secret police, this Joseph is said to have been given the task of caring for the child by Angels. This only reinforces the evils of patriarchy. It will perpetuate the lies that claim healthy child rearing at its best, involves both a man and a woman; a father and a mother. It MUST be stopped! We must ban Christmas!”

” We’ll paint this male Christ-child and the nativity scene itself, as an evil idea, constructed to further the chains of bigoted societal norms.”

“The birth of the “Prince of Peace” threatens our control over what we say is peace; We must have war! These chosen people; these breeders, are an assault on ALL humanity. The State alone, is the peace bringer. The State alone, is the saviour of the people.”

“At the heart of this child is a war on peace! He will stand against our truth and it’s phobic misrepresentations. He will not be easy to control through our mass propaganda and He will unhinge us from progress.”

“For the betterment of humanity; for our evolution, we must have control and influence of hearts and minds, which as we’ve agreed, has to happen first with our educational institutions. Our science is the only science. Our truth, the only truth. What we say is scientific fact, is scientific fact. After-all, we fund our scientists well, and they’re loyalty to our agenda is off the charts. They will all fall in line and do as we tell them to.”

The room quiets down then a voice shouts in frustration:

“How dare this woman, this Mary, choose to keep her unexpected pregnancy! Worst of all, she claims to have been chosen by God! Send her to the Clinic for the welfare of women’s rights! That child must not be allowed to live!”

“This must not go unpunished!”

“Her convictions and religious beliefs are phobic, sexist and irrational. So, we the committee applaud your decision, dear Herod.  We’ve even lined up celebrity endorsements to back us on how necessary and just this action is. This woman’s pregnancy, and the prophecy attached to it is a farce, therefore this child’s life should be deemed not worthy of life.”

“Her and her child’s suffering will not be on your head. This Mary has made her choice and we will not celebrate it …. If only she could’ve seen the freedom our glorious revolution has offered her, the same freedom we’ve given all women, who do as we say, think as we think, and follow what and who we tell them to follow. Ignorant fiend! How dare she stand against us and think for herself. We cannot be to blame, we wouldn’t have had to act as we have. Mary is to wear the blame for forcing your hand, dear Herod, not you.”

“Okay. Then the decision is unanimous. Therefore, let nothing sway you. You are to wipe out males up to the age of two. This will save us and make certain we have eliminated this threat to peace and our civil order. This is an act of great compassion, surgically liberating your people from this threat to us, is the right course of action.”

“After all, we are the victims here! It’s an all out attack on feminism.”

“This young woman’s choice disempowers all women. Her choice undermines our choice for women. If she gets away with it, what does our lack of response say about our pro-abortion policies and how will that negatively impact the millions in funding flowing into our abortion-on-demand factories? This woman could potentially kill the whole industry. The State must, at all cost, uphold the ideals of glorious revolution.”

“Yes. I have the data here. Social media polls suggest support for reinforcing our commitment to feminism. Killing every Hebrew male under the age of two, is the only way to reassure those people that, you Herod, and your council, remain committed to social justice programs that favour those we deem to be the oppressed, and those we deem to be the oppressors.”

“The birth of the Prince of peace; the Son of God, and its proclamation before everyday people is a threat to us. It will inspire ignorance,  non-conformism and counter cultural activists into disobedience. Zealots will rise. Worst of all it will inspire unity and solidarity amongst those we seek to control for their own benefit.”

“Surely, not! The people are now convinced we serve them, even if putting our own interests before them is undeniable. Will they really care? They know who holds the power and who doesn’t; who to fear and who not to.”

“Well, I think your trust in our propaganda success is slightly misplaced. Make no mistake, this child will work against us! He will stand as a threat to our factories, our causes, and he will take away our ability to convince the people about how necessary it is for them to have us in power. Only you can be called King. Only the State and the glorious leaders of the revolution can be called saviour! There can be no other!”

“The raising up of anyone against the glorious progressive collective must be met with ridicule, shame, and gaol time. This rise of a King of kings, must not be allowed to happen.”

“I agree! We want our ideas to reign. We want a peaceful society in harmony with the peaceful religion we’ve created and authorised. We want our people to be thankful for the live-life-our-way programs. We have no room for a Prince of peace, we have a religion of peace; there is no room for a “King of Kings” who commands us to live life His way, according to the ways of the Good Book before our redaction of it.”

“If you’ve been following me on Twitter, you’ll know that I for one, am outraged! This so-called birth of the Prince of Peace, is what real violence looks like! It is violence towards the collective. Violence against the state! Violence against women! Violence against us!”

“Then let it be made known that all who disagree with us are traitors, haters and infidels! Anyone not thinking along with us, is against us.”

“We’re told that the prophecy of Isaiah has been fulfilled, that this child is a saviour.”

“But the quiet proclamation announcing the birth of a Jew; a baby boy from Judea is ethnocentric; it’s offensive to other races. It propagates the legitimacy of Israel’s existence,  and threatens our power on the world stage.”

“If not stopped, this manger baby will lead a revolution. We are all in agreement. This Christ-child is a threat to us all.”

“We must not stop showing a unified stance against this blatant display of contempt for our leadership. Our glorious revolution depends on it, and our glorious leaders command it to be so!”

“Organise the outrage! Get the wheels of the State moving and manipulate the ignorant. Send out the murderous minions and shut down all this unlicensed good cheer. The party must not be seen to approve of this unsanctioned movement. Stop the early rumblings of this pathetic prophetic Jesus movement.”

“How will we survive, if the people are encouraged to think for themselves?!”

“Herod, you must act. Remember all who oppose you are tyrants fit for only one thing – total destruction and perpetual war!”

And everybody said:

“Long may our glorious revolution, the party who enforces it, and its leader who embodies it, reign!”


Notes:

This is a hypothetical response created for the purpose of highlighting how some in the West respond to Jesus Christ. How within that response rests a resistance to Him who still confronts us in our own positions of power.

For the recount of an historical response of someone in power to the birth of Jesus Christ, see Matthew 2:16-18

[i] Weil, S. 1936 Oppression & Liberty p.109 Routledge & Kegan Paul 1958.

On recognising empirical facts expressed in metaphorical truth C.S Lewis Wrote:

‘I am certain that in passing from the scientific point of view to the theological, I have passed from dream to waking.Christian theology can fit in science, art, morality, and the sub-Christian religions. The scientific point of view cannot fit in any of these things, not even science itself. I believe in Christianity as I believe that the Sun has set or risen,  not only because I see it but because by it I see everything else’ [1]

A minor point hidden within this quote is Lewis’ defence of faith and science against the tyranny of militant ideology.

My own answer to this question is yes and no. The reason being that theology allows for metaphor yet does not blindly follow it. Just as theology allows for empiricism yet does not allow itself to be lead around blindfolded by it. As I currently understand it, metaphorical truth is a useful point of reference; a starting point for expression that can and often does communicate empirical fact relationally.

Source:

[1] C.S. Lewis, in Walmsley, L, 2000 Essay Collection, p.21 Harper-Collins (italics mine)

9780306820366I only really took notice of actor, Kevin Sorbo, after watching his work on the Gene Roddenberry series Andromeda. The T.V series ‘Hercules’ barely made it as a blip on my adolescent radar of ”must see” viewing.

Andromeda isn’t too bad of a series. It explored, in great detail,  the consequences of unity, intercultural conflict, ideology and how important it is to allow room for a theological perspective in life.

The very existence of a commonwealth which was destroyed by a society based on Nietzschean (God is dead – will-to-power-Übermensch [superhuman/above human]) ideology, who were also in league with a dark being called ‘the abyss’, is a curious thing for a theologian. For instance: Karl Barth references nothingness (evil) as being like an abyss, and in Evangelical Theology, he infers that the Church is by its very existance a ‘Commonwealth of Christ’.

I think the persistence of the protagonists, allows the drive of the story to enter into places that, for me, showed the positive impacts that faith and reason can have, when correctly viewed as existing side by side and not dichotomously. The enigmatic ‘Divine’, Dylan Hunt [Sorbo] and his team, one of whom is a Nietzchean mercenary, embark on a quest  to re-establish and reunite the peoples commonwealth 300 years later.

The series is full of tension and conflict. The dialogue engages in an array of discourses about origins, natural selection, God and probably most intriguing of all, the power, point and purpose of hope. IMG_20130814_152222This is not to imply that I had no qualms with the series. On the contrary, there are some low points such as semi graphic scenes of the Magog. A race created by ‘the abyss’ to devour worlds by eating all their inhabitants. (hence the M rating, in Australia anyway).

Suffice to say I think, that like Orwell’s 1984, Roddenberry’s narrative has serious areas of relevance that any critical thinker, especially a theologian would benefit from.

Given the characters played by Kevin Sorbo and themes of power and strength therein, it is refreshing to hear the man discuss the truth as he has experienced it. In a recent interview (linked below) Kevin talked a little about his faith and the impetus behind the publication for his book ‘True Strength’ released in 2011. I plan to read it and may post some thoughts on it here if I do.  You can read a little more about this here…

Kevin Sorbo’s book True Strength is available on kindle or at his official site.

For more about Andromeda check out the wiki site.

This is not a paid review. These thoughts are my own.

English: Location of South Avustralia.

English: Location of South Australia. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Contemporary Western society both beguiles and reviles its ideological heritage.

This stems from the 19th and 20th centuries and is evident to the plethora of antagonists who aspire to deconstruct, in order to defend this heritage, or completely write it off as part of the inevitable devolution of imperialist Western civilisation.

This is manifested in the ”replace it with something else – bulldoze it”; revolutionary ethos, advocated by a large amount of people who align themselves with ”progressive” socio-political agendas.

Atheist and comedian Pat Condell is right, (even if a bit hypocritical in his defence of the freedom of speech), to point at that the problem is, progressives are now trending towards accepting ideology, without critique.

This necessarily means that ideology will enslave those that it is supposedly serving. For instance: ‘human beings do not have to serve causes, causes have to serve human beings’ (Barth – Against the Steam p.35).

My point is that in reality, ideology rarely delivers the freedom it promises, if at all.

Alister McGrath wrote that ‘the past not only shapes and illuminates the present but anticipates the future’ [1].

No matter how much we try to justify it, when reality bites, history corrects us. History presents those of us who abandon politics for theology, and vice-versa as the fools we truly can be.

This is evidenced in the eerie example of ‘Hitler, who only tolerated those clerics who applauded his will to be the absolute ruler of the state’. (Eberhard Busch ‘Barmen theses’, 2010, p.1)

It is true that ‘grace leads us to rebel against the powers which keep us in servitude’ [2]. In light of this it is certainly difficult to disagree with the caveat against appeasement, penned in 1940 by  C.S Lewis,

 ‘I think the suppression of a higher religion by a lower, or even a higher secular culture by a lower, is a great evil…though the world is slow to forgive, it is quick to forget’ [3].

I come now to the Australian Minister for trade, Craig Emerson, who staged this (see below) last year in order to ridicule Opposition claims that Whyalla, a mining community in South Australia, would be seriously hindered by the implementation of a ‘carbon tax’.

I support responsible management of the environment. I am, however, in complete disagreement with any cheap political gains that feed off what is pushed by a ”mob”.

This is because ‘truthfulness is not determined by customer satisfaction surveys’ [4].

The reality – 2013:
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”Whyalla Mayor Jim Pollock said he was shocked by the announcement, which dashed hopes of 1000 new jobs for the industrial city.Whyalla has suffered a series of blows in recent months, with BHP Billiton postponing its huge Olympic Dam expa…nsion and jobs at OneSteel under threat”.[5]
The theology – timeless:
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‘It is better for a person to hear the rebuke of the wise  than to hear the song of fools. For as the crackling of thorns under a pot,    so is the laughter of the fools;   this also is vanity’ Solomon, Ecc.7:5-6. (ESV)

References:

[1] McGrath, A 2007 Christianity’s dangerous idea, p.10 HarperCollins Publishers.
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[2] Marquardt, in Gorringe, T. 1999, Karl Barth: Against Hegemony, Oxford press
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[3]Lewis, C.S 1940, ‘why I am not a pacifist’ in Essay Collection, 2000 pp.287 & 293.
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[4] Shuster, M. 2008 Performance in Preaching: bringing sermons to life, Baker academic
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[5]Sarah Martin, The Australian (pay-walled content) via Andrew Bolt