Friday, January 26, 2007

the star from the east

If the wise men followed a star, what is the place of astrology in Christianity? This was a recent question that started discussion at the espresso congregation. A great topic for Epiphany (the season following Christmas).

And is this the type of star the wise men could have followed (Comet McNaught, visible over New Zealand duing Epiphany 07)?

comet mcnaught.jpg


Posted by steve at 11:37 AM


  1. I think a common misconception would be that the wise men were actually Jews. Just because God used their love of astrology doesn’t mean that astrology is good. He also used crucifixion later on in Jesus’s life so what’s the place of crucifixion in christianity today?

    Comment by Andrew Brown — January 26, 2007 @ 2:10 pm

  2. i trust you had a good holiday andrew. I think your point is well made, although the immediate tongue and cheek comment is that there are groups in countries like Philipines who do still practise crucifixion at Easter ie it is still part of Christianity physically. Which does actually open up another question discussed at espresso last year: what is the place of self-punishment in Christianity and is there a difference between self-crucifixion and fasting?

    Comment by steve — January 26, 2007 @ 3:37 pm

  3. I personally feel that self punishment has no part to play, and we had a big discussion with my friends lately about fasting, and we came to the conclusion that fasting is basically all about an sacrifice (with no benefit apart from the knowledge) but discussed 2 scriptures in the OT (I don’t remember them sorry) where the 2 people do the same sacrifices and offerings to God when they prayed and God answered one’s prayers how he wanted but didn’t answer the other, so based on biblical history, I don’t think it would be fair to say that fasting would (for example) make God more likely to answer a particular prayer in a particular way.

    Comment by andrew brown — January 27, 2007 @ 5:16 am

  4. Do you think that fasting could ever become a form of self abuse? Missing the odd meal, for a day or two can’t do any hrm (certainly wouldn’t do me any harm!) but if someone was disposed towards self harm, it could find it’ expression in a religious ritual like fasting.

    I am wary of encouraging fasting in my community, there are so many needs within the people I don’t want to add another problem. I don’t avoid, I just don’t bring it up!

    Comment by Graham Doel — January 27, 2007 @ 7:11 pm

  5. I definitely think some people would use fasting to gain attention. I think if fasting is done, the scripture about praying in the closet is one that should be considered

    Comment by andrew brown — January 28, 2007 @ 9:18 pm

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