Wednesday, 18 August 2010
Greetings From A Recently Renovated Old Manse
Greetings readers! I've been absent from the blog for a week or so due to a number of factors - moving into a recently renovated old manse (thanks to the generous folk of Our Saviour's), pressures of ministry and a bout of winter flu (yes, northern hemisphere readers, remember it is winter in the upside-down, antipodean world the glossator inhabits!). I ask those awaiting correspondence from me to be patient (by correspondence I mean awaiting actual e-mails, not just blog posts; heaven knows you can all survive without my blog posts!). In the meantime, here's a couple of news stories that caught my eye while I was recuperating.
The first is a report via the Church of England Newspaper and George Conger's blog of an American study done in Mozambique on 'proximal intercessory prayer', i.e. prayer for healing done in the presence of the subject. This tweaked my attention initially because I recall a similar study done a few years back in England which produced similar results, except it was a 'blind' study in which the subjects had no knowledge that they were being prayed for. Click on the post title to go to Conger's blog and read the story.
Anyone who has had contact with 3rd world folk will immediately recognise the truth of the statement that 3rd world folk will 'convert' to a religious belief system which offers them healing. There's a lot to unpack in this context, but I'm sure it does go a long way to explaining the phenomenal growth of Pentecostalism in the 3rd world where medical care is often not available to the rural and urban poor.
The second story concerns another US study which found objective evidence that 'religious people' are less distressed by erros and mistakes, which finding the researchers then fed into some wider evidence that religious people are 'longer-lived, healthier and happier than unbelievers'. I've placed religiopus people in inverted commas because I'd like to know how the scientists define such and what the break-down of religious/confessional commitments are. There are some religous people I know whose religion actually makes them more anxious and unhappy, but that's another subject.
Go here to read the story - http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/08/100804110337.htm