Tag Archives: Japan

Demonic Strongholds & Spiritual Warfare: Ghosts of Environmental Past Part I

In continuing with this month-long series on the demonic, it would not be quite complete without considering the role of the demonic on the ecological – our oikos- our household. We are reminded in the scriptures, afterall, that Satan is the ‘Prince of the Air’, and of course this is commonly thought to mean he seems to reign in the hearts and minds of folks in this present age. Although with some shots of many cities/regions in China, it may seem the Biblical literalists have this one right

Photochemical Smog in Beijing

This series w/in a series (mini-series), will be something of a eulogy to pay an ode to some of history’s most tragic, gut-wrenching environmental catastrophes. Environmental issues are very fascinating because they’re almost like external, non-human proxies that attest to the brokenness of humanity and of creation at large.

So Today’s Ghost of Environmental Past takes us to Minamata Bay:

The Minamata Bay Disease/Disaster was a case of  left-over waste pollutant from a fetilizer production company being carelessly dumped into the Minamata Bay. Amongst the most toxic ingredients in this sludge was mercury- which is a neuro-toxin to humans. Once dumped in the bay, it was methylized by biota in the water body and traveled up the food chain (and as it did, the concentration increased) all the way to the fish that were consumed by locals there. Upon consumption, people were exposed and myriad symptoms associated with mercury poisoning in humans started showing: convulsions,seizures, complete loss of mental faculty  and otherwise deterioration of brain cells.  Infant deformities and crippling resulted also.

Christ says to mourn with those who mourn; this is clearly more of an emphasis on the present, but I believe that in decolonizing creation and destroying barriers we really ought to get to know the past tragedies of our neighbors. The Minamata Bay Disaster ( as with many issues we’ll cover) happen as a result of global “development” being the standard set by the economy. Japan, like many, were forced to forsake externalities and produce to remain competitive.

Til next time…

Japan & Piper: God's Wrath Satisfied But We Still Paying Interest?

I would like to recommend an excellent defense of God’s goodness (one of the marks of Christian traditions).

My friend T.C. Moore, in his post, A BLACK SUN HAS NOT RISEN ON JAPAN: CHALLENGING SO-CALLED “ANSWERS” FOR THE JAPANESE DISASTER, discusses nature, evil, and God giving humanity and creation freedom. He also questions whether the Calvinist commitment to divine wrath is even consistent.

The American author who wrote the post on Japan’s disasters holds a very different view of the cross: that God poured out all his wrath against sin on Jesus that we deserved. For the American author, the cross “satisfies” the wrath of God like the proverbial virgin “satisfies” the volcano. However, this is directly at odds with the implication that Japan’s earthquake is an outflow of God’s wrath against sin. That implication would suggest that Jesus’ death on the cross only partially satisfied God’s wrath. Or that God’s wrath is greater than God’s grace.

If the Japanese earthquake is a result of sin and God’s wrath, as this author implies, then Jesus may not have paid our debt in full—because we’re still paying interest.

I would encourage you all to read his post linked here.

After Japan: How Can Christians Defend God's Goodness?

I have been wondering inside for awhile where have all the defenses of divine omnibenevolence gone. It seems that these voices are long gone, and those who believe in a god who loves to look in the mirror at HIMself and say, look at me, look at me, like Vanity the Smurf (Piper’s calvinianism) suppress any traditional understandings of God’s goodness. That is because their guilt-ridden religion leads them to proclaim a faulty view of God’s justice. If God throw temper tantrums 80% of the time, then when exactly was God’s wrath actually satisfied? It don’t need no satisfaction? Ala penal substitution?

“The Good News of Jesus Christ is that God has been born into the world, in the flesh, dwelt among us as a man, opposed Satan, healed the sick, raised the dead, inaugurated the reign of God in this world, was himself murdered, then rose from the dead by the power of the Spirit. Jesus Christ’s death on the cross paid the penalty for sin redeeming us, ransoming us, rescuing us. Jesus paid it all!

The American author who wrote the post on Japan’s disasters holds a very different view of the cross: that God poured out all his wrath against sin on Jesus that we deserved. For the American author, the cross “satisfies” the wrath of God like the proverbial virgin “satisfies” the volcano. However, this is directly at odds with the implication that Japan’s earthquake is an outflow of God’s wrath against sin. That implication would suggest that Jesus’ death on the cross only partially satisfied God’s wrath. Or that God’s wrath is greater than God’s grace.

If the Japanese earthquake is a result of sin and God’s wrath, as this author implies, then Jesus may not have paid our debt in full—because we’re still paying interest.”

For more, read T.C. Moore’s A Black Sun Has Not Set On Japan: Challenging So-Called Answers For The Japanese Disaster.