Writings of Branko's Blog

All around Central Europe


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Mobile is transforming lives, says a secular report. Christians, what do you think? [blog]


There was an important report just published, in a week where 70,000 geeks are talking global tech. Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain. This report says, that mobile is transforming lives, particularly in the developing world, that mobile health services could help save a million loves in Africa fighting malaria, tuberculosis and the HIV. In addition, food spoils will be greatly reduced, due to proper monitoring of transport and storage facilities.

ImageIn addition, the report says, 1.8 million children could use e-readers and tablets and get education by 2017. It added that connected cars could save one in nine lives through emergency calling services and, smart metering could cut carbon emissions by 27 million tones – the equivalent of planting 1.2 billion trees.

Meanwhile, some Christian ministries are developing free ringtones and ‘Christian’ wallpapers for our mobile phones, while others have progressed thus far as to provide ‘free Christian news,’ Bible software, apps and video clips. I think Christians have not fully understood the impact and scope of the new medium yet. Somehow, our Christian world is still adapting the old content for the new framework, but is it working?Image

A small number of ministries are focused on mobile today. You may check some of these:

Do you know of any other?

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TWR Europe Epic story [video blog]

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What is the situation in Southern Europe when considering youth? Is mobile media affecting people’s lives and how? What could you do to help your friends meet Jesus? These and other questions were posed to a number of young people from Portugal, Spain, France and Italy in this appealing video from http://www.twreurope.org.


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Radio as an enemy [blog]


internet-radioToday is the World Radio Day (13 February), according to the UN. To honor that, let us read some Kundera on the proliferation of content/music/commercials… It does not have to sound that way :). Radio also brings good news, check http://www.twr.org for example.

As early as 1930 Schoenberg wrote: “Radio is an enemy, a ruthless enemy marching irresistibly forward, and any resistance is hopeless”; it “force-feeds us music . . . regardless of whether we want to hear it, or whether we can grasp it,” with the result that music becomes just noise, a noise among other noises. Radio was the tiny stream it all began with. Then came other technical means for reproducing, proliferating, amplifying sound, and the stream became an enormous river. If in the past people would listen to music out of love for music, nowadays it roars everywhere and all the time, “regardless whether we want to hear it,” it roars from loudspeakers, in cars, in restaurants, in elevators, in the streets, in waiting rooms, in gyms, in the earpieces of Walkmans, music rewritten, reorchestrated, abridged, and stretched out, fragments of rock, of jazz, of opera, a flood of everything jumbled together so that we don’t know who composed it (music become noise is anonymous), so that we can’t tell beginning from end (music become noise has no form): sewage-water music in which music is dying.”  (Ignorance, Milan Kundera)


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Bonhoeffer on Younger Generation and Leadership [blog]


bonhoeffer

Did you know that 80 years ago to this day (Feb. 1), young German theologian Dietrich Bonhoeffer, spoke on the Berlin radio station on the topic of Youth and Leadership?

Apparently, this occurred only two days since the Nazis took over the power in Germany and some argued that Bonhoeffer did that to oppose their rule, but the truth is we do not know if this is true or not. His program was scheduled way before the political change, but it is possible that he changed the tone of his address inspired with the situation in the country.

What is interesting is that Bonhoeffer spoke about the concept of the Leader (Fuhrer) that existed in German culture for decades already. The same term was later used by Hitler for his propaganda purposes. But, at the time of the address, it was still a popular concept of the Fuhrer Principle.

Bonhoeffer started with explaining why Germany was looking for the Fuhrer – as a search for meaning and guidance out of troubles, the Great War and its consequences and the deep economic crisis in 1920s. There he argued about the real leadership and the false leadership of the Fuhrer. The real leadership comes from God, while the authority of Fuhrer is self-derived and autocratic, with a messianic aspect. Because of that such a leader becomes an idol.

Bonhoeffer said: “Whereas earlier leadership was expressed in the form of the teacher, the statesman, the father… now the Leader became an independent figure. The Leader is completely divorced from any office, he is essentially and only ‘the Leader.’

He argued that the true leader must stand before God and be responsible to God. When the leader starts to points toward the state or nation they take over the ultimate authority from God.

How true and how prophetic from such a young person!

Whether on purpose or not his radio address was cut off before he could make his conclusion. The station was silenced, and no one until today knows what happened. Some say Nazis did it, others think of more technical or electric reasons. I am of an opinion that their PR offices were well aware of the power of media, especially radio in those days.

(quotes taken from the book Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy by Eric Metaxas)