Around Town: Triumphs & Tragedies of Christian Politics, PR / BC, Mavis Staples

Mark Noll is an astute observer of religion and politics on both sides of the border (and Britain).

You’re never going to get a better opportunity to hear from a very well informed historian/commentator about the complex relationship between evangelicals (Christians in general) and the state.

Mark Noll will cover the good, the bad and the ugly during his Christians & Politics Lecture Series at Regent College next week.

Subtitled ‘What Can We Learn by Comparing Canada, America & Britain,’ the presentation will be delivered during three lectures September 26 – 27. Though Noll lives in Indiana, he has joined Regent as Research Professor of History.

This is Regent’s description of Noll’s talks:

The support of American evangelicals for Donald Trump has grabbed headlines across the globe. For Christians, especially those who consider themselves evangelical Protestants, opinions have become enflamed. Some applaud. Others are sympathetic. Some are bewildered. Some appalled.

The level of intensity in the American Christian-political relationship contrasts sharply with both Canada and the United Kingdom. In the States, politics and Christianity are enmeshed. In Canada and Britain, Christians remain active in public life but in a decidedly different context.

This series of three lectures will offer historical and theological insights from the contrasting histories of Canada, Britain and America.

* Lecture 1 (September 26, 7:30 – 9 pm): The Current Situation: Embattled America, Quiescent Canada, Semi-Secular Britain

* Lecture 2 (September 27, 11:30 am – 1 pm): Triumphs of Anglo, American and Canadian Christian Politics

* Lecture 3 (September 27, 7:30 – 9 pm): Tragedies of Anglo, American and Canadian Christian Politics

Noll recently retired as the Francis A. McAnaney Professor of History at the University of Notre Dame, having previously served as Professor of History and Theological Studies at Wheaton College. He has taught courses on American and Canadian religious history, world Christianity, Reformation theology, Puritanism, historiography, 19th century British evangelicalism and American intellectual history.

Proportional Representation: 2 views

Two veteran Christian political experts have recently addressed BC’s upcoming Referendum on Electoral Reform. Voters will be asked two questions on the referendum ballot:

  • The first question asks if we should keep the current First Past the Post voting system or move to a system of proportional representation.
  • The second question asks voters to rank three proportional systems: Dual Member Proportional (DMP), Mixed Member Proportional (MMP), and Rural-Urban Proportional (RUP).

The referendum is being held by mail from October 22 to November 30.

John Redekop and Nick Loenen take different approaches in the debate leading up to the vote.

John Redekop (right), with MLA Marvin Hunt, presenting his latest book, ‘The Church in Surrey & White Rock,’ this summer. Photo: Judi Vankevitch.

John Redekop

John Redekop is a professor emeritus in political science at Wilfrid Laurier University and the author of several books, including Politics Under God. He wrote PR proponents wrong to say current voting causes dictatorship for The Vancouver Sun September 14.

Here is an excerpt:

The statement that a majority government “gets a four-year dictatorship” is false. Every government is checked by constitutional restraints, the Charters of Rights, court rulings, the Official Opposition, pressure groups, and the media. The Trudeau government’s major judicial setback in the pipeline ruling illustrates the falsity of [Maria] Dobrinskaya’s assertion [in her September 7 opinion piece Vote for proportional representation and let your vote count].

Virtually all BC and Canadian governments have had legislation or policies declared invalid. Our electoral system does not produce four-year dictatorships. And a PR system would produce governments with the alleged dictatorial power. . . .

PR has some benefits, but its major flaws should be noted.

Go here for the full comment.

Nick Loenen

Nick Loenen at a UBC event on proportional representation in November, 2015. (Richmond News)

Nick Loenen is very supportive of proportional representation. Long active in the Christian Reformed Church, he was interviewed in Richmond News July 20:

Nick Loenen, a former Richmond councillor and MLA, and co-founder of the advocacy group Fair Voting BC, said the PR system is what BC needs now because it is a modern system that better reflects our diverse society.

“In a PR system, all votes count. If you look at the four ridings in Richmond, you’d think everyone in Richmond voted for the BC Liberals, but that’s not so at all. Half the people did not vote for the BC Liberal party,” said Loenen.

“Province wide, a party with 40 percent of the vote can form a majority government and have 100 percent of power, which is quite common. So 60 percent of the people cannot find anybody in the Legislature they voted for.”

Leonen said the current system worked well before, when “everyone thinks the same and we have a more homogenous society.

“But Canada has changed, BC has changed and Richmond has changed  rapidly. Now we have much greater diversity, and (that diversity) has to be represented in the Legislature.”

Although some PR elected governments, such as in Italy, have had a high turnover rate, others have been extremely stable.

Moreover, the fact different parties have to seek consensus is viewed by PR proponents as one of the system’s strengths.

For more information about the referendum, go here.

Mavis Staples & Jonny Lang

Back in April The Georgia Straight announced that it “proudly sponsors” Mavis Staples and Jonny Lang. I can’t make any better case for Christians to be interested in the show than the paper did in its write-up:

On September 24 at 7:30 pm, blues guitarist and singer-songwriter Jonny Lang and legendary gospel vocalist Mavis Staples play a co-headlining show at the Orpheum Theatre.

Lang has built a reputation as one of the most dynamic live performers and guitarists of his generation since releasing his platinum-selling debut album at the age of 15. Lang suffered the pitfalls of achieving fame at such an early age by succumbing to the temptations of drugs and alcohol, but he attributes finding God in 2000 for allowing him to sober up and beginning the process of battling against his personal demons.

“The root of any message that I convey in a song comes from my relationship with God,” Lang told the Georgia Straight in a 2010 interview, “but I try not to make it a preachy thing. I just try to make it something that people can relate to, or a blessing that could help somebody, you know.”

That message certainly resonates with Mavis Staples, who has been singing the gospel since the 1950s. The legendary voice of the Staple Singers is a Grammy Award winner (including the prestigious Lifetime Achievement award), a member of both the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and the Blues Hall of Fame, and a Kennedy Center Honoree. Still going strong at 78, Staples uses her gifts to “bring us all together as people.” Staples says, “You can’t stop me. You can’t break me. I’m too loving.”

Stuart Derdeyn interviewed Laing for an article in The Province September 12. Here is one portion:

Q: Signs [Lang’s eighth album, released last year] has been nominated in both blues and Christian rock/gospel categories. Where do you see yourself?

A: I’ll take any one you’ve got, and don’t particularly care. There have always been gospel elements in the blues and Christian rock has really changed as a genre. I just approach a song as “all-in, don’t hold back, swing for the fences.” If it comes out cool; great. If it doesn’t, oh well, try again.

September 20, 2018

Somerville Lecture: Leah Kostamo – Hope & the Environment – September 20, 2018 at 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm

September 21, 2018

Elie Pritz: Peace Heroes – September 21, 2018 at 7:00 pm - 8:45 pm

September 22, 2018

What in the World is Going On? – September 22, 2018 at 8:00 am - 6:00 pm
Rummage Sale – September 22, 2018 at 9:00 am - 12:00 pm
Set the Prisoners Free: Towards a Just Reconciliation – September 22, 2018 at 9:30 am - 3:00 pm
Orientation and Networking Meeting for Church Representatives – September 22, 2018 at 10:00 am - 11:30 am
Women's Prayer Conference – September 22, 2018 at 10:00 am - 4:00 pm
Atesto Breakthrough – September 22, 2018 at 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
EMBER: Night of Worship – September 22, 2018 at 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm

September 23, 2018

Chamber Music Concert – September 23, 2018 at 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm
Sukkot: Feast of Tabernacles – September 23, 2018 at 4:00 pm - 7:00 pm
The 45th Avenue Jazz Band – September 23, 2018 at 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm
Whitecaps Faith Night – September 23, 2018 at 4:00 pm - 7:00 pm
The Foundation Vocal Band: Hymn Sing – September 23, 2018 at 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm

September 24, 2018

Kairos Course (Monday evenings, plus Nov 2-3 weekend) – September 24, 2018 at 7:00 pm - 9:30 pm
Jonny Lang & Mavis Staples – September 24, 2018 at 7:30 pm - 10:00 pm

September 25, 2018

Business of Life – September 25, 2018 at 5:30 pm - 7:00 pm

September 26, 2018

Mark Noll: Christians & Politics Lecture Series – September 26, 2018 - September 27, 2018 at All Day
VST Chancellor's Dinner 2018 – September 26, 2018 at 5:30 pm - 8:00 pm
Elie Pritz: Peace Heroes – September 26, 2018 at 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
Mark Noll: The Current Situation – Embattled America, Quiescent Canada, Semi-Secular Britain – September 26, 2018 at 7:30 pm - 9:00 pm

September 27, 2018

CLF National Conference – September 27, 2018 - September 30, 2018 at All Day
Journey with God Retreat: Facilitated by Leah Kostamo – September 27, 2018 - September 29, 2018 at All Day
The Convergence: An Ishmael and Isaac Reunion – September 27, 2018 at All Day
Symposium on Religion, Law & Human Rights – September 27, 2018 at 7:00 am - 8:00 pm
Mark Noll: Triumphs of Anglo, American & Canadian Christian Politics – September 27, 2018 at 11:30 am - 1:00 pm
Allegory in Narnia, or being Edmund and finding Jesus – September 27, 2018 at 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
Mark Noll: Tragedies of Anglo, American & Canadian Christian Politics – September 27, 2018 at 7:30 pm - 9:00 pm

September 28, 2018

Ignite (awesome worship night) – September 28, 2018 at 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
Jason Byassee: Prophetic Listening – Listening to God, One Another & the Neighbourhood – September 28, 2018 - September 29, 2018 at 7:00 pm - 3:00 pm
Music Night at Jacob's Well – September 28, 2018 at 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Voice of Thunder Prophetic Conference – September 28, 2018 - September 29, 2018 at 7:00 pm - 9:30 pm

September 29, 2018

Ride for Refuge: Journey Home Community – September 29, 2018 at 7:00 am - 12:00 pm
MinistryLift: The Trust Bubble – September 29, 2018 at 9:00 am - 3:00 pm
Walk the Wall Vancouver – September 29, 2018 at 9:00 am - 1:00 pm
Healing School with Jamie Rauch – September 29, 2018 at 10:00 am - 5:00 pm
Sale of Used Theological Books – September 29, 2018 at 1:00 pm - 3:00 pm
Happy 21 Years Worship Invasion! – September 29, 2018 at 7:30 pm - 10:30 pm
Faro – September 29, 2018 at 8:00 pm - 10:00 pm

September 30, 2018

Dr. Santa Ono: Servant Leadership (four services) – September 30, 2018 at All Day
Vancouver Life Chain – September 30, 2018 at 2:00 pm - 3:00 pm
Jazz Vespers: Ben Lockwood – September 30, 2018 at 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm

October 1, 2018

Jonathan Kuttab: Hope for Change in Palestine / Israel – October 1, 2018 at 3:30 pm - 5:30 pm
Jonathan Kuttab: New Thinking for Post-Oslo Palestine Challenges & Opportunities – October 1, 2018 at 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm

October 2, 2018

Jonathan Kuttab: The Holy Land – International Law & Scriptural Perspectives – October 2, 2018 at 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Reduce the Demand for Buying Sex – October 2, 2018 at 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Steve Trullinger: Father's Touch – October 2, 2018 at 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm

October 3, 2018

Reduce the Demand for Buying Sex – October 3, 2018 at 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm

October 4, 2018

Edith Krause: Adam/Adamah – October 4, 2018 - October 5, 2018 at All Day
ACTS Seminaries Open House – October 4, 2018 at 10:00 am - 3:00 pm
Kim's Convenience by Ins Choi – October 4, 2018 - October 6, 2018 at 8:00 pm - 10:00 pm

October 5, 2018

Forever and Ever, the Christian Musical – October 5, 2018 at 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
A Skeptical Look at Atheism with Dr. Andy McIntosh – October 5, 2018 at 7:30 pm - 9:30 pm

October 6, 2018

Chris Woods' Way of the Cross Painting Seminar – October 6, 2018 at 9:30 am - 12:30 pm
Creation: The Cardinal Truths & the Wonder of Hearing with Dr. Andy McIntosh – October 6, 2018 at 2:00 pm - 3:30 pm
The Intricacies of Flight with Dr. Andy McIntosh – October 6, 2018 at 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm

October 7, 2018

Homelessness Action Week – October 7, 2018 - October 13, 2018 at All Day
Creation and Biblical Infallibility with Dr. Andy McIntosh – October 7, 2018 at 9:00 am - 10:30 am
Creation and the Cross with Dr. Andy McIntosh – October 7, 2018 at 11:00 am - 12:30 pm
An Evening with Ari Sorko-Ram – October 7, 2018 at 6:00 pm - 8:30 pm
Jeremy Benjamin: I Am Not My Own – October 7, 2018 at 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm

October 8, 2018

Connecting the Ends (part of Homelessness Action Week) – October 8, 2018 at 10:00 am - 3:00 pm

October 10, 2018

Webinar: Renegotiating Faith – October 10, 2018 at 9:00 am - 10:00 am
Missions Pastors Roundtable Discussion – October 10, 2018 at 10:00 am - 11:30 am
Anglicanism & Indigenous Spirituality (Wednesday evenings) – October 10, 2018 at 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Inklings Institute of Canada: Book Night: The Tao of Right and Wrong – Rediscovering Humanity’s Moral Foundations – October 10, 2018 at 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm

October 11, 2018

Colleen McLaughlin Barlow: Whale Dreams – October 11, 2018 - November 16, 2018 at All Day
Kairos Course (Thursday evenings, plus Nov 23-24 weekend) – October 11, 2018 at 7:00 pm - 9:30 pm
Sharing Stories with Indigenous People (Thursday evenings) – October 11, 2018 - November 1, 2018 at 7:00 pm - 9:30 pm

October 12, 2018

Windows into Heaven: Epiphany Sacred Arts Guild 15th Anniversary Exhibition – October 12, 2018 - October 20, 2018 at All Day
Elevate Conference 2018 – October 12, 2018 - October 13, 2018 at 6:00 pm - 5:00 pm
Life on the Margins Workshop – October 12, 2018 - October 13, 2018 at 6:30 pm - 4:00 pm
Saturate Everyday – October 12, 2018 - October 13, 2018 at 6:30 pm - 2:30 pm
The Marriage Course (Friday evenings) – October 12, 2018 at 7:00 pm - 9:30 pm

October 13, 2018

Revival Meeting with John Razz – October 13, 2018 - October 14, 2018 at All Day
Wonder Worship Conference – October 13, 2018 at 9:00 am - 4:00 pm
DivorceCare (Saturday mornings) – October 13, 2018 - November 17, 2018 at 10:15 am - 12:15 am
Supreme Court Decision in the TWU Law School Case: Implications – October 13, 2018 at 11:00 am - 1:00 pm
Alzheimer Café – October 13, 2018 at 2:00 pm - 4:00 pm

October 14, 2018

Blessing of the Animals – October 14, 2018 at 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm
Jazz Benefit Concert for Homeless Action Week – October 14, 2018 at 5:00 pm - 6:30 pm
Village Missions Funraiser – October 14, 2018 at 5:30 pm - 9:00 pm
A Night of Worship with Martin Smith – October 14, 2018 at 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm

October 16, 2018

Journey 101 (Tuesday evenings) – October 16, 2018 at 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Bruce Hindmarsh: Re-enchanting the Universe – Evangelicals & the Rise of Science – October 16, 2018 at 7:30 pm - 9:30 pm

October 17, 2018

Dao Zi: Turning Blood into Ink – October 17, 2018 - November 16, 2018 at All Day
Dao Zi: Turning Blood into Ink – Opening Reception – October 17, 2018 at 4:30 pm - 7:30 pm
Craig Allert: Early Christian Readings of Genesis One – October 17, 2018 at 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Our Children, Our Future: Educating for Tomorrow – October 17, 2018 at 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm

October 18, 2018

The Global Leadership Summit – October 18, 2018 - October 19, 2018 at All Day
Dao Zi: Blood & Ink – a Chinese Christian Vision for the Arts – October 18, 2018 at 7:30 pm - 9:00 pm
Ken Shigematsu Book Launch: A Survival Guide for the Soul – October 18, 2018 at 7:30 pm - 9:00 pm

October 19, 2018

The Wolves by Sarah DeLappe – October 19, 2018 - November 10, 2018 at 8:00 pm - 10:00 pm

October 20, 2018

Disciple-Making Movements: Why Not Canada? – October 20, 2018 at 9:00 am - 1:00 pm
Adam Robert Thomas & Band – October 20, 2018 at 8:00 pm - 10:00 pm

October 21, 2018

Alongsiders Update with Craig Greenfield – October 21, 2018 at 12:45 pm - 2:30 pm
Taizé Contemplative Service – October 21, 2018 at 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm

October 22, 2018

C2C Network Celebration Evening – October 22, 2018 at 6:00 pm - 8:30 pm
New Hope Annual Gala – October 22, 2018 at 6:00 pm - 9:00 pm

October 23, 2018

The Game of Love and Chance – October 23, 2018 - November 3, 2018 at All Day

1 comment for “Around Town: Triumphs & Tragedies of Christian Politics, PR / BC, Mavis Staples

  1. Daryl Sturdy
    September 20, 2018 at 10:25 am

    The statement that a majority government “gets a four-year dictatorship” is false. Every government is checked by constitutional restraints, the Charters of Rights, court rulings, the Official Opposition, pressure groups and the media. – John Redekop

    This is a disingenuous statement, and a play on words. It is not fitting for a man in his position and a Christian. The “four-year dictatorship” we talk about is the power to pass legislation without obstruction just because getting 40 percent of the vote gives 100 percent of the power.

    This is a distortion of the will of the people, surely a concern of Mr. Redekop.

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