Friday, 24 October 2008

a child's view of the Bible

every wondered whether a child understands when we adults teach them the Bible? do we assume that they know everything we are saying?
here is what one child wrote about the Bible:


The Children's Bible in a Nutshell

In the beginning, which occurred near the start, there was Nothing but God, darkness, and some gas. The Bible says, 'The Lord thy God is one,' but I think He must be a lot older than that.
Anyway, God said, 'Give me a light!' and someone did. Then God made the world.

He split the Adam and made Eve. Adam and Eve were naked, but they weren't embarrassed because mirrors hadn't been invented yet.

Adam and Eve disobeyed God by eating one bad apple, so they were driven from the Garden of Eden.

Not sure what they were driven in though, because they didn't have cars.

Adam and Eve had a son, Cain, who hated his brother as long as he was Abel.

Pretty soon all of the early people died off, except for Methuselah, who lived to be like a million or something.

One of the next important people was Noah, who was a good guy, but one of his kids was kind of a Ham. Noah built a large boat and put his family and some animals on it. He asked some other people to join him, but they said they would have to take a rain check.

After Noah came Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Jacob was more famous than his brother, Esau, because Esau sold Jacob his birthmark in exchange for some pot roast. Jacob had a son named Joseph who wore a really loud sports coat.

Another important Bible guy is Moses, whose real name was Charlton Heston. Moses led the Israel Lights out of Egypt and away from the evil Pharaoh after God sent ten plagues on Pharaoh's people. These plagues included frogs, mice, lice, bowels, and no cable.

God fed the Israel Lights every day with manicotti. Then he gave them His Top Ten Commandments.

These include: don't lie, cheat, smoke, dance, or covet your neighbor's' stuff. Oh, yeah, I just thought of one more: Humor thy father and thy mother.

One of Moses' best helpers was Joshua who was the first Bible guy to use spies. Joshua fought the battle of Geritol and the fence fell over on the town.

After Joshua came David. He got to be king by killing a Giant with a slingshot. He had a son named Solomon who had about 300 wives and 500 porcupines. My teacher says he was wise, but that doesn't sound very wise to me.

After Solomon there were a bunch of major league prophets. One of these was Jonah, who was swallowed by a big whale and then barfed up on the shore. There were also some minor league prophets, but I guess we don't have to worry about them.

After the Old Testament came the New Testament. Jesus is the Star of The New. He was born in Bethlehem in a barn. (I wish I had been born in a barn too, because my mom is always saying to me, 'Close the door! Were you born in a barn?' It would be nice to say, 'As a matter of fact, I was.')

During His life, Jesus had many arguments with sinners like the Pharisees and the Republicans.
Jesus also had twelve opossums. The worst one was Judas Asparagus. Judas was so evil that they named a terrible vegetable after him.

Jesus was a great man. He healed many leopards and even preached to some Germans on the Mount.

But the Republicans and all those guys put Jesus on trial before Pontius the Pilot. Pilot didn't stick up for Jesus. He just washed his hands instead.

Anyways, Jesus died for our sins, then came back to life again. He went up to Heaven but will be back at the end of the Aluminum. His return is foretold in the book of Revolution.

Wednesday, 22 October 2008

toilet reading - arok of java

for my toilet* reading, i have been patiently working through Arok of Java by Pramoedya Ananta Toer (who passed away in 2006). i have read 1 other book by him from the Buru Quartet entitled Child of the Nations. but Toer said this was his best book. if you read it, i'm sure you will agree with him.

(btw *toilet reading is as it reads - reading during toilet time, so that no time is wasted staring at the door or toilet roll or into blank space!!))

Arok is a wonderful book about indonesia's early history which was clearly rooted in hinduism. yet Toer finds no problem writing about this although he is a muslim. nevertheless, it is compelling reading and i wonder whether the government should make it a compulsory reading for our malaysian students for literature. sure beats many of the prevailing so-called malaysian novels. one that my children had to read for their secondary school curriculum is called Bukit Kepong written by an ex-policeman. my children's verdict: right at the bottom!

a young angry Toer from the 1960's


an older and wiser Toer (from 2004 photo)


below is a write-up from Horizon, the book's publisher: (only complaint: the english translation needs some editing, especially in the front portion with numerous typographical errors). max lane does a pretty good translation from bahasa indonesia into english while retaining the indonesian feel. maybe i should try and get a bahasa indonesian version to read to enjoy Toer's writing. bahasa indonesian and bahasa malaysia are very close.

and i agree that the paintings themselves are as worthy as the book. at the moment, they have been poorly scanned and the low resolution (pictures are pixelated) does not do justice to the painter and his wonderful pictorial interpretation of the book.


By Pramoedya Ananta Toer (Translated by Max Lane)

ISBN: 978-981-05-8045-2

About the Book
It is the 13th century in Java. Rebelliousness stirs among peasant farmers and Brahmin priests alike. Slavery has returned and men, women and children labour to find gold for Java’s rulers. Bearing the symbols of spiritual power, a young scholar-bandit and rebel appears, called Arok – “he who upturns everything”. As the rebellion spreads, it is Arok himself whom the rulers employ to suppress it. Thus emerges one of the epic political conspiracies of Javanese history. At stake is power in Java itself, the Lady Consort Dedes, and an end to slavery and oppression.
This novel presents Pramoedya’s version of a great legend emerging out of the mists of historical past, is a tale of palace politics, conspiracy and revolution. It sets out the beginning of historical process that began on Java and gives the most vivid picture of the political, cultural and social forces which Pramoedya sees as having remained crucial until even today: the castes of the Brahman intellectuals, the Satria military and the Sudra, the people, the farmers, the artisans and labourers.

About the Author

Pramoedya Ananta Toer (1925-2006) was born in Blora, central Java, the eldest son a headmaster and activist. He wrote more than 40 works, including novels, short stories, plays, history, literary criticism and more than 400 newspaper essays. His Buru Tetrology has been hailed as a brilliant work of epic historical fiction.
Pramoedya is survived by his second wife, Maemunah, with whom he had five children. He had three children from his first marriage, 16 grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.

the malaysian star had a write-up sometime ago. you can read it in the link below:

Monday, 20 October 2008

stm 26th graduation

the seminary theoloji malaysia (STM) 26th graduation service held on saturday is over.

65 students in all departments and areas of study graduated ranging from certificates at the TEE level to the master of theology from the SEAGST.

for some photos of the happy occasion, click the links below:


more photos here from weng hoi's blog (our official stm student photographer):