Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Kairos: the nexus of opportunity and risk

It is a commonplace to observe that the Caribbean and the wider world are in crisis. Here in Montserrat, with a fast-growing lava dome [again!] that is underscored. But, what is less common is to understand that there are both risks and opportunities that now face us.

My concern is that we the people of the Caribbean rise to the opportunity without unduly exposing ourselves to the risks.

For instance, we face a major challenge because -- apart from Trinidad, Barbados and Cuba -- the island nations of our region have but little or no commercially exploitable oil; which exposes us to the volatile energy market.

So, when oil's price spiked last year, we rushed into the Petrocaribe deal with Venezuela, putting ourselves into heavy debt to what may well be an emerging Latin American strongman of an all-too-familiar type. Is this wise? Was there an alternative, given -- say -- Trinidad's oil reserves? Have we in light of Prov 22:7 -- The rich rule over the poor, and the borrower is servant to the lender -- implicitly sold our right to take an independent stance to a regime that historically has claims on the territory of several Caribbean states? Should we for instance -- in addition to the usual renewable and efficiency approaches -- be exploring the emerging, promising PBMR modular nuclear reactor technology being developed in South Africa? [Let us note that some 80% of France's electricity is nuclear powered.]

Clearly, we need to think again.

More broadly, we the people of the Caribbean are the world's first cosmopolitan people, and we have learned to live and work with each other across racial, religious and other divides,with a high degree of harmony. In a world in the midst of a massive geostrategic conflict, is that not an asset, the ministry of reconciliation? Could that be an implicit challenge from God to awaken to our awesome potential under the church's global mission?

Why not now? Why not here? Why not us?

I have added several apologetics and issues links for those who may wish to explore such themes; cf. the links sidebar. If the anonymous commenter of yesterday needs to think through some issues on the evidences at the core of the Christian faith, I highly recommend to him that he reads Kreeft and Tacelli's Handbook of Christian Apologetics. C S Lewis' Mere Christianity is a classic that will well repay a look, too. Online, on the issue of the trustworthiness of the Bible, a look at F F Bruce's classic will be a worthwhile investment of time. When we look at such issues, finally, let us remember that the point is not so much that God is on trial before our bar of judgement, but that we are on trial before his bar of judgement:
Rom 2: 6 God "will give to each person according to what he has done." 7 To those who by persistence in doing good seek glory, honor and immortality, he will give eternal life. 8 But for those who are self-seeking and who reject the truth and follow evil, there will be wrath and anger. 9 There will be trouble and distress for every human being who does evil . . . 10 but glory, honor and peace for everyone who does good . . . 11 For God does not show favoritism.

No comments: