We decided that as a family we would celebrate All Saints tomorrow, by re-telling stories of some of the great martyrs of the Church, dressing up and playing games. My daughter then asked me why we would be celebrating All Saints, but not Reformation Day and I said, "We celebrate All Saints to remember people like those killed by the Reformers. To celebrate All Saints is to denounce Reformation Day." ...I will not celebrate such events, or honour those who perpetuated such atrocities in the name of Christ. Today, I mourn.We're doing the same this year. So, tomorrow my 9-year old will be retelling us the story of Dirk Willems, aimed especially at my 4-year old. I'll be telling the story of Felix Manz, or some of the early women martyrs. Read more...
Tuesday, October 31, 2006
Sunday, October 29, 2006
Tuesday, October 24, 2006
As promised weeks ago, I'm finally getting round to posting my interview with Gregory Macdonald, the author of The Evangelical Universalist. I'll post it in a couple of parts as there's so much content, but it's all good.
In short, the aim of The Evangelical Universalist is clear - to demonstrate that there is no inconsistency between being an Evangelical and a Universalist. I think Gregory achieves that aim commendably. I'll post a few reflections, including an assessment of the book, following the interview. However, I should mention up-front that one of my criticisms is that the book assumes too much from the reader, in terms of an understanding of the topic. Ironically, the same could be said of this interview, that reads more like a conversation between people who've read the book, than an interview on behalf of those who haven't.
Either way, enjoy!Read more...
Saturday, October 21, 2006
I really don't have time to be here, but just wanted to confess something that occurred to me quite strongly whilst I was thinking through tomorrow's service. I'm gonna be talking at one point about 'The Dishonourable Jesus'. One of the questions I'm going to be asking is, 'Why was Jesus not honoured in his home town?' The problem with asking questions, rather than making points, is that it actually takes more preparation. In this case, I was diging a bit deeper into the context behind the story in Mark 6. The reaction of the family seems to be a case of, 'Who do you think you are?' But it seems that it's more than simply a reaction to Jesus being there. They are reacting to something specific, namely, his teaching in the synagogue (v.2). Yet, for some strange reason, I'd never before sought to unpack what it was about Jesus' teaching that provoked this reaction. Last night, I did.Read more...
Wednesday, October 18, 2006
Community Development is NOT the same as church planting. The first is an activity of the Kingdom, the second establishes the Church, which propagates a continuing understanding of the traditions of the Kingdom. Community development is how the Church can express its call to social action, but community development is not enough to fulfill the whole call of the church. Jesus healed the 10 lepers but he also discipled the 12 apostles into recognising his Messiahship. Both are crucial callings on the Church - we must not have inner-city churches that only do one or the other. All too often we see this, however. Christians doing only community development are not building the church, Christians only doing church are not expressing the in-breaking of the Kingdom in a meaningful sense in the social sphere.It seems to me that there is an inadequate definition of both Church and Community Development, but I might be biased. Anyway, see what you think.
Tuesday, October 17, 2006
Thursday, October 12, 2006
With some amusement, I noticed today that a fellow blogger (and anabaptist) referred to me as "Liberal". I'm not sure if this particular blogger meant it as a positive or negative thing, but it got me thinking anyway. (Incidentally, I think that the whole "Liberal" vs. "Evangelical" thing is a peculiarly Protestant thing, so doesn't really make much sense in an anabaptist context.)
I began thinking about why someone would consider me a Liberal (theologically, not politically) and - just for fun - I came up with the following list of things that I believe, or heresies that I toy with. I imagine that any one of these would make me 'suspect'.Read more...
Thursday, October 05, 2006
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