Wednesday, May 30, 2007
Wednesday, May 30, 2007
A good friend from church passed away yesterday. I say passed-away, but obviously I mean he died. (We try to avoid putting it in such stark terms, because it somehow seems insensitive or impolite.)
I heard a preacher once rail on people for trying to soften the blow of death, by referring to it with language like "passed on" and "gone to be with the Lord".
I don't mind softening the blow.
My friend was Salvation Army by background, so some of his friends and family will refer to his having been "promoted". And bloody right too!
Tuesday, May 29, 2007
I've just got back from a great Anabaptist Network Residential Conference, that I will report on soon. As well as hearing from Alan & Eleanor Kreider and witnessing dramatic portrayals of Anabaptist history from Karen and Ruth of Urban Expression Wapping, it was great to connect with old friends and meet new ones.
I got to catch up with Richard Gillingham, who I first met at an AN Theology Forum a few years ago. Richard has a sharp mind and a great blog, with an abundance of helpful book reviews amongst the goodies on offer.
I also had the joy of finally meeting Tim Chesterton, who was in the UK for a Sabbatical, studying anabaptism. Tim's posted a photo on his blog, but there is clearly something wrong with his Camera, as it seems to have stretched us all a little!
I'm the thug in the middle, Richard is on the right (ironic, huh?) and Tim is the one doing the Kenny Rogers impression. Also note the glimpse of his slippers at the bottom of the photo; crazy Canadians!
Monday, May 28, 2007
Caroline is thinking of throwing-in the blogging towel.
Don't let her.
Wednesday, May 23, 2007
This is just me thinking aloud here, folks. So, no need to set-up your heresy courts or prepare the stakes for buring, just yet!
I've been thinking recently about a couple of related issues. The one over-riding theme that connects them has been inter-faith dialogue, presumably at the fore-front of my mind because I am subconsciously mulling over my new role. Related to that, obviously, is how we view God and how God views the question of different faiths relating.
Does God back one particular team (the home team, perhaps?), or is he looking for a particular style of play that some players in different teams may share?Read more...
Monday, May 21, 2007
Saturday, May 19, 2007
Here are a few snippets from my talk for Ascension Sunday.
I've given it a provisional title of Victory, Grace and Jubilee, but that may not all be clear from my jottings below.Read more...
Thursday, May 17, 2007
I know, I know... I can't start talking about another series/topic when I haven't yet finished:
1) Alernatives to Spanking
2) The Eucharist Mini-series
So, in the interests of my reader's sanity, I should clarify that this post is less an introduction to a (coming) series, and more a collection of notes on the main points, to be organised and expanded upon at a latter date.
What is Inclusivism?Read more...
Wednesday, May 16, 2007
Why some evangelicals decide to forego creation care by David Gushee is worth reading:
Evangelical initiatives on the environment are growing in cultural impact, but they continue to garner stout resistance within the most conservative sector of our own community. Too often, politics and capitalism get in the way of a clear evangelical consensus.Read more...
Tuesday, May 15, 2007
The Rev. Jerry Falwell was stricken at his campus office and died Tuesday after a career in which the evangelist used the power of television to transform the religious right into a mighty force in American politics. He was 73.
The founder of the Moral Majority was discovered without a pulse at Liberty University and pronounced dead at a hospital an hour later. Dr. Carl Moore, Falwell's physician, said he had a heart condition and presumably died of a heart rhythm abnormality.
...Falwell had made careful preparations for a transition of his leadership to his two sons, Jerry Falwell, Jr., now vice chancellor of Liberty University, and Jonathan Falwell, executive the pastor of Thomas Road Baptist Church.
Falwell is survived by his wife, Macel, his two sons and a daughter, Jeannie Falwell Savas. Funeral arrangements were not immediately known.
Tuesday, May 15, 2007
"Your Golden Rule says turn the other cheek when someone would strike you. This is aiki except that we would turn it before being struck. Thus the attacked is saved hurt and the attacker is saved from committing evil." -- Morihei Ueshiba, founder of Aikido (1883-1969)
Friday, May 11, 2007
Brian McLaren has often been criticised for what he doesn't say, as much as what he does. Though I can understand why it frustrates the gonads out of those looking for a reason to criticise him, I actually like Brian's approach. Why should we answer questions that are framed in a way that we would not want to authenticate?
One of the issues that McLaren has been criticised for being evasive on - second, obviously to the gross moral collapse that threatens the future of humanity more than Thermo-Nuclear War or Global Warming, a.k.a. The Gay Plague - is his position on Hell.
Anyway, just over a year ago, Brian finally came clean and expressed his views more clearly on the Christianity Today blog. From the reactions, it seems that some still weren't happy.Read more...
Thursday, May 10, 2007
When I first joined LwC, I think that I stood out on a bit of a limb as the only non-evangelical and one of the only Non-Americans. Nowadays, the good folk here have either learnt to tolerate my heresies, or they've seen that we're actually often saying the same things in different ways.
This time, I think my frustration goes deeper than that.Read more...
Wednesday, May 09, 2007
Vic Thiessen (of London Mennonite Centre) put Little Children into his top ten for 2006 and my only complaint is that he should have placed it higher up the list. It is, as Vic notes, a 'great film about humanisation, with excellent acting throughout.' In fact, this may be Kate Winslet's best to date, which - coming from a fan like me - is really saying something.
If you've seen In the Bedroom, Director Todd Field's ealier film, you'll be prepared for a bleak look at the mixed up lives of modern, fallen, humans. Yet, somehow, this depressing movie doesn't leave you feeling depressed. If anything, there is a sense of hope in the idea that the prisons we make for ourselves need neither define us or encage us indefinitely.
Although it lacks the camp humour of Desperate Housewives, Little Children achieves its lighter feel by moments of tongue-in-cheek narration and melodrama. And though it has the constant sense of tragedy throughout, the film is actually a Comedy in the classical sense. Though we see people making foolish decisions in an attempt to grab at some of lives missed opportunities, ending up in a bigger hole than the one they were trying to escape, we also see the ramifications of those decisions, as do the characters themselves.
The bottom-line is that if you love American Beauty and tolerate Wonder Boys then you will almost certainly rave about Little Children. However, there are a few warnings to note:Read more...
Tuesday, May 08, 2007
Monday, May 07, 2007
Saturday, May 05, 2007
Long hours spent studying scripture, organising material, digging out jokes and illustrations, polishing transcripts...
Reading books and attending conferences to enhance my oratorical skills
I quit. And I think you should too!Read more...
Tuesday, May 01, 2007
A new book is out that purports to offer 'a fresh affirmation of penal substitution, engaging with exegetical, theological, pastoral and historical perspectives.' It is designed to be especially useful to pastors.
Let's just say that I don't approach such things with any more optimism than an academic report claiming to demonstrate that domestic abuse is not as bad as it initially seems!
My expectations reach a low when I read things like this:
'Although this is the historic Christian view, it has recently come under attack. Controversy has raged since 2003 when Steve Chalke, founder of the Oasis Trust, likened the doctrine to 'a form of cosmic child abuse'.
I don't think we should take any work seriously that claims Penal Susbstitution as the historic Christian view. That's a "Fail!" right there! Neither is is accurate to suggest that the view has come under attack 'recently' or that controversy surrounding Chalke & Mann's The Lost Message of Jesus was the beginning of the rage of protest. As if it couldn't get any worse, Chalke doesn't liken PS to 'a form of cosmic child abuse'. In his book, such language is reserved for caricatures of the atonement and some of the worse popular versions of PS. (That's all quite clear with a quick skim of the relevant section.)