Sunday, August 28, 2016

Marriage equality

Marriage equality? There is no such thing, simply because it is rooted in the reduction of marriage to a sexual-romantic domestic relationship. It omits the cause of marriage being preeminently procreation, or equally about procreation. Remove that and the responsibility for raising and providing for children, and you remove the rationale for marriage.  A socially inert relationship (that is no offspring to look after) should be of no interest to the state.

Therefore I do not believe in marriage equality as is currently urged, because there is no functional relational equality between a man-woman set and any other set that would promote the rights, care of and responsibility for children.

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Bless

This evening my home group considered the chapter of Frost's book on mission on 'blessing'; blessing others.

I was surprised that the chapter wasn't founded in Scripture, of which there's plenty: Galatians 5:22, or Ephesians 4:32. Both speak of kindness. Galatians 6:10 is also worth a look.

I was also surprised that Frost cast aspersions on missions and coupled them with colonialism: I suppose I must do more reading here, but my reading so far is that the two were separate; missions used 'colonialism' as a channel to reach into other places, other peoples. The fact that governments and firms colonised for gain is a completely other matter. It is a mistake, and perhaps an anachronistic one, to allege that missionaries had gain in mind.

What they did do was bring the gospel of hope, removed the burden of spiritism and superstition, brought health and education, and rendered local languages in text. Was this bad?

They also brought civilisation, to some extent. Was that bad? I know in these days of cultural relativism (actually, its cultural agnosticism) it is bad to think that some cultures are better than others; but the though derives from Scripture, I suggest: a culture that brings Christian freedoms, equality and understanding of created reality IS better than one that thrives on subjugation, poverty and deprivation.

Friday, August 12, 2016

Moore

I was asked to participate in a Survey Monkey survey conducted on behalf of Moore Theological College today. Oh joy.

In retrospect I should have taken screen shots of my response and posted them...

A couple of my responses: did I think that Moore was true to scripture? No; I regard it as increasingly heterodox and closed to debate, particularly on the question of origins and related ontological questions. And on the question of 'leadership'.

I was asked to comment on Moore's role in preparing all sorts of 'leaders'. I responded that we don't have 'leaders' in the Christian church, but ministers: that's the biblical concept; and ministers serve the church, they do not 'lead' it. That is the work of the Holy Spirit.


Saturday, August 6, 2016

What do Christians do? What do they think?

In a recent discussion of Frost's book at home group we were prompted to think about how being Christian led to certain demonstrative actions.

I added that it is not only acting Christianly, but thinking Christianly that is at issue, recalling Romans 12:2 and Colossians 2:8.

The spring point for this comment was a review of Gombis' book on Ephesians by Bob on Books where we are told:
First, the book doesn’t merely situate the letter within a first century cultural context, examining its meaning within that setting.
Situate. I don't know if this is a conscious use of the word in its post-modern meaning, but if so, it is dislocating a central concept of the world as set out in the Bible: a world set in concrete meaningful actions (this central concept is easily dislodge with most Christians having an anaemic theology of creation that lets materialism and its discontents slide in).

To quote from the Internet Encyclopaedia of Personal Construct Psychology:

Fragmentariness refers to the postmodern emphasis on the local and situated, instead of the general and totalizing. According to Polkinghorne (1992, p. 149), "knowledge should be concerned with these local and specific occurrences, not with the search for context-free general laws". This point is also visible in PCP’s interest in personal meanings instead of general and disembodied notions.
Yet, Ephesians is about themes that apply to all people at all times: 'totalizing' as the PM-ers like to disparage, to further their ideology, of course.

A commentary, or expository essay on a biblical book does not 'situate' the book within a particular time. It studies the influence of the circumstances of writing to be able to understand the context of the writer and his readers to be able to identify what it teaches for all of us.

If we allow the highly politicised marxist fantasies of post modernism and the Frankfurt school to steer our thinking as Christians, we have submerged the gospel beneath its futile constructs.

Friday, August 5, 2016

Discipleship

Our church has discipleship groups. Some churches have discipleship 'classes' (good notes at that link, but rather too Calvinist for me). I don't think its a class thing. Sure there is material to know, but more, there is a life to be lived.

How to pray

I prayed for our church the other night at home group; this is how it went:

  • guidance and wisdom for those who minister;
  • peace and thoughtfulness for those who serve in committees.

Just note: I didn't need to use the worldly word 'leader' once.

Sunday, July 31, 2016

Holy Spirit

At our church planning conference, the devotion was on Ephesians 5:18-21.

The speaker touched on Graham Cole (whom I was privileged to hear speak at St Swithun's many years ago), amongst others, so I decided to advance my reading in this area.

Ages ago I read Kuyper and Bruner on this, and used them in a talk I gave for an Alpha group, substituting for the somewhat heterodox view of Nicky Gumbel, but time to update.

Here's my list: