Friday, February 16, 2018

Worth his Salt

Reply by a friend to an article by Bernard Salt in The Australian (behind a paywall)

Hi Bernard,
You implied that Christianity was like other religions, in as much as it, too, demanded that one "be good in this life [so as to] have eternal salvation." You could not be more wrong. Christianity does not demand this at all. You've turned Christianity on its head and consequently emptied it of its uniqueness. Christianity gives you eternal salvation because you cannot be good in this life. (Ironically, your examples of Michelangelo and Handel actually belie your construction of Christianity.)
I suggest, for starters, you read C.S. Lewis's 'Mere Christianity', 'The Great Divorce' and 'God in the Dock'.

Monday, February 12, 2018

Youth group is shallow #2

Further to my previous blog on this  topic, relative in question opined that she got more out of Sunday School, theologically, than youth group.

I discussed this with one of my friends who regarded youth group as a hothouse of immaturity: social as well as theological. I don't know if I agree with the former, but I sure do with the latter.

Something has to be done!

Sunday, February 11, 2018

On time

A few things impressed me about our church service this morning.
  1. we started on time, on the dot
  2. the service conduct was very smooth, unfussed
  3. an interview with a new member was adult, respectful and enlightening.
Tremendous stuff and all decently and in good order.

The average person

Comment related to me:
...the average person complains about 'evil' and uses it to excuse their rejection of God, but are themselves unrepentant bulls**t artists when it comes to their own evil conduct.

Karate

When I studied Karate many years ago, I was taught that at the advanced levels, masters sought to become expert in just 1 technique. Once mastered they would move any bout such that that technique was set up for successful use.

If there's one 'technique' in Christianity (to achieve world justice, lasting peace, etc. etc.), here it is:


Saturday, February 10, 2018

World justice

Our small groups at church are enjoined to keep issues of 'justice' and 'poverty' on the table. We were given a hand out with a bunch of organisations that might assist in this.

A Just Cause, covering issues of refugees, environment and indigenous. So I guess they support government policies to prevent economic opportunists from paying smugglers to ship them to Australia, and drown along the way, support active economic expansion to create the wealth that has given modern economies the best environmental performance of any industrial economies in history, and encourage indigenous Australians to embark on economic enterprises to lift themselves from poverty, drug and alcohol abuse, crime, family and tribal violence and child abandonment...but then, maybe not.

Micah Australia is similar. But I bet they don't promote free enterprise, property rights, equality before the law and access to education. I'll bet they promote the dead ends of foreign aid and taking other people's money to squander on delivery channels while the poor are trained to stay poor.

These Christian objectives have been hijacked by well-meaning Christians who reject the evidence of recent centuries to seek to apply watered down (and sometimes full strength) proto-marxist non-solutions with irrational enthusiasm that make some (the promoters) feel good and others (the target groups) experience bad.

I come around again to the idea that the best and only programatic good we can do is continue to expand gospel mission to bring people to know their Creator. Then everything changes.

Oh, and there was dress for success, to help disadvantaged women make good. And for disadvantaged men? Nothing, of course.

Youth group is shallow

I was talking to one of my neices about her youth group. She volunteered that it was boring. At least, the discussion/Bible study was.

Studying Colossians the group was asked what Paul would think of the youth group (yes: !!!!!!!).

She replied that as she didn't have a clue about Paul's thought, she had no idea. So let's find out about Paul's thought!

Young people are smart, aware, see problems, have questions and want answers.

This quote from CT was apposite (The Theological Turn in Youth Ministry, Andrew Root and Kenda Dean):
Young people are not bored by theology. They are bored by theology that doesn't matter. Theology is the most relevant of all disciplines; it is reflection on what God is doing with us, in human time through the Holy Spirit, as revealed through the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ—which is why theological reflection can never be separated from life itself. Theology begins and ends in life's concrete situations, and presenting it as anything else will surely misfire.