Tag Archives: study

How sound are you?

Clearly with an exam tomorrow I should be considering Charles Gerkin’s approach to pastoral care but nothing recharges the old grey matter more than thinking about something completely different. Following on from a previous post about the tension between what is I guess Paul’s advice to Timothy to “watch your life and doctrine closely”. Note not just watch your doctrine but life – how it is lived out. Orthodoxy without orthopraxis – or faith without works is dead, as James would say. I forgot to mention that I was asked “are you a young earth creationist or a heretic?”. Now I have a strong stubborn/rebellious streak so even if I was a young earth creationist I would probably still have answered “I guess i’m a heretic then”. It was ridiculous that my views one one matter should define whether someone respected/listened to me or wrote me off.

Anyway, my colleague has just written a blog entry on similar grounds – around the theme of how we measure our unity – by actions and/or belief. Check it out here.

Finally a couple of cartoons stolen from Dan Kimball on a similar note:

Which is more accurate? or sadly true?


Revision always allows you to find out bizarre things like your theological worldview:

You scored as Evangelical Holiness/Wesleyan. You are an evangelical in the Wesleyan tradition. You believe that God’s grace enables you to choose to believe in him, even though you yourself are totally depraved. The gift of the Holy Spirit gives you assurance of your salvation, and he also enables you to live the life of obedience to which God has called us. You are influenced heavly by John Wesley and the Methodists.

Evangelical Holiness/Wesleyan
75%
Neo orthodox
68%
Emergent/Postmodern
64%
Classical Liberal
50%
Roman Catholic
46%
Charismatic/Pentecostal
43%
Reformed Evangelical
43%
Modern Liberal
39%
Fundamentalist
18%

What’s your theological worldview?
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Revision Time

Studying part-time is great for keeping the grey cells active, the downside is every 6 months I have to do an exam. Which usually means trawling the depths of the internet while thinking about my essays. On my first day off to revise its important to come up with a plan of attack of what to do in the frequent breaks my brain needs to recharge.

A good time waster is gotoquiz.com where importantly I discovered how to answer the facebook question on political ideaology. Highly accurate no doubt. My guardian reading probably gave me away as a woolly liberal. Here it is…

What is your political ideology?

Your Result: Liberal

 

This quiz has categorised you as a Liberal. You believe in the role of the government to fight poverty, both by means of welfare programs, and economic regulation. You are defined as a progressive in the US, but you are generally favouring of the retention of the current social paradigm.

Social Democrat

 

Communist/Radical Left

 

Libertarian

 

Conservative

 

Fascist/Radical Right

 

What is your political ideology?
Make Your Own Quiz

Thanks to zoomtard for the chance to pit Mary against an evil looking Eve in the bible battle.
Or for a more classic sporting effort there’s table top football from the evils of the Murdoch empire. and of course the old sporting classics like Tardis Tennis on the BBC Sport site.

As if you couldn’t tell how productive my day is going to be, now its sunny as well…

Thoughts from a lonely prophet part two

A belated return to Walter Rauschenbusch.

“Christian morality finds its highest dignity and its constant corrective in making the aims of the kingdom of God the supreme aim to which all minor aims must contribute and from which they gain their moral quality. The church substituted itself for the kingdom of god and thereby put the advancement of a tangible and very human organisation in the place of the moral uplifting of humanity.”

“churchly correctness took precedence over Christlike goodness.”

His comments on church and kingdom and the subsequent discussions we had in class provoked some musing on my part, coupled with some stuff I was listening to from Tim Keller and Mark Driscoll. Those words resonate today as often the church/churches seem more interested in building their little empires and running their programmes than building the kingdom. Thinking in terms of kingdom is challenging as it broadens our horizons. For me in a Christian student organisation it raises lots of questions. How does the extension of the kingdom sit/clash/merge with our values and partnering with others seeking to build the kingdom but who have different approaches?

God’s plan in history is to build his kingdom, and the church is the means to do that – not the end in itself it seems if you read Revelation 22 which sees the leaves of the tree of life being for the healing of the nations. It makes you wonder if CS Lewis in the Last Battle is getting this when it comes to some ‘outside Christianity’ – without getting all universalist of course.

Something else in this smogashboard of things floating around my head is a frustration with people who equate the life of following Jesus being about going to heaven. Reading the biblical texts doesn’t necessarily suggest this – God is establishing his kingdom, creating/recreating a new heavens and new earth and the bible ends with the ‘new Jerusalem’ descending, reiterating that the physical earth is a crucial part of God reconciling to himself all things. Its also interesting as we look at the big picture flow of the bible that it starts in a garden and ends in a city of people from every nationality and people group. For God’s will to be done on earth as it is in heaven, and for his kingdom to come surely means that we need to work hard at building inclusive church communities of all nationalities, young, old, rich and poor – youth congregations or monocultural congregations may be easier in the short term but are they really expressions of God’s kingdom if there isn’t longer term integration?

Some muddled musings grasping at the wonder of the most incredible reconstruction project in history, especially given the fragility of the raw materials…

thoughts from a lonely prophet part one…

Walter Rauschenbusch (once referred to as a lonely prophet) is certainly not a name that trips off the tongue but this theologian was an important voice in the beginning of the 20th century. Several years pastoring a church beside the infamous ‘Hell’s Kitchen’ area of New York (Gangs of New York territory) left an indelible mark on him and moved him to consider the social implications of the gospel. His book ‘Christianity and the Social Crisis’ is fascinating reading.

“The salt of the earth will do its work best if not stored in casks by itself but rubbed in evenly and generously where needed. “

This is obvious that grace must permeate society not be stored up.
So often people express a frustration of mine more succinctly than I ever could.

“The wiser leaders of Christianity do not desire to monopolise the services of Christian people for the churches, but rejoice in seeing the power of religion flow out in the service of justice and mercy. Religion is less an institution and more a diffused force than ever before…”

So often it seems our churches are geared towards maintaining their own programmes and getting people involved in those. You feel guilty if you’re not committed to church stuff outside Sunday, yet often pastors and ministers forget that the job of the church is to release people to impact the world around us. To inspire us with faith, to get us believing the gospel again and to send us out to rub that salt in generously where it is needed, not in keeping it in countless ‘church’ activities. Now don’t get me wrong. I passionately believe that the local church is the hope of the world, however we need to recognise with Mark Greene that the places we spend most of our time are the places that need our Christian service most…

Services rendered to church get a higher religious rating than services rendered to the community, thus the religious value is taken out of the activities of the common man and the prophetic services to society”