Friday, October 30, 2009
Anyway, check it out. He didn't actually give an example of where pragmatism might fail, or where he has seen it fail, but I asked him to so hopefully he will.
You can find his blog post here.
It might also be worth noting that Craig has worked and currently works in some of Sydney's biggest evangelical churches. He is not a disaffected cynic working in a church of 15 trying to find excuses for his church declining in numbers.
Tuesday, October 20, 2009
Craig is an assistant minister out at Glenmore Park Anglican, and is a really thoughful guy, and reads lots on theology, ministry and leadership. I'm looking forward to hearing what he has to say, and you should too.
Go check it out and say hello.
Tuesday, September 15, 2009
Now I don't know the particular circumstances of Lev, nor the living conditions of the orphanage, but he lives in an orphanage where many of the parents have died of HIV and I'm imagining the living conditions aren't that crash hot. Would it be better for Lev to remain the orphanage, or adopted by Elton and David where his standard of living (education, health etc etc.) would be much better?
Now, I know there are so many particulars and variables for us to answer that question adequately, so my question is basically this: Both poverty and homosexuality are against the created order. Which is worse for a child to be raised in?
Monday, September 14, 2009
Moore College peeps, don't ever refer to yourself as a poor student again. You're not.
Also, in light of this vid and our greedy culture, read this article on parents spending uber amounts of money on prams "for their children". In the word's of Homer; "It's funny cos it's true"
Tuesday, September 1, 2009
Anyway, this was the quote that I best identified with;
With a device close by, attendees at workplace meetings simply cannot keep their focus on the speaker. It's too easy to check email, stock quotes and Facebook. While a quick log-on may seem, to the user, a harmless break, others in the room receive it as a silent dismissal. It announces: "I'm not interested."
I do this all the time. I have an incredibly short attention span and my mind wanders, and subsequently I've become a terrible listener. Not the best character trait for a pastor in training!!
Sunday, July 26, 2009
Wednesday, July 8, 2009
Here is the list, let me know in the comments section what you want. Write down what you want in order from 1 to 5 (you may get all of them, or I may give them to someone else if I feel you have too many good ones).
Radiohead: Homework (It's really crap)
Pixies: Sell out (It's really good)
Television Series - List which seasons you want
Scrubs, seasons 1 to 5
Curb your Enthusiasm, seasons 1 and 4
The Office, season 1
Arrested Development, season 2 and 3
Family Guy, Season 1 and 2
Movies (Don't judge me, they aren't all mine)
Shall we Dance?
What Happens in Vegas
Dogtown and Z-Boys
Fast Food Nation
Pretty Woman - 15th anniversary special edition, wow!
Friday, July 3, 2009
The two great, successful religions - I'm sorry to brand it in such market-driven terms - of the 20th century were Islam, which grew pretty astronomically from about 300 million to around about a billion. The other one which is arguably even more successful was Pentecostalism, which went from nobody in 1900 to close to 500 to 600 million by the end of the century.
Taken from an interview on Lateline.
I heard once that the pentecostal movement in South America is the largest social movement in the history of humankind.* What I've also noticed in my time in Redfern is that those on the poorer end of the spectrum tend to be attracted to a pentecostal-style service over our often rigid Anglican ones.
In my opinion more biblically minded persons need to leave evangelical institutions and join a pentecostal church and become people of influence there.
*Ahh blogs, where all unsubstantiated claims roam free
Tuesday, June 30, 2009
The blog is called Urban Servant and is written by a women named Dorothy. This is her blurb thing:
I am a 40 year old, homeschooling mom to 10 wonderful kids. I currently have the amazing opportunity to live in the inner-city experiencing what it means to be part of the urban life scape. I advocate for the elderly, the poor and the illiterate as they wade through our confusing American lives. And I LOVE working with the local police precinct as we search out new ways to build healthy community and reduce crime. Doing all of this in Jesus name - with no strings attached for those we serve, but He's the reason we live the way we do.
Sometimes Sarah and I think it's all a bit too much with 2 kids. We need to read more stuff like this. I'd like to think one day we'll have adopted or fostered children together. Check it out and be inspired.
Edit: I should add she has a husband
Wednesday, June 24, 2009
But if you wanna catch another great Tom Waits song, check out this one. Watch it too if you wanna learn how to preach better
They're both from the live album and video "Big Time". If you can find the video, I'll pay big bucks for it.
Thursday, June 18, 2009
"Since God once spoke through an ass, why should He not come in our day and speak through a man of faith and even contradict the Pope?"
More of this gold and the exam will be a walk in the park. I have to say that because of this he makes for far more interesting than Calvin
Sorry for the delay in posting. I've had nothing to say for a while, and have been uber busy with kids, youth and study.
Wednesday, June 3, 2009
For two reasons:
1) formatting posts is horrendous. Blogger isn't user friendly at all, and I run into all kinds of trouble every time I try and quote or do a bit of editing. Immensely annoying
2) There are about 50 people with a blog that looks exactly the same as mine.
This is how it looks so far. It's very much in the early stages. In fact the only thing I've added is the photo of the buildings across the street from my house.
Tuesday, June 2, 2009
Is it just me?
I'm hoping it is and it isn't...
It's a good article, and she argues that the political strategy of the US Christian right in the 70's and 80's had worked against what we actually want to be achieving, primarily the freedom of religion in society under the banner of civil liberties. If we don't do this, she argues, when we lose the debate over gay marriage and abortion Christians will end up being forced by governments to acquiesce into their way of thinking and marry homosexuals. She argues that we need to sit at the table with Gay lobbyists and say "You can have gay marriage, but you need to respect our right to exclude it from our churches".
I don't agree with her final conclusions, and when she deals with the biblical texts does not address that we live in a democracy. The New Testament writers were not dealing with this, and so our application of these verses might need a little more thinking through rather than simply remaining passive and prayerful citizens.
But nevertheless, it's well worth the read and I think we need to recognise we can't campaign politically with "The Bible says" anymore. We need to focus on what is in the best interests of all of society. The question now becomes, I think, whether or not a government instituting gay marriage is in the best interests of all of society. If it isn't, then we need to work out how to convince society of this, leaving Leviticus out of it.
Anyway, check it out for yourself. She raises some really good points.
Thursday, May 28, 2009
Research done in America as part of the college's Families, Children and Child Care study of 1200 children claims to show that the more time young children spend in care in their early years, the more aggressive and disobedient they will be by the time they reach primary school.
A feminist changes her tune on women in the workplace.
Wednesday, May 27, 2009
Friday, May 22, 2009
1) Preach it and acknowledge that you are a hypocrite, unfaithful in this area
2) Don't preach it until you are faithfully doing it yourself
3) Preach it as though it was just God preaching to the hearers, and you are just another hearer
To me number 3) is not a good option.
Wednesday, May 20, 2009
The same boy turned up to youth, to ask if he could come tonight. When I explained to him that couldn't, for the obvious reasons of course, he got really angry and began pushing me. Pushing me hard, my back's a little sore. After I wasn't retaliating he started spitting in my face. Boy that's fun, I can tell ya (sad thing is it's happened before from other kids). Spitting in my face, and pushing me, and I just gotta stand there and take it.
What do I do? Seriously, I've got no idea. Next Monday he's probably gonna rock up to Oz tag, and if he does it again (or worse) I have no idea how to handle the situation other than make sure I don't touch him. I do have a few ideas, just not really sure if they'll work.
The other thing that I can't work out in this situation, is how do I show him the grace and love of Jesus but at the same time communicate that what he is doing is just not on.
Meh. Please pray for this kid. I love these guys, and I love this area, and if it was God's plan for me to stay here and tell these kids about Jesus for the rest of my life I'd be rejoicing. But I'm really at a loss and it's quite hard. Youth group was terrible tonight, so bad that we've called it off for next week. We didn't even get to reading our Bibles.
I'm glad Jesus loves these kids. Even though it's been a bit hard lately I know they know that and I know they know it from hearing it from the Bible over the past couple of years. God's word will achieve what it wants, and maybe 30 years down the track while sitting in prison it'll click for them. Hopefully sooner.
Tuesday, May 19, 2009
Anyway, as I was walking a couple of the kids home, said boy comes running up with his friends behind him threatening to punch one of the boys I was with. I had to step in between them for my friends safety, and suddenly he turns to me and we had one of those "eye to eye, stand real close to each other" moments, and not the romantic kind. It was all a bit surreal. There I am, face to face with this kid in this back street in Redfern at night, while he makes racial slurs at me, calling me white boy, and urging me to go home to my own country (insert many 'f' words in between), cars are having to slow down as they come by because there's all these kids on the street, some are jumping up and down yelling "punch him! punch him!", someone is throwing around this bag of mince meat (don't ask), and I'm standing there with my phone in hand ready to call the police as I tell him he doesn't want to get in any more trouble, all the time in bewilderment thinking "This kid is in year 7?!". It settled down after a while, and obviously he wasn't going to do anything, so he muttered a few abusive words and walked home.
But it is so bizarre, what were you doing in year 7? Did you have a curfew with the police?
I just remembered this morning, when my wife and I first met this boy in scripture when he was in year 4, he threatened to punch her in the face. He was also really inquisitive about God and asking really good questions. The other sad thing is he was one of the smartest kids in his grade, getting into the 'Opportunity Class'. It's real sad.
So he won't be coming back to Oz Tag for a while now, it's just too dangerous for the other kids. Come to think of it, in the years to come as they get older it's going to become much more dangerous for me. The more and more I'm with these kids and I see them on their turf, I realise how much inner city work is cross-cultural mission. Firstly, these kids aren't growing up with any of the inherent Christian values that most in Austrlia do, and secondly, how much if these kids are going to take a stand for Jesus it's really going to cost them with their peers. I couldn't imagine how to cope with such peer pressure and violent surroundings.
Monday, May 18, 2009
Saturday, May 16, 2009
Thompson, 61, a handyman at Borroloola School who played Australian football in his younger days in Tasmania, says soccer is a natural sport for Aborigines because they are so agile and swift..."I'll make a brave prediction …soccer will eventually overtake Aussie rules up here because it is a global game,"
I'll have to go and buy the picture book for Noah now, so we can look forward to watching it together. I think I'll really enjoy this film, the trailer makes me go all tingly. The soundtrack sounds like it's going to be killer!
For more info on the book Where The Wild Things Are, check here, it's an American classic.
Thursday, May 14, 2009
It's not my idea, but a good friend of mine did it at his church. It was actually the first decision he made as a Pastor there. It apparently upset some people, but I think it's a really good idea.
How can he (David Gallop) tell us what we can do in our private lives? What if there's more women than guys, is that wrong, too?
"I do see what they're saying about risk; you just never know how a girl's going to react afterwards. You're not supposed to say it publicly, but everyone knows that if you're polite afterwards and pay her cab fare home you usually don't have any problems."
Form an orderly queue, ladies!
A long long way to go...
The rest of the article is here
Monday, May 11, 2009
Cancer is wretched. It may result in fruit, but in itself it is not a good thing. Cancer is not what God intends for the body in the created order is it? It just doesn't seem right to therefore call it a gift
I find it hard to get past the logic of Piper, as well as the use of biblical texts I might add. But if cancer is a gift, what isn't? By calling cancer a gift because it was designed and given by God, we therefore call every single thing that happens in our entire lives whether good or bad a gift from God. Therefore everything is a gift, and nothing is not a gift. This does not seem right. Or have I missed something?
This post got me thinking about the issue, over at F&T.
"Are there mothers around the country today looking at rugby league and saying, 'Do I want my son involved in this game, are these attitudes prevalent today, has it changed, are the NRL doing anything to wipe out these attitudes in the sport?' and that is really the question we have to answer."
Ferguson also questioned why the earlier Cronulla incident did not attract much publicity or action. "I think we all agree that is quite extraordinary in this case that such an event somehow managed to evade discussion at the time." From SMH
I had never much cared for the NRL until I moved to Redfern, and since then it always saddens me when I hear of stupidity and moral looseness of certain players which brings the game into disrepute. This quote is by Sarah Ferguson, a reporter for Four Corners, which is airing a story that will look at what they are calling the "Code of Silence" and the pack mentality that appears to be flourishing in the NRL. Should be an interesting watch.
What's the solution? Some clubs are thinking of banning the players from drinking, others are running education programs. I think they are only band aid solution to a deeper problem, which is moral. If this type of behaviour is to end, it will come about through repentance and a desire to seek good. Hopefully this will be from a recognition that Jesus Christ is Lord and Saviour.
Saturday, May 9, 2009
Gervais became an atheist at the age of eight when Bob, his older brother by 11 years, asked him why he believed in God. "My mother went 'Bob!' and that was it. I knew she was hiding something and he was telling the truth. My tool to understanding throughout my life has been non-verbal communication, observing the minutia of human behaviour. It's in my acting and my writing and that was where it began."
His mum's word vs my mum's, I guess.
From the SMH
Friday, May 8, 2009
It's always a tough decision whether I should go for the big blows and have a period of clean, booger free breathing, or sit there continuously wiping my nose throughout the exam. It's hard to tell which is more annoying for those around me.
In praise of Andrew Katay, If I ever ran Moore College I'd make sure there was a booger room for exams, where you could blow, sniff and wipe conscience cleared.
Tuesday, May 5, 2009
I'm not sure what to do if they want to come back to youth group though. One of them can be fairly disruptive and I fear he may make youth an unsafe place. Even though he is in yr 7, I've heard he has started "rolling" (mugging) people, and his Mum told me she had previously called the police because he was hitting her. This was the same boy who once said Jesus was more important to him than footy.
It's a strange position to be in, not allowing a child to come to a place where he'll hear about Jesus. Kinda sucks.
Monday, May 4, 2009
But I'm just not sure if I can bring myself to own a breed with such a dorky name
The former preach Christ out of selfish ambition, not sincerely, supposing that they can stir up trouble for me while I am in chains. But what does it matter? The important thing is that in every way, whether from false motives or true, Christ is preached. And because of this I rejoice. (Phi 1:17-18 NIV)
I don't think Driscoll has the wrong motives of course. I mean he might. But do you get my point? Paul is in prison, and people are preaching the gospel to cause him further anguish, yet his biggest concern and joy is that the gospel is being preached!
So lets critique and think all this Driscoll stuff through. It's dangerous if we don't. But I think before we criticise Driscoll about his methods or the effectiveness of Mars Hill in Australia, first and foremost we ought to be very glad and celebrate because the gospel is advancing through the preaching of Christ. I think we (and I'm guilty of this) have a tendency to go straight to what we think is wrong with everything, which sometimes causes us to miss the point.
Sunday, May 3, 2009
Hope you find it helpful
Saturday, May 2, 2009
Read more here
Friday, May 1, 2009
Here's the kicker, now that BOTH children have gone to sleep, Sarah and I have a little time to ourselves. Do we spend that time cleaning up, or do we do something we both enjoy and relax (in my case, my doctrine readings)? What would you do?
Sars and I have opted for relaxing. She's gardening, I'm doing this and reading doctrine. The house is disgusting.
Thursday, April 30, 2009
What I have (and what I suspect you have) is a retrieval ethic that says "we want to minimise the damage sin and its consequences can do to people - particularly the innocent." That still doesn't mean you're "for" something.
Gay marriage and adoption aren't ideal, but in this sinful society, which is also democratic and pluralistic, ensuring justice for all is essential. I'm not sure how to do it, and I was just thinking it through and putting it out there for discussion. I hope I didn't put anyone off by my previous post, and I hope people have the grace to know they were just half-baked thoughts, not a position I'm going to die on.
Wednesday, April 29, 2009
If I had a choice between Noah and Amelie living on the streets or with 2 homosexual persons who would feed, clothe and ensure they get an education, I would choose the latter.
Of course, there are always exceptions...
Those guys are worth reading for longer than a minute. But generally, you should probably pick up a good book.
Wednesday, April 22, 2009
“The Green Bible presents us with a curious kind of natural theology: We start with things we know to be true from trusted sources – Al Gore, perhaps? – and then we turn to Scripture to measure it against those preexisting and reliable authorities. And what a relief to discover that God is green. Because we already know that it’s good to be green – what we didn’t know is whether God measures up to that standard.”
and (quite hilariously)
Perhaps (for a different niche market) we should also produce The Arsonist’s Bible, with verses highlighted orange wherever God burns, scorches, or blows shit up. “Because with 1134 references to fire and burning, and only 158 references to salvation, the Bible carries a powerful message for those who enjoy destroying things.”
So my advice to this young upstart? Get to know Christ more and get all the experience you can in teaching the bible.
Is that too reductionistic?
Do you believe that Jesus makes a difference in the life of people today, and do you preach like it?
How ridiculous. The life of Christ has amazing consequences in this life, how could I possibly ignore such blessings?
Tuesday, April 21, 2009
If we want to be loving to those different to us, we need to go to their turf with the gospel. Can the trivia and movie nights, and go to the pub and watch the footy and see what happens from there.
Some of this is probably the same for men as well, no matter what their socio-economic status may be. Men don't like feeling weak, and often the akwardness that comes from a one on one conversation can bring that. Don't get me wrong, i think they need it, but we can't force it on them. First things first.
PS. These are just my thoughts, I could be very wrong. But something seems to be amiss, why are our churches so middle class?
*For lack of a better word. I don't know if 'working class' is a good description these days.
I just know you're all as excited as I am to find these.
Monday, April 20, 2009
The more I think about it the more it seems to be power plays by people who don't have the money or social status to have exert power over others...well at least others who have the money to afford cars. I'm not having a crack at the poor, nor saying it's only poor people who do it. If what I'm sayin is true it's quite understandable in one sense. People who feel trodden on will try and tread on others. It's just that I notice it Redfern a lot, and I'm trying to work out why it happens so much here and not as much in other places I've lived.
Saturday, April 18, 2009
I don't come here to attack you. Like I said before, I read everything you write. I only comment when I disagree or need some clarification because I like to discuss things. Simply saying, "I agree" doesn't create a discussion, and thus, it doesn't really interest me. I know that's an odd personality trait but it is what it is.
There is nothing wrong with disagreement and discussion of course, but I think blogs could do with some more hearty "amen!"'s and affirmation. Especially Christian ones. I think some of us may feel commenting is worthwhile only if we can critique or add some profound intellectual statement, or that blogs are only intended for the purpose of discussion. I don't see why this has to be the case.
More Amen's, please!
Friday, April 17, 2009
I think we need to be careful as Christians if we are going to say that the recession is a good thing because of reasons such as people coming back to church etc. It might lead to some positive outcomes or cause us to do some thinking over poor decisions, but it is not inherently a good thing.
Is that the same with all suffering? I think so. Suffering isn't good in itself, but it may lead to good. In fact for the Christian we are promised it will lead to good (1 Peter 1:6,7).
Thursday, April 16, 2009
Anyway, enjoy the vid.
Wednesday, April 15, 2009
As sure as (Easter!) eggs is eggs, the resurrection happened, but that it happened is disclosed – Jesus makes his presence known – and it can be known only in faith, which does not answer to historical method but is a gift of the Holy Spirit.
I need to hear these words because so often when I'm going through a phase of doubt, I resort to the historical arguments put forth by people like Strobel and McDowell to confirm in my heart that my faith is valid. It seems a stupid thing to do, because although my faith is grounded in the resurrection, it is not grounded in the work of historians.
When you're going through a periods of doubt (I'm assuming we all do...right?), how does your mind work to make you feel better about your belief in some peasant dying on a cross in a small middle eastern town 2000 years ago? Do you resort to Reason?
Friday, April 10, 2009
Plain style is still a style
Check it out.
"If I firmly believed, as millions say they do, that the knowledge and practice of religion in this life influences destiny in another, then religion would mean everything to me. I would cast away earthly enjoyments as dross, earthly cares as follies, and earthly thoughts and feelings as vanity. Religion would be my first waking thought, and my last image before sleep sank me into unconsciousness. I should labor in its cause alone. I would take thought for the morrow of eternity alone. I would esteem one soul gained for heaven worth a life of suffering. Earthly consequences would never stay my hand, or seal my lips. Earth, its joys and griefs, would occupy no moment of my thoughts. I would strive to look upon eternity alone, and on the immortal souls around me, soon to be everlastingly happy or everlastingly miserable. I would go forth to the world and preach to it in season and out of season, and my text would be, "what shall it profit a man if he gain the whole world and lose his own soul?"
Thursday, April 9, 2009
Wednesday, April 8, 2009
Awesome. Not very practical if you have a wife and two kids. But awesome nonetheless.
And it's not a bunch of university students experimenting, but an actual product from General Motors. The market is preparing for the arrival of Peak Oil, perhaps.
Taken from SMH
Don't get me wrong, I uphold justification by faith and will preach it, but I wonder if by continually stressing the mantra "it doesn't matter how hard you try to do good, it's not good enough for God", I'm answering questions 21st century non-believers aren't even asking?
Maybe I'm wrong, perhaps you can only preach justification by faith by stressing that your works don't cut it. Paul did it, but wasn't he primarily answering a specific form of Judaism?
Tuesday, April 7, 2009
On the positive side I now know Nathan Lowery has a blog
Ok, so I've been hanging out on mission all of last week then all of a sudden its over and I've got all these thoughts & ideas running round in my head. This year was my second MTC mission and I'd be happy to say that it was the better of the 2 that I've been on. This is why:
Partnership with the church:
This year we had 2 members of the local church give up holidays and get involved with our ministry to the local community as well as a few who did things every now and then - for me, this was a great encouragement as it really felt like we were partnering with the church.
Pushed me out of my comfort zone:
last year was fairly easy - i did a lot of school scripture and the only 'difficult' thing for me to do was a short talk at the local skate park. This year i knocked on doors of complete strangers & had people reject the Gospel in not uncertain terms.
Organising Kids group:
By complete accident i volunteered to look after organising the Thursday arvo kids club. I dont think I'm gifted and certainly dont feel keen on kids ministry, yet things came together really well and the leader of the kids club thought we had done pretty well!
I cant wait to see how i will be challenged next year on MTC mission #3!
MORE than four in 10 Australians who do not consider themselves "born again"' still believe Jesus rose from the dead, while one in 10 does not believe he existed.
We really need to get out of this mindset that if we can just convince people of Jesus resurrection, they will see that he is God and become a Christian. Even though it might be logical, it's silly to think so. People aren't reasoned into a relationship with God. Any apologetics we do must not be done in a way"convince" people to the faith, but rather our defense is more of an invitation to come partake in the true bread of life.
Monday, April 6, 2009
I felt pretty chuffed. That was my brush with fame for the day.
What about you, do you prefer exams or assignments?
I think here in Australia we ought to ask whether door-knocking is culturally insensitive and therefore question its validity in mission. The primary reason is that for many Australians their privacy is their God. People have fences and like security apartments for a reason - they don't want to be bothered. People make fun of Jehova's Witness and Mormons for a reason, do we want to be made fun of for that reason as well?
My observation is that this is mainly the case with middle class Australians. When I was door-knocking in Merrylands those most receptive to door-knocking were those living in housing commision, and immigrants. For the immigrants I was able to be of service because the church ran ESL classes, of which they were very thankful. I think we can tap into this some more.
Anyway, This post is long enough as it is. I'm not against doorknocking, I'm actually going to do it soon in Redfern. It's just some thoughts I had on mission after we woke a sleeping mother and embarassed a man coming to the door in his pj's. Both weren't happy about it, and neither was I.
Friday, April 3, 2009
I wonder if it would be unethical or irresponsible to give some of that money to an orphanage overseas.
Thursday, March 26, 2009
Tuesday, March 24, 2009
1) A dirty river
2) A homeless guy asking me for money, and when offering to take him for a meal at Burger King, him replying "Can we go somewhere a bit healthier?"
3) A 12,000 dollar handbag in a window
4) Sitting on the steps of Rod Laver arena consoling myself after Radiohead had just cancelled their concert there that night, the reason for which I came to Melbourne
So I didn't like it, but I think my decision was entirely influenced by point 4, and I was only there 2 nights so it's not much of a judgement. But what do I think of Melbourne, especially in comparison to Sydney? Is it better? To me the decision is a bit like choosing to travel to England or the USA. If you want big, flashy, and pretty, come to Sydney. It looks good, and has the "wow" factor, but if you go any deeper than the bright lights all you'll find are poker machines, awful public transport and too much cluster. If you prefer a little more culture and sophistication, you'll want to go to Melbourne to enjoy the Cafes, art and architecture, the great live music scene, and as Sam says, the less "booby" fashion.
Is my diagnosis correct?
Sunday, March 22, 2009
Schisms may come, but woe to that church through whom they come! There is no right, or duty, of schism. As unity is given to the church as a gift, so it is taken away as a judgement. But on no account can disunity be a course of action that the church may embrace in pursuit of its mission or identity. The only justified breach is the one we have taken every possible step to avert, the one that lies on the far side of every conciliar process that can be devised.
O'Donovan is evangelical, and he's well respected by a lot of Moore students and lecturers. I always assumed it was a Evangelicals v Liberals, good guys vs the the bad thing, but turns out it isn't.
Tuesday, March 17, 2009
Monday, March 16, 2009
Mission can’t be planned beyond the next step because people are unpredictable. We don’t know who will respond or how. In many industries you can match inputs and outputs. But in Christian ministry there’s never a neat correlation between inputs and outputs. You can’t say, ‘If I do these Bible studies with these people then I can guarantee that this is what they’ll be like at the end.’ Mission can’t be planned beyond the next step because people are unpredictable.
And mission can’t be planned beyond the next step because God is sovereign. It’s God who opens hearts to the gospel. We can’t know or predict ahead of time who will become Christians. It’s God’s work to grant faith and repentance. And often he surprises us.
A gret reminder for all servants of the gospel by Tim Chester. Read the entire blog post in full. It's the first in a series on mission planning. Great title.
Sunday, March 15, 2009
I'm quite fond of it.
You also may not have known that it is hereditary, or that it is an inherited trait in humans, where the dominant gene causes the cleft chin while the recessive genotype presents without a cleft. (taken from wiki)
I bet you also didn't know that in Egypt it is called the "Impress of Charm"
Now, back to writing that CCDP report due several hours ago...
Concerning the political strategy, she writes:
The problem is, our political aim was not simply to protect the rights of Christians. It was to enact moral change in society that would affect everyone regardless of whether they agreed with our views. We have sought to push a moral agenda instead of lobbying for civil liberties as we should have. If we had focused on civil liberties, we would have made progress in securing the rights we wanted for ourselves, and made a valuable contribution to securing the rights of our fellow Americans in the process. We could have still taken on abortion and concentrated primarily on defending the rights of the unborn child...
Anyway, read the article. Let me know your thoughts if you have any.
Saturday, March 14, 2009
I found out about it because my good friends Josh and Nay are doing it. They don't travel, but they open up their home to let travellers use their spare room. Through doing this they've been able to demonstrate Christlike hospitality and it has led to loads of gospel opportunities.
For Nay and Josh it's all about preparing for the future, as they plan to be missionaries in India to the myriad of travellers searching for 'sprituality' in their lives (Why India? Simple: The Beatles). They intend to be opening up their home for the rest of their lives for the sake of the gospel
What about you? Would you open up your house for travellers? how are you opening up your house for the gospel?
I know their example has put me to shame...
Tuesday, March 10, 2009
It's time to for me to man up obviously. Anyone want to grab a beer over the footy this week?
Check out here to see what gender your blog is
h/t Vanishing point
Monday, March 9, 2009
There are two musical situations on which I think we can be confident that a blessing rests. One is where a priest or an organist, himself a man of trained and delicate taste, humbly and charitable sacrifices his own (aesthetically right) desires and gives the people humbler and coarser fare than we would wish, in a belief (even, as it may be, the erroneous belief) that he can thus bring them to God. The other where the stupid and unmusical layman humbly and patiently, and above all silently, listens to music which he cannot, or cannot fully, appreciate, in the belief that it somehow glorifies God, and that if it does not edify him this must be his own defect. Neither such a High Brow nor such a Low Brow can be far out of the way. To both, Church Music will have been a means of grace; not the music they have liked, but the music they have disliked.
Christian Reflections, pg 96-97
Lewis then goes on to point out the opposite situation results in pride, contempt and resentful hostility. A lot of churches have musical problems, and while I don't want to downplay the importance of a good music ministry, Lewis is helpful here in pointing out that the problem is not always a musical one. His situation is not completely analogous to today's, but so often our attitudes can be similar when we feel music is not done to our own personal taste or professionalism. I know I have been incredibly guilty of such a sin.
Thursday, March 5, 2009
The authority of Scripture is its Spirit-bestowed capacity to quicken the church to truthful speech and righteous action. Confession of Scripture's authority is avowal by the hearing church of that which the Spirit undertakes through Scripture's service of the Word, and its proper context is therefore soteriological (italics mine). From this primary definition flow all other aspects of Scripture's authority, such as its role in theological or moral argument, its place in proclamation, or its liturgical presence.
John Webster, Holy Scripture: A Dogmatic Sketch. pg 52
The prime argument of Webster's Holy Scipture is that the bible is a servant of the revelation of God. For Webster, he argues, revelation means God's reconciliation with his people, the establishment of fellowship. Therefore when we speak of a doctrine scripture, it is in fact a doctrine of salvation. This is a great truth to remember. I think we can often act as though the only place to speak of God's reconciliation with the world is in an evangelistic sermon or conversation, as though it is one part of many in the Bible. I hope that whenever I preach, argue, meditate on, listen or merely speak about God's word, it will always be clear it is in the context of the saving work of God. Though practically I'm not so sure how...
Edit: I originally had the title as "Scripture is salvation...", and then walked away realising that is not what Webster thinks. Scripture points to revelation, it is a servant of it, it is not salvation itself. Whoops...
Monday, February 23, 2009
Redfern needs this even more. Our youth group is unique in that 95 percent of the kids aren't in Christian homes, and don't go to church. Fortunately, Redfern is also unique in that on the whole kids are bored and have a lot of free time, so they are looking for things to do and will come along to almost anything. So with this in mind today we had our first day of Oz tag (without the tags) down at Redfern Park. It was great fun and on the first day we had one boy come along who I've never met before. He asked us what we were doing from his terrace balcony as we walked to the oval, and when we told him he replied "Cool, I'm coming". I'm hoping there will be more of this in the weeks to come so that more kids will come to youth and hear the gospel.
Youth ministry needs a fishing pool
My first thought was that I bet he thinks I'm a tool.
Would anyone else get a similar feeling, or is it just me?
Sunday, February 22, 2009
missional imperative is totally about what you wear, what you eat, whether you are circumcised or not, the length of your hair, how much or how little alcohol you drink- the way you run church.
Why is this so?
What do these things affect in regard to people hearing about Jesus and loving him more?
Is it a New Testament imperative?
Sunday, February 15, 2009
I'm going to try and put this motto into practise daily. If I haven't read the bible that day, what the hell am I doing reading blogs??
Saturday, February 14, 2009
E.g. Mars Hill website gave a list of what they called "helpful books on Justification", which contained many polemics against the New Perspectives position. However, they do not provide any material from Sanders, Wright or Dunn.
It seems to me that that list should have been titled "Helpful books on OUR view of justification", or something like that.
Tuesday, February 10, 2009
The Pentecostal church's leader, Pastor Danny Nalliah, claimed he had a dream about raging fires on October 21 last year and that he woke with "a flash from the Spirit of God: that His conditional protection has been removed from the nation of Australia, in particular Victoria, for approving the slaughter of innocent children in the
Not only was his remark extremely insensitive, but what I found most disturbing was that Nalliah felt he had to tell people what he stated as "the truth". It seems dangerous for anyone to be labelling their visions/dreams/whatever it was as verifiable truth. The word of God is the truth people need to hear. Whether or not God uses natural disasters as a way of judging people is irrelevant, the dangerous thing is that Nalliah has perhaps unwittingly equated his message to Australia as the word of God.
Is that accusation going too far?
'...Solomon writes, "Blessed are the sons of the righteous after their fathers' death" (Prov. 20:7). This is not only because of their holy upbringing, which is surely of no little importance; but because of the blessing promised in the covenant, that God's grace shall everlastingly abide in the families of the pious'
Monday, February 9, 2009
Triple J Hottest 100 vol 7
Ramones - All the stuff (and more)
Beastie Boys - Paul's Boutique
The Saints - Know your product, the best of
Powderfinger - Odyssey Number 5
TOOL - Lateralus
Red Hot Chili Peppers - Californication
Eminem - Slim Shady LP
The pogues - Rum Sodomy & the Lash
Nirvana - Incesticide
At the Drive in - In Casino Out
The Avalanches - Since I left you
U2 - All that you can't leave behind
Dead Kennedys - FrankenChrist
U2 - How to dismantle an atomic Bomb
Beatles - Beatles for Sale
Dirty Three - Dirty Three
Black Sabbath - Black Sabbath
Talking Heads - Fear of Music
Just to distance myself from any poor music taste that you see within, some were Sarah's. I won't tell you which ones though.