Friday, 29 January 2010

Part 2 on Mission

So here is my next part on mission and what the church plant will seek to ground itself in.

Love

This alternative community in Newton Abbot will seek to have at its core the Greatest Commandments to love God and love each other with all other things flowing in and out of this desire. For these commandments (worship and discipleship) to flourish and the alternative community to grow and find expression, a number of practical and spiritual principles that are outlined below, would be embraced and lived out.

Practical Outworking

Practical and Spiritual Principles

  • Forgiveness – Forgiveness means that we are not forever bound by the consequences of our actions. We can be set free. This new church plant would practically seek means of facilitating ‘forgiveness’ within the local community whilst also seeking to model it. Working with Transition Newton Abbot, the police, Young Devon, the town councils’ Community Officer and schools, the alternative community would search for ways in which local people can work together and find unity in their diversity and also know the love and forgiveness of God.
  • Taxes and Debts – A church plant would desire people to become free from the burden of debt. Cooperative economics and Transition Newton Abbot are just some of the ways in which this could happen (prophetic community).
  • Third Place – An alternative community would meet where those who don’t know Christ regularly meet in order that the church may become a part of the community and share Jesus with that community. By being in the third place we can actually journey with people and discover the joy and the pain of that community.
  • Discipleship – The goal of the Church is make disciples, not converts, therefore small groups would be encouraged to meet together in order that they may break bread together, study the Scriptures and support each other, looking for ways in which they may grow in Christ and be a blessing to the community around them.
  • Table Fellowship – Jesus dismantled the ideas of ‘clean’ and ‘unclean’ by eating and partying with ‘sinners’ and those rejected by society. An alternative community would seek to welcome all people and eat with them. Meals and breaking bread would be a significant part of the church’s life, seeking to invite those with whom ‘inherited’ church is not able to reach or identify with. Not only that, but in a society that is increasingly dependant on ‘social networking’, this alternative community would develop and nurture the beauty of physically meeting together over a meal (inclusive community). ‘Crash’, a mission initiative I began, is a means through which the exploration of faith would happen over a meal.[1]

  • Sabbath – The culture we live in has become a 24/7 movement with people busier than ever. An alternative community would model the beauty of Sabbath. It would encourage people to rest and spend time with God and with those whom we love. Individuals and communities need to rest to fully become what God has created them to become. In resting we find food for our souls and bodies.

  • Healing – An alternative community would explore how to bring holistic healing within itself and into the Newton Abbot community. An alternative community must notice the pain within Newton Abbot and seek to address it. Who are the marginalized? Who are the oppressed? An alternative community would be a voice to the voiceless and to stand with those who are hurting (sacrificial community).


[1] 'Crash brings together 8-10 people from a variety of word-views and belief systems who meet to chat and discuss various issues while enjoying good food together. A guest speaker joins us and shares for 10 minutes about an issue that then enables conversations to begin. Then, over the meal, we talk, discuss, ask questions and see where the conversation takes us with the hope of finding common ground. It is called ‘Crash’ because so often in life two opposing views come crashing together and we try to salvage answers from among the wreckage. Crash seeks to be different and looks to enable different views to come together in such a way that enriches us all rather than tearing us apart.’

'Crash - We're so disconnected that we crash into each other just so we can feel something'

Thursday, 28 January 2010

Thoughts on Mission

Here is the first part of my thoughts on mission.

We do what we do because we believe what we believe (theology and ethics), so in terms of mission and church planting I want to share my understanding and theology which will then inform what we will do in Newton Abbot. Here is what I believe to be crucial for the church plant in Newton Abbot in terms of what we believe about who Jesus is, which then informs us about what we believe mission should look like, which then informs us about what church should look like.
Go here for an extended a deeper theological reflection on what is below.

Incarnation – Future Fulfillment

The Incarnation[1] is a fundamental and foundational doctrine within the Christian faith whereby it is recognized that God has acted in a unique and distinctive way with the eternal Son of God coming in flesh to the world that was made through him.[2] The Incarnation is not merely about God identifying himself with us (although it undoubtedly is about that), but that God becomes one of us and embraces the fullness of our humanity in order that he might fully restore humanity and all of creation. Creation, therefore, has a goal, an ‘eschatological direction’, to become what God always intended it to become. Not merely a returning to something previous, but an intention to become something it has yet to be, something it never has been; something better. It is in light of this that the Incarnation can be seen to be so vital to humanity and all of creation; Christ has become one of us so that we might reach the goal to which God has called us.[3] This goal therefore, is for all of creation to participate in the communion of the triune God,[4] to ‘participate in the divine nature’[5] and escape the consequences of sin. For that reason the Incarnation reveals to us a God who desires us to become something more than we are at this moment and therefore truly incarnational mission must ‘in-flesh’ this concept of future fulfillment, of people and communities becoming something more than they are now, something they have never been before; something better. A church plant (alternative community)[6] in Newton Abbot would seek to enable the local community to journey towards a better future.

Incarnation – Identification

The Incarnation as identification is not about God resembling us and taking upon himself an ‘outer garment, like a beggar-cloak of a king who dresses up in order to seek out the love of a beggar-girl’,[7]it is about God stepping into our humanity and journeying with us through that humanity. From his birth in a cattle-shed to his death on the cross, Jesus fully identifies with the humanity that he created taking upon himself the limitations, conditions, temptations and struggles of humankind.[8] Yet in Christ identifying himself with us he reveals to us our condition, both good and bad; for in the humanity of the Son we see the goal of all humanity and also recognize how far we have wandered away from the goal that had been intended.[9] He reveals our need for salvation, not simply in terms of ‘getting to heaven’, but salvation in terms of complete and total healing from our ‘sin-sick’ state.[10] Sin has utterly contaminated all of creation and therefore humanity is in need of renewal and healing from our sin-sickness. That Christ fully identifies himself with humanity means that through him humanity may be fully healed and restored from its disorientated and contaminated condition; sin-sickness has a cure. Consequently, incarnational mission embraces this concept of identification, healing and future fulfillment and seeks to bring about healing and hope within the communities it is being worked out in. Because Jesus fully identified with humanity, an alternative community in Newton Abbot would seek to fully embrace the concept and practice of identifying with the local community. The church would find its missional focus in the ‘third place’ ensuring that we were a part of the community, meeting people where they were and ‘dwelling among them’. By identifying with the community the church has a valid and valuable voice into that community.



[1] ‘What is the meaning of the incarnation? A tear of divine pity.’ Barth, Karl, Theology and Church p 225

[2] John 1:10-11, Colossians 1:15-17

[3] Philippians 3:14

[4] See Volf, M., After Our Likeness, p 129

[5] 2 Peter 1:4 NIV

[6] Alternative Community is the term I will use sporadically for church plant.

[7] Frost and Hirsch, The Shaping of Things to Come, p 36

[8] Hebrews 4:15

[9] ‘This particular man Jesus Christ, therefore, is not to be considered and judged on the basis of some general preconception about human reality. Rather, every man, and the universal truth concerning man, is to be understood from this particular man.’ Barth, Karl, God Here and Now p 6

[10] This is a term Stanley Hauerwas uses to understand humanity as sinners and this sin disorientates our nature and us. See Hauerwas, S., ‘Sinsick’ p 192 cf. Colwell, J., Promise and Presence p 199-201


Wednesday, 27 January 2010

Tuesday, 26 January 2010

Master Builder

I thought it would be good to post again the dream I had a little while ago about listening to the Master Builder whilst restoring an old building. Because I have now been called to plant a church in Newton Abbot this dream seems to be very relevant.

I had this dream on Monday 19th October...

Sarah and I were in a field surrounded by hills in the middle of nowhere. It was a very dull and overcast day. We were looking at an old building that was falling down and in need of serious renovation.

Two of our friends were there who were instrumental in my obedience to God in pursuing the calling to ministry that he has given me. They had a photo album on them and were showing us photo's of our past. Some of the photo's were of really happy times since we were called to ministry. Others were of the difficult times. Others were of sin in our lives that we need deal with.

Sarah and I then collect some materials to try and restore this building. The materials we are using don't seem to be good enough, yet suddenly another man joins us and begins to show us how to use these materials. He tells us they are good enough if we use them properly. We discover he is a master builder. He shows us how to build properly.

He then warns us. He says that we need to listen to him and build properly because a mighty wind is coming that night and will blow so powerfully. The wind will be so strong that it will show up everything that is lacking about the building. It will expose the weaknesses in it. We need to build properly.

Sarah and I listen and keep building. We then crawl into the building. It seems so small and low now. And we wait. We wait for the Wind to blow.
So we go to Newton Abbot to build. Not by our own wisdom. Not by our own strength. By by the grace and Spirit of God.
5What, after all, is Apollos? And what is Paul? Only servants, through whom you came to believe—as the Lord has assigned to each his task. 6I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God made it grow. 7So neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow. 8The man who plants and the man who waters have one purpose, and each will be rewarded according to his own labor. 9For we are God's fellow workers; you are God's field, God's building.

10By the grace God has given me, I laid a foundation as an expert builder, and someone else is building on it. But each one should be careful how he builds. 11For no one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ. 12If any man builds on this foundation using gold, silver, costly stones, wood, hay or straw, 13his work will be shown for what it is, because the Day will bring it to light. It will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test the quality of each man's work. 14If what he has built survives, he will receive his reward. 15If it is burned up, he will suffer loss; he himself will be saved, but only as one escaping through the flames. I Corinthians 3:5-15

Sunday, 24 January 2010

Church Planting - A New Journey

The South West Baptist Association have called me to Newton Abbot in Devon to plant a church from scratch!

This is a really exciting and challenging ministry that Sarah, Grace and I will be exploring and we are full of joy about it. We have known for some time that God was calling us to move from Mersea once my training had finished, but we had no idea where that might be. This ministry to plant a church was something that I felt really drawn to when I heard about it, so I submitted an application form with an idea about what a new church plant might look like in Newton Abbot.

The interview was last Tuesday and I presented in greater depth what I had laid out in the application form. The SWBA then rang me that evening and invited me to the position, and I accepted!

God has placed on my heart for sometime now a desire to explore incarnational mission and incarnational church, and He has now called me to Devon to explore it further. It also highlights our utter need and dependance upon God and His grace because we cannot go and do this in our own strength. That is why he gave me the dream that I blogged about before because we need to ensure that we listen to Jesus, the Master Builder as we travel to Devon to church plant.

I will blog in a bit more depth some of what has been on my heart in regard to this to give you a flavour of what we will be seeking to explore when we move to Devon.

We will probably be moving in August and setting up a new life and new ministry. My training finishes in June and I will be ordained around the same sort of time. It is a really exciting time of our lives.

Praise be to God for He is good and His love endures forever.

Thursday, 21 January 2010

Freedom

What is freedom? Been thinking about this question lately and wondering what freedom is.

Is freedom my ability to do what I want when I want to? Is it about being able to live my life the way I want to live it regardless of the people around me? Is freedom about rejecting rules and living outside of rules? Do rules limit our freedom? Is freedom about not listening to others and having my own mind and doing what I want to do?

I believe freedom is much deeper than this.

The reality is that every decision we make in this life has been influenced in some way by the culture we live in and the past we have experienced. I can never make a free choice in life because if it is truly going to be my choice then it must be free from all external factors, and this is impossible. We do not live in a vacuum.

Freedom therefore is not about arbitrary choice (a choice that is made on impulse or a whim and not by necessity or reason). We are never able to truly do this.

Freedom is about love.

God is love, and he is utterly free in his love. He does not need anything or anyone to be loving. He has been love since before anything existed because he has existed for eternity as Father, Son and Spirit, a perfect loving community within Himself, who loves in perfect freedom.

Therefore, freedom is about love and experiencing the freedom of God and His love. Love is defined as self-giving and sacrificial. Love is defined at the Cross. Love is defined as we look at God.

If then, our lives do not reflect love, then we are not experiencing freedom, but become slaves to that which has mastered us. To experience love is to experience freedom.

God has revealed to us a way of life through Jesus that enables us to experience God's love and in experiencing God's love we experience freedom. Some things in life God calls us to resist because they seek to tear down love and in turn rob us of freedom. Freedom is not about breaking rules or making my choice. Love is not about following rules and never making a choice.

Freedom is to experience the love of God and to share in His love for us. Freedom is about following Jesus where He leads us in His love that we may have an abundant life.

'...where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.' 2 Corinthians 3:17

Wednesday, 20 January 2010

Moving and Community

Haven't blogged for a little while as Sarah, Grace and I have been travelling around the UK seeking where God may be calling us after I finish my studies at college.

It has been a tiring but good time away.

It is a fascinating and challenging time in our lives. The prospect of moving away from Mersea to a new place where we don't know anyone is quite daunting. Sarah and I have grown up in Mersea so all our family and friends live here or close by, and leaving them will be quite a pull. Yet at the same time we are both ready to move. We are excited by the journey ahead of us. We are looking forward to the challenges and possibilities of a new place and new ministry.

On Monday I will blog about any updates I know in terms of where I may or may not be called to.

On another note...

These British Gas adverts highlight the way society is viewing itself at the moment, and that is not a good thing.
The way they portray having a home on your own little world, separated out from everyone else is an example of where our society sees itself. It is about ME and MY own little world.

The church is being called to model and highlight the importance of community and how we are connected to one another in some way.

We don't live in our own little world, we are connected and are called to live in such a way that recognises our neighbour and our calling to love our neighbour.

Thursday, 14 January 2010

Crash

'Crash is an informal gathering of people who meet to discuss relevant issues while enjoying good food and wine. We invite a guest speaker to join us and share for 10-15 minutes about an issue which then enables conversations to begin. Over the meal we then ask questions of our guest, discuss the issue in greater depth and see where the conversation takes us.

It is called ‘Crash’ because so often in life two opposing views come crashing together and we try to salvage answers from among the wreckage. Crash seeks to be different and looks to enable different views to come together in such a way that enriches us all rather than tearing us apart.'

Last night I hosted another evening of 'Crash' and again, it was a great evening of honest and open discussion about things of life and faith.

My bro Tom shared about his 'journey of disbelief' and why he is now an atheist. It was good to hear his thoughts and views on God, church and life. Those of us there that are followers of Jesus often agreed with what Tom was saying when he spoke about doubt, pain, church and the human condition.

What I loved about last night was the freedom of honesty. People were not hiding behind masks. People were not trying to give pat answers to impossible questions. People were free to share who they are and what they believe. And yet again the night finished with a real sense of togetherness and acceptance.

Freedom. That is what was expressed and experienced last night. Again, last night Crash was a great example of how people from a whole spectrum of belief systems can come together and talk openly together and have the freedom to discuss and question, laugh and relax together.

If you're involved in a church and want to figure out a way of engaging with people who are not interested in church, then do something like Crash. I promise you that it is so worthwhile.

The next one will be in March when the Rev Sharon Ferguson from the Lesbian and Gay Christian Movement will be coming to chat about confronting homophobia within the Church. Really looking forward to that.

'Crash - We're so disconnected that we crash into each other just so we can feel something'

Monday, 11 January 2010

God is our Refuge...

'God is our refuge and strength, an ever present help in times of trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging.'

When we were in India, this psalm was often quoted by our tutor when he spoke to the various churches that we visited. And every time it seemed to bring some kind of encouragement and peace to those who heard it, 'God is our refuge and strength, an ever present help in times of trouble.' These guys knew trouble and knew God as their strength.

I read this psalm this morning and it gave me a sense of peace too. I have been living in quite a lot of quiet fear recently. I have stored it up within myself, tried to lock it away and forget about it. Yet it rises to the surface and reveals itself in a variety of ways, physically, emotionally and spiritually. That is why I have not been doing to well recently.

Fear is the opposite to faith.

This is a time in my life when I need Jesus to increase my faith.

'I will not fear, though the earth give way.'

Recently it has felt like there are many situations of the 'earth giving way', of family, friends and loved ones whose lives seem to be going out of control. And it has filled me with anguish and fear.

My life has been challenging as Sarah, Grace and I seek a new ministry. Where are you leading us Lord? And I confess my sin of fear and not trusting God as I should. But I will not fear because God is our refuge and our strength, an ever present help in times of trouble.

I know this is a time of refining, with God seeking to change me to become more the person he wants me to be. It is a time when I am being called to 'be still and know that He is God.' He will be exalted in all the earth and as I am still and rest in his presence I am sure I will see this happening, and in seeing this happening I pray that faith will rise in my heart like the dawning of a new day.

I have to trust God with my life, my family's lives and the lives of all whom I love.

'God is our refuge and strength, an ever present help in times of trouble. Therefore, we will not fear...'

Thursday, 7 January 2010

Returning From The East

Going East...

I was reading 'Jesus Wants To Save Christians' by Rob Bell and came across a terminology about heading 'East of Eden'. So when Adam and Eve took the fruit and were then cast out of the garden, they went East.

I started to look into this and found it to fascinating when we consider the New Testament's account of the Magi.

These astrologers travelled from the East to come and find this new-born King, Jesus. They saw something unique and special in the stars that they were studying, within their own religion and tradition, and set out to discover who this unique sign in the sky was pointing towards.
These Magi were not good Jewish people, but astrologers from a far off land who would not have understood and worshipped YHWH, yet they were open enough to God to take a journey of discovery and find this unique child, God made flesh. They travelled from the East and discovered Jesus.

In Genesis 11 we read of how people travelled eastward and built a tower trying to get to the heavens in their own strength. When their plan failed they were scattered to all the ends of the earth. The birth of Jesus brings all people from all nations, from all backgrounds, back to God.
Humanity has travelled eastward and Jesus draws us from the east to himself to discover who God is and the beauty and truth of being in relationship with him.

And God is using the most unusual ways and the most unique signs to draw the most unlikely people to come and worship his Son. Many Christians will miss what God is doing all over the world in the most unique and special ways to draw people to his Son. Yet that is what God is doing. He is drawing people from the East, calling them from the East, just as he called those Magi, to come and be in relationship with him through his Son Jesus.

And he calls us just as we are. And because he calls us just as we are, we will be surprised and delighted by who is coming to be with Jesus. It is exciting. It is amazing.

So this year may we all see the special signs that God has displayed before us to draw each one of us from the East into relationship with him. May we all discover this Jesus, this amazing, unique, full of grace and truth Jesus, for ourselves. And in discovering him, may we all discover the abundant life that he desires for us.

Wednesday, 6 January 2010

Today Is The Day Of Salvation

I have had a really long break, and it has been good and bad. There have been some pretty horrible events happen close to home for me in the last few weeks and days, so I'm feeling all over the place within myself. But I have been able to spend some really quality time with my beautiful girls. They really are my everything.

I decided to approach 2010 differently to how I usually go into the New Year. I've decided not to make a big deal of it and see it as just another day. I tend to get pretty nostalgic this time of the year, but I have come to the conclusion that it doesn't help me.

One day at a time. Today is the day of salvation. So what does today hold? How can I make the most of it? Tomorrow can look after itself. Yesterday is over.

And I will not be shaped by life's circumstances, rather, I will be shaped by the way I deal with those circumstances. Stuff will happen this year that will be difficult. I accept that. So rather than thinking I will have a perfect year (whatever that might be), I will look to become a better person, a more Christ like person through whatever life's circumstances are, good or bad. And that begins today and every day, regardless of when in the year it is.

Today is the day of salvation. And I will be shaped today by the way I respond to today. Nice in thought! But what about practice?! So far I am feeling stressed and ill. Had my first migraine the other day and it has only just gone. Might have a stomach ulcer. So the reality is I'm not doing great at grasping the most of today. But then I ask myself, 'what is the most of today?'

What does it mean to be like Jesus? What does that actually look like? What does it mean to live today for Jesus in the most real way? There are things I will do because I've been told that is what we do as Christians, but is that being a true disciple of Jesus? What does it mean to be his follower?

Today is the day of salvation. So what does that day look like? What does it mean to follow Jesus today, right now, even as I type this?

Friday, 1 January 2010

Incarnation - Future Fulfilment and Identification

Incarnation – Future Fulfillment

The Incarnation[1] is a fundamental and foundational doctrine within the Christian faith whereby it is recognized that God has acted in a unique and distinctive way; the eternal Son of God coming in flesh to the world that was made through him.[2] The Word made flesh and dwelling among us, is the means through which God will ‘reconcile to himself all things.’[3] And it was ‘for this purpose, then, the incorporeal and incorruptible and immaterial Word of God entered our world.’[4] The Incarnation is not merely about God identifying himself with us (although it undoubtedly is about that), but that God becomes one of us and embraces the fullness of our humanity in order that he might fully restore humanity and all of creation. That restoration certainly happens through the means of identification that the Incarnation enables, yet restoration also occurs through Christ fully becoming a part of our existence and experiencing all that humanity experiences. Because Christ has assumed the fullness of humanity he is capable of healing all of humanity otherwise, as Gregory of Nazianzus states ‘that which he has not assumed He has not healed’.[5] Christ, therefore, did not grasp at equality with God, but humbled himself to become nothing in order than he may be exalted to the highest place by God.[6] This journey of descending and ascending was in order that Christ may fill the whole universe[7] and in doing so enable humanity and creation to journey to an ‘eschatological perfection’[8]. This idea that creation is on a journey towards perfection rather than being returned to an original perfection is first seen in the work of Irenaeus who sees that creation and redemption are intrinsically combined, mediated by the Son and the Spirit.[9] Consequently, Irenaeus understands the Incarnation in terms of Adam being created in the image of the eternal Son ‘with the goal of being perfected in that image.’[10] Creation, therefore, has a goal, an eschatological direction to become what God always intended it to become. Not merely a returning to something pervious, but an intention to become something it has yet to be, something it never has been; something better. Without doubt Christ becomes one of us and identifies with us in fullness, ‘the invisible becoming visible, the incomprehensible being made comprehensible, the impassable becoming capable of suffering’;[11] yet Christ has become one of us so that we might reach the goal to which God has called us to.[12] This goal therefore, is for all of creation to participate in the communion of the triune God,[13] to share in the relatedness of the Son to the Father, to ‘participate in the divine nature’[14] and escape the consequences of sin. The Incarnation reveals to us a God who identifies himself with us and a God who desires us to become something more than we are at this moment and truly incarnational mission must ‘in-flesh’ this concept of future fulfillment, of people and communities becoming something more than they are now, something they have never been before; something better. And without doubt both Big Life and Charis seek to bring about a better life for those they minister to. Yet incarnational mission must also wrestle with identification and what it means to participate and identify with a community, and it here that we continue.

Incarnation – Identification

The Incarnation as identification is not about God resembling us and taking upon himself an ‘outer garment, like a beggar-cloak of a king who dresses up in order to seek out the love of a beggar-girl’,[15]it is about God stepping into our humanity and journeying with us through that humanity. From his birth in a cattle-shed to his death on the cross, Jesus fully identifies with the humanity that he created taking upon himself the limitations, conditions, temptations and struggles of humankind.[16] The Son assumes our humanity and takes on a body shaped for him by the Spirit of God the Father, identifying himself with us and deeming all of creation to be ‘good’[17] yet corrupted and contaminated by sin. Furthermore, the goal of humanity, to reach the image of the resurrected Christ and to find fulfillment in him, has been distorted and disorientated, and rather than humanity moving towards the Son and his image and therefore finding life, sin has caused all of humanity to turn away from God and lead us into sickness and death, both spiritually and physically. Yet in Christ identifying himself with us he reveals to us our condition, both good and bad; for in the humanity of the Son we see the goal of all humanity and also recognize how far we have wandered away from the goal that had been intended.[18] At the cross the Incarnate Son of God takes our place, and in taking our place ‘it is decided what our place is’.[19] This revelation of our place reveals our need for salvation, not in terms of ‘getting to heaven’, but salvation in terms of complete and total healing from our ‘sin-sick’ state.[20] Sin has utterly contaminated all of creation and therefore humanity is in need of renewal and healing from our sin-sickness. That Christ fully identifies himself with humanity means that through him humanity may be fully healed and restored from its disorientated and contaminated condition; sin-sickness has a cure. Consequently, incarnational mission embraces this concept of identification, healing and future fulfillment and seeks to bring about healing and hope within the communities it is being worked out in.


[1] ‘What is the meaning of the incarnation? A tear of divine pity.’ Barth, Karl, Theology and Church p 225

[2] John 1:10-11, Colossians 1:15-17

[3] Colossians 1:20 NIV

[4] Athanasius, On the Incarnation, II 8, accessed via http://www.ccel.org/ccel/athanasius/incarnation.iii.html on 28th October 2009

[5] Gregory Nazianzus, Epistle to Cledonius the Priest Against Apollinarius accessed via http://www.monachos.net/content/patristics/patristictexts/158 on 28th October 2009

[6] Philippians 2:6-11

[7] Ephesians 4:8-9

[8] Gunton, C., The Triune Creator, p 55

[9] Irenaeus, Against Heresies, III xviii

[10] Colwell, J., Promise and Presence p 46

[11] Irenaeus, Against Heresies III xvi 6, accessed via http://www.ccel.org/ccel/schaff/anf01.ix.iv.xvii.html on 28th October 2009

[12] Philippians 3:14

[13] See Volf, M., After Our Likeness, p 129

[14] 2 Peter 1:4 NIV

[15] Frost and Hirsch, The Shaping of Things to Come, p 36

[16] Hebrews 4:15

[17] ‘God saw all that he had made, and it was very good.’ Genesis 1:31a. The Incarnation reveals that God is not appalled it his creation, but delights in it, willing to become a part of it.

[18] ‘This particular man Jesus Christ, therefore, is not to be considered and judged on the basis of some general preconception about human reality. Rather, every man, and the universal truth concerning man, is to be understood from this particular man.’ Barth, Karl, God Here and Now p 6

[19] Barth, Karl, Church Dogmatics. Vol. IV/1 p 240.

[20] This is a term Stanley Hauerwas uses to understand humanity as sinners and this sin disorientates our nature and us. See Hauerwas, S., ‘Sinsick’ p 192 cf. Colwell, J., Promise and Presence p 199-201