Tuesday, 29 October 2013

Our True Selves

The most significant and life-changing events in our lives usually occur in the times when we are at our most vulnerable, uncomfortable and far from our place of safety.

It is when we are in those situations that are most shocking and dramatic, that shake us out of our comfort zones and cut into the routine and pattern of our lives, that usher in a life changing way of being and change the possibilities around us forever.

It is in the company of strangers and the encounters with new people that can often be the times when we discover most about ourselves.

It is when we are in a strange new world, listening to foreign tongues, that we are most likely to hear the whisper of God's Spirit calling us to imagine once again, to be filled

Wednesday, 23 October 2013

Why We Need Sabbath

'We need to get the economy moving' are the endless words spoken to us by the politicians and media.  It is the idea of 'keeping things going' and ensuring that business as usual is maintained.  There is no time to rest or wait, no opportunity to stop or be still, our purpose is to keep going, to keep moving and to keep spending our money.

It is drilled into us that spending our money is a seven-day-a-week necessity, not only for our good, but for the good of the whole nation.  And what's more, the instant satisfaction and happiness you get from this is what makes life great - well that's what we're told anyway.

This constant 'doing' and continual movement is a sign that we think we don't have enough time.  We think there is a lack of time, so we need to make the most of it, doing whatever we want.  Yet the reality is that we don't do whatever we want, we do whatever we are told by those who influence us and manipulate us; we can be puppets to the rich, the advertisers and the products we own.
'Life is short', 'time is of the essence', and

Machine of Wonder


Read on ReadWave.com

Wednesday, 16 October 2013

Nonviolence and the Mission of God - With Michael Hardin


On Saturday 16th November Michael Hardin from Preaching Peace and writer of ‘The Jesus Driven Life’ will be running a days seminar on ‘Nonviolence and the Mission of God’ at Barton Baptist Church, Barton, TQ2 8EU.
What does it mean for the Church to be a people of peace? How can we preach peace to those who are far off? How do we walk faithfully in the footsteps of the One who was crucified and raised to life? The day will consist of exploring questions such as these and how nonviolence and this path of discipleship can impact the mission of the church in the communities that we live and serve.

The day will run from 9am-3pm and

Monday, 14 October 2013

Faith and Violence

'We know, for instance, that Adolf Eichmann and others like him felt no guilt for their share in the extermination of the Jews. This feeling of justification was due partly to their absolute obedience to higher authority and partly to the care and efficiency which went into the details of their work. This was done almost entirely on paper. Since they dealt with numbers, not with people, and since their job was one of abstract bureaucratic organization, apparently they could easily forget the reality of what they were doing.
The same is true to an even greater extent in modern warfare in which the real moral problems are not to be located in rare instances of hand-to-hand combat, but in the remote planning and organization of technological destruction. The real crimes of modern war

Thursday, 10 October 2013

Homosexuality - Part Two

Yesterday I blogged about a recent gathering where we discussed the biblical and theological understandings regarding homosexuality.

Reflecting further I think that some of the ways this discussion can lose its way is the focus on how individuals use their genitals.

I once read how a Jewish Rabbi said that a God who is not interested in how we use our pots, pans and body isn't really worth worshipping.

If we belong to this mysterious thing called Church, then our sexual

Wednesday, 9 October 2013

Homosexuality

Yesterday Baptist ministers in the area gathered together to study biblically and theologically where we stand on homosexuality.

Within the room there were a variety of beliefs and understandings, yet the whole time together was one of listening and desire to be faithful to God.

John Colwell lead our time and sought to take us through four understandings and interpretations of homosexuality from a biblical and theological position.  In doing this we were able to see that a part of this issue is the way we hear and read the Bible; it is an issue of hermeneutics and how we understand the manner of Scriptures authority.

Around 15 years ago Nigel Wright, the former Principle of Spurgeon's College, presented to the Baptist Union four views on homosexuality that, by in large, represented the views of the people in our Baptist Churches.  The four views are:

1. unqualified rejection
2. qualified rejection
3. qualified acceptance
4. unqualified acceptance

John then argued for each position

Thursday, 3 October 2013

Crossing Over to Love




'We live in a world where stuff happens. It's really not stuff; we live in a world where shit happens...and the one thing I had to do was to understand that in spite of shit happening, God is still God. That was a tough one though...

...crossing in front of my truck was the guy who had touched my kid...in those seconds I was thinking, "I would really love to run over this cat"...The test was still loving God in the midst of disappointment. And still loving an expression of neighbour even if the person is someone I really wouldn't want to live next door to.'

Tuesday, 1 October 2013

God? You Don't Know What You're Talking About

'...having the proper notions about the divine nature...transcends all cognitive thought and representation and cannot be likened to anything which is known...heed none of those things comprehended by the notions with regard to the Divine, nor...liken the transcendent nature to any of the things known by comprehension. Rather...believe that the Divine exists, and...not examine it with respect to quality, quantity, origin, and mode of being, since it is unattainable.'  Gregory of Nyssa, The Life of Moses

'God' is such a slippery word isn't it?

I mean, what do you mean when you say 'God'?

OMG?

Light?

Love?

Person on a cloud?

Power?

Holiness?

Anger?

Force?

Nature?

And on and on and on I could go.

This is the problem we face when talking about the word 'God'.  It is actually a really unhelpful word. I could be talking to you