Wednesday, April 21, 2010
Sometimes it is good to read articles that contain various views, with which one may not agree...
This is a new article about the move to have female bishops in the Church of England. It is interesting for many reasons - the sociological feel of it, the passing mention of theological observations of dubious weight. All say much of the postmodern zeitgeist which has displaced scholarly theological debate, and which now provides the basis of making ecclesiastical decisions in many quarters.
The article involves interviews with many people - one of the main strengths of the piece. When invited to be interviewed on a subject such as this, a conservative Christian has good reason to feel nervous about the ever present danger of being misrepresented or vilified by the final edition of the encounter. That being the case, it is very encouraging to see that amidst the archbishops, oxbridge tutors, MPs and authors interviewed, Vaughan Roberts is interviewed and comes across as sane, and pastorally concerned. Well done to him for making a contribution.
Follow the Link for New Yorker article.
Monday, April 05, 2010
I watched this BBC programme last night - hosted by Nicky Campbell.
While 'persecution' is not the correct word to describe what is happening in the UK right now, there are real infringements of liberty which cause immense pain and distress to those caught up in them. Not only that, every media case of a Christian who loses their job due to their beliefs or conscience, weakens the resolve of churches in their ability to speak out.
This show is excellent - first time I have heard the Christian viewpoint in the media, pressed home with seriousness. The show traces current problems back to the EU Human Rights Charter, which as it is applied to aspects of British society, creates an inevitable tiered hierarchy of competing rights. In case after case, it is Christian belief that is selected as the 'losing' right.
There are interviews with reporters, philosophers, bishops and minority faith representatives. It is quite chilling to hear people like Polly Toynbee flatly deny that Christians have any right to feel poorly treated, and another opinion former makes clear that even if Christians feel discriminated against - it does not matter because 'morality changes' and they are, after all, 'a minority...'
You have a week to view the show. Click here.
Thursday, April 01, 2010
The prayer in Ephesians 3 is one of my favourite passages in the Bible.
Ephesians 3:14-21 4 For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, 15 from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named, 16 that according to the riches of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being, 17 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith- that you, being rooted and grounded in love, 18 may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, 19 and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God. 20 Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, 21 to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen.
Here is a sermon I preached a while back on this passage. It attempts to preach in a style which takes due measure of the nature of both prayer and preaching. I don't know how effective it was, but I was aiming to draw us into the prayer, and by preaching to move us beyond knowing the passage, to knowing the love of Christ. Enjoy:
Sermon: Ephesians 3 Prayer