Monthly Archives: June 2005
I’ve been getting quite angry in recent weeks about some things that people either deliberately or accidentally have done to me. My reaction to them has then hurt them, even when I haven’t intended it. Then comes the repair work, and the difficult task of me apologising to those who have hurt me.
I’ve just emailed my last-ever column to the Medway Messenger. If you want to see the article, it will be published in the edition on Friday 17th and subsequently in the ‘Messenger’ section of my main website.
I’ve been writing for them for four years now, and it’s been very fulfilling. Ever since I did a creative writing course in 2003 at the London Institute for Contemporary Christianity that was run in conjunction with the Association of Christian Writers I’ve felt very affirmed in my desire to write. “Don’t be afraid to say, ‘I am a writer'”, is one of the most powerful things I remember being said at the course.
So to lay it down now in preparation for moving is quite emotional. I’m laying it down, not knowing whether I’ll be able to take it up in another form in the new place. It’s a sort of death without knowing whether there will be a resurrection. Then again, Jesus said that if we wanted to save our lives we would lose them, but if we lost our lives for his sake and the Gospel’s we would save them, and I hope that will be true. It certainly feels like a mini-bereavement.
Perhaps that’s over the top and I need to hear the Gospel as proclaimed decades ago by the Pretenders: ‘It is time for you to stop all of your sobbing …’
Doing away with professional clergy; meeting in homes rather than Grade 1 listed buildings; redistributing money from the rich to the poor. All sounds very Gospel, doesn’t it? It certainly sounds very ’emerging church’. Not quite what you’d expect from a report to the General Synod of the dear old C of E. And it’s on the front page of today’s Times.
What a shame that a financial crisis has prompted this report, rather than creative missional thinking and prayer. Still, God uses all things for good for those who love him. Let’s pray this is a providential moment, and not only for the Church of England but for the wider Church.
The Director-General of the BBC has said some interesting and provocative things about religious broadcasting (see Ekklesia News report here). Here’s a call for creative involvement: sounds like an invitation to incarnation to me, and to use the arts as arts, not as propaganda.
The best church typo I witnessed was in an Anglican church in Bristol. In the days of Xerox machines, they had duplicated a liturgy for prayers of intercession, using the Litany from the Alternative Service Book. When it got to praying for the Government, the sheet didn’t say, “Endue the High Court of Parliament and all the Ministers of the Crown with wisdom and understanding” but “Endure the High Court of Parliament …”.
| 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.
Well that result at least is a relief for a Methodist minister!
Maggi Dawn has a good post on this subject. Here are the thoughts I posted in response:
Coming from Methodism, which ostensibly holds together both those of a ‘written liturgy’ approach and those who claim to be non-liturgical, and being someone who finds strength in both approaches, I am often reminded of the early twentieth century Congregationalist leader who said that extempore prayer is ‘preaching with eyes closed’. Or I recall visiting friends who in the 1980s were students at Moorlands Bible College. They were on placement with a Brethren Assembly. My friends were Anglican and FIEC by their roots. They were both cynical about the issue of when in the morning service one of the men (and yes, sorry, it was men) would feel led to move into the breaking of the bread. “You watch,” they said, “the Spirit always moves at 11:45.” Sure enough …
| You scored as Amillenialist. Amillenialism believes that the 1000 year reign is not literal but figurative, and that Christ began to reign at his ascension. People take some prophetic scripture far too literally in your view.
So – not quite consistent with Moltmannian theology (see last entry)!