Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Truth, faith can co-exist in getting of wisdom

I found this pretty interesting article in The Age this morning, there's a couple of very thought-provoking little snippets in there, some of which I've put here. Its a good read.

The church as I know it is a living, flawed entity full of varied, ordinary people who want nothing but good for others as well as themselves and who try to help refugees, the marginalised and those just having a hard time. And who not only haven't stopped searching for answers, but also want to ask the right questions. For instance, asking whether a story from the Bible is historically true isn't a question that is useful to me. I want to know in what context the story was conceived, and what it tells me about the struggle of human beings to understand why we're here and live good lives.

Taking the Bible literally is pointless, for it contains many different stories by many different authors that are easily taken out of context.

The Bible is a profound record of a search for wisdom and of a long struggle over many centuries to reconcile humanity with goodness. And the search didn't end when the Bible's last section was written. So I can't really take seriously someone who believes that the Bible is the inerrant word of God. That argument has been refuted by rigorous scholarship. But that doesn't mean I think scripture has nothing to tell me.

In the end, if all progressive believers quit their religious traditions, it would mean that all religions would be left to the fundamentalists, and there's already too much of that in the world. So though I deplore my church's official positions on women's rights and its hierarchy's frequent flirtations with right-wing politics, it doesn't mean I have become something else. What I have needed to do for myself is to work out what I didn't believe and what I did believe. The former was relatively easy; the latter is taking a lifetime.

Monday, February 26, 2007

Invite Only Church

I was talking to somebody the other day about how things work with the Huddle, as I often do, and they were asking about what we did to tell people about our gatherings and to invite them etc. Good questions.

What they were pretty much saying was that they thought it was a bit poor that people would only know about our church if we told them, and that it wasn't great that we moved around all the time, so nobody knew when and where to come.

In one sense I agree, it does suck a bit sometimes that we can't just say to people, every week at this time, its here at this time. But thats only really annoying when inviting churchy people, cos if ur inviting people who don't currently follow Jesus, then just telling when a service on is rubbish, and a poor portrayal of Jesus.

See the fact that nobody is ever just gonna rock up our door and start coming to church is actually kinda cool, cos it well and truly breaks that expectation that people can have that just by their church being on, that people will come to it. I'm pretty sure we all realise that that very rarely happens these days.

So we know that unless we're actively out in our communities, connecting with people, looking for oppurtunities to share life and faith with them, then nobody will ever come and join the Huddle. Now of course just because somebody comes to our church doesn't necessarily mean they'll come to faith, nor does it mean that the only way somebody will ever come to faith is through our church, but its still something I think should keep us on our toes.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

What should I give up for Lent?

Apparently Lent actually goes for a bit longer than 40 days, so my calculations were out by a few days, and it was meant to start yesterday!

I've been inspired hearing about those people who bought nothing for a year, so might try buying nothing (apart from necessary food etc) for Lent, maybe no drinking (which I've done before), maybe no swearing (I'm generally OK with my level swearing-which isn't really great, it just offends some people sometimes so need to watch that) or soft drink, sugar or something. Maybe playing hypotheticals! Or myspace or blogging... Still dunno.

Would be keen to get the Huddle crew into it too, so we might all start together on Monday or something.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Tolstoy quote for the day

"If I know the way home and am walking along it drunkenly,
is it any less the right way because I am staggering from side to side"

Love it, so helpful on a few different levels (and also interesting considering he was himself an alcoholic!)

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

My new dreads!



After a deal made with a mate to both get dreads, I've finally got my act together and went into the city to get them done at this student college, where they were half price! Yess! I'm pretty happy with em, will suit my new Thai pants well!

Friday, February 16, 2007

Fight Club and the Gospel

One of my favourite ever movies is Fight Club, and this post outlines many of the reasons why. I love it when people articulate really well a lot of the stuff u already think.

Read the whole post, but here's some quotes:

Here are some of my favourite Gospel and Fight Club parallels...

Fight Club
Only when Jack truly gives up his will to live is he saved.
Jesus

Luke 14:26. "Whoever comes to me and does not hate father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters, yes, and even life itself, cannot be my disciple.”
---
Fight Club

Jack quits job and Tyler Durden destroys all that he owns.
Jesus

Matt 6:24-34. "No one can serve two masters; for a slave will either hate the one and love the other, or be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and wealth.”

---
Fight Club

Jack has no family, those around him following Tyler Durden and his followers become his family.

Jesus

Mark 4:34-35. "Here are my mother and my brothers! Whoever does the will of God is my brother and sister and mother."
---
Fight Club

The first assignment for fight club members is for them to start a fight and loose.
Jesus

Matt 5:38-39. "You have heard that it was said, 'An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.' But I say to you, Do not resist an evildoer. But if anyone strikes you on the right cheek, turn the other also;”
---
Fight Club

"You are not a beautiful and unique snowflake. You are the same decaying organic matter as everything else. We are all part of the same compost pile." Tyler Durden
Jesus

Matt 7:1-5. "Do not judge, so that you may not be judged. For with the judgment you make you will be judged, and the measure you give will be the measure you get. Why do you see the speck in your neighbour’s eye, but do not notice the log in your own eye?”
---
Fight Club

Tyler Durden destroys Jacks apartment, and destroys the buildings of credit card companies in order to make everything go back to zero so that non one is in debt.

Jesus
Luke 18:22. When Jesus heard this, he said to him, "There is still one thing lacking. Sell all that you own and distribute the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; then come, follow me."

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

My next theological task

After answering 2 Minutes of Chong's question from a couple of post's ago about the Bible, and classifying into categories of some sort the different ways that Jesus refers to the Kingdom of God (as in, sometimes he refers to it as a place to go at some later stage, something we inherit, something that lives in us, a place we live in now etc) I've got another task I've set myself, which will probably soon get overtaken by studies.

But anyway, the task is to work through all the Gospels and write down in what context Jesus does his teaching. From my understanding it seems to be pretty much mostly to his disciples, but there is also a decent amount done to crowds and people in the Temple etc.

Of course I'd also say that most of his teaching was his life as he walked around, the intangible everyday stuff not written in our Gospels, but for the purpose of this exercise I wanna focus on just the stuff he said. Should be interesting.

More of Jesus, less of me

Leading up to Easter the Huddle are working through the Gospel of John-which is definitely my favourite, mainly due to the depth of ideas it explores, I find it to be a bit more philosophical than the others, is good stuff.

Anywho, tonight we were looking at John 3:30 "He must become greater; I must become less." and it was some really good discussion, I know I had plenty to think about. The main thing that was going around in my head was that yeah, thats obviously a great idea-making our life more of God and less of us;but how do we do that?

What does that actually mean? How we do that in practice? Something that'll be running around in my head for a while this week.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

I am thankful

You've probably all read this before, its a little cheesy, but whatever, I reckon we do all need a bit of perspective in life hey!

I AM THANKFUL:

FOR THE WIFE WHO SAYS IT'S HOT DOGS TONIGHT,
BECAUSE SHE IS HOME WITH ME, AND NOT OUT WITH SOMEONE ELSE.


FOR THE HUSBAND WHO IS ON THE SOFA BEING A COUCH POTATO,
BECAUSE HE IS HOME WITH ME AND NOT OUT AT THE BARS.


FOR THE TEENAGER WHO IS COMPLAINING ABOUT DOING DISHES
BECAUSE IT MEANS SHE IS AT HOME, NOT ON THE STREETS.


FOR THE TAXES I PAY
BECAUSE IT MEANS I AM EMPLOYED.


FOR THE MESS TO CLEAN AFTER A PARTY
BECAUSE IT MEANS I HAVE BEEN SURROUNDED BY FRIENDS.


FOR THE CLOTHES THAT FIT A LITTLE TOO SNUG
BECAUSE IT MEANS I HAVE ENOUGH TO EAT.


FOR MY SHADOW THAT WATCHES ME WORK
BECAUSE IT MEANS I AM OUT IN THE SUNSHINE


FOR A LAWN THAT NEEDS MOWING, WINDOWS THAT NEED CLEANING, AND GUTTERS THAT NEED FIXING
BECAUSE IT MEANS I HAVE A HOME.


FOR ALL THE COMPLAINING I HEAR ABOUT THE GOVERNMENT
BECAUSE IT MEANS WE HAVE FREEDOM OF SPEECH..


FOR THE PARKING SPOT I FIND AT THE FAR END OF THE PARKING LOT
BECAUSE IT MEANS I AM CAPABLE OF WALKING AND I HAVE BEEN BLESSED WITH TRANSPORTATION.


FOR MY HUGE HEATING BILL
BECAUSE IT MEANS I AM WARM.


FOR THE LADY BEHIND ME IN CHURCH WHO SINGS OFF KEY
BECAUSE IT MEANS I CAN HEAR.


FOR THE PILE OF LAUNDRY AND IRONING
BECAUSE IT MEANS I HAVE CLOTHES TO WEAR.


FOR WEARINESS AND ACHING MUSCLES AT THE END OF THE DAY
BECAUSE IT MEANS I HAVE BEEN CAPABLE OF WORKING HARD.


FOR THE ALARM THAT GOES OFF IN THE EARLY MORNING HOURS
BECAUSE IT MEANS I AM ALIVE.


AND FINALLY, FOR TOO MUCH E-MAIL
BECAUSE IT MEANS I HAVE FRIENDS WHO ARE THINKING OF ME.

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Watch 100 vs 1 on the 9th + 16th April

Thats all I'm allowed to say, just watch it!

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Peninsula Forge Details



Here are the details for this Sundays event, which hopefully you can read and understand alright.

If not, basically its 2-9 (but won't finish that late) in Frankston, at Jubilee Christian Fellowship-otherwise known as City Life, 2A Balmoral St Franga. It's this Sunday, costs $10 or $15 depending on concession, and will be a tip top day. For more of what its about read the other post.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Theological thought for the day

In amongst everything else thats going on this week, I'm out at an intensive at College, which is mostly enjoyable, apart from when people use question and answer time witht he panel simply as a soapbox to get up and trout on about their own particular bugbear. But that happens.

Anyways, my theological thought for the day, and I don't know if it necessarily leads anywhere, is that when the Gospel writes were writing about Jesus,a nd when Paul was writing to churches, they probably had no idea that 2000 years later people would consider their words to be the 'Word of God' and such a suggestion would have more than likely sounded just a little strange to them.

Yeah, I've got no deeper meaning behind that yet, just something interesting to think about.

Forge on the Peninsula

Very slack of me to have not posted this earlier, especially considering I'm like one of the main organisers, but anywho, here's a pic with some info about the first Forge event we're having down on the Peninsula.

In a nutshell, Forge is about training people as missionaries to their own culture, and to birth and nurture the Missional Church. So I'm fairly keen to get a whole lot of people down my way involved, and I actually reckon (because of a whole bunch of different things) that this is really a God thing, that God wants to use people as missionaries-preferably in communities of faith that support this, to further his Kingdom on the Mornington Peninsula.

Al Hirsch is coming down to speak, so I'm pretty excited about that, and there's gonna be a few stories of local people doing local mission, a bit of reflection on what God's doing down our way and some other fun stuff.

I really hope to see all of you in the area there.

(Update, seems the pic isn't working, so I'll try post some info asap)

Monday, February 05, 2007

Don't ban the Mexican wave

Ban the idiots that throw heavy objects and crap in the air, but not the wave itself! Get a grip cricket administrators! Nuff said.

Friday, February 02, 2007

Jesus Loves Osama

It's funny, I was driving along yesterday and passed some church that had a sign out the fron t that churches seem to be so fond of, which said 'Jesus Loves Osama' and I was actually like, wow, thats a half decent church sign.

And then I get on the net this morning and there's a poll on Ninemsn asking, 'Should churches say that Jesus Loves Osama?' So obviously I voted in the positive, then the results came up-I was outnumbered ten to one!

This pissed me off for a few reasons, one, clearly we as Christians aren't doing a bang-up job of telling people the whole Jesus loves everybody message, but second, since when does Joe Average have the right to say what Christians can teach about Jesus? You don't see us telling atheists what they can and can't teach about...nothing. Or Muslims what they can teach about Mohammed. It's bloody stupid.