Friday, 24 June 2011

Talks And Sermon Notes On Scribd

Every now and then I get asked for copies of notes from my talks or sermons so I've set up a Scribd account and will from time to time upload notes.  You can download pdf's of the notes either directly from Scribd or using the widget in the sidebar on this blog.  I won't be putting up notes of all the sermons and talks, only those in which people show an interest and only those that are substantial enough to be worth the effort - many of my sermon notes are little more than headlines that wouldn't make sense to anyone but me (a bit like the sermons themselves!).  Anyhow if you'd like copies please help yourself.

(BTW while I'm at it I've also decided to start uploading my Outside Edge opinion pieces from the Baptist Times so that they'll be easily getattable in one place.)

Thursday, 16 June 2011

Monsters and Jesus

Now there are of course many many lenses through which to interpret Jesus Christ - history, politics, spirituality, post-colonial theory ... .  Came across one this morning that was rather, well, shall we say, "novel"?

Wednesday, 15 June 2011

Mission in Britain Today - What Would You Teach?

I've decided that time has come for a significant revision of my introductory degree module on mission in Britain today.  I've been teaching this course for the past six years now with only minor tweaks and that word "today" in the title is a rather insistent demand to keep things freshish. I've got a number of ideas in mind but it would be awfully decent of you if you would offer up some suggestions of your own.

Here's what we cover at the moment:

Sunday, 12 June 2011

Pete Philips on Lady Gaga Theology

A couple of weeks I ago I used Lady Gaga's latest video, "Judas" as one of the texts at the communion service on our weekend course at Luther King House.  It worked well.  Just came across this piece of cultural/theological reflection from Pete Philips on the same vid.  Thought it might be of interest to any who were at that service, and perhaps to others.

Friday, 10 June 2011

Pentecost and Mission

Had an enjoyable couple of hours preparing to preach two sermons on Acts 2 this weekend.  Came across this from Justo Gonzales in his Acts: The Gospel of the Spirit.  Liked it.  Thought you might like it as well.
In order to have the multitude understand what the disciples of Jesus were saying the Holy Spirit had two options: one was to make all understand the Aramaic the disciples spoke; the other was to make each understand in their own tongue.  Significantly the Spirit chooses the latter route.  This has important consequences for the way we understand the place of culture and language in the Church.  Had the Spirit made all the listeners understand the language of the apostles, we would be justified in a centripetal understanding of mission, one in which all who come in are expected to be like those who invite them.  However, because what the Spirit did was exactly the opposite, this leads us to a centrifugal understanding of mission, one in which as the gospel moves toward new languages and new cultures, it is ready to take forms that are understandable within those languages and cultures.  In other words, had there been an “Aramaic only” movement in first-century Palestine, Pentecost was a resounding no! to that movement.  And it is still a resounding no! to any movement within the Church that seeks to make all Christians think alike, speak alike, and behave alike.  The first translator of the gospel is the Holy Spirit, and a church that claims to have the Holy Spirit must be willing to follow that lead,  That is why it has correctly been stated that whereas Babel was a monument to human pride, the Church is called to be a monument to the humiliation of any who seek to make their language or culture dominant.