Archive for August, 2005

gone live on the lectionary!

I'm ahead of my schedule, which is unusual enough to make video of the event and seal it in a time capsule, let alone simply diarise! My disclosing new worlds blog has gone live, with reflections on the texts for 11 September rather than the first week in October. I'd be grateful for any and all critical comments, please. I want to know whether it's worth the time, and that depends on how effective a resource it proves to be!


31 August, 2005 at 2:35 pm 4 comments

a postmodern, neo-orthodox welseyan

Well, I just took the quiz to find out what my theology's like (thanks for the tip, homileo) and discovered that I'm clearly postmodern, alienated from the institutional church, strongly neo-orthodox and pretty welseyan! Only an 18% reformed evangelical. So what am I doing with myself? Working for the United Reformed Church! Actually, I'd say my spirituality rather than my theology is wesleyan/catholic/not reformed. My theology is pretty much neo-orthodox, postmodern reformed (aren't labels fun???? NOT!). Actually, the most satisfactory label I've ever really been prepared to wear is a South African one – radical evangelical. These are people who believe in the vital importance of a personal relationship with God through Christ, and who are pretty well thorough-going liberation theologians. Here are my results:

You scored as Emergent/Postmodern. You are Emergent/Postmodern in your theology. You feel alienated from older forms of church, you don't think they connect to modern culture very well. No one knows the whole truth about God, and we have much to learn from each other, and so learning takes place in dialogue. Evangelism should take place in relationships rather than through crusades and altar-calls. People are interested in spirituality and want to ask questions, so the church should help them to do this.

Neo orthodox
Evangelical Holiness/Wesleyan
Roman Catholic
Classical Liberal
Modern Liberal
Reformed Evangelical

What's your theological worldview?
created with

31 August, 2005 at 8:54 am 3 comments

disclosing new worlds

I've started my new blog, disclosing new worlds. Its purpose is to be a resource for ministers and preachers, with a weekly reflection on the lectionary readings. I also want to build up a library of prayers, worship resources and images, so any contributions are more than welcome! If you go to the section on the art of preaching, you'll find the first of a series of essays on preaching entitled dissonance and disturbance – journeying outside the comfort zone, reflecting my conviction that one of the primary and early tasks of a sermon is to jolt people out of their comfort zone to engage and disturb them. In so doing, we create space for God to break into our self-enclosed and self-constructed world and show us the new world of the Gospel. I'd be interested in your comments and criticisms.

30 August, 2005 at 11:35 am Leave a comment

different gospels, different christs

One of the most disturbing lessons I had to learn was that there is no one Gospel that is preached and believed by all Christians. Nor is there just one Jesus. There are all sorts of Jesuses – competing Christs. Christs in opposition to one another. I learned that in the South African context. I see it most clearly today in the conflict in Israel/Palestine. My son is out there at the moment (returning imminently) and has had the same shock I had when making this same discovery. I reflect on that in my article for the Carver Calendar this month, entitled When gospels collide.

30 August, 2005 at 11:21 am Leave a comment

so why aren’t we all on skype?

Skype’s the way that the whole world can talk for free – or at least, the online world! It turns your computer into a telephone, and the quality is superb! I was talking to the minister from Australia who’s coming to Carver Church on an exchange, and we could hear each other as clear as a bell. Much better than my home phone. And of course, it’s free. So why aren’t we all downloading it? It’s a great way to follow up some conversations. Go to skype and download the software. Then go to “share skype” and you’ll find buttons for your blog (you’ll see mine on the sidebar). Go on – what’s to lose?

29 August, 2005 at 10:40 am Leave a comment

if I were you, I wouldn’t start from here

If you're thinking of starting your own blog, I wouldn't start here! Mandy put me on to blogSpirit, a site that, like Blogger, gives you free blogging facilities. Unlike Blogger, it's fully featured. For a start, the interface for editing is far, far more user-friendly. You don't have to play with html coding and templates unless you want to do things like add banners etc (in which case, all the things you've learned through Blogger will be of great help!). You can create categories, allowing you to save your posts under different subject headings. You can add music and books (put in the ISBN number and you get an image of the book from Amazon). You can also put photo albums on the site, with a delightful slideshow feature. Basically, you get all the sorts of features that you'll usually have to go to a hosted provider like TypePad for – and all for free! One natty feature is that you can put a link on your site to another blog, and if you fill in their RSS feed URL (ie for syndication), people can read their blog without leaving your site.

I'm in the throes of constructing a blog there on reflections on the lectionary. I was asked some time ago if I'd do that for URC ministers and lay preachers, so I'm getting round to it now. It's called disclosing new worlds. It's very much under construction, but if you want to have a look at what blogSpirit offers, you're welcome to have a look. I'd welcome comments and suggestions, anyway!

29 August, 2005 at 10:01 am Leave a comment

for what it’s worth …

I wrote this as a responsive prayer of adoration and confession, leaving a short silence after each response before beginning the next petition. Fell free …

Our Father in heaven
Come and meet with your children.
Hallowed be your name.

You alone are worthy of our praise and worship.
Your Kingdom come; your will be done on earth as in heaven.

Open our eyes and hearts to your world!
Give us today our daily bread
Nourish our faith as you have nourished our bodies with good things.
Forgive us our sins, as we forgive those who sin against us.

Renew us. Restore us. Release us as we release those who have hurt us.
Save us from the time of trial, and deliver us from evil

Lead us to your green pastures and still waters. Restore our souls.
For the kingdom, the power and the glory are yours, now and forever.

28 August, 2005 at 5:12 pm Leave a comment

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