I’ve just spent a week in a country I doubt you’d want to live in; I don’t think I would. It’s a country wracked by multi-level poverty, which makes it a difficult place to visit and an even more difficult place to live. (NB: for the security of the people involved, I’ve deliberately omitted the name of the country.) The economic poverty is apparent on every street corner: buildings and infrastructure are run-down, food is scarce and expensive, and essential services are hard to access. But perhaps more pressing is the overwhelming social poverty—expressed in a lack of relationships, constant mistrust and suspicion, and the reality that you are being ‘watched’.
As Mark has indicated, this little gig is looking at the ‘knowing ourselves’ part of the knowing God/knowing ourselves learning curve we are all involved in. One of the things that has recently surfaced again for me is the ubiquitous personality test—mostly because they have been pattering about all over Facebook like so many hobbits. So I thought it might be time to evaluate these critters again, and work out their strengths and weaknesses. Having a tool is all very well, but we need to be sure we’re using it correctly and not (to use a metaphor) digging a hole with a hammer.
Theodicy is the defence of God’s justice and goodness. It is something that we naturally think about, and yet, more often than not, it drives our preaching. You reach a difficult teaching of Jesus about hell, or a confronting passage of Paul’s about the role of men and women in the church, or even about the uniqueness of Christ, and instead of listening to the passage, you start arguing with it. And sometimes God’s word seems to magically come around to your point of view.
History ‘from below’ gets down and dirty. It is a pity it hurts so much to do it.
The ‘Great Ones’ of human history often earn the acclaim they so enjoy to propagate—at the expense of many ordinary people. These ordinary people either made them what they became (without thanks), or were crushed by them in the process of their exaltation (without mercy). Either way, there are valleys of dried bones beneath the feet of those who call themselves benefactors.
—and if he had not promised and prepared for thousands of years in the Scriptures—
—and if he did not come in human flesh— (more…)
I subscribe to more than 70 blogs while pointedly avoiding some, but Ying, missing yours was an honest-to-goodness mistake.
(By the way, for those of you who are curious enough to reconstruct which blogs I read, click through to my blog and check out ‘Gordon’s shared items’. They are a tip of the bloggy iceberg, so don’t be offended if yours isn’t there, because I read and enjoy a lot more than I let on.
History ‘from above’ is apparently appealing to those who want to be better than others. It is a pity it is based upon a lie. (more…)
“I’ll pray for you.”
“I’d love to give money to support that gospel or mercy ministry.”
“I’ll be part of that Bible distribution.”
This is a raw topic for me. My heart pours out for every good work. I want to support gospel ministries and pray for people. On so many things, I have all the right intentions, but not all the right carry through. (more…)
I’m preaching on Ezekiel 4-24 this week. And I’ve been reading it through. I can’t help wondering, in light of Ezekiel 16 and 23, what the modern equivalent might be. Perhaps it would go something like this: (more…)
Picture my husband and I sitting side-by-side on the couch in the semi-darkness, watching a DVD. There’s the patter of little feet on the floorboards. A plaintive voice says, “Mummy, I’m scared, I can’t sleep!” And as always, there’s the same response: “Do you want me to pray with you?” (more…)