Sunday, December 31, 2017

Holiday from church

Being holiday time I took holidays from church, and went to another church. I'm trying to find one where they don't start with two songs/hymns sung consecutively. I think I'll be out of luck on that one these days!


The church I went to did feature decent Bible readings (note, plural) from both First and Last Testaments, and decent place for prayer: after first songs we said the confession, then the lector gave an extemporaneous prayer, then we ended in the Lord's Prayer. Nice. A well thought out prayer at collection as well.

I was less impressed by the speaker's prayer. He was 'channeling' God!

I also liked the church bulletin. The list of prayer suggestions was balanced and intelligent and a passage from the Psalms was printed.

Come to think of it, why don't we have passages from the Bible displayed around our church buildings? Are we being neglectful of an opportunity?

Coordinate this with encouraging people to memorise scripture, we could have a hundred or so passages that we rotate every couple of months in the foyer, on the auditorium walls...could be very good.

Monday, December 25, 2017

A visit

I visited my old church, St James, Turramurra, Christmas eve evening service. 7pm. A 'traditional' time, but it works. Why do the cool modern churches have late afternoon services at 5, 5:30, darn good. 7  works.

A nice tight friendly dignfied and completely full service. Good music well performed, all went so well...and very musically creative work by the drummer sycopating merrily with the bass and floor tom. I loved it.

Both the sermon and remarks by the rector were good for the occasion: short, to the point, adult and mature (that is, not corny, in-language, or hectoring).

Ran into some old friends, lots of familiar faces, now aged by many years, of course (me too, I guess).

A nice cap to the day.

Sunday, December 24, 2017

Aboriginal Justice

The lector at church this morning bemoaned the 'social' justice implications of the shorter life expectancy of aboriginal Australians than non-aboriginals.
Here's the reason, then. Nothing to do with justice, social or otherwise (or maybe it silly things, justice will repay with poor outcomes, automatically).

(In memorium, Bill Leak).

But its not just Bill. Jacinta Price is on record for pointing to Aboriginal culture as the root of the appalling violence faced by aboriginal women and children.
Other problems of a self-inflicted nature include: poor diet (thus diabetes and early death), excessive alcohol (FAS, abused children, early death), illicit drug use (early death), lack of personal responsiblity, agency and engagement (mental health risks) leading to above habits got it...early death.

All that on top of the nepotistic mis-management of the $50 billion of public money given to Aboriginal support over a few decades. Mostly wasted!

Happy to help, but as Jacinta points out, we know which court the ball is in.

Saturday, December 23, 2017

Coulda, woulda, shoulda?

I read a blog post on a question: "why did not God create a world with free being that could not sin?"

The answer entertained the question when it should not have, in my view, with all sorts of deterministed/Calvinistic contortions of which none had biblical warrant.

But here's the mistake in dealing with this question. It misunderstands sin as something out there and not in the choices people make.

So here's how the question in expanded form reads:

Could God have made a world where his image-bearing creatures were not his image-bearing creatures?


Could God have made a world where creatures were free to turn from fellowship with him but not free to turn from fellowship with him?

As  you can see the average smarty who asks this hypothetical question is dim on sin.

Then there's the problem of all hypotheticals. The include so many implicit assumptions as to be not worth the air they are breathed in. They are about another world, but do not fully describe that other world to make sense of it. Just varying one existential component of the world changes the world.