Saturday, May 26, 2018

Sunday, May 20, 2018

The Dairy Worker Fallacy

At a recent sermon at Vine Church the passage taught in the sermon was Exodus 32:14: "So the Lord changed His mind about the harm which He said He would do to His people."

The sermoniser then committed the Dairy Worker Fallacy, and explained that Moses did not mean what he wrote, but something else. The something else did not involve God in a dynamic with his people (you know, the ones created for fellowship) and therefore not changing his mind at Moses entreaty.

The Dairy Worker Fallacy?

Whenever a person explains away the plain contextual significance of a biblical text, they commit the Dairy Worker Fallacy.

In Monty Python's The Life of Brian, the Jesus character, in giving the Sermon on the Mount said 'blessed are the peacemakers...'. A listener at the very edge of the crowd wondered why he blessed the cheesemakers. A nearby rabbi explained that he was referring not simply to cheesemakers but signified all dairy workers in general.

Calvinists are the most frequent users of the fallacy, followed by Barthian idealists.

Sunday, May 13, 2018

Titles...or if we ape the world, we follow it.

Text of a letter I sent to an editor:

Nine aberrant forms of Christian leadership?

I can only think of one: the very idea of Christian ‘leadership’ itself.

The basic cement of Christian community (that is, the church) is not some import from the preening princes of modern business; the sadly misnamed ‘leaders’, but ministry.

The New Testament cares little for leaders, despite that some versions mistranslate to this modern concept in places; it cares for service and being brothers together.

Nor is the fake concept of ‘servant-leader’ any use.

Any deployment of the concept of ‘leaders’ instantly splits the church in a toxic parody of business that separates those who control the shareholders’ till from those who don’t, with self justifying language games that fake hierarchy of purpose where there is none.

Even Christian organisations strive to mimic worldly hierarchy and prestige with the vain titles that we find in business: CEO? What’s wrong with ‘Administrator,’ for instance? At least that reflects a biblical gift.

I saw the apogee of this recently in a church advertising for an ‘executive pastor’. His or her job will be, of course to...’lead’; the only things I know that need to be led are dogs and sheep, not other people who are filled by the Spirit of God and endowed with his gifts.

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Another church bulletin

A church bulletin should not be just a recitation of forthcoming events, it should add to Christian experience.

Here's an example of how.


Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Church bulletin

One would think that a church bulletin would reflect Christian preoccupations. Most don't. They read like the bulletin of the local bowls club, except no mention of booze and a prayer list (if you are lucky).

Here's how it can be done better: replete with the scriptures of the day and pastoral observations.