Sunday, March 31, 2019

It's all about me

As far as some contemporary songs go, that is.

Here are the lyrics to a Hillsong piece inflicted on us at church last week:

Who am I that the highest King
Would welcome me?
I was lost but He brought me in
Oh His love for me
Oh His love for me
The whole think is like this and it steps over the line if grace, ambiguously, to my mind, suggesting our worth in the soteriological transaction! The music didn't help, being as soppy as wet bread.

The lyrics are self-indulgent, theological thin and solipsistic: but the church is a people, we are toghether. I'd have been much happier with 

Who are we that the highest King
Would welcome us?
We were lost but He brought us in
Oh His love for us
Oh His love for us

But no chance today.

When peace like a river, attendeth my way,
When sorrows like sea billows roll
Whatever my lot, thou hast taught me to say
It is well, it is well, with my soul
It is well
With my soul
It is well, it is well with my soul
Though Satan should buffet, though trials should come,
Let this blest assurance control,
That Christ has regarded my helpless estate,
And hath shed His own blood for my soul

Monday, March 18, 2019

Come and join us

Marshall McLuhan is famous for his quip "the medium is the message."

Here's an example of how that plays out in church land:

Church is a circus; that's what we are told. Come and explore!


Face Painting, Balloon Art, Jumping Castles...!

And this would represent the work of our saviour?

Why not: join our course on 'life and its answers', or 'are we about dirt or love', or...check the New Age papers for ways of attracting people who want to deal with life questions...

Join our group of parents with disabled children...parents who've lost children...parents who's children are addicted...there are any number of opportunities to reach out!

Or, like the 'new age' philosphy groups;

'Love Life: a philosophy that will grow with you'.

Then teach the 'philosphy' of life that the Bible gives us; from Genesis to Revelation.

As it is, the sign will attract people who want to be entertained by trivilities...nothing like Paul on Mars Hill.

Saturday, March 9, 2019

Worst thing said by a minister.

When my father died, my wife insisted in having one of our church's clergy-persons visit. He was not my choice, but he's the one who turned up.

And what did I get? A lesson on the Kubler-Ross 'stages of grief'. Nothing like what I wanted, nothing to do with scripture, nothing to do with the life of faith.

I was disgusted, disappointed, upset by it and disenchanted.

How to read

Dr Rosaria Butterfield makes an obvious point about the way (some...most?) evangelicals read the Bible: verse at a time, or a few verses at a time.

At my church we sometimes read just a couple of verses. This is because that's all the teacher wants to talk about, but this misunderstands why we read the bible together. Because we love to!

I'd much prefer if we read: a Psalm, a gospel reading, another NT reading and another OT reading, plus call to worship and benediction that were taken from scripture. That would feel like church, and feel like Christian.

I much prefer reading books of the Bible like literature: in great slabs, or very slowly to absorb it, or just quickly to get an overall feel for the 'shape' of a book. But slowly, verse at a time?