Visitors from Planet SWYM

Good to be with you yesterday and I hope you found the training sessions helpful. If you are looking for some of the links, you will find most of the links to the FaSt game and detached notes down the right hand side. There are other links to youth work stuff as well. I haven’t uploaded the emerging church stuff yet but will do so in the next few weeks. However there is already an article on Tacking you may find helpful. If you want more definition or background around the redefinition of what is church there is a series of posts starting here Do feel free to leave a comment below if you have any questions or get in touch via email.

When the bubble bursts

Travelling along quite happily. Note the “quite”. Maybe burying my head in the sand, kind of thinking I can knock along quite happily with this structure and then they go and do something so stupid it is unbelievable, unkingdom, ungodly and unwise. Now I want to huff and puff until I’ve blown this house down. The question is how far do I embrace the big bad wolf or do I let sleeping dogs lie thinking they are chasing rabbits in their own happy dream world.

I know most of you haven’t clue about what I’m on about but there is nothing quite like mixing your metaphors on the web to help get things straighter in my head.

Dennis Birch

Sadly Dennis Birch died on Thurs 8th June. Among other charities, Dennis was the founder of Worth Unlimited and something of a father in the faith to me. Faithful to the whole gospel, for many years he carried the demonstration agenda in YFC and helped me survive. The funeral is on Monday at 2pm at St Georges Church Wembdon in Somerset. He was a man full of grace and a true agent of the kingdom and I am honoured to be able to attend on Monday in the celebration of Dennis’ life.

Authenicity and Love

Further to AJ’s comment and my reply I came across this from Herni Nouwen society which kind of sums up what I meant

The Source of All Love

Without the love of our parents, sisters, brothers, spouses, lovers, and friends, we cannot live. Without love we die. Still, for many people this love comes in a very broken and limited way. It can be tainted by power plays, jealousy, resentment, vindictiveness, and even abuse. No human love is the perfect love our hearts desire, and sometimes human love is so imperfect that we can hardly recognise it as love.

In order not to be destroyed by the wounds inflicted by that imperfect human love, we must trust that the source of all love is God’s unlimited, unconditional, perfect love, and that this love is not far away from us but is the gift of God’s Spirit dwelling within us.

Infallibility of the Bible – Non-sensical Myth?

I was meeting with some friends about a month or so ago and one of them commented that he didn’t believe in the infallibility of the Bible. Then just the other day I met a chap who complained that he’d met a minister that believed in evolution.

These two statements made me think about what is implied by a belief in the infallibility of the Bible.

The big problem, it seems to me is that everyone will inevitably have a different interpretation of the Bible and that everyone’s interpretation of the Bible (and I’m using interpretation to also mean perception of what it means) must have errors – let’s face it, we are only human!

So what does it mean to say that the Bible is the infallible word of God? Is a statement that cannot make be of any use? I’m going to assume that the Bible is infallible (in fact I tend to believe that it is), however, we now have a huge problem in that nobody has an infallible interpretation of the Bible. So therefore is it meaningless to say that the Bible is the infallible word of God?

If the Bible is the infallible word of God then it doesn’t it make absolutely no difference to anyone because we all make mistakes in interpreting it. What is more important is that ‘the faith we have is infallible’ – which must be true be because faith is from God. What we believe to be faith can only be fallible if it isn’t faith at all.

We know God through faith, through his Spirit communicating to us. This is through all sorts of things, not simply the Bible. It is surely more important to know God than to know what the Bible says about God? (and no, I’m not saying that it isn’t important to know what the Bible says about God!)

Authenticity and Community

What makes for an ideal christian community? If there were one thing I would value it would be around autheniticity. Not the notion of being authenitic to a particular tradition but to yourself balanced with authenticity to how you understand the tradition that you have absorbed and connects with who you are in the image of God. Yet there is more than this because if our relevation of God is of the balanced Trinity and one who makes the first move towards us then this too must be part of our understanding of who we are and HOW we can begin to be authenitic.

I think I met a saint last week

I was asked to speak at a ladies group last week by a fantastic older lady (maybe just in her eightys). Mary had been running the group for about 40 years. It started because after she had been running a crusaders group on the local estate, she wanted to reach out to the parents of the girls she was working with. Forty years later I turned up at her flat (having moved several years ago) and the ladies (70-80yrs old now) from the estate were bussed in, with some of the orginal members of the crusaders group (in their 50’s) and some of Marys new neighbours to hear about FYT.

Several times I have come across a few older ladies like Mary, whose faithfullness is humbling, and whose passion is as real as it always was. When we speak glibly about servanthood, long term work, incarnation and relationships, we need to remember the Marys of the world. I am SURE I met a saint last week.

Sense of Purpose

Great weekend with family at Nephews wedding, one of the funniest best mans speech I have ever heard. Chatting to another nephew about purpose in work. As a dedicated teacher he was enthusing about the buzz and sense of purpose it gave him. As a throw away he mentioned how we all need that sense of purpose even those coming from agnostic/ atheist position. I understand that sense of purpose when i hear him discussing his vocation, but for me when we use the word purpose in this context I have an automatic value judgement on the word. Does simply making money equate to a sense of purpose?