Volume 7 Number 5

1. God hasn't just opened his home to us, he has opened up his family to us. For us to be like him is not even just to have peopel in our homes on our terms, at our times, when we're in control. It is to welcome brothers and sisters into the fabric of our lives.

2. Acts 6-8 contains an interesting irony: The apostles appoint deacons to free them up to preach the word, and yet in the end it is these deacons who also turn out to be gospel preachers.

I don't think this is because the apostles weren't doing their job necessarily, but I think it is an encouragement about how things pan out.

3. A preaching book I am currently reading speaks of 'verfremdung' as a preaching technique. The term is German for 'alienation', and was used by Bertolt Brecht, the situations Berline cabaret dude.

The idea is we have become over-familiar with things (eg the gospel). Therefore the artists (preacher) needs to confront peopel with familiar things in unfamiliar ways. This alienates peopel with the familiar so that they acutally hear it afresh.

Verfremdung. Do it.

4. The same preaching book observed that lower class people in West Berlin respond well to highly referential, symbolic language. Perhaps the highly referential nature of hiphop, developed in American slums is another example of the same principal.

It made me reflect on simplicaity, clarity and so forth. I think that for some people when you speak in a clear, precise way, they often react as if you are being technical, confusing, or irrelevant to them. Perhaps over-precision, and even the drive to John-Dickson-liek simplicity are quite bourgois things.

If we want to reach the lower-class or the uneducated, perhaps rather than striving for crisp, simple, precise language, we need to embrace more refernetial and symbolic language. Living cliches, pictorial language etc.

5. Phillip Jensen says: "The symbol of Christianity if not the fish. it is not the cross. It is our love for each other."