D. J. Moo - If only he was a DJ too

I like it that Dougals Moo's website has both photography and biblical studies, it gives me peace in my soul.

Knee jerk to the gospel

At one wedding I was at recently, all the groomsmen gave a knee-jerk Christian bit in their speeches. It was a little bit sloppy and I heard a few sniggers at my table from slightly drunk people who noticed the change of pace in the speeches.

In another wedding I was at recently, the Christian preacher didn't give an explicity gospel presentation or appeal at all, as far as I could hear. The sermon was well composed and delivered and came in the context of a marriage service drenched in biblical, gospel-shaped prayers and preambles.

I think both approaches have their own sort of class, I don't favour one over the other. Besides, the groomsmen will get less sloppy in their devliery with time. For me personally, I would like to knee-jerk to the gospel a little more frequently. I like the openness and eagerness that leads someone to grind from fourth gear down to second in order to talk about Jesus...

A more correct use of 'impacting'

"That denominational meeting was impacting."

Google Reader

I want you to use Google Reader or something similar so that you will read my blog more regularly. I'm assuming you've already gotten a gmail account. Get that first.

Why use Google Reader? It's a one-stop blog reading machine. You tell it what blogs you want to subscribe to, then whenever any of these blogs are updated it just publishes them in the one spot for you. Try it. You'll like it.

You know you've written a lousy Christian book...

... when J. I. Packer won't even endorse it. Here's a compilation of J. I. Packer endorsements.

Uni Ministry Random Thoughts

  1. Focus on residential colleges. This should not be a fringe thing, but a central thing.
  2. First-year contacts is exhausting. What's the point? Mobilising and motivating the Christians? Ok, good. Raising brand awareness? Fine. Contacting people? Well maybe that'd be quicker and more efficient if the same amount of energy by going to churches and doing the same thing there instead?
  3. Talk fast, honest, slightly naughty and a little bit more complicated than everyone can follow.
  4. Work hard to enrich campus life, perhaps, especially as it is dying. Don't see being on the Student Union as a necessary bureaucracy.
  5. Get evangelists and leaders, not just any Christian you can find.

"Doing [noun]"

I'm pretty sure this almost always annoys me. 'Doing life together', 'doing community', 'doing justice'. I think I like 'doing church' but I don't know why; maybe I shouldn't.

Preaching Ethics

Ethics is not just abortion and euthanasia and just war theory. Ethics is living and thinking the good life. It is a really good way in to sharing the gospel. I wrote an introduction to Christianity built around ethical questions, that I haven't looked at for some time, but I remember being good.

The assumption is that some people don't want to know what you believe as a Christian, they may want to walk in your worldview... but they are interested in just thinking about how to live well. This is a good way in.

Jolly and I are are planning to preach about a bunch of ethical topics at Tuesday Crossroads starting in July. We are trying to nail down the topics and come up with snazzy titles, perhaps with a bit of an advertising slogan/adjamming sort of spin. Can you help?

Selfimage (including being a part of a subculture too)
Technology (including control, power and self-discipline)
Good deeds

Humanistic Reason or Human Reasoning and So What?

It can be really helpful to show the inconsistencies in someone's worldview. This can be a cool apologetics strategy, because Christianity may provide a better explanation for the world around us and the beliefs we hold.

But I find it really tiresome when Christians spend too much time pointing out instance after instance after instance of the intellectual inconsistentices in secular humanism. It begins to sound smug pretty quickly and it loses its freshness and force. Often the original goal is lost and it becomes a game of philosophical sledging, rather than true apologetics.

Worse still is when Christians assume it is really clever to point out any inconsistency in another person's point of view, as if this is pointing out some trace elements of secular humanism. Could it possibly be that all human reasoning is bound to have its inconsistencies? Do they have to be evidence of some fundamental worldview disaster?

Church Partnerships, Network Partnerships

It seems like a healthy thing to do to have 'sister churches' around the country or even around the world. I'm trying to think about meaningful ways to express this partnership. It would be easy for such a thing to become a gimmick and also to become time consuming. What would actually be productive, rather than just another good idea among many?

Also, how might one 'movement' or 'network' have meaningful partnership with another? On this level, it would be easy for the partnership to be symbolic or bureaucratic, rather than meaningful. It is hard to figure out how to make it all work well.