Felt Needs vs Real Needs

The problem with adapting church to our felt needs is that our felt needs, our desires, can sometimes be precisely what stands in the way of our own transformation. We need to critically examine our felt needs in the light of scripture rather than presuming their sovereignty. Failure to do so often leaves us withContinue reading “Felt Needs vs Real Needs”

Prayer before studying the Bible

This is a prayer that may be used to open a session of Bible study. It was written by Julie Palmer. As we open our Bibles We also open our hearts. May these words of truth fall upon the very fabric of our lives. Father, we pray that these ancient scriptures would come alive withinContinue reading “Prayer before studying the Bible”

Churches fighting government over vaccine mandate?

This morning the Sydney Morning Herald reported on opposition to proof of vacination mandates by a number of church leaders including the Catholic Archbiship of Sydney and Anglican Archbiship of Sydney. I think this exposes some stark differences over how different people define “church”. If you define “church” in terms of community, as I andContinue reading “Churches fighting government over vaccine mandate?”

Blessing for the lighting of a fire

This blessing comes from the Carmina Gadelica, a collection a Celtic poetry and prayers. It is called Blessing Of The Kindling. I am thinking an adapted version would be good for my fire pit nights. I will kindle my fire this morning In presence of the holy angels of heaven, In presence of Ariel ofContinue reading “Blessing for the lighting of a fire”

Medical Healing and the Christian

I think it’s a sign of our times that, while I have seen many Christians commenting on the pros and cons of vaccination, I don’t think I’ve seen too many articulate their theology of medical healing for fellow Christians. Once again, much of our practice seems to be happening in a theological vacuum. It shouldn’tContinue reading “Medical Healing and the Christian”

An old hymn for Resurrection Sunday

A brighter dawn is breaking Percy Dearmer (1867-1936) A brighter dawn is breaking,and earth with praise is waking;for thou, O King most highest,the power of death defiest; And thou hast come victorious,with risen body glorious,who now for ever livest,and life abundant givest. O free the world from blindness,and fill the world with kindness,give sinners resurrection,bringContinue reading “An old hymn for Resurrection Sunday”

A most Motherly Father

Although YHWH is never directly addressed as Mother in the Bible, YHWH is certainly presented as a most MOTHERLY Father on quite a few occasions (e.g. Isa 42:14, Isa 49:14–15, and Isa 66:12–13). We should never be misled into thinking God has anything less than the full complement of feminine and masculine attributes. After all,Continue reading “A most Motherly Father”

Disempowered by dualistic thinking

I don’t think it’s helpful to view opponents (dare I say enemies?) in dualistic terms. Framing conflicts in terms of good people versus bad people is disempowering in many ways. It downplays the possibility that your opponents can change. It also downplays the probability that you’re not as different to them as you’d like toContinue reading “Disempowered by dualistic thinking”

How to accommodate racism

How to accommodate racism within Christianity? It can be accomplished by adding things to scripture, sure, but it’s much more effectively accomplished by taking things away. People don’t notice that as much.  Rather than twisting the story of the curse of Ham into a justification for enslaving blacks, as more open racists are inclined towards,Continue reading “How to accommodate racism”

Bible heroes weren’t all moral models

The problem with using the Old Testament stories as morality tales is that even the best of the patriarchs, judges, and kings had serious character flaws. The most obvious example is King David, who, despite his outstanding faith amongst the kings, nevertheless committed rape and murder. If anything these stories show us the pervasiveness ofContinue reading “Bible heroes weren’t all moral models”