Book Review: Introducing the Old Testament – John Drane

24 09 2008

I have to admit that I don’t know my Old testament as well my New Testament. Recently I have been reading John Drane’s “Introducing the Old Testament”. Its a great book which outlines Israels history in a thematic way.  One topic that really grabbed my attention was the section on Kingship.
Israel was a nation made up of twelve small self governing tribes, united around a common belief that they were the chosen people of Yahweh. For all their petty squabbles this was the one thing they could unite around, however rare that unity was. It was designed that way to remind them of their distinct identity and that they were not like the other nations.

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The changing face of the Church

14 09 2008

The first people to follow Jesus after he was raised from the dead had a tough time doing so. They had none of the institutions we have today. They didn’t have their own buildings, PA systems, paid ministers, or even freedom of religious expression. Studying how they managed to change the society around them without appealing to any of the conventions we have today can be very helpful. Especially for those of us in New Zealand, and indeed anywhere the state has become secularised. We truly live in a post-Christian world.
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Balance

10 09 2008

I hate that word. It always reminds me of an objective standard out there in the blue that I need to meet but, like the horizon line, is always out of reach. In theology balance is a four letter word. It implies compromise, watering down, and even worse liberalism.

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Learning the hard way

3 09 2008

There are no new heresies, only old ones repeated. That statement always rings in my head everytime see someone promise us a deeper insight into life that we have missed for centuries. There is one insight that never stops ringing true. Wisdom & Discernment come with age. No matter how much I study the Bible and how well I verse myself in theology I still fall for some of the old heresies that crop up from time to time. One major heresy was that I fell for hook line and sinker was that of a “deeper” spiritual life. Now if we’re honest its something we all want. Who wouldn’t? But in my case it lead to some seriously legalistic behaviour. 
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Wrestling with Jesus

2 09 2008

Last weekend I went away on a mens camp with my Church. We’re a small church so we had about 40 guys come along. I was priveliged to be the worship leader for the event, but at 25 I was the youngest man there by far. I was also one of the few not to have children (or grandchildren for that matter). It was a great weekend and I learnt a lot. We had Myk (Mike) Habets, a professor in systematic theology, from Carey Baptist College do all the teaching. He’s big on the trinity and expounding practical implications for it for everyday life. So I thought I’d share a few insights into the trinity from the camp and other seminars too. I’m mindful of Stanley Grenz’s book “Created for Community” where he says “Deny the trinity and you’ll lose your salvation. Try to understand the Trinity and you’ll lose your mind.”
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