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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Keys to the Kingdom

25 08 2008

Have you ever had a bad experience with the Church? Have you ever been hurt, burnt or let down by it? Well I have, and if you’ve read any of my previous posts, particularly “Somethings wrong with this picture” you’ll understand where I’m coming from. There are a lot of people I’ve met who left that particular church. Some suggested the number of people who have left over the years would be equal or greater than the number in that Church. Personally I think that is a very plausible idea.
Recently some people in our homegroup mentioned that they werent really enjoying Church. As much as I understood what they were feeling, I just couldnt bring myself to agree with them. I have been brooding over their words for the past week and I understand why they feel as they do.

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Ouch – My Brain Hurts !

20 06 2008

Learning theology is dangerous. One thing you’re learning something new, and the next thing the truth is transforming your life, and in ways you’ve never expected.

Over the past few months i have been doing a lot of theological work. I have been reading “New Testament and the People of God” by N T Wright (a dense academic work on 1st Century Judaism), Spurgeons Sermons Metropolitan Tabernacle Vol 36, Systematic Theology by Berkhof, Living Free in Christ by Neil T AndersonSymphony of Scripture by Mark Strom.  I’ve also committed to reading the Bible in a year, and doing an online theology programme equivalent to a semminary level courses. There are a lot of additional articles to read alongside these lectures. I’ve also started reading Wayne Grudems Systematic Theology, and just bought Mark Stroms Reframing Paul and Gorden Fee’s How to read the Bible for all its worth. While I’ve been doing this I’ve been listening to lectures by Wayne Grudem on Christian Essentials,  Covenenant Semminary’s Ancient Church History, and Marks Strom’s Symphony of Scripture Wineskin lectures. I’ve also been engaged in writing a blog about my experiences in theology and trying to articulate what I’ve learnt. While maintaining my own blog I have been hard at work posing questions to others and debating with fellow lay theologians on the a series of Forums. I’ve also been leading a home group bible study on Tuesday nights, although luckily this has been shared with one other guy. I dont even want to mention the amount of internet reviews and critical essays written on certain positions.

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