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Archive for the ‘Worldview’ Category

I’ve sort of put this blog on hold, but I had to “break out” for once and post this link. Its Justin Moffatt at it again, with a great quote about Tim Chester and Steve Timmis about an “Ecclesiology of the Cross”.

Read it here.

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Debt and Taxes

I must confess my love for the West Wing (though not the leftist ideoogy the show promotes). Here’s a clip from the last season, the 7th. Vinick is the “bad guy” republican candidate in this season, but I think most of his character’s answers, particularly in this debate episode are spot on. Case in point: this moment where he discusses Pharmaceutical Companies, African Debt and tax-cuts.

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I’ve been here in Belfast only six months, but there are quite a few things I have learnt here already, praise God. Here, I’ve tried to summarise 10 basic pastoral principles that I’ve been taught or shown. I hope they will be useful.

1.- Keep fighting for Holiness

Don’t assume sanctification becomes easier
Know thyself
Be accountable to at least two other people
Deliberately avoid “tempting” scenarios
Watch life and teaching
Follow the Puritan example: see Satan and hell as very real
Spend as much time in prayer as possible

2.- Don’t abandon your family

3.- Don’t exploit people; don’t be exploited.

4.- Balance preaching-prep with people-time

don’t just share the Gospel, share your life (1 Thess. 2.8)
Time management important: get admin and prep work done, -spend time with people!
Learn to prioritize

5.-Practice what you preach (e.g.- also wash the dishes, serve coffee; don’t think you’re too good to do that work!)

6.- Disciple Christians and train new leaders

7.- Practice Hospitality, and encourage others to do so.

8.- Expect the unexpected: for better or for worse, people will always surprise you

9.- Be compassionate, but carry out discipline

10.- Don’t teach “mere application”, teach and (attempt to) model a world view, a counterculture in direct contrast to the secular and neopagan ideologies that surround us

Any more? Go ahead and discuss in comments.

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Beyond Air Guitar

Christ and the Arts: thought about, discussed and practice. Or certainly, that seems to be the attempt, here:

Beyond Air Guitar

A great quote:

In the same way just as God is creative so we are creative. There is no need to justify our creativity. To make art is as human an activity as eating a meal, going to sleep or enjoying being with family. Art is a gift from God, poured lavishly upon us and in making art we fulfil something of our purpose on this earth as human beings.

We are not just free to create, however: we have a mandate. As those made in the image of God we must be creative. Just as we are spiritual, physical, moral, relational and social beings so likewise we are creative. To suppress our creativity is tantamount to denying our humanity. This does not give license to acts of creativity that are irresponsible or harmful. By no means, the gift of creativity is given that we might praise God and bless (bless = enlarge) His creation, including one another.

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Here are a few quotes from Chadwick’s book on Augustine, regarding his ecclesiology. Please note how Augustine sees the relationship between the Scriptures, the Sacraments and the Church. A lot of this is a summary of previous posts.

I post on this, because Anglicanism has been called “Reformed Augustianism, (I agree) and I believe Augustine’s views are very close to those of the Magisterial (and english) Reformers, and should be looked at, since it seems most present-day protestant churches have a rather confused ecclesiology.

Very informative, though don’t take this as a “blanket” endorsement (emphasis mine).

Unity, Catholicism and Sacraments

[…] the parables of the kingdom (Matt. 13) taught the in the Lord’s field both wheat and tares should be left until the harvest of the last judgement. Therefore, no scandal could ever be sufficient ground to introduce division and to leave the one Church. […]

Among the signs of a true believer Augustine specified that he would always love the Church, warts and all […] the errors of individual bishops could not bring pollution on a community or upon episcopal succession. The grace of God did not depend for its efficacy on the personal sanctity of the individual minister, but on whether he did what God commanded to be done and thereby showed himself aware that in his sacramental action the whole Church is acting. For every act of the Church is catholic, universal. The sacrament is Christ’s, not the minister’s personal property, and salvation is always and throughout the work of God, not of man. Therefore a sacrament of baptism bestowed by an orthodox but schismatic priest must on no account be repeated. Baptism has stamped the soul with a decisive once-for-all seal, just as Christ died once-for-all to redeem. Admittedly, baptism given in schism could not be fully a means of grace until the recipient had been reconciled to the Church.

Apostolic succession mattered to the African Catholics too, for it was the external form that helped to safeguard the sacred tradition of apostolic teaching and sacraments.

However, in the context of the Donatist controversy note this comment:

Donatist language about the ordained ministry as the supreme guarantee of their sacraments seemed to Augustine to presuppose a much too clericalized notion of the Church. The ministry had a very necessary service to perform. Ordination was a sanctification of the Holy Spirit. It was self-evident that the presidency at the Eucharist should be given to those commissioned by ordination for this work. No one (except heretical sects) dreamt of lay presidency. But Augustine never thought of the Church as consisting in the clergy. The ministry was subordinate, a service. The continuity of the Church in the apostolic faith had its instrument and sign in ministerial order […] when Augustine looked for the authentication of the truth of the gospel he looked to the faith of the universal Church.”

Authority

[Augustine] expressly denied that holy Scripture represented the sole medium of divine revelation (S 12.4); but it represented the principle of authority which seemed central to Christian belief in a divinely given way of salvation for an ignorant and lost humanity. The authority of the Bible and Church rested on reciprocal support. Usage in the churches had determined the limits of the canon. Bible texts established the divinely constituted nature of the Church.

He made the observation that many heretics start from a mistaken or partisan interpretation of Scripture and, because they are both clever and proud, are reluctant to correct themselves. “It is part of a catholic disposition to express the wish to accept correction if one is mistaken” (DEP ii.5).”

Henry Chadwick. Augustine (1986, Oxford University Press)

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Cosmin sent me this great quote:

Hermeneutics is not a tidy, administrative process, going from point to point with syllogistic clarity. It meanders. It detours. It waits, sometimes in puzzlement, sometimes in wonder. But always it has a target. The Scriptures are not provided to feed our gossipy curiosity or legislate our barnyard morals: they examine our lives and invite our faith.”

Eugene H. Peterson, Working the Angles: The Shape of Pastoral Integrity, (Grand Rapids, Michigan, Wm. B. Eerdmans, 1978 ) p 129

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