Archive for June, 2002

Good things about how the world is changing

Wednesday, June 26th, 2002

Everyone seems to acknowledge that the world around us is changing. People are embracing `postmodernism’ – everything is relative and nothing has any real meaning.

And I think Christians are mssing out on some good stuff…

Modern society is bad, right? We believe in Absolute Truth and we’re against Apathy and Individualism, yeah?

Well, I’ll leave you to make a list of things we don’t like about our society. I’m interested in stuff we’re scared of that is actually really cool.

Here’s my best example:

Lots of people now are happy with ambiguity – realising it could be one thing or another, or another maybe. In fact, when I talk to people about the meaning of life, people seem to be very comforted when they find uncertainties.

In contrast, we Christians are terrified of ambiguity. We write whole books on why things aren’t ambiguous. We join one camp or another to avoid having to hold two possibilities in our heads. Or we just say it’s too hard and ignore it, hoping someone else will figure it out.

But we should be happy with ambiguity too. Why?

  • God is incomprehensible. We are just too small.
  • The Bible is ambiguous on loads of stuff. Hebrew particularly is a very ambiguous language, I’m told.
  • Sometimes we just don’t know. This is even true of ministers. We should embrace the mysterious nature of God.

Actually, on this particular issue, the Catholic church has it down much better than us evangelicals. They have these things called Mysteries (for example Jesus is both God and man) that they basically say are beyond our understanding.

Here’s another example just to make the point:

People are genuinely looking for authentic spiritual experience. Personally, if I’m honest, I’m scared of authentic spiritual experience and relieved when it becomes a routine.

Modern culture is actually quite good for some stuff. Why are we so scared of it?

`In the world, not of it’ doesn’t mean it’s ok so long as we’re `of’ a world from 50 years ago.

What do you think?

Answers not Questions?

Wednesday, June 19th, 2002

Reading through the site there seems to be too many answers and not enough questions. Sometimes people put an idea on which then gets a comment that seems to suggest the idea was a question that needs an answer. Bono from U2 once said that his faith gave him a whole lot more questions in life instead of answers. What do other people think?

Not Lost

Wednesday, June 12th, 2002

A poem.

————————-

Not Lost
Something missing
but not lost

Everything lined up nicely but
what now
what’s missing

NO SPIRITUAL EARNING POWER

Told many times he loves you
you’re not lost

Also told many lies
by wrong good people

When will I learn my lesson
or is this how it is
when you’re different
because he made you so

Take me back

You must believe the Bible right now – Part 2

Wednesday, June 5th, 2002

How did Judas die? Take a look at these two passages from the Bible:

Matthew 27:3-6

When Judas, who had betrayed him, saw that Jesus was condemned, he was seized with remorse and returned the thirty silver coins to the chief priests and the elders. “I have sinned,” he said, “for I have betrayed innocent blood.”
“What is that to us?” they replied. “That’s your responsibility.”
So Judas threw the money into the temple and left. Then he went away and hanged himself.
The chief priests picked up the coins and said, “It is against the law to put this into the treasury, since it is blood money.” So they decided to use the money to buy the potter’s field as a burial place for foreigners. That is why it has been called the Field of Blood to this day. Then what was spoken by Jeremiah the prophet was fulfilled: “They took the thirty silver coins, the price set on him by the people of Israel, and they used them to buy the potter’s field, as the Lord commanded me.”

Acts 1:18,19

(With the reward he got for his wickedness, Judas bought a field; there he fell headlong, his body burst open and all his intestines spilled out. Everyone in Jerusalem heard about this, so they called that field in their language Akeldama, that is, Field of Blood.)

Which of these is right?

Some people say that he hanged himself and then his body fell down and his guts spilled out in the field, but that seems very strange. Whilst that could be true, another alternative explanation is that there were two alternative myths that grew up amonst the people of Jerusalem about this unimportant detail (the exact nature of the grisly death of Judas), and that the two writers here wrote down the two myths.

Which alternative do you believe, or do you believe something else?

Exactly how Judas died (and who bought the field) will not affect my faith, but my attitude to conflicts like this will profoundly affect it.

Is it wrong to treat the Bible as evidence (rather than instructions)?