One of the things that the emerging church movement has done for us has been to bring the importance of orthopraxy back into the foreground of Christian life. Or at least, we’re talking about orthopraxy a lot more. But of course, talking about orthopraxy is not orthopraxy. Read more about "So then, let us"
When Christians attack each other, that makes me sad; we’re supposed to be a unified body.
When Christian leaders publically fire accusations of heresy at each other of heresy first and Matthew 18:15-16 be damned, that makes me sad; we’re supposed to bear with one another in love.
But when Christian leaders unfairly abuse their authority to baselessly and unfairly attack others, throwing in accusations of heresy just to make a point, that makes me angry. And I’ve just read something that made me really, really angry. Read more about It makes me angry, then it makes me sad
Here’s how the dissertation ends (at the moment), applying what’s happening in house churches in Japan to… well, us.
Finally, do the Japanese house churches have anything to say to church government outside of Japan? I believe that they do.
I don’t know about you, but I live in a world where what we do is what gives us significance. A great person is someone who does great things. It’s a good start to say that we shouldn’t be like this, that we already have significance because God made us and loves us and so on, but we’re still living in a world where it’s what we do that matters. I grew up in that world, and I’ve lived all my life in it, and that can’t help but have an effect on who I am. In fact, I may as well just confess it: My name is Simon and I’m addicted to achievement. Read more about Who am I when I'm not achieving?
I’ve been reading the book of Proverbs on and off recently.
Much of it, let’s face it, is pretty trivially obvious. Let’s take 12:17, for instance: “The faithful witness tells what is right, but a false witness speaks deceit.” Well, yes, by definition. (Mind you, Tony once told me that if someone uses “by definition” to seal an argument, you know they’re lying.) But I’ve found two things intriguing as I’ve read through Proverbs. Read more about Wisdom
Bobby Clinton talks about the need for leaders to finish well. His research suggests that very few - one in three or four - leaders manage to get to the end of their life in leadership without becoming irrelevant or disqualifying themselves by doing irreperable damage to their integrity.
So when I heard the news that Helen Thomas, the dean of the White House Press Corps, decided to “retire effective immediately” after some unguarded and unwise remarks about Jewish legitimacy, my first reaction was one of sympathy. After all, the odds are good that I’ll do something similar at some point. Read more about Helen Thomas and finishing well
This is the formal equivalent of the rant version: Japanese theology is in a sad place, and the seminaries aren’t making it any less sad. (I got 75% for both this and the preceding essay) Read more about There is no Japanese theology (Academic version)
I’ve been refraining from posting any papers here recently until I’ve had them marked and returned, but here’s one that’s just come back on an attempt to provide an understanding of Christ in ancestor-worship religions. I’m not getting into the whole “should Christians take part in ancestor rites?” question because I find it excruciatingly boring. We’ve been blathering about it for four hundred years and we still only have contradictory guidance to give people. So the paper isn’t about that; it’s about how people from those cultures can see Christ as their older brother. Read more about Towards a Confucian Christology of the Firstborn
I don’t often go to traditional churches any more; the community we’re part of is essentially a house church although we probably wouldn’t call ourselves that. It meets on a Thusrday evening, so we have Sunday mornings free and for interest we’ve occasionally been visiting other churches around Gloucester. I feel like it’s giving me an interesting outsider perspective on the whole going-to-church experience. Read more about A lecture club, with singing