Familiarity with the Gospels can so often rob us of their revolutionary nature. We know by now that Jesus is the good guy and the Pharisees are the bad guys, and we adjust our expectations of the text accordingly. We don't, on the whole, recognise Jesus' behaviour as radical and socially extraordinary, because the point of the story is that he comes out on top. But at the time, the people watching Jesus really did see "remarkable things".
I was in a meeting today about a missionary organisation. We took a couple of hours to go through the history, aims, rules and regulations, the orientation programme, human resources, funding, relationship with churches, application procedures, the lot. There was only one thing missing.
Today I had a small explosion at my pastor. I think he was probably expecting it, and he dealt with it very well. Mind you, I decided not to say all the things I'd thought about saying beforehand.
Someone back at the mission headquarters asked for my views on Internet evangelism. I wrote back a long response which was less than favourable, so pretty much killed the conversation, but here it is for posterity… Read more about Internet Evangelism
I've been feeling like a compete sloth this week and not getting very much done, but today I managed to do a great deal of work, and am happy to announce the 1.0 release of Songbee. There's an awful lot changed since the 0.1 alpha, including:
Otherwise titled "Still A Biblicist?"
So I launched a new site today to hold all my free literary output. It's not so much a question of making it all freely available; rather it's an experimental new writing environment for me. Normally when I write stuff it's either in TeX or DocBook XML, and despite trying all kinds of folding editors and what have you, I still get a bit lost in the structure; with Mediawiki I should be able to pick out sections that I want to edit in isolation, but still be able to see the big picture altogether.
Dark Night of the Soul is an amazing book, one of the classics of Christian mysticism. Sometimes when I think about my own life and spirituality, I wonder whether those of us of the more earthy and laid-back persuasion are just products of our culture and that the early church was full of people more like the younger, more fired-up Christians we sometimes see around us.
This video has been doing the rounds of late; I was tipped off about it by an Internet forum, and then I was handed a copy of it. It asks three questions:
I'm trying to write a sermon on Luke 5:1-11 - Jesus calling Peter - for next Sunday. See, I was supposed to be having a weekend off in Tokyo next week, but, well, you know how it goes - Saturday afternoon will be spent at a conference in Yokohama, and then on Sunday I'll be preaching at Shonandai church. Shonandai is pastored by the Kawamuras, who were missionaries in Oxford and looked after me like parents while I was there in 2003-2005, before their mission retired them. When they asked me to preach, I could hardly say no. But then I'm preaching the week after at Nagahama anyway, so I'll use the same sermon…