This is my wish, my prayer, my hope and my battle.
This is my wish, my prayer, my hope and my battle.
Tim Vine: “I’ve decided to sell my Hoover… well, it was just collecting dust.”
This question comes out of a recent conversation with our best buds on Communion and when, if ever, one should hesitate to partake. It is something I have been thinking about for some time. A side question of who exactly can participate in communion arises and that will be my main focus in this post. I will be using the phrase ‘the table’ to describe the receiving of and participating in communion. For those wondering what is meant generally by communion within a christian context and what I am meaning by, it will become clear as we go along.
Thoughts and issues:
Let a person examine himself, then, and so eat of the bread and drink of the cup.
And they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers.
Whoever, therefore, eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty concerning the body and blood of the Lord. Let a person examine himself, then, and so eat of the bread and drink of the cup. For anyone who eats and drinks without discerning the body eats and drinks judgment on himself.
On the first day of the week, when we were gathered together to break bread, Paul talked with them, intending to depart on the next day, and he prolonged his speech until midnight.
And when Paul had gone up and had broken bread and eaten, he conversed with them a long while, until daybreak, and so departed.
For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes.
And they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers. And awe came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were being done through the apostles. And all who believed were together and had all things in common. And they were selling their possessions and belongings and distributing the proceeds to all, as any had need. And day by day, attending the temple together and breaking bread in their homes, they received their food with glad and generous hearts,
Received this from WordPress the other day. In the interests of being a Humbledonkey, I must declare that well over 70% of the 200 posts are reposts. However, I never intended to write anything myself so I am surprised that its not 100% of 200 posts. In december I will have completed a year as a blogger (reposter) and I will review things then.
Thanks to the many for the ‘likes’ and ‘follows’ etc. I expect that to drop off soon as I am going to write and repost a series on biblical sexual ethics.
Spent the weekend in Ireland – Dublin mostly. The sun shone – mostly.
He V You
Competence V Incompetence
Saviour V Lost
Mighty V Weak
Humble V Proud
Sees V Blind
Sinless V Sin
Love V Non-love
Other-love V Self-love
Life V Death
Heaven V Hell
Hope V Despair
Full V Empty
Truth V Falsehood
Obedient V Rebel
Competence V Incompetence
He V You
There is a method of marking out Jesus’ words in Bible publications. They are printed in red. This method is only sometimes used. On the positive side, it makes his words easier to spot and quite convenient when scanning through a page quickly. However it has its downsides. Some chrsitians have begun to elevate these red letter words above the black letter words. We can then lose context and fail to see the rest of scripture as of equal value.
I attended an exciting evening of friendly christian-muslim discussion and debate in London last night. One of the thoughts that came out from the muslim perspective was a general though not complete acceptance of the red letter words of Jesus in the Gospels. Many though not all. This is not too surpirsing because many of the sayings and teachings of Jesus would be happily endorsed by almost every religious group in the world. His teachings on love, justice, sacrifice and service are unparraleled but yet universal. Hence their attractiveness. So I understand that my muslim friends (like Hindus and Buddhists) would be very accepting of much but not all of the actual spoken words of Jesus recorded in the Gospels.
But I took a few minutes today to just scan through one of the gospels – Matthew – and see a few of the things my muslim friends ceratinly could not accept because of a message from 600 years after Jesus that they have an allegiance to. I think I can hear a couple of muslim friends saying “no problem” to one or two of these. But an honest reading and a sense of their meaning in the original context should deflate any such aspirations. But I do accept them because long before an ostensibly good man in a cave brought to those outside the cave, a message so contrary to Christianity, the black letters and the red letters of the Gospels were part of the literature of the world – that’s the parts that the good man in the cave would like and those he wouldn’t. I must accept them all.
10 problematic statements of Jesus (red letter) for our muslim friends:
My thoughts exactly. So much to say in this area of difference and sometimes tension but clearing the decks to see Jesus as the end point is vital and if we allow it can transform and elevate the conversation.
There’s a line of thinking from those who prefer traditional forms of worship/music that goes something like this:
Contemporary worship is like dessert. It’s sweet, appealing, and easy, but not long-lasting. It might bring people in, but it won’t keep them nourished. It might bring immediate satisfaction, but it isn’t healthy. Traditional worship and more classical forms of music are more like a feast. It’s like the difference between plasticware and fine china. Traditional hymns and classical instrumentation require a more refined, mature, and discerning pallet. We can’t have the sounds of the world in our church services. We must move people beyond the dessert and into the feast. Only then will our congregations experience the “real thing”.
On the flip side, there’s a line of thinking from those who prefer contemporary forms of worship/music that goes something like this:
Traditional worship is all religion, all ritual, and all routine. Classical…
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Cost – a reflection – part 3
have spent the time
have considered the cost
it now rises as a mountain to my approach
how small cost appears from the distance
how easily the voice speaks what the heart thinks
I can count the cost
I can pay that cost
but now with perspective no longer a friend
with the giant looming
can I count the cost?
can I pay that cost?
things are complicated in this cost economy
He said a disciple must count the cost
carry a cross
looming mountain-like as it approaches, I shake
humbledonkey original – can be reproduced only with a link to this blog.
I am grateful for my encounters and discussions with people of other faiths and their questions about the Holy Book I submit to. Particularly valuable are the encounters with lovely folks from the unfortunately ever newsworthy Islamic faith. Without their comments and questions, at times insightful, sometimes ridiculous, I never would have gone on this journey of seriously thinking about what exactly the Old and New Testaments are; what they look like and consequently what they can’t look like (obviously, though often missed, because of what they actually look like.) Key travelling companions on this new journey which is just at its very beginning are Expectations and Weighing Scales seasoned with a generous dollop of the wonderful word ‘appropriate’.
I am learning how to understand what the Bible itself is and isn’t, and how to evaluate it with appropriate expectations. If you have a wrong understanding of anything, a wrong evaluation tool and the wrong expectations in the first place then you will misread many things, misterpret somethings and miss the whole point of the actual thing.
In understanding what the Bible itself is & isn’t – we can say the Bible is never less than a work of history, a work of a faith community, a work of man – never less than that but always more – a work of God. Other supposed works of God are proposed as just that, only that – never less or more than that. A work of God only. It’s important to notice what a thing is, is supposed to be according to itself and what it is understood to be by those most closely connected to it. In my career I have been paid to notice things. Now as a very amateur theologian I am starting to notice things more easily. Noticing what a thing purports to be and what it is said to be, by the community with familiarity and allegiance to it, is vital. This will set an appropriate understanding, an appropriate scales for evaluaton and ultimately an appropriate relationship to the thing in question – in this case the Old & New Testaments.
J. Warner Wallace (a former detective – I am married to a sort of detective – more on that another day) sets out some principles for evaluation a Text which is the work of God & man. Both. If it’s the work of both God and men (and the men have not been somehow roboticised or become some kind of fitful autoscribes (neither have ever been suggested of the men who have penned the Jewish and Christian scriptures) then the principles should do justice to it being the work of God while at the very same time accommodating it being the work of men in history, writing in literary genres with the ear of the hearing audience in mind. Though narrowly focused I find these principles to have the wisdom to bear broad application. Here’s the start of Ten Principles When Considering Alleged Bible Contradictions with the click to his site to catch the rest – I never know if it’s ok to reblog it all. Sometimes I do, sometimes I don’t. I have not today but have linked to it – he was a detective afterall.
Ten Principles When Considering Alleged Bible Contradictions
As a detective, I’ve learned to accept the variation I see between eyewitness accounts. I’ve interviewed witnesses of crimes (occurring just hours earlier), only to find what appeared to be significant “contradictions” between the accounts. It’s my job, as the investigator, to determine why the eyewitnesses appear to contradict one another, even though there is doubt the event occurred and the witnesses were telling the truth. There are times when similar variations (or alleged “contradictions”) are observed in the Biblical accounts. It’s our job, as Christian Case Makers, to apply a few simple investigative principles to determine whether or not these differences impact the reliability of the accounts. I want to offer a few investigative principles and filters for investigating these alleged Bible contradictions. These principles are not outrageous or unusual. They’re not specific to the Bible. They’re not Christian tricks or devices used to cover up inadequacies. They are straightforward tools and approaches useful when examining any ancient document or piece of evidence. If we objectively examine the Scriptures with these principles in mind, we’ll not only grow in our understanding of the Bible, but we’ll better comprehend and resolve the difficulties:
Principle #1: Begin With A Fair Attitude
Imagine you’re driving down the street and you come to a stop sign. You don’t assume the sign is wrong. Even if you don’t see opposing traffic or you don’t understand the reason for the sign being at that particular corner, you still stop for the sign. Even if no other car shows up at the intersection, you don’t simply blow through the sign. You give the sign the benefit of the doubt. In essence, you don’t assume a street sign is wrong until proven right. When you begin to read the Bible and examine what it says, it’s important to start off with a fair attitude. You don’t need to treat it as something unquestionable and beyond examination, but you do need to afford it at least as much consideration as you would afford a street sign, a box of macaroni or a friend. Before you jump up and call it a liar, take a second to examine what it says fairly.
The Example of Biblical Genealogies
As an example, let’s examine Biblical genealogies. Some have tried to use the Biblical genealogical lists with a particular Click here to get to the full article at the J. Warner Wallace’s site.
New to me – enjoy
It’s true the man himself Bono is in fact a builder with a side interest in Rock stardom.
Click on the image below to see the evidence.
Christian Audio is for the month of September giving a free download of the excellent and important book by Francis Schaeffer How The Shall We Live?
As mentioned before – they are a very credible outfit and I receive very little in the way of unwanted email from them.
Pass this on to others who might be interested. There is a free download each month.
Jesus is for Losers. Provocative title. Provokes me to gratitude. I’m one of Lifes greatest Losers. I cannot tell you how surprised I was and am to be a beneficiary of God’s kindness toward rebel sinners. And the Father chose to show his love for the world by sending the Son (the Incarnation) to die in the place of others (The Atonement) so that rebel sinners could be counted as righteous – perfect (Justification) and go on to lead a life ever seeking to honour God – growing in righteous living, empowered by the Holy Spirit (Sanctification). Theology matters. Losers matter.