procrastination, heresy, and navel-gazing.

Monday, May 28, 2007

guy dance

CampusBibleStudy's Mid-Year-Conference is on the topic of Guidance. as part of the advertising to this generation, there's a youtube campaign, replete with some very clever vids.
for any napoleon dynamite fans, guy-dance is particularly funny. actually i think only it, and Decisions, Decisions are the funny ones. all the others are interviews and such.
it's at
check it out. even better, GO! 16-20 july 2007AD

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Monday, May 21, 2007

la science des rêves

wow. top film. the science of sleep, another astonishing film by michel gondry (also eternal sunshine of the spotless mind)

it's one of those movies where you smile almost incessantly throughout! which is great!

one of the toughest nuts to crack, scientifically, would surely have to be the science of dreams. maybe that and homeopathy. or chiropracty! do you ever do that? work out the source of the elements of your dream? why was that person in there - i haven't so much as thought about them in years!

one question i sometimes have is how much our dreams are guidance? to what degree should we take them as divine providence, communication from God - or are they more self-absorbed than all that, ie they're us communicating with ourselves what we want to hear, just making transparent what in waking was opaque.

or simply gobbledygook?

it's interesting seeing the visions of others of our subconscious, movies like the cell (i think with J-Lo?), as well as being john malkovich, which interestingly enough was written by charlie kaufman, who co-wrote eternal sunshine with michel gondry. quite freudian, really!


Friday, May 18, 2007

arrival or attestation?

the questions raised in my short comment below regarding talladega nights have been mulling over in my mind for some days now.

the incarnation of Jesus, the 2nd person of the trinity, born as a baby around 4-6BC, is oft quoted (particularly around Christmas time) as the pinaccle of God's creation.

yet i remain convinced that the resurrection of this self-same man is the attestation of his messiahship, the beginning of the in-reaching of the heavenly realms into this created order; the foreshadowing of what will be brought to it's mighty fulfillment when Jesus returns, when the faithful receive their resurrection bodies. (c/f Rom 1:4, Phil2:5-11, Eph2:16, 3:11, the vibe of Gal, 1Tim4:14 et al, not even going to Hebrews!)

whilst i am still thinking this through, is it too simplistic an answer to wrap this up in saying it's the narrative, the story, mabo, the vibe?

the word, spoken to us through the prophets in the past, which became flesh and dwellt among us, has now sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high.

jesus is Lord before all time and now and forever. to say that he is only king because of his death and resurrection would be to deny his power in having all things created through him. likewise, it would be to say that when he descends from heaven with a cry of command, that that authority is enabled only because of his death and resurrection.

we cannot summarise our great God in a simple statement of faith, a creed, much less a three-day period in the history of the creation of the creator. what we do have are snippets, fragments of a great tapestry, like this:

For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people, training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age, waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to purify for himself a people for his own possession who are zealous for good works. Titus 2:11-14

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Tuesday, May 15, 2007

who da king?

on a recent holiday in Geelong (about 1hr west-south-west of Melbourne) i watched Taladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby, a fairly ordinary hollywood film, replete with a few guffaw-worthy scenes, my favourite was the one that was also on the ad (so just watch the trailer - no need to watch the rest of the film).there was Ricky Bobby and his wife sitting around the table, overflowing with his sponsors' food, and he starts to give thanks, saying, "Dear Lord Baby Jesus," and then proceeds to give thanks for his "hot wife", kids (Walker and Texas Ranger), as well as his sponsors for their gracious provision of food.

his wife then gets a little narky with his constant rememberance of Jesus as a baby; "he did grow up you know!"

isn't it funny how hollywood sometimes hits the nail right on the head?

he did grow up, he did die. and (perhaps surprising to those with nightmarish visions of this half-naked man eternally hanging on a cross), he did rise again from the dead.

yet, as we read from Matthew 2 this Sunday, he "was born king". He didn't become king, didn't kill off anyone and everyone who in his paranoia may have been a rival (c/f Herod, most of the successors to Jereboam's throne).

no; he was born king, with no regent, predecessor nor successor.

his life on earth was what it was, not that he might become king, but because he already was.
And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
Philippians 2:7b-11

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Friday, May 11, 2007

SMBC preaching conference

Don Carson and Dale Ralph Davis spoke to us over four days at the 2007 sydney missionary and bible college preaching conference.

Ralph Davis was really impressive, especially when we worked out he was translating on the run from the hebrew. i think most people walked out, keen to preach thru OT narratives.

Don took us thru:
  1. biblical theology,
  2. systematic theology,
  3. historical theology and
  4. preaching and pastoral theology
some of it i still have to process a little more, but a few highlights from his last talk, when asking how do we do pastoral theology?
  • cultivate compassion - how do you feel when you see sheep without a shepherd?
  • cultivate an understanding of people and their needs in biblical categories - if you analyse people in sociological categories, you'll start thinking of (pop)-sociological solutions
  • cultivate a prepared mind and heart for turning points in people's lives - be prepared to rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep, and often both on the same day! think about how you are preparing people for eternity in light of those events.
  • cultivate a connection between lofty thoughts of God, and people - hear hear.
  • cultivate a healthy independence from your congregation - fear God more than your congregation. they need you to be their pastor first, not letting your friendship get in the way of that.
  • cultivate your own maturation (and check your motivation) - your people need to see you being shaped and matured by the word of God

    great conference, really encouraging, correcting and cautionary.

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  • Friday, May 04, 2007

    that hostile wall

    writing a talk for youth group on ephesians 2:11-22, I got to thinking:
    is there a point at which we may say that, although Christ lived and suffered and was tempted as a man, so in some ways he united man and God in that he himself was fully God and fully Man -
    - yet it was only when he died that he was able to end the hostility?
    man was hostile to God up to and including in Christ, in that this God-man was tempted in his flesh. so is the dividing wall of hostility simply that wall between jews and greeks, circumcised and uncircumcised, is that what was broken?
    OR is the hostility of the law and commandments not the jew/gentile divide, but the man/God divide?

    at least that’s what the 2nd half of ephesians 2 is leading me to think.
    which is a different argument to the predominant line of thought going through galatians, romans...
    the pre-eminence of jew over greek is something I’ve always seen as a main theme to be overcome in the fulfillment of God’s plan of unity.
    is this a different theme, or one and the same? God v man, or jew v gentile?


    Tuesday, May 01, 2007

    in Christ alone

    today marked the final in a series we've been doing at CBS Core* on church; what it is, what it isn't, when it is, and isn't, what it should, shouldn't be and so on.

    as pontius pilate asked, the ultimate postmodern question, what is truth?**, when you think about it -
  • do you believe the same thing you did 10yrs ago?
  • will you have arrived at "the truth" by the time you die?

    after my recent jude extravaganza, the question of truth - what it is and who arbitrates over the grey, fuzzy areas, came up again.

    "we" would of course say that truth is what we declare it to be; what we teach, exposit, explain, live.
    but we must humbly admit, as per the above questions, that even our own understandings will shift over our lives.
    therefore to rule others out of God's kingdom (very risky business indeed! c/f 1Cor4) is extremely short sighted considering our own unsteadfastness.

    so, for example, the lovely jehovah's witness ladies who visit me every now and then, whose hope is 100% rooted in the propitiatory act of Christ's death, whose lives speak volumes by their prayerfulness and other-person centredness - apart from continuing to try and show them how the Bible speaks of Christ's divinity, and the personhood of the Holy Spirit, what am i to say to them?

    stepping back and trying to focus on what is of central importance, am I to exclude them, or anyone who believes an alternative doctrine, from God's kingdom?

    * also known as i can't believe it's not SOCM
    ** John 8:28

    the author of this blog reserves the right to make inflammatory posts, raising questions that he may or may not have completely resolved, in order to either help him or others be more sure of what they may or may not believe. ätsch!

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