Friday, October 23, 2009

Can God Get a Book Published?

Liberal aand revisionist theologians reject the idea of the Bible as the written Word of God. This is a given in modern theological thinking. The Bible represents the religious "God-consciousness" of people down the centuries, but it is not God speaking through their ideas in a real personal revelation.

There is a strange irony here, though - since the same theologians who deny the idea of God putting a book together through inspiring human prophets and apostles, write their own books and get them published. They have ideas, put them in writing, get them published, want them discussed and heeded. Why can't God do the same?

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Who is pursuing whom?

I am not sure that the grammar in the title is correct, but you get the idea. Is the Christian faith a matter of our pursuit of an elusive, mysterious "God beyond God" - the Christian form of the generic human experience of the numinous divine "ground of being", a pursuit of the unknowable God. Or is it the determined pursuit of a lost and wayward humanity by the revealing, seeking God of creation? Which version of "God" matches the parables of Jesus better?
This is one of my basic problems with the Tillichian theology that is influencing the church so much: it is the opposite of the Bible's story. Just set the two catch-phrases side by side and you will see the stark contrast: "the God beyond God" versus "the Word became flesh".
These two theologies lead to different spiritualities, different moralities and different religions.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

The Meaning of "Revision"

I was reading a book by a contemporary theologian recently and I thought, "This is not Christianity at all -it is mystical paganism masquerading as Christianity." The words "God", "Jesus" and other Biblical terms, were used but in senses completely at odds with their plain, Biblical and orthodox designations.

How do you describe such a theology? It is common these days for orthodox Christians to describe those whose views are extremely liberal as "revisionist', but is this really an adequate term? When you revise something, you may improve it, or refine it or modify it - but it remains recognizably the same thing. In the rules of meetings, a motion can be amended (that is, revised), but the chair should rule out of order any proposed amendment that is completely contrary to the original motion. It seems to me that some theologians are way beyond revising orthodox Christianity; their version is essentially the opposite of the historic Christian faith.
This was the reason why the Nicene fathers spent such time defining in laborious terminology the meaning of Christian orthodoxy.
I am trying to think of a better term for this type of theology.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Where Heresies come from . . .

"Heresies are not produced by ignorance but by the speculations of learned men." (Steve Addison)

This is from Steve Addison's great new study of church planting and gospel movements, "Movements that Change the World", (Missional Press, 2009).
This is a critically-important book, and should be read by all who care for the Church of Jesus Christ.
Have a look at Steve's blog-site, www.movements.net

I'm back to this blog!

I have decided to use this blog again, while I am working on a new personal website. Lots of changes for me since my last entry - change of job, change of ministry, new home, new congregation, new grandson . . .