Saturday, 25 April 2009

What's Your Theological Worldview?

What's my theological world view?

Apparently I am an Emergent/Postmodern, according to the quiz I took on http://www.quizfarm.com/ :


"You are Emergent/Postmodern in your theology. You feel alienated from older forms of church, you don't think they connect to modern culture very well. No one knows the whole truth about God, and we have much to learn from each other, and so learning takes place in dialogue. Evangelism should take place in relationships rather than through crusades and altar-calls. People are interested in spirituality and want to ask questions, so the church should help them to do this".

The results scored were:
Emergent/Postmodern
82%
Evangelical/Holiness/Wesleyan
71%
Neo orthodox
64%
Modern Liberal
36%
Roman Catholic
36%
Reformed Evangelical
32%
Classical Liberal
32%
Charismatic/Pentecostal
29%
Fundamentalist
0%

Well, I must say that was pretty good for a quiz - mostly correct! Though I was surprised that I was more Roman Catholic 36% than Reformed Evangelical 32%, but not surprised to be Emergent/Post Modern (82%). For a bit more on how I see Emergent/Post Modern theology see http://www.freewebs.com/faithandreason/apps/blog/show/872196-theological-worldview-2 & http://www.freewebs.com/faithandreason/apps/blog/show/next?from_id=872196-theological-worldview-2

Actually, I think I'm a nominal Christian, willing to work with all peoples of all faiths, or none, to improve society in the best way I can; as James 2:20, 24, 26 makes clear, faith without works is useless for both the believer and society. I believe in working for civil rights for all, regardless of nationality status, sexuality, gender, religion, age, race, disability or intellect. I believe in working to keep health and education available to all, regardless of ones ability to pay for it. I believe that the state has an obligation to its people, whether it is a secular or theocratic state, and that means welfare provision and the development with, or without, other agencies to provide social housing for those who either cannot afford it or who are in need of special housing; my faith exhorts me to look after the poor and needy, the down trodden and the outcast, that means supporting policies and agencies that try to implement such provision. And I believe that the armed forces should be equipped and provided for, both whilst in service and afterwards; my faith does not allow me to turn from those who are fighting, even if I disagree with why they are fighting. Men and women who lay down their lives (even if its expected of them because that is their vocation) for others deserve respect and honour, even if you or I disagree with why they are fighting. That does not mean that other groups such as the education and nursing profession and all others that are involved, the police, the firemen and women do not deserve respect and honour, they do.

As a Christian I am called to love my neighbour as myself. I can only do that by appreciating and supporting what others do in 'helping' and 'providing' for other people - all the people in our society - and respecting them and their efforts in doing what they do. I can only do that by reaching out to others to offer friendship, fellowship, help and assistance the best way I can. I might disagree with their lifestyle, their politics, their theological worldview or their atheism or agnosticism, but they have a right to their life and viewpoint, be it secular or religious. How I live my life amongst other people is important. Why I live my life the way I do has a background to it. How I interact with others is dictated by my faith. I believe that how I am seen to interact with others is an indictment for or against my faith. If that is part and parcel of being a Emergent / Postmodern Christian, then I guess that's what I am Fish 2

Sunday, 12 April 2009

Easter Sunday

What a great Easter Service my friend and I went to today. It was held at Park Hill Evangelical Church, Kempt Town, Brighton http://www.parkhillchurchbrighton.org.uk/.

The church was quite packed and though not high-tech in it's music or presentation, it was very enjoyable and informative. The sermon was read from John's Gospel - 20:1-18 - and was obvisiouly relating to the death and resurrection of Christ and what that means to us.

There was a fellowship meal afterwards, and though I did not participate in the eating of the meal, it smelt and looked fantastic. I do not know who provided and prepared the meal but koudos to them - next time a must Cool

Friday, 10 April 2009

The Three Men

Today is Good Friday - the day when Christians 'celebrate' the death of Christ. I say celebrate because we know that Christ was crucified, laid in a tomb, and was then resurrected - that is 'celebrated' on Easter Sunday. In 'celebrating' Easter I'd like to recall three men who were representatives of a church I once knew. I still know of it, the hall they met in is still there and the church - a body of people worshipping God - still meet at that hall every Sunday.

The three men represent three sides of that church I once knew. A naive (meant in a nice way) literal Christian man, an intellectually conservative Christian, and a street wise (been there, done that kind of chap) conservative Christian. They all meant something to me. And they still do. They taught me a lot about ideas and behaviour patterns. One brought me to believe in Christ and I was baptised as a believer. That was after I, and my partner, had be touched by the Holy Spirit. We, my partner and I, were touched by the Holy Spirit at the same time. This was the most remarkable thing. You see, either one of us could have been touched, affected, whatever description you want to use. But for one of the biggest effects on our lives to take affect, the both of us had to be touched. So we were 'zapped'. That is a good way of saying it. Zapped to move away from a standing point we held firm to. One day I'll go in depth about what that decision was. But for now I want to go back to the three men.

You could say they gave me valuable insight into how Christians live. Or how some Christians live. All three had gifts, talents or skills if you like, to use for the church. One liked small group settings and literalistic bible study materials to promote Christian thought. One liked small group, but in particular one-to-one bible studies. Using similar bible study materials but understanding a more complex world view and able to articulate between the two. One liked group and one-to-one but came from the more historical literalism biblical world view, though to some degree having some comprehension of a secular world view. But all three agreed that the bible came first. They locked onto the moral teachings of the New Testament and they locked onto the modus-operandi of worship and church structures as defined by St Paul. So simple, so quaint, so easy to follow. I miss them and their simplicity. Life's like that. You move on. Some would say you grow up. Life is not simple. Indeed it is not. Yes, I miss the three men.

Tuesday, 7 April 2009

The Midnight Kids

I know I'm old fashioned and a fuddy-duddy but why are parents letting their nine, ten and eleven year old children to still be 'playing' outside at eleven - twelve p.m. and even through to two to three a.m? Do they not care, do they not know their children are not at home safe? Or do they think that a nine year old is capable of living life on the streets and it's okay? Though I do not believe that children should be molly-collied, I do not believe either that they are mini-versioned adults. Mini-Me-Adult clones (as Mini-Me from the Austin Powers films) children are not! They should be loved and looked after by their parents. And though children wandering the streets late at night was part of Victorian culture (so was deporting a starving man to Australia for stealing a loaf of bread) and therefore they had to 'grow up' and face the despotism of town and city life, it should not be part of a culture that has a moral and social application of being more, shall I say, enlightened.

Children need our guidance as well as our protection. Parents need to take on the obligation of being parents, not just whilst their children are cute and cuddly in their nappies and buggies, I was going to say prams but you don't see many of them about now days, but also when they can walk and squawk, sorry talk :), when they can cuss and swear like any true bloodied trooper, and when they can harass and attack and cause criminal damage and physical harm to those younger and older than themselves. What on earth are parents about when their young children are wander the streets like latter-day vagabonds? What would those parents do if their children were hurt in anyway by any means? Blame the schools, the police, the local council, the church, the dustbin-men, sorry dustbin-persons or refuge assistants, blame anybody and everybody but themselves. Parenthood is amazing. You give birth to life and you see that life grow. Parenthood is IMPORTANT, SPECIAL and DEMANDING of your time, energy and most important of all parenthood calls for self-sacrifice and responsibility for another. Time to step up to the task parents and REALLY BE PARENTS.

On the note of 'children being out late is unacceptable', 'Operation Staysafe', see link below, was intended to stop children becoming victims of crime or being drawn into criminal behaviour. Though the children in this case were over nine years old and some would consider themselves, as would their parents, as 'old enough to do what they want', the shocking thing is the lack of taking responsibility for their actions, either by the 'child' or by the parents being responsible for said child.


Yes. I was a child and a teenager once. I was also self opinionated (nothing changed there), self-indulgent and self-centred. I got drunk and unruly and out of my depth at times. But I had a home to go to, and was welcome and loved in my home. I was more afraid of upsetting, if not disappointing my parents, especially my Mum, than of the local police! But I knew the boundaries, I understood the reason for the boundaries, and I, like all children and teenagers today, needed boundaries. The culture has changed only in so much as drink and drugs and sexual exploits are considered the only way to be enjoying yourself. If you're not pissing your head off, getting high, or shagging someone then you're not living. That is the culture we are adhering to. That is the culture we are accepting as the norm. Yes drunken debauchery has always gone on, it may have been swept under the carpet and ignored as a 'youthful bon-adventure' as it is now days, and it may have been frowned upon and strict civil and social laws or regulations implemented, but it was never seen as the thing to do, to aspire to, to excel in. Life is hard for both parents and children now days. It always has been. Maybe it is time for communities to open their eyes and work with the legal and the social and civil structures to endeavour to bring some sense of self-esteem and respect of self to the young. Not by copious indifference of attitude, as in 'the young will be young', but by offering a sense of pride and ambition, a desire for aspiration not banality. Maybe it is also time for the parents to be parents and not keep trying to be best friends with their children. Most children have friends. What they need are parents, social leaders they can find aspiration from, not leaders who want to be 'little teenagers' themselves and to be seen as 'cool' or 'wicked' or 'fit' (whatever the in term is :) ). Time to step up.

Wednesday, 1 April 2009

Someone Does Give A 'Fig'

http://www.ekklesia.co.uk/node/9120 Gordon Brown and the oncoming summit.
Though I was scathing in my last blog that world leaders et al did not 'give a fig' I do acknowledge the economic and capitalistic difficulties they live with. It was nice to read from Ekklesia site that Gordon Brown PM is outreaching rather than postulating aka G W Bush ex-President of the USA. It would be wonderful and miraculous if the outcome of the summit was not just rhetorically positive but practicably applicable and
finally, before it is too late, achieved.

On another positive note, Sojourners 'Mobilization To End Poverty' April 26 - 29 2009 at Washington Convention Centre, should raise awareness of poverty as Christians from across the States come together in a "powerful movement committed to the biblical imperative of reducing domestic and global poverty". See http://www.sojo.net/index.cfm?action=events.m2ep&item=m2ep-home&source=rsvp_0903_m2epsh_ec
for more information.