This is an episode of the Third Wave Podcast. The views contained here are those of the people you hear speak and those involved in producing the podcast. It is, however, worth hearing and provides some interesting perspectives and raises equally important questions. Continue reading →
The authentic church will always appear on the edge and to be on the edge or at the edge is to be in or close to the wilderness. The authentic church exists at the edge of the wilderness because in the Old Testament and also in the New Testament, the wilderness is the place of revelation but it is also the place in which people experience the absence of God. It is when we step into or a forced into the wilderness that we experience God.
In the Bible the wilderness is an ambiguous place in which there is isolation and revelation, there is presence and there is a sense of absence, God appears when everything else disappears. It is a place of wondering and wandering.
This two edged, double meaning of the term, wilderness is extremely helpful to us here. Continue reading →
One of the challenges for anyone reading the gospels is making sense of what seems to be more than one story unfolding. The gospels are instruction books for the disciple. The story tellers use Jesus’ story to illustrate what the disciple has to do in order to achieve the goal of discipleship but there is a tension because the gospels, two of them, begin with the birth narrative and the claim that Jesus was divine. We then have Jesus who is divine and yet human going through baptism, the experience in the wilderness, the transfiguration, in which it would appear that the divine and the human are somehow coming together. People have asked about this. Is it contradiction, confusion, different Jesus traditions coming together, or is there a way to reconcile and make sense of what appears to be two stories being told simultaneously? Continue reading →
In an introductory workshop in which I have been involved twice in the last few months we have been at pains to emphasise the importance of recognising that Jesus of Nazareth is a human being and that what we see in him is the Logos about which the prologue of John’s Gospel speaks. In discussion afterwards it has become clear that we have to be careful of the vocabulary we use to describe what is going on. In the end, of course, we cannot describe the indescribable and we engage with this at a deeper level than thought. Continue reading →
These are some useful resources for those who are serious about the spiritual journey and wish to deepen and develop their own experience and awareness. These three daily practices are important to those who wish to awaken to their true identity. Continue reading →
Discipleship is work on the self. There is a lot of complex, confusing and sometimes ambiguous terminology used to describe the goal and the process. It is when you begin to experience what is described that it begins to make some sense and it is now that you also discover that what we are trying to describe cannot be described in words at all. Continue reading →
Whether or not Karl Jaspers is correct in his conclusions about an Axial Age, Genesis 1 expresses a lot of similarity of theology and thought to what was going on and being said elsewhere in the world at broadly the same time. Continue reading →
The biggest difficulty facing the church lies in two distinct but related areas each of which impacts the other.
The first difficulty has to do with the level of teaching which is offered to a congregation. The typical church behaves and functions in terms of its teaching ministry as if sermons are lessons presented to a beginners language class which never progresses beyond the level of the newest and least competent and experienced learner. All lessons assume no knowledge at all therefore nobody progresses or is allowed to progress unless they teach themselves in their spare time. Intelligent and curious and sincere people leave for lack of a compelling reason to stay. Continue reading →