An antidote to a virtue of compliance

Here is an article from The Baptist Times by Baptist pastor Ian Stackhouse:

I confess that I have been quite vociferous in my disdain for the government’s persistent use of lockdown as a way of dealing with covid. In my opinion, the ‘collateral damage’ will be significantly greater than anything arising from the virus. I also have serious concerns about the restrictions on worship that we have endured this past year, as well as restrictions on civil liberties in general.

In stating these concerns, I have been accused of various things: recklessness, paranoia, and lack of compassion. But strangely enough the one that has irritated me the most is the charge that I am stuck in the past, unable to realise the enormous opportunities brought about by this crisis. Indeed, someone made a comment to me other day that my desire to regather Millmead in our new sanctuary might yet prove my Achilles heel, simply because the gathering of large congregations in one place is now regarded by cutting edge missiologists as something of an old wineskin.

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The Ideal Ministry 7/11

In Memory of the 100th anniversary of the death of P. T. Forsyth this year (2021), I will outline his eleven points in the chapter entitled ‘The Ideal Ministry’ (as printed in The British Congregationalist, 18th October, 1906), in the book Revelation Old and New.

7. The Ideal Ministry: Flexibility of Thought

An Ideal ministry must not only be positive in its gospel, it must be flexible in its thought. It must be capable of preparing a new theology for the old faith. It must learn how to express the old reality in terms of the new age. It must speak the word of God in the language of the time. It must not be “stupidly good.”

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Exposing Woke Traits

Below is a guest post from a friend who has exposed the multiple traits characterised by those who have willingly or unwittingly bought into the ideology of what is now called Wokism. Woke culture is a much used term these days and for good reason. It derives from the neo-Marxist left of the political spectrum and seeks multiple ways of redress in culture and politics by force, coercian and an a-historical approach to the present. This is typified in ‘Cancel Culture’ and the power of ‘Big Tech’ to over-reach and close down chanels and platforms that do not conform to their way of seeing the world.

Buckle up!

Woke Traits

(a) the “sovereign citizen” trait – an absolutist belief in oneself as a centre of authority that should not be challenged;

(b) the “masquerading as an angel of light” trait – a projected image of “deeds before men” designed to assert that one is ‘the helper’, presupposing the drama triangle of ‘rescuers, victims, and persecutors’;

(c) the ‘poor victim’ trait – a projected image of being the one who has suffered injustice and who should as a result receive attention and respect;

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Palm Sunday Symbolism

Palm Sunday Pause for Thought on BBC RADIO DEVON 28 March 2021 (begins at 1:54:05)

Palm Sunday is about Jesus riding a donkey into Jerusalem.

The Donkey is representative of a peaceable kingly power.

The whole act is a deeply symbolic action.

And as the hooves clickety-clacked on the ground – ancient prophesy was being fulfilled.

Most of us have looked at an optical illusion.

We see one thing for a long time;

And as we stare, we see another thing altogether.

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Pity Me

I recently finished reading the superb little book(let) by Leo Tolstoy called ‘The Death of Ivan Ilych’, and had several really interesting moments of pause.

I may write more about the story, not least so that others who like short stories will pick it up and use their Christian imagination to think upon the issues raised.

About two thirds through, with Ivan dying, in his 40’s, following an accident putting up some fancy curtains in his posh house, and in apparent great unfathomable pain, we come to his inner thoughts about deception, what he called ‘The Lie’:

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The Ideal Ministry 4/11

In Memory of the 100th anniversary of the death of P. T. Forsyth this year (2021), I will outline his eleven points in the chapter entitled ‘The Ideal Ministry’ (as printed in The British Congregationalist, 18th October, 1906), in the book Revelation Old and New.

4. The Ideal Ministry: MISSIONARY

“The ideal ministry must be missionary. It must be in the apostolic succession. Here again it is the organ of the Church. The Church is nothing if not apostolic. But apostolic in the true sense of the word – missionary and evangelical. We are gaining clearer views of what the Apostles really were. They were not Bishops. They were missionaries. evangelists on the great scale. They were not organisers, administrators, hierarchs. They were heralds, preachers. They were not there to regulate enthusiasm, but rather to rouse and spread it.

They were firebrands much more than fire brigades. They stirred the spirit, they did not quench it. The ideal ministry must be missionary at home or abroad. It must have the propagandist passion, the contagious secret, the universal dream, the pity, the love, the power of faith, the pity for mankind.

But I will not dwell on that here. We are all convinced, of the missionary nature of the Church and ministry.

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