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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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.

The Ideal Ministry 3/11

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.

3. The Ideal Ministry: PRIESTLY

“We must go further and say that the ideal ministry must be a priestly ministry. That would follow from the nature of the Church whose organ the ministry is. One chief function of the Church in the world is the sacerdotal. Conceive it truly and this is as real as the Church’s missionary function. If the Church confesses it, it confesses not its own sin only but the sin of the world. It carries that sin to the presence of God.

Continue reading “The Ideal Ministry 3/11”

The Ideal Ministry 2/11

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.

2. The Ideal Ministry: MINISTRY

“The ideal ministry must be an office in a Church quite as much as a vocation in an individual. That is to say, if we have a Church. If we have no Church, nothing which essentially distinguishes our Christian gatherings from any religious company, humane fraternity, or social group, the question falls to the ground. But then so will Christianity. The question of ministry is the crucial question of the Church. The greatest division among Churches, between Catholic and non-Catholic, turns on the position of ministry.

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The Ideal Ministry 1/11

In Memory of the 100th anniversary of the death of P. T. Forsyth, 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.

  1. The Ideal Ministry: GOSPEL CENTRALITY

“An ideal ministry is one which is ideal to the Gospel not to humanity. The ministry is not the minister of the human ideal, but of the Gospel ideal in the New Testament. The ideal minister is first a servant of the Word, then to people. It is the Gospel revelation that sets up the ideal; it is not the needs, aspirations, or possibilities of human nature.

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Shameful Behaviour

Sermon preached on 13th September 2020.

Luke 13:10-17 ‘Shameful Behaviour’

The last time I entered a synagogue was in Cairo, 2007.  It was a beautiful experience and nothing much happened.  In Luke’s gospel, this is the last time Jesus enters a synagogue too.  Unlike my visit, which was quite sedate; With Jesus (as usual), it all kicks off again!

I want you to notice:

  • Last week in Luke 13:11-5 18 we read people were killed by a collapsing tower.  This week in following Luke, a poor woman was bent over for 18 years.  She never asked for anything.  Jesus called out to her.

Notice too:

  • The word Sabbath is mentioned what seems like an excessive 5 times
  • The synagogue ruler tries to publicly shame Jesus by appealing to the crowds.
  • Jesus fights unholy fire with holy fire.
  • The man, behaving like a beast, treats his ox and ass better that a human being.

This story is specially tied to the one before.  This is the example, given by Luke, of a “fig tree” that is not bearing fruit (13:6-9).  It is an example of the “That’s not right!” tragedies in 13:1-5.

Think about Sabbath:  mentioned FIVE times!!    Excessive!  Why?  To get our attention!  To get our imaginative juices flowing.

FIVE.

In Judaism, numbers are extremely significant.

Most have meaning attached that are symbolic and expressive of deeper truth.

5 in Hebrew numerology is attached to:

  • The Torah
  • 2×5 = 10 Commandments

And in this way they become symbols of God’s goodness and grace.

There are 5 Great Mysteries:

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