Entailment # 1: Glorification of Educational Backwardness Second, these days it is cool to self-referentially point out one’s various ‘failures to understand’ from the front of church in order to generate chuckles of empathy and murmurings of ‘oh, isn’t he/she cute’, when biblically speaking it is irresponsible. For sure, we all fail in many ways,... Continue Reading →
Heart and Mind together
Substituting Indoctrination for Education: Idolatry, Silliness, & Pseudo-Prophecy We may now turn to our third major danger warning for self-designated traditionalists: the danger of substituting indoctrination for education. We have already noted problems associated with a disguised ‘parent-child’ notion of authority, and with de-relationalisation. Our third area of concern flows out of the substitution of indoctrination... Continue Reading →
A subtle form of slander
2. Stigmatisation by Naming as the Manipulation of ‘Persuasive Definition’ The second give-away of a subconscious ‘parent-child’ model of authority is a way of labelling that has attached to it a strongly negative emotive content. We could call this ‘stigmatisation by naming’, a phrase coined by one of my wise friends with social work experience. Arguably, if... Continue Reading →
What does it mean for us to take evil seriously?
A few years ago, Rev Dr Stephen Cherry led a retreat on Julian of Norwich. Last week I visited Norwich and visited the cell attached to a small church from where she ministered, prayed, wrote and spoke. It was an amazing experience. In commenting on evil, Rev Cherry said the following, which I think speaks... Continue Reading →
Theology Questions: #4 Why are real relationship in the church so hard?
First, regarding the description of your stance within the church, then it is clear that you rightly wish to avoid the problem of polarized debates and “positions” whereby partisan factions develop that a priori reject one another’s points of view out of hand in the name of often unexamined interests and agendas that are often... Continue Reading →
Right Pitching in Preaching
"I remember one minister for education urging that ‘Britain was the only nation on earth where cleverness was despised’. In other European countries, for example France and Germany, cleverness is sought after and prized. The glorification of educational backwardness, then, is part of a localised British decadence or hedonism that is inconsistent with biblical Christianity.... Continue Reading →
The following is an excerpt from Dr Robert Knowles' newly released book 'Relating Faith - Modelling Biblical Christianity in Church and World'. Much of what the Church does for evangelism isn't. It thinks it is because it is locked in to a way of doing that ignores content and context. In other words, relational wisdom... Continue Reading →
Learning to be with God
This is a guest post by theologian Dr Robert Knowles: Discipleship through Communion with Christ in the Central Room Christians often speak of having “devotions”, or a “Quiet Time”, by which they mean a private time with the Lord Jesus involving both prayer and meditation upon biblical texts. Here, I suggest an additional devotional model,... Continue Reading →