I don’t much like conferences. It is their shape and geography that bother me. Good things happen at conferences but I think a couple relatively simple though profound changes could make them much better. I think these changes would apply well to church conferences.
About a week ago I was admitted to our local hospital because of a stroke. I never lost consciousness, but I definitely experienced a slow down. After four days I was home again, but in need of restoration.
Hard thought woven together with food and friendship to form with worship a continuous act of devotion. It is hard to overestimate how precious that annual reading week has become in my longing for and practice of Christian scholarship. Who can resist work that is at the same time joy, delight and wonder? Who is left untouched to live as if they had not been given a grace of great worth?
Parenting has never been easy. Don’t worry – I’m not going to argue that it’s harder now than ever before. But certain problems are new. Gluten-free or grain fed? What sandwich can I send to a nut-free school? Is eight the right age for her first email account?
Theological fashions are like other intellectual fads, they come and go; here today, gone tomorrow. They should not overly occupy our minds or trouble our hearts. One of today’s theological fads, so it seems to me, is doubt. Christian leaders who “out their doubt” are frequently lauded for their courage in being so apparently modest as to say they just don’t know anything for certain anymore.
What makes it difficult is that one can never do justice to how great God’s love is by talking about it. Our greatest efforts at explaining God’s love always fall far, far short of the intended goal
With Jesus’ resurrection at the core of our thinking about the future, anxiety gets short shrift. Instead, we’ll be anchored in him, and flexible as well. And there’ll be joy in the conviction that the Lord’s work is never hopeless, wherever it’s done and whatever shape it has to take.
The horrific attacks on Charlie Hebdo workers provoked worldwide demonstrations in support of free speech followed by equally heated worldwide Muslim demonstrations calling for limits to free speech.
“A step toward kindness,” so one daily newspaper chose to headline the Supreme Court’s unanimous decision to open the way for the decriminalization of physician-assisted death (although the ruling would only come into effect after 12 months in order to allow the government to rewrite the Criminal Code). The words are actually the response of the daughter of the late Gillian Bennet, the 84-year-old who wanted to die “on her own terms and in her own time” once she had become incapacitated either in mind or in body.
Photos were flashing up on the screen one by one, timed beautifully with the accompanying song. Each picture depicted fun and rugged scenes of boys camping, fishing, swimming, building fires, tying knots. It was Cadet Sunday and our church was hosting several of the Southern B.C. boy’s club cadres for a service to highlight the exciting events and ministry over the past year.
Christian education didn’t make financial sense for my grandparents; it didn’t look possible based on my parents’ budget, and if you want to examine our family’s income/expense sheet, the math makes zero sense. Nevertheless, none of us would change a thing. You can’t really measure Christian values in hard currency.
Something in me says that keeping the awareness of the antitheses and of common grace in healthy tension is still important today. It’s not easy to do, I realize. But whether we use other terminology or metaphors, we still face the dilemma of either avoiding worldly literature because we want to stay pure or we indulge in an overly comfortable adoption of secular values.