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Showing posts from September, 2004

God's Passion for God

God's passion for God motivates all he does, including saving sinners. Comes as a bit of a shock to see that God's first love is for himself rather than for his people - but it is his love for himself that is the foundation of his love for his people.

Exodus 32 - God's passion for his Name (PDF Script)
Exodus 32 - God's passion for his Name (PDF Article)

Script and accompanying article on Exodus 32. This is part of a study I've been doing over the summer - further articles on Exodus 33, 34 and Romans 9 to follow over the coming weeks.


Life Matters from here to Eternity!

Just home from Forum, our national Christian Union leaders conference in Shropshire. This was my fifth time at Forum and it has to be the best. A real sense of being in it together, of partnership in our vision of making disciples of Jesus in the student world as over 500 Students, Staff and Relay joined together for a week.

It was great to see about 20 from Reading University Christian Union there and great to see God challenging, inspiring and envisioning them. Julian Hardyman of Eden Baptist taught from Hebrews and Richard Cunningham stretched our thinking and our vision under the simple title of "Life Matters".

Forum was directly preceded by the first Relay conference of 2004/2005. Amazed again by the sufficiency of God's grace for the proud and the weak, the struggling and the sinful. Shaken again by Biblical perspectives on discipleship as soldier, athelete and farmer from 2 Timothy. And a real delight to see lives being changed by God.

Relay!

Heading off to the first Relay conference of the year. Relay is our (UCCF) discipleship training programme in a student context. Personally I think it's one of the best one year discipleship opportunities, but then my wife and I both did it so I guess I might be biased. The wonderful thing is that it's all about grace, teaching it, living it, enjoying it.

Somehow I'll be teaching the Pastoral Care seminar which probably isn't something people would immediately connect me with, but I'm really looking forward to it. Just feeling priviledged to be involved in the programme and seeing God transform the lives of those on it.

Church is beautiful!

Church is awesome. As an institution the church probably has one of the worst reputations in the world, down there with all the things we love to hate. But church is awesome. It is. I've been reading Ephesians 2v15-3v11, preparing for a talk in Novemeber... Amazing to see the who, what, how and why of the church!


2v15-18 Who is the church?
A new humanity created by God at the cross where Jesus died.
2v19-22 What is the church?
The place where God lives!
3v1-9 How is the church?
By the preaching of the gospel to all peoples.
3v10-11 Why is the church?
To declare the gospel to the heavenly realms.


God's big plan from the beginning of time has been to create a global people whom he lives with. Human rebellion delayed this but God's purposes are being achieved! Because of the death of Jesus a new humanity, reconciled to God and to each other is made - a new community, that is what church is - not an institution but a family. A family where absolutely anyone is welcome.

And it is a…

Faith is not a leisure activity

As of today wearing symbols of religious faith is illegal in French schools. As a Christian my faith should be evident by my character and actions rather than any external clothing etc. Such things can hardly be legislated against. But are the French going too far? Is this secular fundamentalism? And how much further a step is it for them to ban speaking about faith? Will speaking the name of Jesus become illegal?

Secularism presumes to tell all "religions" that they are wrong whilst denying that it holds convictions of faith inself. And it pushes religious convictions into the private sphere of life... something that Christians (and Muslims) must refuse to do. My convictions as a Christian are universal convictions affecting my entire world view, affecting my approach to every situation. Such things cannot be confined.

Where reality and the internet connect

Driving back from Cambridge we passed the Amazon warehouse... odd to be reminded that Amazon does exist in the real world too.

In August I was browsing the shelves in FOPP Books in Cardiff looking for Anglo-saxon literature (Beowulf). Four weeks later I find myself pre-ordering Douglas Coupland's Eleanor Rigby online. It's not quite the same!



Douglas Coupland views the world from an incredible angle, seeing some of the misery and meaningless that dominates peoples lives in the late 20th and early 21st Century. His insight is always readable, sometimes frightening and makes me glad that I have an unchanging real hope.

Meanwhile the revolution continued night as the first music downloads chart was broadcast. Westlife at number one. Someone save us! Maybe one day we'll never buy books or music on the high street, maybe not... Flying without wings? Shopping without shops?

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About

To help you see where I'm coming from here's some information about me. This should help to keep me accountable.

thebluefish.org.uk
The site started out sometime in 1998 as a spin off from the University Christian Union website I was running at the time. The idea was to put some quality articles online to explain what Christians believe and to pose big questions about like.

about Dave
I'm 25. I grew up in a liberal-anglo-catholic church environment and became a Christian when I was 18. God graciously used the evangelical ministry of Spring Harvest and individuals to teach me the gospel, along with the Anglican liturgy which taught me the truth weekly.

My early experience of church led me to think nothing about sin nor about grace and left me thinking that God was distant... though with some sense of relationship.

Around the age of 18 I became aware of my sinfulness and had no cure. I reasoned into legalism and dipping into the Bible misread the Old Testament law to think I sho…