Saturday, September 09, 2006

Glory Days

One of the things we're very keen to encourage in UCCF: The Christian Unions is all-of-life discipleship, 24-7 worship. Julian Hardyman's new IVP book Glory Days aims to equip the church in this way and was made available this week. This is vital if we're to engage effectively in the student world and truly live for Jesus.
You love to paint but Christian meetings fill up all your free time. You could cut it as a professional sportsperson but think missionary work might be a better use of your life. You’re interested in party politics but worry that it’s not much of a spiritual pastime.

Many believers subconsciously divide their lives into Christian activities (church, prayer, Bible study and evangelism) and everything else – the glory bits and the rest. Julian Hardyman shows that God is just as interested in our work and family, our hobbies and skills, our politics and sporting prowess, as the things we think of as spiritual.

Living the whole of our lives for Jesus doesn’t mean denying our God-given human interests. By rediscovering the liberating teaching of Genesis we can see how God intends every part of our personality to be lived for his glory. Glory Days will sharpen our senses, awaken our dormant creativity and help us reclaim vast areas of our life for Jesus. Ultimately it will show us that even the most ordinary days can be glory days.
bethinking.org will undoubtedly be a vital resource as we work out how to live in such glory days.

On the first night of the conference we were joined by Nathan and Lou Fellingham and Jos Wintermeyer who performed songs from the new Phatfish CD Trinity and Lou's outstanding solo album Treasure. In between their sets our Creative Evangelism Trainer Clive Parnell (formerly of IndigoEcho) interviewed them.

The first observation I noted was how ordinary and humble these guys are. They're normal Christian people - we err when we think of them as celebrities. Secondly, they're concerned to put the wonderful doctrines of the gospel to music... their songs are high-quality music packed with truth. Praise God for the guys at Christ the King Brighton who have nurtured their passion and talent.

Our on site art exhibition further developed this. A highlight for me was spending some time with Becci Brown who explained her work on isolation and community to me one afternoon.



It's great now to have an ever growing Arts team, both in London and Scotland. Ally and Cully stretch our thinking and enhance our work. During the open-mic night I was particularly struck by performances by two of our Relay, Dan Hames and Drew Hunt... though the performance of night must have been the post-punk lyrical performance of new Scotland Team member Dan Peterson.

Live for Jesus

16 comments:

  1. Deleting my posts will not alter the fact you know nothing about discipleship and being Born Again.

    What I suggest you do is shut your blog down, until you have learnt something.

    The more you pontificate in ignorance the more you will be in trouble when you stand before God and have to give Him an answer for all your nonsense.

    You have had your warning!!

    y2t

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  2. Hello.

    I don't know who you are, thanks to your anonymity (anonymity online is not very honourable if you're a critic since it leaves you unaccountable).

    I don't see much reason to answer such aggressive comments. I did not delete a post by you, but a comment - which is my perogative as owner of this blog. Sorry if that offends you. I'm prepared to concede that I need not have done it, if you'll forgive me.

    Perhaps, you should bear 2 Timothy 2 in mind:

    "Flee the evil desires of youth, and pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace, along with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart. Don't have anything to do with foolish and stupid arguments, because you know they produce quarrels. And the Lord's servant must not quarrel; instead, he must be kind to everyone, able to teach, not resentful."

    The "desire of youth" here appear to be precisely the obscure aggression you're showing here and all over the blogosphere. Such aggression lacks any semblance of grace and kindness. May I suggest you try to be less quarrelsome and rather "be kind".

    It's true I deleted your comment, but frankly it is my blog. I decided that I didn't want to answer your comment (having perused your blogs).

    You suggest that I undervalue what it means to be born again. Jesus says that being born again or born of the Spirit is how you come to know him. He has Ezekiel in mind which refers to God giving us new washed hearts. This is the very essence of discipleship. Those who have been born from above are then required to "live in the Spirit" in all of life - which is what I refer to in the above post.

    You allege that I "know nothing about discipleship and being Born Again". This is an unfounded claim (what is the evidence for your claim so I may answer it?) which you inflame with a personal attack. Try bringing your evidence and less personal attack and some might listen to you.

    You also, in the commment I deleted, spoke of baptism. I value it very highly. I expect every Christian to be committed to the local church within the bounds of which baptism ought to be administered - as it has been to me. I was going to write on this in a forthcoming post, and perhaps I shall do so.

    I'm not all that inclined to make any further response to you. I'm sorry if that offends you, but there is a big world to reach and I don't have time to deal with your kind of mudslinging.

    Dave

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  3. Dave, you are a graceful man, and I have much to learn from you in your attitude to yes2truth. Still looking forward to the back dated diary posts.
    Hope your good!

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  4. "I don't know who you are, thanks to your anonymity (anonymity online is not very honourable if you're a critic since it leaves you unaccountable).

    At this stage you don't need to know who I am. Oh I'm accoutable alright as are you, the difference here being I have The Truth and you don't, and what makes your handle (anonymity) any better than mine? Do I need to rely on men for honour? Do I sense an attitude of self-righteousness here? Of course I do, it goes with your non-gospel of never ending discipleship.

    "I don't see much reason to answer such aggressive comments. I did not delete a post by you, but a comment - which is my perogative as owner of this blog. Sorry if that offends you."

    You may not see much reason now, but you will in the future, for The Lord will require it of you. The Pharisees of the first century didn't answer The Lord's agressive comments either. Furthermore, you have not offended me, but you have insulted and rejected God by deleting a message from a Son of God, not a disciple of God and that is why I have warned you. I am here to teach you the difference before you continue with your erroneous blog. Of course I forgive you, but The Lord won't if you continue with your false teaching. Now what is it to be?

    "Perhaps, you should bear 2 Timothy 2 in mind:"

    I would if it applied to me!

    "The "desire of youth" here appear to be precisely the obscure aggression you're showing here and all over the blogosphere. Such aggression lacks any semblance of grace and kindness. May I suggest you try to be less quarrelsome and rather "be kind"."

    Error and false teaching is a stronghold and has to be torn down and if you think there is a 'nice' way to do it, then I fear you are very mistaken. The other problem you are displaying here is 'niceness' with 'kindness' man's liberalism with tough love - Godly Love. It is you who is offended by what I say and then you interpret it as agressiveness because you don't like what I say, it's just your defence mechanism - defending the indefensible.

    "You suggest that I undervalue what it means to be born again. Jesus says that being born again or born of the Spirit is how you come to know him."

    I am not suggesting anything, I am telling you straight and here you display your wretched poor understanding yet again for you do not 'undervalue' being Born Again you render it non-existent!! This how serious your error is! Discipling is where we COME to know The Lord. When Born Again we DO KNOW HIM for He lives with us and in us through the indwelling of The Holy Spirit. Discipleship is over - period.

    What you need to understand is the difference between Peter the disciple who denied The Lord three times and Peter the Apostle who healed people with his shadow. Within your silly notions and ideas we never get beyond discipleship and this is the blasphemy of your 'teaching'

    "He has Ezekiel in mind which refers to God giving us new washed hearts. This is the very essence of discipleship."

    No it's not, it's the reality of being Born Again, a disciple has not had his heart washed, nor will it be washed until he is baptised, where the old man dies in the watery grave and the new man, a new creation, comes out of the water to be Born of God with the receiving of The Holy Spirit. Now, it's time you took on board The Truth and real significance of this event in a Christian's walk with The Lord Jesus Christ.

    "You allege that I "know nothing about discipleship and being Born Again". This is an unfounded claim (what is the evidence for your claim so I may answer it?) which you inflame with a personal attack. Try bringing your evidence and less personal attack and some might listen to you."

    I don't allege anything, I know you know nothing about being Born Again, all I'm doing is pointing out what you're saying, which any True Believer would know is sheer error and your deleting of my first post was your guilty reaction to it. I don't make claims, I tell people the Truth and they either receive it with joy or reject it. Now what are you going to do, for deleting my post again will not undo what I have said to you and sooner or later you will have to repent (change - just in case you didn't know what that means either).

    " You also, in the commment I deleted, spoke of baptism. I value it very highly. I expect every Christian to be committed to the local church within the bounds of which baptism ought to be administered - as it has been to me. I was going to write on this in a forthcoming post, and perhaps I shall do so."

    If you 'value' it then why do you devalue it totally by what you teach? I would suggest your 'value' of Baptism is worthless and talk is cheap. My 'attack' as you call it is against what you are saying not against you personally - hate the sin, love the sinner. Why do you think I am here communicating with you? For my health or financial gain?

    You expect every Christian to be committed to their local church do you? Well I have news for you - We are the Church, if we're Born Again and there is no Biblical command to be a 'member' of anything else. This again shows how poor your understanding is and, in a sense, on its own is bad enough, but when espoused as truth it then becomes blasphemous and as I said it would be better if you closed your blog down until you're qualified to speak on such matters. If you want, I will teach you.

    "I'm not all that inclined to make any further response to you. I'm sorry if that offends you, but there is a big world to reach and I don't have time to deal with your kind of mudslinging."

    Your response is irrelevant including deleting my post again, because my work here will probably be done. Unless of course you're in agreement, then your response will be relevant and we can proceed further. You cannot offend me, it's impossible because you're not rejecting me, you're rejecting The Lord, as I speak for Him as all True Believers and Sons of God should.

    I do not have to sling mud as you are already covered in it - The mud of permanent discipleship.

    Time to repent Mr Blue Fish - in kindness and Godly love!

    y2t

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  5. Mr Clokey,

    The only person who can teach you anything here, at this moment in time, is me.

    Those in error cannot give grace, how can they? They have nothing to give, for grace is a free gift from God and what Mr Blue Fish says is not of God.

    "Hope your good"!!!????

    Only God is good Mr Clokey.

    y2t

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  6. yes2truth,

    I recently read the following, I think it bears on all the comments here.

    […]“seek after what you already have, because you already have it.”

    In the study of Paul in the modern period this pattern of teaching has been the object of a fair amount of discussion and is often referred to as the “the problem of indictive and imperative in Paul”. While this teaching certain [sic] challenges the church, it is not ultimately problematic and so might better be referred to as the pattern or phenomenon of indicative and imperative in Paul. In addition to Colossians 3:1-4, the following passages belong to this pattern:

    Galatians 5:25: “If we live in the Spirit, let us walk in the Spirit,” virtually equivalent to, “If we live in the Spirit let us live in the Spirit.”

    Galatians 5:1: “Christ has set us free for freedom, stand firm and don’t be burdened again with a yoke of slavery.” Equivalent in its elemental thrust to, “you are free, therefore be free.”

    Ephesians 5:8: “But now you are light in the Lord; walk as children of light.”

    1 Corinthians 5:7: “Get rid of the old leaven that you may become a new batch of dough [= “become unleavened”], even as you become unleavened.”

    Galatians 3:27: the indicative, believers “have put off the old man and put on the new”; Ephesians 4:22-24, on the most likely reading: the imperative, they are to “put off the old and put on the new.”

    Romans 6:2: the indicative, “you have died to sin”, verse 12 the imperative, “do not let sin reign in your mortal body.”

    […]

    Paul, we may observe, never writes in the imperative without first writing , at least implicitly, in the indicative. That is so because he knows all too well, better than some subsequent preachers, that “it does no good to beat a dead horse” – which is exactly what the congregation is apart from Christ, apart from who they are and what they have in him.

    (pp. 69-72, Richard Gaffin, By Faith, Not by Sight: Paul and the Order of Salvation, Carlisle:Paternoster)


    Teaching discipleship does not mean denying that we are already made new in Christ. The Bible teaches about both - as does Dave.

    You say:
    The only person who can teach you anything here, at this moment in time, is me.

    Paul says:
    Therefore an overseer must be above reproach, the husband of one wife, sober-minded, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, not a drunkard, not violent but gentle, not quarrelsome, not a lover of money. He must manage his own household well, with all dignity keeping his children submissive, for if someone does not know how to manage his own household, how will he care for God's church? He must not be a recent convert, or he may become puffed up with conceit and fall into the condemnation of the devil. Moreover, he must be well thought of by outsiders, so that he may not fall into disgrace, into a snare of the devil. (1 Tim 3).

    James says:
    Not many of you should become teachers, my brothers, for you know that we who teach will be judged with greater strictness. For we all stumble in many ways, and if anyone does not stumble in what he says, he is a perfect man, able also to bridle his whole body. If we put bits into the mouths of horses so that they obey us, we guide their whole bodies as well. Look at the ships also: though they are so large and are driven by strong winds, they are guided by a very small rudder wherever the will of the pilot directs. So also the tongue is a small member, yet it boasts of great things.

    How great a forest is set ablaze by such a small fire! And the tongue is a fire, a world of unrighteousness. The tongue is set among our members, staining the whole body, setting on fire the entire course of life, and set on fire by hell. For every kind of beast and bird, of reptile and sea creature, can be tamed and has been tamed by mankind, but no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison. With it we bless our Lord and Father, and with it we curse people who are made in the likeness of God. From the same mouth come blessing and cursing. My brothers, these things ought not to be so. Does a spring pour forth from the same opening both fresh and salt water? Can a fig tree, my brothers, bear olives, or a grapevine produce figs? Neither can a salt pond yield fresh water.

    Who is wise and understanding among you? By his good conduct let him show his works in the meekness of wisdom. But if you have bitter jealousy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast and be false to the truth. This is not the wisdom that comes down from above, but is earthly, unspiritual, demonic. For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there will be disorder and every vile practice. But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere. And a harvest of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace.
    (James 3)

    While it these quotes may not necessarily all apply to you, I think it would be worth us all meditating on them.

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  7. Finally Bish has been unmasked as the evil liberal he truly is.

    It was only a matter of time.

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  8. Ah yes Mo, and we now know the One and Only Teacher we must all obey: an anonymous blogger. At least (s)he's so gracious and offers such clear Scripture exposition to teach us. Wonders will never cease. [Or will they... hmm??]

    Halfway through Glory Days, and that book is GOOD. It may well make it into my top 5 recommended for CUs this year.

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  9. This has to be a joke! Seriously, it's the most unbelievable thing to read these comments.

    Dave, thanks for your encouragement on the open mic night performance. I'm so glad you enjoyed it. It was a great night, and Dan Peterson really did steal the show.

    Take care,
    Dan

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  10. Looks like they let anyone on the internet these days.

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  11. yes2truth,

    Stop flaming my friend. Using phrases like "your wretched poor understanding yet again" isn't a good way to discuss something. Apart from being an 'ad hominem' fallacy (or error in thinking), which seeks to assert a point of view by attacking the person, and not the idea, it makes for a bad discussion and bad vibes. It's also not the way Christians should discuss things.

    Now, I have two questions for you.

    Q1

    You said,

    "Discipling is where we COME to know The Lord"

    Before I agree with you, I want to ask you to offer a couple of passages of scripture in context to support that assertion that the 'COME' in that sentence is a once and for all thing that happens at the moment of regeneration and conversion?

    Q2

    You seem to be saying that the words that you write as a Christian have the same authority as the bible, and it is as if God were saying them through you. For example when you say, "you have insulted and rejected God by deleting a message from a Son of God, not a disciple of God and that is why I have warned you. I am here to teach you the difference before you continue with your erroneous blog. Of course I forgive you, but The Lord won't if you continue with your false teaching. Now what is it to be?"

    Could I ask you to flesh out some kind of explanation which might explain why after 1800-ish years of the canon being closed, God has now opened it and has decided to use you to communicate a new propositional revelation on Dave Bish's blog on the internet, because I was waiting for the trumpet to sound signalling the return of Christ and I wasn't totally expecting Jesus to turn up in the form of you, and to start trying to scare people into accepting what he says is true?

    Tom

    ps. "Permenant discipleship" in the ay you have used it seems to be an oxmoron too.

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  12. Yes2truth,
    From the start I want to say that I think what you said is wrong. What I find more concerning though is the way in which you said it.

    As you've posted you've made all sorts of accusations aobut a friend of mine who works his socks off to help people grow in their knowledge and love for Jesus, and the way in which you've treated him is just completely out of order.

    Dave is a person who believes in discipleship, the kind of thing Peter writes about in these verses in 2 Peter 1.

    3His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. 4Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature and escape the corruption in the world caused by evil desires.
    5For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; 6and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; 7and to godliness, brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness, love. 8For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9But if anyone does not have them, he is nearsighted and blind, and has forgotten that he has been cleansed from his past sins.

    This is the essence of growing more like Jesus and our knowledge of him. And to imply that doing these things basically makes someone a heretic is just plain wrong.

    I know for a fact that DAve does these things because he loves both Jesus and people and wants to see them grow more like Jesus and be in heaven around His throne.

    Now fine, you might not agree with this. But if you think this kind of idea of discipleshjp is wrong, then convince us from the bible. Don't make unfounded, arrogant and hurtful comments about people. Could you honestly say that what you've written is in the spirit of Paul's words to Timothy where he says don't rebuke an older man harshly but exhort him as if he were your father? And I don't knwo how old you are, but even if you are older than DAve, there aer really old men who believe those things. WOul you address Jim Packer or John Stott that way, or your own Father if he held those views? Therefore I think you owe dave an apology.

    Debate yes, disagree yes, but choose you words carefully and play by the rules of the bible. Because as you reminded us, we will all have to answer to God one day.

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  13. It seems, from comments here and what I've gathered from a quick look at his/her websites, that yes2truth holds to grace without discipleship, truth without genuine love, and a God of love but not wrath. Yes2truth seems to have a very one-dimensional worldview - only one thing at a time.

    Yes2truth also denies the doctrine of the trinity, which may go some way to explaining this. The Christian message isn't one of compromise: we don't compromise on things like truth and love, grace and discipleship, God's love and God's wrath. That's because they aren't in opposition, and both require the other for their fulness: we go to both extremes at once, just as in the trinity, you have the fulness of one God, three persons.

    This "going to both extremes at once" is seen clearly on the Cross, where, as the song has it, "wrath and mercy meet". God did not compromise his wrath and justice by ignoring sin out of love, and he did not compromise love by leaving us with no means of salvation. Rather, he satisfied both his love and his justice by sending Jesus as the sacrifice - sin was paid for, and Jesus opened the way for us to be forgiven. It goes deeper than that, too - God's wrath and justice is part of his love for the oppressed, the wronged, the injured. His wrath also flows from God's desire to glorify himself out of the mutual love of the persons of the trinity. The two things, wrath and love, are inextricably linked aspects of God's character and glory.

    Similarly, genuine grace and genuine discipleship cannot exist without each other. We must go to both extremes at once. We are pardoned freely by God, receiving his grace through lifting up the hands of faith that he gives us. There's nothing we can do to change our standing before God - he looks at us and sees Christ's righteousness.

    But at the same time, this grace calls us and enables us to follow God. It is not, as Bonhoeffer put it, "cheap grace", which makes no demands. Out of the gratitude of love that flows from receiving God's love, we seek to follow him - "Love [and grace!] so amazing, so divine, demands my soul, my life, my all".

    And because of grace, discipleship is not a futile battle. Without grace, discipleship would be a terrible burden because we mess up again and again. But through depending on grace again and again, moment by moment, we know we can go on. Grace and discipleship together are the joy of practical Christian spirituality.

    That's part of the glory of God and of the Gospel. The Gospel is not flat and two-dimensional, but like the trinity, a wonderful dance and relationship of different elements into a glorious and harmonious whole.

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  14. I think you hit the nail on the head Caleb, sort of what I was trying to say but a lot better.

    Thanks.

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  15. Friends,

    Thanks for your support and the clarity of your thinking in this. It seems that yes2truth has given up on us... may God grant him repentance.

    Caleb, thanks for your observations - and for your story at Open Mic Night. Dave K, nice to have you commenting. Trainspotter - I do hope you'll keep commenting. Little Mo - ever insightful! Tom, keep communicating, California seems so far away. Sean - thanks for dropping by. Rosemary - good to have your thoughts on Glory Days. Mikey C - profound.

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  16. :) it was good to spend time chatting with you too.

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