Skip to main content

Posts

Showing posts from October, 2016

Leviticus with a seven year old

For several years we read The Jesus Storybook Bible with our first son. It's given him a solid biblical theology and eye for the gospel. At Easter we gave him his first Bible, the International Children's Bible (NCV) and he and I have been reading it since then, from Genesis, through Exodus and recently into the opening chapters of Leviticus.

We ended Exodus with the shock of Moses being unable to enter the Meeting Tent. And then God calls, speaks and says... and we're listening in.

Early on we've noticed the repetition. Initially my boy was annoyed by this but it's helped him learn brilliantly - which is part of the point. We're keeping the pace up as we read which serves to draw attention to the repetition that we might miss if we read more slowly. With some variations, we're seeing that coming to God involves this sort of journey...
1. His rescued people sin.
2. That makes them guilty.
3. They can present a sacrifice, which must have nothing wrong with …

The affections of a Father

I love my five year old. He's a brilliant boy who has some special needs - nothing particularly severe, and likely the consequences of his epilepsy. We don't really know.

In the opening moments of church this morning I'm sat with him on my lap. I'm one of the ministers, but with no formal responsibilities this morning. The boy is restless even before the service begins.

We open with some notices and a reading from Psalm 103. The boy is getting louder and more distruptive. "We're a big family"says the service leader.Welcome to the family! (and truth be told: we are welcome.)

Then he reaches Psalm 103:12
As a father has compassion on his children, so the Lord has compassion on those who fear him; A moment of grace - I'm tempted to get annoyed with my son. I shush him. I'm frustrated. But in that moment - I'm reminded and refreshed - I am the restless five year old in the arms of the Father from whom every family gets its name, the Father o…

What kind of society do we want to live in?

It's hard not to be deeply affected by Sally Phillips documentary A World Without Downs. This is an investigation into two of the biggest human questions. She opens, winsome, engaging, self-deprecating, to camera:
What kind of society do we want to live in?And who do we think should be allowed to live in it? We all have to answer those questions.
We all do answer them.
The question is what answers we give and why.

For decades/centuries we've lived in 'the story of progress' or 'the myth of evolution' as CS Lewis dubbed it. Not a scientific comment so much as a narrative that says, change is better, we're advances, and survival of the fittest, and our happiness must drive us forward. I recognise this story - I grew up in it, I grew up believing it and many of its implications, it's hard to let go of it.

For the church this grates in part because it's parasitic on Christian hope - as John Gray notes, how on earth does the secularist justify a moral st…

Sow to the Spirit?

Galatians 6v8 Whoever sows to please their flesh, from the flesh will reap destruction; whoever sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life. What does this mean?

In the final paragraphs of Paul's letter to his friends in Galatia what is he saying?
(a) Eternal life comes from good works?
(b) Or, something else. Everything in Galatians says that option (a) can't be the case. You can't write for 5.5 chapters about how it's not what we contribute and then say it is. Context kills that, though sooo many commentators play that dischordant note.

Throughout the book two categories are established...
Faith / Spirit / Sonship vs. Flesh / Law / Slavery. In chapter 5 those under the law will not inherit as they are slaves - their life will be marked by the works of the flesh. The works are an inevitable consequence not disqualifying acts. Likewise, those who live by the Spirit crucify the flesh and the Spirit produces fruit. But fleshly acts aren't disqua…