OST is closed for business but its spirit survives on my blog.

The Gospel as Inclusive Welcome

On reading “Jesus and the Victory of God”, what struck me strongly was the sense that Jesus’ vocation was an invitation into the kingdom and the scandal which provoked his death was that this was available to all. Would Tom Wright endorse the idea that emerging church concepts build on this inclusive gospel. How would he and others see this in practice; if we follow Jesus’ approach, especially in the multi-faith, post 9-11 West how and to whom is the challenge of this gospel made. And what does Tom Wright think is actually “happening” on the cross to realise this welcome from God?

Giles --> Zizioulas

I’m reading Kevin Giles’ What on Earth is the Church? An Exploration in New Testament Theology (InterVarsity Press, 1995) for the third or fourth time now. I think it is one of the best places to begin serious biblical-theological inquiry on ecclesiology—especially with ‘emerging church’ concerns in mind.

A conscience in the community?

Alongside the more conventional tasks of evangelizing the lost, edifying the saved, and ministering to those in need, Southeast Christian Church in Louisville, Kentucky, has set itself the goal of being ‘a conscience in the community’. I wonder if this idea isn’t worth exploring a bit within the context of a postmodern spirituality or metrospirituality because it seems to draw together a number of important emerging church preferences.

The suffering of the Christ (continued)

(These comments continue the conversation from The suffering of the Christ.)

There is little in the Gospel narratives to suggest that the pain Jesus endured had redemptive significance; the reader is not expressly invited to meditate upon or even be moved by his sufferings. Psalm 22, from which Jesus quotes (‘My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?’), looks forward to the salvation of the one who is afflicted by his enemies, and perhaps implicitly of the people, but we are not led to think that the suffering is redemptive or sacrificial: God saves because he is faithful towards Israel.

I’m sorry to be quite so blunt in my disagreement, but I cannot reconcile myself to this paragraph.

The suffering of the Christ

The Passion of the Christ

These thoughts were prompted partly by the lengthy and fascinating discussion thread ‘Don’t Forget to Grieve’ and partly by seeing, and being somewhat dissatisfied by, ‘The Passion of the Christ’. In the discussion Alario asks the question: ‘How does the Church live out its faith and communicate to the post-modern precisely the magnitude of the price paid by Jesus and demonstrated in His crucifixion?’ I went to see Gibson’s film with a friend who is not a believer. His immediate reaction was that a religion so obsessed with the infliction of pain was morally repugnant. Alario’s question, therefore, is highly pertinent. These brief and rather haphazard biblical notes are really only a preliminary to answering it – and may well need correcting.

Don't Forget To Grieve

I once attended a Good Friday service where the pastor encouraged us to look at Good Friday positively, to see the crucifixion through “Easter eyes.” I could only shake my head at this massive misunderstanding and missed opportunity.

His intentions were good… He didn’t want anyone to feel bad. He wanted to protect us from feeling defeated as we meditated on the death of Christ. It’s completely understandable. But in doing so, he robbed us of exactly the feeling and experience that Good Friday is meant to give us.

My Dream (will my church survive?)

A few of you may have met me at one of the UK Emergent meetings last November. A very few of you (that’s you Andrew!) actually have a bit of a history with me.

Anyway: my wife and I work in a church planting project in Switzerland. I’m hired 60% by the denomination. I have a first MA in Theological Studies from a small evangelical school in Holland; I’m finishing a Masters at a catholic theological faculty in Fribourg and I’m working at getting into a ThD program at the reformed faculty of the University of Zürich. Oh - and the denomination I work for is anabaptist. So I have all the bases covered!

Anyway: my church is going through a lot of grief about devisive theological issues right now. Back in Novemeber I wrote an article on the Harry Potter phenom (I’m a big fan), arguing that the best way to encourage people to misread the books is to satanize them. I didn’t write in the church’s name, but I mentioned that I work for them - but many of my church leaders felt deeply hurt - that I had sullied our church’s good reputation.

Maybe we should just stop praying...

I think I’ve come to the conclusion that most of us, myself included, just need to stop praying. I don’t say that lightly… but I almost feel that it would be better to have no prayer in our lives than the kind of prayer that most of us, myself included, have.

Andrew Perrman

My name is Andrew Perriman. My wife, Belinda, and I have lived in various parts of the world in the last 20 years: the Far East, Africa, Holland, the Middle East, London, and now back in Holland. I’ve combined theological studies and writing with an ad hoc, haphazard, unconventional, opportunistic pastoral and missionary function. Belinda works in the oil industry.

Israel and the mission of God

Clearly Jonah on his own (discussion continued from ‘Holiness and vocation) does not constitute much of an argument for the view that Israel had some sort of missional role, so I have very briefly listed a few more points below.
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