When Jesus chooses the 12 and sends them out to proclaim the Kingdom (Matthew 9:36-10:8), he is obviously launching a movement- so much for those who say he never started the church. However, if this is so, it makes a demand on us: that we too are involved in a movement like that of the 12. All are called to the work of evangelisation. That, in turn, begs the question; do we take seriously the command to go out and share the good news. We can make all kinds of excuses, but, let’s be honest, doing this is within all our reach. We all have the gift of the Spirit, and, at its heart, preaching the good news means treating others with respect, love and dignity in a world which increasingly use the language and attitude of the Gulag, of labelling opponents as “-phobic” or similarly disturbed,… Continue reading →
The NT writers may never have fully developed a doctrine of the Trinity, but readings of the Old Testament as heavenly dialogues and conversations propelled them within a short period of time to link together Father, Son and Holy Spirit (Matthew 28:16-21), or Father, Logos and Paraclete as revelations of the nature of God.
The fact that they had no developed “physics of things” (Wittgenstein) in no way diminishes their recognition of what matters, any more than a lack of empirical data would later diminish the great theories of Einstein which would become the bedrock of modern physics.. If we pursue the analogy further we might note that the subsequent developments of the Nicene-Chalcedonian Trinity are a kind of catch-up like that which has happened in physics after Einstein.
I find that a simpler physics problem reassures me when I recognise that I can never fully understand the… Continue reading →
God’s generous gift of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost to enable all manner of ministries to be performed surely raises one question: why on earth have Christians of different traditions spent so much time wrangling about who has the “right” gift of the Spirit with their fellow Christians, rather than engaging in ministry to those who do not know Christ? Paul was addressing precisely this problem when he wrote to the church at Corinth: they were arguing about which manifestations of the Spirit people HAD to have. Paul suggested that all gifts were valuable, but made a distinction between those which served to build up the believers themselves, and those which helped outsiders to come to faith (1 Corinthians 12:1-31). Perhaps we need to review our behaviour in light of his priorities, and spend less time wondering whether our co-religionists are “real” believers, and more on engaging with… Continue reading →