Monday, June 26, 2006

Work is tiring ... that's surprising!

I've just started work at Bethany Christian Trust as a support worker in their Supported Housing department. It is interesting and looks like it might be quite varied, visiting a number of different clients with very different support needs, to support them on their journeys towards "independent living" (is there such a thing?). I have a one year contract to allow me and my family to work through our application, and hopefully preparations, to work with European Christian Mission in Austria. This is our longer term goal, based on a sense that God is leading us this way, most recently endorsed by an excellent college placement with a church in Linz. (Now all my links on the right bar make sense.)
But I must confess that I am surprised how tired I am. I thought I'd be loving not having all this extra work to do in the evening and was thinking how creative my blog would become. But I get home and the thought of doing anything except crashing in front of crappy telly is beyond me. (Obviously not totally beyond me or this wouldn't be here!) Maybe its because I started work before Bible College term officially finished, so I got no break. Maybe its because working with people is quite tiring. Maybe its because working for a Christian organisation sets up all sorts of expectations for an office without politics... foolish expectation that!!!
Anyway, since I can't be productive, and I found my friend Richard has been, I'd like to recommend his theological take on work here.
(image: Tired Bloggers by Justin Pfister, 2005)

Monday, June 19, 2006

Ergo no ego

I was preaching at our church tonight as our pastor is on holiday. I preached on God as Trinity making sense of God's plans being "for the praise of his glory". Father glorifies Son etc, so "self"-glorification is an ultimate example and basis for human humility, rather than being divine inconsistency.
So God is not egotistical.
But my own ego, which might just have experienced some inflation from the opportunity to preach, was held well and truly in check. The congregation was almost a third of normal evening attendance. (Normal evening attendance is really low anyway!).
In such a small group (11 folk plus myself), preaching seems a bit strange. Perhaps it would've been better to have a discussion. I did offer ... but I think folks felt they had come to church and sothe correct thing would be to listen to a sermon, or maybe they felt it was hard enough for the "kid", never mind having folks heckling him too ... But it was fun ... Talking of egos, my wife bought me a T-shirt for Fathers day (from the kids obviously !) with the slogan "Admire the view" across the chest. So how does one wear a T-shirt like that? Wearing a mask I guess...

Image: The Trinity and All the Saints, by Jean Fouquet (15th c.)

Sunday, June 11, 2006

Return to blog

The problem with me having a blog is that I don't like to feel I'm just asking the questions others are asking, without contributing something towards a possible answer. But when I stick to that I go weeks without a blog, whereas, if a blog is an honest record, perhaps I need to record the "not making progress" thoughts too.

In my last essay, I've been struggling with the question of whether approaching theology from something of a Social Trinity angle helps shed any light on the Open Theism/ Classic Theism debate. Ie does God's sovereignty necessarily require that he knows the future perfectly, or is the future something which genuinely doesn't exist yet, so to say God already knows it perfectly is as illogical as talking of round squares.

Is the future still being created in response to humanity's actions? Sounds very "potter's wheel".

If I'm honest I recognise Open Theism realistically reflects the way I pray and live in relationship with God (except when I feel lazy enough to want to be fatalistic.) However, for God to not know what's going to happen when he leads me out of a good job towards becoming a missionary ... I don't mind taking those risks believing God has it sorted, but I'm not so sure about God taking the risks.

I think Trinitarian thinking probably does help ... something about recognising the nearness of God in Incarnation and in the ever present Spirit helps us with relationship, but something about this being a way into transcendence of God helps us remember the mystery.

Also, Openness and Free Will represents God making space for humanity/creation within himself, allowing himself to be affected by humanity/creation. But in Trinitarian terms the Father is eternally making space in himself for the Son and the Spirit, the Son for the Father and Spirit, the Spirit for the Son and the Father. Since each of the persons are involved in making space for humanity/creation, then do they do so differently to be able to continue making space for each other?

Also, being in control and pre-creating all of time are not necessarily the same.

So like I said at the beginning, lots of branches but little fruit on this thought tree.