Tuesday, September 25, 2007


Captured by the term 'ONLY BEGOTTEN' in the first verses of the first chapter of the gospel written by John. It was buzzing around my mind last Wednesday as I tried to peer into the depths of what this term means. It is the greek word μονογενης (monogenes) and it is used only of Jesus as a Son of God. You see in one sense we are the 'sons of God' maybe in an even more dynamic way if we are 'born-again' but Christ alone is the μονογενης.

This may seem irrelevant to those who still dare to look into the entries posted here, but I will try ground it with this reflection.

A few of us travelled to Canterbury University on Sunday evening where Matt Hosier did a brief presentation for about 60 students on Christian Ethics in contrast to the ethics brought about by alternate secular viewpoints. After the presentation there was a question time and it was in this brief period that it became abundantly clear that this μονογενης attribute of Christ- the fact that He stands alone as the eternally begotten Son of the Eternal Father, equal with God and unique in every way- is exceedingly unacceptable in a pluralistic society. There was no putting down of our desire to be known as Christians who wanted to live out a Christian Ethic most perfectly displayed by Christ; it was when we said that Christ claimed a uniqueness which in turn demanded His being seen as God incarnate and the sole example of how to live life that people got upset.

Pluralism allows us to wallow in this place where all views are acceptable we are all 'sons of God' like Christ trying to make our way in this world. This term- μονογενης- does not. Christ as He is portrayed biblically will not tolerate pluralism. He is not like other religious leaders. He cannot be, He is the 'only begotten Son of God' the only person (really) that the adjective unique can be applied.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Pally Pally with God

Came across these thoughts of John Newton on prayer over at THE RESURGENCE blogsite. He highlights several hinderances and faults of public prayer and then relates this one that is a personal one to me and which often I find grates me as I pray with people, or am at a prayer meeting. We are by no means to judge each others prayers, but there are certain things that we must understand about God as we pray to Him that may affect how we do it. Here are Newton's thoughts:
Informality in Prayer
"... and still more offensive, is a custom that some have of talking to the Lord in prayer. It is their natural voice indeed, but it is that expression of it which they use upon the most familiar and trivial occasions. The human voice is capable of so many inflections and variations, that it can adapt itself to the different sensations of the mind, as joy, sorrow, fear, desire, etc. If a man was pleading for his life, or expressing his thanks to the king for a pardon, common sense and decency would teach him a suitableness of manner; and anyone who could not understand his language might know by the sound of his words that he was not making a bargain or telling a story. How much more, when we speak to the King of kings, should the consideration of his glory and our own vileness, and of the important concerns we are engaged in before him, impress us with an air of seriousness and reverence, and prevent us from speaking to him as if he was altogether such an one as ourselves! The liberty to which we are called by the gospel does not at all encourage such a pertness and familiarity as would be unbecoming to use towards a fellow-worm, who was a little advanced above us in worldly dignity."

Who is it we are praying to and how should that affect the way we speak to him??

Mornings with Malachi

Not too sure what you did this morning, but more than likely I have got something that can beat it, not too boast it is just the way it is. My little boy is 15 weeks old today and can captivate every moment of our attention (wife and I) if we let him. 'Mornings with Malachi' are a daily worship moment where without expressing anything to God directly in words, the wonder of our hearts at this amazing gift He has given us certainly must count as worship.
Day by day we sit astounded at the grunts, groans & gargles that he produces as he expresses all the crazy thoughts about milk and his mum's 'milk suppliers' that must rush around his little noggin. Today it was the turning-over training session that had me in awe. This involves pulling him gently by one arm from being on his back over on to his stomach and waiting to see how he handles the fact that his other arm is now very inappropriately trapped under his tiny chest. Seems totally captivating doesn't it... Ok well I guess you have to be his dad but the humour and delight involved in watching him engage repeatedly in this process is right up there.

Having kids seems to be more and more of an issue in contention with middle class folk over here in Europe. In many of the European nations the size of the population may even begin to drop in the very near future as increasingly more people choose not to have kids. Of course having a nice home, car and life-style that impresses is far more fun and enriching than havng kids. Think about all the things they will say to you, think about how they will reflect with you in the future about how often your hearts met in rapturous affection, think about how they will hold you and hug you with a love that knows no limitations. Gosh!! Why would we entertain the thought of having kids... they are just so, so needy; they selfishly impose upon our selfishness!! Oops a bit of a Paul moment there getting a bit foolish in order to talk to the fooled.

Well hey this gift of a son has deeply affected me and he certainly has not taken from my wife and my joy but added more than we could have imagined.

Too Long

"It's been too long!" I must write these words in my journal everytime I open its pages to catch up on all that has gone down since I last put pen to ink in there. As a Christian I find that life is not necessarily all about beating up on bad demon dudes that are around every corner trying to beat the crap out of you and stop living a life that Jesus would be content with. Life is more about bringing glory to God and reflecting Jesus in the midst of the ever-speeding-upness that is typical of this age we are in.
So, to take as a very small example, this blog! I have really wanted to reflect a lot of my thoughts and musings on this little blogamajig and would count it as an ever-so-slight part of my keeping in touch with life and thinking it out so to speak, but, as with the journal, life seems to be beating me to everything. I am in the rat race but often everything gets to the finish line before me on a day to day basis if you know what I mean.

So much of life is about balance and stability, in fact one of the signs of immaturity is a lack of that balance. Balance seems so unattractive. "Hey what do you want to do with your life?" "BE BALANCED" Mmm doesn't seem to cut it, and yet if you really think about it a good life, a fantastic life in fact, is when everything is kind of fitting together: Work, pleasure, energy consumption, sleep, pain, joy and so on.
I want to work this out and now I am married it is even more complex to maintain this balance at times. I want to cherish moments with the wife, I want to watch my beautiful son grow up (a little on that later), I want to do all I need to do to show Jesus to the people in my church and in my neighborhood, and often just want to chill and get deep intimate moments with the saviour who has won my affections. This mix often is imbalanced at some point. I want the good life, so do not want to be saying those words, "Too long" for much longer. I hope.

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Mystical Christianity

I have just read up on something that has intrigued me for a while. Sadly, the depth of this guy's writing is almost polar opposite to what I suggested yesterday, but give it a go.


Knowing, feeling, experiencing Christ not only as the object of our faith but the one who is the subjective one in which we abide is essential to a truly vibrant Christian faith.

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Spirituality God Jesus???

Some words for ponderation:
If the essence of our spirituality lies in a relationship with God, I suppose we should ask ourselves who God is. I would like to believe God is completely good, completely kind and forgiving, and it is we who aren’t all that good and have no idea what goodness is in the first place. I realize that sounds like humanity-bashing, and I don’t mean to bash humanity, but when I watch the news it makes me wish deep down for another time and place that has a king who is good, and a people who love and care about one another and are easy to trust, and a news channel that isn’t always trying to stir up a fight so they can cover a fight. And Jesus helps me believe such a time and place might exist. I realize a lot of people don’t like Jesus, or just ignore Him or have no use for Him, but I think the best thing a person can do is to read through the gospels in the Bible and really look at Jesus, because if a person does this they will realize that the Jesus they learned about in Sunday school or the Jesus they hear jokes about or the skinny, Ghandi Jesus that exists in their imaginations isn’t anything like the real Jesus at all.—Searching For God Knows What

I am currently reading this book. It is the type of book my wife would read I think. You see she doesn't like books that much, often finds them a bit of an effort to work through. This one is a bit different tho' it is simply written and actually catches you up in this guy's journey into the answers to questions a lot of us have.
I think 3 of those essential questions are broached in this little excerpt. Is there a God? If there is what is he like? Was Jesus that God or just some crazy dude?
These are questions that our world either distracts us enough to never ask in a life time or most certainly works wholeheartedly to give numerous other answers to the ones that Donald Miller (author of this book) comes to. Jesus was either "liar, lunatic or Lord" he never wanted to just be the nice guy that people enjoy as a peripheral part of their self-invented spirituality. Big thing is this: If He is Lord than He will obviously have somethiong to say about our opinion towards His lordship!
What's yours?