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Archive for the ‘worldview’ Category

The latest issue of Mars Hill MP3 journal is now online.  I highly recommend it for those interested in some of the current discussions surrounding worldview and culture from some of todays leading christian thinkers. The contributions of Smith and Hunter are particularly significant given the influence of their recent books .

MARS HILL AUDIO Journal
Volume 101
January/February 2010
Part 1
James Davison Hunter, on how the most prominent strategies of Christian cultural engagement are based on a misunderstanding about how cultures work

Paul Spears, on why Christian scholars need to understand their disciplines in ways that depart from conventional understanding

Steven Loomis, on why education needs to attend more carefully to nonquantifiable aspects of human experience

Part 2
James K. A. Smith, on how education always involves the formation of affections, and how the form of Christian education should imitate patterns of formation evident in historic Christian liturgy

Thomas Long, on how funeral practices have the capacity to convey an understanding of the meaning of discipleship and death

William Cavanaugh, on the distinctly modern definition of “religion,” and how the conventional account of the “Wars of Religion” misrepresents the facts in the interest of consolidating state power

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I thought I would see how easy it is to place a short video on my blog. Turns out it is easy using IMovie and YouTube.  This is likely to be the first vid of several and in it I ramble on (unscripted) about christian education.

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Elaine Storkey has a new piece over at the fulcrum website looking at what the future may hold for the Church and culture at large.  The closing paragraph ends with a call to action and cultural engagement.  I agree with this and simply want to comment that evangelical leaders are (aim to be) pretty good at consuming time, energy and resources from their congregation in maintaining and expanding the Church (church gathered, institutional church). We need a holistic missional ecclesiology in which the CHurch (dispersed,body) looks beyond the Church (gathered, institutional) and  seeks to shape culture and the world.

Unless Christians move out of their parochial concerns and address the issues which are dominant in the rest of our world, we will be increasingly marginalized, and our contribution to the events of the coming decade will be minimal. Not only that, but the way people hear the Gospel and the implications it has for the whole of life, will be blurred and confusing.

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Created reality speaks and beckons a response of worship and adoration,

to the one who made all that is,

to the the one who inscribed beauty into the cosmos

Yet reductionistic scientism reduces the rainbow

to rays of light,

Beauty becoming the subjective response and not  contained within the thing itself

Thus the rainbow is unweaved,

and so is beauty.

Ok, I know I am not a poetical genius. But these are the words I penned after reading a chapter of ‘I wish I could believe in meaning’ which seeks to offer an alternative to the Nihilism which can so often follow from scientism and the ‘New Atheists’. It seeks to show that truth, the good, and the beautiful look different from a Christian worldview. It particularly hit me that beauty is both ontological and epistemological, or that it is objective and subjective. Basically the world has beauty within it, and we have the capacity to see, observe and delight in it.

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Thanks Steve for the link

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I preached a sermon on the idolatry of science and technology last week. The audio can be found here, it is the evening service on 22/11/09

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Today I had the pleasure of sharing a few insights on mission and worldview to the members of the ‘College Green’ pastoral group at Trinity College.. This group has pioneered and developed a chaplaincy which seeks to serve and bear witness to the young people who gather outside of Bristol Cathedral. Further information can be found here. The session today was intended to provide a theoretical/theological/philosophical basis for using worldviews in evangelism. On a practical level we will be using a modified version of the UCCF worldview questionnaire to engage in discussion.

If any church or group would like me to come and lead an interactive workshop on  ‘Worldview and Mission’ then I would be more than happy to assist. There would be no charge for any group in the Bristol area and for anyone else, within reason,  I would only ask that traveling expenses be covered. If interested then just leave a comment on this post. I can get references for those who want to know that I am kosher and can communicate effectively. I have previously discussed this material at West Yorkshire School of Christian Studies, local churches and a ‘Exploring Vocations’ retreat.

The following is primarily aimed as a resource bank for the pastoral group.

My presentation can be found using the following link.

I mentioned 2 books in my presentation.

Walsh and Middleton, Transforming Vision which introduces the reader to a Christian worldview. This book, if i remember rightly, takes a look at the worldview questions.

Where are you? Who are you? What is the problem? What is the solution? Where are we going? It will be worth checking out my  mate, Mark Roques’ website who has a great page on the worldview questions and sketches out a number of answers from different worldviews.  Also check out his podcasts.

I also recommended N.T Wright’s ‘New Testament and the People of God’ which provided the story, symbols, q+a, praxis part of my presentation. This book is great and will greatly assist you in hermeneutics and study of the New Testament. It is meaty and is not directly related to mission or evangelism. If this is your first year of theological training it may be best to leave on hold for a while. I think that it would be great to try and sit down and sketch out the worldviews of some of the young people you have met. What is their praxis? symbol? story? answers to worldview questions.

If you are interested in the Christian metanarrative and a holistic understanding of mission then check out some of the audio lectures by Micheal Goheen.

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