Monday, October 13, 2014

Horsham Presbyterian Church in 2015

If all goes according to plan as I finish my final Reception of Ministers (ROMC) requirements, I'll be appointed as minister of Horsham Presbyterian Church at the beginning of 2015. I began the ROMC process 3 years ago after crossing over from the Anglican Church. Amy and I are excited by the prospect of ministry in this context, and being back in Victoria, and we hope we'll glorify God and be a part of growing His Kingdom in this little country town.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Parable of the wicked tenants (aka the murder mystery)

I'm preaching on the parable of the wicked tenants this morning and presenting it as a murder mystery because of its connections to Adam's "grasping" (Philippians 2:6) in the Garden, "to be like God" (Genesis 3:5). This is a story that climaxes with the tenants desire to to kill the "beloved Son of God" and take "his inheritance." (Mark 12:7)

Anyway, the preparation reminded me of a chapter from Engaging with Keller, which John Dekker briefly reviewed here, but is still on my to read list. Apparently one of the criticisms of Keller is that his theological ideas rest too heavily on parables. Like any methodology, this approach has its dangers, but it seems to me like a useful & powerful pedagogical tool.

[Walled vineyard]

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

A small observation about the Mark Driscoll thing

The Mark Driscoll train-wreck has highlighted a problematic aspect of American Evangelism, that hasn't been much commented on. So in some of the reporting, for example this article from Christianity Today, you'll read about the "Accountability Board" who are a group of people, generally far from Seattle who are meant oversee Mark Driscoll and Mars Hill. Many of Mark's current difficulties were sown when he became part of the Christian celebrity industrial-complex and it was all about promoting and protecting the "brand". In a sense he became the bishop of his new denomination and this Accountability Board was a type of un-elected Synod, but not a terribly effective one. Weirdly, they were meant to oversee all sorts of important stuff from a distance with little actual on the ground contact. Not only is this model of creating a new denomination with a business like "Accountability Board" ineffective, it's also ungodly. Being the leader of a congregation is like being a shepherd (1 Peter 5:1-4).  This isn't a nebulous metaphor, being a shepherd requires gritty regular attention, not fly-in-fly-out oversight. This type of structure also ignores the ancient and limited geographical structure of God's gathered people. Someone on the other side of the country simply has less power and responsibility than someone close by. This is why the Anglican and Presbyterian models of power concentrated within certain geographical areas will survive deep into the future.