Explorations in Theology

The series explores a theology that is human friendly! Jesus as the true human shows us who God is, and because of his consideration for us ('who are we, that God should make note of us?') defines who humanity was created to be. The nature of sin is to fall short of the glory of God. The glory of God as revealed in the truly human one - 'we beheld his glory full of grace and truth'. This volume is a foundation for the other volumes. And there are ZOOM groups available...
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Watch this space

Guard the space

No not an ad for the most amazing life-changing product that you cannot afford to miss! That product comes later when I reach a level of maturity that… OK maybe a piece of good advise is don’t wait around for that to happen as a lot of life will pass you by in the meantime.

Two spaces that I think we have to watch.

My take on COVID-19

Not going away any time soon. But it is a warning to signal that we are to prepare for what is beyond it. So right through this year and into the early stages of next we will be reading the daily statistics of the virus, then…. SPACE.

2021 will be a year when there is a relief. Welcomed by the ‘back to normal’ approach as a ‘glad that is behind us now we are back where we were’. But I see it as a space opening up to breathe and get set with resources for the challenge of what is beyond. I do not see God as a destroyer who deliberately pulls things down – sometimes God does that when we stick God’s name on it and insist that it is here forever (see the Temple discourses in Jeremiah and Matthew 24). If God is not an automatic destroyer and also relates to us with a huge capacity to compromise then I see the relief as space to gather the resources for the post-COVID (not suggesting that is the right term) period. 2022 will have somewhere in it ta level of crisis that means 2021 will have been essential to give us what we need, or show that we missed it by thinking the crisis was over.

So watch the space of 2021.

Sidenote on not allowed to sing!

I heard yesterday that churches (UK and I think Spain and probably elsewhere) can meet but not SING. In the light of the dream I had from 2010 for the decade up to 2020 concerning how Christian singing shut back down the façades (https://3generations.eu/posts/2020/04/facades-no-singing-please/) I find this very interesting. If we simply complain about not being able to sing (persecution???? I don’t remember the last time I went to Tescos and only being able to buy meat offered to a variety of gods… we have it easy… or of course we can see it as all foods and goods have been offered to the god of consumerism and we have been duped all those years – take our pick but not persecution, and if it was rejoice as ‘all who seek to live a godly life will suffer persecution’). If we focus on a so-called persecution and fail to lay hold of our responsibility to be agents that should hold open what the Lord has opened to expose we will so miss it. So I see the grace of heaven coming through the legislation. Nice one.

End of sidenote!

The feminisation of the future

I am writing (I think 6 booklets) and at the moment the fourth is on the egalitarian nature of the Pauline Gospel. (One of the first revelations I ever had of the land of Spain was that there was a hidden deposit of the Pauline Gospel in the land, as no other land on the basis of biblical authority can claim to have first century apostolic prayers deposited in the land.) Anyway not suggesting I am uncovering the Pauline Gospel – if I was step aside NT, Douglas, John and a whole bunch of others that I am not on first name terms with! But I am being impacted by the Pauline Gospel, and in particular I have been knocked sideways by the terse letter to the Galatians. Some crazy stuff in there, but the absolute centralising of Jesus so that everything and anything else is blasted out of the picture. In the letter of course it is Jewishness that gets the main treatment but also in the very careful change of language of Gal. 3:28 when it comes to gender difference is so noticeable.

So the space here I suggest we have to watch is that there is coming a feminisation into society. Back in the 90s I wrote a book I was very happy with back then ‘For Such a Time as This‘ where it proposed that there were no barriers to the full participation of women at any level, including female apostles in Scripture and hence today. Happy with it (then) as any book written is a snapshot in time of where the writer was at that time. The book was saying women can and are encouraged to enter the space (and my focus back then was on ‘church space’… but back then majority space was shaped by a masculinity). Now…

There is space opening, which will affect economics, politics, commerce etc., that is feminised – i.e. a different way of operating that (excuse my ignorance) will be much more collaborative than competitive. That space will be entered more easily by women but is open to men as in Christ there is no ‘male and female’.

Maybe in all the above there are connections. If the façades coming up expose a ‘masculinity in Adam’ form of the institutions that have shaped the public square, then the ‘feminisation in Christ’ can follow. As there is neither male and female in Christ of course the language is struggling to gain any real traction. Meanwhile let’s not complain about not singing. Surely we can answer the question of ‘where then do you worship’ by normally before I get out of bed, while making breakfast my heart rises to heaven, and when I come to eat I do find a real thanksgiving rise up and…

4 thoughts on “Watch this space

  1. There is so much noise right now from all directions. From the left and the right from an Evangelical church in America colluding with politics and propagating conspiracy theories sadly, that I think God rightly wants to silence us and the not singing and the mask wearing is one way of doing this. In Amos 5 God it says ‘Take away from me the noise of your songs, to the melody of your harps I will not listen. But let justice roll down like waters, and righteousness like an every-flowing stream’ – interesting in light of your dream! As you say hardly persecution but maybe for a specific purpose! I have seen a very unsettling trend towards damaging and contradictory prophecies online too which are not redemptive at all. This noise needs to stop so we can actually really hear from God and go after his heart. Since when did Christianity have to become so desperately confusing – the centrality of Jesus and the cross/the descent to the dead/and the resurrection the only and true anchor for our faith. Maybe a little off topic but made me think of this. The other aspects of this article are very challenging too.

    1. Hi Joanna
      Interesting Scripture quote from Amos. Yesterday someone put the same quote up in the same context on a forum that I am in!

  2. The request or mandate not to engage in choral or group singing due to a pandemic is not persecution. To name it as such is a form of disrespect against all those people over time who suffered and died because of real persecution. It mocks their suffering and deaths.
    I sing to my cat. She is happy. I am happy. No one is suffering.

    On Covid – yup – here for a bit longer, yes, more trauma, and provoking deeper changes than we can see at the moment. The longer it lasts, the deeper the changes.
    Feminisation – please, the sooner the better. Desperately needed.
    This shift whether it involves feelings of persecution, fear of Covid, or hopes of feminisation (we could call it wholeness?) is really about a massive change in context and our ability to respond. Resilience comes when we can accurately assess our context, be alert to shifts and changes, and adapt our own behaviors accordingly. Building sand castles on a beach when a tsunami is coming is just stupid. But look at how many of us, given a shift in context, insist on finishing the sand castle we began. Covid is an exercise in resilience. A bigger exercise is coming with climate change. This is our practice moment.
    So we should all take a minute to assess our reaction to the changes of the past 6 months. How resistant were we to reasonable requests to protect ourselves and our neighbors? Did we take action to enable the whole community to survive this? Were we unable to process reality and chose to immerse ourselves in fantasy or delusion (many churches did and still do promote fantasies about Covid and public health). Were we rigid, refusing to change as required by the context? Now is the moment to work on resilience, on attitudes that allow us to assess reality and make good decisions, on a willingness to change behavior as required.
    There are two perfectly normal human responses that make resilience more difficult. The first is the refusal to process information, assess the situation and make necessary changes. It is born out of fear of change, fear of being unable to cope with the new circumstances and is manifested in denial. The second is the great longing to ‘return to normal’, a nostalgia (longing for home) for comfort, a safe place, for what I knew and what was. This is born out of fatigue with change and fear of more change. Both are dangerous when in a situation that we cannot control without changing how we live.
    Presumably, those who call themselves Christian have spent their lives longing for the Kingdom of God, and claim it as their true home. The current shift away from the pre-Covid world then should inspire hope not fear. We certainly were not living in the Kingdom of God before the pandemic. Now is a great moment to look ahead and put structures in place for the future that promote resilience in communities, care for creation, and are more equal and just.
    Forget building the sand castles and move on – the shift in context demands it!

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