A pretty smart communicator this guy on the video… no not me!… a certain Mr. N.T. Wright. In a short 8 minutes he manages to squeeze in – the cross understood within the story; Israel’s exile; Messiahship; and the defeat of dark powers… and effectively side-steps ‘did God foreknow all this’. Pretty smart. I am nowhere as smart but he also does a good job of explaining my perspective… and perhaps wiser to sidestep the foreknowledge part, that I simply don’t sidestep!
In this video link I am making my contribution to a ‘where are we’. When COVID kicked in I, as per many others, saw it as signifying a reboot. I also said that although there would be a measure of post-COVID that 2022 would be much more troublesome. Little did I know that we would be looking at a full scale war where the map of Europe is being re-drawn, and the desire to see a nation obliterated. This was recently released by the Patriarchate of the Moscow Russian Orthodox Church:
You are a Russian Warrior. Your duty is to defend the Fatherland from Ukrainian nationalists. Your task is to wipe the Ukrainian nation off the face of the earth. Your enemy is an ideology causing sinful damage to human soul.
The main sight I had on 2022 was that there would be a series of events, probably containable if there was only one of them but cumulatively they would cause immense problems as they both followed one another and came together. I see this spilling over into 2023.
In the video I seek to give the sight I have, but want to emphasise that at the beginning of this year I saw a series of doors before us (I saw ‘four’) and that we could go through whichever we wished and the other side we would find that God was there waiting. Those opportunities might be huge, or we might consider them small (after all the small act of the 2 coins made a huge contribution the ‘end of the age’ in AD70). Large or small is not the important element. We might have (physical, relational, geographical) limitations on us but a very distinct before and an after. Opportunities are here. We look for them amidst neighbours, colleagues. We are all carriers of that reconciliation spirit that comes through the reconciling of the world to God through the cross.
Interpreting what we see is always a challenge – expectation often cocks up our interpretation. Back in 2010 I wrote contributing to a book on what do we see for the decade. In there I put that the dollar would no longer be the currency of international exchange. It still technically is… though I suspect that before the end of the past decade that was already shifting, things were already in motion. (Not trying to justify myself…) the fig tree died when? When it was visibly dead or when Jesus spoke the word? Sometimes what we see is something that is set in motion, and we assume it is completed. It might have started but behind the scenes, invisibly. A number of years ago I had a word that a woman who had not been able to conceive would have a child that year, but although not able to conceive had had a miscarriage. It was the first Sunday in January. I prayed for her. [I will make a note below on such ‘words’.] In April she saw me and told me she had not conceived. My response – this is not your problem, this is mine. I took it seriously. All kinds of ‘words’ like that should be rarely given… and never are they to be carried by the one that they are given to. They have to be carried by the giver and with full accountability. (What happened to all the words about Y2K bug and how we were to prepare for it, complete with planes falling out of the sky… more words were given than apologies, and discovery of why they were so wrong.) We have too much wishful thinking, a ‘what would I say / do if I were God’ is totally inadequate as a way to think – it presupposes we understand God. That is a journey of a lifetime… and beyond a lifetime. In prayer the Lord said to me ‘do not call this a child when it is in the arms’. That is not the normal outcome of ‘you will have a child’ (read scripture to see what is consistently normal). Christmas eve she was confirmed as with child. My point is we understand so little, we quickly make assumptions and of we run, and sadly the assumptions are normally centred around either (or both) personal and national blessing. The continual focus on issues national that sees God’s favour on a particular land in a (semi-)covenantal nature is a far bigger issue than on getting predictions wrong. There are enough predictions that do not come to pass in scripture to make that a minor issue, but in a covenantal nation (the ONLY covenantal nation) they were clear enough that even a holy Temple could not save them! Focusing on the national and personal is certainly legitimate when God speaks, but outside of that we are forever in danger of releasing expectations that are based on a pre-resurrection perspective!
Here then is the video:
Back in February I had a couple of intense weeks thrust upon me. I initially understood this to be for a particular situation, but with the crisis in Ukraine, I now believe it is something global. Below is an image that more or less represents what I saw and sought to push back on. Four waves of attack, each one building on the one that went before. When wave 1 was established it released wave 2 (wave 1 continuing). When I encountered this wave 3 (‘worm’!) was not fully established so wave 4 was not yet released – for this reason I am holding out that we will not see nuclear nor chemical warfare in Ukraine, though the destruction already there is abhorrent. I have a video link where I seek to explain what I experienced.
This is the second chat with Michele on ‘revival’. Enjoy!!
If I get time I will try and put a post up in the next few days reflecting on the ‘r’ word from these videos. If I get time? We have just moved back to Madrid… after almost a year and half not being here. Time pressure is not a time pressure. Love to walk the city and to pray so that for the next few weeks is the time focus.
I guess there are many ‘r’ words… this is a chat with Michele Perry on what she and I make of the word of ‘revival’. Of course there are many perspectives… this being one (I think she and I are pretty much in agreement!).
In this video Michele gives her perspective that sin, and resulting ‘guilt’ is not the issue. From the garden onward God comes looking for humanity, they hide due to shame.
In this third interview Matheus pushes back against the dualism that is inherent in much of our gospel presentation. (His comments at the end sets us up for the next interview…)
In this second interview I ask Matheus about ‘Rethink’, a course he is developing. Why the name, and why do smart people like me need to ‘rethink’…
Here is a short video on the clash in Galatians 2 between Paul and Peter. The video is intended to go with the Preface to the fourth book on theological explorations: LifeLine. (Available at:
The provocative nature of the conflict is that they both have a strong missiological undergirding to their behaviour. And Paul calls Peter’s behaviour ‘hypocritical’…!!! Intensely challenging and provocative into our culture, where the Jew / Gentile; male / female issues are substantially behind us, but many other issues are pressing in on us.
In the penultimate chapter of Humanising the Divine I make a quick stab at the ‘cross’ and what it means. To accompany it, for those on zooms I put up a video today.
Here are some bullet points:
- The idea of a transaction taking place is not the most ancient (post-NT) view(s).
- Transaction begins to gain traction with Anselm (approx 1060AD) with his view that we owe God a debt that we cannot pay, this moving from the feudal system to the law court with the Reformers… hence today our penal substitutionary view; we are guilty, Jesus pays the penalty.
- Human anger is never called righteous anger, so we cannot extrapolate what is the wrath of God from anything human. God’s wrath is not personal.
- The cross does not deal with God’s anger issue!
- God did not turn away from Jesus on the cross, ‘unable to look on sin’. It is not so much a mis-reading of Scripture, but of not reading enough verses!
- The major thrust of the New Testament is to do with the ‘when’ of the cross. If we do not answer that we will not be able to line up an answer to the ‘what’ takes place there and the ‘why’ of the cross.
It is a first stab… I come back to it in book 4 which will be out in the next few days!!