Sunday, February 22, 2009


Faith - why would anyone want a 'definition'? What could a little five letter squiggle of text on a screen mean?

This morning's sermon was of the type: you just believe this theological proposition about the second person of the Trinity and you'll be fine. How he got this from 2 Corinthians 4:4-6 is beyond me. Paul preaching Trinity? But who cares about the words? I care. I like rhythm and pulse and feel and sound. But it is not trinity that I fell in love with. So I care about accuracy and passion and people who don't mess with the menu so you know what it is you are ordering.

These sermons don't work for me. Not now, not 50 years ago and not 500 years ago. I dare say not even 1500 years ago when I could have lost my life for saying a word with a missing letter. It is possible to care about theology and miss the train. Some say there is no train. The life we have is a wisp of smoke in an infinite and hostile place. So relax and enjoy yourself. Yes - but who authors effective enjoyment?

I should not be too critical of the sermon because he had a number of good pieces of advice on prayer - long short or otherwise. But he missed the reason and it is in the text he was looking at - a fundamental - the good of light. People tell me that light as a metaphor is obsolete. They have been in the dark too long.

Words won't do. People just use them to argue.

Again on faith - and the ever present abuse of words in this article by John Piper. Here it is clearly written:
No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form, by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise without the prior permission of the publisher or a licence permitting restricted copying.
So I will not quote any of it. But I do not recommend it anyway. It comes recommended by all sorts of people I do not trust. Jesus I know and Paul I know but who are all these others?

You know already the strident tone of "I've got it right and you haven't" or the appeal to all those who "just don't understand what it means to be born again." (I am not quoting - that would be to disobey the copyright order.)

I do not put my faith in this sort of understanding of Scripture - a strident concatenation of verses yanked from their context and placed into the frame of the mega-church. Knowing all these verses is not 'going on your way rejoicing'. (Learn them by all means but not by reading evangelical twaddle.)

So much for my "very conservative" rating. I am not conservative. I am not "very". I am not "confessional". I am a radish, a large, red, sweet root.


scott gray said...

i love it when you rant.

go feisty.

i read somewhere that bruggeman delights in analyzing the tension in a dichotomy so much that he winds up removing all the tension from it.

tensions should be vibrant and bold, not pastel washes.

solving tensions, especially if they involve paring away vibrancy, should feel like a loss.

and text proofing arguments with single verses of scripture are beginning to feel like chinese fortune cookies to me. i always want to add 'on the crapper' to these verses.

Bob MacDonald said...

ha ha - thanks for the encouragement - I thought I might be turning some off with my dislikes