December 24, 2011 in Culture, Mark, Theology
This Christmas Eve we spent the afternoon watching the movie Joyeux Noel, the story of Christmas in the trenches during the First World War in 1914. The movie of how the soldiers of various nationalities who had been fighting each other for months ceased their fire, greeted each other in no-man’s land and even played football together.
The most striking part of the movie is the absurdity of the war. When the men meet up at Christmas they realise they have a huge amount in common, and yet on every other day they are trying to kill each other because that is what their commanders, and their nations, have ordered them to do.
In many ways the First World War was the height of modernity, with the European nations accepting without question the narrative of the unstoppable march of civilisation and progress. In reality the nations at war had a great deal in common – shared histories, similar languages and cultures, and apparently a shared religion. And yet their narratives of progress, despite their similarities, could not co-exist but clashed leading to the loss of millions of lives. Read the rest of this entry →
November 30, 2011 in Bible, Mark, Mission, Theology
Simon Cozens always seems to have fascinating thoughts on the Bible, mission and post-modern culture. Recently he posted about apologetics, and why the modernist style of apologetics can be very much at odds with the model of mission we see in the Bible.
The big-name Christian apologists are, basically, modernists. Their method of apologetics is to show that belief in the God of Christianity is entirely compatible with human rationality. In other words, they are accepting the proposition that human rationality is the standard against which God is judged. This may not be particularly glorifying to God but it certainly glorifies human rationality. Read the rest of this entry →
September 29, 2011 in Church, Culture, Mark, Mission, Theology
Last night was the second session in our church discussion of The Truth Project, a DVD series that aims to promote a biblical worldview. Following on from last week’s session I was slightly sceptical about the way the DVD series approaches the idea of truth, but was interested to hear what they had to say on the topic of Philosophy and Ethics.
Well, the session was interesting. On one level I agreed with much of the content, about how it is potentially problematic for any philosophical system to explain life and the universe using only what is contained within the universe. However, the session for me was overshadowed by two things, one ironic and the other tragic. Read the rest of this entry →
September 21, 2011 in Church, Mark, Theology
Pilate said, “So you are a king?”
Jesus responded, “You say I am a king. Actually, I was born and came into the world to testify to the truth. All who love the truth recognize that what I say is true.”
“What is truth?” Pilate asked.
This evening we had a fascinating study at church after watching one of the “Truth Project” videos. We went through the first session which was an introduction to the series, looking at what truth is and why it is important that we know and believe the truth.
While I agreed with almost everything that was said in the video, I have one or two concerns about its approach. Is “truth” a valid hermeneutic with which to read the Bible? I think it is, but I also think that we need to be very careful in what we mean by truth, and aware of any subtle differences between the meaning of “truth” in our culture compared to that which Jesus and the biblical authors had in mind. Read the rest of this entry →