When the apostle Paul warned us to “keep [ourselves] unspotted from the the world” he was not talking about some abstraction. If the Christian is to apply this injunction to himself, he must understand what confronts him antagonistically in his own moment of history. Otherwise he simply becomes a useless museum piece and not a living warrior for Jesus Christ.
The BBC has a report called Christmas squatter is jailed for six months. A homeless man, who had this year lost his job and home, had stolen some keys to an apartment. On Christmas Eve in order to be out of the cold and knowing that the lady who lived there had gone away for the holidays, he let himself in. He watched TV, cooked food and then cleaned up after himself. The outside temp on Christmas Eve was -10 degrees. When the lady returned the man did not try and escape. He apologized and quietly went with police. He has now been jailed for 6 months. Is this fair? Is this justice?
The London Times has an article this morning which is titled It’s Time For Society To grow Up And Accept Licensed Brothels. He goes on to say that society must offer “genuine and acceptable alternatives for men who want to pay for sex.” The writer is a former detective chief superintendent who led West Yorkshire Police’s homicide and major inquiry team. He writes from his experience at seeing women who are beaten and raped on the streets by ‘clients’ and so his intentions are good, but his solution is terrible. In fact it’s advocating immorality. The issue has now become “How can we make sure prostitutes are safe from men who will beat and rape them” rather than “how can we champion that good and healthy sex is found within marriage.” I know that this for many is simple idealism. And one of the problems is that too many Christian married couples are not having good sex! If Christian married couples talked a little more about the incredible blessings and enjoyment that sex can be within marriage and with one partner then maybe people would take notice. Too often people look at married Christians and are not inspired to get married!!!
What we are seeing within society and especially the UK is exactly what Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel and the prophets experienced within Israel; immorality being accepted as the norm. And this is no longer being championed by the immoral, or those who want to profit from it, but by men who have given their life to public service; who have seen the pain and devastation of prostitution and yet their solution is “Let’s make it legal.”
That is sad.
It’s Christmas Day! We are waiting to eat dinner. It’s been a crazy 24 hrs. We have three services Christmas Eve – 5pm with kids pageant; 7:30pm and 11:30pm eucharists. I got home last night at 1:22am. Here are some pics of the pageant service from one of the parishioners. If you look carefully you can see me in the background.
Todd Hunter has been on an unlikely journey. From being an apprentice of John Wimber and the Vineyard Movement to heading up USA Alpha, it would appear somewhat strange that Todd is now an Anglican Bishop. This book is how that journey happened. I resonated with Todd Hunter’s journey into Anglicanism and ordained ministry. While I am not a bishop, I come from a free evangelical charismatic church background and now I am an ordained Anglican Priest in the Episcopal Diocese of South Carolina.
Todd shares how he began to move into a more liturgical setting and the process by which he came to be ‘ordained’ within the anglican episcopacy. He writes in an easy, relaxed, humorous and honest manner. He shares about those anglicans who have impacted and shaped him such as J I Packer, John Stott and Tom Wright as well as sharing what he likes about anglicanism .
At a 140 pages this is a short book, and to be honest I pondered what purpose it might have other than being a very short biographical snap shot of Todd’s life. However, as I thought about it I came to realize that this book serves as a valuable introduction to Anglicanism for those from strong ‘non’ liturgical backgrounds. Todd has not become ‘Anglican’ or left behind his roots, or repudiated his past – he is who God has matured him to be and as a servant of God, God has led him into a place of ministry with anglicanism and this has grown in him an appreciation of the anglican tradition.
This will give many who are unfamiliar with the anglican church a wonderful and accessible introduction.
The past eight months in our Men’s Bible Study group has been spent in the book of Romans. Tomorrow we tackle chp 16 and we will then move onto 1 Corinthians. There are countless commentaries on Romans. In the process of preparing I have found Douglas Moo’s book Encountering the Book of Romans: A Theological Survey so helpful. While this is not a verse by verse commentary on the epistle it is as good as a lot of commentaries out there. Of course Moo has written one of the best commentaries on Roman’s in the New International Commentary series. However, while Moo’s commentary may be too technical for some, this book (still weighing in at 214 pages) is a fine and accessible treatment of this epistle. It balances textual information with cultural historical background all in an easy and straight forward way.