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Showing posts from February, 2014

What does your heart love?

“A world view is a commitment, a fundamental orientation of the heart, that can be expressed as a story/myth or in a set of presuppositions (assumptions which may be true, partially true or entirely false) which we hold (consciously or subconsciously, consistently or inconsistently) about the basic constitution of reality, and that provides the foundation on which we live and move and have our being” James Sire (The Universe Next Door, IVP)

We all have worldviews though we may not realise we do... and we might have a false or partially false one... we probably all have inconsistencies.

Looking at the world John Calvin wrote: “There is no colour in this world that is not intended to make us rejoice” And yet, from the Bible he observed, “the heart is an idol factory” People are lovers but we love the wrongthings, turning created things into our gods.

CS Lewis warns, tread carefully around idols:
 “It is our painful duty to wake the world from an enchantment. The real universe is prob…

Hearing God speak through prayer

People pray. It doesn't seem to matter too much what you believe. Muslim or Hindu, Christian or Atheist cry out to someone or something. Who hasn't found themselves in a hard place and cried out "O, God..." or in better times and cried "Thank God..."

Download MP3: Hearing God speak through prayer (30mins).

We pray. Yet, it's hard. You lie on your bed to pray and it feels like the words bounce back off the ceiling as you address your petitions to the light fittings. You find a quiet place to pray and suddenly everything you've procrastinated about for days seems urgent. You pray and you pray and you pray and nothing happens and so you give up. Or, you think my life is already too full and too busy, I have no time to pray. And the biographies of the greats who rise before dawn to pray make it worse.

When I'm weak I think I can't pray until I'm stronger. When I'm strong I don't feel the need to pray so much. I'm caught between a…

When the waves keep crashing in: 10 thoughts to prepare us for suffering

The destruction of the Dawlish sea wall and railway feels like a pretty good image for the experience of hardship in this life. Recently life has felt quite like wave after waves crashing in relentlessly... health, circumstances, finances... each wave leaves its own small mark but the culmulative effect of all of them is where the destruction comes.

The problem of suffering is suggested by some to be the issue that nails Christianity. What it certainly is is the issue that arises most commonly because our shared experience of life here is of a world that while laced with beauty very often seems quite brutal.

Don Carson very helpfully says,
"you only have to live long enough and you will suffer." Every worldview has to deal with it somehow... James Sire writes:
 “A world view is a commitment, a fundamental orientation of the heart, that can be expressed as a story or in a set of presuppositions (assumptions which may be true, partially true or entirely false) which we hold (c…

Evangelicals shouldn't be anti-intellectual

The Guardian carried an article today from an Anonymous academic. The subtitle alleges: Evangelical students cannot tolerate diversity of opinion and resist secular critiques of their views.. The story essentially being that Evangelical Christians at a Russell Group University are playing up in class... manipulated by a student-approval-centred model of education.

It feels a bit laughable that this Anonymous Academic makes Evangelical Students and their societies the bogeyman who is ruining Universities. We long to turn the world upside down but if we were I think someone would've noticed.... usually Christians
"As citizens they participate in everything with others, yet they endure everything as if they were foreigners. Every foreign land is like their homeland to them, and every land of their birth is like a land of strangers" Letter to DiognetesThe early church out-thought, out-loved and out-served their contemporaries... The academic also says: "The fee-paying c…

Seven no-brainer moments for a CU in the University year

Christian Unions exist to give every student at their University the opportunity to hear and respond to the good news of Jesus. Exactly how they do that it's hugely flexible and open to amazing creativity... but the context of the student world and the calender offer up some great opportunities that shouldn't be missed. Cut your cloth to fit the resources and people you have and the context you're in... be aware of where people are...

1. Freshers Week
A massive event at the start of the year when people are trying to work things out. Some times it seems possible to hit the major life questions... but it can be just as good to just be there. To be the people who think it's good to ask honest questions and want honest answers. Be the people who want make the most of the University experience, be people who embrace its opportunities, who draw some ethical lines for themselves without judging others for theirs, who pour themselves out for others. The last thing Christians n…

Six hours on Science and Faith

Questions about Science and Faith are among the most common objections to the Christian faith today - along with questions about suffering/evil - issues that often go very closely together. 
My friend and former UCCF colleague, academic and member of Christ Church London, Chris Oldfield spend six hours with my team in January to walk us through the subject. His approach of considering story, with journey's into art mean that these sessions about the philosophy of science aren't just for scientists. They're stretching and well worth your consideration.
1. Science and Story PDF - MP3 (alternative mp3) 2. Darwin's Dangerous Idea PDF - MP3 (alternative mp3 pt 1, alternative mp3 mp2) 3. The Fall of Nature PDF - MP3 (alternative mp3) 4. Reformation and Two Books PDF - MP3
[We double-recorded three of the sessions and the alternative mp3 open should be a bit cleaner to listen to]