Archive for May, 2010

“Katay=New Perspective, New Perspective=Bad”

Posted in Church with tags , on May 28, 2010 by stephengardner

The title of this post comes from a new series over at Gold, Silver and Precious Stones where Katay is undertaking an incredibly bold but incredibly important and positive step – to try and clear the air. And its already creating a bit of a buz; here and here and I’m sure much more to come.

Anyone who has kicked around certain circles for even the briefest of moments is aware of the controversy that Andrew’s name carries. I have lost count of how many times I’ve had to ‘defend myself’ for having served with him at Uni and Church. But Katay’s project, I think, represents a far bigger problem than the ‘New Perspective’. The problem is this; the readiness with which the term ‘heretic’ is bandied about.

Here’s a slightly funny, but nonetheless distressing example of what I mean. Just this week my wife was labelled a heretic for talking about infant baptism. The funny part is that this happened at Moore college by a fellow student (who by the way did not think to tell my wife she was a heretic before telling others)! Last time I checked Moore College was an Anglican training ground.

But again this is only symptomatic of a very real and very serious problem – our readiness to use the term ‘heretic’. My hunch is that more often than not, when the word heretic is thrown around in our churches and christian scenes, its nothing more than gossip. Gossip dressed up as a ‘zeal for the truth’.


O’Donovan on the resurrection

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , on May 5, 2010 by stephengardner

This is a beautiful quote from O’Donovan on the power of the resurrection to rescue what was lost, to give life to what was dead and to recreate what had been uncreated:

It might have been possible, we could say, before Christ rose from the dead, for someone to wonder whether creation was a lost cause. If the creature consistently acted to uncreate itself, and with itself to uncreate the rest of creation, did this not mean that God’s handiwork was flawed beyond hope of repair? It might have been possible before Christ rose from the dead to answer in good faith, Yes. Before God raised Jesus from the dead, the hope that we call ‘gnostic’ , the hope for redemption from creation rather than for the redemption of creation, might have appeared to be the only possible hope. ‘But in fact Christ has been raised from the dead…’ (1 Cor 15.20). That fact rules out those other possiblities, for in the second Adam the first is rescued. The deviance of his will, its fateful leaning towards death, has not been allowed to uncreate what God created.

(O’Donovan, Resurrection and Moral Order, p. 14)

ps. The pic is of the roof of  The Church of the Holy Sepulchre, Jerusalem. Over the next little while I’m going to try and use pics from our recent trip…

A stroll through dogmatics: II.2

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , on May 3, 2010 by stephengardner

I’m back from my escapades around the middle east and eager to make up for lost blogging time. As per my promise, I’m trying to post some highlights from Barth’s Dogmatics. This last week we read some hot stuff on election, here is some of the gold:

There is no such thing as a decretum absolutum. There is no such thing as a will of God apart from the will of Jesus Christ. Thus Jesus Christ is not only the manifestatio and speculum nostrae predestinationis. And He is this not simply in the sense that our election can be known to us and contemplated by us only through His election, as an election which, like His and with His, is made (or not made) by a secret and hidden will of God. On the contrary, Jesus Christ reveals to us our election as an election which is made by Him, by His will which is also the will of God. He tells us that He Himself is the One who elects us.

For Barth, the fact that our election is not a decree external to His being, but lodged firmly in the Godhead, in Jesus, is grounds for our assurance of its reality:

In the very foreground of our existence in history we can and should cleave wholly and with full assurance to Him because in the eternal background of history, in the beginning with God, the only decree which was passed, the only Word which was spoken and which prevails, was the decision which was executed by Him. As we believe in Him and hear His Word and hold fast by His decision, we can know with a certainty which nothing can ever shake that we are the elect of God.

(Barth II.2 p 115-116)