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A few years ago, I wrote a series for this blog on weakness. I was coming at it from feeling reasonably competent in the tasks given to me and trying to work out if that was OK. My question wasn’t about whether I was competent enough to do what God had asked but about whether I was weak enough to bring God glory.
Now, nine months away from heading to another country and whole other culture, my issues are completely different. Because pretty much all my competencies are called into question by this new context. Read more
On Thursday nights, Arthur and I help to lead a cross-cultural Bible study. The participants are mainly skilled immigrants from the Middle East of varying Muslim backgrounds. We work hard at building bridges and commonalities but this week I was struck by the uniqueness of Christianity. Read more
Many readers of this blog will be familiar with my ongoing issue with trying to understand the Bible’s teaching about God’s power in weakness. Some of the questions I have carried have been why I should seek to grow in my skills or go to Bible college if God works through the weak. Does being educated and Western (and therefore wealthy and powerful, on a global scale) mean I am somehow an inhibitor to God’s ministry? Most answers I was given were pragmatic rather than biblical but I was keen to grapple with the issue according to what the Bible says, especially in 2 Corinthians. So when I found out we would collaborate on our Corinthians essay questions, I suggested the following: The less adequate the minister is, in and of himself or herself, the better he or she is at demonstrating that the power of the gospel comes from God’ (Sze-kar Wan) To what extent is this Paul’s argument in 2 Corinthians? What are the implications of this for contemporary ministry?
I’ve posted recently about the failings of Thomas Cranmer and Jonathan Edwards, asking why we’re reluctant to speak about their shortcomings. I wonder whether we’re scared that this might discredit their ministry. My (anecdotal) argument is motivated by great ‘heroes’ of the Bible who were pretty suspect themselves. Their fallenness didn’t invalidate their ministry. So why are we reticent to highlight the fallenness of the heroes of recent church history?
Yesterday, Ridley launched its Jonathan Edwards Center. It was a great evening, paying tribute to a man who is regarded as “one of the greatest minds in North American history, and has had an enduring legacy in theology, philosophy, politics and social engagement” to quote the founder of the center in Australia, Rhys Bezzant. During the lecture, a great deal was made of Sarah, Jonathan Edwards’ wife and it got me thinking.