Collection of Webs (25)

Around the web over the last couple of weeks:

Talks from Transformission – This year was on adoption and it was so heartwarming.

The heart winning Trinity – Mike Reeves does some short talks on the Trinity. Wonderful stuff

Please don’t balance – A post by Peter Mead as a result of listening to Mike Reeves at Transformission

Dirty dishes and Marriage – Could the boring-repetitive tasks of marriage and family life—dishes, laundry, ironing, vacuuming, picking up clutter, chauffeuring—be the birthplace of joy and wonder?

Don’t Despise yourself – A great post by Emma

The Good God

“The trinity is a mystery, no one can explain it and only God can understand it” – Have you ever heard that before? I am not sure where we get that from. The truth is, Trinity hasn’t been at the for-front of the church’s teaching for some time now (not all churches, but most), instead it has become another doctrine hidden at the back of our systematic theologies.

But this book will completely change your thinking about the Trinity. Trinity will no longer be a mathematical problem or something you brush under the cosmic carpet. Mike Reeves shows us through scripture how Trinity is essential in our understanding of who God is and why you wouldn’t want any other god.

This book is so easy to read, it’s not full of theological junk words that no one understands – its plain english, for anyone to understand. It explains the beautiful relationship between Father, Son and Spirit and how they are in Tri-Unity. It challenges us about how we think of God and if Trinity isn’t the first thing you think about God – then what flows from that thinking is something that isn’t God, something that is lonely, controlling and devil-like…

I desire so much for Trinity to come back to our churches. For only in Trinity can we speak of Gods Love and there everything follows: Gospel, sacrifice, relationships, community, change, joy, mission etc…

Buy and read this book. Read it with friends. Pass it on to your church leaders. Change the way we think.

Collection of Webs (12)

Looking around the Web, what do I see?

Well here are some good blog posts that I have come across –

An article on the Trinity by Mike Reeves (this is a bit from his book):

Single god, non-smoker, seeks attractive creation with good sense of humour…

Imagine for a moment that you are God. I’m sure you’ve done it before. Now think: would you in your divine wisdom and power ever want to create a universe, and if so, why? Because you feel lonely and want some friends? Because you like being pampered and want some servants? It is one of the profoundest questions to ask: if there is a God, why is there anything else? Why the universe? Why us? Why might God decide to have a creation?

Tanya Marlow writes about the illness narative. Its a very interesting read:

“As a  society, we know how to process the ‘acute’: the emergencies, the tragedies.  But we can’t handle the chronic; the non-fatal, ongoing, wearying, unsolvable illnesses. We don’t have the language, the categories, the ‘narratives’ to talk about it. We don’t know how to react to the person incapacitated for years with back pain, those housebound with M.E., the depression patient who doesn’t respond to treatment.  We don’t know whether we’re looking at a potential ‘tragedy’ case or ‘victory’ case, and it makes us suspicious and confused.”

Here is an interview with Glen Scrivener on why he blogs:

“Some people have an irenic tone and serpentine wisdom.   I have a nasal tone and bark like a dog.   Blogging suits me like that.  I’ve had the same strap-line since the beginning and it really has been the conviction that’s driven me: “Jesus is the Word of God.””

A Tedious God and a Meagre Salvation

Just been reading the online magazine Credo which is worth a read, and I came across Mike Reeves article on Inclusivism (faith in Christ isn’t the only way to be saved) and Reeves speaks into our Western culture with some interesting insights about the effect of not really believing that we need to tell people of Christ for them to be saved. Here is a quote from the article he wrote:

And this is just what I see in Britain today: where faith in Christ is considered inessential for salvation, there people are left with little more than a boiled-down religiosity – a tedious God and a meagre salvation. It may wear Christian clothing – as Arius did – but anyone that thinks that knowing Christ is superfluous simply cannot have grasped how different the God he reveals is, the nature of his salvation, how great the assurance to be found in him. In which case, no wonder their Christianity seems lifeless and dreary.
At first glance, of course it seems more generous and attractive to ‘lower the bar’ of salvation and make knowledge of Christ unnecessary. But the joyless, unassured lives of so many Christians in Britain testifies to the fact that when knowing Christ is considered insignificant, there is no truly good news left.

Knowing Christ is not just important, but wonderful. And to share Christ so others may know him is the goal of evangelism (not for them to join some religious club that never gets a lie-in on a Sunday)… I wonder if that’s where we fall down a bit, we don’t really think that knowing Christ is so important? Which may be why I don’t want to read my bible or pray, because I see it as a religious exercise instead of knowing Jesus and knowing the Father. There is great joy in knowing Christ. Have we forgotten?

There are other articles in this magazine which are great and thought provoking.

Big God or Personal God?

How we view God is very important. There are many videos such as “indescribable” or “how great is our God” that show us the greatness of God and I quite enjoy those videos, they show something of the bigness and majesty of our God. However if you have ever listened to the Transformission talks by Reeves, you may see that he says something quite different and shows us the most personal, tender God in the trinity, unfolding the beautiful dance of the Father, Son and Spirit.

On one level with those videos and as well as sermons that show us the greatness and bigness of God are in some ways right. God is most holy and majestic. He is creator and Lord. But to just stop there and ponder on that, leaves us feeling very small and wondering who this God is? because just from that description, I could be talking about Allah…?

Yet when we read the bible, it doesn’t leave us with just a Big God, all-powerful and mighty. Even from Genesis we see the Lord walking in Garden, we see the Lord eating with Abraham, we see the Lord wrestling with Jacob… The Lord comes down and is with his people, eating, walking and talking with his people. The is not just a “Big God”, this is a God who is trinity and a person of the trinity, who reveals the Father to us, from the start of Genesis is interacting with his people.

If God was just left to “big God” to worship because he is all-powerful and holy, it doesn’t give me much motivation nor joy to worship Him. But when I see God, the trinity – interacting with creation, the Father loving his people – sending his son to die for us, covering us with his blood, eating with us, hurting with us… then that moves me. I see a God who is personal and a God who wants to listen to me and who is relational within the trinity.

We must be clear about which God we are talking about. As I said before, if we leave God as just “Big God” instead of saying Jesus, who reveals the Father to us – then we could be talking about any “god”. It also implies that God is just One person – big and mighty God!  But he isn’t one person, he is trinity and we slip far too often into thinking God as big one person entity then God in three persons. So, talking about Jesus is far better, Jesus who is our bridegroom loves us so much and the Father has been fighting to save his people and prepare a bride for his Son and the Spirit has been softening hearts and revealing Christ to us. As Reeves mentioned in his talk – (paraphrased) is that God is Love and through his love he shows his strength and his might and his holiness as he fights for us and dies for us and covers us. But that’s not cos he is huge, but because he is relational, because he is love, because he is trinity.

See where you fit in? Not shrinking before God. But being invited in as adopted sons, as the bride and being invited into a feast and having a relationship with Jesus, who is our God.