Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Thoughts on Sermon Soundbytes

Here are a few more little thoughts and snippets from my note book, taken from listening to different sermons and interacting with them.
  • "predestination - nothing prevents God's of sovereignty as long as we continue to walk in the Spirit"
If the preacher who stated this is correct, then surely God is not actually sovereign since the success of his plan depends on frail human beings? This statement, whilst seeming to teach the sovereignty of God is in fact entirely anthropocentric because God, it would seem, is incapable of implementing his will without people, thus he is not sovereign. This kind of attitude reminds me of the fictitious nonsense that God "helps those who help themselves", a theological dressing up of naked greed if ever there was one.
  • "assurance is freedom from doubt"
Is that really so? In the experience of Job, his assurance came from freedom in doubt - by understanding that circumstances are temporary but the love of God is eternal, Job was free to believe despite the evident doubts and questions his circumstances raised. Doubt is a natural part of faith, after all we are called not to know but to believe.

Just a couple of things to mull over....

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Some Questions

I was reading a note book this morning. It was my note book from the months after I graduated, most of it is notes taken during sermons in various churches in Inverness and Birmingham. I came across a serious of questions that I wrote down at the time, and they still bother me. It would be nice to get other people's thoughts on them:
  • is healing only finally proven in death?
  • does God really care more about minor ailments than the suffering of Third World believers?
  • is "be thou separate" from the Revelation used as an excuse to live in a Christianised bubble?
  • is Evangelicalism a culturally conditioned theological phenomenon?

Monday, November 2, 2009

Going Back?

On Friday afternoon Mrs Velkyal had an audition for a choir being put together to do Carmina Burana, something she had sung when she was back in university. The audition took place in one of the local Episcopal churches, the Church of our Saviour (I was intrigued that it was spelt with a u rather than without). I can't  remember why I tagged along, probably I was bored witless and starting to feel the effects of cabin fever. While I waited in the church lobby, I got talking to a lady there, who asked me a question which has come up several times since I moved to the USA. Almost without fail when a person discovers I have a degree in Theology and trained with the ministry before moving to Prague, they ask "do you think you will ever go back?".

At the moment there is really only one honest answer to that question: I simply don't know if I would go back, and I am not even convinced that I would make a good vicar/priest/pastor/insert denominational leadership bias here. Sure I am a decent enough communicator, but sometimes I wonder if I am too obviously flawed as a person to be the kind of shepherd that a lot of people seem to want, and I quite often wonder if there exists a church daft enough to have me, even if I did go back.