Tuesday, April 24, 2012

The Work of a Theologian

I had the enormous fun today of discussing Missional Theology in a workshop with Dr. Mel Ming at the Annual Conference of the Northwest Ministry Network. It is a topic I really love.

I first met Mel as a teacher when I was a student at Northwest College. He was famous for his organizational skills even then and was a terrific teacher.

Almost a decade later, after about five years in pastoral ministry, I decided to finish my Masters degree. Near the end of studies as I was doubting my sanity at "leaving the ministry" and a paid position, Mel called to ask me to consider teaching Church History and being the computer department at Northwest .

Thank you, Mel, for taking that risk and hiring me! Today, several decades later, I've gotten to know Mel not only as a teacher but also as an excellent friend. I find myself most emphatically in ministry, doing the work of a theologian: thinking and talking about God.

Here's a link to a discussion on the tasks and tools of the theologian from a class I taught at Cedar Park Church this Spring. I hope you find it useful: I'd appreciate your reactions and comments.

Blessings, and thank you for your interest!

Sunday, April 15, 2012

The Wonder and Uniqueness of the Wheel

There's a fascinating article on the invention of the wheel, which you can read at http://tech.slashdot.org/story/12/03/04/0412243/why-did-it-take-so-long-to-invent-the-wheel?

The section that caught my eye is this: that the invention of the wheel-and-axle was "a task so challenging archaeologists say it probably happened only once, in one place".

Hmmm - it seems to me that the complexity of life itself, leave alone that of our human bodies and minds, exceeds the wheel-and-axle by a fair bit. What are the odds, then, of multiple "lower beings" evolving into "higher beings" in close enough physical proximity that they could procreate and reproduce? It's not enough just to have a single lower being evolve: you need to have a Mr and Mrs evolving-lower-being who can meet up and make new higher-being babies...

Wonderful Music for Easter

In our last class session I mentioned music (again!) and we talked about its power in worship and indeed in most aspects of life.

I mentioned two pieces that I particularly love in this season: "God So Loved the World" from Stainer's Crucifixion, and "I Cannot Tell", sung to the tune of Londonderry Air. Here are some YouTube links, if you'd like to check these out for yourself.

King's College choir (Cambridge) with "God So Loved the World" (brings back memories of hearing it in that physically cold but marvelous space in Cambridge) - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vkJGglj9opY

Songs of Praise (a regular BBC production) at St. Anne's Cathedral in Belfast with "I Cannot Tell" (I still find it difficult to just read the words without tears of gratitude and amazement) - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZkHYR0f2WAY

and to add to the above, my wife reminded me afterwards of a song which we've loved since we heard it: "Beautiful Scandalous Night" - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5qahF83maIo

I hope these bring you joy and a renewed appreciation for God achieved for us. May the reality of Christ's resurrection invigorate your life!

ps - Another great version of "God So Loved the World", with St. Paul's Cathedral choir, can be enjoyed at - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X5Akz6J8Rw0. I prefer the King's College version because of personal connection - you might like this one yourself...