Under Care

It was EPCEW presbytery meeting today. Just a brief note to say that I was taken under care of presbytery and can now pursue licensure.

Oh, just for Paul, let me offer a few thousand thoughts on theonomy…

…on the other hand, maybe some other time.

Under Care

Shall we take a turn in the blog garden?

Over the last couple of months I have come across a couple of websites I like…

David Strain is the minister at London Presbyterian Church (Free Church of Scotland). I had never heard of a FCS minister interested in church planting before, but this is one of them. Always worth a look.

Martin Downes writes some interesting posts on heresy, looking at historical lessons with modern applications.

Shall we take a turn in the blog garden?

A Prayer Request

Yesterday I was at Little Hill Church in Leicester, a church of about 70 people, preaching both morning and evening. I was a little concerned to be a way from Solihull Presbyterian, but this had been arranged some months ago. I have been a few times now and it is a joy to go there.

In the evening I was asked to explain what my current situation is. Little Hill has been so supportive and encouraging to me in my ministry and they are always asking what they can pray for. Of course my concern was that we at SPC faithfully preach the gospel and find ways of sharing it with others. We want to see people become Christians an find true redemption. We want to see growth. However, the main thing that has been on my mind is sanctification.

I remember not so long ago listening to an mp3 of a church planter in the US speaking about his experiences of planting and commenting on other church planters. He said an arresting thing (I paraphrase): “Sometimes I think church planters are just not scared enough.” Scared? That’s not an adjective I would have used! I think what he was getting at was that to many people go into church planting fired up for the gospel and all that, but secretly resting on their own skills, gifts and abilities. You know, “If I can get to do xyz, then abc should happen.” The public face is one of trust and faith in God, privately it is trust and faith in self. That struck a chord. And when this speaker said planters are jus not scared enough, he meant that they had not got to the end of their own rope and found that there is nothing left to hang on to but God himself.

There is fear there. I like my rope. It’s comfortable.

On Friday I was reading William Perkins’ The Art of Prophecying. I found this paragraph:

To prevent [being puffed up with self-conceit], God in his mercy has planned that all true ministers will by some means or other be humbled and emptied  themselves. They will be driven to such fear and amazement at the sight of their own wickedness, that they will throw themselves down at Christ’s feet, and deny themselves wholly, acknowledging that anything they are they are only in him, and rely and trust only on his grace and help (pp. 128-9)

Is Perkins right? It seems right to me. As heralds of the gospel of the King, we must not intrude on the message. This implies a humbling process for the minister of church-planter in order for there to be clarity in proclamation.

So my prayer request was for sanctification for us at SPC.

A Prayer Request

Words and Quanta

Well, this is like coming into a room in my house I had forgotten I had. I have taken blog holidays before, but in the past I have been itching to get back and write. This time, however, has been different. I have had no inclination to return whatsoever. And I’m still not sure I am very enthusastic, even now. It feels a bit like being a kid forced to visit relatives on a sunny Saturday afternoon.

I have been on Holiday to Devon and I have been very busy with Solihull Presby Church. The details I will not bore you with. However, the church is coming to its first anniversary on October 1st. (If you want to come and thank God with us, then come! – Cranmore Infant School, Northland Road, B90 4SA, 10:30 am, picnic lunch afterwards). We have some committed people and have just opened up a membership roll. Having said that, it still feels fragile which always reminds us look to Christ to build his church in Solihull.

Reading? Yes, still doing that. I was reading the introduction to Wallace’s Greek Grammar this morning. He makes the point that individual words do not carry basic units of meaning. Rather the meaning is governed by the context, both literary and historical. This thought brought to mind the concept of the semantic range of a word (i.e. the range of possible meanings a word could have) and then, strangely, quantum mechanics and Schroedinger’s Cat.

Some of you will know about Schroedinger’s cat – poor thing. The point of the thought experiment was to show the paradox that quantum mechanics throws up, that one does not know the state of a system until it is measured. The very act of measuring causes the (possibly infinite) range of possible virtual states to collapse into one actual measured state.

The reason I thought about this was that there was an analogy with words. Words have a semantic range (a wavefunction defining possibilities) and context. Putting a word into a context has the effect of collapsing the semantic range into particular meaning. Context ‘measures’ a word.

Well, I thought it was a neat idea.

Words and Quanta