Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Getting to grips with leadership

John asks in what way Kate was prophetic on Sunday evening. Quite simply she spoke directly into people's lives and addressed a couple of issues we're facing as a church with God's Word. That's as good a definition of prophetic as I know.

Meanwhile, getting ready for the conference, I've been lining up sandwiches for 180 - a great task to have!

I've also been reflecting on leadership - especially in the light of 1 Corinthians 3. More thoughts later but for now I'm pondering what leadership is about in the light of the three pictures of the church Paul uses in the chapter.

As God's field or garden or (better) agricultural enterprise, leaders are about creating the environment in which things can grow; as God's building project, leaders are about arranging materials for people to build with; and as God's temple, leaders are about keeping the community focused and holy.

I've just read a very good paper by Tom wright on the atonement. It's signposted from his web page (www.ntwrightpage.com). Called 'The Cross and the Caricatures', it engages with some recent discussion on the issue of penal substitution and draws some very sensible conclusions. The best of them is that many evangelicals fail to read the very Bible on which they claim to base their doctrines. As ever with Wright it's trenchantly written, tightly argued and by and large pretty convincing.

It hasn't helped me get ready for the conference, however.


Wulf said...

That NT Wright article looks fascinating but a bit too long to attend to in proper detail right now. However, I appreciated a sentence I spotted in the introduction:

"... I firmly believe that when Jesus himself wanted to explain to his disciples what his forthcoming death was all about, he didn't give them a theory, he gave them a meal."

Thanks for bringing this one to my attention.

K.T. said...

Fascinating that people can read the same essay and come to such different conclusions. There was certainly a lot of good stuff in the first half of Tom Wright's essay, but how Dr.John can be censured (quite rightly), when Steve Chalke is praised, for saying the same things is a complete mystery to me. Would it not be more accurate to say that the good bishop alleges that conservative evangelicals do not read their bibles, he actually says stopped their ears, (which if taken in biblical terms sounds like a rejection of the Lord Jesus). In reality he has hardly proved anything, but what he really means is that they don't read him.
Even that is plainly wrong of course, for at Oak Hill, Wright is required reading for many modules so I am told. What writers decide to include and exclude must largely be dependent on the aims the writers set for themselves. As I have not read the book, I cannot pass comment on that. The fact that they chose not to follow Wright's path on salvation history hardly calls for the kind of response given.
This was certainly not one of Wright's best, while in comparison the response from Oak Hill has clear, balanced and given in a gracious spirit, as indeed is the essay by Dr. Lisa Nolland on the Anglican Mainstream websight.
Clearly there is another agenda being worked out here which has little or nothing to do with penal substitution. The bishop may have other legitimate grievances, but what I find most perplexing is the unthinking support for him by some when more discernment was called for.
I am therefore unable to comprehend your statement that the 'best' conclusion is that many evangelicals fail to read the bible. If Wright is wrong here then this is a great slur on fellow evangelicals who even according to this article share to a large extent the same doctrine. If he is right, then this must be a matter of great sorrow which requires a call to repentance, restoration and reformation.
Anyway, I've gone on too much. Have a good day tomorrow at your church conference.