Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Stuff happens

Lots of meetings this week - joint assembly planning (a Baptist thing), training sessions for our housing project and the JusB annual bash - the latter two are back-to-back repeated sessions, one in the afternoon and one in the evening.

So, I'm having to a fair amount of prep and then present the material twice. Going ok so far - I'm about half-way through!

This coming Sunday I'm going to be talking about membership issues with our young families home group. I hope to air some of the things I've blogged about over recent weeks and see how they react to them.

It'll be interesting to see what kind of discussion we have. I'll let you know. In particular, I want to talk about baptism and membership and how they feel about our way of doing things. I'll wait until I hear their views before I share my own - with them and you!

Otherwise, I'm reading Rodney stark's new book Cities of God: the real story of how Christianity became an urban movement and conquered Rome. Stark is a sociologist who writes a lot about religious movements, an agnostic who believes that Christianity is responsible for the rise of science and the flowering of democracy. He's written about Christian origins before in a book called The Rise of Christianity which is readable and fascinating.

He is prone to make sweeping statements - which could be why I really like his stuff - and he is very dismissive of people who don't take the New Testament (especially Acts) seriously as a historical record. So, he's hugely stimulating and I have to say that 80 effortless pages in, this new book is proving hugely entertaining and informative (it's also pretty cheap from Amazon!)


Wulf said...

I will be interested to hear how your membership discussions go. I am still thinking about questions of membership as we have a church meeting at Hither Green Baptist Church next week when we should be agreeing significant changes to our small group structure.

We are not relying on the meeting alone but have been applying ourselves in advance through "cluster" meetings of the existing small group structure to try and give room for everyone to contribute and to make the process as participative and encouraging as possible.

When this all goes spectacularly well and the book gets written, I will of course make reference back to this blog as one of my sources ;-)

simon said...

hey Wulf, I look forward to seeing your book on this - someone creative needs to tackle this!