I'm becoming a once a week blogger - bad boy!
Listening to Arcade Fire's new album, Neon Bible. Can't decide whether I like it as much as Funeral, but it's got some storming tracks on it.
I've also been thinking about our church conference in April when our discussions about membership and belonging will reach some sort of conclusion. At the moment I can't really get my head round how this is going to work but I'm sure inspiration will strike.
I've been reading Bruce Longenecker's The Lost Letters of Pergamum which is surprisingly convincing and very informative and some stuff on the social position of early Christians, particularly poverty levels in Pauline communities. An article by Steve Friesen in JSNT is worth checking out if you're interested in these things - though I think he's a little too prone to reduce everything to economics and dismiss discussions of social status. He'd align himself more with Justin Meggitt than Wayne Meeks, I suspect. It's a fascinating area of NT study.
This Sunday we'll be looking at the Jerusalem Conference as told to us by Luke in Acts 15. I'll be suggesting to our people that we need to face the changing circumstances of our ministry and mission with the same boldness as everyone in Luke's story did. In particular, just as it was the Jewish Christians, the in-group, who had to change to accommodate the late-coming Gentiles, so too we have to change to welcome those outside the church into our communities. Often we expect new Christians to take on our culture - derived more from the 1950s than the bible - along with our version of the gospel.
I've also been putting together the Spring edition of Talk, the Mainstream magazine. This one is devoted to missional church - what is it? And it features an interview with Jonathan Edwards, an excellent piece of Baptist church planting by Stuart Murray Williams and great reflections on Christian youth work by Clare Hooper. A rich and heady mix!
Actually, I quite enjoy editing it - but the week when I put it together (three a year) get to be a bit fraught and hectic.
I'm also loving the new Kaiser Chief's album.
So, it's been a good, though somewhat busy week