Friday, 21 July 2017

So for the sake of completion

regarding the Caesar Kalinowski Gospel Primer review below, I managed to read the first 3 weeks (out of 7 or 8) before it had to go back.

The good:
A stated aim is to get people talking about Jesus and the gospel to each other in normal conversation. This is admirable, though I don't know how effectively the artificial situations of being made to 'talk gospel' would transfer into daily practice. Experience suggests with this kind of thing that it persists about a week after the end of the course, when everyone breathes a sigh of relief and reverts, but who knows.

There is also an encouragement to develop a personal salvation story that puts God at the centre, and again this is very admirable. Tools are provided and help given to do this, albeit in a CK kind of way, and it also made me remember how things were when I first became a Christian, which was useful.

The less good:
The book sets out to belittle the reader's own faith and church, tells them that they are doing it wrong and assumes that they haven't really experienced salvation yet. I found the sets of questions, especially in the first 2 chapters, to be bullying and deliberately dodging the real answers one might give in order to force the user into a weak position. Both Chris and I independantly came to the conclusion when offered a series of options, "none of these" was the only answer for us.

While there is good material in there, this is not a book I could recommend anyone read unless they were strong enough to extract the good stuff without being harmed by the bad.

Sunday, 16 July 2017

It was something you said.

Is there an expression 'preachers hyperbole'?

Perhaps there should be one along the lines of 'missional leader's made up story'.

I've described my views of Mike Breen and 3DM in the past, and have serious concerns that they are, in fact, a cult that will gradually draw people away from orthodox Christianity and into some kind of nebulous gnosticism combined with an understanding of evangelism like the jehovah's witnesses.

So today I started looking at The Gospel Primer by Caesar Kalinowski.

I don't get why people need to tear others down if they have something good. In the introduction it is suggested that you must use HIS method of meeting together, because at present your bible studies are empty and your housegroup meeting is pathetic. Then further on in the start of the section talking about The Gospel, he describes a meeting of pastors where he asked the question 'what is the gospel', and apparently out of a dozen answers not a single one mentioned creation, sin, Jesus, the cross or the kingdom. Really? From a dozen answers to the question put straight like that and not a single one mentioned any of those things? Not once, not any of them? Really? Was this the pagan pastoral association we were asking?

Is that underwear I smell smouldering?

Further on in the section, there are a series of questions weighted to demonstrate how the reader is inadequate and getting it wrong if they aren't doing it the CK way. One of them was based around 'why aren't you sharing the gospel with more people' and the slightly naughty Toni wanted to say 'it's because they aren't my people of peace'.

To be fair to the book, it looks like there might be some good stuff in there too, and 30 years ago we'd probably have swallowed this and run with it, believing that the only God is Yahweh and Caesar Kalinowski is His prophet this was all good teaching and that we were building God's kingdom. I just can't get past the made up stuff, the bullying, emotionally manipulative presentation of it all now.

Please, if you're going to write books for the people of God, leave out the crap - it just destroys your credibility and devalues the teaching you present.

Chris and I have been talking about being challenged recently. We've been through quite a bit over the years, and TBH have had enough of it now. I'm seriously wondering if it isn't time to go re-join the church of England so that we can get on with trying to live as Christians while this missional fad blows over.


I've read a bit further - there is some genuinely good stuff in there, though I keep reading things that don't match what I see as sound theology (forgive the old-fashioned term) that feel like the scriptures have been made to fit a theory, rather than theory made to fit the scriptures. An example of this would be discipleship=evangelism=disipleship, where the word evangeism has been used to replace the word salvation in the context used, and while there's an explanation for doing this, it doesn't ring true.

Wednesday, 5 July 2017

Does your head do funny things?

Mine certainly does.

Apart from saying inappropriate things sometimes.*

And occasionally talking complete rubbish.

Make that often complete rubbish.

And not doing stuff when I should.

And doing stuff when I shouldn't.

But regardless. Chris has a nasty cold right now, probably the third of spring-summer 2017. Ben has also had at least 2 moderately unpleasant infections, and was quite rough a while back. As for me, I had a cold, back in April running into May, though not bad enough to stay away from work, and my cough from that finally lifted a week of so back.

But it feels wrong.

I'm the one who normally gets bad respiratory infections & Chris is the one who may feel a little off but keeps going. So first off I feel guilty, like it should be me and not her who's down with it (I cope much better being ill than she does: I give myself to it & wait to get better while she fights & struggles feeling worse & worse). Then it occurred to me that I'd like the time off sick - note that she has gone to work feeling 'grotty' - so I could sit at home & not do anything, and I felt slightly cheated that it wasn't me. Then I felt guilty about it.

My head does funny-unfunny things.

*I can't be bothered to explain about the disposable plastic cups and the Mae West greeting.