Thursday, 18 July 2013

Recommended reading?

For most of my life I have been opposed to formal theological training. Hopefully that comment will have made some ears twitch, but bear with me.

I know where it comes from.

As a new Christian, who also discovered that there was so much more to church than simply going to traditional meetings through being baptised in the Holy Spirit, I was dismayed by the approach taken by the faculty of a well known local bible college who seemed to want to stamp out God having such a direct involvement with His people. That also extended to observing some - not all - of the young guys that were enrolled at that institution appearing to be squashed into a somewhat lifeless mould by the time they graduated. It planted a deep distrust in me for bibliologists, as I called them, and I've not been overly impressed by what seems to be a teaching that imparts more questions than truth and doubt than faith. That's not to say one should not question, quite the opposite, but my scientific training taught me to find answers by investigation and research instead of accepting there is a vast array of opinion and any of it may or may not be correct.

I've just finished reading the preface to Richard D Phillips book 'What's So Great About The Doctrines Of Grace', in which he suggests that his work was to present these truths briefly with only the persuasive power of God's word, and that other books should be read for more detailed study. Sometimes I wonder if Christian Theology has more in common with the Atheistic philosophers  of Douglas Adams creation, opposed to people actually having answers: "I mean what's the use of our sitting up half the night arguing that there may or may not be a God if this machine only goes and gives you his bleeding phone number the next morning." I do very much wonder if an awful lot of theologians over the years have had more in common with Majikthise than Paul of Tarsus, who seemed terribly keen to help everyone understand and live in the grace and power of Jesus. And it seems to me that we should have a phone number available, to a degree.


As I'm trying to move forward in this Christian leadership thing I'm starting to read and seek out useful material, healthy, sound, useful for building up instead of tearing down. Some of you will know how much I hate having to read stuff continually looking and finding problems, usually because of the same issues the Sadducees seemed to have when confronting Jesus.

So without further ado, let me say that what I've seen from Alex Absalom so far looks pretty good, and I hope to use his APEST series of videos to help build the church up later in the year.

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