Saturday, 16 January 2016

So today I pushed a little harder

Earlier in the week I reset the distance units Endomondo uses to track my progress from kilometers to miles, although it now informs me of my progress every half mile instead of every kilometer - more encouragement is a good thing, right? ;-)

So today it was still frosty, though the sun was out and brought some warmth where it fell, even though the shadows remained icy. Managed to run 9.5 miles = 15.3K. I'd really wanted the full 10, but my legs just didn't have it in them, and were getting tighter and tighter with every step over the last mile or so, however recovery seemed good this afternoon compared to how I have been in the past. Just need to keep bumping the distance up, since I've a feeling that my distance limit has a distinct hard stop to it compared to some who can keep going on adrenaline after their normal range has been exceeded.

And talking of pushing hard.

My fellow Christians, do you ever read books that have you exclaiming "you WHAT?!" out loud? We are working our way through Mike Breen/3DM ministries How To Build A Discipling Culture since it seems that Oxfordshire Community Churches are embracing the huddle program for discipling, and every now & again I find something that doesn't sit well. Latest was a reference to people in the west not breathing well, with a reference to what I though was a journal, but was in fact a quack website ( with a product to sell and an 'interesting' set of conclusions. And it didn't even support the conclusion quoted in the book anyway.

The book opens using the example of the 'horse whisperer' and making various assertions about how to break a horse and how that can apply in discipleship. But the story doesn't really seem to have much basis in fact after a bit of research (the family suggest he made up the abuse by his father, from whom he probably learned most of what he knew, and reading his father's book suggests an approach far from cruel) and it comes over as un-credible. This sows the first doubts, so that every so often there's another "you WHAT?!" moment, when something is spun a particular way. Quite possibly if I were convinced the material were good and I filtered it with eyes that expected to read good things then it would seem good to me. As it is, I like it less and less.

A quick web search throws up hundreds (possibly an underestimate) of websites protesting against the book, huddle program and 3DM in general, however closer investigation also shows the more prominent of them to be "protest against the apostate church/ranting/looney" variety, so not to be trusted either (and some were pretty nutty).

I just wish Christians wouldn't try to contrive stuff to support what they do. God is big enough not to need your lies and misdirection to support what he's about, and if the only way you can make what you're doing look good is by lies and misdirection (not suggesting this is deliberately the case here BTW) then you already know the answer.

This is an interesting time to be reading Eusebius again, and all the odd made up stuff that the church then was continuously trying to unpick. Some of the churches were continuing to use spiritual gifts up to the mid/late 2nd century, and I came across the first distinction between clergy and Laity (i.e. when the church has abandoned the priesthood of all believers) mentioned around the end of the second or early in 3rd century. They also have a bustup between the churches over when and how long the passover should be celebrated to remember Jesus death, with the eastern churches wanting a longer time and those centred closer to Europe a shorter one at a slightly different date. Much acrimony ensued, and there seems to have been a lot of plotting between various groups of bishops to do their opponents harm.

The book can be downloaded here. I advise reading it with understanding and interpretation, rather than as though it were truth.

In the present situation again I begin to understand why churches are so reluctant to consider new theologies and understandings - it can be so hard to tell who is a wolf and who a sheep.

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