Thursday, February 24, 2005

Small Pleasures (not an article more miscellany)

Tonight was the first of a 5 week discussion group in Aberdeen called Delve which is designed for anybody to understand and explore Christianity, it was a good night, plenty of interesting stuff to stew for many about Gods Character and our look at Acts. On the way home though, I didnt have any money but I really wanted fruit Juice and a Flapjack, fortunatly in such a capitalist envornment a supermarket was on the way home, I picked up just those things, I had the flapjack and then orange juice it was so good, it tasted kind of like the feeling of looking back on things with good memories....small pleasures eh!

Tuesday, February 22, 2005


What an inventive title you are thinking, well I know not the most imaginative title ever but hey, there are things in my heart right now not fully formed or understood so Im going to write about something generic this morning. A brief update though, I had dinner with Frazer last night (for those of you in Cornwall, the Frazer from SS) where we discussed the internet prescence of Aberdeen CU and guess what Im making them a blog!....from the sounds of it Edinburgh CU are moving in that direction, so I think Blogs are taking over the world. I was very seriously conisdering moving to typepad in the near future but from what my friend Andrew Jones said recently HERE I think I may sit here of Blogger and see what transpires! Also my post take ages as I manually enter them does anyone know of a good post editter for PC, I know there are some nice ones for MAC's I know you guys must be making them with something sweet just now?! Let me know in the comments if you have any ideas. I Also went to see In good compnay with the guys from church last night, its a 6/10

Monday, February 21, 2005

Soul Survivor

I just got an email from my good friend Sam with this in it, Ive been involved in different Soul Survivor things over the last 6 odd years probably and they've been some of the most facilitating and building organisations Ive had the honour of being served by and serving. Mike P, is great REAL guy as well check this article which he write which really just mirrors my heart well in relation to the holy spirit, youth and discipleship etc.

expresso machine on the go

I just found this on Contextless links from Jordan Cooper a homemade expresso machine it reminds me of those potato launchers, I used a great one at the Kerrs house 2 Christmass' ago which took bark off a tree then made a little less worthy version at The gillespies with John and Brian. Anyway speaking of John, hes coming up this weekend so we'll have a good time Im sure chilling seeing folks, and talking about Blogs, Church and Life....looking forward to it Bro.

Starbucks and Films

I just got back from skipping lectures and going to Starbucks with Stu, Emelie and Chris...had a "Byrnesy Americano" Goto Starbucks and ask for: A Grande Americano with hot milk like a cafe misto so no latte kind of foam, and 2 and a half pumps of Vanilla syrup instead of the normal 5....The Perfect Coffee! Have had a quick read of a guy who's linked from John talking about Band of Brothers, which I loved when I watched it in one week on DVD over the summer, also watched a great film yesterday called "The War to end all Wars" which is completly got a sub narratrive of Jesus, and just an amazing picture of self sacrifice in a Japanese Internement camp, where a guy gets crucified in the place of another prisoner who killed a guard, it shook me out of my comfortable level of self sacrifice and servanthood!


Sunday was great as well, had a nice meal with John, and then in the evening had a really good service where just under a quarter of the youth we invited got saved or asked for prayer, then we chilled ou with them with Pizza and PS2 games. After I went over to the girls and collected some GREAT mail....firstly for any of those of you who knew about my brand new camera breaking in the first week of me getting it. Well for those of you who didnt, basically I broke the LCD screeen the most exensive part opf the camera and couldnt send it back to the US, where I had boyght it from and my warrabnty didnmt cover UK repair so Canon UK quoted me £120, then I had an idea to claim it on my accidental damage cover on my house inurance, so anyway I sent it away and asked them to send me the invpoice so I could send it to the Insurance company, I opened the invoice last night as it said "We have decided to fix your camera as a goodwill gesture!!!!!!" I couldn't believe, deefinatly Gods goodness, I was Uber Stoked! Also got hold of a copy of the Soul In th City DVD, For the SITC Team they used a bunch of our footage but narrated it and put it together themselves (Cornerstone) they did a pretty good job too I thought. Tamsin made a few Camio appearances like dancing etc. Also all the Louie Giglio talks are on there, but no outtakes or comedy moments, Oh well they were fun why they were happening anyway!

Saturday, February 19, 2005


I was away at church this weekend which was a little strange just because I didnt stay with the girls like normal but it was great to chill with Stu, Emelie and Chris (Emelie's Bro). I played football (Im a terrible disgrace to the country of England unfortunatly) but it was relational which was the main point, it was also in the snow! Saturday Night was John Nichols Birthday, loads of food, Crazy games and general banter which was a good laugh.

The Gifford Lectures

A top notch proffesor in Philosophy in St Andrews is coming to Aberdeen to do a really interesting series of lectures if your in ther area come along, Ill be there...Check it out here

If your wondering the lecturer John Haldane is the guys whose book title I ribbed a week or so ago as I have to study it. But to be fair the book is good stuff to see that post click here "In this series, the leading thinker Professor John Haldane will examine the traditional belief that human beings are possessed of immortal souls and that they have been brought into existence by a superior creator with the purpose of coming to share, in some manner and to some degree, in its perfect existence." Click here for the synopsis of these lectures Also Loved the quote from Augustine You made us towards you and our heart is restless until it rests in you - Augustine, Coffesiones Finally heres what the Gifford Lectures actually are.

Snow in Aberdeen

Well its snowing a storm up here in Aberdeen, Its started earlier tonight good and heavy as I sat in tha lounge with the guys. The last meeting of the CU's Mission week went well tonight. I cant take a picture of the snow as my camera is famously being fixed after having it for a week before breaking it. SO I thought Id give you the BBC weather report of it!

Click here to read the rest of the post


Its still very much a novelty for it to snow, I love it, though Im meant to be playing football tommorow at 10:30am (as part of my getting involved in football pledge) so I hope it clears up for that as I dont look forward to diving (as im playing in goal, best place for someone with a kick as bad as mine) in the snow! Anyway tommorow night is Jane and Johns Birthday party at church, I went present shopping for them today and tried to buy meaningful things as opposed to token gestures, man its hard work. John also wanted a kind of open mic thing so it looks like im playing a few tunes and doing some card tricks, now if only I could find a dancing monkey Id be sorted....anyway Im off to bed...nite!


Ive just been annoyingly infected by w32.bropia.m a really annoying virus sent to me by Max Rowse (no worries Max I dont blame you I think it sent itself to my contact list as well) The Virus checker I use is a bit outdated so the removal has been quite manual. Virus' are Evil what gain is there from them, man how annoying, well Im staying up to fix it by tommorow shouldnt take too much longer. Click the link w32... above to get info if you've been infected by it. Sorry to anyone who inadvertantly caught it from me, I really apologise.

Friday, February 18, 2005

Being Miscommunicated

I cant stand being mis-represented, it just plain sucks...but does the secret of being well percieved lie in communicating yourself conciously as opposed to let yourself just "be" in a situation. I dont know what relevance this has but Ive just been thinking about it, I dont like the idea of presenting yourself in a concious way, but maybe knowing who you are fully means you can do that. And I suppose which is the lesser evil being pre-cognitive in presenting an authentic picture of yourself or being mis-communicated by people making assertions about everything you do in ther first few meetings? Well Im not sure, I think that even if you were to do the whole pre-cognitive, im not sure how you would do it?'d have to be careful of manipulation I guess....Random thoughts can you tell I sat here with a blank page thinking of something to write>??? 4HisGlory


Ive been running a little reffering blog roll down on the bottom of the left handside which automatically links any site that reffers to me. At the moment Arlens Blog is re-directing to me like theres no tommorow so thanks Arlen, but whats made the blog roll worthy of a post is my 5th biggest referrer is Low Rise Butt Cleavage in hehe, I love it. Thanks also go to John whose been referring like this king he is, also hes coming up next weekend which will be great. Also I sent my camera back to Canon to get fixed and it looks like my house insurance may cover the cost! excellent. Ill be writing more thought provoking stuff soon but this week has been Aberdeens Mission Week which has gone really well. Im going to right soon hopefully (but even writing this as a reminder for myself) 1) Relatavism and the contorted version we can apply to understanding individuality in the church. 2) Understanding Global Justice through Class 3) The Unnatainable Ideal (inspired by Renogotiating the Church Contract - James Thwaites) 4) 5 Stages of Faith? Modernist theory for post modern spirituality

Thursday, February 17, 2005


I know Ive been slow on the uptake of the whole Gmail thing, ooops by the way for those who dont know what it is, its a new email service still in beta (testing phase) by google which gives you a massive 1GB inbox and searchable archives on all those emails you didnt have to delete because of the big ole inbox!....Im sure Ill find many more interesting features too! Well Ive decided to try it out, any mail which comes to automatically goes to my POP3 (Outlook, Eudora, Thunderbird) account and then also gets forwarded to an online webmail for when Im not at home...for a while ive has it at Yahoo! Mail, which has in fairness served me well. To try out Gmail yourself search for invitations on the web there not hard to find and I think Ill probably be given some to give out so Ill post them up here when I do.

Monday, February 14, 2005


I wrote this last week but havent managed to put it up until now: This morning as I sit here in my unshowered state, after a Law and Prophets lectures I was going through the blogs on my RSS Reader and wanted to find something real....and this is it, a thought provoking post from Jason Clark READ MORE OF MY THOUGHTS HERE This post really affected me, not necessarily in a bad way, to be honest I just dont like the phrase it touched me, but I guess it did. I am so overwhelmed that Jesus is the healer, as much as he is "Lord of all", its such a beautiful paradox that Jesus is Personal, and also ruling over all the earth, he's in the macro and the micro....The Paradox, the mystery, its what makes its beautiful for me. Anyway some things that The biggest thing which I recognized here was the part "the vows I had made to survive, that we now crippling, and that for God to deal with them I had to let them go" this is so hard for me to do, my survival instincts are completely contrary to the life I want to lead, to soften my heart to people and things that hurt me, to be completely inclusive and Jesus to everybody, to not look out for number one, to invest my time in things which wont benefit me directly. These are the things that just aren't conducive to a life given over for Jesus. And its crippling, it paralyzes my pride, something which reminds me to do this is the song Jesus All for Jesus. It says "All I am and ever hope Jesus....All of my ambitions, hope and plans I surrender them into your hands" Thats so hard for me, because I crave to have fulfillment in being significant no falling by the way side, but what I fail to realise in the flesh is that you can only be significant in community and with Jesus. Part of the steps to understanding Jesus and our relationship with him is to be broken, so in that case I know Im not perfect....but I want more of Jesus.

Saturday, February 12, 2005

To Continue...

Somewhat of a reply or at least reaction to the Small Blog World post was posted by my great friend John Gillespie, so go check that out. I normally try and vary the topics of the posts, just by the nature of my irrational thought patterns but I think Im going to continue the Blog World Post and maybe direct it a little bit more towards the discussion of the emerging church which is where Johns Post "The Rise of the emerging Blog" takes the discussion. Please Continue Reading by clicking here Relativism is annoying first of all, but I really want to apply it to this situation we find ourselves in. Emerging in relation to the church and this context is "emerging" in many different ways for people, I think for some its a reformation of doctrine, for some methodology, for some a mixture of both, others it just means they are thinking, other it means doing. But then I think there is also a general undertone that as opposed to many "moves" (which I struggle to characterise the emergent church as right now) it seeks to bring in influence from the past, as people explore monasticism, mediatation and the deeper implications of community. Yet it when looking at it in its various forms also seeks to live now, and not to re-create a decade as a golden era, it looks forward, lives now and lives in light of the past not just inspite of it. For me I guess my journey of faith which is necessarily because of the nature of the bible tied in to the corporate journey which the body of christ is taking, has been one which began as a younger teenager lacking identity and submersing myself in some what of a stereotypical teenage culture of music, partys and all the other things that come along with that, then came the act of salvation then came a shaping of me spiritually more into the form of Jesus, but somewhat unwittingly but also somewhat conciously I adopted this other form, a church culture form not rooted or required in life in Jesus, Now basically I am re-examining, re-defining my spirituality on the baserock of the doctrine I know to be true. So maybe more than my doctrine changing, it has been a re-inforcement of that, but wholly rethinking methodology, and my thought patterns in relation to Christianity. Andrew Jones characterises Emergent like this, which I think is helpful "Emergent is a name that a lot of us are using, at the moment, to describe the church’s response to the current emerging culture, and the peculiar aggregation of believers being called up out of this culture to follow Jesus back into it." He also looks at Emerging church in the sense of what it grew out of: On a simpler lever, “Emergent” or “Emerging Church” is the replacement term for what we used to call “Youth Church” in the 80’s, “GenX Church” in the early 90’s, and “Postmodern Church” in the late 90’s. If this is true, it is probably a better word, since it transcends the problem of associating the term with an age group, a cultural preference or a controversial and misunderstood philosophy. For Andrew Jones' fuller look on the following three questions see here 1. What is emergent? 2. Why are you involved in this? 3. Seeing as one of the emergent values is missional, who is your mission? Coming back to relativism in terms of Emergence, the reason I have to look at emerging church in these terms is because, a) Im not directly involved with the formal Emergent movements in the USA etc b)A large proportion of my understanding and interaction with the emerging church is on the Internet which contrary to popular belief is not real life, the community and friendships maybe but for example you cant have social action on the web in any truly meaningful way. So In light of these things I will comment on Emergence and my own "Emergence" not professing to be a voice of authority, but to be just a voice. Emergence to me means, looking at the biblical principles of church, life, and love and saying how do we do this for NOW, and how do we see what Jesus see's about culture, church and life. As much as anything as well I think emergence for me means the abandonment of sunday christianity, not tha abadonment of sunday as the sabbath to be observed but the abandoment of fractured lives between church and work/school/fill in the blank, its a return to a system of community, friendship, acountablility which we were created to exist in yet has been stolen by among other things the platonic thought riddling the church today which says that Christianity is not about holistic living its about meeting with manageable members on sunday, than living the life, running the race, fighting the battle with broken friends in the knowledge that his sacrifice prompts our sacrifice to him. Another key thing as I seek to have a paradigm shift in the understanding of my expression and my understanding of what I believe to be Gods Intentions in the corporate expression of worship is that its no longer about pride, rebellion or self righteousness. 1)Its not about pride in that its not saying "yeah this is the Movement, this is the way forward and the only way, we've got it you havent attitude", it removes denominational boundries and allegiance while recognising the heritage of them. I have a few more points but I think tonight I will leave it there.....but as a closing point tonight I watched Oceans Twelve, not all it was cracked up to be, but the plots of the robberys were very intelligent, resourceful, and creative and in a disconnected sense to robbery Christians are becoming more innovative andpioneering instead of playing the age old game of decadent catch up....4HisGlory

Friday, February 11, 2005

Its a Small Blog World

Well it's something Andrew Jones mentioned about when he was here in Aberdeen and I think I find it to be true. There are definatly blog circles, communities, common goals etc shared by a few blogs. If you geta round the emergent blogs you'll see alot of links to the blogs that you've just come from etc! Andrew asserted that there may be only a couple of hundred emergent bloggers, but its is definatly a genre of blog. But What do the blogs do? Well there is a lot of heated and some no not so heated debate about whether blogging is a ministry or not, whether its a place for a brain splurge, life updates, or mini doctorates. I like to think this blog is at times all of these, and I dont really apologise for it being only one of them. The great thing about blogs is that everyone is an author, this is great it means theories etc get passed around alot quicker, thought on something especially as changing and broad as the emergent church can get around, intercontinentally as if you were reading a book thw author was writing who lived next door and popped it over to you for a proof read. Anyway whats my point, Im not sure but I know that its a small world really, and this thought was mostly sparked by the strange although in retrospect not so strange of Hannah Prittie finding this blog a while back which resulted in us meeting up in Aberdeen and having a chat about church and things happening in Shetland, and then today finding another "Prittie" on Andrew Jones' guest map, and discovering its Hannah's mum!...What are the chances, well it made me think anyway.

Baby Got Book

This is Im sitting here in my room laughing out loud at this stuff. You may need broadband coz this is like a 4 minuite video but it soooooo worth the wait. You've got to love the comedy value! Check this Christian Hip Hop Video....found this on Who also even though im not a youth pastor they've got a great little Youth Ministry Tip of the Moment: Develop realistic goals and expectations—the harvest is at the end of the age, not at the end of your meeting. Avoid depending on immediate results to determine success or failure. Lasting results come later—often much later. Anyway check the video in Window Media only unfortunatly but its funny enough to download WMP Click here for the Video

Apologies and Low riding

I feel a little bad hyping you up and then telling you how great the "emergence in Aberdeen" Meeting was (name as characterised on Si Johnstones blog) but Im afriad ive not managed to process or may I ever sort those conversations into linea format but I promise future meetings will be more appropriately blogged, on a possible new typepad blog we may start collectively! Wo now this sounds legal or something. Well now for something which is legal....I found this on Planet Emergent which now features my blog!...but this is from from Wendy Cooper. John Gillespie the Snr, seems to have passed a bill in light of our previous low riding! "This is the police, pull 'em up!" That's what many teens could expect to hear if an underwear exposure bill that passed in the General Assembly's House of Delegates 60-34 Tuesday gets the nod from the Senate and eventually becomes law. Finally, we parents with teen and young adult children can convince them that wearing sagging jeans or low-rise pants are bad styles. No more backtalk from smart-alecky kids saying that when we were young we too wore clothes (bell bottoms, platform shoes, mini-skirts) our parents hated. If our wise lawmakers in the Senate come through like those sages in the House, we will be on our way to regaining control of our wayward youths. And all we'll have to pay in return is $50 fine after $50 fine when the cops stop our kids and cite them for simply expressing themselves freely, a crime adults were guilty of before they grew up and became squares. House Bill 1981 would fine males and females for intentionally wearing pants below the waistline, exposing underwear "intended to cover a person's intimate parts, in a lewd or indecent manner." The bill, sponsored by Del. Algie Howell Jr., D-Norfolk targets popular hip-hop-influenced styles that many youths and adults of all races sport these days. It might snatch plumbers and carpenters, too, who have been known to show some bloomers and even butt cleavage when they kneel.

Thursday, February 10, 2005

The Trinity of Man, and Emergence in Aberdeen

Firstly as Im glancing over other blogs I found this by Stephen Dancer about the trinity of man, which is something in the past Ive thought very much about, how the body, spirit, and soul interact and are intertwinned or not. Anyway if you interested check his post here Secondly and briefly as a short update, the meet with Andy and Neil about Aberdeen, was a great "bashing of heads" to quote the prologue of Andy Stobart, and some exciting things were discussed in relation to meeting more regularly to see what comes out of it, discovering more of God, and the very high likelihood of creating a blog for it, and moving my blog to typepad, so whatch this space. I may comment a bit more extensivly but I cant remember much of a linear fashion which would make sense that I could blog about but I left with my brain glowing with thought and basically systematics (faith thinking!)

A Very Brief thought on Sunday

What is church for? Why is it here? Well if I had more time Id probably check out some new testament church models and see what that looks like but to be honest I need to get my day in the non-virtual world going soon, so this will be quick. CLICK HERE FOR MORE But Church I think needs to be a place where brothers and sisters (and I dont use that in a light way, this is significant of deep selfless relationship) coming together corporately and saying "Your Worthy God" Dont get me wrong our lives should be proclaiming that, but theres something different about that day, that way of meeting God coming together as family, having fellowship, getting equipped by his word and spirit. Some of us dont have the luxury which more rural based churches enjoy of running the race during the week together, we have to go to our work, our School, wherever and Church on Sunday as opposed to when it happens during the week is about saying "Yeah God, today we seek you, we set it apart its not about me just communing in the spirit with you and living my busy life, but about setting myself apart" does that mean straight after church service we just need to go and pray until the next service, I dont think so, I think its about relationship with Jesus and then relationship to the people around us, and to be his ambassador through action not just words. I'm not saying God meets us in a better, stronger way on Sundays I'm just saying I think God loves seeing his people in meaningful community. St Combs encompasses this in part with its a vision of "Being a Community, that affects the wider community" Anyway its time to live the life!.....leave a comment on my swift post with your thoughts, I look forward to it.

Aberdeen Emergence Update

Heres some info which may give you a vague yet more organic note (because its from Andy Stobart) on whats happenening last this afternoon in relation to EMERGENCE IN ABERDEEN....see you there. Thanks to Simon for getting this info on his blog. Just to clarify, if anyone out there is interested...We're meeting at Soul (Union Street) at 4pm this Thursday, basically just to connect and bang our heads together and see if anything happens. Watch this space, or perhaps another space!! Stobie On a lighter note I enjoyed completly confusing Andy yesterday txting with names of his friends from London that were commenting on Si Johnstons Blog yesterday on the post concerning Emergence in Aberdeen

Wednesday, February 09, 2005

Emergence in Aberdeen

Come to Soul Thursday 10th Feb on Union Street a bar from a converted church on Union Street near where Water stones is, It will be a great place to chat, learn a bit and network with some great people in Aberdeen about church, God and Aberdeen! MORE Well I've lived here for the Grand total of 6 months now and I’ve continually been praying more about the reason I’m here, and God has been teaching me about Church etc, and I’ve been basically refining and re-evaluating the methodology of Church that I had boxed church in by. I’ve been going to a great church in St Combs, which is a new church plant outside of Aberdeen. Also I decided to change my degree to Divinity from Politics and Social Research I think its symbolic basically of me giving over my life to building the church for his glory. Also I met Joy from Fusion, and talked about Church, it wasn’t really conclusive about anything but we had a great chat about life, Aberdeen and church. I was excited about meeting with Chuck Freeland who I was put in contact with from some friends in Soul Survivor Watford, but haven’t met them yet, but I hear they are in City Church with my friend Ben Hulk. But another interesting and exciting move has happened just recently through the early morning prayer meeting on campus and the recent 24/7 week I’ve met with Andy Stobart and PhD student here for the same time as me 4years and has moved up from the London School of Theology (Formally LBC), great guy, really intelligent and has been preaching at local Methodist churches etc. The other day a guy who I me a few times at the start of Uni who is the don, is Neil Mullan he sent me a text message saying Thurs 4pm @ Soul, me, Andrew Stobart etc are hanging out to talk bout God, reconciliation, etc. Fancy It?? So I saw Neil the other day who said he was excited about it, Andrew was an intelligent guy and he thought it would be cool to just pick his brains...anyway it sounded cool and I was definitely up for dialogue about Aberdeen and those things. Then I came across this blog in favourites which to be honest I don’t think I’ve read since I bookmarked it but I’m going through them and grabbing some syndication for Thunderbird reader, and check it out, some web plugging. The real irony is that my first visit to Aberdeen was to come to a Student Conference called Riding The Wave ran by some of my friends, Les and Susan Fyvie and now Im meeting in it as a bar to talk about church, the change in the venue is almost as drastic as the change in my perception and vision towards church!

My True Age

Well supposedly this is my true ages, according to one of those web quiz, you are bored of your here, things which I found on Ruths LiveJournal Im 28!!!! Thats ridiculous Click here to see it

Prayer 24/7 & Broken Cameras

The Prayer 24-7 Week at Aberdeen Uni is going well although the middle of the night praying times are killing Dave Smith, but hes in everynight fortunatly I had last night off! But Ive popped in during th day on campus sometimes as well. If you've ever been to a 24/7 room or even a boiler room you will have a good idea of what its like. I would take a nice stitch photo for you but guess what I broke my new camera! What a knightmare, well Ive decided that although its bad there no point in getting bummed out by a material thing breaking. Its not convered by the warranty either so Im going to complain to Canon USA, talk to my house insurance company and see if I can find a better quote than £120 that I got from Canon UK yesterday. Anyway back to the Prayer room, here is a poem i read on the wall today that was amongst all the bible verses and prayers written down, I thought it was cool, I dont know if its taken from somewhere or an original of the person who wrote either way Im not sure who wrote it: God has not promised skies ever blue flower strewn pathways all our lives through God has not promised Sun without Rain Joy without Sorrow or peace without Pain BUT he has promised strength for each day Rest after labour, light for our way Grace for ALL that, help from above unfailing sympathy, undying love - Anonymous (Thanks to John for the Missing line)

Damien Rice

This is a random plug for a great singer/songwriter, Damien Rice for no apparent reason apart from I stumbled over this great photo, its not even thats its Damien Rice in it but its just a cool photo....But seriously if anybody comments on this post and not on my actually thought provoking ones below, it might be the end of me....hehe only joking! CLICK HERE FOR THE POST AND PHOTO Back to Damien Rice, His Album"O" was a big hit, the first time I heard it was in northern Ireland on a great few day holiday with some guys I had gone to Morocco with the year before. I was sitting with music legend Phil and we laughed at the ridiculous last few tracks which can get a little wierd if your not in the mood. But on the otherhand if you are in the mood then its great stuff to chill out to, and pretty easy guitar for all you acoustic legends like me who love to rip off bad versions of the songs on your guitars! It is really pretentious but of course theres that funny thing where if you are in the mood you dont even noticed it. A good example for me is OK Computer by RadioHead, I know its depressing and suicidal music but when Im depressed, it makes no ends I never notice its dark undertones!....Anyway Im Blabbering tho thats the title of the blog so Im sure I can use some kind of artistic liscence. Anyway the cool photo was the point of the post so check it out below...

Defending the Christian God

Im doing a Christian Belief: Critics and Defenders course for my degree this semester and today I had a change in perspective on one of my methodologies involving evangelism click below to read more.


The other day in the lecture the lecturer said "There are some Christian believers who say that arguing for God's existence in a rational, logical and empirical basis should not be done, as belief in the triune God is through Faith and revelation not logical and rational reason." When I heard this I thought "Man what a cop out" and thought Christians shouldn't be running away from stuff like this, yeah sure its not going to save someone to get them to believe in God but its one step closer...isn't it" So that day I wrote a little phrase on the margin of my paper, "Surely we must argue out of the compassion to bring people a step closer to the belief in Jesus Christ as Saviour, not to justify our own position rooted in faith but to bring someone maybe a step nearer to salvation" I was pretty sure of my reasoning to make that, to the point that I wrote it in order that I wouldn't out into a stance where Christians can run away from the worlds questions and challenges. Well today was the lecture which fully discussed this stance of some Christians not wanting to argue and I think I had a paradigm shift, a methodological revolution so to speak, a change in my thinking to be un pretentious! Here are my thoughts: - I've always when discussing my faith made the possible mistake of bringing my explanation of God through an empirical level, coming in from the least experiential plateau I could, as before I was a Christian I turned off when I heard that stuff. So I thought, lets bring it onto their playing field, I'm going to tell them to look at the PROOF, the evidence around them that a God must exist, looking at the unlikeliest and flaws in the evolution argument, the big bang theory and pressing the case for a clear design in creation. I even did that this week with my flat mates, in attempting to follow up other conversations and experiences with them over the last 6 months. - This is quite a flawed method as I have discovered in the past but failed to see a better or more valid way of communicating God's existence. For a start, Christian belief is such because its through the revelation of God to man not the other way round, not Man thinking and rationalising and discovering God, this type of bottom up discovery leads us to a Deist God which is a God who is hypothetical because there is no better hypothesis, and it is a watchmaker God who creates the watch and walks away, to function and eventually corrode. Bringing someone to the belief of Design in nature doesn’t bring them any closer to the Christian God because it leaves you with saying "Yeah there’s an author but is it one author, two, a dozen, and other such questions" - Historically what has happened when Theology tries to argue for Gods Existence on rational terms e.g. Descartes, Locke....Faith became consumed by reason, Reason was the common minimum shared throughout the fields involved and turned theology into a branch of philosophy. - Also if you argue for God on rational terms then a belief in God equally is formed on a bed rock of reason, so when a more logical argument comes along it replaces the one before. Faith is diluted. - Another problem and although I haven’t covered them all I feel that the balance between me wanting my bed at 2am and the point being made I think this will be the last is that - Rationalising God creates God in a manageable form, because we use analogies like architect, artist, builder, watchmaker etc, and what this is, is anthropomorphism, the endowing of human characteristics onto non-human parties for example in Bambi or the Lion King where dangerous animals are turned into cuddly lovable characters who we see as humans because of their characteristics. This may be fine with animals in relation to children’s films but when we look at God, a rational God becomes a BIG us, He/She/It stays in the sphere of rational reason because He/She/It is contained and understood within thought. This is not the God of the bible, the triune God, The Christian God, fortunately we worship a God who is a mystery, uncomprehendable, of whom we can only glimpse a portion of his glory - Immanuel Kant, although floored in some of his assertions makes a good point with which Ill conclude, He says (paraphrased) That understanding God through rational thought, or moving from the empirical to the transcendent is like using a canoe to sail to the moon, you are using the wrong equipment for the Job. How does this relate to me, well I was thinking today, the salvation of the people I love although is helped along the road by me being salt and light, its always in Gods hands and I think maybe I would go as far to assert that God might want us to "back off" sometimes from being to pushy, and to realise its not us who saves people, its the sovereign hand of God in an incredible, mysterious, overwhelming, perfect act of Grace to Undeserving sinners. Hope this was understood......4HisGlory....feel free, no, please comment, would love dialogue!

Monday, February 07, 2005

The Christ focussed Church

Today I need to do stuff but whenever I have time to Blog I am never inspired so I thought Id try this out, now I want to blog Im just going to make time in the hope that I can make it up later! Church, Church, Church, recently Ive been very pre-occupied, and I love that....Jesus loves the church but he's also calling us to have our eyes focussed on him, and not believe we can "disciple the nations" with human methodology. TO READ THE REST OF THIS POST CLICK HERE A read a great post which I think at my stage of thinking of church is more of a warning than a rebuke (not by the author but how the spirit can use these types of things) Im gonna paste it because I want to make sure you read it if your reading this post not just being lazy and not following links! so here its is from From Wayne Jacobson. It shared a couple weeks ago in Lakeland Church's adult Sunday School class. "I've been selling house church," he said shaking his head with a sigh, "instead of Jesus." Obviously he wasn't talking about 'selling' anything, but I love his discovery. Almost everywhere I go people are preoccupied with finding the right way to do church. It seems our hunger for church outstrips our hunger for Jesus. In one house church meeting a few years ago I heard a woman share a dream she had the night before about a bride endlessly primping in the mirror and admiring her own beauty. She fussed with her hair, make-up and dress making sure everything was perfect. Meanwhile she saw the groom standing at the altar checking his watch and wondering why his bride had not come. What a sad and lonely picture of too many believers in our day. We are so focused on ourselves and what the church should look like that we've forgotten our joy is in the bridegroom--Jesus himself! If there's anything I've learned over the last decade visiting expressions of the body of Christ all over the world, it is that those preoccupied with doing church rarely get to experience body life to its full, while those who are preoccupied with Jesus find church life that is vibrant and awesome.My friend Karen Neudorf talks about being a "church mechanic" where we run around and try to fix the church which is based on the premise that we are smart enough to fix everything if people would only listen. (I am guilty of this sin). We forget Matthew 16:18 and think that programs and ideas will build the church instead of Jesus and our community suffers because of it. I had a great summer this year I was involved with SOULINTHECITY which was a social action project in London, UK and it was the church in action, which was awesome but the thing that inspired me to work in the days were the glimpses of his glory in the morning, when I was sweaty and nasty on a tube I was loving it....I knew I was working for a greater purpose. I was captivated and motivated by God and thats how we need to look at church, and life in general. Not so captivated that we greedily enjoy his prescence and become merely experientialists but to glimpse his glory, to know his peace, to feel his favour, to run the race set out before us. I want to be motivated by the character and emulation of Jesus not the construction of Human Models. I do think though to balance this up, that in the seeking of Jesus we re-evaluate which is what is happening in many saints lives and in turn the life and view of the corporate....this is great, we've bought into so much methodology and world views which water down the gospel. As in thousands of sermons I want us to think about the get out of the boat story Matthew 14:28-32 (Contemporary English Version) 28Peter replied, "Lord, if it is really you, tell me to come to you on the water." 29"Come on!" Jesus said. Peter then got out of the boat and started walking on the water toward him. 30But when Peter saw how strong the wind was, he was afraid and started sinking. "Save me, Lord!" he shouted. 31Right away, Jesus reached out his hand. He helped Peter up and said, "You surely don't have much faith. Why do you doubt?" 32When Jesus and Peter got into the boat, the wind died down. Peter could walk as long as his eyes were fixed on his literal, and physical saviour!....wont Jesus help us walk on water as a church (in a symbolic sense) as we fix our eyes on the hope that sent us. I want to be a part of a church that Jesus is the head of, a church that is open, organic, passionate, gracefilled, and inclusive. A church which dosen't seek to have Managable Members but want to be in community with broken friends, who understand they're hopeless sinners and that we Need Jesus, but are also empowered by the fact that we are inheritants with Christ. Another thing which is important as we seek Jesus to uplifted in Church is that we are not prideful, this is partially why I am excited by the idea of small c catholism, the universal church, the body of Christ not the strucuture of men....a church which seeks to glorify the God of the bible not the standards of men. So often I hear people say "God is doing a new thing" and I think "yeah only for us" God is unchangeable and so often we think were the first generation/belivers to REALLY get a hold of the gospel, well Ive got news check out some of those hymns, some of those reflect my outpouring to God than some the "contemporary songs we sing" Im not saying we shouldnt seek to be relevant to the culture we are in, theres nothing worse than a church stuck in a decade past, but Im saying that we can learn, be inspired and even enriched by the heritage we have as the church of Jesus Christ. We'll be selling our selves ot of it big time if we purely look forward. I read a great post as ever from Arlen's blog about being post which for me means relieving oursleves from the burden of denominational labels and to just be a follower of Jesus. Anyway this has got long but the short of it is, we need to be the humble body of Christ not one thats wrapped up in its "cool" services or that our leaders have watched "Zoolander" (though it will definatly be a module if I ever run a seminary!) GO AND MAKE DISCIPLES.......4HisGlory

Saturday, February 05, 2005

Risk, Indifference and Mission Minded Church

Well I feel like maybe recently Ive been writing indifferent blog material as it hasnt really resulted in any comment activity (please dont take that as any type of reverse psycology only comment when you want to). So I think I may think of how to say things a little more provocativly soon. Anyway before that I start my provocative blog writing, I going away to day to go to Church for tommorow (Its 50 Miles away!....go figure that) So Im gonna blog about the last few days and some cool Mission Minded Church quote I found over at Jordan Coopers Blog (check below for his link) TO READ THE REST OF THIS POST CLICK HERE Last night was CU @ uni (christian Union) and the announcing of the new executive and a bunch of myt friends are on it so that was great. Also this week starting yesterday at 7pm and finishing next week at the same time is the Uni's 24/7 Prayer week, so if your anywhere near Aberdeen feel free to come and check it out at 55 University Road. So CU finished last night and we went over to Ben's after he'd started off the prayer weekl for 2 hours in the room we went and watched Zoolander, what a classic!....although I couldn't resist pre-empting the funniest lines. After that Ben had to go a do 2 hours from 5-7am so he decided to stay up all night and go for it, so we decided to play a game of Risk which is a great game, but I am but a beginner so I was out first, what can I say bad International relations tactics. But hence we were up til 6ish!....I walked up to the prayer room with him and prayed with him for maybe 1/2 an hour which was awesome I was too tired to think but we just prayed for each other and had an inspiring experience of God as we commited to "Going for it with everything we have for His Glory" Anyway other than that I was reading a couple of RSS feeds this morning and found this great quote from Reggie McNeal's book, The Present Future which I havent read but this is a great quote (courtesy of the typing of Jordan Cooper, check his blog here) Adopting a missionary approach will require changing the scorecard. Church scorecards currently reflect member values: how many show up, pay up, and participate in club member activities. There are the numbers used to compare one church with another--the numbers that denominations ask for in their reports. These numbers establish the pecking order among clergy. The bigger the better and the more respected by club members of other churches. A missionary church culture will need to begin keeping score on things different from what we measure now. These may include how many ministry initiatives we are establishing in the streets, how many conversations we are having with pre-Christians, how many volunteers we are releasing into local and global mission projects aimed at community transformation, how many congregations are starting to reach different populations, how many congregations use our facilities, how many languages (ethnic and generational) we worship in, how many community groups use our facilities, how many languages (ethnic and generational) we worship in, how many community groups use our facilities, how many church activities target people who aren't here yet, how many hours per week members spend in ministry where they work, go to school, and get mail. Until we start making heroes of people who decide to be and act like missionaries, we will fail to turn club members into missionaries. Until we bless people who "go out" from us to reach people who may not come to us, we will continue to have a kingdom vision that is shrink wrapped to church programs and church real estate. Until we start adopting school and hosting community food banks and teaching parenting seminars for people who come to us for food, we will keep fostering club member mentality. Please pray for Aberdeen Uni as it has it Prayer 24/7 Week, and then its Mission week to the campus after that. Click on this pic below to get the full version of a stitch I took of Aberdeen from a hill yesterday, the regular windows XP previewer if you zoom in to actually see the thing it dosent actually scroll in real time I dont know why, but what I did is put it in Photoshop then zoom to 100% and its scrolls left to right fine, so try it out in your photo editing software to see if you can have your very own 360 of Aberdeen, Scotland from where you are.... your excited, I bet...

Friday, February 04, 2005

Starbucks Gifts

Well, I had had a very long walk home where I was pondering my current situation of debt and whether to get a job, but that ironically I couldn't afford to go for coffee to starbucks to hustle for a job (it just doesn’t feel right entering without buying)....let me explain ever since my wonderful discovery of Coffee (around two years ago courtesy of the Gillespies) I have loved Starbucks, not least when working at Soul in the City where a welcome break from working there on the hard working film team was going to a Coffee House chain which with all my other beliefs about supporting local economies etc I should hate, but no! To Read More click here or Continue Reading Below I Love Starbucks and I there are some major redeeming aspects of it, (from the status is may even have been wrongly attributed by leftist Uni propaganda) They only pay 6p cheaper for the regular coffee beans than they do for a bag of the fair trade stuff. Anyway No more stalling, I love Starbucks and that’s that. A Great cup of Coffee that you can buy all over the western world, that capitalism working for ya (now I’m just winding you up!) Anyway a few weeks ago Sarah Cogdon, our talented Camera Woman from SITC had asked me for my address saying she saw something that reminded her of me and was going to send it up, I didn’t really know what it would be but imagined it would be a eraser saying "Don't kill the badger" or something obscure yet amusing. But NO......what an awesome surprise when I opened it and found My very own Starbucks Mug...What a find!!?? and What a great present, thanks Sarah definatly a brightening to my day, life and a browning influence on my teeth but these sacrifices have to be made! The best part of owning this now is that apart from the fact I can enjoy endless cups of coffee for much cheapness while tricking myself I’m having that "StarBucks ltd" experience is that I’ve been looking for a Starbucks blank cup (like the ones you get when you go there) as opposed to the ones which they sell normally e.g. A little quaint Starbuck Coffee tiny type font no masonic logo (only joking its not masonic...or is it...duh duh duh...dramatic pause...a cat doing drama, now I’m just going off point) or getting a geographically specific one, so for instance they make London Starbuck cups or Scotland ones. Anyway I had resigned to either stealing one (which I wasn’t going to do) or getting a job there and offering a home to a chipped one they were about to throw out, I wasn’t getting my caffeine loving hands on one of the classic starbucks mugs. Well now I have one, Check the proof below For more info on my caffeine addiction >click here

Owning Books which have bad titles

For some reason, I have this thing about books, I would love to have a grea library of books, but I kind of struggle with owning books that I dont agree with or have ridiculously pretentious titles. Not unlike the book Ive just had to add to my collection which has great reviews and is required reading for my course yet it ludicrously titled "An Intelligent Person's Guide to Religion" now Im sure this is a interesting and exhaustive guide to the course which I am studying but surely John Haldane a Proffesor of Philosophy at St. Andrews could be kind enough to call it something like "The Indepth Guide to Religion" as it is not talking about different religions as we know them but with God his attributes etc. I dont know why I take such an aversion to things like this, maybe its the quiet liberal within me who screams for equality but I would prefer it would be the thing inside me which echoes the scriptures which speak of there is no longer male or female, jew or gentile. I can recognise that some people have an intellectual ability above me and below me but its the inference and the academic elitism which fustrates me of titling a work "An Intelligent Person's...."


Thursday, February 03, 2005

What I learnt about the Bible today was...

"The unfolding of your words gives light..." - Psalm 119:130

nb. Im gonna be blogging some lectures including this one over at check it out if you like

Today I had a great lecture on the Book of Mark and its got me thinking about a couple of things which Ill unpack on you now; Click here or Continue Reading below to read the rest of this post Marks Gospel is a narrative, it is written to tell us something, the author wants to tell us a story it is not trying to be a historical archive of everything that happened in the events it detailed, Mark was telling us what he thought the reader needed to know. Its supposed that Marks intention in writing the gospel was to provoke repentance, inspire worship of Jesus Christ the messiah and the son of God. The book has a purpose.... Recently Ive been going through the bible in a year and Ive been perplexed about somethings (while acknowledging God soveriegn hand in authoring his word) such as large proportions Genesis (although I really strongly believe the 7 day literalist interpretation) and its seeming vagueness with somethings. But today I came to a sub-conclusion (while not claiming to understand in fullness) that if I believe God authored the bible and its his divine word then I have to trust he's given us the details we need to know. Secondly the lecturer talked about the sequential nature of reading scripture, which he said was crucial to a full understanding to the scriptures as a whole and indeed individual books such as Marks Gospel. I will expand on what this made me think: I have begain as I said ealrier reading the bible in a year and it has been such a great opening of the gospel, reading scripture sequentially pulls together the bits and pieces of scripture you know things about like the connection between Adam and Eve, Noah, and Abraham, Issac and Jacob. Its so key to gaining a holistic knowledge of the bible, many people claim it to be religious, and a more "spiritual" way of reading the bible is to do a bit of bible bingo (which still has its place) where you open up the bible in the middle and reading little chunks, this is great for a snack in what the bible calls the bread of life but we need to have meals. I have learnt so much what a grounding influence the word is, and how it is spiritual food. When you look at the bible in little chunks it also becomes overwhelming as you cant get an overview of it, so it just becomes a very thick book which you know has lots of small verses of it within. Another thing is there is a beautiful redemptive narrative over the whole of the bible. To massivly simplify but not I think to under sell it, the old testament is the story of man turning its back on God, and the new testament is the story of God returning man to himself. Hope it makes sense, Enjoy peeps 4HisGlory

World debt and Christianity

An interesting post on the poverty levels in the world and christians part in it which I found linked to on the 21 Century Reformation blog "How much can really be done about the need in the world? Can we overcome poverty in developing countries without large donations from governments?We often hear that if just a percentage of the world's weapons budget was diverted to provide aid we could wipe out poverty. We've been hearing for years that there is more than enough to go around but those of us in the west are taking more than our fair share.A recent study is now showing that those of us who call ourselves Christian could have the problem wrapped up ourselves if we had the will to do so." Check out the post here

Did Darwin denounce?

Ive been studying Darwinism and neo-darwinism recently in my Christian Belief its critics and defenders which is like a introduction to systematic theology. I remember hearing something about Darwin recounting his theory on his death bed and thought Id check it out, it seems unfortunatly untrue, or highly improbable. Go here for details There are plenty of other sites as well which gives similar stories to this one, you can find them by searching google for "darwin renounced evolution" (not in speech marks) Also a side note; Ive left a comment for you John under the Tony Campolo post below about creative Commons which for everybody else is a great copyright/freeing thing which you should check out (see the 2nd comment on the tony campolo post below)

Wednesday, February 02, 2005

Evangelicals in America, and Cody got captured!

I was checking out the RSS while trying to send an email and was looking at Liquid Thinking which Ive been reading since the start of my blogging life. Theres a link to this great interview with Tony Campolo about American Evangelicals which I think is a good balancing comment. I dont know much of this guy but we all differ on opinion but Im impressed that he seems to really love and want to honour the Lord jesus but dosent want to conform to a church culture which promotes things the bible insn't specific about. Also there linking to a crazy story just out on CNN, it seems Islamic fundametalists have captured none other than Special Ops Cody, a military action figure!.

Tuesday, February 01, 2005


I've used this quite a bit recently, its really handy when your working on public omcputers or over at soembody elses house.

Basically it plays you songs like a radio station and you can skip them (apart from adverts which you need for it to be free!) and then you give the song, artist and album separate ratings/or say dont play them ever again, and then it becomes intelligent and plays the songs, albums and artists that you like and also recommends stuff that other people who like your music like.

Ive tuned mine pretty well, it plays good hip-hop, and rock....for a more detailed review go to the Radio Station Homepage where Yahoo! tells you my favourite artists etc.

Heroes of the Faith: Wesley

Brad is preaching here and Ive been listening to it as I get ready to go into Uni and hes talking about the nature of Christianity...the gospel is offensive because it challenges world view and that your telling people who dont even acknowledge his existence that he is Lord over their lives. And the reason Im blogging about this is because he talks about an old hero of the faith, and I just love these stories from the days when John Gillespie used to preach with them on sunday as I was growing up so here you go: John Wesley (Brad had only heard the story not read it but thinks its from John Wesleys Journals)was a tough preacher just like the rest of the revivalists, he knew the consequence of the gospel, he had been persecuted through his ministry and he was riding from city to city preaching and he realised that for a few days no one had thrown a tomato at him, or a rock. So he got off his horse, knelt down and prayed he said God am I disobedient, have I missed the gospel, the batten of the new testament is conflict....wheres the conflict, then some libertine drunkard heard him praying and said "your stupid Idiot" and threw a rock at him, Welsey shouted "Praise the Lord, confirmation that I am obedient"

Emergents in Action

This post is awesome, its maybe the first time a 19 year old has wanted to be 36 (not really) but this was just a great post I thought I would share. I want to live life like this, being in hard times but those bearing fruit (bit of a cliche but what the hey) and well I just thought this was awesome...props go to Jason Clark who is seeking to know Jesus more and more through his life evidently, I dont know much of him but from what I can gather his is very sound. This was my favourite part: "As I look back over the past 8 years, it has been the most painful, and most fulfilling time of my life. The process of of deconstruction, and reconstruction, within our relationship with Emergent, has been the most wonderful gift from God, and has enabled our hopes to take shape. We have a community full of new christians, are known as a church connected to our community, have weclomed people into life (babies), and had the privelege of burying some of our family, as we do life together. It's my 36th Birthday today, I'll remember this one well." This post is more than just a "yeah Gods good" and me wanting to be Jason Clark, no offence to Jason but Im quite happy to be Liam but it made me think, I just want to go at life with everything I have, and give that all to Jesus...Its not the first time Ive had that thought but sometimes we look forward down the road and see somebody who's living the life and it just inspires you to run harder and faster where you are. 4HisGlory

TIME's Top 25

I found this through Jason Clarks Blog, TIME's new issue's front cover story is counting the top 25 Influential Evangelicals. Firstly Im amazed at the story as it says alot about the differences in the nations os the USA and the UK as this would never make the front cover of any magazine. Also it's interesting (not sure if I can completly out right condemn it) that its like getting pole position on the Top 25 Evangelicals...not so sure if Gods Top 25 would look the same or even if he would have one in fact. Well it was an interesting read for me anyway I only really noticed a few names that I knew on there, I spose thats a good thing but Rick Warren came in at Number 1....I've not read the Purpose Driven life but its meant to be fairly sound, also Brian Mclaren who I was blogging about the other day comes in at 17.

Pinch Punch First of the month

1st of the month!...Well that means that officially 1/12 of this year has gone already...sweet!

I was reading this about Athlete in the paper the other day its an interesting comment on Christian Musicians. It also has something at the bottom of the page about different Christian artists, the U2 section was particularly interesting for me. U2 How to dismantle an atom bomb - Ive been listening to it quite alot through other people, particularly Lindsay Espie's copy! Cheers Lindsay

Cinema and Pro Evo

Well to be honest I dont want to do the staying up late thing like this as much as possible this semester though I think it may be partially conduicive with being a student and all, but I am much more porductive and focussed when I get up ion the morning so bring that timetable forward. Anyway I thought Id let you in on tonights proceedings. Buy 1 Get 1 Free Snpafax deals have started up again at UGC Cineams in Aberdeen so I went and saw "Meet the Fockers" with Dave Smith, Jack and Manuel....I laughed out loud wuite a few times so it was plenty funny but not maybe all it was cracked up to be, and I dont think Ill own it. So probably a 7/10.....Good Fun night out, but a bit formulaic. Then we went over to the Aberdeen centre for all Good Christian Entertainment, Graeme and Bens House...first of all I won my first game of Pro Evo V, How triumphant am I.....very!

Then we chilled out and shared stuff in the same way as we've been doing on Mondays for a few weeks now, just encouraging each other and being accountable. Also a bit of photography for you here today as well. The quality has been reduced so it'll load faster but its from the left: Dave Smith, Graeme Shanks, and Ben Hulk...contrary to the red eye their really good guys. Anyway more Adventures soon.