Saturday, November 12, 2005

Studying, Social Action and Scripture-on-my-mind...

The ever thoughtful Rachel posts some seminar notes on Studying. Meanwhile today we went to a Bible College open day. First time I've ever set foot in such a place. Inspiring. Opening talk on the end of Ecclesiastes was amazing and a sample lecture on Luther & Salvation was also really good. I don't know whether that place is where I will end up spending three years of my life. God knows. I guess I'll find out in due course...

Ecclesiastes - the careful teacher compared life under the sun with life with God's judgement... whatever you have without God's judgement is vanity (whether time or wisdom or even God)... the alternative: life resurrected under Christ, is glory!
  • Ceryn reviews Humility and posts some poetry inspired by Luke's gospel.
  • Ed is amazed by the cross.
  • Paul is engaged in the charismatic pillowfight.
Wednesday-Friday were spent in Exeter with the UCCF Christian Union South Team, studying Social Action & Evangelism, with Andy Bathgate (CEO Scripture Union, Scotland). We have the luxury of debating it, in much of the world, they live in it. Challenging, very challenging. Our main resource was Tim Chester's Good News to the Poor. I may post more on this later, but I suppose the basic conclusion was - Christian Union's exist to do evangelism among students, but Christians are saved for good works - which has got to include meeting social needs.
As I continue my adventues into Church History, I've followed up Phil Johnson's History of Calvinism, by starting to listen to his survey of heresies beginning with vs. Pelagius. Phil is helpfully progressing with his wise insights into the cessationism / continuationism in the charismatic discussion.
On my mind are:
  • "not to us" : worship leader & musician's training for south east UCCF Christian Unions next month... who's it for, the words we sing, and how to use your gifts and stay humble...
  • Galatians 6 - to speak at Reading CU
  • Matthew 18 - to speak at Bath CU
  • Habakkuk and Titus, for other study
  • 2 Chronicles 1-9 - my overdue staff study project!!
  • How to answer Q6 in the series on The Necessity of Atheism: "If grace does everything for them, what reason would he have for recompensing them?" (noticed by Ant Adams)
But you know what, I can't think of much else I'd rather have to muse on than large sections of God's word.


  1. "Christian Union's exist to do evangelism among students, but Christians are saved for good works - which has got to include meeting social needs."

    Amen to that!

    And Amen to the music and worship leaders training. I'd say that's a much needed thing that could really prove useful. I could have used a few clues, and some time to get away with the team and really think about it, instead of hurried meetings.

  2. Yeah, sorry we didn't provide you much training on the worship front - too busy dodgying the landmines as to whether its called "worship"....

    The social action stuff was one of the best regional team gatherings we've had - buzzing - but with much to think on, decide on, act on...

  3. "- too busy dodgying the landmines as to whether its called "worship""

    :-) I think I lost a limb or too!

    One question many asked of the Social Action stuff was how they were expected to have time, when degree + CU + church basically took all their time already.
    Fish often lamented that plenty of people said they would be involved with Speak, if they didn't have as many CU commitments as they did.

    So whilst it's not what CU's are for, they should aim to help and encourage their members to incorporate it naturally into their lifestyles - plus, CU's should encourage EVERone to be involved, so the jobs that need doing are not spread thinly over a small number of uber-commited people.
    Does that make sense? :-)

  4. As my new Relay worker pointed out... part of it is about good old time management - most student waste vast amounts of time.

    But then...
    CU/Church/Cell = about 8 hours a week.
    Which leaves 160 other hours - granted some sleep there's still well over 100 hours.

    Ok so say you spend 40 hours on your degree each week... of which most is mixing with non-Christians - i.e. where the major CU activity of personal evangelism happens...

    Which still leaves 60 hours for anything that might involve meeting social needs - such as being friends with the lonely, campaigning, nightline or the like...

    So actually, time isn't really a problem - once we realise that CU stuff is basically a handful of hours plus using the time you have when studying to study to God's glory and share the gospel with the people you actually spend your time with... the old no time to spend with non-C friends is a misnomer... every student can spend at least 40 hours a week with non-Christians, and thats before time with hall/housemates....