Friday, 27 May 2011

New Nephew

Reuben James White was born last night at 10:54pm - weighing 8lb 5oz in Ipswich.   Congratulations to my sister and brother-in-law, as well as to big brother Nathanael, who is absolutely in awe of his new little bro.

Sunday, 22 May 2011

Southport Sunset

Was down the coast the other week and took the opportunity to do some photography.  Here are two of them.


Southport Qld Aus

Saturday, 21 May 2011

Little bit of boy left in this man.

Doesn't matter how much I grow up there are things that I am still mesmerised by now, just as much as I was as a boy.

One of those things is watching cranes.  There's lots of building going on around Brisbane, especially with some of the recovery work going on after the floods.  Today I was walking to the Mater Hospital to visit a friend, but I stopped for about five minutes to watch a crane moving what looks like an air conditioning component over the building site for the new Children's Hospital.

It was pretty cool...

It's the end of the world...

So all the hype about the cult which claims that the Bible guarantees that May 21st 2011 will consist of the Rapture and Judgement Day has really been seen in all facets of the media, and social media - both Christian and non-Christian friends on Facebook (in Australia, UK, USA and other parts of the world) are all commenting on the advertising that's been propagating our suburbs with the news that a giant worldwide earthquake is coming as a precedent to the return of Jesus.

And I'm sure just as much media hype will remain on the 22nd May when we're all still here and nothing happened.

It's sad that this brings such a bad image on the Bible and the church, just because some nutter wants some attention.  And though a lot of Christians are making jokes today (myself included) I also realise - and others need to as well - that the rapture and return of Christ is actually a very real thing!

Though probably not today - as the only thing the Bible guarantees about the second coming is that NOBODY will know the time - Jesus will return to earth.  It will be something no one will miss for every eye will see him coming, and it will also usher in the Throne Judgement of Christ where people will be dealt their final, eternal position.

So even though it feels like a joke today, ask yourself - what would happen if Jesus really did come back?  Would you be able to stand in front of him?  Or would you tremble and fall as you realised your life has been spitting in his face the entire time?

See I've realised that I basically spat in Jesus' face over and over - but he offers forgiveness through faith, and it's that faith that means on the day he returns I will be filled with joy, and will stand before him in humble reverence waiting for my eternity with him.

Tuesday, 17 May 2011

The rapture of the church

This is our topic for Theology class today.  Mind bending stuff.  Jim is pre-millennial and pre-tribulational but though I agree with the pre-millennial idea (That Jesus' return issues in the 1000 year reign of Christ), I tend to agree more with the textbook's interpretation of understanding a post-tribulational rapture.   This idea that the church will endure the tribulation, yet at Christ's return the church will be raptured to meet Jesus in the air and then return with him to earth to begin the 1000 year reign.

1 Thessalonians 4:17 gives a clear understanding that we will be 'caught up' in the air at Jesus' coming - ἁρπαγησόμεθα - this verb really does give the idea of being taken up, or to go up.  The word rapture comes from the Latin translation of this term I believe, so in that sense I do believe there will be a rapture.

But I think it's all part of the final coming of Jesus Christ - not a separate occurance removing the church before the tribulation.  I liked this in Erickson's textbook, in regards to the use of this verb ἀπάντησιν in a parable Jesus told...

One of these references is in the parable of the wise and foolish virgins, an explicitly eschatological parable.  When the bridegroom comes, the announcement is made, "Here's the bridegroom! Come out and meet [ἀπάντησιν] him!" (Matt 25:6).   What does the word signify in this situation? the virgins do not go out to meet the bridegroom and then depart with him.  Rather, they go out to meet him and then accompany him back to the wedding banquet. 
(Erickson, Christian Theology, p1229)

This idea of meeting Jesus shows that the rapture isn't Jesus simply coming in the sky, the Christians meeting him there and then he whisks them off to heaven to sit out a terrible period of tribulation on earth.  But instead, Jesus comes, Christians meet him in the sky and then follow him back to earth where all the other judgement stuff happens and then the wedding feast begins.

Monday, 16 May 2011

Conflict in Churches

Susek in his book FIRESTORM uses the illustration of a firestorm (or in the Australian context, a bushfire) to demonstrate the evolution of church conflict in six phases.

 The first phase is the Sparks which occur because of the natural dynamics of human relationship - managing these sparks well can prevent the occurrence of a firestorm, however ignoring or abusing them will allow conflict to evolve into the second phase Ignition. Here one or more of the sparks suddenly ignite a destructive conflict (figuratively a small blaze) which if left to itself will grow into a firestorm.

Phase three is the Firestorm in full fury. Destructive conflict causes pain and devastation to those involved. Phase four are the Consuming Winds which continue destruction as the blaze of conflict spread wider than the initial incident.

This in turn may lead to the fifth phase of a Final Burn which describes the possibility of litigation and official reprimand. The sixth phase recognises the need to recover from conflict and Rebuild on Burnt Timber.

Have you seen church conflict evolve through these levels?  Can the 'sparks' be handled in a constructive way to encourage growth and discourage the flash burns of destructive conflict?  What do we put in place in our churches to manage this conflict?

Wednesday, 4 May 2011

Why is the Social Media response Newsworthy?

I find it funny that now on nearly all online newscasts they include articles on what's being said on social media feeds.  Suddenly everyday, uninformed, people's perceptions are being broadcast in a news presentation that people are reading to find the facts.

I think it discredits those news agencies.

Some of them are slightly humerous though.

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