Here’s one more paradox for those living to serve Christ and to grow his kingdom. It’s one which has been taxing my mind, because it goes to the heart of what Christians believe. We live in the time that gets called ‘the now and not yet’—the period of history after Christ’s resurrection and ascension, but before the revelation of his lordship to the entire universe. It’s an in-between time, so we have the blessings and securities of the eternal age, and yet we don’t see them all, experience them all, know them entirely or enjoy them fully.
The church planting experience of Holy Trinity North Terrace.
What’s at the heart of your church? It’s either an easy question or a trick question. Answering ‘God’ or ‘Jesus’ used to get me through the Sunday School quizzes, but will these answers work for me now? Trick question or not, it has left many a Parish Council debating long into the wee small hours. And it has certainly produced some long and cumbersome mission statements. I work at Holy Trinity North Terrace in Adelaide. We, too, have been through the process of developing a mission statement, on the way to developing a model for ministry. After looking over the shoulders of churches both here and overseas, our rector noticed that many of the statements told God what that particular church would do for him. Yet the Bible constantly tells us the opposite. It makes it abundantly clear what God has done for us.
The early church father, Irenaeus, was certainly not afraid to critique error. I was browsing through his Against Heresies the other day (as one does, in the Greek, without a dictionary, shortly before dictating my latest article for The Ivory Tower Review), and I came across the following passage that I felt bound to share. Irenaeus was arguing against the heresy of the Gnostics, who had an incredibly elaborate, and elaborately incredible, account of how the world came to exist. One of Irenaeus’ chief polemical methods was simply to describe in detail what the Gnostics were actually teaching, with only a few minor comments being required to point out how absurd it all is.
There are books; there are workbooks; there are audio and video tapes. If your head is above the sand in the world of Christian books, you will have heard of the Boundaries series, authored by Dr Henry Cloud and Dr John Townsend.
It was the end of my first year at University. Having risen early to study, I turned on the radio and heard the news. I remember wondering whether to wake my parents and tell them, but it was such shocking news I decided that they had to know. So I went in and told them of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy.
Jerry Bridges is the author of The Pursuit of Holiness, The Practice of Godliness, True Fellowship, Trusting God, Transforming Grace and The Joy of Fearing God. He has a close association with the ministry of The Navigators and lives in Colorado Springs, Colorado, USA.