TEACHINGS FROM THE CHRISTIAN TRADITION (posts & podcasts)
A SPIRITUAL SMORGASBORD
THE LUKE 10 ROAD-TRIP – In the Gospel of Luke Jesus sends out the second wave of missionaries to embody his mission. 72 of them. It’s a mission we all inherit as followers of Jesus. The Church calls this aspect of Christianity the “apostolic life.” So how might that look for us? Today churches often frame their mission as a vision to persuade others to become Christians, join the Church and grow their congregations. Yet none of these themes are present in Jesus’ actual instructions to his emissaries in the Gospels. The Luke 10 Road-Trip re-frames our whole idea of Christian mission. It explores how we can grace-fill our relationships and incarnate the love of God, by following the timeless principles Jesus’ laid out for his 72:
THE GENESIS OF US – Genesis is an ancient library containing some of the world’s oldest narratives. The presence in those texts of YHWH the Holy Name for God, not revealed until the time of Moses, clues us that we are not reading the earliest version of these narratives. The stories are being retold to us by a narrator from after the time of Moses – one who knew the Holy Name. Today there is a consensus among scholars that the current form of the Hebrew scriptures was crafted by a redactor or redactors at the time of Israel’s captivity in Babylon.
The theology of the redactor who shaped the scrolls in the C6thBC into a single work brings important and beautiful truths to the world, most fundamentally that there is only one True God; one ultimate source of all things; one creator and Father of all. In the form in which we have them today, how do the stories in Genesis frame the story of the Bible, God, Jesus and Humanity? And what do they have to say about us today? Those are the questions I tackle in this series of podcasts – recordings of a teaching series given at Yarra Valley Vineyard Christian Fellowship in Victoria, Australia.
“ESCAPING FROM EDEN”
The vocabulary of Genesis holds deep mysteries for the Bible translator. Probing some of the conundrums and anomalies in our translations, my latest book “ESCAPING FROM EDEN” seeks out a deeper layer of the text, the vestiges of the original stories with which the C6thBC editor had to work. This layer of the text summarizes the even more ancient sources on which the stories of beginnings in Genesis were based. These were the stories Abraham and Sarah (the progenitors of the people of Israel) brought with them from Ur of the Chaldes.
So what were the original stories, hidden in plain sight within the text of the Bible? And what did they say about who we are and where we all came from?
“ESCAPING FROM EDEN” reveals some unfamiliar layers to the stories we’re all familiar with – arriving at some surprising and controversial conclusions, that might re-frame your whole vision of the Bible and of Judaeo-Christian faith. Read more…
The Great Reformers established the importance of perpetually returning to the Scriptural sources of Christian faith and asking afresh, “Have we read this right?” From time to time our habitual patterns of thought and doctrine find themselves challenged by a refreshed reading of the Scriptures…
NOTES ON MY SPIRITUAL ROOTS IN VINEYARD