17 May 2010

News - Internet postings, interviews and more

I have five items for you this week. Dip into these and follow up any individual items that catch your attention, the Holy Spirit will lead you to the things you need to see.A megaphone
  • My friend and accomplice in Christ, Sean, greatly enjoys David Wilkerson's Blog. And with good reason. For a taste of his writing read 'He brought us out to bring us in' or 'The spirit and power of Elijah'. Great stuff! His posts are challenging, exciting, and thought-provoking.

  • More on Felicity Dale's book, 'An Army of Ordinary People'. This time she's interviewed by Roger Thoman.

  • Frank Viola responds to someone who is troubled by the confusion over the term 'organic church'. This is a useful response because it points out very clearly the difference between allowing Jesus to take control and merely going through the motions to the best of our own ability.

  • The House2House e-letter contains some clear but necessary thoughts on spiritual warfare. Spiritual oppression on our lives can easily be mistaken for no more than a series of coincidences or 'just bad luck'. Don't believe it for a moment! Tony Dale reminds us that if we can identify the enemy's interference then we can (and should) resist. The e-letter also contains some useful links to various resources.
  • Simplechurch.eu links to a series of helpful stories from the church in Europe.

12 May 2010

ANNOUNCEMENT - Huntingdon Celebration

The last meeting at Moggerhanger was great, wasn't it? Hinchingbrooke Park, HuntingdonThis time, to take advantage of the summer weather we've booked a room at Hinchingbrooke Park. There's plenty of space outside to run around or take a walk and we have space inside in case it's wet.

Everyone is invited to meet from 12:30 on 6th June in Hinchingbrooke Park. We will meet up on the grass in front of the Countryside Centre.

The room is booked from 12:45 until 16:45 at the very latest. We need to leave the room clear and tidy at that time.

Bring and share meal - This time we are going to be self catering. Barbeques will be available for use and we'll try to have those ready for you, so feel free to bring cold food and/or uncooked items for the BBQ. Tea and coffee facilities will be available during the four hours we have the room. We will put all the food out on tables and then enjoy it together. We will need to tidy the room before we begin our meeting.

Meeting - After the meal we will meet in the hired room for an open time of prayer, praise, reading, worship, prophecy... it's up to you. Come prepared to take part as the Holy Spirit leads. We must bring this to a conclusion by 16:45 at the latest, though if the weather is good and we are all inclined, we could continue in the open air.

Children - Be prepared to supervise your own children or make your own arrangements to share the supervision. There's ample room outside for games on the grass (bring a ball, frisbee etc). Children are also welcome in the meeting.

Cost - This time we are going to ask for a small contribution to cover the use of the room. As we don't know how many will come we can only make a rough estimate, any excess will be put aside and go towards the cost of the next meeting. We suggest £2 per adult or £4 for a family of any size.

Travel directions - You can view these online and print them out to bring if you wish.

Read more about Hinchingbrooke Country Park.

Next meeting - The provisional date is 12th September, the second Sunday in the month. We are looking for another group to organise it this time, any volunteers?

10 May 2010

NEWS - Jon Zens, Tony Dale, Neil Cole

This week's news roundup contains four items.A megaphone
  • Frank Viola interviews Jon Zens about his book on the place of women in the church. He expresses some interesting views and backs them up with detailed Biblical scholarship.
  • Felicity Dale interviews her husband Tony on women in the church. Obviously the subject is topical with two mentions in this week's news!


  • Neil Cole responds to Brian Hofmeister's report of having difficulties making organic church work. Part two of Neil's response is still to follow. (See also my recent post.)
  • The latest Nomad Podcast brings you an interview with Stuart Murray of the Anabaptist Network.

Biology and the economy

Humanity has become nothing less than a plague on the earth. The Bible calls us to be stewards of this planet, A crowd scene in Hong Kongbut instead we are well on the way to wrecking it.

A BBC News item today reports that loss of habitat and species will soon begin to have a major impact on the world economy. There is so far little evidence that governments have grasped the size of the problems or their urgency, perhaps we are paralysed like a child who has thrown a ball and broken a window. Denial is easier than taking responsibility, owning up, and attempting to make amends. This is in addition to anthropogenic climate change and other issues (pollution, overuse of water resources, dwindling mineral stocks etc).

What we face is little short of catastrophe, but we are doing so little about it. We talk about more efficient agriculture, power generation from wind, sunshine, tides, and waves, recycling of waste, but we don't yet realise that we are merely tinkering. The greatest problem is rarely discussed because it is so difficult - there are simply far too many of us sharing the surface of our small planet.

One good sign is that greater affluence is resulting in falling birthrates in the developed world. In Europe, North America, Australasia, and the developed parts of Asia, birth rates are close to or even below replacement levels. But the less developed areas of Asia and Africa and to a lesser degreee South America still have burgeoning populations.

We must do what we can to reduce the world's population. If we do not - and quickly - the world will do the job for us through steadily increasing starvation and disease. This is likely to be widespread through the developed world as well as less privileged regions.

03 May 2010

Science and faith - a view from Nature

I've just spotted a piece by Philip Ball in the journal 'Nature'. The cosmic microwave background radiationHe makes some very good points and supports my own views about the awesome behaviour of the natural world. He states,
Were I inclined to believe in an omnipotent God, I should be far more impressed by one who had intuited that a world in which natural selection operates autonomously will lead to beings that function as well as humans (for all our flaws) than by one who was constantly having to make adjustments.

Quite! Unlike Philip Ball, perhaps, I do believe in an omnipotent Prime Cause. I have often thought that the power behind the universe would have to be exceptionally clever to design physical laws that would require energy to bundle itself up in tiny packets that would interact in just the right way to form atoms of hydrogen and helium on the tiniest scales which would then coalesce gravitationally on very large scales to produce galaxies and stars.

These same physical laws ensure that stars will create all the elements up to iron and supernova explosions will synthesise the rest. Simple sugars, amino acids, and nucleotides will form in conditions that are not uncommon in the dusty discs around later populations of young stars, planets will form in these discs and life will arise almost inevitably. Once self-replicating systems are present Darwinian evolution is certain to begin its work and more and more complex life forms will appear as the millions and billions of years pass. Intelligence seems to be pretty much inevitable too.

So much from so little - indeed so much from absolutely nothing! This is one of the reasons I find it impossible not to believe in a power behind the universe. And somehow, though he might not agree, I don't think Philip Ball will hold that against me. Our positions are at the same time only slightly different yet fundamentally opposite. I believe in a Creator, he doesn't, yet we both see the same mechanisms operating and bringing about the rich universe we live in.

Truly, faith and science have no reason to argue. It saddens me greatly to see disagreements about the origin of the universe, evolution, palaeontology and the rest. It particularly saddens me as a trained scientist to see that most of the arguments against science are based on misunderstandings or false assumptions. It alarms me that matters like anthropogenic global climate change are dismissed. And it angers me when scientists' motives and morals are questioned. Scientists are not immune to mistakes or even (rarely) deliberate fraud, but the overwhelming majority are seeking for truth - verifiable, testable, truth.

(See also my previous post.)

NEWS - Interviews, meetings, CO2

This week there are five news items to mention. A megaphone

  • The next meeting in the Moggerhanger series is planned for 6th June. Add it to your diary! It's not going to be at Moggerhanger this time, instead we've booked a room at Hinchingbrooke Park on the edge of Huntingdon.

    There'll be a full article about this in the next day or two - so watch this space. (See the report of the last meeting.)

  • Frank Viola has interviewed Felicity Dale about her book 'An Army of Ordinary People'. It contains encouraging and challenging stories of real-life people involved in organic church life and growth. This book was originally published ten years ago but is just now being republished in an updated version.

  • Wolfgang Simson has announced a 'Starfish Unconference' in Helsinki, Finland. You'll have to move fast on this one if you want to go, it takes place on 15th and 16th May.
    Read on Scribd...

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