Thursday, February 24, 2011

Outward sign

Calvin defines the sacraments as "outward signs". One of the most striking things about the Supper, however, is that the bread and the wine very obviously go "inward"!

Proper Theology is Theology Proper (applied)

Rev'd Dr John E. Colwell argues:

In essence there are only two theological questions: 'what kind of God' and 'so what'.... If a question is truly a theological question it is, at root, a question concerning the nature of God. Certainly it may present itself in another form - as a question of hermeneutics, of ecclesiology, of eschatology - but all such questions, as theological questions, are essentially questions about God. And this, then, is the manner in which they ought to be addressed, not as discrete issues to be resolved independently of each other, but as authentically theological questions, as out-workings of a doctrine of God, as responses to a series of 'so what' questions deriving from some understanding of God's nature. Theology, throughout all its various sub-disciplines, remains theology; and theology is simply the study of God.

He goes on to argue that all theology should be applied theology. His two questions might be best thought of as two aspects of one question: one has not adequately said what kind of God God is untill one has also said so what.

I have misconstrued the significance of of the word 'God' if I fail to recognise that any statement about God necessarily has significance for all reality; I cannot consider God in academic detachement without misconstuing the significance of the word 'God'. All valid theology, then, is 'applied' theology.... Christian theology is pursued through discipleship and in no other valid way;... Christian theology properly understood, is inseperable from Christian discipleship and spirituality.

John E. Colwell, Promise and Presence: An Exploration of Sacramental Theology (Milton Keynes & Waynesboro, GA, Paternoster Authentic Media, 2005) - from the introduction, p1

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Prayer is...

The internet alleges that Archbishop William Temple once said:

If you talk to God, you are praying; if God talks to you, you have schizophrenia.

That's to put it rather strongly, but I think its true to say that in the Bible, prayer is talking to God. We listen to God by reading his Word.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Camp bookstall

When it comes to organising our camp bookstall (Danehill 1 for 11-14s), we might get some good hints here.

Friday, February 11, 2011

More Psalm Resources

If I ever get an idle moment (ha ha) I must collect together these Psalm resources.

By the wonders of Facebook, a friend suggested the following:

Wednesday, February 09, 2011

The Church of England

A handy description of the C of E from the coronation oath:

Archbishop. Will you to the utmost of your power maintain the Laws of God and the true profession of the Gospel? Will you to the utmost of your power maintain in the United Kingdom the Protestant Reformed Religion established by law? Will you maintain and preserve inviolably the settlement of the Church of England, and the doctrine, worship, discipline, and government thereof, as by law established in England? And will you preserve unto the Bishops and Clergy of England, and to the Churches there committed to their charge, all such rights and privileges, as by law do or shall appertain to them or any of them?

Queen. All this I promise to do.

Tuesday, February 08, 2011

Times are hard

An amazing money saving tip:

According to, light fonts such as Verdana and Times New Roman uses less ink so you won't have to top up as often. A particularly thin font such as Century Gothic will use 31% less ink to print compared to the font Arial.

Monday, February 07, 2011

Parish Magazine Item

Well, here's my offering for the March edition. Any corrections, feedback, suggestions, most welcome - especially before midnight!

From the Rectory

We seem to have had more than our fair share of wind and rain since we moved into the Rectory in January. Caleb the dog and I are regularly returning from our little trots round the Green a bit damp, but with the cobwebs well and truly blown away.

As I write, although it looks pretty grey and horrible out of my study window today, the first hopeful signs of Spring have already been appearing. It’s noticeably less dark when we have to drag ourselves out of bed in the mornings. Bulbs are doing their thing and flowers are beginning to burst into life. The snow drops are out in the churchyard and I’ve even heard a rumour of a daffodil. A local farmer told me their first lamb of the season showed up unaccountably early last week.

Our kitchen calendar tells us that “Spring Begins” on 20th March and British Summer Time begins (with the clocks going forward) on 27th March.

So by the time you read this, new life will be everywhere.

Spring is a great time of new beginnings, of fresh possibilities, of hope. The symbolism of Easter is not hard to see: the winter of death gives way to a resurrection as new life bursts forth. That’s part of the wonder of the Christian faith: that God is the God new life, of fresh starts and second chances – well, and 734th chances too! When we trust in Jesus, there’s always full and free forgiveness. Although we can’t change the past, we need not be trapped by it. God’s undeserved love can work to transform our future. Jesus offers us a fresh start.

All change!

Life and growth always involve change. Change is one of the constants of life. And of course not everyone welcomes change.

People are sometimes curious, or even apprehensive, about what the new Vicar might try to change. Well, I don’t have a revolution planned just yet!

Certainly we need to be open to change, to new life, to what God might want to do with us and through us in the future. As churches, we want to be as effective as we can be in serving Warbleton and Bodle Street Green and their communities, even if that means doing things rather differently in the future from the way they’ve been done in the past.

But some things won’t change. We need to be both radical and conservative. Some things are up for grabs, others aren’t. We need to continue to stand for the Good News of the Lord Jesus, and his life-changing power. Continuing faithfulness to that message requires a constant willingness to do things differently. But the same old message of God’s Word remains ever relevant. The true story of Easter, of the cross and resurrection, remains our hope for new life and a transformed future. If we want the life changing power of God, with all its fresh possibilities, our fidelity to the Bible is something that must not change.

Rev’d Marc Lloyd

Wednesday, February 02, 2011

More metrical psalms

By the power of Facebook & Google, another friend hath suggested these Psalms unto me.

Again, all that time on Facebook has not been wasted. Another friend pointed me to:

Praise! Online

A friend kindly pointed me to Praise! Online. For £10 a year one can get access to the Praise! words and music, extra stuff like background information, new songs, MP3s etc. I'm particularly interested in Praise! as it has at least one metrical version for each of the Psalms and I hope the online version will save me having to type out the words for us to sing in church.

Tuesday, February 01, 2011

Sing Psalms

In obedience to Eph 5:19 and Col 3:16, and 'cos its the Word of God and all that, I'd love us to sing the Psalms regulalrly. Great as many of our hymns and songs are, the Word of God must be better, surely?

But sadly I find Anglican chant (which allows you to sing the words straight out of an English Bible if you want to, as the music adapts to fit the words) very hard to get the hang of. And if the Vicar can't do it, I imagine your average 21st Century occasional church-going might not find it easy either.

So I'm trying to find some metrical (i.e. hymn) versions of the Psalms we could sing.

As, sadly, the words are often not as familiar to us as they might be (!) I'd like to go for really easy well-known tunes so it's not too much of a car crash!

Maybe this would even help us to get the words into our heads. I'd love to be able to wander round the house belting out the Psalms and not just bits of "Hey, big spender!", or whatever!

You can find some suggestions of one hymn to the tune of another from Steve Jefferey here.

I'm going to suggest one week soon we try:

Words: Praise! 2b by Jim Sayers (Psalm 2)
Tune: Jerusalem by C. H. Parry Long Meter Double 88 88 D - Praise! 172 / Hymns Old & New 31 / Mission Praise 438

and then the next week:

Words: Praise! 3 by Mollie Knight (Psalm 3)

Tune: Long Meter 88 88 - Duke Street (e.g. Fight The Good Fight) Praise! 544 / Hymns Old & New 128 / Mission Praise 143