Deconstruct / Reconstruct

In the second half of 2018, we are going to have our second go at our newsix week course called deconstruct / reconstruct. Alister is blogging about it here. A lot of our members have come out of big Evangelical, Pentecostal and Charismatic churches over the years, and our aim is to take what we have learned about that journey as a community and look at some tools which can help you build a generously orthodox faith which works.

Your Restlessness Is What Is Right With You

You used to be a real keeny. You prayed for, and attempted to convert, your non-Christian friends. You raised money for mission, perhaps made a short term mission trip. You might even have performed evangelical street theatre. You were clear what you believed, and you were on fire for God! But then… something happened. Something sudden and dramatic. Something slow and gradual and only visible by hindsight.

David Werbrouck's photo "mewhere at Museu del Disseny de Barcelona"

What (or Who) We Talk About When We Talk About God

When I glibly thought "I know, we'll spend an evening talking about God!" I hadn't really quite reckoned with what a complex topic it is. I blame CPE brain. So it was a bit of a dense evening, but makes some basic theological and philosophical points that could usefully be made before talking much about God at all. And it drew out some good questions, which we will use for future evenigs. So, on the whole, it was a good evening. 

 

The Creation of Adam, by Michelangelo

Baptism and Identity

Right before Jesus heads off to the wilderness, he is baptised and hears God's affirmation: "This is my Son, the Beloved, with whom I am well pleased." But what does this mean for our identity as baptised persons? This session follows the first chapter of Rowan Williams' excellent book Being Christian

 

Baptism of Christ

Salt and Light - Matthew 5:13-20

Salt that loses its saltiness? Cities on hills? Lamps? What on earth is Jesus talking about - and what could it possibly mean to exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees? A Cafechurch session from 7/2/2016

Ancient lamp

Hate and Love

Jesus said, shockingly, "‘Whoever comes to me and does not hate father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters, yes, and even life itself, cannot be my disciple" (Luke 14:26.)

What are we to make of these strange, paradoxical words? One way into it is to take a look at what Danish philosopher Soren Kierkegaard said about the three modes of life - the aesthetic, the ethical, and the religious.

While not wanting to domesticate these strange words, we can perhaps get a better insight into what they might mean for us today.

Generosity

In the build up to Spiritus et Locus this year, we thought it might be worth while to spend some time thinking about the topic of generosity. When I (Alister) was toying with the idea, the Scriptural text which struck me was the story of the loaves and fishes. It's all about generosity - God's generosity (enough to go around and to spare.) It defines the sort of place the Kingdom of God is - where the hungry are of course fed.

On Being a Contemplative in Action

So a couple of weeks ago we had a radical break with tradition, and I (Alister) delivered a talk about the story of Jesus, Mary and Martha. It was based on a sermon I preached at Wesley Church in Melbourne on the 17th of July. We don't usually do that, but it made for an interesting change. Here's an excerpt

What Is The Gospel?

A week or so ago at vicar school we were asked to summarize the gospel in a sentence. I thought this was such an interesting exercise that I decided to inflict it on Cafechurch people.

It's hard to explain something as simple as soccer in a few minutes. How much harder to summarize the Gospel! In this presentation we watch a cool dude with a traditional message, and then think about the pros and cons of both his presentation, and the theology underlying it.

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