Archive for December, 2010

The Politics of Jesus – 2

Some quotes from The Politics of Jesus for you. A few of them are by a guy called Berkhof (i think it is the guy I’ve linked to) who I’d never heard of but I like what he said. with regards to the “powers” of the world.

the cross has disarmed them; wherever it is preached, the unmasking and disarming of the powers takes place

More Berkhof

all resistance and every attack against the gods of this age will be unfruitful, unless the church herself is resistance and attack, unless she demonstrates in her life and fellowship how men can live freed from the powers

And now Yoder himself with the best one:

the very existence of the church is its primary task…the church does not attack the powers; this christ has done. The church concentrates on not being seduced by them. By existing the church demonstrates that their rebellion has been vanquished.

So what of a civil rights movement in the 60s led by a man with Christ’s victory at the fore front of his mind. What of a movement against slavery?

Both of these now have support of the church as a good thing even though the church was complici for years in their perpetuation

Is it that only when the church is what it should be – a place that has the lordship of Jesus lived out – that individuals are called to challenge the power.

Perhaps it is this:

A church that lives under the lordship of Jesus would be full of all nations and all races

A church that lives under the lordship of Jesus would have members who refuse to keep slaves.



Learn to live with what you are – 4

I’m not so much scared that theology will lead me to do things I know in my heart are wrong. Apart from the ones I’m already complicity in a modern health service that occasionally and even frequently struggles to give its patients dignity.

The Spirit does not just guide choices but makes us into people who make right choices.

It’s more that I struggle to fill in the theological gap between what I practise (and believe to be the best thing most of the time) and what I can articulate.


Love song for ya

Was at a cracker wedding yesterday and the crazy preacher people were on about Song of Songs and it reminded me of this visualised literal reading of it.

Suffering Presence – 1

I should have read this book sooner I know. Those who were at MCC’s forum a few weeks ago will remember me proposing exactly the question Hauerwas makes here (on the first page)




we may be able to keep an extremely premature child alive, but should we, since the very means to sustain may also injure

Me and Stanley – we’re like that (makes crossed fingers sign…)


Google Body

Was initially all excited about this till I managed to find an inaccuracy in about 2 minutes.

If you’re not bothered whether the hypoglossal nerve goes lateral or medial to the origin of the occipital artery then don’t worry about my foibles.

[note you’ll need the beta of chrome to view it]


Learn to live with what you are – 3

I’ve talked about the image of God a lot in these few posts. Though I’m still not sure quite that means. It is definitely something of significance just not clear what.

Yes we bear the image of God.

But we are broken images.

Does this then confuse our talk about being in the image of God?

Which bits of our humanity are fallen and which are in the image of God?

We tend to talk of sin and death when we talk of how the fall has affected humanity so do we view those who are considered to be in poor health to be less in the image of God? Do they reveal less of God’s image to us?

So the question is not just what does it mean to be made in the image of God but also what does it mean to be a broken image?

Learn to live with what you are – 2

As a follow on from the recent post, let me try to simplify where I’m at, or at least my confusion.

Perhaps using the example of a severely ill infant is too rare and specific a case to be useful in articulating a theology of medicine. My bigger interest lies in how we treat the frail elderly and care for people who may or may not be dying sooner than others.

Death is our enemy and a horrid thing, but it is not medicines job (and definitely not in our capability) to eradicate death. That is guaranteed elsewhere.


If it is so that the severely ill infant of the last post – who by all appearances seems to be dying – should continue to be resuscitated and treated aggressively because they bear God’s image then it surely follows that we should continue to resuscitate the frail elderly with severe pneumonia (who will almost always have lost capacity to decide for themselves due to their acute illness).

My reaction to the severely ill infant is to aggressively resuscitate but to the elderly patient with severe pneumonia my reaction is to not aggressively resuscitate. I seem to be following a different ethic in each of those situations.

i find these two points that to be in conflict:

1) it is a good thing that you exist. You are in God’s image. Your existence blesses mine

2) it is good that you are not suffering. It is good a thing that you are not in pain

I cannot bring about 1) without going against 2) and I cannot pursue 2) without struggling to maintain 1)

Without bringing in harm/benefit ratios and a generalized utilitarian ethic I find it impossible to resolve them, though I am well aware I may be missing some fundamental point.

And I don’t mean to say that considering harm and benefit in the decision making process is necessarily a bad thing I just feel it dangerous to give them primacy.

There is no doubt a logical fallacy somewhere in there so help me out.

Thoughts people?



December 2010