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Showing posts from November, 2010

John Stott, The Radical Disciple

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I have just sat and read John Stott's latest and last book, The Radical Disciple. What a refreshing, challenging and moving read. Stott introduces the idea of discipleship with a preface in which he states his preference for the word 'disciple' over 'Christian.' I think for Stott, it captures what it means to be a Christian, a student of Christ. Throughout the book, for me, the dominant idea is Christ and complete Christian submission to him.

He focuses on 8 areas of discipleship, singling them out because of their importance. These are: 1) Non-conformity; 2) Christlikeness; 3) Maturity; 4) Creation-care; 5) Simplicity; 6) Balance; 7) Dependence; 8) Death. He ends with a personal and very moving note to his readers that this is his last book and says goodbye.

What strikes me in this book is its simplicity. He clearly has a world of Christians in mind who live shallow lives without depth and who have not grasped the nature of what it means to be a Christian, to be …

Death penalty

Recently I worked through Romans 13 in preparation for teaching. Romans 12 calls for Christians to live by the pattern of the cross, conformed no longer to this age, but transformed with renewed minds. They are to live out of humility, a realistic self-perception based on their gifts. They are to allow others to do the same. They are to be marked by love rejecting evil, living lives full of goodness and purity. They are to love each other as family, Paul using two philos terms in 12:10 philadelphia ('brotherly love') and philastorgos ('family love') to define the Christian community as family. They are show respect to each other, be fervent in life and spirit, prayerful, servant hearted, characterised by joy, empathy, patience generosity and caring for foreigners. They are to live in unity no matter what their social status, characterised by a mindset of humility. This is utterly unRoman and revolutionary! When it comes to being on the receiving end of persecution they…

Smoke Free by 2025?

So a Maori Affairs Sub-Committee has recommended NZ become smoke-free by 2025. Ash (Action of Smoking and Health) agrees of course with this. Key says it is a big ask, it is!

This has got me thinking.

In the first place, I hate smoking. I grew up in a smokers' house. My mum and dad smoked up to 4 packets a day for over 20 years. I remember vividly when we left one home to move, we took the pictures off the once cream walls, and the wall behind the pictures and mirrors remained cream, but the exposed areas yellowish and grimey! It was disgusting. My mum gave smoking away one day out of the blue. A few years later my dad spent two weeks in hospital with an unstoppable nose bleed and was told, stop or die. He stopped, shocked finally into not smoking. My oldest sister has been a chain smoker since her teens. She gave up recently which made me truly proud.

I tried my first and only ciggie at 13 and hated it. I remember equally vividly the day when a nurse came to school and showed us…