Showing posts from July, 2012

Should Bible in Schools Be Trashed?

Watching Breakfast yesterday I was intrigued to hear the Reverend Clay Nelson of St Matthews-in-the-City come out strongly against Bible in Schools saying that it is should be trashed. He argues that it is “un-Christian to force our faith on other people.” He aligns himself with the Secular Education Network. According to its website, this network is profoundly secular growing out of the rationalist society. It affirms a naturalistic world view rejecting all supernatural explanations. It sees science and religion as opposed explaining the world in fundamentally opposing ways.

The Rev’s position raises all sorts of questions for me. First, why would a Christian minister support an organisation like the Secular Education Network that blatantly opposes Christianity and faith claims? Christianity is premised on a God who created the world, the story of his repeated intervention, and most importantly, the story of Jesus who was imbued with power and performed miracles, rose from the de…

The Radical Call of Tatenda Taibu

I dreamed of being an international cricketer in my younger days. Each year, I played rugby in winter, cricket in summer, and wanted to be one of those double All Blacks who played both codes for NZ. I made it to Premier Club level in both and perhaps might have made it higher if I had stayed in sport. However, once Jesus got a hold of me in my early twenties and called me to preach, it was all over, and I gave away competitive sport to follow Jesus’ call. It was a hard decision at one level, sport was so important to me. At another level, due to my radical experience of conversion and involvement in evangelism and ministry, it was easy because all I wanted to do was to obey Jesus and tell people about him.I still feel the same. While this is not the call of every Christian sportsman, many of whom stay in the sport to play and give witness, it was my call. I have never regretted this decision and am where I am today because I dared to say yes as we should all do, no matter what the ca…

Women Bishops, Euodia and Syntyche

So the Anglicans in the UK have delayed yet again the vote on female bishops. I find the whole thing bewildering. I have written on this before,, but want to look at Philippians around the question. I know a little about Philippians, having written a few articles, a thesis, and now most of a commentary on the book.

The bishop is drawn from the notion of the episkopos, in Greek, an 'overseer.' The word is found once in Acts (Acts 20:28) of the leaders of the Ephesus church, of Jesus the supreme overseer (1 Pet 2:25), and in Paul three times of church elders (1 Tim 3:2; Tit 1:7; Phil 1:1). It is generally believed that the references in 1 Tim and Titus rule out women in this role, as the overseer is to be a husband of one wife. This may be correct. However, the Philippians' reference is intriguing and raises doubts.
Only in this letter does Paul single out the overseers and deacons (Phil 1:1). He then goes about w…

Is it time for church sponsorship?

(Also published on the Laidlaw College Blog)

So the All Blacks are in discussions with potential sponsors who will place their logo on the centre of the jersey front. The English have the big Oa on theirs, the Springboks have Sasol, the Wallabies have Qantas. But the AB’s have been able to stay free of this dominant logo. Traditionalists are up at arms, crying foul. They want to keep the jersey pure. “No longer All Black” is the cry. Forget of course that Adidas already have their logo on it. Others concede that nothing can stop this, as it will yield the cash strapped NZRFU a way out of their financial predicament in these hard times. Should they sell their souls?

This got me thinking about church sponsorship. Should be fill those big spaces on the walls and notice boards of churches with corporate logos? How long will it be before churches go into partnerships with big companies for sponsorship? The church notice board could have a big golden M, or have the coke or other logo all ove…

Raise the Drinking Age—where is common sense?

Note: Written while not under the influence.

Surely, now it is time to raise the drinking age to twenty. In an ideal world, this would not be needed as kids would grow up with a responsible attitude to alcohol. But the thing is that they don’t. The TV is full of reports of out-of-control young people whose drunken behaviour is obvious. This is not new. It is a long-term kiwi issue going back to the “good old days” of rugby, racing and beer and seen in our on-going binge culture. I grew up with it—getting wasted was the norm then and now. My sister tragically died at age 23 from one such binge.
Sometimes one wonders where common sense has gone. The recently completed Herald DigiPoll shows that nearly 80% want the purchasing age raised to 20. 50% want the purchasing age in all licensed premises raised to 20. 25% believe it should remain at 18 in bars and restaurants. Personally, I am with the 50%; raise it to twenty in all situations. The Law Commission report in 1999 made this recomme…