Showing posts from October, 2012

Why I Believe Marriage is Essential to Humanity and Christian Faith

At the recent PCANZ General Assembly we discussed marriage and matters of sexual orientation—the latter in regards to the ordination of practising homosexuals, the former in relation to current legislation before Parliament and the church’s theology and role in marriage. As I prepared for the discussion I realised afresh how integral marriage is to the whole Christian story and ongoing Christian life. I spoke on this in the debate, somewhat nervously (such an intimidating place), and want to unpack what I said.
1.Marriage is Integral to Creation and Image Bearing
Marriage is implied in Gen 1:26-28 which is critical to understanding God’s plan for humankind (I see this at the heart of what I call the Great Cosmission, God’s plan to build a world). Humans are made in God’s image, in some senses we are like God. This has a range of ideas in it including relationality and dominion.  In Gen 1:27, both male and female are created in God’s image. In Gen 1:28 they are told to “be fruitful and …

Presbyterian Assembly 2012, Reflections

The 2012 PCANZ General Assembly in Rotorua is done and dusted. The highlight for me was catching up with old friends and making new ones. While the Assembly had its challenges, it is networking and relationships that count. I enjoyed the worship, Malcolm Gordon is very gifted and he and his team led us well. The moderator, Ray Coster did a commendable job leading with grace and respect. The business committee were tireless in their efforts, it is far from easy to run an Assembly with our polity! The tone of the business was positive, especially considering the sensitivities around the debates. The hosts were brilliant, the food was especially great! My friend and former colleague at Laidlaw College Tim Keel was sensational and challenging. I love his fresh contemporary missional perspective. That said, I think it was an almost impossible task for him to speak in the midst of intense debate. I would have loved time to gather in groups to consider the implications of what he said for t…

Reflections on another Hong Kong Adventure

Two years ago I went to Hong Kong to do ministry. I have just got back from another eleven day Hong Kong jaunt, fellowshipping and ministering at the Vine at the invitation of my great friend and ex-Laidlaw student, Andrew (and Christine) Gardener ( This one involved two Saturdays lecturing at the Vine Bible School (Manna) on Paul, preaching at the Vine mid-week African, S.E. Asian and Nepalese refugee gatherings, and some time with the Vine staff. Here are some reflections.
First, Hong Kong is relentless. People work long hours (often 10am to 10pm each day). The Christians in ministry are no exception. I sometimes feel busy here in NZ, but it is nothing in comparison. Not only is it busy, but the pace of life is full on. For those at the Vine, when they get to work they have to stay often late at night because public transport is the only real option and some come to work by ferry or long bus trip. It is a corporate material culture, and work is highly valued. …