Friday, December 24, 2010

Christmas 2.0

It’s that time again! All newsletters and charity gifts posted and our Jesse Tree now complete with items representing the ancestors of Jesus we are relaxing and enjoying our twelve days of Christmas – sharing small gifts around the dinner table for twelve days of the holidays.

Just thought that if you enjoy Nativity plays and singing carols like ‘We Three Kings’ as well as social networking on the internet then you might like this video - Christmas 2.0:


Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Re-Enchanting Christianity

Click here for my review of Dave Tomlinson's book Re-Enchanting Christianity.

Dave Tomlinson

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Should We All Speak At The Same Time in Tongues?

In a new article Holy Gobbledygook on his site David Matthew argues for the use of speaking in tongues today but at the same time he is critical of the practice of everyone speaking at the same time in tongues.

He particularly looks at 1 Corinthians 14 and comes to the conclusion that primarily tongues are for private devotions. There is also a place for them in public worship but Paul puts tight guidelines on this such as tongues should not be heard in public without an interpretation. The message in tongues is to be given clear enough for everyone to know it is meant to be a public contribution and is to be followed by an interpretation.

David goes on to show that the quote from Isaiah in 1 Corinthians 14 serves to show that tongue speaking without interpretation tends to put visitors off. Careful analysis shows that it is a reference to foreign languages being a sign of God’s judgement when the Assyrians invaded Israel and carried the Israelites off into captivity. Today people hearing un-interpreted tongues my think, “These Christians are nuts. I’m not coming here again.”

So what do we make of it when someone speaks in tongues in a gathering in a way that is quiet enough for others to know that it is not a public contribution but loudly enough to hear? David refers to such use as ‘unhelpfully intrusive”. He evidently understands that speaking to yourself and to God in 1 Corinthians 14:28 will mean being inaudible to others around you. In a subsequent email discussion David confirmed this.

Interestingly in a recent post by Scott Lencke, as part of a series on speaking in tongues, Scott looks also looks at this verse. Generally he comes to similar conclusions to Dave about tongues and interpretation. But rather than an injunction to remain completely silent Scott sees this as simply not raising your voice but continuing to speak “at a much lower decibel”. I have great respect for Scott’s opinions but I just can’t see any basis for this one. Surely silent means silent!

What does this mean to the common charismatic practice of corporate singing in tongues? Though David sees singing in tongues as following much the same principles as when spoken he does admit that perhaps everyone singing in tongues may be more acceptable in worship than everyone speaking in tongues. Though the Bible is silent on this issue David suggests that it could be seen as similar to everyone worshipping on instruments. But then I must ask: why do un-interpreted tongues cease to be a negative sign to unbelievers just because they are sung rather than spoken?

These ideas have some real practical applications to those of us who use or are seeking to use tongues in our worship gatherings. If you have any further thoughts on this please leave them in the comments below.

Sunday, December 05, 2010

5 Links for Advent
At this time of year there are usually a few good advent resources and advent calendars around. Here are five that I’ve found this year.

1. i-church

I have found i-church’s calendar here that I am opening each day. Behind each door there is a reflection and a song. At the foot of it there are also a few links that are worth exploring.

2. Paperless Christmas

Paperless Christmas’s advent calendar that I did last year is still there and with my little daughter Callie we are watching the Christmas story being retold in a very contemporary setting here.

3. Ready Steady Slow

There are also some devotions at Ready Steady Slow. They were a bit too wordy for Callie but I am enjoying listening to them.

4. Beach Huts

The link for the beech hut advent calendars on i-church is out of date but I still found them. There are now actually now two sets of beach huts. So this link is two for the price of one! You can find the blog of the Bridlington Beach Huts here and the link for the Brighton Beach huts here. I think the beach hut advent calendars are a brilliant idea as each day a hut is opened with a full art installation themed related to advent or Christmas. Look at the photos and read the descriptions as part of your advent devotions.

5. Proost

If you want some resources to purchase for example for church services then I would recommend looking at proost. There is an outline on Jonny Baker’s blog of what is available here. There are some interesting animations and liturgies that you might find interesting.