Matt Anderson, Andrew Wilson, and I have a discussion of bad church leadership and how to avoid it.
One of my supporters has very kindly transcribed this video, discussing aspects of the case against women’s ordination. I don’t have time to transcribe my videos myself, so anyone willing to volunteer to transcribe one video every week or fortnight would be greatly appreciated! The transcript is very lightly edited at a few points for the purpose of comprehension.
What is your take on small groups? Is it a fad? Does it come from mega-church culture? How important is it to be a part of a small group if organic friendships and involvement are already part of one’s church experience? Is it healthy for churches to pressure members into joining a small group?
Onsi Kamel recently wrote an article for First Things, ‘Catholicism Made Me Protestant’. He discusses it with me in this episode.
A brother challenged me after reading my book, where I talk about how sacred space and time are transformed through the Lord Jesus from being temple- and sabbath-oriented, to being person- and whole-life-oriented. He suggested that I am inconsistent to simultaneously hold that attending church is worship per se, and that we enter the heavenly court during this time (a view I briefly argue for here).
He linked me to the work of a brother of yours, Tony Payne of the Sidney Anglicans, who argues for a view in which attending church is not any more worship than any other part of life, but merely an embodiment and acting-out of the communion we have at all times in the Lord Jesus—a view he dubs the “gathered in heaven” model of church.
I’m sympathetic to Tony’s view, but I equally find it hard to abandon the idea that meeting on the Lord’s Day is especially worship in some sense (perhaps something like ritual worship as opposed to mundane worship). Similarly, although I agree that we are, at all times, in the presence of God through his Spirit, there does nonetheless seem something significant about the symbolic representation of drawing near to his throne, which actually does draw heaven and earth together in a way that isn’t true during the ordinary course of life. One possible avenue of relieving this tension that has occurred to me is in the threefold intensification of sacred space in the temple itself; can we perhaps correlate the “mundane” worship of Rom. 12:1 to service in the courtyard, while the “ritual” worship I see hinted at in Acts 13:2; 1 Cor. 14:25 is service in the Holy Place, with Jesus’ everlasting service being in the Holy of Holies?
Do you have any broader comments on the personal greetings and instructions at the end of Paul’s letters and their significance? Of course each one is unique, but I wondered if there’s anything we can draw more generally from their presence and recurring patterns.
On this week’s Mere Fidelity, Derek, Andrew, Matt, and I continue our exploration of ecclesiology in a discussion of the spirituality of the Church.
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