Yesterday our team spent some time hearing about a church plant gone wrong from the minister who eventually made the decision to shut it down.
It was interesting listening to his reflections on what may have gone wrong and how it do it better but the most striking statement for me was his warning to us not to fall into the trap of thinking MTC needs more practical subjects. Practical things are best learnt as we get out there and do them. Theological study is important because it shapes our doctrine, which in turns shapes why we do what we do. We must get our doctrine right first.
Technically I’m 2 days in but it was day 1 that makes me think I’m in for quite a year. We started third year with 2 hours of Doctrine lectures and ‘Eschatology’ is the subject for this term. About half way through lecture 2, the line in my notes that blew my mind was something along the lines of
The Messiah Jesus is the eternal mediator and we shouldn’t anticipate an unmediated relationship with the Father in the new creation.
Well. That’s new – at least for me. Certainly looking forward to the rest of the year!
I’ve been forced, by circumstances, to think hard this week about what I believe and what it means in practice, specifically on the issue of women in ministry. (You can read what I think here and here)
This issue exhausts me. I read and read and listen to sermon after sermon and yet I have question after question and it forever feels unresolved. But this week its exhausting for a different reason. My emotions are leading me astray. The issue is not with the teaching, its with me. My sinful nature that wants everything to be about me hates that there are times when I want to speak and God wants my silence. There are times when I am not the ultimate decision maker and God wants me to submit to those who are. There are times when I am concerned about my own name and God wants me to be concerned for Jesus’ name.
But I know that what I believe is true and what I want is sin. I know I’m being lead astray because really this is a doctrine of Evangelical teaching that I love. I’ll defend it for as long as people are willing to listen. Its been said that what one generation defends, the next will assume and the third will deny. The last generation defended it, my generation assumes it and the next will deny it. If we let them. So really I know this teaching is good because it comes from God and so I love it.
But today I hate it.