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Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Reid, M. (2002). Strategic Level Warfare. Pasadena, California: Salem Communications. 

Fall of Jerusalem in 586 BC and the subsequent period of exile (586- 539 BC) were catastrophic events which moved the Jewish people to speculate on the nature of evil, as they searched for answers to explain these disasters. 77

Period of exile also exposed the Jewish people to new influences in terms of religious thought and practice ... thinking was highly influenced by Zoroastrianism, the dualistic Persian religion, which viewed good and evil as independent opposing forces.

Hence the Jews of the Diaspora came to regard the devil as a distinct and autonomous individual, who acted from evil desires. 78

Intertestamental Period - belief in angels grew to proportions unknown... 79

We fail to understand where Christianity ends and paganism begins. We do not know where the boundaries are R C Sproul 111

There is no explicit biblical teaching relating to the demonisation of Christians, by implication the Scripture makes it quite clear that this is an impossibility. Any individual who has had a true new birth becomes a living temple of the Holy Spirit (! Co 3:16) and Jesus has promised that He and the Father Will make their abode within him (Jo 14:23). It is therefore inconceivable that he or she can subsequently be demon possessed. 1 Jo 5:18 1 jo 4:4) 113

There is the ever present danger of exaggerating the role of territorial spirits in such a way that the biblical teaching on divine sovereignty is compromised 139

The whole focus of SW is on the devil and his demonic host, and accordingly, such fundamental issues as sin, free will and the moral responsibility of teh individual before a holy God have been sidestepped. man has become the fulcrum of redemption, holding the balance of power between God and the devil in the battle for the souls of men and the gospel is rendered impotent without the preliminary work of pulling down demonic strongholds. Many authors pay lip service to the concept if God's sovereignty but in real terms view His ability to intervene as being limited to the extent of man's willingness to cooperate in the process of salvation. 168


Sunday, July 27, 2008

Skreslet, S. (2006). Picturing Christian Witness: New Testament Images of Disciples in Mission. 

Mission does not always have to be a matter of speeches and palaver.... verbal declarations and annoucements of gospel truth simply do not exhaust all the possibilities of Christian witness. Sometimes, action augmnets testimony 114

If teh purpose of mission as sharing Christ with friends is somehow to make Christ present for others, then the fullness of a Christian's experience of Jesus needs to be expressed in ways that respect his obvious solicitude for the whole person... a desire to shar Christ with family, friends and community properly aims to incarnate the gospel at every possible level of human existence. 115

The author chooses five New Testament images of disciples in mission. 1. Announcing good news, the public proclamation of the gospel, to which the commissioning texts (Matthew 28:16-20 and parallels) and the Acts of the Apostles give primary expression. 2. Sharing Christ with friends, the communication of the gospel in interpersonal communications with kin, friends, and close neighbors, illustrated in John’s gospel, for example in the calling of Peter by Andrew (1:35-42), in the story of the Samaritan woman (John 4:1-42), and also in Mark’s account (2:1-12) of the healing of the paralyzed man, brought to Jesus by his friends. 3. Interpreting the gospel, when the gospel moves into new cultural settings, as in the cases of Philip and the Ethiopian eunuch, Peter and Cornelius, Paul and Barnabas in Lystra, and Paul’s visit to Athens, all four from the Acts of the Apostles. 4. Shepherding as a missionary endeavor, founded on the calling of Simon Peter by Jesus after he was raised (John 21) and the example of Jesus himself in seeking out the sheep outside his fold (John 10). 5. Building and planting, which comes from Paul, particularly from I Corinthians 3.


Sunday, July 20, 2008

Nouwen, H. (1998). Reaching Out. Grand Rapids, Michigan: Zondervan. 

Many great saints have described their religious experiences, and many lesser saints have systematised them into different phases, levels or stages. These distinctions can be helpful for those who write boks and for those who use themto instruct, but it is f great importance that we leave teh world of measurements behind when we speak about the life of the spirit. xviii

we can become aware of the different poles between which our lives vacillate and are held in tension. These poles offer the context in which we can speak about teh spiritual life, because they can be recognised by anyone who is striving to live a life in the spirit of Jesus Christ. xix

The first polarity deals with our relationship to ourselves. It is the polarity between loneliness and solitude. The second polarity forms the basis of our relationship to others. This is the polarity between hostility and hospitality. The third , final and most important polarity structures our relationship with God. This is the polarity between illusion and prayer.

During our life we become more aware not only of our crying loneliness but also of our real desire for a solitude of teh heart; we come to the painful realization not only of our cruel hostilities but also of our hope to receive our fellow humans with unconditional hospitality; and underneath all of this we discover not only the endless illusions which make us act as if we are masters of our fate but also the precarious gift of prayer hidden in the depth of our innermost self. xix

The hospitable teacher has to reveal to the students that they have something to offer.... teachers who can detach themselves from their need to impress and control, and can allow themselves to become receptive for the news that their students carry with them , will find it is in receptivity that gifts become visible.... what is reveled as good, worthwhile or as a new contrbution, needs to be affirmed 61

As long as we are lonely, we cannot be hospitable because as lonely people we cannot create free space. Our own need to still our inner cravings of loneliness makes us cling to others instead of creating space for them. 73

Someone who is filled with ideas, concepts, opinions and convictions cannot be a good host. There is no inner space to listen, no openess to discover the gift of the other. 75

To reach a really non-violent intimacy , we have to unmask our illusion of immortality, fully accept death as our human destiny and reach out beyond the limits of our existence to our God out of whose intimacy we are born. 89

Waiting patiently in expectation is the foundation of the spiritual is the foundation of the spiritual life (Simone Weil).

Illusion that we know what life is all about, that we rule it and determine its values as well as its goals.

Without inspiring guides , it is very difficult to remain faithful to the desire to find our own way. It is a hrad and often lonely search and we constantly need new insights, support and comfort to persevere. The really great saints of history don't ask for imitation. Their way was unique and cannot be repeated. But they invite us into their lives and offer a hospitable space for our own search. Some yurn us off amd make us fee uneasy; others even irritate us, but among the many great spiritual men and woemn in history we may find a few, or amybe just one or two, who speak teh language of our heart and give us courage. These our our guidess .Not to be imitated but to help us live our lives just as authentically as they lived ours. When we have found such guides we have good reason to be grateful ad even better raesons to listen attentively to what they have to say. 107

The movement from illusion to prayer requires a gradual detachment from all false ties and increasing surender to him from all good things come. 116


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