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Thursday, December 29, 2011

Runcorn, D. (2003)Choice, Desire and the will of God.SPCK 

My Lord God I have no idea where I am going,
I do not see the road ahead of me.
I cannot know for certain where it will end.
Nor do I really know myself,
and the fact that I think I am following your will does not mean that I am actually doing so.
But I believe that the desire to please you,
does in fact please you.
And I hope I have that desire in all that I am doing,
And I know that if I do this
You will lead me by the right road,
Though I may know nothing about it. pp 62 (Merton thoughts in solitude pp 81)

Desires are not a question of what we are feeling. Desire is more than passing moofds and whim. Althogh feelings may be involved, desire is much deeper than feeling or even passion. Our desires are an expression of the deepest truth about ourselves. Discerning our desires will actually draw us closer to the mystery of who we are and our place within all that makes up our world. 76

Irenaeus 'The glory of God is the human person fully aive, and the life of humanity is to see God' 97

Over one-third of teh Psalma are somgs of lament, full of urgent qustioning and impatient petition: "answer me when I call 4.1; why o lord 10.1; do not forget 10.12; I am troubled 55.2" ... not a journey from doubt to faith. Lament is not the same as doubt. It taks faith to question God and cry out to him like that. It shows how close teh person is to GOd - not how far away... lament gives birth to praise and renews it 107

Psalms are seldom read systematically in public worship, we do not have to hear those unsettling cries of anguish and protest with the praise and worship prayers 108.


Monday, December 12, 2011

Hauerwas, S (1983) The Peaceable Kingdom: A Primer in Christian Ethics 

Life in a world of moral fragments is always on the edge of violence, since there are no means to ensure that moral argument in itself can resolve our moral conflicts. Pp 5

By suspecting all, by assuming that behind every cause lies self-interest and behind every act of charity a psychological payoff, we hope to protect ourselves from being misused or lost. Yet cynicism inevitably proves too corrosive. It's acid finally poisons the self, leaving no basis for self respect. Pp6

As a result of our self-deception our relations have become unrelentingly manipulative. We see ourselves and others as but pawns engaged in elaborate games of power and self interest. 9

As Christians, we must maintain day in and day out that peace is not something to be achieved by our power. Rather peace is a gift of God that comes only by our being a community formed around a crucified saviour - a saviour who teaches us how to be peaceable in a world in rebellion against its true Lord. God's peaceable kingdom, we learn, comes not by positing a common human morality, but by our faithfulness as peaceable community that fears not our differences. 12

Christianity, both in practice and in its sophisticated theological expression , is reduced to an interpretation of humanity's need for meaning or some other provocative anthropological claim. 13

To be redeemed is nothing less than to learn to place ourselves in God's history, to be part of God's people. To locate ourselves within that history and people does not mean we must have some special experience of personal salvation. Redemption, rather is a change in which we accept the invitation to become part of God's kingdom, a kingdom through which we acquire a character befitting one who has heard Gods call. 33

Christians must attempt to be nothing less than a people whose ethic shines as a beacon to others illuminating how life should be lived well. 34

By learning to make his life our life we see we are free just to the extent that we learn to trust others and make ourselves available to be trusted by others. Such trust is possible because the story of his life, by the very way we learn it, requires that we recognise and accept the giftedness of our existence: I did not create myself but what I am has been made possible by others. 46

To be at peace with ourselves means we have the confidence, gained through participation in the adventure we call God's kingdom, to trust ourselves and others. Such confidence becomes the source of our character and our freedom as we are loosed from a deliberating preoccupation with ourselves. Moreover by learning to be at peace with ourselves, we find we can live a peace with one another. 49

Incarnation is but one of the conceptual reminders that the church has developed to help us tell well the story of the man who was nothing less than the god-appointed initiator of the new kingdom. 57

Christians are distinct from the world. They are required to be nothing less than a sanctified people of peace who can live the life of forgiven. 60

By learning to be faithful to the way of life inaugurated by Jesus of Nazareth we have, in fact, become part of the shared history that God intends for his whole creation. 62

By learning to imitate Jesus we in fact become part of God's very life and therein find our true home. We become holy by becoming citizens in God's kingdom, thereby manifesting the unrelenting live of God's nature. 67

By learning to be followers of Jesus we learn to locate our lives within God's life, within the journey that comprises his kingdom. I will try to show how the very heart of following the way of God's kingdom involves nothing less than learning to be like God. We learn to be like God by following the teachings of Jesus and thus learning to be his disciples. 75

Discipleship is quite simply extended training in being dispossessed. To become followers of Jesus means that we must , like him be dispossessed of all that we think gives us power over our own lives and the lives of others. Unless we can ensure the significance of our lives, we are not capable of the peace of God's kingdom. 86

The church is not the kingdom but the foretaste of the kingdom. For it is in the church that the narrative of God is lived in a way that makes the kingdom visible. 97

How has our being such led us to misread the gospel as essentially an apolitical account of individual salvation, rather than the good news of the creation of a new community of peace and justice formed by a hope that God's kingdom has and will prevail. 105

Holy people - a people who are capable of maintaining the life of charity, hospital, and justice. 109


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