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Showing posts from 2010

Jesus: Extrovert or Introvert?

So Jesus: extrovert or introvert?

Extrovert you say?

According to recent poll, well over 90% of evangelical Christians say that Jesus was an extrovert.  This is both unsurprising and a bit sad.  Unsurprising because evangelical culture tends to hold certain values in specific ways which tend to favour extroversion over introversion.  It is sad because 35-45% of evangelicals are introverts.

Now, if you are an introvert and you believe that the perfect Son of God was an extrovert, it is understandable if you see something deficient in your personality.  You may constantly trying to be someone you're not and wondering why you are exhausted and frustrated.  You may constantly be trying to be a bit more happy and clappy within the group in order to be more "balanced".  You need not.

If one actually looks at the gospel records it seems that Jesus was a person with both strong extroverted AND introverted tendencies.  While he did tend to be the centre of attention in a large …

I, Tiger Woods.

It was in the news yesterday: Tiger Woods and his wife are now divorced.

I remember late last year when the news broke of his numerous affairs and the amount of snickering that went on when he checked himself into rehab as being a "sex addict".  It was as if in confessing that he was "an addict" he was perceived as therefore abdicating moral responsibility.  

The Bible does not paint this dichotomy of sin.  In John's Gospel Jesus said,  "whoever commits a sin is a slave of sin."  Sin is a complex thing and being addicted to a particular sinful behaviour does not release one from the consequences of one's actions.  We are responsible AND we are slaves.

I am worried for a generation of men (and perhaps some women) who take this Tiger Woods thing with a cynical attitude.  If given the same amount of power, money and celebrity status would you or I not face similar temptations?  His sin is not a temptation to us because our life circumstances are d…

I, Uzzah.

I am Uzzah.

This morning our rector (read pastor) lead us in reading 2 Samuel chapter 6.  In it a man named Uzzah mishandles the ark of God. He reaches out his bear hand and touches the box that is supposed to house the very presence of God on earth. He treats God's Holy presence with disrespect.  For this, God kills him dead on the spot.

What struck me was the fact that I am still alive.  I so often act like Uzzah and take for granted God's presence.  I read my Bible, pray and then go out and sin.  I hold my Bible firm and preach to others but then fight to (and often fail to) live out the same things I'm calling God's flock to.

If God would kill Uzzah, how much more me?  It is the sheer mercy of Jesus that I wake up each morning.  If he treated me with fairness instead of undeserved mercy, I wouldn't be here.

Perhaps it seems obvious to some, but remembering on an emotional level changes the way one prays.


I got into an insightful conversation the other day.  It was with a group of people from the church group I currently work with (The Church of England).  It was not a group of people that I knew particularly well but it included a couple of vicars.

What struck me was their use of the word "right wing" or "conservative".  It was always a word which they seemed to use of someone else with whom they disagreed and their voices intonated with a bit of scorn when it was used... but only ever so slightly.  In doing so they seemed to assume that their views were moderate, middle of the road, mainstream, etc.

As I continued to listen to these people it seemed that there were two distinguishing characteristics which made the people they were critiquing so extremely "right wing".  These "right wingers": 1. Believed bishops should be men and 2. They took the Bible literally.

Are these the views of only a small segment of right wing extremists?

In actual…