Posts Tagged "church and society"

Towards a 21st Century Church (2): Time for the 500 year Rummage Sale?

Posted by on May 2, 2019 in Blog | 6 comments

In my earlier blog post “Towards a 21st Century Church”, I discussed four assumptions we should challenge if we are to make a constructive journey towards the future. In this post I explore Phyllis Tickle’s contested but thought provoking thesis that roughly every 500 years a “great emergence” occurs within Christianity during which a new and “more vital” form of faith emerges. Roughly stated, Tickle’s big idea is that every five hundred years the Church cleans out its attic and has a giant rummage sale. This enables the church to reevaluate and sometimes discard forms of faith she...

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Towards a 21st Century Church: Four Assumptions to Challenge

Posted by on Apr 23, 2019 in Blog | 10 comments

Now that we are almost a fifth of the way through the twenty first century, it is becoming increasingly obvious that the church can no longer act as though it is still the twentieth century. People give various reasons for why significant change is needed – some of the more common contenders being that we now live in post-Christendom (and the church therefore no longer operates from a platform of privilege, nor can it assume that people have a basic understanding of the Christian faith); or that the postmodern turn in society has rendered everything relative, making the truth claims of the...

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In Praise of Smaller Churches: 10 Positives…

Posted by on Sep 27, 2018 in Blog | 10 comments

Almost every church I come into contact with (and over the years, that has been a fair few), wants to be bigger than it presently is. They look a little enviously at churches in the next size category, and imagine that if that were them, most of their problems would be solved. Their pastor (if they have one) assumes that if they were larger, they would be more respected by their colleagues and – well, let’s face it, we live in an era where bigger is usually assumed to be better. To be sure, large churches have many things going for them – and I certainly don’t want this post to...

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Quotable: Greg Sheridan, God is Good for You

Posted by on Sep 24, 2018 in Blog | 1 comment

Greg Sheridan’s latest book God is Good for You: A Defence of Christianity in Troubled Times (2018) is well worth the read. It starts memorably… What will it mean for us, when God is dead? Who, then, can humanity converse with, when we lose our oldest friend? The loss of Christianity, and not only of Christianity but of much other religious belief and practice, will change us in ways we cannot possibly imagine. There will be no purpose beyond ourselves and ultimately Western humanity will look in the mirror and say: I’m bored with myself. And then, out of that boredom, who can imagine?...

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Artificial Intelligence, the Future of Work and What it Means to be Human…

Posted by on Nov 30, 2017 in Blog | 5 comments

Have you ever asked at what point technology will have so advanced that the input of humans into life’s tasks will rarely be required? And what does that mean for the future of work? And what does it say about what it means to be human? A personal anecdote. My family and I had recently arrived in New Zealand from South Africa. In the South Africa we left, the rubbish was collected by a van which rode down each street, the driver being supported by a team of four runners. Those runners would divide into teams of two, one for each side of the road. One would pick up the bag of rubbish and...

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