Monday, 30 July 2007

Sick

Lots of people seem to be getting sick lately. That's not cool.

Thursday, 19 July 2007

Christianity: a relationship with God?

I was thinking last night about some of the terms we use in church to take about Christianity. We often say that "Christianity is not a religion; it’s a relationship with God." While idea itself is true, and Christianity is about our relationship with God, I have some issues with using this as a definition of what the central focus of what Christianity is about. It dose not tell a full story of what Christianity is.

One issue is that form my limited knowledge of other religions, you could say that a number of other religions, such as Islam or Judaism are also about a relationship with God. A different type of relationship, yes, but you wouldn’t get that for the relationship definition. However the biggest problem with it is that I don’t think it’s a very Biblical was of looking at it. The phrase "relationship with God:" doesn’t  occur in the NIV, ESV, NASB or NKJ translations of Bibles. The idea that that people should live in a relationship with God is biblical. But it’s a lot deeper than that.

So what does the bible tell us Christianity is? The message which the apostles perched is called the gospel (e.g. Acts 15:7, Acts 20:24, Romans 1:1-2). The world gospel means "good new." But what is this good news? In a nut shell, that even thought we have turned away from God, thought the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, we can be restored to God and have eternal life. While that is about our relationship with God, it’s not the way the Bible explains it. And I think there is something else going on when people describe Christianity as a relationship. I think Christian often what to make the gospel seen "more appalling" to people, so instead of telling them that Christianity is about the forgiveness of sins, they say its a relationship of God, essentially watering down the gospel.
So with saying Christianity is a about a relationship is not wrong per say, we need to make share we a preaching the whole gospel, not just a part of it.

Wednesday, 18 July 2007

Political websites visterd in New Zaeland



According to http://www.alexa.com, these are the ten most popular political websites in New Zealand:

1. Scoopwww.scoop.co.nz - Site info
2. Green Party of Aotearoa New Zealandwww.greens.org.nz - Site info
3. Elections New Zealandwww.elections.org.nz - Site info
4. National Partywww.national.org.nz - Site info
5. Hide, Rodneywww.rodneyhide.com - Site info
6. Labour Partywww.labour.org.nz - Site info
7. Investigate Magazinewww.investigatemagazine.com - Site info
8. Policy.net.nz - Political Policy Onlinewww.policy.net.nz - Site info
9. ACT - The Liberal Partywww.act.org.nz - Site info
10. DecisionMakerwww.decisionmaker.co.nz - Site info

Interesting that www.rodneyhide.com is more popular than Labour. The Greens came in at number two, I guess due to the young nature of its supporters.

Tuesday, 17 July 2007

Muffins

One must live there life according to principles. One which I live mine by is this: muffins are not meals. Muffins make great snacks or morning\ afternoon teas, and can be part of a meal, but you can’t have only muffins for a meal.
On a totally different matter, so people have been asking what I will do next year. The answer: I don’t know!! I have a number of different ideas: find a real job, do MINTY, go overseas on some sort of mission. But yeah.
I’m also back at uni now, and finding my last papers ok. I’m doing two Political science Papers: one on researching political the other on leadership and a history paper comparing New Zealand and the United States. I’ve only had one class for each so far, so will reserve judgment till later.

Tuesday, 3 July 2007

TSCF Conference

For the past week, I was at the TSCF national conference, at El Rancho, Waikane. The theme this year was eternity. The teaching was outstanding and was done by Andrew Lim, a pastor from Pamiston North, and Dave Wells, form the Bible College of New Zealand. Andrew Spoke from 1 Thessalonians. He challenged us to live in accordance to how God has called us to live many areas of our lives. One of these was not to put on a mask, but to let people see the real me. It’s easy to pretend that I am a “perfect Christian” when in fact this is not the case and it is impossible. He also challenged us to live boldly for Christ, to live a pure life and to treat my work and studies as part of my worship to God.
Dave likewise challenged us to live an undivided life. It is far to essay to separate our life’s form the story of the gospel. Dave’s challenge to relate the gospel message to our world and to individual’s lives was great. We need to think thought how the story of the gospel relates to the people around us, to both work and uni satiations, to the content of the subjects we study and to society in general. I guess I've always known and bean worried by the fact that Christians tended to live in our own Christian bubble to some degree. Often we listen to “christen music”, read Christian books and hang out with christen. While these are not bad things in themselves, we do have a tendency to alienate ourselves from the rest of the world and then wonder why we have issues reaching them. To overcome this, we need to, as Dave said, understand the story of the gospel, the story of the world and the story of the individuals we know. I realised that this is something which I myself will need to do if any change is going o happen. Furthermore, Dave reminded us that we need to have love for the people around us and not treat them as project but as individuals people made and love by God.
The “interactive experience” was also a high light for the conference. This was a number of actives which we did such as a card game where we could not talk, a hospital simulation, where we had to decide who lived and who died, a confidence courses, where some of us were blindfolded and a quiz. As great as talks are, I found it really helpfully to learn lesson is different ways. All the actives were helpful and it was really interesting to see how different people reacted in the different situations, especially the lunch! Some of us got to sit at the table and have a good feed, while the rest of us had to sit on the floor and got very little. While many of the lesson I guess I knew before, it often take a practical situation, such as we were faced with to derive, them home.
TSCF conferences are great times for learning, speeding time with God and for fellowship. It was awesome to see people I haven’t seen in a while and to meet new people. But the best thing of all was that God was at work.

Monday, 2 July 2007

New things.

So, I have a blog. I don't know how much I'm going to use it, or if anyone will ever bother reading it if I do, but I have one nevertheless. Why? In this world, Internet is is changing the way we live and communicate with each other. Every man ( or women) and his dog seems to have a blog. It provides a space for expressing ones views on any issue one whats to address and for give people- friends, acquaintances, enemies and strangers- a glimpse into thier lives. For many people, their opinions are ill informed, based on doggy media series. For me, I hope that my views here can be formed by something more than that. Hopefully I can think about what I say before I post it. Hopefully I can research my facts, and not rely on bad research. Hopefully I will let God's word shape my thinking. So yeah. This is post number one. Enjoy.