Tonight I went Trick or Treating for the first time in my life… and I’m thinking about doing it again…
You would think that a good Calvinist and Reformed Baptist would be writing about the 500th anniversary of the reformation today, and not Halloween – but it is precisely because of reformation theology that I can write this post, where as a few years ago I never would have dreamt of it.
We never went ‘Trick or Treating’ when I was a kid, it just wasn’t something our family did. “Well, we’re Christians, and Christians don’t really ‘do’ Halloween.” I grew up accepting this, and believing it – I didn’t fully understand it, but I trusted my parents, and the teaching of my church’s tradition. I love that my mum and dad were careful about what they exposed me and my brother to, and that they trusted their own church leaders. But now that I’m a pastor and a parent myself ‘because my mum said so’ is no longer a good enough answer! I needed to work through it myself. And part of that process was talking to my mum about how they came to the decision they did when I was a child.
Today marks the anniversary of Nana’s death.
Nana was a really special lady, and I still miss her, I still get a catch in my throat whenever I sing ‘In Christ Alone’ or when singing the third verse of ‘Because he Lives’ (we happened to sing that several weeks in a row at church whilst Nana was ill in hospital). But whilst I still get choked up because I miss her, I’m not scared for her, I’m not even worried I won’t see her again – in fact I’m certain I will!
I take great comfort in knowing that Nana knew Jesus – Continue reading
5 posts in 2 years! Boom!
Yeh – I’ve not yet found my inner blogger – something which I’m hoping to change. I really like the idea of blogging as a means of helping me grapple with issues and think things through (as I said in my first post). But I think I’m also worried about writing something stupid! If you know me at all, you’ll know there is a very good chance of that happening! And so I don’t want to write anything until I have worked out exactly what I think, why I think it, and what objections might be brought by others to my thoughts. All this of course means that I never write anything!
So getting to complete 3 years of theological education is a great blessing and a privilege. You learn a lot, you change A LOT and you mature a lot – what doesn’t change or go away is the memories of all your friends ‘back home’ who grew up with you! (Mark 6:4!) Growing up I never took myself too seriously, and was always available for a laugh. I was a joker (and occasionally bordered on being an inappropriate one!). So you can imagine it was met with a bit of a chuckle when I told a friend that I was going to be ordained by the church and would technically be a Reverend! “Doug the not very Reverend more like” she said. I of course laughed at this, but it made me think – she was absolutely right! The title of reverend has long been associated with ordained ministers of the church, but what does it really mean? If you investigate the definition of ‘reverend’ you’ll find it means ‘worthy of being revered; entitled to reverence.’ Worthy? Worthy to be revered – I don’t think so! There is one man only who is truly worthy of being revered, who is entitled to reverence. That is of course the God-man Jesus! He is the one who is worthy of reverence, and it is he whom we all should be pointing towards, not ourselves, or even other great men. Anyway, when my friend said that, I thought it would make a good title for my blog – kinda sets the tone of what you might be looking to read here!
I could be better at thinking.
I’m a pretty simple guy (keep your comments to yourself) and naturally take things at face value. This of course has its draw backs in that not many things in life are as simple or straight forward as they may seem to be – and so I want to be better at thinking about things and reflecting on the things that I see, read and think about. This is increasingly an important thing for us as Christians to do as we seek to understand and engage with the world around us – and therefore, perhaps even more important for church leaders as we seek to demonstrate how to engage with a post-christian culture. Continue reading