Saturday, June 14, 2014

A second speaker's spot in church

Unless you've had your eyes shut and your ears blocked, you'll be aware that there's much conflict round the webs at the moment over the issue of whether it can be appropriate for women to sometimes give sermons in church. I don't want to join one side or another here. I'm looking for some common ground and I want to propose a possible way forward.

I think that most of us would agree that women ought to be able to pray and prophesy in church (1 Corinthians 11). All but the most extreme of us have no issues with the praying part. Theoretically we'd like to be okay with the prophecy part too, but the trouble comes in that we're not sure exactly what prophecy is. I'd want to say that it is speech for the purpose of building up God's people. It's able to be assessed as truthful and helpful or not but it is somehow not as authoritative as the 'teaching' role which Paul restricted to men in 1 Timothy 2.

So why don't we work into our meetings a second spot. A 10 minute slot in which someone (male or female) apart from the minister speaks. I'm not talking about an open mic time here (which many churches have tried and stopped trying pretty quickly!) I'm talking about a spot where a speaker gives considered reflection on the scriptures for the building up of the congregation. It could work alongside the sermon - complementing it in one way or another, or perhaps be something different, as decided by the church.

Some objections:

1. Church would go on for too long. For some reason, we are committed to short, one speaker services. Generally no one apart from the minister (and perhaps whoever does the kids' spot) gets a chance to say anything. This was not the case in the early church, nor is it the case in many other cultures. In Paul's day, it seems likely that more than one person spoke. Someone brought a prophecy (whatever that was), then another person, then another person. In our culture, if this happened we'd all be looking at our watches and fiddling. But we could change. Why shouldn't our Sunday services acknowledge that people apart from the preacher have good stuff to say? If the minister spoke for 25 minutes, the kids talk went for 5 minutes, there were 4 songs (15 minutes), 7 minutes of prayer, 8 minutes of bible reading, a 10 minute second speaker section - and the MC streamlined things, you could still be finished in well under an hour and a half.

2. The second speaking spot would be redundant. It would only be redundant if it was ill prepared, uninteresting and unedifying (which many sermons are!) It wouldn't need to be. It could be carefully planned months in advance along with the preaching program.

3. Women might accidentally 'teach' men during this spot. I don't think this is something we need to worry overly about. Paul allowed prophecy by women.

4. [Never stated, but sometimes strongly felt.] I don't like the sound of women's voices. I don't like to hear women say stuff about the bible (or anything) that I haven't thought of before. It makes me feel cross. Get over it.

People who have objections to Dickson's idea of women occasionally giving sermons - Would you do this? Why? Why not?

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Ascension hymn

Our Lord’s enthroned
At God’s right hand
Let earth rejoice
And heaven sing
Earth’s foundations
Forever stable
All fears be gone 
For Christ is king

Our Lord’s enthroned
Now God and man
are joined as one
to rule and reign.
Oh child of dust
behold your glory
for Adam’s shame
has passed away.

Our Lord’s enthroned
Let not this world
of sin and death
cloud your sight.
The deepest darkness
heralds morning.
Soon trials will pass
and wrongs be right.

sar 2014

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

World's Most Precarious Job?

Old Testament Lecturer at a Reformed Theological College.


Monday, June 9, 2014

16 songs from nqcc

I got to pick the songs we sang at NQCC this weekend. It was fun choosing them. There were 7 sessions and we sang about 5 songs in each. In choosing them I was conscious of:

1. The fact that we were from a variety of churches and that an attendee's regular song diet could range from traditional, through scripture in song, to contemporary.
2. The passages on which David and Rick were preaching (Romans 8-10 and Genesis 37-50).
3. The fact that I hadn't worked with a few of the music team before and we only had one rehearsal the evening before the conference began. I wanted to keep it all pretty achievable.
4. My tastes (To be completely honest, I chose these songs because I like them. Except one of them. (I put it in because everyone else likes it.))

Here's what we sang.

  1. Come People Of The Risen King (Townend/Getty)
  2. How Deep The Father's Love For Us (Townend)
  3. This Life I Live (Morrow)
  4. No Other Name (Hodge)
  5. Grace Awaiting Me (Percival/Richardson)
  6. Who Would Have Thought (Percival/Richardson)
  7. Behold Our God (Meghan Baird, Jonathan Baird, Stephen Altrogge, Ryan Baird)
  8. Blessed Be Your Name (Redman)
  9. Glorious Day (Casting Crowns)
  10. Christ Has Risen (Maher)
  11. Ten Thousand Reasons (Redman)
  12. Be Thou My Vision
  13. How Great Thou Art
  14. Rock Of Ages (Ruth Buchanan tune)
  15. When I Survey
  16. Take My Life (Garage Hymnal tune)

North Queensland Christian Convention

What a fantastic weekend! Wish I could do it all over again.

Five great things:

1. Getting to make music with some excellent people and to see and hear the congregation enjoying singing so much.

2. Learning from Rick Lewers as he took us through the Joseph narratives. Good story telling. Solid theological applications.

3. Meeting, getting to know, listening to and learning from David Jones. His sermons on Romans 8-10 were the kind that I want to hear again and then again. (And DJ is a superb conversationalist as well. I was lucky enough to get two long car trips with him.)

4. Feeling so thankful to God for his grace and revved up to live for him.

5. Knowing that it's on again next year! Bigger and (maybe) even better!