Wednesday, 22 November 2017

JESUS

'...approachable holiness...'
Andy Angel, Intimate Jesus, p.101. 

THE INTIMATE FRIENDSHIP OFFERED BY JESUS

'By promoting emotional and spiritual intimacy amongst men, John may find himself in conflict with modern stereotypes. The physical intimacy he depicts between himself and Jesus may also be something some contemporary men  might find awkward. This is probably the most counter-cultural aspect of John's exploration of Jesus and ancient sexuality. Within our highly sexualised cultures, enjoying and expressing that kind of soul kinship and intimate friendship comes across to many as repressed homosexuality. But for John, it seems, too many men experience repressed friendship. So he runs the risk of misunderstanding, and depicts his close friendship with Jesus unashamedly because he wants to encourage others to experience and share the intimate and life-giving love of God.' 
Andy Angel, Intimate Jesus, p.100. 

THE PASTORAL POWER OF JESUS' SEXUALITY

'Right at the start of his Gospel, John describes Jesus as the Word made "flesh". In its immediate context, that word suggests sexual desire. In the story at the well, Jesus' best friends clearly think him as capable of sexual desire as the next man. It is quite telling that in this same story John offers one of his strongest images of Jesus' human limitations, depicting him as simply too tired to continue into town to get food and instead sitting down by the well. John deliberately brings out Jesus' experience of sexual desire in the frailty that is common to all of us. Those of us for whom questions about faith, sex and sexuality arise from our experience can heave a sigh of relief: the God whose commands we struggle with, and to whom we pray in and about our difficulties, understands sexual desire from experience. He is not only "gentle and humble in heart" as he disciples us, but he has more than a rough idea of what we are going through.' 
Andy Angel, Intimate Jesus: The Sexuality of God Incarnate, p. 98. 

Wednesday, 8 November 2017

WHY THE CHURCH NEEDS HUMILITY

'Every human society or community is by nature both introspective and unstable. It is introspective, because it is always more comfortable to be a club to which only "people like us" belong. And it is unstable because I in my pride will always want to be narrowing the definition of people "people like us" so that it becomes "people like me." Human pride leads to human strife which divides a society from within; and human pride leads to dividing walls of hostility which cut us off from the world outside. The gospel therefore needs to counteract both internal instability and external defensiveness. And it does both in exactly the same way, by humbling human pride.' 
Christopher Ash, Teaching Romans (Volume 1), p.35. 

Monday, 6 November 2017

WE ARE RELATIONAL IMAGES

'God is in relationship, and so too is the man created by him. This is his divine likeness.' 
Karl Barth in Todd Wilson, Mere Sexuality, p.70. 

Sunday, 5 November 2017

SEXED BODIES MATTER

'If we want to be fully human, we have to embrace our sexed bodies. But we don't have to engage in sexual activity to be fully human. The life of the Son of God makes that perfectly clear.' 
Todd Wilson, Mere Sexuality, p.50. 

SEXUAL DIFFERENTIATION MATTERS

'Sexual differentiation is not simply a feature of creation that God blesses and declares to be good; it is an essential part of our creaturely existence and one that the Son himself willingly embraced.' 
Todd Wilson, Mere Sexuality: Rediscovering the Christian Vision of Sexuality, p.46. 

Wednesday, 1 November 2017

SELF-ESTEEM

'When in comes to the gaining of genuine confidence and genuine self-respect, even the supposed default humans needs a surprising amount of encouragement. What they need, life everyone else, is a) one thing to be good at, and b) one person to notice.
With me that starts at school.
It starts with Mrs Slater.' 
Robert Webb, How Not to be a Boy, p.113. 

THE IMPORTANCE OF LOVE & READING

'And when it comes to colossal strokes of good fortune...it starts here - it starts with having a family who loves you and someone who inspires you to read. Not because reading makes you smart, but because to involve yourself in a story is to imagine what it's like to be someone else.' 
Robert Webb, How Not to be a Boy, p.67. 

A MOTIVATION TO THANKFULNESS

'Only he who gives thanks for little things receives the big things.'
Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Life Together, p.17.