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18
Sep

Predestination, a many sided concept

What is predestination? Predestination refers to God’s action in deciding, from outside of time, whatever will happen. God has advance knowledge of all events, but does not necessarily direct them.    Most people talk about predestination in terms of an all-powerful God who actively directs what will happen to each soul, from the beginning of […]

15
Sep

How do I experience Joy? There’s much suffering around?

      Scripture:     Luke 15:1-10  If I asked you to give me an adjective to describe God, what would you say? Our first hymn (Immortal Invisible God only wise) had lots if these: immortal, invisible, wise, hidden, blessed, glorious, ancient … or perhaps you’d think of loving, gracious, creating, redeeming.   I hope not angry […]

11
Sep

A Thanksgiving message from our Priest

  In late September and early October, we give special thanks for God’s blessings on two different occasions – Harvest Festival and National Thanksgiving.  The first of these, on Sunday September 29th,  is an occasion to give thanks for God’s bounty to us, as we contemplate the abundance in our farmers’ markets and supermarkets.  It’s […]

08
Sep

The cost of discipleship; cheap or costly grace?

Scripture: Jeremiah 18: 1-11; Psalm 1; Luke 14: 25-33 What a rich collection of readings today! There’s Jeremiah and the potter’s wheel; Psalm 1; and the difficult Gospel reading which my Bible titles, “The cost of discipleship”.  The cost of discipleship In the Gospel passage, Jesus says that the mark of a true disciple is […]

01
Sep

Justice kindness and humility versus entitlement

Scripture: Luke 14: 1; 7-14  Concerning justice kindness and humility, the Hebrew prophet Micah said,  “What does God require of you? To do justice, love kindness, and walk humbly before your God.”  [Mic. 6: 8]. These motifs are central to the Gospel Jesus’ message.  They relate directly to today’s Gospel story, as well as to […]

29
Aug

Human rights, Christian perspectives

Modern Canadians take for granted the idea of fundamental human rights.  However, the development of “rights” for citizens has a long and tortuous history.  As societies developed, they established rules of behaviour for their members.  One example is the Ten Commandments, which banned from murder, stealing, and adultery in ancient Israel.  The first two of […]

25
Aug

Is atonement theology necessary?

Scripture: Romans 3-5 Atonement theology has satisfied many Christians through the ages.  But I (personally) do not agree that we can only be ‘at one’ with God because Jesus died to pay a debt for humanity’s sins, or for my individual sins.  Another possibility is that we are all created in the divine likeness through […]

18
Aug

God’s Kingdom here on Earth

    Reading    Luke 12: 32-40 Chapter 12 of Luke is a series of sayings and parables that Luke has put together.  Some are only in Luke, some are also in Matthew believed to be from a common source called from Q (from the German word Quelle meaning source). Some have been taken from […]

11
Aug

Conflict and change in Scripture and our world

Scripture: Isaiah 5: 1-7; Luke 12: 49-59  Conflict and change are the twin themes of today’s readings. Conflict is especially clear in the Gospel, where Jesus says that he came to bring division. He will cause strife between nations and even between family members. This reading seems inconsistent with everything we like to believe about […]

08
Aug

Pelagius’ thoughts on Christian virtue

Pelagius was a Welsh monk who lived in the 5th century CE.  He is best known for his opposition to the doctrine of Original Sin.  Because of this, the Church hierarchy accused him accused of heresy.  Of his writings, very few survive.  What follows is part of a letter he wrote to a friend named […]