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Showing posts from June, 2010


To the US on chipping away at those draconian and immoral restrictions on gun ownership . . . I hope soon the NRA gets to give away hand guns to kids as part of their citzenship training:
     if you don't have a gun
     you just aint americun!
(I just made that poem up, but seeing as I'm not American myself, the NRA are free to shoot me and pretend they made it up)

And to the prison population of NZ, who are so tough and manly that they are going to riot (throw a tantrum) if anyone takes their ciggies away.

Only thing separating Len Brown and Jesus is the purchase of Ham

No really, or at least that is what he thinks . . . this not blogging thing is hard, but making the supercity work is going to be even harder, so maybe we should be looking at the mayoral candidates miracle working ability?  On the other hand, quitting the smokes should be a piece of cake, and might be the smartest thing Key ever does.

Going Quiet for a Bit

This is just a courtesy post to all my lovely readers that things are going to be a bit quiet on Xenos probably at least until the end of July.  I don't want to, but I currently am trying to put the finishing touches to my research thesis, have two major speaking engagements in July, and am being swamped with marking.  On top of that I need all the mental space I have spare for working out (in collaboration with my partner in marriage) what I'm going to do with my life once my studies have come to an end.  So I think I really need to swear off blogging for a period as it has a tendency to eat up more time than it warrants when life is busy.

However the good news is, expect Xenos to be back with a vengeance after that, because once all that is done I'll be fit to burst my blogging bladder!

For those of you following thesis progress, I have completed a first draft and my supervisor is happy with it, so it really is just a case now of dealing with the myriad grammar, footnote…

New Q&A site for Biblical Hermeneutics

This is under development and might interest.  What it really needs is a couple of serious biblical scholars to get in at the begining and help bring some direction to it, any takers?  If you are not a scholar they still need more members to get the site to launch properly, so if this is an area of interest and you have time to contribute, get in there.

don't take the sting out of the tail

[this post origianlly appeared here at the Kiwi-Made Preaching blog]

Nearly two years ago I was reading a book by John Wright, Telling God’s Story. One of the book’s valuable observations is that as preachers we tend towards comic rather than tragic sermons.  This has nothing to do with being funny or not, but is rather the tendency to resolve our sermons on good notes rather than leaving the listeners hanging and feeling bad.  So, for example, we might preach on the story of the rich young ruler, but we will make sure by the end of it the congregation doesn’t feel the need to sell everything they possess.  For Wright this has the effect of letting the listeners off the hook. Scripture confronts them with a harsh challenge but the preacher does his or her best to soften the blow so that the congregation can end the sermon feeling good, rather than convicted.  The comic sermon has a happy ending, and so it seldom provokes a response.  The tragic sermon leaves the listener unsettled and…

For the love of language

I am thinking of becoming a linguist...
yes i know it is not something you can become, you have to be "gifted"...
but, despite never showing much promise with language, my biggest educational regret is not having stuck at the different languages I had the oportunity to learn. and of course there will be many mistakes and misunderstandings caused by such an endevour, like this one, recounted by George,
On a lighter note, discussing the danger inherent in learning another language, Ed Loving shared an unfortunate episode where a man was recounting that his wife could not bear children: His first attempt to share this information was, “My wife is inconceivable.” Noting that this was not received well, he tried again: “She is impregnable…” Still facing a great language barrier, he finally tried, “She is unbearable!” I also don't expect i will ever catch up with those who started when their brains were fresher and more maleable... but if there is one thing I am getting better at…

#300! A best of blog . . .

This is my 300th post on Xenos. Too celebrate this milestone I have collected one of the better posts from each lot of 50.  It's interesting to see how the blog has changed over time.  It started of when I thought I knew a lot, having just finished my undergrad studies.  Now I know a lot less, coming to the end of my research degree. :-) Thanks to everyone who has contributed, interacted, and read it.  As I come to the end of my MTh degree it will be interesting to see how the blog develops, whether it gets more attention (due to no looming deadlines) or less (due to no dealines causing procrastination reflex).  Eitherway, I'm looking forward to the next 300 and hope you'll join me on the journey.  :-)

A reflection on 1 Samuel from Dec 2008 
I used to do more of these kind of devotional readings of the OT.  Will have to get back into the habit.
As sermon about the ethiopian eunuch from March 2009
This sermon works best delivered whilst holding two rocks suitable for crushing…

Paul Windsor for Lunch

Paul Windsor, blogger, former principal of Carey College, and current associate director of Langham Preaching, of which Kiwi-Made Preaching is an initiative, came back to Carey this week and was interviewed over our community lunch. As usual he had lots of challenging stuff to share.  Some thoughts that resonated with me:

Obedience first then gifts
Paul put his finger on what often bothers me about the Christian obsession with Myers-Briggs and other "gift-finder" type methods.  They suggest that our job is to find out what we are good at and enjoy and then our obedience lies in doing those things.  Paul, on the other hand argued that for the Christian our obedience lies in seeking God's will for our lives and then trusting him to provide the gifts we need to obey.  The gifts don't define our obedience, our obedience is followed by gifting.

Gifts don't define effectiveness
Paul also spoke out against the assumption that our effectiveness in ministry is defined by ho…

June's Headlines from the Barnabas Fund


Full stories here

Why are the PM's dangly bits more interesting than education?

If you want to know what is wrong with our news reporting in NZ, I have found the epitome this morning.  Derek Cheng allows a Prime Ministerial quip about getting a vasectomy to trump the real news which was the goverment's change to early childhood education funding.  Is anyone remotely surprised or even interested in whether or not the PM has had the snip?  The rather sensible reforms to encourage trained ECE teachers to spread themselves around a bit more are far more worthy as news, but no!, the silly, the trivial, the genital, that is what excites our news hacks, and so that is the news we get!