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Friday, May 04, 2007

Wherefore Art Thou?

I have been slack in posting. I have Google Reader and keep myself appraised of a number of wonderful blogs, most of which are in the links section. I found that, with reading other blogs and preparing for sermons plus my own theological study for hobby purposes I have done lots of thinking but haven't submitted any of it to the world that is the blogosphere.

I thought I might bring the blogging world up to date with my reading and reflecting. There is a great deal that is in process and sometimes I feel too self-conscious to share my theological musings.

I have just finished "Attachments" by Dr. Tim Clinton and Dr. Gary Sibcy. This is not a theological book. It is a wonderful book broadly discussing Attachment Theory from a Christian perespective. I have read reasonably widely on this subject and this was the first book written from a clear Christian worldview. It is clear, concise and very practical. For counsellors it is a must and for those who are married or raising children and wish to understand some of the mechanics of love and relationships and how to build strong, secure individuals then this is an ideal book. The Christian approach only really comes into play in the second part of the book and is sensitive enough to provide a biblical perspective without being too "churchy". I have read too many books that see the Christian life through Rose Coloured Glasses; this is not one of those books.

I must commend Steve Hayes' blog "Notes from underground". Steve is an Orthodox Deacon in South Africa. A friend of mine recently completed 2 Masters level subjects at St. Andrews Greek Orthodox College in Sydney. My friend is, generally speaking, pentecostal as am I so it was reasonably surprising for me to find him studying here.

What was more interesting is that, independently of my friend's journey, I had been in touch with Steve via email to begin exploring Orthodox Theology. As a result of my discussions with my friend I have begun reading "In the Image and Likeness of God" by Vladimir Lossky. It is a difficult but very insightful book which contains 12 essays discussing some fundamental questions of Orthodox Theology. I am using the book as a foundation for beginning discussions with Steve to help me learn more about a branch of Christianity that I have been ignorant of for so long.

Interestingly I have found parallels in Orthodox theology with Pentecostal theology. I will share these insights as I work through the text and my journey. My appreciation of orthodoxy will be shallow and limited but I want to learn more from the rich mystical traditions and teaching of some of the Fathers.

I am about to commence preaching through Galatians and this has reawakened my passion for grace teaching. As part of my study I have been glancing through "Grace in Galatia" by Ben Witherington III. It is a wonderfully erudite but readable commentary. The preparation has also reacquainted me with Martin Luther.

One of the difficulties I find is to decide what to read and which topic of interest to focus on at any given time. Of course, I haven't mentioned work and my wonderful wife and 3 fantastic boys and Aussie Rules and Soccer training with the kids and church and...so on.

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