Friday, November 24, 2006

Testing, testing

I usually avoid tests and quizzes, ever since an unpleasant experience with a so-called "Purity Test" during my first taste of higher eduction. But browsing this former ICCer's blog, I found a 'What's your theological worldview?' quiz which sounded intriguing.

My results:

You scored as Evangelical Holiness/Wesleyan. You are an evangelical in the Wesleyan tradition. You believe that God's grace enables you to choose to believe in him, even though you yourself are totally depraved. The gift of the Holy Spirit gives you assurance of your salvation, and he also enables you to live the life of obedience to which God has called us. You are influenced heavily by John Wesley and the Methodists.

Evangelical Holiness/Wesleyan

75%

Emergent/Postmodern

68%

Neo orthodox

64%

Charismatic/Pentecostal

46%

Fundamentalist

46%

Roman Catholic

43%

Reformed Evangelical

36%

Classical Liberal

32%

Modern Liberal

29%

What's your theological worldview?
created with QuizFarm.com


I know that the test results are only as good as the quality of the questions set and the accuracy of my answers, but this took me a little by surprise. My father-in-law (a Methodist Lay Preacher) would probably approve, but I know of late I have tended to describe myself, slightly ironically, as a wishy-washy liberal – if only because ICC has shaken up so much of my theological thinking (especially the bits I hadn't thought much about before). Once an evangelical, always an evangelical? I've barely ever been in a Methodist church or chapel, could probably count the occasions on the fingers of one hand. I'm surprised to see Reformed Evangelical so far down the list, except that I still don't know if I'm Calvinist or not (but God does! *grin*). Once I would have been relieved to see that the 'Liberal' ones were the lowest scores, but now, I'm not so sure. Catholic above Reformed Evangelical? And what on earth is neo-orthodox? Or Emergent/Postmodern? I don't like the idea of being even 46% 'Fundamentalist', whatever that may mean (it's certainly not what it meant in the 1930s, as I understand the story) Anyway, I suppose it's something to ponder...

Thursday, November 16, 2006

WMD

I was just browsing BBC News website, as I tend to do (quite a lot in fact) and came across a blog post about the launch of Al Jazeera English, (AJE), a new international news channel. This in itself is interesting (if we ever reconnect our Sky box I might tune in to see it, if it's free-to-air), but it was a comment that a reader posted that grabbed my attention.

Peter in comment #35 suggests that the BBC stood up to the UK govt over the WMD issue and turned out to be right. Since when? The Iraq Survey Group found the remains of dozens of chemical weapons, as predicted by the pre-war intelligence, and said so in their report (Vol 3, Annex F). The BBC, and pretty much everyone else as well, still refuses to report this, due to a misunderstanding over terminology. The net result is that many people are convinced that NOTHING at all was found in Iraq and that the pre-war intelligence was totally false. This naturally leads some people, including the 7/7 bombers, into various conspiracies - that the intelligence was cooked and that there was another motive for the war - which need to be resisted.
One wonders whether the 7/7 bombings would have gone ahead if the BBC and other media had reported accurately on the findings of the ISG (and on the 9/11 commission - which only ruled out one particular link between Saddam and OBL not all links).


Now this is just someone's opinion, they could post anything (and believe me, on the BBC site many people do...) but is this true? I don't have time just now to go looking for web versions of the ISG report or the 9/11 commission... so I am at the mercy of media reporting, accurate or otherwise, but does this sound familiar to anyone else? Is this accurate, did anyone hear it? (Even if true, I still tend to think that the sooner Blair and Bush are out of office, the better, but that's partly down to my conviction that no one person or party should be in power too long. Maybe because I grew up during the Thatcher era!)

Stock clich├ęs like newspapers being the 'first draft' of history, and history being written by the winners (or those with the loudest voices?) spring to mind...

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Photo



Just getting a photo into my profile, hopefully. Someone told me yesterday I scrubbed up well - you wouldn't know it, would you?

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Survival

Hello South America! And to all other visitors! Please continue to make yourselves at home!

I survived that week. And then came another one. I had my 31st birthday, a 170/180ish mile drive (and back again 2 days later), a difficult situation, Hebrew homework and another sermon (for Remembrance Sunday!). I survived that one too. Yet, not me (as someone might once have said) but Christ in me.

The blog is a strange creature - on the one hand (to me) it's about journalling, exploring - recording feelings and reactions to events; therefore you record these events, to some degree. On the other hand, it's a public forum - ok so not as many people may read my blog as Nick Robinson's for example, but they could. So I feel discretion is the better part of valour regarding the 'difficult situation' mentioned above.

I really want to write about it, but it's not mine to write about. It has stunned and saddened me, it has made me (as usual) want to try to help fix it, while I recognise that I probably can't, given that I'm not God and not omnicompetent. (Fortunately. One of my lecturers has recently pointed out that much of evangelical prayer consists of apologising for not being God!) I just pray that all parties concerned will indeed survive, that long-term positive(s) will come from the apparently negative, and that I can say and do the right things at the right times (and refrain from the wrong ones) to provide what support I can.

Survival has to do with future as well as past. The second (shorter!) 'half' of term has begun, and with it the majority of the work (at least for a last-minuter like myself. Sensible folk will be well on their way through most of the assignments and exam preparation. I am not.) All I can do is 'Trust in the Lord with all [my] heart, and .. not rely on [my] own understanding [, a]cknowledge him in all [my] ways, and he will make [my] paths straight.' (Proverbs 3: 5-6) Easier said than done.

Friday, November 03, 2006

Struggle

OK so now it's been over a month since my last entry. And if I keep mentioning how long it is since my last entry, this will end up sounding like a transcript from a confessional (Forgive me Father...) but as my only image of that is from TV it's probably inaccurate anyway.

I did at least manage to add the funky ClustrMap in the meantime, and surprisingly enough I have had visitors from 2 other continents! My self-deprecating tendency is to say 'surprisingly I've had visitors at all' but I suppose at least a few people want to know what a Gruntling looks like, and perhaps even how to cook one...

I'm struggling just now - with enthusiasm or rather the lack of. Although literally I suppose I believe that I am still en-theos-ed i.e. still 'in God', my get up and go has got up and went. My sister from NZ was really wise tonight on the teflon - she reminded me that just because we aren't getting direction to do something, the fact that God isn't directing us to stop doing it is often all we need.

I'm also struggling because as usual, I'm trying to do too much - in this case, be a husband, a dad, earn a bit of cash, prepare for a presentation on Monday, write an assignment by Monday, prepare a short sermon for Sunday... Not by might, by power, or by my strength, but only through Jesus Christ who strengthens me.