‘I worry that an awful lot of modern day ministry is about making bricks for evangelical pharaohs. Whether those pharaohs are actual people, or whether they are systems and philosophies of ministry that have been put in place, doesn’t matter all that much; making bricks is the paradigm of much modern ministry. And it’s leaving a trail of exhausted people in its wake. There’s too much evangelical ministry based on the brick making principles of Egypt, and by that I mean a relentlessness to its demands on its people that is a stranger to the idea of rest.’
I second this from Guy Davies. ‘The thought of an Evangelical “Momentum” sweeping through the CofE, making it do evangelism and stuff, is giving Angela Tilbury an anxiety attack. Her response illustrates rather perfectly the problem that faces Evangelical Anglicans.’
This was a helpful reflection on whether we are allowing ourselves to be shaped more by the Word or our particular culture. Culture affects far more of what we do than many of us seem to realise.
‘In our culture, are we allowed to say ‘Actually, I am not very busy’? I practised saying this in my head, and it sounded odd. What kind of people say ‘I’m not busy’? When my late mother retired, one of her comments was ‘I don’t know how I ever found the time to work!’ Even in retirement, she was busy. We appear to have created a culture where the only people who are not ‘busy’ are people who are, well, a bit sad. Busyness has become the mark of a full and satisfied life. But is it really so?’
‘Don’t let theories overwhelm you. Theories aren’t evidence. They’re either attempts to explain evidence, or they’re merely attempts to create doubt without any evidence. If a particular theory falls into the first category, then evaluate the explanatory power of the two competing theories in light of the evidence. But if a theory falls into the second category (i.e., “But what if…? But what if…?”), don’t let that rattle you. Point out there’s a difference between what’s possible and what’s reasonable, given the evidence at hand, and don’t let the possible overwhelm the strength of the reasonable.’
I think this is excellent. ‘Wanna hear the best pre-marital advice Mark and I received? Well, maybe it’s not the best, but we sure do refer to it a lot. We use it and we tell it to other couples all the time. It even feels a little bit like a marriage hack because it’s so simple and yet pays huge dividends.’
‘I have just, for the umpteenth time, written a letter in support of one of our member’s application for UK asylum. I have, once again, felt the overwhelming crushing futility of it all. The system, so far as I can tell, seems deeply flawed.’