Posts

Showing posts from September, 2008

I believe in predestination...

Image
…yet I’m still an Arminian. I’ll explain why in a moment. For too long divisions have existed in the Christian faith over minor points of doctrine; predestination has been one of those points. These divisions have run deep and wide in many ways and have seen Christians belittle, defame and even kill one another over differing beliefs. When we behave in such a manner we fail to “keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.” (Ephesians 4:3). For me, this is a much graver error than whether we affirm this doctrine or that. The fact of the matter is that for both Calvinists and Arminians we are both attempting to answer the same question:

“Why is it that some people respond to the gospel message and others do not?”

Whilst we come to different conclusions with our answers, there is still unity in the question. There is unity in us both seeking God in prayer, Bible study, and theological reflection to wrestle with this problem. The fact is, this is an eternal mystery, and while…

Keys to the city

Image
Today I came home for lunch and happened to turn the TV on to see James Tomkins being interviewed following the Welcome Home Parade for the 2008 Olympic Team. Apparently he had been the lucky recipient of the "Key to the City of Sydney". During the course of the interview James was asked the logical question - "So what does the key open?" To which there was obviously no serious reply given. It seems a really bizarre thing, though that in 21st Century Australia we would continue to hold a ceremony such as this which stems from the Middle Ages, when passing dignatories and nobles were given tax-exempt passageway into cities when the mayor would give them the "key to the city". It would enable them to pass through the city walls freely. Sydney's never had city walls though (at least to the best of my knowledge - I'm prepared to stand corrected) so what's the point of giving out the keys to the city? I wonder whether this elaborate ceremony using…

Can you help?

Hey everyone... I would love this blog to become a place where "discussion" happens, not just my ideas. So, if you have something you would like to contribute, please feel free to email me and I will add it to the blog. It could be an article, a question, a quote, a book review, or just some random thoughts. Theology is formed in community and I'm hoping to use this online community as one way to contribute to that email: amcouchman@gmail.com Every blessing Adam

Is perfection possible?

Image
I've been reading Frederick Christian Bauerschmidt's Holy Teaching - Introducing the Summa Theologiae of St. Thomas Aquinas (Grand Rapids: Brazos Press, 2005). It's a great introductory read to the theology of Thomas Aquinas which has been an incredibly instrumental contribution to the Church universal. You have to take it slow to sink everything it as Bauerschmidt provides a selection of Aquinas' writings with commentary in the footnotes. As a result it is necessary to read some sections two or three times to take both the text of Aquinas and the commentary in. Whilst this is a time labouring task, it is essential nonetheless, given the differences in how language is used today compared to Aquinas' day. One of the significant aspects of Aquinas' theology that continues to come out as I read is the understanding that "grace does not destroy nature but perfects it." I think this is a significant aspect of our understanding of grace. I think at times in…

Welcome

I have commenced this blog because in recent days I have seen a desire for a recapturing of the doctrine of Holiness. This has been particularly evident in my own denomination, The Salvation Army, which has consistently labelled itself a "Holiness" denomination. But what does that mean?What does this very "churchy" word - holiness - actually mean?I'm not suggesting that I have the answers to this question at all. Rather, since there are other people who seem to have an interest in this topic I thought this could become a place where it could be discussed. This is not restricted to holiness either but other important matters of Christian theology as well.I would welcome any comments that you would like to contribute.Yours in ChristAdam