Grace or Merit: An exegesis on Matthew 22, verses 1–14

Introduction

The saying by Jesus as recorded in Matthew’s gospel: Many are called, but a few are chosen (Matt. 22:1–14), has always been a source of much controversy within and outside the church community. Within the church it has been used to promote some sort of elitism, strengthen the concept of predestination, or as an excuse for mediocrity. The unchurched on the other hand sometimes use it as an excuse for disengagement with Christendom, hence statements like “You are chosen, I am not blessed with the gift of faith. To this end my essay seeks to:

– provide a brief overview of the term exegesis;

– carry out an exegesis on Matthew 22:1–14; and

– explore its implication with the concepts of Salvation by Grace, and Salvation by Merit.

A brief overview of the term exegesis

The Oxford Dictionary defines it as critical explanation or interpretation of a text, especially of scripture. Exegesis is a Greek word which means to lead out.

Originally used primarily for the Bible, these days it is now used in a broader context in other disciplines. It may include the study of history and cultural background, the text and the original audience, an analysis of the type of literary genres in the body of text, and its grammatical and syntactical features.

At this juncture I hasten to qualify that hermeneutics and exegesis are sometimes used interchangeably, however hermeneutics includes nonverbal, verbal, and written communications, while exegesis focuses primarily on texts. Biblical Criticism emerged out of the 17th and 18th century as a scientific approach to humanities, as part of the quest for the origin and authorship of the biblical text (especially the Torah). These questions led to the revelation of some contradictions and inconsistencies within the texts, thereby putting into question the authenticity of traditional belief that Moses wrote these books.

With the use of textual criticism which was already tried and tested in investigation of Greek and Roman texts, in the 18th century Jean Astruc (1684–1766), a French physician, set out in zealous pursuit to refute these findings. In the process, he discovered what he believed to be two distinct documents within Genesis, which he felt were the original scrolls written by Moses. However he concluded that later versions of this document were produced overtime, hence the inconsistencies and contradictions noted by the likes of Hobbes and Spinoza.

This led to a paradigm shift, stirring other theologians to adopt the same methods in their examination of biblical text. By the 1870’s it was widely believed that the Bible was a human document, suffice to say that not many agreed with this view, most notably the Catholic Church. But the tides had shifted, even the church would later embrace this methodology as part of its theological rigours. In between this spectrum, there were others within the church that agreed that it was in fact a human document, however, these humans were inspired by God, quoting from Paul’s writing to Timothy:

All scripture is inspired by God and is useful for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, so that everyone who belongs to God may be proficient, equipped for every good work. (2 Timothy 3:16–17).

An exegesis of Matthew 22:1–14

22 Once more Jesus spoke to them in parables, saying: 2 “The kingdom of heaven may be compared to a king who gave a wedding banquet for his son. 3 He sent his slaves to call those who had been invited to the wedding banquet, but they would not come. 4 Again he sent other slaves, saying, ‘Tell those who have been invited: Look, I have prepared my dinner, my oxen and my fat calves have been slaughtered, and everything is ready; come to the wedding banquet.’ 5 But they made light of it and went away, one to his farm, another to his business, 6 while the rest seized his slaves, mistreated them, and killed them. 7 The king was enraged. He sent his troops, destroyed those murderers, and burned their city. 8 Then he said to his slaves, ‘The wedding is ready, but those invited were not worthy. 9 Go therefore into the main streets, and invite everyone you find to the wedding banquet.’ 10 Those slaves went out into the streets and gathered all whom they found, both good and bad; so the wedding hall was filled with guests.

11 But when the king came in to see the guests, he noticed a man there who was not wearing a wedding robe, 12 and he said to him, ‘Friend, how did you get in here without a wedding robe?’ And he was speechless. 13 Then the king said to the attendants, ‘Bind him hand and foot, and throw him into the outer darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’ 14 For many are called, but few are chosen. (Matthew 22:1–14).

In his analysis of parables and allegories, Bloomberg (1990) noted that parables “revolve around one main point of comparison between the activity in the story and Jesus’ understanding of the kingdom of God, and thus they teach one primary lesson. Subordinate details are significant only to the extent that they fit in with and reinforce the central emphasis.” (p.30).

According to Matthew Henry’s commentary on this parable, it “represents the gospel offer, and the entertainment it meets with”. The parable ismonarchic because its unifying character, in this the case the king, relates directly with each of the other two: replacement guests, and those who refused to attend. Bloomberg included this parable amongst other Complex Three Point Parables, however in the case of this parable, “both positive and negative subordinates are divided into two and three groups respectively” (p. 233).

There are three main entities to consider in this parable: the king (God), the first set of guests (A-list celebrities, using contemporary term), the second set of guests (the undeserving); these all make up the whole — meaningmany.

With this in mind, let us explore the term many. In Greek and English it refers to a large group, however in English it is restrictive (some), while in Greek it is inclusive (whole) which is in line with Jesus’ teaching that the gospel should be preached to all the nations (Matt. 28: 19–20). The servants are the disciples, commissioned to preach the gospel starting from Jerusalem (Luke 24:47). Out of the whole, the first set refused to attend, citing flimsy reasons for their decisions, and the man who was not dressed appropriately was sent out of the banquet.

According to Klaus Haacker (1973), as cited in Bloomberg (1990), this man was intentionally disrespecting his host, as it was a known custom for Kings to provide robes. Therefore it is likely that Jesus gave this parable to prepare the disciples for the fact that when they went out to preach, they would be met with disappointments for the most part; that they should spread out beyond Judea into other countries; that even amongst the gentiles, some will refuse the gospel outright while others will respond initially — then lose emotional capital with the passing of time.

The implication of the proverb with concepts of Grace and Merit

Charis (the Greek word for grace), the New Testament word for Grace, was translated for the word Hen in Hebrew which means: favour, mercy, kindness, graciousness; for example in Genesis 6:8: ‘But Noah found favourin the sight of the Lord’. Charis means: that which brings delight, joy, happiness, or good fortune.

In the OT it highlights God’s benevolence towards humanity, most especially to worshippers of Yahweh, and in the NT it is Christocentric. It centres on God’s love and generosity towards all humanity,

For by grace you have been saved through faith, and this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God — not the result of works, so that no one may boast. (Ephesians 2:8–9).

Two major schools of thought (Pelagianism and Augustinianism) debated their views on grace in the early fifth century, first the Council of Carthage (418), then Council of Orange (529). According to McGrath (1993), Augustine of Hippo’s Fallenness of human nature, allude that human nature has fallen from its original pristine state (Gen 3:1–7), and the implication of this catastrophe includes the fact that: the present state of human nature is not what God intended it to be; all human beings are now contaminated with sin from birth — an inherent human nature; it has been ruined — but not irredeemable, humanity could not re-enter a relationship with God through her own devices and resources, and nothing in our power can break the stranglehold of sin. (p. 72).

However, God intervened even though he did not need to, but he chose to. It is God who initiates the process of salvation through his dealings, for instance with: Noah, Abraham, Moses, David then finally — Jesus Christ (the messiah or anointed ONE); after the fall of humanity.

Pelagius on the other hand held the view that salvation was by Merit, known through church history as the Pelagian Controversy. For him, the resources of salvation are located within humanity; we are not trapped by sin — we have the capacity to save ourselves; salvation is something that is earned by good works — which places God under obligation to humanity. To him, salvation can be achieved by demands made by God on humanity, for example: the Ten Commandments and the moral standards of Christ. (p. 73).

At the core of both arguments was a difference in understanding of human nature. “For Augustine human nature is weak, fallen and powerless; for Pelagius, human nature is autonomous and self-sufficient. For Augustine it is necessary to depend on God for salvation; for Pelagius God merely indicates what has to be done if salvation is to be attained, and then leaves men and women to meet those conditions unaided. For Augustine salvation is an unmerited gift; and for Pelagius salvation is a justly earned reward” (p. 73).

Augustine also pressed on with the view that, since human beings are incapable of saving themselves, and since God has given the gift of grace to some, God has pre-selected those who are to be saved — hence the doctrine of predestination, “We know that all things work together for good for those who love God, who are called according to his purpose” (Romans 8:28).

At both sittings, the church council ruled in favour of Augustine’s view of Grace, however they disagreed with his doctrine on predestination. Pelagius on the other hand was considered a heretic and his view discredited. Some theologians disagree with the verdict against him, and sadly we have access to very limited writings from him as they were either burnt or destroyed.

Matthew 22:1–14, poses immense doctrinal challenges for both schools of thought on grace, a fundamental building block of the Christian faith. For instance, how can the benevolence of the king towards his subjects be explained by Pelagians who belief that salvation is achieved by merit? What good deeds did they do to deserve the king’s invitation? Where does merit begin?

How can Augustinians explain the punishment met by the man who was not appropriately dressed? Was he not predestined to be in the wedding banquet — on the basis that he was called, but not chosen? Where does grace end?

Conclusion

As well as the Oxford Dictionary’s definition of grace, I also looked at a wide spectrum of sources.

Generous, free and totally unexpected and undeserved. (The New Dictionary of Theology)

Grace that takes the form of divine favour, love, clemency, and a share in the divine life of God. (Denis Diderot (1757), Encyclopaedia, or a Systematic Dictionary of the Sciences, Arts, and Crafts)

the love and mercy given to us by God because God desires us to have it, not because of anything we have done to earn it. (Our Wesleyan Theological Heritage)

the condescension or benevolence shown by God toward the human race. (John Hardon, Modern Catholic Dictionary)

If Pelagius had won those debates, the definitions or doctrine on grace as we know it today would have been different. Who knows how that trajectory would have shaped the philosophy and praxis of the church?

Perhaps, Luke’s opener to this parable in verse 15 gives us a better angle to place our lenses today. According to Bloomberg, Jesus was challenging the narrow-mindedness of his audience, notably the Pharisees, as he had done in verses 1–14 of the same chapter (p. 235). It also echoes a resounding theme in the Bible against complacency with issues upon us today, issues like civil partnership, poverty, racism, discrimination, inequality, injustice, treatment of refugees and asylum seekers. In the words of Amos,

Alas for those who are at ease in Zion, and for those who feel secure on Mount Samaria, the notables of the first of the nations, to whom the house of Israel resorts! Cross over to Calneh, and see; from there go to Hamath the great; then go down to Gath of the Philistines. Are you better than these kingdoms? Or is your territory greater than their territory, O you that put far away the evil day, and bring near a reign of violence? (Amos 6:1–3).

So like the man who sat at the table with Jesus in the house of that prominent Pharisee, when next we come together in Christian fellowship, we need remember: those who refused our invitation, those who were not invited to join in, and most importantly, those who lack the freedom that we most times take for granted in the West.

Bibliography

Blomberg, C. L. (2012) Interpreting the Parables. Leicester: Apollos

Denis Diderot (1757), Encyclopaedia, or a Systematic Dictionary of the Sciences, Arts, and Crafts

Ferguson, S and Al, and (eds) (1988), New Dictionary of Theology. United States: Inter-Varsity Press, US

Hardon, J. A. (ed.) (1981), Modern Catholic Dictionary. London: Robert Hale

Henry, M. (2006) Matthew Henry’s Commentary of the Whole Bible: Complete and Unabridged in 6 Volumes with CD, USA: Hendrickson Publishers

McGrath, A. E. (1999) Reformation Thought: An Introduction. 3rd edn. Malden, MA: Blackwell Publishers

Our Wesleyan Theological Heritage, http://www.umc.org/what-we-believe/our-wesleyan-heritage, last accessed: 22/4/15

What is the value of Christian theology taught at University?

Introduction

In an earlier essay entitled: what is Christian theology, and why does it matter,my arguments leaned heavily against too much theology in favour of simple Christian piety.

The term too much theology was coined by Daniel L. Migliore, describing it asabstract and unfruitful. He argued further, that it is “theology that gets lost in a labyrinth of academic trivialities” (Migliore 1996, p.6).

Cornel West’s Crisis of theological education, draws up similar conclusions ontoo much theology noting that it was excessively frivolous and meretricious in its enactments. In his words:

the demystifying of European cultural hegemony, the deconstruction of European philosophical edifices, and the decolonization the third world has left theology with hardly an autonomous subject matter (hence a temptation to be excessively frivolous and meretricious in its enactments) and with little intellectually respectable resources upon which to build (p. 273).

Darragh (2007) sees the role of curriculum shapers and lecturers as critical success factors in providing the right balance between both sides of the spectrum, he wrote,

The role of theology teachers in academic institutions is not just to inform students what other theologians have written, nor even to teach them the art of critiquing the writings of other theologians. This turns theology into commentary on endless commentary. The role of the theology teacher is also to teach students how to do theology themselves. This is not just a matter of exposing students to good theology and hoping they will guess how it is done. It is a matter of being very explicit about the methods of practical theology, and at the same time of being self-critical about those same methods (p. 2).

To this end, my essay seeks to:

– evaluate Colin Gunton’s essay on the practice of theology;

– assess the value of Christian theology taught in universities; and

– draw up a conclusion.

An evaluation of Colin Gunton’s essay on the practice of theology

Faith seeking understanding, was Anselm’s take on reason and faith. For Kant, faith and reason were mutually exclusive as he argued that it is not rational and logical to make sense of a God who could not be truly known. Schleiermacher’s view leaned towards feeling as to reason. Feeling he acclaimed, was central to our humanity regardless of religious inclination. He argued further that religion was essentially what makes us human, hence he saw theological pursuit as useful in describing the supranatural.

I think, therefore I am religious, came to be known as Hegel’s strap line for his contribution to the debate, as he embarked on combining revelation and reason. All through the age of enlightenment the pendulum kept swinging for, against or in between faith and reason, with further contributions being injected into the debate by many others, most notably: Kierkegaard, Barth, Ayer, Wittgenstein and Polanyi.

In similar vein, thinkers in Jesus’ era would have had similar debates over his messianic claims — little wonder why many did not receive him. Which brings me to a statement he made when the seventy came back from their mission and were giving him an update of their activities, “At that same hour Jesus rejoiced in the Holy Spirit and said, “I thank you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and the intelligent and have revealed them to infants; yes, Father, for such was your gracious will. All things have been handed over to me by my Father; and no one knows who the Son is except the Father, or who the Father is except the Son and anyone to whom the Son chooses to reveal him” (Luke 10: 21–22).

Perhaps in the same way the internet disrupted commerce and communication, the impact of these thinkers have left indelible marks on the minds of Christian theology students all around the world. According to Gunton (2001),

There are two ways in which we can compare situation of the ancient theologians with the modern who operate in the university. On one hand the situation is similar, in some ways remarkably so. Not only is philosophy neutral, or actively hostile to Christian theology, then as now; but theology operates in a world, like the ancient world, when many different religions are competing for attention and acceptance (p. 454).

Interestingly in Paul’s letter to the Ephesians, he said, “The gifts he gave were that some would be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, some pastors and teachers, to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, until all of us come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to maturity, to the measure of the full stature of Christ (Ephesian 4:11–13); then to Timothy — his protégé, “Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved by him, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly explaining the word of truth” (2 Timothy 2:15).

The latter quote puts the demand for excellence on followers of Christ — do your best. To do is praxis, an outworking of our Christian service demonstrated in preaching, praying, worship, teaching, hospitality, civic activities, Bible translation, and other means of communicating the gospel in an ever changing world. The challenge to keep the gospel relevant to old audiences, while reaching out to newer and younger audiences is ever before us.

Strengthening this argument, Forde (1959) boldly stated that, “Theology is for proclamation”, emphasising the outreach element as most crucial to its underlying purpose. Again, very much in line with 1 Peter 4:11a, “Whoever speaks must do so as one speaking the very words of God”. According to McGrath (2011), Christian theology means the systematic study of the ideas of Christian faith, this includes: sources, development, relationships, and application (pp. 101–102). Note that, proclamation as highlighted by Forde, sits comfortably with McGrath’s application.

In Migliore’s (1996) effort to highlight the various tasks of Christian theology, he grouped the voices of the major schools of thought under the following strands: to provide a clear and comprehensive description of the Christian faith, to emphasise the importance of translating Christian faith into terms that are intelligible to the wider culture, to think about issues from the perspective of Christian faith, and as a reflection on the praxis of Christian faith within an oppressed community. According to him, underpinning all these various arguments is “the assumption that faith and inquiry are inseparable”, and this perspective defines the theological task as a persistent search for fullness of the truth of God made known in Jesus Christ, as to the notion of a body of repetitive traditional doctrines (p.1).

So I sum up Darragh’s idea with the words, learning culture. But in order to develop this culture we will need to invest our time and resources in studying the sacred texts and body of work of other academics, and perhaps no other environment is better placed to lay these foundations than Universities. They provide students with a forum for intellectual intercourse and circulation of thoughts, to help students to understand, live out, and exemplify their Christian faith; very much like what John Quincy Adams described as the highest glory. In his quote on how America’s fight for freedom from British rule was underpinned by Christian values, he mentioned, “the highest glory of the American Revolution was this: it connected in one indissoluble bond the principles of civil government with the principles of Christianity”.

Centuries later, we see these same principles giving impetus and delivering lasting changes on issues like slavery, suffragettes, civil rights, and in more recent years, rights for gays and lesbians.

An assessment of the value theology taught in University

According to the Oxford Dictionary, the value of something is: the regard that something is held to deserve; the importance, worth, or usefulness of something.

Most major work on the value of a university degrees allude to the fact that it adds value to the lives of graduates and communities at large. Sadly like most things these days, these researches focus majorly on monetary values. But by pure chance, I came across a report by The University of Washington with some interesting data. According to their piece, graduates vote at a higher rate than non-graduate citizens, and are more likely to volunteer (43% of citizens with a BA or higher report that they volunteer at some during the year). Also, “College graduates have significantly lower rates of unemployment and poverty than high school graduates, are healthier, and more public spirited.” (Source: What is a college education worth… for the Citizens, Community, Employers, State and Students?).

So, what then is the value of a degree in theology?

A useful pointer from Migliore (1996), states: “Christian faith invariably prompts questions, sets an inquiry in motion, fights the inclination to accept things as they are, continually calls in question unexamined assumptions about God, ourselves, and our world” (p.2). With this statement as a backdrop, let us first consider the intrinsic value (the end) of theology, by having another look at Ephesian 4:11–13. From this reference, we could deduce that the end is for the work of ministry and building up of the body of Christ. So, assuming this as an end goal, how then can universities be placed to meet these goals?

By drawing from Darragh’s idea I mentioned earlier in my introduction, we understand that people are integral. Why? Because they shape culture, develop curriculum, run institutions, run organisation, lead communities and even nations. For this reason two universities can deliver similar courses with completely different outcomes for students. As a result leadership, succession planning, recruitment, induction, retention, and high quality continuous personal development programme; become integral in making lasting and sustainable impact for students.

With this in mind, it might be best if we talk in terms of universal and local values. Universal value being the ultimate goal of the Christian follower or observer, local value being the vision for the university and perhaps its faculty of theology. Once this is achieved, we can then progress towards developing further matrices for measuring inherent and imposed values of the subject at hand.

Conclusion

In a letter to the Corinthians Paul wrote: “Love never ends. But as for prophecies, they will come to an end; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will come to an end. For we know only in part, and we prophesy only in part; but when the complete comes, the partial will come to an end. When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child; when I became an adult, I put an end to childish ways. For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then we will see face to face. Now I know only in part; then I will know fully, even as I have been fully known. And now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; and the greatest of these is love” (1 Cor. 8–13).

This passage explains in simple terms that our growth in knowledge are constrained in our humanity, even as we believe or reason our way through the maze of life in pursuit of God. The prophetic voice of Isaiah are ever resounding today as they were centuries ago when they were first declared, “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways my ways, says the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts” (Isaiah 55:8–9).

So, our faith calls us not into conformity to all major influences, but rather to be transformed and innovative (Rom 12:2), in our quest to make lasting positive impact in the world around us with the love of God in Christ Jesus. Therefore the value of Christian theology as taught in university is largely dependent on policy makers, delivery team, resources available, and how these resources are deployed. The impact will ultimately be measured in the lives the students lead, and their legacy.

In the words of Gunton,

It is an exciting time to study theology, as questions claimed to be closed open up again, and the Christian tradition appears once again ready to contribute to the great questions of the day, and perhaps especially questions about the nature of the human person in the world apparently threatened with depersonalising forces (p. 454).

Bibliography


Forde, G. O. (1959) Theology is for proclamation. Minneapolis: Augsburg Fortress, Publishers

Gunton, C. E., Holmes, S. R. and Rae, M. (2001) The Practice of Theology: A Reader. Edited by C. E. Gunton, S. R. Holmes, and M. Rae. United Kingdom: SCM Press

Migliore, D. L. (1996) Faith seeking understanding: an introduction to Christian theology. Grand Rapids: William B Eerdmans Publishing Co.

Mcgrath, Alister (2011): Christian theology: An Introduction. Chichester: Blackwell Publishers

Neil Darragh (2007), The Practice of Practical Theology: Key Decisions and Abiding Hazards in Doing Practical Theology. Australian eJournal of Theology 9 (March 2007)

Victor Anderson; Yancy, George (2001): Cornel West: A Critical Reader.Oxford: Blackwell Publishers.

https://admit.washington.edu/sites/default/files/pdfs/WhatIsACollegeEducationWorth.pdf last accessed: 10/4/2015

Pray Love Bexley 2015!

On Saturday 18th April, we have use of a beautifully converted double decker bus known as the CRIB for outreach in our community. Please see below schedule of activities:

  • 8am – 9am: Prayers for London Borough of Bexley
  • 10am – 11am: Christianity and Social Justice – Talk/Presentation and Q & A
  • 12pm – 1pm: Open House
  • Worship, Bible Reading and Spoken Word
  • Vision and thrust for: ‘Pray Love Bexley’ and Healingsprings fellowship
  • Q and A
  • 2pm – 3pm: Talents – Talk/presentation on higher education opportunities, jobs and career options
  • 4pm – 5pm: Operation World – prayers for the UK and the world

In between these sessions we will be running tours of the bus and other fun activities for children. 

Please drop in for fellowship, networking, fun activities and light refreshments!

Saturday 18th April, 8am – 6pm

Bus location: 

St Martin (Barnehurst)

Erith Road, 

Barnehurst, 

Bexleyheath, 

Kent, DA7 6LE

This Sunday @ Healingsprings fellowship!

Church Reloaded: Grace

By way of recap, church reloaded kicked off with a lecture on Gratitude, then we made steady progress under the subheading of Revolution, and last week we arrived at Merit or Grace; focussing on Matt. 22:1-24. 

This Sunday I will be starting a series simply entitled: Grace. 

Drawing from biblical texts, major Christian thinkers and church history; this lecture will examine themes from the following key questions:

  • What is grace?
  • Are we saved by works or grace?
  • Are we saved by works and grace?
  • Are we saved by grace alone?
  • Are some predestined to be saved?
  • Once saved, always saved?

I’m so excited about what God is doing through our Church Reloaded series, so I extend an invite to you!

(6:00-7:30)pm

Art Centre, Drama Room, Bexleyheath Academy, Woolwich Rd, Bexleyheath, Kent DA6 7DA 

(Free parking in front of the school and adjacent streets)

For *free audio lectures: https://soundcloud.com/clementakran

*Please note that audio lectures are available for free for 14days after they have been upload. After that, you can place an order for CDs for £2:50 each.

Easter Sunday @ Healingsprings fellowship! 

Church Reloaded: Grace or Merit?

The saying by Jesus as recorded by Matthew: ‘Many are called, but a few are chosen'; has always been a source of much controversy within and outside the church.

Within the church it has been used to promote some sort of elitism, strengthen the concept of predestination, or as an excuse for mediocrity. 

The unchurched sometimes use it as an reason for disengagement with Christianity, hence statements like: ‘You are chosen, I am not blessed with the gift of faith’.

To this end, this Easter Sunday our focal point is on Matt. 22:1-24, under the title: Grace or Merit?

Drawing from other biblical texts and contemporary thoughts, this lecture will examine the following key themes:

  • the context that gave birth to this statement;
  • what the writer was trying to convey to his audience at the time it was written; and 
  • what we can glean from it in our era

I’m so excited about what God is doing through our Church Reloaded series, so I extend an invite to you!

(6:00-7:30)pm

Art Centre, Drama Room, Bexleyheath Academy, Woolwich Rd, Bexleyheath, Kent DA6 7DA 

(Free parking in front of the school and adjacent streets)

This Sunday @ Healingsprings fellowship | Church Reloaded: We Are The Revolution 

Dear friends, a change of guard is happening spiritually, and it bears the hallmark of a revolution. 

To this end, we looked at various definitions of the word revolution last week. Then drawing from history and some biblical case studies, we looked at trajectories of the concept, as we define our place in the movement.

This Sunday our focal point is on Matt.11:12

From the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven has suffered violence, and the violent take it by force.

And 2 Samuel 3:1

There was a long war between the house of Saul and the house of David; David grew stronger and stronger, while the house of Saul became weaker and weaker.

I’m so excited about what God is doing through our Church Reloaded series, so I extend an invite to you!

Join us this Sunday for: We Are The Revolution.

(6:00-7:30)pm

Art Centre, Drama Room, Bexleyheath Academy, Woolwich Rd, Bexleyheath, Kent DA6 7DA 

(Free parking in front of the school and adjacent streets)

This Sunday’s lecture | Church reloaded: the revolution will not be televised

Historically revolutions often times start from something insignificant, then overtime they gain momentum, Until they hit a tipping point. In recent times the Arabic Spring comes to mind.

With this in mind, we take another look at Jesus’ remarks to his audience about a revolution that was budding… He said concerning John the Baptist:

What did you go out into the wilderness to look at? A reed shaken by the wind? What then did you go out to see? Someone dressed in soft robes? Look, those who wear soft robes are in royal palaces. What then did you go out to see? A prophet? Yes, I tell you, and more than a prophet. – (Matthew 11:7-9)

So join us if you can for The Revolution Will Not Be Televised. In the course of my lecture I will be exploring: 

  1. the people that watch things happen;
  2. the people that make things happen; and,

  3. the people that ask, what happened?

(6:00-7:30)pm

Art Centre, Drama Room, Bexleyheath Academy, Woolwich Rd, Bexleyheath, Kent DA6 7DA 

(Free parking in front of the school and adjacent streets)