Thought Leaders Series: 2017

Unlearning to Learn Anew – putting on the Veil of Ignorance.

Building on the work of Emmanuel Kant and other leading minds in discussions on Social Contract, John Rawls applies the concept in his seminal book: A Theory of Justice.

For Rawls, our personal biases and prejudices often affect our political position. Therefore, for true freedom and justice to prevail, we need to actively minimise them by assuming a position of ignorance (the Veil of Ignorance).

This discipline is important in Christianity, especially in leadership. Every aspect of the faith should be revisited with the “Veil of Ignorance” in order for the faith to breathe and revitalise.

To Veil of Ignorance is similar to the term being “Born Again” which sadly has been largely misunderstood. Jesus was in fact asking Nicodemus to unlearn all he had learnt, to put on the “Veil of Ignorance” in order to be a part of the new movement. The knowledge he had accrued through years of active participation in the religious system was suddenly an hindrance to his spiritual growth. What Jesus was advancing needed an open mind, if you may, a blank canvas.

Jesus highlights this position on many occasions, perhaps most notably when he challenged the actions of the leaders stating,

“… thus making void the word of God through your tradition that you have handed on. And you do many things like this.” – (Mark 7:13)

The Judeo-Christian faith was never, and has never been concrete, hence we see the plea for Reformation at various points in history through the prophets and much later Jesus Christ.

The Born Again experience is therefore a state of mind and a way of life, not an event. It is an attitude of re-evaluation, critical thinking, rethinking, unlearning, learning; and dare I say, being humble enough to learn from other disciplines and faith. Thus Galloway notes:

“The question of God – the basic question of theology – is not the special concern of the ‘religious’ or those who happen to like that sort of thing. It arises out of the structure of human existence and is thus the most fundamental and universal concern of all mankind. Theology, therefore, is as public a discipline as philosophy or natural science. It belongs, in the first instance, in the university rather than the seminary” – (1973, p. 16)

This is what we see in the life of Jesus as he questioned the very foundations of the Jewish faith: Temple rituals, Sabbath, moral and legal codes, culture, and traditions.

Dear friends, if there has ever been a time when the World is willing to listen again to what we have to offer – it is now! When these Jephthah[s] arrive and after the goosebumps they feel when they encounter the Holy Spirit, they will still need to be taught.

My question to you – what are we teaching them? We have inherited lots of stuff that are now having detrimental effects on our psyche and faith.

We have to unlearn, to learn anew.

Reachout | Revive | Recover

http://www.healingsprings.org.uk

Thought Leaders Series: 2017

Old Habits Die Hard.

The word anti-intellectualism is nowadays synonymous to Christianity, especially Evangelicals and Pentecostals.

By way of background an anti-intellectual is simply a person who believes that intellect and reason are less important than actions and emotions in solving practical problems and understanding reality.

Anti intellectualism is alien to Judeo-Christian culture or history. In fact as well as others the term ‘Teacher’ was one of Jesus’ titles. Judges, Kings, Priests, Rabbis, Prophets, the disciples, and even Paul were all seasoned intellectuals. We can still see this today in the priority the Jews give to academia, and the position they hold in most professions in leading economies.

Anti intellectualism crept into Christianity by stealth. As churches became elitist, break away faction (who were mostly from the poor and underclass) started reorienting towards the idea of “being led by the spirit”. These poor uneducated well meaning leaders were solely dependent on “signs and wonders” as they lacked basic education, not to mention theological training. Doctrines, exegesis, and interpretation became skewed; and those who dare question them were ostracised from their congregations.

One of these breakaway factions is the Pentecostal movement, which came out of the Methodist movement. As this group attracted the poor and underclass, they found affinity with the oppressed, especially those within Black communities in the West and developing World – owing to their common struggle.

Much later some within the movement saw the need for theological education and training, but by this time habits had been formed which made their way into the curriculum as doctrines. Besides, most people within the movement did not see the need for training or education as all they needed was prayer, fasting and “signs and wonders” to vindicate their activities.

For those who have “eyes to see”, when we fast forward to the 21st century we see the damaging effect of poor theological understanding, epitomised in anti intellectualism. As a result, ignorance and mediocrity prevails.

Jesus challenged Nicodemus,

“Are you a teacher of Israel, and yet you do not understand these things? – (John 3:10)

Reachout | Revive | Recover

http://www.healingsprings.org.uk

HEAVEN’S ECONOMY

While we bury our heads in the sand doing ‘church as usual’, the barriers of consciousness are being pushed with robotics and artificial intelligence.

In fact scientists predict that before the end of this century we will see bespoke interventions to alter DNAs, and biomechanics that can enhance our current capabilities beyond our wildest dreams.

In a global context we see countries like Singapore, Mexico, India and China benefit from the impact of cheap labour as companies in the West are pushed to increase profit margins for shareholders, and fend-off competitors.

But where is the developing and underdeveloped world in all this?

Is this something we ought to be thinking about?

Phased with similar challenges in his era, in one of his reflection prophet Jeremiah notes,

“If you have raced with men on foot and they have worn you out, how can you compete with horses? If you stumble in safe country, how will you manage in the thickets by the Jordan? – (Jeremiah 12:5)

Where do we start, and how do we realign the levels of inequality in our world?

Join us as we explore the building blocks for a Christ-centred commerce.

Saturday 25th November 2017,

10:30 – 1pm

Order tickets below, spaces are limited.

https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/heavens-economy-tickets-39013175458?ref=estw

HEAVEN’S ECONOMY

A Christ-inspired business is not one that begins with prayers.

Neither is it one that only employs Christians, or one that preaches conversion to customers, or one that pays a tenth to a church or parachurch organisation….

Dear friends, we are all involved in commerce. We buy products and services we want or need, and we provide products and services of some sort to customers.

Questions…

How do we use our purchasing power to influence the kinds of products and services that are available in the market?

How do we create, develop, and sell products or services that are inspired by love and kindness.

How do we realign the power relationship between developed, emerging and underdeveloped economies?

How can we make the world a much better and equal place for all of humanity?

Join us as we explore the building blocks for a Christ-centred commerce.

Saturday 25th November 2017, 10:30 – 1pm

Order tickets below, spaces are limited.

https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/heavens-economy-tickets-39013175458?ref=estw

Today @ Healingsprings fellowship

The Hebrew notion of truth has its root in the word: ‘Demet’, which simply means reliability. It is the unshakable dependability of a thing, a word, or, the faithfulness of a person.

Unlike the Greek idea of truth, it is not timeless, binding or rigid, rather, it is fluid. In other words Demet has to occur repeatedly in history. For example:

“I am the God of your father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.” – Ex. 3:6

Therefore, in the Hebrew sense of truth all of reality is regarded historically. We see this in their understanding of the Exile, as they looked back in history in interpreting the event.

We also see this on the ‘Road to Emmaus’ as the disciples were taken on a historical journey by Jesus in interpreting an event – on this occasion his death (Luke 24:13-25).

To this end Pannenberg argues that, “Truth is that which will show itself in the future.” The future gives meaning to the past and present. Hence the philosophical idea of, “all things working together for good” (Rom. 8:28)

Therefore, we read the scriptures retroactively for now through the life and ministry of Jesus, until ‘Truth’ is finally revealed in Jesus’ Second Coming. So we live in ‘anticipation’, as we continue the work of co-creation, reconciling the world to God.

Join us for God Was In Christ when I’ll be doing a recap of our journey so far as we prepare our hearts and minds for the Jesus’ Resurrection next week!

3pm – 4:30pm

The Parish Hall

St John’s Sidcup,

Church Road,

Sidcup,

Kent DA14 6BX

Reachout | Revive | Recover

http://www.healingsprings.org.uk

Thought Leaders Series: 2017

All behaviours are created by beliefs. Beliefs are underpinned by stories.

Stories are powerful. They cannot be destroyed, but they can be replaced. Therefore, in order to change behaviour, we need better stories.

To this end, Jesus changed the story about God and humanity. He moved away from the idea of an angry God seeking retribution, to a loving Father seeking a loving relationship with creation. Hence his overarching call for repentance [rethink, re-evaluate, re-appraise].

Our task is to revitalise this story in our time with contemporary anecdotes, keeping it alive and relevant.

Our task is that of thought leadership. We are incubators of Godly ideas, translators of metaphysical realities, the ‘ladder’ that connects heaven to earth. Co creators with the Father.

Let’s go to work!

Reachout | Revive | Recover

http://www.healingsprings.org.uk